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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:34 AM
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Obama, reform and the role of the left
Obama, reform and the role of the left

Author: Sam Webb
People's Weekly World Newspaper, 05/01/09 15:54

After the first, perhaps over analyzed, hundred days of the Obama administration, it is fair to say that President Obama is a reformer and we are entering an era of reforms, possibly radical reforms.

Some on the left (ignoring the right wing talk shows and their fantastic claims about Obamas socialist pedigree) mockingly dismiss the new president and his reform inclinations, saying that his main mission is merely to save capitalism. Even if that is true, and there is no reason to doubt it, what does it tell us that he is neither a politician of the left nor an advocate of socialism? Well, we already knew that.


Right-wing Republicans experienced a crushing defeat, but no one should write them off; they have consolidated their grip on the Republican Party, are well funded, and are clever at exploiting popular grievances and resentments.

Finance capital will attempt to minimize losses to its balance sheet, rob the public till where it can, and restructure the regulatory environment along lines that favor speculation and a casino economy.

Other powerful sections of big capital energy, military, health care, pharmaceutical and other giants of corporate America will also fiercely resist measures that collide with their political and economic interests.

Finally, there are political groupings of considerable influence in the administration and the Democratic Party who, while supporting Obama, will use their influence to cut down on the sweep and anti-corporate character of his initiatives.

Thus, the struggle of the nations progressive majority the working class, the racially oppressed, women, young people and others is two-sided.

On the one hand, it has to battle stop-at-nothing right-wing extremists and their backers who are intent on defeating Obama and the peoples coalition that supports him.

On the other hand, it has to struggle (but in a constructive, unifying way) within the multi-class coalition that Obama leads, to put their essential pro-working-class and democratic stamp on the reform process and the political direction of the country.

And herein lies the role of the left. Its main task, as it has been throughout our countrys history, is to assist in reassembling, activating, uniting and giving a voice to common demands that unite this broad majority as well as draw in other people who didnt vote for Obama.
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