Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Where We're At

Does it even matter who progressives support? Unless we get corporate money - all corporate money - out of U.S. elections, all we're gonna get is more candidates like Obama, and more appointments like the ones he's made so far. Currently, no one with the balls and brains to do things differently will ever be able to get into office. The ugly reality is that the financial elites run Gov-Corp, and that's who is pulling all the strings.
Considering Obama's past appointments, were you actually expecting that he'd nominate someone progressive? Please. You should know better by now.

The Problem With Elena Kagan Is Barack Obama
By Cenk Uygur
From Smirking Chimp:

I have no idea what kind of Justice Elena Kagan is going to be, and almost no one else does either. She might be a terrific progressive or she might move the Court to the right, as some fear. My problem with her isn't her stated positions, as she doesn't have very many.

My problem with her is my problem with Obama. Cheney and Bush moved the ball 80 yards down-field, whether that was on executive power, warrantless wiretapping, pre-emptive wars or just about any other issue you can think of. And Obama's bold and brilliant response is to move the ball 10 yards in the opposite direction. Not good enough. Not remotely good enough.

His every action drips of conciliation, compromise, gradualism and incrementalism. The conservatives take miles of ideologically territory and convert it into the status quo. Then Obama brags about converting inches back. This isn't change we can believe in. This is pocket change.

So, when conservatives yelled at him about trying Gitmo detainees in civilian courts, his instinct was to back down. When they yelled at him for giving detainees Miranda rights, he is now on the verge of backing down. When they yelled at him about foreign wars, he escalated them. When they yelled at him about the $50 billion "bailout" fund in the financial reform bill, he asked to take it out. When they yelled at him about offshore oil drilling, he gave them more. How did that turn out?

Did you know that after Joe Wilson yelled out "You lie!" on the issue of how immigrants would be treated in the healthcare bill, they quietly gave into him and changed that provision? Is there anything that this guy can't get bullied on? Well, of course, there is. Everything from the left.

So, that brings us to Elena Kagan. Bush picked arguably the two most conservative judges in the country to fill his Supreme Court vacancies. He easily shoved it down the throat of the Democrats. What has been Obama's response - let me pick a centrist!

He can't help himself. He loves establishment players. Look at nearly all of his appointments. Rahm Emanuel, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke. These are the pillars of the establishment. What kind of change is this? He nominated for the head of the Fed the same exact guy who helped destroy our economy for George W. Bush. He can't help himself. He is a politician through and through, and he desperately wants the approval of those around him. And those around him now are the power players in Washington.

So, we get the blank slate of Elena Kagan, with almost no record to speak of, except her affinity for executive power. Joy. Could she turn into a lion of progressivism? Sure. But why do we have to hope against hope on that? Why can't we get a progressive Justice if we elected a progressive president? Because the ugly truth is that we didn't elect a progressive president.

Obama (and Rahm Emanuel) are going to love it if progressives attack Kagan. They will brandish that as a signal that they are soooo centrist. They will crow to their Washington reporter friends that they are being attacked from the left and brag about how much credibility that gives them. And when they win this nomination (non)fight, they will declare victory again, as if they accomplished some major objective. No one loves beating up progressives and winning easy battles in DC more than this administration.... More here.


Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Mr. Uygur make a valid analysis, and his football analogy is appropriate. I only wish he conveyed in his writing what has been very evident to me for quite sometime: Obama is a corporatist, through-and-through, in the image of Bill Clinton. He's a "hand-selected" president, placed in office by those who expect his execution of matters dear-and-dire to only them.

But Mr. Uygur is right -- Obama isn't a progressive. He isn't even left-of-center. He's a neo-Democrat. And that is the scariest thing of all.

12:35 AM  

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