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existentialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:48 PM
Original message
Obama; comparison with FDR and the reporter
I've read here recently about some DUers having lost faith in Obama.

I think these comments miss the point.

As Obama stated, this never really was about him. It was about changing the political environment.

We have done this--OK, we still have quite a ways to go, but that's beside the point.

I am reminded of the story where he reporter was granted a private interview with FDR early on in FDR's first term. The Reporter said : "Mr. President you've got to do something. People out there are starving."

FDR's response : "No, it is you that has to do something. Get the story out. Let the American public know what is happening. Help change the political environment so that I can do something."

OK, so a lot of us are not entirely happy with some of Obama's decisions, rhetoric, and proposed appointments since he got elected. We expected maybe that upon election Obama would part the waters and everything would be wonderful??

No, we knew better than that. If we really thought that then we would have been buying into the satirical rhetoric spouted by the likes of Rush Limbaugh about "Obama, the magic negro."

So were are not entirely happy with Obama. OK, anybody think that he won't be better than Bush?
Anybody think that he won't be better than McCain would have been.

I bet a lot of people don't think our newly elected Congress is very wonderful either, but I would posit that the great majority of us here--if we stop and reflect--will conclude that the newly elected congress has to be at least incrementally better than the one it replaces.

Furthermore, while it is certainly acceptable to remind Obama, and Biden, and the other Democrats about their own election rhetoric, and about who got them elected, I posit that in the long term it will be of greater benefit to focus our efforts on the court of public opinion. Let's get the facts out about Iraq, and Afghanistan, and about the economy, and about the environment, and about how the efforts of the Bush administration and the Republicans in Congress have not been about dealing with the real problems that we face at all, but rather about presenting its "message" which more than anything involved distorting any realities that they did not find convenient, into something that would fit into their preconceived ideology.

That, of course, was not real. Let's not fall into the same trap. Let's do out research. Find out what we can about the problems that beset us, formulate the best plans that we can to deal with these problems and present our findings to the Obama Administration, to Congress, and to the public alike.

We have won what is perhaps only a modest victory, and we have a long way to go, but good Lord, despair over the Obama administration because it hasn't done what we would like before it even takes office is absurd, and it is shirking our continued responsibility as participants in a Democratic republic to continue to fight the fight for the principles we believe in rather than to just expect those we have elected to do this for us.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hear, hear!
Obama was not the most liberal of presidential hopefuls (remember Kucinich?), but he emerged not just as the best bet to beat the GOP but also to change the GOP dynamics that had been ruining this nation. Just as when Bill Clinton was prez, it is futile for progressives to bemoan Obama's politics -- which are, in any case, much-more progressive than were Bill Clinton's. What we have with Obama is not just a chance to repair the damage the GOP has done but also to change the course of politics in this nation away from the conservative hegemony of the past 30 years or so. So I look forward to the coming administration.

I will note, however, that it is NOT futile for progressives to critique, and criticize, Obama's actions:
(1) it is always useful to try to move a politician in or direction; but more importantly,
(2) the more the "left" openly criticizes Obama, the greater this buffers him from being pigeonholed as of the left and the greater cover it gives him with moderates and conservatives to enact his program.
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