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Run a Progressive Against Obama to Save His Possible Reelection

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by glynch, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Sorry, contented moderates --Obama's dwindling constituency-- but I think Lerner is correct. With his latest cave in Obama will blow the budget nearly permanently and help the conservos with their long term goals of destroying Medicare, Social Security and the rest of the modern world's weakest saftey net. If we continue with Obama's caving in to blackmail we will have the the demise of these programs. Obama must be frightened into having a backbone. See Krugman as to how Obama's spinelessness will play into this. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/06/opinion/06krugman.html?hp

    We need Bernie Sanders to run against Obama in the primary and Bernie could very well beat the professor. Obama can be pushed by liberals as well as conservatives, though he has shown more of a tendency to push back against liberals since he thinks he has less to fear.
    **********

    Save Obama's presidency by challenging him on the left Network NewsX Profile



    By Michael Lerner
    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    People who used to say, "Give President Obama more time" when the president was criticized for capitulating to the right, or who argued that Obama must have a plan to turn things around, are now largely depressed and angry. To many liberals and progressives, the president's unwillingness to veto any measure that includes continued tax relief for billionaires is the last straw, building on a record of spinelessness that includes his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, abandonment of a public option for health-care reform, refusal to prosecute those who tortured in Iraq or lied us into that war, and unwillingness to tax carbon emissions.

    With his base deeply disillusioned, many progressives are starting to believe that Obama has little chance of winning reelection unless he enthusiastically embraces a populist agenda and worldview - soon. Yet there is little chance that will happen without a massive public revolt by his constituency that goes beyond rallies, snide remarks from television personalities or indignant op-eds.

    Those of us who worry that a full-scale Republican return to power in 2012 would be a disaster not just for those hurting from the Republican-policy-inspired economic meltdown but also for the environment, social justice and world peace believe it is critical to get Obama to become the candidate whom most Americans believed they elected in 2008. Despite the outcome of last month's election, it is unlikely that the level of his base's alienation will register with the president until late in the 2012 election cycle - far too late for society today and our future tomorrow.

    But there is a real way to save the Obama presidency: by challenging him in the 2012 presidential primaries with a candidate who would unequivocally commit to a well-defined progressive agenda and contrast it with the Obama administration's policies. Such a candidacy would be pooh-poohed by the media, but if it gathered enough popular support - as is likely given the level of alienation among many who were the backbone of Obama's 2008 success - this campaign would pressure Obama toward much more progressive positions and make him a more viable 2012 candidate. Far from weakening his chances for reelection, this kind of progressive primary challenge could save Obama if he moves in the desired direction. And if he holds firm to his current track, he's a goner anyway.

    Public officials who would make excellent candidates should they run on this platform include Sens. Russ Feingold, Bernie Sanders, Barbara Mikulski or Al Franken; Reps. Joe Sestak, Maxine Waters, Raul Grijalva, Alan Grayson, Barbara Lee, Dennis Kucinich, Lois Capps, Jim Moran and Lynn Woolsey. Others include Jim McGovern, Marcy Kaptur, Jim McDermott or John Conyers. We should also consider popular figures outside of government. How about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.? Why not Rachel Maddow, Bill Moyers, Susan Sarandon or the Rev. James Forbes? All suggestions need to be part of this critical conversation. What's clear is that we need such a candidate, and the finances to back her or him, very soon.
     
  2. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Russ Feingold

    yeah, I said it!
     
  3. Major

    Major Member

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    Out of curiousity, how does a 2 year extension blow a budget permanently? :confused: And since when has the budget deficit been a major concern of yours?

    Would you rather have Obama not compromise and allow unemployment benefits and other aid for the jobless expire? Those are the two options you have on the table.
     
  4. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Just a note but Feingold voted with the Republicans in the last two Senate votes regarding extending tax cuts for everyone but the richest. He voted with Republicans on the first vote for cutting off extensions for those earning above $250K and also on cutting off extensions for those earning above $1 million. I am not sure what Feingold's reasoning though was for those votes.

    Anyway other than that I like Feingold but I doubt he will run a primary challenge against Obama but I believe that a liberal, besides Kucinich, probably will. At the moment though I doubt they will have much traction and as ideological lines get drawn more sharply in a battle with Congressional Repubs Obama's support among liberals will likely rise.
     
  5. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    If they end up becoming permanent which is in the realm of possibility.

    I am with Glynch on this one as I think this is a bad move for Obama. His position is actually stronger as tax cuts are way more important for the Republican base than they are for the Dem. He could just threaten them with not have any extensions passed and hold that up as a sign of a 'do nothing Congress'.

    At the same time I agree that unemployment benefits are important but he can't ignore what is happening with the deficit and his compromise just increases the deficit.
     
  6. Major

    Major Member

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    That's true - if you can convince Congress in 2013 to vote for tax cuts for ONLY the wealthy and have a GOP President to not veto it. Of course, if that's the case, said Congress could just enact new tax cuts for the wealthy the same way.

    The GOP has been a do-nothing Congress for the last 2 years. That is not a winning argument. People want results from a President - not complaining about the other side. Tax cuts are certainly more important for the GOP Base than the Dems. But they are also extremely important to independents and all the people that tax rates would go up on during a major economic mess. Why fight for stimulus to get money in the hands of people if you're simultaneously going to take money out of the hands of the people in the form of taxes going up?

    The short-term deficit is pretty much irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. This was also true of the much larger stimulus bill. The real issue is fixing the trend of the long-term deficit, which gets much worse if the economy struggles longer because of rising taxes in the midst of a major recession.

    Taxes on the rich are on the chopping block because they don't affect a recovery. The whole reason middle class tax cuts aren't on the block is that everyone agrees that they WOULD have a major effect on the recovery.

    Here's a good analytical summary of the messy position the Democrats are in:

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/the-democrats-tax-cut-dilemma/#more-4017

    FWIW, I've been very critical of them not doing anything before the election, when they actually could have forced the GOP into doing something. But at this point, they really are out of bullets. There's no strategic solution with an endgame of middle-class-only tax cuts because the GOP always has the option of waiting the Dems out and then just passing an all-or-nothing retroactive bill in January and making the Dems say no to it.
     
  7. esteban

    esteban Member

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    Here's a message to you pinko lefties in this forum, the American peolpe do not want Obamadinejad, what makes you people think we want you?

    GET A FREAKING CLUE ALREADY!!!!!!!!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Your poignant message was received loud and clear.
     
  9. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    True that could happen but I think stopping the extension now will make that more difficult.
    Actually a president campaigning against a 'do nothing congress' has historically been a winning strategy. Consider the term was coined during Truman's 1948 campaign. Also consider that even with the government shut down in 1995 Clinton still won and even gained back some seats for the Dems in 1996. It is a problem when your party is the one controlling Congress but when its the opposition the President usually wins politically in show downs with Congress.

    The problem with dismissing the short term deficit is that decades of such thinking are what has led us to where we are at now. I am at the moment undecided about whether we should have a stimulus but I don't think you can just dismiss the impact of short term deficits given the failure of the government to make up for those in times of prosperity.

    Actually the GOP cannot pass an all or nothing bill in January because they don't control the Senate. I agree that this is a tough position for the Dems but at the same time I think this is a tougher position for the Repubs. If they can't deliver a tax cuts their base will punish them far more than they will Democrats. At the sametime I agree there are impacts to the economy but I am not fully convinced that returning to Clinton era tax rates will destroy the economy or hamper the recovery.

    Anyway my own view is that if Obama stuck to his guns he could've forced the Repubs to agree to only an extension of the middle class tax cuts.
     
    #10 rocketsjudoka, Dec 6, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
    1 person likes this.
  11. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave Contributing Member

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    The unrest is peolpable.
     
  12. Major

    Major Member

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    Wait - I'm not understanding this logic at all. You think, in a 2012 campaign season, "tax cuts for only the wealthy" is going to be a popular position to take? The middle class cuts are going to be permanent. The wealthy would come up separately in 2012. It's exactly what Dems should want and tried to force a vote on now.

    But no cares 2 weeks after an election about narrative. In 2012, no one's going to remember or care who fought for a temporary unemployment benefits extension in 2010. They are going to care about the issues that are in play then.
     
  13. finalsbound

    finalsbound Contributing Member

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    so strange how many people see obama as far-left.
     
  14. Major

    Major Member

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    Right - but as you said, Dems control all the branches right now. Blaming Republicans may be accurate, but it doesn't resonate with anyone. And campaigning against a do-nothing Congress 2 weeks after an election doesn't do any good either.

    I disagree. Our discretionary budget has been shrinking over time. What got us to where we are now is running away from dealing with the long-term budget issues. It's been cutting long-term revenues (permanent tax cuts) and not addressing the growth of long-term liabilities (entitlements). Everything else is minor in comparison.

    But all tax bills originate in the House. So at the end of the day, they dictate how this works. And all the GOP needs is 3 Democratic Senators to say "I'd rather have tax cuts for all than for none" to pass the Senate. And with guys like Lieberman, Nelson, and others already sort of on that train, that puts the Dems in an ugly position.

    Unlike the GOP, the Dems don't have that uniform block voting mentality. The GOP is happy to screw over the people to gain power and they are very effective at doing it. If this isn't addressed in the lame-duck session, the Dems are the ones that will be screwed.

    I tend to agree with this - and I think it would be MUCH better for the debt. But this is a fairly minority viewpoint amongst both parties in Congress, so it's really a nonstarter.

    Fair enough - how do you envision it playing out? Obama says no compromise. GOP controls the House. Dems have light control of the Senate. What do you think happens in each chamber to end up with the Dem solution passing?
     
  15. B-Bob

    B-Bob "94-year-old self-described dreamer"

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    It winter. Peolpe suppose get CAPPY.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. esteban

    esteban Member

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    Is that the best you can do B-Bob? You never made a typographical error in your entire posting life, pathetic!!!
     
  17. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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  18. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    When you are on an island so far to the right that there is nobody further to the right than you and your definition of moderate is the John Birch Society, everybody looks like a extreme leftist.
     
  19. B-Bob

    B-Bob "94-year-old self-described dreamer"

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    Pretty much. :( I went for the gutshot straight on the river. It was my only chance.
     
  20. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    I don't really agree with you. The GOP has their issues, phoney as they might be: Dems are weak on defense; Dems tax and spend stupidly; government bad, business good; tax breaks for the wealthy create jobs through trickle down; war is peace; unions lose jobs; minimum wage hurts poor folks; social security is going broke etc. Having these wrong, but consistent themes helps them. After awhile folks thing they are somehow correct or even common sense.

    You seem totally oblivious to the need for the Dems to advocate anything consistently, but minor short term tactical moves for the Dems, largely in agreement with moderate Republicans few that there may be. ( of course as a GOP er, Obama is your guy).

    PS I think the Obama campaign will go down as a total classic in how to completely waste a mandate and near landslide. Folks thought they were voting for some sort of significant change. He had a mailing list of a couple of million donors; one million folks went to his inauguaral and he pissed it all away with an insider game of small ball with guys like Rahm Emmanuel and disillusioned his most ardent supporters.
     
    #20 glynch, Dec 6, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010

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