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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:31 PM
Original message
The true test of leadership?
The opposition has coalesced and the base is tearing itself apart.

We are house divided. I think that, more than anything (besides the wars), disappoints me the most.

Did he say it then? Why is he doing that now? Should we stick with him or risk a lost cycle?

This is not an accusation, merely an observation but -- the number of news oriented threads at DU has diminished in favor of threads debating the President's record and whether or not he is worthy of support. These are followed by lists of criticisms followed by the oft-posted list of accomplishments. And so it see-saws.

Meanwhile the acrimony between members grows.

Whether or not Obama is our candidate in 2012 and whether or not he actually earns that support are open for debate amongst honest people but please, please, PLEASE can we remember that we need each other more than we need any one politician or candidate.

If 36% of the electorate IDs as democrat and 33% ID as republican we must remember not to turn that 36 vs 33 into 18-18 vs 33.
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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. The base would not be tearing itself apart ...
... if the president had demonstrated true leadership.

Your point is well taken and we have to unite behind the Democratic candidates in 2012 because Republican victory would be a disaster for our country, but one of the things that separates us from Republicans is the honesty and integrity to openly dissent when we believe our party's leadership is failing us.

Barack Obama has a mixed record as president, but in his dealings with the opposition I am reminded of Aragorn's response to Theoden's unwillingness to "risk open warfare": "Open warfare is upon you whether you would risk it or not."

I think we here at DU see that more clearly and are more willing to fight the good and necessary fight than the president we elected. I have repeatedly reserved judgement in the hope he would become the champion for change, but have been repeatedly disappointed.

You are absolutely right: we need each other more than we need any one politician or candidate.

When a politician fails us we should work together and get behind a better candidate, then work together to elect the nominee whether it be Barack Obama or someone else.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. See, I don't see what you are saying....
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 10:30 PM by FrenchieCat
I don't see this...."we here at DU see that more clearly and are more willing to fight the good and necessary fight than the president"

Folks fighting the same side while leaving the other side alone is not fighting, it's moronic.

We aren't working together to do anything, and haven't since November of 2008. Since then,
we been reaping each other and the President to shreds.


I'll give you an example.

Today, someone posted in LBN and article from Huffpo that Obama was losing Union support.

Now in that thread, which had 52+ recommends, I posted this:

Labor Board Eases Path To Unions For Health Care Workers
WASHINGTON -- With the departure of the chairwoman of the National Labor Relations Board this past weekend, the board has been issuing a slew of last-minute rulings destined to please labor groups while irritating business interests and anti-union Republicans. Among the latest: a ruling made public on Tuesday that overturns a Bush-era decision and will likely make it easier for health care workers to unionize.

In the case, known as Specialty Healthcare, the board ruled that a group of nursing assistants at a facility in Mobile, Ala., could form their own bargaining unit without other types of nursing home staff, from maintenance workers to dietary aides. It's a decision that could greatly simplify the unionization process and, as HuffPost has previously reported, could have a huge impact on the growing and largely non-unionized nursing home industry.

NLRB Proposes Removing Unnecessary Barriers to Union Votes
Companies would have less time and opportunity to block unions under a proposed U.S. rule that would speed voting in labor elections.

The proposed rule issued today by the National Labor Relations Board, an agency that investigates unfair labor practices, would bring changes sought by unions, such as faster hearing deadlines and streamlined procedures.

The push for quicker elections is a victory for unions after defeats at the hands of Republican governors seeking to curb public-employee unions. Its also a sign of the NLRBs pro- labor bent since President Barack Obamas appointees have become a majority, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

How the Obama administration is Using Executive Power to Support Union Goals:What The NLRBs Recent Complaint Reveals

Screeners Under Obama May Give Federal Unions Biggest Vote Win in Years
A collective-bargaining vote by airport security workers that starts today may give federal employee groups their biggest victory in years, even as public workers in some states struggle to keep their union status.

The countrys two largest federal-employee unions are competing to represent the 44,000 screeners who can cast their ballots through April 19. The effort, which Senate Republicans failed to stop last month, may raise Transportation Security Administration costs if workers push through changes such as increased staffing.

Obama Gives Unions A Big Victory In Unionizing Air Travel Workers
WASHINGTON (AP) Labor unions will have an easier time organizing workers at airline and railroad companies after the Obama administration on Monday changed a 76-year-old rule on union elections.

The change is a victory for unions that have struggled to reverse years of decline in membership. And its the most significant initiative so far in a string of White House moves intended to help organized labor.


Bill Introduced to Reverse President Obama's Executive Order on Project Labor Agreements

And you know what? the only people that responded were two people that said that DU hates facts.

Now, what is it that DU is fighting for? Cause I only see DU fighting each other...which appears to be OP's point....and I agree with it. We have distracted ourselves away from being of any use to anyone except for the Republicans, who love to see us fighting each other. But in terms of fighting for any "causes" or supporting any policy project, or even simply fighting the bullshit the Republicans put out day after day after day everywhere, far as that; we are MIA.

To me, that's what I see, and that really doesn't point a constructive finger at DU. Not even close.

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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Far be it for me to throw gas on a marshmallow roast but
I think you're both right.

Yes, we need to argue amongst ourselves -- to an extent. Vigorous debate sifts out the chaff. But yes, we do seem fact-averse in some instances where bad news reinforces the contention we want to stress.

And if I'm reading both of you correctly we all agree that we should set aside the barbs for effective organizing.

I guess what I'm really calling for is civility. It doesn't matter if the politicians slit our throats from right-to-left or left-to-right if we're too busy cutting our own wrists.
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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Let me clarify:
The sentence of mine that you quoted was in reference to the fact that "war is upon us" (being waged relentlessly and unscrupulously by the Republicans, their corporate masters, and their useful idiots in the Tea Party). Their goals are to destroy this president, regain power by preventing economic recovery, and reverse the progress that has been achieved since FDR.

How many at DU would disagree with that characterization of what the opposition is doing?

How many at DU think this president has consistently fought the good fight, as opposed to being too quick to compromise and meet the Rethugs halfway towards a line that constantly shifts to the right?

I said this president has a mixed record, and your links to his efforts on behaf of unions illustrate something positive. I thank you for your time and effort in providing that information. I don't think it is necessary for me to list here all his decisions that most DUers view as negative.

The Democratic Underground is a public forum frequented by a diverse mix of people on the left. In any online political forum you will find a wide range in terms of knowledge, intelligence, and maturity. The incivility towards each other we see here is a product of all three, though especially a lack of maturity. It is also the product of the incivil discourse between the right and the left in American politics. We have such contempt for the teabggers and their ilk that this animosity sometimes flares up in political disagreements among ourselves -- and there will always be a handful of immature posters whose relish for a fight supercedes our common cause. It's difficult not to let a few rotten grapes sour the wine.

But I think the vast majority at DU would unite behind a progressive candidate that all (or nearly all) of us can believe in. It was this kind of enthusiasm that propelled Barack Obama to the presidency 3 years ago. A lot of people worked hard to get out the vote, and millions of newly registered voters participated in that historic election.

Much of that enthusiasm dissipated by the 2010 mid-terms, in no small measure because of disappointment in this president. We were hoping for change we could believe in, but what we got was a centrist who chose Wall Street insiders for his economic team and who sought consensus where none was to be found rather than be a strong and articulate leader fighting the good fight against an unscrupulous and increasingly extremist opposition. Disappointment in one upon whom such high hopes were pinned can quickly turn to bitterness and feelings of betrayal. Whether or not you think this president could and should have done much better, given the events of the last 2+ years I think the infighting at DU was to be expected.

DU is not a cohesive political action organization. It's a diverse online community that unfortunately often falls short of constructive and civil debate. But among our ranks are many who care deeply and will contribute their time, effort, and money to support candidates who represent our values. The extent to which that kind of support has dissipated for this president is largely due to his own shortcomings.

If Barack Obama is the Democratic candidate for president in 2012 (which he almost certainly will be) I for one will do what I can to get him re-elected because the alternative would be disastrous for our country. I just wish there was more reason to be FOR our candidate than AGAINST his opponent.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. See, I have a different feeling overall,
both in reference to Pres. Obama and what he has and has not done,
as well as the DU priority as it appears, in general.

First, I think that many who are not really grasping what the opposition is doing,
because they are so much more focused on what Pres. Obama is doing or not doing
in their minds.

I wrote this piece here to attempt to point out what we all need to know:

I realize that people are aware of the opposition, but they "do" scant to fight back against it,
because they are, instead, fighting the President....which is exactly what the opposing forces
want us to in essence, we are doing their bidding, even if we think we are doing it
for other reasons. Strategically, this is not wise, and one day, we will all realize it.

This President has better than a mixed record, considering what he inherited; 35+ years of fucked up policies all the way around. He did in 2.8 years quite a bit to reverse certain damage, even if he has still a long way to go. No, he hasn't solved every problem. No, he hasn't made every single person happy, but then I doubt he will ever do that, because he is the President of the United States, a country that will not change overnight, especially as many of us just sit around waiting for him to do the heavy lifting, although he had asked all of us to help him. Instead we criticize and not much more.

When he was fighting for Health Care, many were fighting for something he never did run on; single payer.

While he introduced the public option, he always said that it wasn't the make all of the health reform presented; but we made it so....and when 60 senators, one being Lieberman wouldn't pass the Public Option, we derided what was left. He had it passed nevertheless, stating that it could be improved on, and we still do not count that accomplishment.

You said I provided good constructive information on some of his Union initiatives that are/will make a difference, and that this is good, but I can provide information like this about many, many actions that have occurred.

The fact that this one man has been in office not more than 2.8 years, and folks have been dissatisfied with him for about that long here at DU is telling. It means that many never wanted to give him a chance and weren't ever gonna be there to help him, but rather there to deride him.

I just hope most DU folks do really care. I hope that they care more about advancing their key issues, as opposed to caring about making it appear that this President is just not good enough for them (which is the vibe I get).

Here's something to think about, because it is the reality....

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
6. I think Barack Obama is beloved by many Americans and Democrats...
Even those that disagree with him thought very highly of him when they voted and supported him for President. Their disappointment on some issues has decreased their admiration for him. I still think he has time to recover and to win back the progressives. But he has to make some changes in his words and actions.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I understand what you are saying,
but when I vote, I vote for myself much more than for somebody else.

What I get is that it is always about what Barack Obama has to do...
never about what we need to do to help ourselves. We say we are activists,
and yet too many of us are nothing more than passive, unless it is in being
able to attack an easy target, like the President of our own party.

Meanwhile, we allow the media to lie and manipulate, and we allow the Republicans
to say and do whatever. Where are we in this; us who call ourselves activists? :shrug:

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