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Is Barack Obama a "progressive"?

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 09:52 PM
Original message
Is Barack Obama a "progressive"?
Before you respond in the negative, please tell us what you think a "progressive" is?

Does a "progressive" believe in progress??

Has Barack Obama made any "progress" since he was sworn into office?

Although we may disagree with just how much "progress" he has made, it is hard to deny that he has not made some progress.

Many had much higher expectations of this President and they saw this time in history as an opportunity to make the changes that needed to be made. The "progress" should have been much larger in scope.

But, even with the perceived small steps forward by this President, we have to admit they have been steps forward and not backward.

That, by definition, is a progressive.
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scrubthedata Donating Member (216 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Answer: absolutely not! n/t
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #1
48. Well...that's informative. Words are free...use as many as needed
to explain yourself.
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. Not really and I never saw him as one.
To me, a progressive is Dennis Kucinich. Some may disagree with me here but I see Obama as a moderate to centrist Dem. Not a conservadem like Ben Nelson but not a progressive either. Somewhere in between. Does that make any sense?
I am way more liberal then Obama is but I had no expectations of who he was when he ran in 2008 and I did not of Hillary Clinton either.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes yes yes yes yes!
:bounce: :party: :toast: :thumbsup: :fistbump:
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yes, he's a progressive
To me the term progressive has come back into play in the early 90's as a means for right leaning DLC types to sound liberal with the base.
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. Dupe
Edited on Wed Jul-21-10 10:00 PM by DJ13
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. Tried to rec this to positive.
:shrug:
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. I honestly do not see how entrenching for profit "private delivery" of health care
without cost controls, with a mandate, and underfunding to boot actually served to move real health care reform forward.

I really don't.

I am glad that the situation of a small percentage of the population needing real and immediate help was improved. For the rest- those people with pre-existing conditions that don't qualify for the underfunded high risk pools, those people who are seeing their premiums going up and their coverages dropping, those people who will be forced to buy healthcare they can't afford to use with the premiums and deductibles, oh well.

I personally think fake reform is a step backwards. A lot of time and energy expended for very little gain. More lives lost. More bankruptcies. Too bad. An item got checked off the list.
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AnArmyVeteran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. Nope...
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. propping up the shack built on sand is not progress, it is "kicking the can down the road".
So, no.

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Steely_Dan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
10. Would You Consider The Following as Progressive?


But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."

JFK - September, 1960
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HooptieWagon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. Nice quote. Yes, that would be progressive. n/t
Edited on Wed Jul-21-10 10:43 PM by HooptieWagon
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Steely_Dan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. And Doesn't This Show...
how times have changed? I would love to know the demographics within the Dems. I would bet that the DLCers and the NeoLiberals are much younger than those of us who are now considered much more to the Left than we would consider ourselves. I never knew I was a "radical" dem. I've just been a dem all my life. Now, I'm considered on the fringe. Go figure.
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DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
11. Who knows? Who cares?
It doesn't mean anything.

Me - I'm a liberal. hard core knee jerk liberal and life long political activist - I am 65 years old and pissed
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unkachuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. we were thrown....
....some crumbs by corporate America, aided by a man we hired to kick their ass....that by definition, is a shill....
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:15 PM
Response to Original message
13. Oh boy, here we go...
Edited on Wed Jul-21-10 10:20 PM by guruoo
again. :popcorn:

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VMI Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
14. If opposing gay marriage and escalating war is now progressive, sure.
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
15. not to my definition
which has been eloquently stated by previous posters. I am an old liberal Democrat and I am appalled by our current Dems
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
16. Of course.
His success has been limited by the realities of Congress, especially the power of special interests in the Senate.

Obama's style is to sell progressive action in terms that appeal to moderates. That's what any successful progressive politician should do unless they represent a heavily liberal district.

As President, he hasn't brought much attention to some of his most liberal and forward thinking actions. The people who don't notice his progressive actions as President are often the same people who didn't take the time to notice his progressive platform as a candidate. They're looking for something else like pandering and theatrics.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. By "realities of Congress", do you mean..?
A Republican Party that is unanimously against him?

And a Democratic Party that has people like Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Dianne Feinstein, Blanche Lincoln, and those Democrats that are not a bit liberal, let alone progressive?

And by "realities of Congress", do you mean the reality that you take whatever you can get? And those that say Obama could have gotten the single payer thru the Senate are not looking at reality?

He takes a half loaf because it is either that or nothing? But then he could give fiery speeches explaining why the Blue Dogs, conservative Democrats, and the entire Republican Party opposed him? Would that be progress?

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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. Yes.
Those realities.
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Fuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
17. lmao, no.
Edited on Wed Jul-21-10 10:29 PM by Fuzz
I wish.
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
18. NO! nt
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
19. he's too conservative to be a progressive. imo n/t
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HooptieWagon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
20. No. Not even close.
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iris27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
22. I support him, but never thought he was progressive.
Relatively speaking, I thought he would be somewhat more progressive than Clinton was...he's turned out to be about the same. Still preferable to the alternative (no matter how much I'm waiting for even the *tiniest* move forward for gay rights).
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DonCoquixote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
23. Progressive
Is just a word made by people because "liberal" feel out of vogue
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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
24. No. n/t
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Foo Fighter Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
27. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, it depends on what the meaning of "progress" is.
I guess if you consider maintaining or perpetuating a lot of the various atrocities that came from the Bush administration -- two wars, gitmo, extraordinary rendition, and the list goes on... if a person thinks those things are "progressive," then yes, they would consider Obama to be a progressive.

Add in things like big payouts to the health insurance industry under the guise of "health care reform," failure to repeal the tax cuts for the rich, inaction on DADT, prohibiting federal funding of abortion, etc. If these are things a person views as "progressive," well, then yes, I guess they'd think that Obama is a progressive.

As for me, well, I've used many various terms to describe Obama's policies and, trust me, "progressive" has never been one of them.
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Starbucks Anarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
29. Not by the typical definition, but I knew he was relatively moderate from the beginning.
But going by your definition, you could make the case that he is. He's passed significant legislation -- not to say perfect legislation, of course -- but given the obstruction by Republicans and Blue Dogs, he's actually accomplished quite a bit. I think he has a hodgepodge of ideas from across the spectrum, but he has accomplished some truly liberal things (stem-cell research, for example).
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
30. Your definition of "Progressive" is laughable
By your definition, Bush was a lot more progressive than Obama since he made more "progress". :eyes:
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Morning Dew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. Thanks!
Pretty much what I was thinking.
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Great minds and all that
:D
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
31. Obama is progressive. His administration is not. n/t
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jae1227 Donating Member (63 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
32. NO!!!
But according to Rahm Emanuel I'm a "fucking retard" so maybe I don't know what I am talking about.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
33. Id say absolutely not
Unless "progress" in any direction at all defines a "progressive". But then, the same could be said about Bush
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-21-10 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
34. I'm Liberal. Obama is a moderate conservative, but his
heart is in the right place. Still like the guy even though he is much more conservative than I.
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Bullet1987 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
37. Is the grass blue?
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 02:34 AM
Response to Original message
38. Your definition of progressive is the first such definition I have encountered.
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TheWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 02:50 AM
Response to Original message
39. Are Beavis And Butthead Rhodes Scholars?
OK, Then.....


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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 03:24 AM
Response to Original message
40. Obama is not "Progressive" - he is not even liberal, except by today's GOP driven
media standards...Sadly, he is about as "left" as we are going to see for some years to come, about where moderate republicans were in the mid 1970's...
I do admit that he is getting some things done, just nothing earthshakingly "liberal"...


mark
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 03:25 AM
Response to Original message
41. delete-triple post.
Edited on Thu Jul-22-10 03:27 AM by old mark
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 03:25 AM
Response to Original message
42. Delete-triple post - bug reported.
Edited on Thu Jul-22-10 03:27 AM by old mark
deleted
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MikeNY Donating Member (242 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 03:40 AM
Response to Original message
43. Limited by circumstance and smart enough to realize it
President Obama is a progressive in the sense that he is open to new policies and ideas, but nothing that is going to rattle the cage. Of course he campaigned as a major progressive. In actuality, he rules from the center-right, looks to expand the role of his party with a populist message, and takes a traditional approach of supporting liberal judicial nominees. Its business as usual in Washington. Unfortunately, he has to deal with the absolute bankruptcy of this country by all administrations that came before him, and is also dealing with two imperialist occupations started by his predecessor. I don't think he has enough room to really be progressive right now. It is a sad day in America when even the President is bogged down in riff raff. The President has a great opportunity and mandate if he can bring back jobs, but I think the economy is going to sink him if things don't improve. Obama cannot act like a true philosophical progressive in his current position. Any time the President touches something now it can destabilize the entire economy. If he comes out and makes a statement that is perceived incorrectly, it can cause multi-billion dollar loses on Wall Street for that day. So I don't see that he has an ability to really push a progressive agenda right now. If he takes unpredictable actions, it causes uncertainty. Some call this "regime uncertainty" and its not conductive for people to do business in a country where the rules are constantly changed for expedience. So in a sense he does play his hand to businesses big time. So long as job creation is bungled, I'm not sure he may even want to play the role of progressive right now. He has been good about removing a lot of propaganda out of circulation like "War on Terror", but at the same time, it seems like he is trying to keep the country stable until the economy improves. Not taking broad action on the economy and instead subsidizing failing banks may become his legacy if things don't improve. If they do, he may come out to be one of the better presidents. But right now? It doesn't look like things are going to improve.
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lib_wit_it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 04:00 AM
Response to Original message
44. No. Progressives, in the accepted political sense, are liberals. One can make progress toward any
goal, even if that goal is turning liberal into a dirty word, ruining ACORN, etc. Making progress on just anything does not a "Progressive" make.
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 05:52 AM
Response to Original message
45. No. And he made it clear on day one he wasn't.
He told us on the first day he's a corporatist.

Some people refused to listen.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 06:23 AM
Response to Original message
46. Based on his actions and looking at the actions of progressives before him,
he seems different. Could you see either Teddy or Franklin Roosevelt keeping too big to fail while setting up a deficit commission to look into placing blame for deficits on or considering to cut and/or privatize social security or medicare?
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NightWatcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
47. Progressive? Good one. Not even close. I dare you to make this a poll
Edited on Thu Jul-22-10 06:30 AM by NightWatcher
More war in Afghanistan for ????
Hiring Geithner, Salazar.......?????
Keeping Gates, Petraeus......?????
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iamthebandfanman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
49. and bush was a compassionate conservative!!
remember?!
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Bloofer_Lady Donating Member (84 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
50. It's obvious he's not
His weak administration that caves in for the right wing loonies should be proof of that.
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
51. No.
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meow mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
52. no. these "steps forward" as you call them can be measured with a hairs width
definetly NOT progressive.. but certainly a waste of time and waste of a progressive mandate.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
53. If you really want to talk about "moving forward," read up on Zeno's Paradox
In that light, Barack Obama is not a progressive - he's a centrist.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #53
55. I think you got that backwards
Isn't Zeno's Paradox (fallacy would be a better name for it) something about not being able to do an infinite number of tasks in a finite period of time?
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. From Wikipedia - Zeno's illustration of Achilles and the Tortoise
In the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise, Achilles is in a footrace with the tortoise. Achilles allows the tortoise a head start of 100 metres. If we suppose that each racer starts running at some constant speed (one very fast and one very slow), then after some finite time, Achilles will have run 100 metres, bringing him to the tortoise's starting point. During this time, the tortoise has run a much shorter distance, say, 10 metres. It will then take Achilles some further time to run that distance, by which time the tortoise will have advanced farther; and then more time still to reach this third point, while the tortoise moves ahead. Thus, whenever Achilles reaches somewhere the tortoise has been, he still has farther to go. Therefore, because there are an infinite number of points Achilles must reach where the tortoise has already been, he can never overtake the tortoise.

In other words, Obama is Achilles, never making that extra effort to get past the tortoise, but instead constantly trailing him.
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Tailormyst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
54. No, he is not a Progressive.
He is far to concerned about maintaining the profits and bonuses for billionaires.

Progressives are typically Anti-War, Single Payer Healthcare, Pro-Equality and for the support of workers over protection of big business.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
57. Yes.
A progressive works for progress. It doesn't matter what the agenda is, or what the direction that "progress" is going in. "Progressive" doesn't have to bear any resemblance at all to "liberal" or "left."

The DLC's think tank, for example, is "The Progressive Policy Institute."

Obama is making good progress towards neoliberal goals.

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RadioFlynn Donating Member (9 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
58. Obama bragged about the fact that the HCR bill is "centrist"
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