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Obama isn’t a progressive
Posted by: McQ on Monday, April 14, 2008

Or so declares Kate Harding at Shakesville, but in the usual expletive laced tirade by which "true" progressives seem to like to express themselves. Whatever. Got the point Kate. Obama flunks the "true" progressive test.

She does turn me on to a Jeralyn at TalkLeft who says of Obama:
Also, over and over again, on issues that matter to progressives, Obama talks about how fighting for change must be viewed in terms of whether it's worth it to expend political capital to effect it ... Obama seems to tell us over and over that he'll talk the talk but we shouldn't expect him to walk the walk because It may not be worth the political capital. How does that differ from politics as usual? How is that change?
Well it's not, and it is something we who hang out on the right have been trying to point out for a few months now. Obama wants to have all sides of all arguments and leave the listener to believe he's on their side. But when someone tries to pin him down, he rarely if ever gives a specific answer.

Examples? Back to Kate at Shakesville:
Take what he said yesterday about anti-choice Democrats supporting him:

"It may be that those who have opposed abortion get a sense that I'm listening to them and respect their position even though where we finally come down may be different," he told reporters at a news conference.

"The mistake that pro-choice forces have sometimes made in the past, and this is a generalization so it has not always been the case, has been to not acknowledge the wrenching moral issues involved in it," he said.

"Most Americans recognize that what we want to do is avoid, or help people avoid, having to make this difficult choice. That nobody is pro-abortion, abortion is never a good thing."
Hey, guess what, dude. Progressives? Do not respect the anti-choice position.
Now, Obama isn't a dumb politician. He knows that the group that likes to call itself "progressive" isn't going anywhere. They've proven that election after election. When all is said and done, and after all their complaining and threatening to not support candidates who don't embrace and profess their ideology, they meekly go to the polls and vote for whomever the Democrats decide is acceptable to the general electorate. That's not taunting them ... that's history.

Obama is attempting to persuade the uncommitted voters out there he's a centerist not a progressive (even though he has the most liberal record in the Senate). The progressives have played their part. They've pretty much helped him secure his nomination. Time for them to go back to their blogs and such and prepare to toe the party line. He's done with them (see this article on the purging of "progressives" from the Obama delegate lists in California). Kate, Jeralyn and other "progressives" just don't seem to have figured that out yet. But Jeralyn is right about one thing - there's nothing new about this at all. Politics as usual. "Change" and "hope" are just nebulous words from which you're supposed to draw your own interpretation. That way they can be all things to all people and, in reality, nothing all at once.

And that defines the essence of modern politics. It is about doing and saying what is necessary to attain power. "Walking the walk"? Phaaa... See Clinton I for this tired old script.

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Previous Comments to this Post 

Purging the ’Progressives’ may be necessary to keep up appearances as a moderate or uniter. I don’t believe it means he philosophically rejects progressivism.

Deceptive about what he is like Hillary, yes. Strictly self-serving like Hillary, I don’t know yet.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I’m not saying he’s rejecting progressivism. I’m saying that he doesn’t want to be identified as one - at least not right now. Again, "old" politics.
Written By: McQ
Purging the ’Progressives’ may be necessary to keep up appearances as a moderate or uniter. I don’t believe it means he philosophically rejects progressivism.
I’m not sure that he accepts it as such, either, or that he even cares about the differences involved. You’re making the assumption he’s driven by principle, and I find him lacking there, in much the same way as I find Hillary Clinton is.

Written By: Bithead
I predicted in 2004 that many in the "reality-based community" would give up active roles in politics after the election, no matter who won.

This seems to being laying the ground work for that to happen.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Obama seems to tell us over and over that he’ll talk the talk but we shouldn’t expect him to walk the walk because It may not be worth the political capital. How does that differ from politics as usual? How is that change?
It seems to me that you must pick your battles. In theory, Obama could further the progressive cause by picking his battles and winning at least some of them. Sure, that means not fighting some progressive battles, but those are likely a lost cause in any case.

Written By: Don
URL: http://
From one who knows him ..
"I understand what it is like to have one’s elitism so painfully exposed before the Plebian hordes," Sen. Kerry said in an interview. "Senator Obama and I share this unfortunate distinction, in addition to our natural eloquence, sonorous voices, tall, slender physiques, Ivy League educations, and taste for outspoken, domineering women who dress us in pretty clothes and make us go shopping with them. I assured him that this ordeal would pass, and I recommended that he take the night off and watch something on the Sundance Channel. Enjoying a pretentious art film that most Americans find offensive and inaccessible always makes me forget my troubles."
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
"That was a real comfort to him," an aide said. "When you’re down on yourself, there’s nothing like remembering why you’re a progressive in the first place and reminding yourself that the masses need an intelligent, compassionate parental figure like yourself to take care of them."
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
From the ARG poll.
23% of likely Democratic primary voters say that excessive exposure to Obama’s advertising is causing them to support Clinton.
I’ve seen this sort of thing in my own district back in 2006.

It’s a new phenomenon that campaigns will have to deal with .. Overexposure !!
Too much money as a problem ?? Who’d a thunk it ?

Who would have thought that having somebody constantly interrupting your life would cause them to dislike you ? I wonder what Obama’s mother-in-law is like ?
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
You’re making the assumption he’s driven by principle, and I find him lacking there, in much the same way as I find Hillary Clinton is.
Bithead — I wish I knew. I find Hillary’s naked opportunism almost refreshing next to Obama’s vagueness. I can’t tell what drives this guy.

McQ says ho-hum, Obama’s just another politician. I’m sure he is, but I can’t tell if Obama has any spine at all. He may really be some post-sixties guy who believes that if he just listens intently, empathetically to everyone that everyone will like him and everything will work out.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Well, we might answer it this way,hux;
With Hillary Clinton,and her wandering husband, we got all kinds of vagueness and words that needed parsing. We know how that turned out.
Imagine how someone even more vauge will be, once in power.
Better not to imagine it.

Written By: Bithead
Bithead — I don’t consider Obama an improvement on Hillary. If I have to choose, I’ll take her over Obama because she’s a known quantity, and I did choose when I voted for Hillary in my state primary.

I do wonder who Obama is. A liberal, a wuss, a marxist, a lost boy looking for his father, an idealist, a Malcolm X, a glib talker, an apple polisher? All of the above?

Odds are increasing that Obama will go down as one of the worst candidates to emerge from the Democratic primaries.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://

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