Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How Obama Lost His Way

By Robert Parry
January 20, 2010

President Barack Obama spent his first year in office trying to reassure the Washington/New York establishments that he was not going to upset their apple carts too much, that they shouldn’t panic, that he would – despite all the speeches – be more about continuity than change.

Read on.


Dave In Santa Fe said...

What Progessives should do is abandon the Democratic Party and stand on their own. Obama made not one nod to their proposed solutions.

Health care was the only thing left to give Progressives any hope of anything. Single Payer was not even allowed to be discussed. When the House passed a health care bill with no public option at all, the writing was on the wall.

Democrats have truly shown that they are just another face of the corporate oligarchy.

Defeating Coakley was kind of like rioters burning their own neighborhood in frustration.

The Democratic Party will not be trusted ever again.

photpn's feather said...

I read a lot of this kind of thing, and it always leaves me wondering what the writers were thinking.

Obama did not 'lose his way.' Obama is still headed in the same direction he faced when he was a senator.

Senator Obama never met a war-funding bill he didn't like. He voted to retroactively legalize widespread warrantless spying on citizens and to refuse to hold guilty telecoms accountable. And he was head cheerleader for the Bush-Paulson Wall Street Giveaway, which was fought against by our few stalwart progressives and - (shame on you, Democrats!) many Republicans. Obama was also one of the 'leaders' who strong-armed holdout progressive Dems, until enough of them caved. (Remember, they caved not to Bush or the GOP, but to the Democratic leadership.)

You simply cannot argue that someone has lost his way, if he is maintaining his original course.

Mark E. Smith said...

During his presidential campaign, when public input was running more than 90% against the bailouts, Obama fearlessly and shamelessly risked the wrath of voters by joining McCain in issuing a joint statement in favor of the bailouts.

Obama couldn't care less what the voters or the public wants, he serves his corporate masters well and is richly rewarded.

That's how he avoids being JFKed.

Anonymous said...

Obama never lost his way. He's your typical corporate Democrat. He and his Blue Dog buddy, Rahm, are now the status quo in the Washington Bubble. The only "Change you can believe in" is the K-Street bribe money is going to the Dems now. But that will soon change as the American Corporate Party's other wing(GOP) takes over. It will be all downhill for the Dems & the American people for God knows how long...maybe ever.

Mark E. Smith said...

What I want to know is how Robert Parry lost his way.

When you have every reason to know that a system is totally corrupt, how can you become an apologist for the system?

I'm reading Sterling & Peggy Seagrave's 2003 book, Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold. Even knowing the big picture, it is important for researchers and investigative reporters to know the details, and the Seagraves offer the documents they uncovered for anyone interested to see.

These days, with information available at the click of a mouse, there is no excuse for ignorance, so any ignorance can only be deliberate ignorance on the part of those who benefit from it in some way.

J said...

As much as I admire much of Parry's reportage, I do have to agree with the posters here for the most part.

Parry's formulation of how Obama "lost his way" flies in the face of what DISF and Anonymous have said, correctly in my view: "Obama never lost his way. He's your typical corporate Democrat. He and his Blue Dog buddy, Rahm, are now the status quo in the Washington Bubble. The only "Change you can believe in" is the K-Street bribe money is going to the Dems now."

I agree with MES when he asks "What I want to know is how Robert Parry lost his way." Clearly, pragmatism must always be married to any ideology. But a lack of pragmatism and "demands for purity" are NOT what led Obama, a centrist Dem, to his current path, nor will pragmatism, imho, return him to it. Jon Meacham correctly points out that Obama has always been a moderate, and has spent this year governing from the middle. This is no different than O the candidate or O the Senator. We speak of the importance of SCOTUS nominations, and though Sotomayor was on the right (but minority) side of the recently decided campaign finance decision, she also was practically the most conservative liberal he could choose.

There's a good argument to be made that it wasn't divisiveness that hamstringed Clinton, but the fear of the Left in demanding ANY "purity" (i.e. principles) from him, going along with is misguided welfare reform among other issues. And I've yet to see a historical example of going-along-to-get-along on the part of the voter that has worked. So why will it now? And why should we expect more from Obama, who has never, when you look at it closely, really promised more? Isn't it just possible that it's his lack of leadership (along with an insufficient left media machine, i agree with Parry there) and not progressive fractiousness?