With two overriding issues currently on the table, the dismal recent jobs report showing that unemployment is getting worse, and with negotiations over the deficit and debt ceiling indicating Obama is in the process of folding once again, the focus is shifting to Democrats in congress and Democratic organizations like MoveOn who are once again proving that when it comes to dealing with Obama they are as impotent and gutless in dealing with Obama as Obama is in dealing with Republicans.
Organizations like MoveOn have been displaying the same kind of head in the sand politics and lack of spine in dealing with Obama's very predicable betrayal of Democratic and liberal ideas as Obama himself displays when dealing with Republicans -- or anything for that matter.
Both congressional Democrats and their leadership and the political action committees supporting Democratic ideas still refuse to face the truth about Obama who was and still is the most underhanded, politically dishonest, duplicitous and unscrupulous president since Richard Nixon only without any of Nixon's experience, knowledge of government, convictions, or grasp of politics or policy. And he showed he was all of those things not only throughout his run for the nomination but in his previous political career as well, so Obama's selling out should really come as no surprise.
As Geraldine Ferraro pointed out during the primaries, had Obama been white he'd be considered a joke as a presidential candidate. Only Democrats arent laughing now since he is no joke to Democratic initiatives and the kind of change and forward thinking those who voted for him in the Democratic primaries so gullibly believed.
Because the idea of electing Obama's father's genes to the White House became a cause celebre more important than people actually thinking for themselves and seeing who and what was in front of them, a cause celebre championed by an equally knee jerk news media who turned a blind eye to episodes of lying and duplicity that would have ended the political career of anyone else ( see Ohio and NAFTA), race became what mattered.
They closed their eyes to one of the most blatant cases of serial lying and reneging by a presidential candidate in history and in a year when any Democratic candidate for president was going to be elected, they instead chose to ignore Martin Luther King and judged Obama on the color of his skin not his character. In so doing they felt justified aiding and abetting gaming the system, rigging the roll call vote at the Democratic convention, and shoved Obama down the throats of more than half the Democratic primary voters who voted against him.
Now the same people who were instrumental in getting Obama elected are still refusing to own up to their mistake. And they, and the rest of rank and file Democrats, Democratic members of congress, and the country are paying a terrible price. And will continue to unless they do something. And they can.
Since being elected Obama has betrayed every promise, every pledge and every position he took to win the votes of the gullible who voted for him in the first place, successfully playing their desire to make a statement on race more important than the content of his character.
But now that all of Obama's well documented duplicity have come home to roost in failures of both principle and policy "progressive" organizations are still refusing to acknowledge that Obama has been their problem, not the Republicans, and so have ignored the problem and become as ineffective as the president they supported.
There are still Democrats, what's left of Obama's supporters, and Democratic organizations refusing to acknowledge just how catastrophic Obama has been as president solely because of his lack of principle or conviction not to mention his lack of ability to accomplish, persuade or negotiate anything, and not only sold out everything the Democrats stood for, but did it at a time when the Democrats had the biggest congressional majority in 60 years. And without any kind of leadership in the House, Senate or the White House, the Democrats wasted the opportunity to make the kind of changes and innovations to improve life in this country that comes along once or maybe twice in a century.
Instead, the Democrats had Nancy Pelosi who, by selling out her own integrity after saying the public option was the centerpiece of healthcare reform and caving in when Obama sold it out to healthcare industry lobbyists, led the Democratic House off a cliff in the last election where they suffered the worst political defeat of any political party in 80 years, only 2 years after gaining the biggest majority in 60 years. And they lost, not at the hands of the people who voted against them in the first place, but at the hands of the people who voted for them and who expected the public option other reforms and solutions that the Democrats and Obama essentially welched on, and stayed home on election day disgusted with Obama and the lack of Democratic leadership and all that they didn't deliver.
But it got worse. After that colossal political defeat the Democrats in congress embraced Einstein's definition of insanity -- doing the same things over and over and expecting different results -- by re-electing Pelosi minority leader after her constant capitulation to Obama led them into the minority.
This same definition of insanity can be applied to MoveOn and other Democratic political groups. I get emails from most of them and the two most recent show the ineffectiveness and head in the sand politics of "progressive" groups who still refuse to admit their problem was and is Obama.
In one email describing "outrage" over the fact that Obama is once again on the verge of capitulating to Republicans this time on cuts in Medicare, SS and Medicaid, and folding on tax cuts for the wealthy, there was a link to sign a petition to Obama telling him not to do it. A petition. Very effective. "Tell Obama not to give in on Medicare and Social Security". That;s telling him. And just to show that the current collection of progressive groups share the same weakness, another group also sent out an email saying. "tell president Obama not to cave in to Republicans on the deficit". The question is what planet are these people living on? Do they think Obama gives a second thought about their petition? Did it stop him from selling out the public option and with it any real healthcare reform? Or giving in on the Bush tax cuts? Or watering down financial reform?
These petitions, and much of what MoveOn and other groups are doing now is evidence of what I call "Battered Obama Syndrome". After selling out Democrats on healthcare reform ( and most still do not grasp the enormity of the catastrophe that was), selling out on the Bush tax cuts, selling out on real financial reform, selling out on a stimulus that every economist said at the time was too small. these groups are saying with their petitions, "you've been beating from the beginning and if you do it again this time we're going to get mad". Then they set the table and say dinner's ready.
Nothing these groups are doing, none of their half baked petitions are going to have any affect on Obama. They haven't before, they wont now. But there is one solution, a real one that will work.
Like anyone in an abusive relationship the solution is you walk. You leave. And you mean it. No more sweet talk, no more warnings, no more second chances. You end the relationship and you leave. Not next month but now. And if he shows up at the door later with flowers and candy and excuses you slam the door in his face.
MoveOn and other groups need to recognize, first and foremost that Obama is as dishonest a politician without principle as they come and he always was if you check his political history. Its time to recognize that in the name of thinking they were doing something good for race they did something catastrophically bad by making race an issue at all. Its time to wise up and abandon Obama and make it stick. And do it by putting out the word to congressional Democrats who support their ideas, the ideas that could have become a reality but didn't because of Obama, that they will not support Obama in the next election or any Democrat n congress that supports Obama's duplicity, but will support, with money, donations, grass roots organizing, time, effort, advertising and with votes any credible Democrat willing to challenge Obama in the primaries for the Democratic nomination for president. They need to make it clear they will not support Obama, period but will support a credible primary challenge to the Democratic nomination. And if they don't have the guts to do that, they deserve everything they don't get.
They also need to make it clear to congressional Democrats that they will support with the full force of their organizations any Democrat in congress who opposes Obama and who refuses to sell out and will oppose and seek the defeat of any Democrat who does.
Supporting a credible Democratic candidate to run against Obama is a win win situation. First its the right thing to do. Throw your support behind a candidate who believes in what you believe in and will stand up for it. Second, there is, not the possibility but the probability that a politically credible Democratic challenger to Obama would win and be the Democratic nominee.
Obama has little support among rank and file Democrats, moderates and liberals, and no support among moderates. And a credible Democratic challenger as a presidential candidate running against both Obama's handing of his first term, AND Republican failures of the last 10 years has a much greater chance of winning the White House than Obama who, if he is the candidate is almost certain to lose.
As David Frum pointed out in his CNN blog piece on Obama's failures in debt ceiling talks, when Obama had the leverage he didn't use it. Instead he rolled and offered Republicans $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases on the wealthy. The Republicans refused and what did Obama do? He got tough and offered them $6 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. The Republicans knowing what they are dealing with have held firm knowing Obama will cave in. They are daring Obama and the Democrats to blink something they've been doing like people lost in a dust storm since 2008.
Frum,in pointing out Obama's political weakness and incompetence asks the question, "why don't the Democrats rebel"?
Democratic "progressive" groups like MoveOn and others, instead of rebelling, continue to be rolled by Obama the way Obama is rolled by the Republicans and they don't rebel because their leadership is too weak. They still don't want to acknowledge that Obama is their problem and at bottom line, is a garden variety political hack and " but his father was black" isn't going to matter anymore.
I've always defined a progressive as a liberal who didn't have the guts to stand up to Republicans who were demonizing liberalism and instead of standing up and defending liberalism as the engine that both created this country, saved it every time it needed saving, and drove it forward, they ran and changed their name. Its time to stop runnng and remember that Thomas Jefferson defined the United States at its inception as a "liberal democracy." Instead "progressives" seem to be a collection of people rolled by a president who has taken them for granted, rolled them on the issue of race, and like a snake oil salesman with a bottle of carbonated food coloring, sold them a bottle of nothing while telling them it was the stuff that was good for what ailed them.
Frum isn't the only one to point out Obama's failures. This is what the respected David Gergen had to say about Obama and the Democrats as it pertains to the debt ceiling talks and deficit reduction:
"What Republicans actually hope is that the Democrats will once again give in, led there by the president. That is what happened last when Obama persuaded his party to give up on the tax increases for the affluent and instead continue the Bush tax cuts for everyone... Boehner's estimate appears to rest on the chance that a similar scenario will unfold now -- that Obama will cajole his party into big time compromises".
This is what happened on the Bush tax cuts, its what happened in scuttling the public option and every other sell out of Democratic ideas orchestrated by Obama, and you can thank Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for being accomplices and going along.
The Democrats need to clean house and if they don't do it rank and file Democratic voters and the American people will do it for them on election day. What happened to the Democrats last election day will be a tremor compared to what will happen in 2012 if they don't change and change fast.
And the best way for that to happen is for Democratic political groups to show, once and for all, that they mean business by prodding some principled Democratic member of congress or a governor to announce that they will challenge him in the Democratic primaries.
Its time for those who call themselves progressives to stop complaining about Republicans. Its time for them to accept they made a mistake, that enough is enough and do something concrete. Which is to let Obama and the Democrats know the party is over. Literally and figuratively. Then start pushing for a candidate to oppose Obama for the Democratic nomination for president in 2012 and they will oppose any Democrat that supports any Obama capitulation on anything. That will certainly get Obama's attention and the attention of congressional Democrats and be a lot more effective than one more petition that Obama will ignore like he always does. And if these groups don't do it, people who call themselves progressives can be sure of one thing -- things will get progressively worse.
I recieved a new email today from the Progressive Change Campagin Committee. This is what it said:
Today, in a press conference, President Obama came right out and said it: He's pushing for benefit cuts in important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Then it asked to sign the following petition:
"President Obama: If you cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits for me, my family, or families like mine, don't ask for a penny of my money or an hour of my time in 2012. I'm going to focus on electing bold progressive candidates who will fight to protect our Democratic legacy."
Wow. That's telling 'em. That's getting tough. No money and I wont work for you.These "progressives" want Obama to get tough with Republicans something that is just not in his DNA to do but they themselves wont get tough with Obama. It still does not ocurr to these people to say to Obama he can kiss their votes goodbye. Obama doesnt need their money and he doesnt need their time but they want to avoid the only thing that matters: dumping Obama, refusing to vote for him and trying to flush out a Democratic Party challenger to Obama in the primaries. Instead they want to grovel with another useless worthless petition.