Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Progressive Puzzle

Sam Smith, The Progressive Review

Let's imagine that you're a progressive and you are asked to support a candidate who:
- Favors expanding the war in Afghanistan

- Leaving a sizable force in and near Iraq following what he calls a "withdrawal." A large mercenary force would probably also be left.

- Aggressively opposed the impeachment of Bush. This same advisor says he would "be stunned" if his candidate appointed a strong critic of corporations to the Supreme Court.

- Has offered no major new ideas for dealing with the nation's economic crisis.

- Supports Bill Clinton's assault on social welfare.

- Supported making it harder to file class action suits in state courts

- Voted for a business-friendly tort bill

- Voted against a 30% interest rate cap on credit cards

- Had the most number of foreign lobbyist contributors in the primaries

- Is even more popular with Pentagon contractors than McCain

- Was most popular of the primary candidates with K Street lobbyists

- Has a top economic aide who has written enthusiastically about Milton Friedman and denounced the idea of a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures.

- Has no meaningful urban policy

- Supports the war on drugs

- Supports the crack-cocaine sentence disparity

- Supports Real ID

- Supports the PATRIOT Act

- Supports the death penalty

- Has lent his support to the neo-liberal Hamilton Project, which was formed, as one journalist put it, "to counter populist rebellion against corporatist tendencies within the Democratic Party."

- Has considered naming as vice president or cabinet members rightwing Republicans rated 0% by SANE, AFL-CIO, NARAL, Alliance for Retired Americans, Human Rights Coalition and the League of Conservation Voters, and who oppose abortion and favor privatizing Social Security

- Voted for a nuclear energy bill that included money for bunker buster bombs and full funding for Yucca Mountain.

- Supports federally funded ethanol and is unusually close to the ethanol industry.

- Supports the No Child Left Behind Act.

- Opposes reintroduction of the fairness doctrine for radio and television.

- Is using hawkish foreign policy advisors involved in past US misdeeds and failures.

- Strongly supports Israeli aggression and apartheid.

- Favors turning over Jerusalem to Israel

- Favored cluster bomb ban in civilian areas

- Opposes single payer healthcare

- Wouldn't have photo taken with San Francisco mayor because he was afraid it would seem that he supported gay marriage

- Favors a national service plan that appears to be in sync with one being promoted by a new coalition that would make national service mandatory by 2020, and which is in line with a bill for such mandatory national service introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel.

- Has dissed both Ralph Nader and Paul Wellstone

- Supports immunity from prosecution for both telecoms engaged in illegal wiretapping and the government officials that had them do it.

You don't have to imagine. It's Barack Obama, whose nomination was assured thanks to a con game that even outdid the one that worked so well for Bill Clinton and which left America essentially without a liberal voice for eight years.

Admittedly, Obama is a far more honest and decent person that Clinton but that doesn't take away from the fact that progressive America has been hit hard once again and much of it doesn't even realize it.

One standard liberal response is denial. You just join the cult and forget about the facts. And to shore up this shoddy state, you excoriate any who remain skeptical, fearful, angry or uncertain.

Read the entire essay

1 comment:

  1. It is good that Obama wants everyone to learn a foreign language. However which one should it be?

    The Brits teach French, the Australians prefer Japanese, and Obama suggests Spanish!

    This is without bringing Mandarin Chinese into the equation!

    I would personally recommend Esperanto as an international language.

    Interestingly nine British MP's have nominated Esperanto for the Nobel Peace Prize 2008!

    Detail can be seen at http//