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DaveofCali Donating Member (434 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:45 PM
Original message
Obama never said that he was a progressive?
Read this, for the record, what he said on July 9th, 2008:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/us/politics/09campaig...

"Look, let me talk about the broader issue, this whole notion that I am shifting to the center, he told a crowd gathered at a town hall-style meeting in this Atlanta suburb. The people who say this apparently havent been listening to me.

I am someone who is no doubt progressive, he said, adding that he believed in universal health care and that government had a strong role to play in overseeing financial institutions and cracking down on abuses in bankruptcies and the like."


Obama DID pretend that he was a progressive / liberal during the campaign, though not saying it rarely, he did characterized himself to suggest that. Progressives DO have a right to put his feet to the fire on this.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hit legislative record as a senator and state senator mostly reflects that of a liberal.
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 01:49 PM by phleshdef
Ideology is a luxury for senators and congress people. But its not a luxury for a President co-weilding power with an overly polarized Senate.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. your point is excellent-
thank you for posting
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DaveofCali Donating Member (434 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Tell that to Truman
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 02:19 PM by DaveofCali
Truman had to deal with a Republican Congress and the Republicans did the same thing in the late 40's that they are doing now, and he used their stonewalling tactics against him and in his 1948 campaign railed against a "do nothing" congress, and not only did he win, he got voters to put a lot more Democrats into Congress. A quote:

"In November, the electorate responded to Truman's appeals and provided him with one of the greatest political comeback victories in U.S. history. An enduring image was provided the day after the election when a smiling Truman held aloft an early edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune that proclaimed, "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN." Results in Congress were equally stunning; the Democrats won a 93-seat majority in the House and a 12-seat edge in the Senate."

- http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h898.html
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
33. Interesting example. Truman was also attacked by the liberal wing for being too centrist.
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 03:51 PM by phleshdef
http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=give_em_hel...

For the party's liberal wing, Roosevelt's death was a crushing loss. Not only did Truman lack FDR's stature, but he was far more centrist. In 1945 and 1946, Truman was preoccupied with foreign and military policy. On domestic affairs, he replaced several leading New Dealers with more orthodox figures.

Truman faced the huge challenge of converting the war economy to peacetime, absorbing 12 million vets and millions more idled war-production workers without kindling either unemployment or inflation. Liberals criticized Truman for abandoning wartime wage and price controls too quickly. When unions, which had been docile during the war effort, pressed for deferred wage increases, Truman worried about the effect on inflation. In several high-profile conflicts, he seized factories and broke strikes in industries as diverse as coal, oil, steel, and railroads, invoking emergency wartime powers still on the books. He enraged Roosevelt's close ally, CIO President Philip Murray, by supporting legislation authorizing an anti-strike injunction.


Truman signed the Employment Act of 1946, a watered-down version of a far more robust full--employment bill. Liberals had hoped that the newly created Council of Economic Advisers would be staffed by Keynesians, but Truman picked a more centrist group, with Edwin Nourse of the moderate Brookings Institution as its first chair. So on a number of fronts, liberals felt that they had lost a champion in the White House.


Now you are correct that Truman did take the fight to the Republicans after they took Congress. But up until that point, he was operating from the center and liberals hated him for it. Republicans have not yet seized control of Congress so we don't know how Obama is actually going to play with them yet. I suspect he will be more like Clinton and less like Truman. But if it results in keeping the economy stable while jobs recover, I don't really care how he goes about it.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Wrong. He may be a centrist, and he may be president of 'all the people'
but the simple fact is, he was elected on the strength of his PROGRESSIVE stances - ending the wars, closing Gitmo, not extending the handouts to the rich, public option, repealing DADT and DOMA.

Those were his promises. He ran as a moderate progressive, and had he stood by those positions, win or lose, he would not have a problem today, the Dems would have retained the House, and he'd be looking at an easy reelection in '12. He was elected because the majority of the voting population BACKED those positions.

The fact that he did not fight for any of those, that he actually handed them to the opposition, indicates not that he was 'compromising' on his positions, but that he lied about his positions in order to get elected. The ONLY reason I backed him over Hillary is because I was convinced (and still am) that Hillary would have us in a war with Iran if she was elected. He ran as the not-DLC candidate - apparently he lied about that, too.

BTW, the president does not "co-wield" power with anyone. The senate is a different branch of government completely and does its own thing - sometimes with and sometimes against the Executive branch. HS sophomore civics.
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JoePhilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. You are also wrong.
1) His moderate progressive stances excited liberals. But his calls for a bipartisan government won him the middle, and that's what put him over the top.

2) I agree on Obama Vs Hillary. She is further right.

3) He ABSOLUTELY co-wields power. Our government has 3 CO-EQUAL branches. Obama can do very little UNILATERALLY. In setting up our government, the founders actually INTENDED to divide the POWER. And so, while each branch has some autonomy INTERNALLY, to reach an actual conclusion, the branches MUST share power. But maybe they only teach that part in college?

4) Your selection of "promises" is selective. He did not promise to end the wars in 2 years. He promised a specific draw down in Iraq (which he has done), and an increase in Afghanistan (which he also did). He can not end DADT or DOMA without congressional action. And, you mention that he promised to end tax cuts to the rich ... he also promised to not raise them on those making under $250,000. Those positions are now at odds. And you can be damn sure that if the tax cuts for those under $250,000 expire, THAT is the promise that will cost him the 2012 election. The media will make SURE that the middle class knows that Obama screwed them, and broke that promise, during these tough economic times.
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. very good points.
The middle-class tax cut promise was one I hadn't realized he'd made until his press confrence. I personally think that they should all be allowed to expire, but understand why he feels we can't do that at this time-

He didn't agree to make the wealthy cuts permanant, which was the republican's goal- Now, they will have to defend their position to coddle to the wealthy in a general election year. I don't think that's something they are looking forward to.
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JoePhilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Agree ...
I also think that the GOP plan to piss in the drinking water only works short term.

For two years, they have done everything they can to make any legislation that passes either (a) weaker, or (b) contain some odious element.

Now what will they do? They made the water toxic, and now they will have to swim in it.

The GOP is like an insurgency. Their form of warfare is based on terrorism style. Take a hostage. Create a bomb of some type.

They have no plan. No blue-print for America in the next century.

And I have to hope that this becomes more obvious to the low information voter.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #10
30. Those progressive stances have no strength if they aren't legislatively possible.
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 03:44 PM by phleshdef
Sooner or later, you are going to have to accept that the progressive power among the 3 branches of government is finite. And it will remain that way until the people elect otherwise.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #30
49. Well, apparently if you "fight" and have "spine" Congress does what you want or something
I'm still not sure how that argument goes, but I've heard it enough here that it's starting to stick by mere repetition.
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sasha031 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. yes he did, obama is now running against obama
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movonne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. He never said he was a republican neither...he seem to be more
conferable as a middle of the stream repug...I'm so disappointed...
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WiffenPoof Donating Member (676 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. Let's Just Say...
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 01:57 PM by WiffenPoof
for the sake of argument that Obama never uttered the word "progressive" during the campaign. Is there little doubt that the tenor of his speeches to include policy descriptions strongly indicated a progressive candidate?

Having said that, it is also clear that many of us were drawn in to the rhetoric...we "wanted to believe."

President Obama was not my first choice. However, when my candidate dropped out, I began to listen to him. The more I listened, the more I was convinced that he was the real deal. Now, I could have been using "selective hearing" during the campaign. This takes nothing away from the power of my belief.

As for Obama, he did not say or do anything that led me to believe he was nothing less than the transformational president that we needed. Yes...once again, I may have not have heard what I needed to hear.

I still hold to the belief that Candidate Obama rode the rhetoric right into the WH.

-PLA
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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
38. +1000
i agree, i didn;t choose him at first, and actually thought he was 'shifty' in the beginning...but i got swept up in the need for change as well.

now we have some 'change' ..it comes with our welfare check
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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. Any progressive in his position would be forced into the same types of compromises
That's how our government is set up to function.

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DaveofCali Donating Member (434 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Still, FDR, Truman, and even Kennedy and Johnson
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 02:12 PM by DaveofCali
had much more of a backbone than Clinton and Obama.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
45. No, they had much more Democratic Congresses
Look it up some time.
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Nonsense
By that logic we could elect a Republican in 2012 and get the same results after compromise.

The Republicans dopnt compromise, so why should we?
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JoePhilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
35. We fragment, they don't.
When push comes to shove, Dems fragment.

The GOP has far more political discipline than the left does.

The GOP, as a party, will stand together when it gets hard.

The Dems, as a party, will fragment, when it gets hard.

This is THE #1 reason we fail politically.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. Difference is, a progressive would have to be FORCED into them.
We're looking at expiring unemployment. Right? So, before getting into the fight over unemployment he VOLUNTEERS to freeze federal pay. A progressive might have done the same thing, but would have used the pay freeze as a counterweight to extending unemployment - thus taking the unemployment extension out of the fight BEFORE the tex extensions fight.

And, about that, Boehner said he would, if he HAD to, allow the extension of the rich expire. So, WHY didn't we arrange it so that he would HAVE to allow it, instead of signalling before going into the debate that he was OK with extending those cuts?

Obama was not FORCED into anything. He was simply not willing to fight for what he claimed to believe.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #21
31. Plus one. Key word being 'claimed'. nt
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
7. Throughout the campaign, Obama usually responded with I do
not like Labels. Refused to be identified with any one label.

Right after innaugueration, I remember one time and one time
only, he was walking across the lawn and a reporter called
out to him, Obama responded I'm a New Democrat.

In all this time and watching a lot of TV, these are the
only references, I heard from Obama himself.
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BlueJac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
11. Then that is one promise he didn't break
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
12. And he's still a progressive.
"Obama DID pretend that he was a progressive / liberal during the campaign"

He wasn't pretending. There are those who would like to make the President out to be anything they want to, and they are entitled to their opinions.

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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Progressively more rightwing by the day maybe. nt
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Gotta disagree.
He is either philosophically centrist or a progressive with absolutely no idea how to be president.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. No
"He is either philosophically centrist or a progressive with absolutely no idea how to be president. "

He's actually extremely good at governing compared to many other Presidents.


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young but wise Donating Member (760 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. +1
He's been a damn good president.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. Which, QED, leaves him being centrist, not progressive. nt
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Enogero Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Yes
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Welcome to DU
That piece at that link is from June 2009.

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Enogero Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. thank you--long time lurker
yes, its from June 2009. and it hasn't gotten any better
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
39. Nice wishing, but little actual evidence of this dream.
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 06:48 PM by Jakes Progress
But as I said, we'll have to disagree. I don't see his efforts as very effective or very progressive.
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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. More than a few critics do not think he goes far enough in his policies
to be considered a true progressive yet. For example, while he's done some good things environmentally, there are those who say he doesn't go nearly far enough, such as with climate change.

To say "he's still a progressive," as if there is no gray area involved, is a bit premature. Only time will tell us if he is the true progressive we were all hoping for. This tax deal of his will not serve him well in the progressive department.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Wait
"More than a few critics do not think he goes far enough in his policies to be considered a true progressive yet. For example, while he's done some good things environmentally, there are those who say he doesn't go nearly far enough, such as with climate change.

To say "he's still a progressive," as if there is no gray area involved, is a bit premature."

Not going far enough is a defining factor? Who is to say what far enough is, and what role does Congress play in limiting how far things go?




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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Sounds to me like you're blaming Congress for any of his progressive shortcomings
Not going far enough is a defining factor? Who is to say what far enough is, and what role does Congress play in limiting how far things go?


Yes, it absolutely should be a defining factor. Why shouldn't it be?

And you are using Congress as an excuse for his not doing better by virtue of your own words.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Do you believe
that if Democratic Senators, specifically Nelson, Lieberman and Lincoln, had supported a public option the President would have been displeased?

Like I said, Presidential desire is one thing, and then there is reality. Truman fought like hell to get health reform, but it never happened.

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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. No, he would not have been displeased. However, you don't define someone as being a Progressive
by what they say they hope to get accomplished as opposed to what they actually do get accomplished.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #27
46. Then there are no progressives on this board
Because we aren't accomplishing shit, are we?
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
34. One thing Obama is NOT is a monarch
You can be a progressive when you campaign or try to have legislation introduced that starts off progressive, but the simple fact in this democracy is that when you become president, you are not a monarch. You have to work with Congress and the Senate to get legislation passed.

Tell me how even the most progressive presidential candidate would not have to work with Congress and the Senate once that person was sworn in.

The hogwash that Obama "pretended he was a progressive" is pedestrian purist parlor talk.

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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. "You have to work with Congress and the Senate to get legislation passed."
Bush never did that, and somehow he rammed through the worst agenda this country has ever seen, no?
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. Actually, Bush had ALL the Repigs and many Blue Dogs in his lap
He did work with Congress and the Senate to create the absolute clusterf&ck that Obama inherited and many think should have reversed it completely in two years.

Got civics?


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displacedvermoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #37
43. Got civics = Poutrage!!!
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #36
47. Not really, though that myth keeps cropping up on DU
He got his tax cuts and his war. All of his other legislative initiatives either went nowhere or had significant bipartisan support.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #34
40. You are right. I wish people would realize that had Congress
been progressive enough and produced that legislation, the President would have signed it all - public option, etc. People keep blaming him for Congress not being progressive enough. If it's not, they need to work on those elections.
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
41. I voted for him with my eyes open.
He has some decent progressive views, which is to say a lot more than any Republican's ever going to have, so I supported him enthusiastically.

But I did remember that he is a politician.

And for all the howling going on, he has done some great things for this country.
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vaberella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
42. A progressive and a liberal are TWO very different things. He is no doubt a Progressive.
Even if you may think he's not a liberal.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #42
48. the hell he is progressive.... what do you have to back up that claim?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #48
50. Well, start off with what you think "progressive" means
Somehow the term has come to be opposed to "corporatist", and there's a definite sense here that FDR was both "progressive" and anti-corporatist, both of which are pretty absurd when you actually look at history.

But, that snark aside, what do you mean by "progressive"?
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vaberella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. He pushed the repeal of DADT. That is a progressive move.
You don't know how to define a progressive hence the reason you seem to be equating progressivism to liberalism. That's ultimately false. A republican for all intents and purposes can be a progressive. Teddy Roosevelt for instance is a good example and he was a Republican with conservative view points and I'm sure didn't like Blacks too much---but he was forward thinking about the nation as a whole. Maybe you should educate your self on each position.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. so he has to be Progressive because.... of DADT
I'm pretty sure others who are not progressive voted for the repeal so I wouldn't use this to qualify him as being progressive. His tax plan alone destroy any possibility of him being progressive.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
44. Step out of the echo chamber and process the fact that he is a progressive
And that you and and other posters don't have some high-priest status that lets you kick people out of the Progressive club just because their results aren't up to your standards.

(I'd also be curious what you mean when you say "progressive", and whether you're assuming that's what most people, particularly Obama in that comment, mean.)
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