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Liberals/Progressives will keep up the fight, Mr. President.

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-24-10 07:00 PM
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Liberals/Progressives will keep up the fight, Mr. President.
There is no alternative.

There are so many of us out here who feel this way. So many opportunities have been wasted that would have made a tremendous difference in regular people's lives and in the health and vitality of America.


To see what is happening has been a deeply painful experience, and worsens with every passing day.

So many America-strengthening and world-uniting opportunities lost, ignored, intentionally bypassed, thrown away with both hands. It seems to have been the mission all along.

The success of the right wing extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party is quite simple: They never waver from their hateful, hardened agenda; it is only then that they find a candidate who will carry it out.

But, Democrats somehow cannot agree on their own agenda; instead they go find a candidate and "hope" for some scraps of legislation to go around for everyone. That is, if Republicans decide to take a filibuster hiatus, which they aren't inclined to do as long as any Democrats are in power. What we now have is a tyranny by the minority. This is the recipe for massive failure.

One of the phrases that has infuriated me the most over the past 18 months is when some apologist pipes up, "Well, this (Health Insurance Reform/Wall Street reform/educational reform/drug re-importation policy/drug price negotiation policy/Afghanistan policy/Iraq policy/Guantanamo Bay policy/Middle East/Israel-Palestinian policy/accountability for Bush era criminal acts/Oil Policy) is a plan that's not going to suit everyone/you're not going to *get everything you want*.....

The fact is, we, as people who want solid footing for everyone in this country have received nothing of substance from this administration on these issues. What we have received is an increasingly less stable nation, ruled by fear, greed and continued unaccountability for blatant criminal acts by those in power from past administrations.

It's no wonder this country is so critically ill.

Alexander Cockburn describes what he is seeing:


The nations first black president promised change at the precise moment when no single man, even if endowed with the communicative powers of Franklin Roosevelt, the politic mastery of Lyndon Johnson, the brazen agility of Bill Clinton, could turn the tide that has been carrying America to disaster for 30 years.

This summer many Americans are frightened. Over 100,000 of them file for bankruptcy every month. Three million homeowners face foreclosure this year. Add them to the 2.8 million who were foreclosed in 2009, Obamas first year in office. Nearly seven million have been without jobs in the last year for six months or longer. By the time you tot up the people who have given up looking for work and the people on part-time, the total is heading toward 20 million.

Fearful people are irrational. So are racists. Obama is the target of insane charges. A hefty percentage of Americans believe that he is a socialist a charge as ludicrous as accusing the Archbishop of Canterbury of being a closet Druid. Obama reveres the capitalist system. He admires the apex predators of Wall Street who showered his campaign treasury with millions of dollars. The frightful catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico stemmed directly from the green light he and his Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, gave to BP.


And we have seen these whipped-up, fear-driven people all around us, blindly behaving without grasp of reality, but instead screeching about death panels, birth certificates, socialism, racism, "breaking him", tax policy, immigrants, abortions and homophobia, while packing guns to presidential speeches out in middle America. Many of these groups are funded by wealthy right-wing individuals and groups whose primary aim is to foment unrest, hatred and distrust of government.

The result is chaos.

Cockburn continues:

It is not Obamas fault that for 30 years Americas policy under Reagan, both Bushes and Bill Clinton has been to export jobs permanently to the Third World. The jobs that Americans now desperately seek are no longer here, in the homeland, and never will be. Theyre in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Indonesia.

No stimulus program, giving money to cement contractors to fix potholes along the federal interstate highway system, is going to bring those jobs back. Highly trained tool and die workers, the aristocrats of the manufacturing sector, are flipping hamburgers at best for $7.50 an hour because U.S. corporations sent their jobs to Guangzhou, with the approval of politicians flush with the money of the free trade lobby.

It is not Obamas fault that across 30 years more and more money has floated up to the apex of the social pyramid till America is heading back to where it was in the 1880s, a nation of tramps and millionaires. Its not his fault that every tax break, every regulation, every judicial decision tilts toward business and the rich. That was the neoliberal America conjured into malign vitality back in the mid 1970s.

But it is Obamas fault that he did not understand this, that always, from the getgo, he flattered Americans with paeans to their greatness, without adequate warning of the political and corporate corruption destroying America and the resistance he would face if he really fought against the prevailing arrangements that were destroying America. He offered them a free and easy pass to a better future, and now they see that the promise was empty.

Its Obamas fault, too, that, as a communicator, he cannot rally and inspire the nation from its fears. From his earliest years he has schooled himself not to be excitable, not to be an angry black man who would be alarming to his white friends at Harvard and his later corporate patrons. Self-control was his passport to the guardians of the system, who were desperate to find a symbolic leader to restore Americas credibility in the world after the disasters of the Bush era. He is too cool.

So, now Americans in increasing numbers have lost confidence in him. For the first time in the polls negative assessments outnumber the positive. He no longer commands trust. His support is drifting down to 40 per cent. The straddle that allowed him to flatter corporate chieftains at the same time as blue-collar workers now seems like the most vapid opportunism. The casual campaign pledge to wipe out al-Quaida in Afghanistan is now being cashed out in a disastrous campaign viewed with dismay by a majority of Americans.


When we look around us and see the economic pain, unemployment, lack of access to health care, defunding of public education, threats to Medicare and Social Security, climbing home foreclosures, the ravages of racism, desperation of families and the abhorrent treatment of veterans, we wonder why there is always an unlimited pipeline of money to send the Pentagon's murder machine to Middle Eastern nations and elsewhere, or to track the movements and communications of American citizens with impunity.

And we also wonder why a good and decent member of this administration is blindly vilified without cause. If this administration would not stand up for her, what does that portend for the rest of America?

Cockburn concludes:

Obama has sought out Bill Clinton to advise him in this desperate hour. If Clinton is frank, he will remind Obama that his own hopes for a progressive first term were destroyed by the failure of his health reform in the spring of 1993. By August of that year, he was importing a Republican, David Gergen, to run the White House.

Obama had his window of opportunity last year, when he could have made jobs and financial reform his prime objectives. Thats what Americans hoped for. Mesmerized by economic advisers who were creatures of the banks, he instead plunged into the Sargasso Sea of health reform, wasted the better part of a year, and ended up with something that pleases no one.

What can save Obama now? Its hard even to identify a straw he can grasp at. Its awfully early in the game to say it, but, as Marlene Dietrich said to Orson Welles in Touch of Evil, your future is all used up.

On our present course, no one will escape the pain that looms in this country's future.

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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-24-10 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Damn that is good. K & R. Nobody values opportunity costs. And now I have to rent "Touch of Evil"
for the best, long overdue.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-24-10 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. "as ludicrous as accusing the Archbishop of Canterbury of being a closet Druid"
such a wonderful sentence.
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