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Reply #435: I don't know, Sabrina, I never had the impression that... [View All]

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reACTIONary Donating Member (257 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-11 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #138
435. I don't know, Sabrina, I never had the impression that...
...Obama ran as, or pretended to be a "progressive". And I have never been disappointed in his performance, at least by that standard. Here is what I remember from the campaign that particularly stood out for me. I'm not looking any of this stuff up in news stories, just what I remember, my own impressions from the campaign. Maybe I'm right, maybe wrong, and you can give me your impressions.

O Bipartisan Problem Solver:

First and foremost, I was impressed by Obama promising to be a conciliator who would seek bipartisan solutions and be willing to work with all Americans of good faith, whatever their specific partisan background. I don't know whether or not this intention makes him a "progressive", but it seems to me that he does do just that and that there are a lot of people who claim to be progressive who are pissed off with this approach. But it is entirely what I expected based on his campaign.

O Health care:

Obama ran on an intention to overhaul our health care system, lower its cost, and make it more assessable and fair for all Americans. At the time he was running I do not remember him being too specific about the details, and I do remember him saying that he would work out the details in the context of a bipartisan and inclusive effort. I also remember John McCain having some sort of health care plan also. I ignored it because I figured, as a politician he had to have one simply because it was an issue, and as a republican nothing would come of it. As a democrat, I believed Obama was sincere in his intention. So, did his make him a progressive, running on a progressive policy platform? Not any more so than Bill Clinton, who was the last President to take this issue seriously. So, if Bill Clinton was a progressive, then Obama is a progressive. With the difference, of course, that Obama actually pulled it off. However, given the pissing and moaning about Obama's accomplishment, I doubt you will give him credit as a progressive for this. But in my mind, he did exactly what he said he would do, as well as it could be done in the corrosive and hostile political environment that developed.

O Debt, Deficit and Taxation:

As I remember it, Obama promised not to raise taxes on those making less than $250K per year. I suppose this could be interpreted as an intention (or threat) to raise taxes on those making more than $250K per year. Should this intention be considered progressive? I think it could be, but $250K is a bit steep, well above the 90th percentile, if I'm correct.

At the time he ran the debt and deficit were not issues, and they were forced on him due to the more recent republican electoral success. I think he has done a reasonable job and had reasonable success in maintaining that a "balanced approach," that is, tax increases, be part of any solution. I don't consider his stance as progressive, and I don't think it in anyway is surprising or inconsistent with his campaign. On this issue I would not characterize Obama as having run as a progressive or done anything unexpected given his campaign.

So, here is the question - when he was running I didn't perceive Obama to be a progressive, I didn't expect him to be one, and he has performed more or less as I expected - what did I miss?

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