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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:09 PM
Original message
Our President doesn't define himself as a Progressive
He simply calls himself a Democrat. He does not identify himself with a progressive critique of American society, though he upholds the desirability of most progressive goals for the American people. He will never rally most Americans to oppose the interests of the super wealthy in our ongoing Class War, he does not embrace that type framing of the issues.

Our President advocates empathy and support for Americans who must struggle to survive. He rarely offers condemnation of the greedy elites who are causing so many Americans to have to struggle. Our President is not focused on growing and/or mobilizing the left in America. He is more interested in winning the middle from the right. He does not want to rock the boat, he wants us to paddle together.

Pretty much that is who Barack Obama seems to me to bebe. I don't see much point now in progressives attacking him over that. The flip side of the President not openly embracing progressives is that we don't have to openly embrace him either. We can more or less coexist with different but sometimes overlapping agendas, clearly closer to Obama in views than to the Republican opposition. Likewise I think it counterproductive for strong believers in this President to castigate progressives who voice some obvious disagreements with him. There is ample room to differ and still unite in practical ways when needed.

I think it's the task of the left now to make the progressive case to America directly. To do so will of necessity sometimes require expressing where we differ in views and/or actions from out Democratic President. Honestly I think that Obama can accept and understand that, at least more often than not. It doesn't have to be bitter or even overly personal. Our President has shown the ability to work with Republicans whose overt views on most issues are more in conflict with his own than the views of American Progressives. He can handle it.

Though there will no doubt be times when progressive Democrats in Congress must fall behind the President in some votes that will make them grit their teeth to do so, that happens sometimes in politics where nothing can be accomplished without being in a broader coalition with those who are not fully with you. However pragmatic politics are no excuse for progressives to withhold their honest view of where America is going wrong, whether or not that dovetails with the views our President is expressing. The Progressive perspective needs to be heard now, and we can't count on this President to voice it. It might even make it easier for the President to move the center a bit closer to the left.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well done!
We all know too well how allowing one party to run the whole show turned out. This isn't "our turn" to pull a BushCo and get all our wants and needs fulfilled. This is a chance to create a working government for all people, not just those who think as we do.

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I somewhat agree with you there
At some level the differences dividing Americans have to be dealt with enough to find enough agreement to move forward dealing effectively with problems that virtually all Americans think must be addressed. It is part of the duties and responsibilities of a President to be open to differeing viewpoints and priorities.

Personally, I think some core problems in America will continue to worsen without confronting some very real ideological divides head on. I'm saying regardless of how much I might wish our Democratic President to take the lead in doing so in some critical instances, that may not be a priority he shares with some progressives. We have to be prepared to make that case directly ourselves, no offense necesarilly meant to our President in doing so.
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. Agree
and those who do not think the way we do are not implicitely evil nor should they be demonized.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. His actions in office have not been those of even a moderate Democrat.
Maybe a Blue Dog.
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. Who would be an example of
a moderate dem that you compare him negatively to? Preferably a president, because otherwise you are comapring apples and oranges.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
33. Setting aside Vietnam .... LBJ.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. Maybe you have a point. That's why he won IN, GA, VA and some other
red states. It's lunacy to believe you can win a national election by running as a wild-eyed liberal. Dennis Kucinich anyone? :eyes:
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
32. That is a fallacious analysis
You are assuming that someone has to be a wild-eyed radical to advace progressive populist positions.

IF Hubert Humphrey were around today, the "reasonable Democratic centrists" would be demonizing his traditional midwest liberal populism as "far left" and "too fringe to win."

ONE reason so many in the Red states vote against their own economic interests is because they have been subjected to endless and very sophisticated right wing propaganda from the corporate elites and their allues in the GOP --- WHILE the Democratic party has been unwilling to actually challenge them.



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Wait Wut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. I don't define myself as a Progressive, either.
I don't even refer to myself as Liberal. Pres. Obama never has. I think too much time is spent trying to find reasons why the left, far left and center shouldn't get along instead of working together to defeat the Rs not only in '12 but forever. There may be some moderates that have bizarre ideas about what the Democratic party should be working for or against, but for the most part, we do all agree on what direction this country should be headed. What we don't agree on is the path to get us there and how fast we need to drive and which pedestrians are okay to run over.

You'll never convince a majority of Americans to embrace the Progressive agenda. We can't even convince the majority of the country to vote Democrat.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Exactly right...
Issue by issue we can find more common ground with more people than we can ever do with ideology.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Perhaps
But don't think of ideology as some rigid rhetorical declaration.

"All men are created equal" is an ideological believe.

"One man one vote" is a part of that ideology and underpins most wroter rights campaigns and struggles in American history.

The right of workers to form unions to represent them is also an ideological position.

A believe that some essential services are best not entrusted to companies whose primary goal is to maximize profits is another piece of ideology - it is a core underpinning justifying the existance of a public secotor in a mixed economy capitalist nation.

The concept of public airways is an ideological construct as well

The premise that elderly Americans should have the right to a live of dignaty without having to struggle with dior poverty is an ideological position that is at the heart of the so called "entitlement" debates. .

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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Yes, yes, and yes!
:toast:
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. I think there is too little articulation of Democratic ideology from our President
It is something that disappoints me about him, because he is so excellent at communicating. What ideology does best in American politics is define a core set of beliefs that should be central to being American, and which should inform both the policies and priorities of our nation.

The Right wing gets a huge ammount of milage by constructing a political ideology that justifies their actions in the minds of their right wing followers. It instills a sense that the positions they fight for on various issues are actually part of a larger more powerful and meaningful fabric of America that they are the true defenders of.

I think a huge weakness of the current Democratic Party is that they have allowed the Right to dominate ideological debate in this country on their own chosen turf.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Most Americans are not hung up on ideology. They care about results. nt
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. I think you wll find that most Americans concept of results is colored
by their chosen core ideology. At the very least as long as some explanation for why things are not getting better is provided that resonates with their ideology they will keep doubling down pursuing it for a long long time before finally questioning it.

The secret is not to call an ideology an ideology. Call it acting like a real American instead while claiming the other side is all tangled up in some losing ideology.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. I don't agree. Most Americans probably can't even tell you
what "ideology" means.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. That doesn't mean that they haven't been indocrinated into one though
An ideology can be something as innoculous as a set of assumptions about how things should be and what way of looking at stuff helps you get there. Nationalism is a default ideology for many.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I will agree tht nationlism is a default ideology. Still, that doesn't mean
Edited on Fri Jul-15-11 02:40 PM by Kahuna
that if you asked them, 'is nationalism your default ideology,?" you'd get anything but a blank stare.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. True, it isn't thought of as an ideology. Here is a potent 4 word one
"Government is the problem". Behind those 4 words lie huge implicatons, it underlies most of the partisan conflict in America today. Republican interests get a lot of milage by seeding that one in the public.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
34. Ideology IS results
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I differ on most Americans never agreeing on a Progressive agenda
It has happened frequently in America: Universal public eductation (we are dealing with some slippage there now), abolishment of slavery, womens rights, 40 hour work week, government oversight of private industry as in Food inspections (that was a battle - it wasn't always assumed), legal right of workers to form unions, Social Security, Medicare, and more.

Sometimes the key is getting most Americans to think of this stuff as common sense looking out for their own interests, not as some Progressive agenda being laid on them.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I don't think that America is turned off by progressive ideals, as much as they
Edited on Fri Jul-15-11 01:39 PM by Kahuna
are turned off by the messengers for those ideals. I won't name names. ;)

ETA, unless the progressives get some messengers (like the president who actually IS progressive), the so-called progressive agenda goes nowhere.
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Didn't the meaning of "progressive"
change significantly in time? It's an actual question, not a rhetorical one, I am sure your knowledge of American history greatly surpasses mine.
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. "Progressive" like any label, means different things to different people. nt
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Wait Wut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
31. Hmmmm...I think it goes deeper than what you've presented.
While I agree with your last sentence, I doubt that is proof that we could eventually convince the large majority of (voting) Americans to come to our side. One on one, I can convince any of my Republican/Conservative friends that improving the lives of the poor and increasing funding for public education is a good investment because healthy, comfortable and educated citizens are less likely to commit crimes and more likely to become productive TAX PAYING citizens. However, there is still the group that you have to deal with. Until we can outlaw conservative talk shows and put the Bachmann's in prison, the bird will always seek its flock. A person is smart, people are stupid...or something like that (M.I.B.).

I'm thoroughly convinced that our political affiliations and/or ideologies are based partially in our biological makeup. Of course, society and family has an enormous impact, but when you get down to left and right brain functions, there are differences in the left and right political monsters. There are more artists, musicians, poets, authors that identify with the Democratic or other left leaning party, whereas the right tends to attract... (okay, I can't find anything to say there except something snarky, so I'll just leave it blank). Also, too, and...the left is more intellectually curious and less apt to follow any flock, whereas the right tends to prefer groups, whether it be family, church or teaper sock hops and is more likely to accept the "truth" as it is told and not ask questions.

Unless we can teach (indoctrinate...heh) them when they're very young we'll have a difficult time convincing the less logical side of our political country to come over to our side and embrace P(or p)rogressive ideologies.

Moving from Chicago to Arizona has taught me a lot about the differences in thought process and the ability to think logically. It could also have something to do with the water or lack of it.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #31
48. I suspect you are correct that is part of it.
There are twp tools we can use to counter thowe tendancys. One is to raise the American Flag higher than our opponents can, and take ownership of by defining what it is that makes America special as a nation. There are many proud liberal traditions that are rooted in the fabric of the American Revolution. Democracy itself is a liberal institution, and all of the beliefs that underlie it. At the root of our democracy is a belief in the equality of people and a respect for differences among us. The protection of minority rights was consciously embraced by our founders.

The seperation of church and state is an American revolutionary concept to guarentee all equal rights to worship as we wish or even not to at all. It is at the heart of freedom of religion to not allow the state to establish an official set of believes. The abolishment of the restriction that only property owners can vote is part of the continuing liberal American revolution. So is the belief that all men are equal before the law. These are beliefs that the sort you describe can be encouraged to be proud of and even boast about - things that make America special in the world.

The other thing is econo0mic populism. North Dakota was once a radical populist center for example. When things are not going well some people are more prone than others to believe that someone is screwing with them. The left has allowed the right to pick the villians in that formula, but it has not always been that way, and there is plenty of powerful ammunition on our side to point out who the common persons adversaries really are.

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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
46. +1
OP refers to a class war as if that exists in this country. It's not happening now.

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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #46
55. Wait are you honestly saying there isn't a class war going on right now in this country?
I certainly hope you're not that out of touch to believe that.

Rp
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. The president does not like labels. I can completely appreciate this..
Edited on Fri Jul-15-11 01:35 PM by Kahuna
because I hate labels too. Especially the label, "progressive" as it seems to encompass everything from greens, commies, socialists (100%), and especially anarchists which I want no part of. I'm a liberal or a Democrat. Period. Anybody who doesn't like it, it's their problem, not mine.
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. As in the past, thank you
for the beautifully expressed rational analysis. And I mostly agree. I will only add that he never claimed to be otherwise during the campaign.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
16. I am a Progressive who took a long view of the lack of an even playing field early on...
Edited on Fri Jul-15-11 01:51 PM by FrenchieCat
what I saw and see was enough to get me off the Internet and into trying to make a difference
in a way that would be constructive to what I hold dear; not destructive to those who are willing to listen to my views, and hold some of the same...even if they don't hold the exact same views on everything.......

What I am concerned about is not this President......but rather:

The extreme opposition who are just plain in hatred of this country,

media conglamorates and their paid and bought for polling companies who appear bent on manipulating public opinion to have us be as uninformed as possible,

Citizens United and its real potential to buy elections,

GOP redistricting that is aimed at fucking us up further,

Republican Governors and legislatures in various states gutting whatever progress that have helped the regular folks, and doing so as quickly as they can,

a Supreme Court where a majority is full of shit when it comes to the American people and their rights,

and 30 years of policy that got us where we are.

To believe that one man was supposed to do by himself what we have not obviously been able to do for those 30 years was a ridiculous notion to begin with that shouldn't have ever been a point of contention, and yet it has been.

Barack Obama requested long ago to help him get things done (not just pull the lever and sit back and point our fingers at him), but what most did instead was decide that their time would be better spent singling him out for not saying exactly what they had determined he should say as their only important thing to do.

We haven't done near enough to speak out against the ones who are willing to really fuck us up forever, and too many have done the easy thing; criticized this President for every fucking thing, no matter what it was.

I'm starting to doubt that those who claim to be progressives really are. I think that progressives want progress, not perfection in every way. folks advocating that we turn this nation upside down obviously have nothing to lose. Folks who are waiting for a revolution obviously don't want to understand unintended consequences, as I don't believe a Revolution would bring about Liberal Eutopia......as I can't point to one revolution to date that has.

I think too many were looking for a Liberal George Bush in our President, and no, they didn't find that, cause it wasn't ever there.....and I'm glad of that, because based on all of the things that we are up against, I'm personally suprised that we've gotten as much as we have to date, considering.

I'm tired of the amount of negativity and wasted time spent on defining Barack Obama or his "base". I believe that time could be much better spent defining the opposition and attacking them in every way all day, every day, as relentlessly as some have gone after this one man; our current President.
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. "progressives want progress, not perfection in every way"
:thumbsup:

And also a :hug: because I just remembered the evening of the SC primary when I first noticed your name. You were very upset and aprehensive about the outcome, we posted a few replies to each other, and you touched me greatly.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #16
42. ah ma cheri'
once again the cat meows perfectly.

I sometimes wonder whether we are in a loop or maybe listening to a broken
record.

What I have learned is that there are those whose job it is to position people
for a specific reason whereas they can be called upon to fuck things up in a
dressage way without bringing attention to themselves, we are inundated
with a lot of them and I must admit, they are very good at what they do
because they understand that real progressives tends to render help when
needed and they have used that to their advantage.

Again, what an excellent summation of what DU has become.




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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
20. The president is not a boat rocker.
Neither is he going to be able to keep the boat from sinking. He carefully, without upsetting anyone in the boat, moves small cups of water from the bottom of the leaking boat. In order to stop the radical yahoos on the other side of the boat from drilling more holes in the hull, he would have to stand up and even make some waves.

Instead, he dips small cups of water out of the boat. He negotiates with the yahoos to try to get them to drill the holes more slowly. He feels sorry for those in the bottom of the boat who will drown first, but he continues to move small cups of water and feels good about the small amounts of water he has removed. He gets a little testy that his cup hasn't been noticed and celebrated more.

Meanwhile the yahoos, sensing that the captain isn't going to do anything or has no idea of how to do anything to stop them, are getting out larger drill bits. The president shakes his head and dips up another small cup of water.

We all, progressives, the poor, the rich, the yahoos, We are all going to drown at this rate. We need bigger buckets for bailing. We need someone to help those on the bottom of the boat stay dry. We need to stop the hull drilling. Small cups of water removed from the pool around our feet won't get it done. Maybe we need another captain.
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. I think he rocked it pretty good this time. n/t
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #21
37. Fussing from the bow is a start.
Let's see if anything comes from it.
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Bodhi BloodWave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. you forgot the last line
Edited on Fri Jul-15-11 02:13 PM by Bodhi BloodWave
Those who should be helping the Captain seem a lot more happy to aid the yahoos with the drilling or yelling at the Captain to use a bigger bucket and giving other 'words of wisdom' rather then doing something
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. HOLLER!
:applause:
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
38. Last line of what?
Are you suggesting that I am drilling holes? Are you suggesting that we should not tell the president what we think? Are you suggesting that just because I have words I have no actions?

What are you doing other than waving banners and cheering his bathing suit? What are you doing to help? Cheering a person for doing the wrong things is not helping.

Now if you mean helping the president, then your good wishes might aid him. But I was referring to stopping the yahoos who are drilling. What are you doing to stop them. I am supporting candidates at the local level who will really piss you off. If we can put these progressive people in office, they will be telling the president to stop sharpening the yahoos' drill bits. The will vote against his proposals to cut services and infrastructure. They will do their best to reverse the corporatization of American education as started under reagan, boosted by bush, and given a huge shove by Obama. They will certainly disregard his pleas to the party to join him in cutting SS and Medicare.

Maybe the yahoos wouldn't be so far along or be so bold in their destruction of the American society had the "captain" stood up to them and stood up for the working man earlier.

And no. I'm not happy about having to remind my employee what his job is supposed to be. I went through all that work getting him hired and now he just wants to be celebrated for his meek and meager ways. He should not have sought the job if he wasn't able to do it. Are you happy with the increased emphasis on test as curriculum in schools? Are you happy with the tax cuts for the wealthy. Are you happy that we are still killing and getting killed in two illegal wars? Are you happy with the jobs program of the administration? (HInt: There isn't one.) Are you happy that instead of universal coverage or even a public option, we got a bill that makes us give even more money to the insurance companies that assure the US as a second class nation when it comes to health care?

Maybe it's the fan club that is helping the yahoos drill holes. If they had said "excuse me, Mr. President" when his "bipartisan" habits surfaced, he might have started working long ago.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #22
41. Help the Capitan scuttle the mission to prevent the nutters from doing so?
My problem with Captain is his hand picked crew is pro-sinkage and he likes adopting the nutters' positions to appear to be "the adult in the room".
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. I think there is too much focus on "the Captain" from all of us
It's an important position that warrents trying to find the best person for the job whjenver it comes open - I agree with that. But I think its a mistake for the rest of us to think we either have to become the Csptains close assistants or his or her key opponents. There is an entire society out there to interact with. The movements and trends that take root there change the sea any captain sails on.

I might prefer another Captain but I don't believe there will be a real chance to improve on our current one before 2016. Meanwhile we have work to do.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
35. I Agree -- BUT progressives will remain impotent without leverage
Leverage, unfortunately, requires making it clear that Waffling Democrats will not automatically receive support only because they are Democrats.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Yes, they can't simply call on Party Loyalty
Edited on Fri Jul-15-11 09:42 PM by Tom Rinaldo
Outside of activist circles supporting a politician or party is defined as making it your business to get out there and vote on election day for that person or party. The people you can count on to show up and vote for you get called your base. Democrats of late have come to depend on progressives for more than just that.

Activists tend to get a lot more involved in politics than just being a dependable vote on election day. But there are many worthy competing interests for my time and money, some inside of and some outside of politics. And there are at least two ways for progressives to effect elections. One is to focus on aiding specific candidates, the other is to focus on educating the electorate on issues that are important, and thereby influence what voters look for from a candidate. The latter creates leverage of a different kind.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
39. What is the strongest comment anyone can remember form Obama regarding
...the massive shift and consolidation of wealth into the hands of the top 1% of income earners in the U.S. over the last 30 years? That and/or comments on the explosion of pay and perks for CEO's and top corporate executives that has been going on non stop for decades while worker pay over that same time period has stagnated or fallen? That and/or comments on the fact that U.S. corporations are creating far more jobs overseas with their healthy often untaxed profits than they create here in America?

All I can recall are comments like (paraphrasing here) "It seems to me that Americans like me who are well off have been making out OK in recent years - I think they should be asked to give back something also so that the burden of deficit reduction doesn't fall only on seniors and working families..."

Obama routinely avoids acknowledging that the middle class, working class, and the poor have been under a long term collective economic siege largely because the system has been gamed by wealthy elites at the expence of everyone else. He expresses interest in helping minimize some of the pain that this is causing, but virtually no interest in confronting, let alone acknowledging, the root causes of that pain. That's why I don't count on him to turn any of this around, only to partially cushion our fall.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Do
you actually listen to the President?

Good reads: here, here and here.


Another for good measure (because it's relevant to the current events)

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. Your first "Here" is exactly what I was asking about
You are absolutely right to point to that. And of course now that you have I remember when he made those comments and the reaction to them here at the time which I shared also. In the other examples you liinked to, Obama expressed sentiments that I agree with, and which don't pretend that America is all one big happy family with everyone's well being equally looked after etc. His specific points were important, but they were not radical in the same sense of going to the root, like your first example was.

The first comments linked from Obama acknowledged and documented the continuing concentration of wealth in the hands of the top 1% in America. But then we drift back to the same disconnect when the rubber meets the road. We return to addressing problems within frameworks dictated by Republicans. He returns to a bargaining table dominated by talk of massive cuts in government spending, including possible small snips in the safety net, and promotes an unbalenced definition of balence. Asking token give backs from the top 1% becomes his fair proposal. The statistics Obama cited in his first set of remarks make a strong case for making wealty interests in America bear well more than hals of any sacrifices now. Obama only brings those up to urge Republicans to put at least a little skin in the game. He doesn't pound them with that evidence.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #43
45. Hmmm?
"He returns to a bargaining table dominated by talk of massive cuts in government spending, including possible small snips in the safety net, and promotes an unbalenced definition of balence."

Elections Have Consequences

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #45
47. Yes they do
But last time I noticed the Democrats retained the Senate and the Presidency, how does that translate into Republican control of the agenda? One could say even more persuasivly that the 2008 elections had consequences, not that anyone ever convinced the Republicans of that. They continued to peddle their discredited economic theories hard, never gave an inch, and rebounded in 2010.

Democrats seem to often fight with one hand tied behind our backs. We have all of the data that shows exactly what has been happening to the economy in America over the last 30 years, but we really would rather not talk about that much if we can avoid it. Only maybe when our backs are being pushed up against the wall by Republicans will the President emphatically point it out, seemingly to signal "Back off, you can't have everything you want all of the time" only to return to bargaining as usual on Republican terms.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #47
49. Ah,
"But last time I noticed the Democrats retained the Senate and the Presidency, how does that translate into Republican control of the agenda?"

So the Senate and the President don't need the House?

Who said they control the agenda? If they did, the health care law would have been repealed.

What they control is the hostage taking process.

Here, Krugman has a relevant comment.

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #49
50. Maybe we are seeing the term "the agenda" differently
Edited on Sat Jul-16-11 10:49 AM by Tom Rinaldo
The Republicans don't control the government so they can't repeal prior decisions without cooperation from Democrats. I never suggested that both parties share the same policy priorities. Democrats still stand in the way of repealing the health care reforms that were previously passed.

Republicans however have for the most part suceeded in defining "stimulus" as wasteful government spending, now there isn't much in the way of talk about needed stimulus spending anymore. Republicans have forced the political focus in our nation away from getting the economy moving again onto cutting the federal deficit. Their claim that massive cuts in federal spending is the only way to create jobs has gained traction, it is weakly countered by Democrats if at all.

Republicans openly propose slashing government agencies across the board that exist to keep a check on private fraud and greed. They continue to push their favorite cover story that it is government red tape that is costing America jobs rather than willful acts of the business sector to maximize their profits at the expense of American workers, starting but not ending with shipping our jobs overseas subsidized by the American tax code. By pushing cost cutting to the top of the agenda they defacto win cuts in the abiity of government to keep the private sector honest. It's either except those cuts or more cuts in the safety net for Americans. There aren't that many places where spending can be cut while three wars are being fought.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. This
Republicans however have for the most part suceeded in defining "stimulus" as wasteful government spending, now there isn't much in the way of talk about needed stimulus spending anymore. Republicans have forced the political focus in our nation away from getting the economy moving again onto cutting the federal deficit. Their claim that massive cuts in federal spending is the only way to create jobs has gained traction, it is weakly countered by Democrats if at all.

Republicans openly propose slashing government agencies across the board that exist to keep a check on private fraud and greed. They continue to push their favorite cover story that it is government red tape that is costing America jobs rather than willful acts of the business sector to maximize their profits at the expense of American workers, starting but not ending with shipping our jobs overseas subsidized by the American tax code. By pushing cost cutting to the top of the agenda they defacto win cuts in the abiity of government to keep the private sector honest. It's either except those cuts or more cuts in the safety net for Americans. There aren't that many places where spending can be cut while three wars are being fought.

...is new? This is what happens when Republicans take control of any part of the government. It happened in the 1990s with the government shutdown.

Why is it surprising that Republicans are holding policies hostage to get their way?

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #51
52. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have much in common
Edited on Sat Jul-16-11 11:11 AM by Tom Rinaldo
in how they position the Democratic Party to oppose Republicans. No, it isn't new at all. Republicans have been on quite an economic roll for their key constituency that has gone on virtually unbroken now for decades. Hence all those statistics about favorable developments for the top 1% that we were talking about earlier. Republicans have no mativation to change their tune from Clinton to Obama, it keeps working well for them. What is our reason for not changing ours?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #52
53. No, they don't
See, if you're a Clinton supporter, his way was superior.

Obama succeeded in avoiding much of Clinton's pitfalls and got his agenda through, including reversing much of the damaging policies of the 1990s.

Also, unlike 1990, Republicans failed to shut the government down earlier this year, which is why the debate has come to this. They were determined to get their way. They goofed.

Basically, there are two options: Obama's plan done his way or McConnell's plan with no spending cuts attached.

GOP Freshman To McConnell: Dude, You Gave Our Debt Hostage to Obama!

Still, it's kinda interesting to watch the spin that the GOP is winning or won, especially coming from the left, not the media or the RW.


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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #53
56. At this point in our DU encounters I don't expect to see eye to eye with you on everything
Actually my point in the OP is that I don't expect to see eye to eye with Obama anymore either.

History never repeats itself exactly and I still think Clinton and Obama have similar approaches but maybe you do not.

You called what I described above about control of the agenda spin and I call it a rather accurate description of what is happening. So we differ there.

There are some very crazy Freshman GOP members of Congress in this crop so I am no longer suprised by what they insist ono holding out for or the fact that they consider anything short of that caving to Obama. If fair negotiations are described as trying to split the difference between Democrats and those Freshmrn GOP Representitives, the Republic is in grave danger.

As to the two last Options, we haven't seen a final reading on either of them, but everything I have heqrd, including from the President himself, indicates that his plan will call for very large spending cuts and minor revenue increases. Sometimes when I try to make sense of all the jabber it seems that in the Obama smaller deal model the final plan will agree to a list of cuts with no revenue increases, or alternately with revenue nuetral shuffling of how the Government takes in revenue.

As for the McConnell plan, what's with all the latest talk that a half Democrat half Republican commissio0n will be established as part of it the submit a series of spending cuts to Congress for a no amendment up or down vote? Why do I suspect that a plan for some medicare and possibly Social Security "adjustments" will emerge as a part of that?

Yes "adjustment" is a vague term, but the non binding commissionm that Obama appointed and already praised helped provide a definition for that word in this context.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #56
58. Yes,
"If fair negotiations are described as trying to split the difference between Democrats and those Freshmrn GOP Representitives, the Republic is in grave danger."

...people should really consider this before putting Republicans in positions of Control (See WI).

Boehner and Cantor in the House leadership is dangerous.

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. Yes, we can agree on that. n/t
Edited on Sat Jul-16-11 12:53 PM by Tom Rinaldo
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unionworks Donating Member (967 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
44. Confidence
Dear Mr. President - Please find your inner Roosevelt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjGTCchapOk&feature=rela...
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Safetykitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
54. The pastime: defining what Obama is, ignoring what he does.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #54
57. To close the circle
What Obama does defines him as some type of Democrat, but certainly not a progressive one.
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banned from Kos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
59. Its the Democratic Party - not the Progressive Party
The Progressive Caucus in the House is 83 members.
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