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Rantings of a Radical Activist - Archives
I can't believe people are still arguing that Obama isn't liberal. I made this comment in another thread but I think its worth emphasizing for the crowd who will never believe Obama is liberal enough. Let's face facts. Obama passed more progressive legislation as a state Senator, and during his four years in the US Senate, than Kucinich has during his entire career.

Are you more impressed by someone who can scream about how liberal they are and create purity tests, or are you more impressed by someone who gets results on progressive issues? Kucinich talks about nuclear proliferation. Obama got a bill passed to reduce it. Kucinich talks about the death penalty and Obama got major death penalty reform passed into law in Illinois. Dennis talks about campaign finance reform but Obama get reforms passed in Illinois and at the federal level. I love Dennis but I can see who gets results.

I don't write this to bash Dennis. The primary is over. I'm using Kucinich as a point of comparison because he represents the all-or-nothing approach that some liberals apparently want.

Obama has a record of getting Republicans to go along with progressive bills he passed. Is talking about bringing people together such a bad thing when it results in things we want? That's worth thinking about as he brings people with differing viewpoints into his cabinet. Do you want theatrical purity tests for cabinet appointments or do you want results? A lot of people apparently want Obama to act more like Kucinich. I think I know which approach serves progressive causes better. I think Obama is including moderates in his cabinet with good reason and that those appointments will help get results for issues progressives care about far more than ideological exclusion ever could.

I don't think some of my fellow liberals are thinking very strategically about this. Obama is.
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The pic is a couple days old so sorry if someone already posted it.

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I've seen a few threads with a lot of spin popping up again like they did in the primary claiming Obama is a little too centrist/corporate/conservative for some people. I think people are stuck in a 2000 Nader/Gore mentality. Let me know which of these things makes Obama look like a corporate centrist to you.
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Have you ever knocked on doors in housing projects and impoverished neighborhoods to empower communities to work for social change and have a voice of their own?

Have you ever passed up a more lucrative job offer to be a civil rights attorney?

Have you ever ran a voter registration drive that registered over 150,000 black voters? It was credited with bringing new power to black communities in Chicago and getting Carol Mosley Braun elected to the US Senate.

Have you ever worked for an organization closely tied to a very left wing group like ACORN? Do you even know what ACORN is?

Did you give a speech at an anti-war rally opposing the Iraq War before it even began?

Have you ever passed laws to require video-taped interrogations for capital cases to reform the death penalty; reduce the influence of lobbyist money in Illinois and Washington; been named an environmental champion by LCV; or pile up an almost perfect AFL-CIO voting record?

I know people change. I know Obama will need pressure from the left once he's in office.

But I'm willing to bet the people claiming Obama is or always has been a centrist/DLC/conservative haven't done half the things Obama did to advance the progressive movement even before he got into office. They obviously don't know a thing about the man.

One or two politically realistic positions that aren't what you'd like does not mean he suddenly moved to the center or that he was always a centrist.
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I see post after post on DU about Obama moving to the center. Its all very familiar. Its no different than post after post in the primary by people trying to make Obama look conservative by playing guilt by association games and making tortured interpretations of public statements. If Obama sneezed on a handkerchief that wasn't organic cotton it meant he hated the planet and was in the pockets of polluters. I thought those games were over.

The fact that Obama had a more liberal career record than any candidate other than Kucinich didn't matter. The fact that he has a solid progressive platform didn't matter. There was always some spin, spin, spin about how Obama is a closet conservative. And now I'm seeing the same garbage all over again.

Maybe some of it is people campaigning for Nader or the Greens. Maybe some of it is the negativity of the progressive perpetual loser who can't believe a real liberal could ever win or be nominated. Maybe some of it is bellyachers who want to prove that they were right all along for supporting someone else in the primary.

But it all sounds like garbage to me.
A guilt by association article isn't proof that Obama changed his stance on NAFTA.
Obama wanted to remove telecom immunity from the bill and he still favors that. Its not a change in position. The fact that he can't single-handedly make it happen has more to do with the fact that he's one out of 100 Senators than it has to do with moving to the center. That's why we need him to be President instead of Senator.

This is the first left wing movement activist the Democratic Party has ever nominated for President. It represents a fundamental shift in approach and thinking from the top-down establishment Democrats who have run this party for years.

He was and is a liberal. And if you're going to make bullshit claims about Obama moving to the center then start getting specific because I'm not listening to this broken record anymore. Its the same cookie cutter arguments we've heard about other Democrats for at least the last 16 years. Its just as predictable and worn out as Republicans calling every Democratic nominee "the most liberal Senator."

Heck, if Dennis Kucinich were the nominee some people would be telling us how he isn't liberal enough on abortion or how he moved to the middle on this or that issue. It has less to do with where Obama is on the issues and more to do with the mentality and agenda of people who need Obama to be centrist to fit their view of the world.

Yes, he's going to appeal to moderates in his speeches. What some people have never understood about Obama is that he's excellent at articulating progressive ideas in ways that appeal to moderates. That doesn't make the ideas moderate, but it does bring moderates on board. That's what a good nominee is supposed to do and it doesn't make him a corporate, centrist sell out.
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Posted by Radical Activist in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Apr 20th 2008, 04:16 PM
All of Obama's opponents end up getting frustrated, angry and implode when their ugly attacks against him don't work. McCain will explode on national television and look psychotic while Obama remains cool and collected. I can't wait. Bookmark this prediction.
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There have been some over-the-top accusations made about Obama not being serious about global warming because of his support of research into liquid coal fuel technology. This statement shows that he's responsive to the environmental community, is serious about global warming, and its consistent with his long career record of being an environmental champion.

"Senator Obama supports research into all technologies to help solve our climate change and energy dependence problems, including shifting our energy use to renewable fuels and investing in technology that could make coal a clean-burning source of energy," the e-mail said. "However, unless and until this technology is perfected, Senator Obama will not support the development of any coal-to-liquid fuels unless they emit at least 20% less life-cycle carbon than conventional fuels."
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I'm glad you posted that. Its great evidence of the difference between what people voted for in '92 and what they got for 8 years. You prove my point we've argued about before that Clinton ran as a progressive in '92.

By losing union jobs and replacing them with lower wage service jobs, Clinton continued the decline in standard of living that he complains about in his speech. He broke a promise when he said "fair trade" and gave us NAFTA.

He talks about health care and race but those issues hadn't changed much by the end of his term. What did he do to help the poverty of black people and "take care of our own" as he speaks about here? Reform Welfare? Another broken promise. No one thinks people should be paid to do nothing. There's nothing moderate or conservative about thinking that.

He took on the big insurance companies once, like he promised, and when it failed once, he didn't try again, except in small reforms.

He promised clean energy systems in this speech but by the end of his two terms we still used less than 1% renewable energies. Another broken promise.

Clinton's long list of small programs were easy enough to dismantle as soon as he was replaced with a Republican and the economy went downhill. What did he do that was more lasting than a bunch of statistics about how the economy was better when he was President? Not much.

So much potential and so many missed opportunities. I don't want to be saying that again in 8 years after Clinton II.

The problem with the play-it-safe centrist Clinton approach is that, even if we win a few elections here and there, we'll never have the mandate to make real, long-term change. No matter what happens, we're guaranteed to lose when its time to legislate.
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"You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way."

(Obama '08 campaign staff)
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He voted for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to authorize the war in Vietnam! What a hypocrite! He's just responding to the polls. McGovern doesn't have the right to change his mind and be a peace candidate now. Does the think we're stupid? He won't get my support in the primary at all!
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In the last two Presidential elections we saw one person on the ticket come from a safely blue Northeastern State. Do we really need another person from that region in a state that will go blue anyway? Should we allow Republicans to make another campaign about the culture war between North and South?

Like it or not, nominating a wealthy man from New England played right into the stereotype of "liberal elites" Republicans use to win votes in the South and Midwest. I see several people from that region frequently mentioned as candidates. Are we going to make that mistake again? Candidates from Middle America have an advantage in connecting with a larger number of voters.
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Indulge me for a moment with yet another '08 poll. I would be very torn if all three of these candidates entered the race. I believe they are all men who have a good shot at getting elected and they all would advance a progressive agenda in office. All three have been questioned for their progressive credentials, but I think they would at least govern to the left of Bill Clinton.

Of the three, Obama has the most progressive record over his career, but Gore and Edwards seem to have come around. I think all three could carry a southern state or two. Yes, even Obama, due to increased African-American turn out, can carry a Southern state and make several more competitive.

Which of the three would you pick as the best progressive/liberal choice for '08?
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I've seen the accusation of Obama being a corporate DLC moderate sell out a lot today so I'm trying to figure this one out. Which of these things make Obama a corporate sell out to other DUers?
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What about the fact that the US has a higher infant mortality rate than most industrialized nations because we don't provide health care for the young in the way we do for the elderly? Why should the elderly get cheap prescription drugs but not the young? Why not invest in making college affordable for everyone who wants to go? Why not invest in making our educational system better to invest in our future? The government is doing a very one-sided job in meetings its social obligations and the young are coming out on the losing end. Its a backward policy.
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I have asthma and I'm allergic to cigarette smoke. If I'm in a bar and someone punches me in the face, I can charge them with a crime. If I'm in a bar and someone gives me an asthma attack and headache, plus poisons me with a drug that can kill me, its their "right" to do so. A punch in the face sounds preferable. At least it won't stop me from breathing and kill me years later. Since second hand smoke causes more harm than physical assault, why shouldn't I be able to call the cops and charge those who smoke in public with a crime?

While we're at it, we should charge the corporate and advertising executives at tobacco companies for being serial killers and give them multiple life sentences. They deserve it for getting children addicted to deadly drugs.
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Radical Activist
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