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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion
Wed Aug 03rd 2011, 01:05 PM
Some quotes from Howard Dean, R. J. Eskow, and Robert Reich. The quotes from Dean are from last year and from his 2004 book. He appears to have decided to support the administration policies now, but when he spoke out....his words were powerful indeed.

In June 2010 he said it was time for Democrats to behave like Democrats again.

Dean at progressive conference...Time for Democrats to 'behave like Democrats'

"You did your job," Dean added. "You elected Barack Obama. You elected a Democratic Congress. You elected a Democratic Senate. And now it's time for them to behave like Democrats if they want to get reelected. They have forgotten where they came from -- and they haven't been here that long."

Dean echoed other progressive leaders who opened the conference Monday, expressing dismay, even anger, at the White House and Congress, saying they have been too timid and compromising on issues such as health care, the economy, climate change and banking reform.

Dean said the progressive base is critical to Democrats' electoral successes this fall and beyond. "If Washington understands that they can't do things that demoralize their base," Dean said, "then we'll have a permanent (Democratic) majority."

It seems they have forgotten lately. I wish Howard Dean were still speaking out like that.

In Dean's book, You Have the Power, 2004...he referred to the use of "false centrism."

We have to reconnect to the base.

..."In recent years the Democrats, in our pursuit of big dollars, have neglected the people we're there to serve. We let our connection to our base atrophy and have forgotten, as they say in politics, who brought us to the dance. In service to a falsely named "centrism," we've sidestepped every major request from labor unions, especially on including worker protections in our free-trade agreements.

False Centrism

One of my favorites is R.J. Eskow of the Campaign for America's Future and Huffington Post. Instead of false centrism he uses the words "pseudo centrism."

The Failure of Pseudo-Centrism

We're still suffering from the massive failure of a radical, free-market-run-wild ideology that devastated the economy. The public understood that, so they gave the Democrats an enormous mandate to change economic direction. Yet just twenty months later conservatives scored a huge triumph, leaving Democrats with a choice: Continue to blur the distinction between themselves and their opponents, or lay out a clear agenda for job creation and economic growth.

Of course, that's been the choice all along. But the president and many other senior Democrats chose to take the advice of the "centrist" experts within their party by adopting unpopular Republican positions and getting nothing in return. After last night's rout, what are these experts advising? You guessed it: more of the same so-called "Centrism." That's an odd word to use for policies that most Americans oppose, like cutting Social Security or allowing bankers to enrich themselves by endangering the economy, but theirs is an Alice-in-Wonderland world.

Real centrists would defend Social Security and do more to rein in Wall Street, since those positions are popular across the political spectrum.
It's a good thing the president said today that he wants to spend more time with the American people. Bankers and the Deficit Commission aren't "centrists" where most Americans live.

Robert Reich through the years has painted a picture of a Democratic party with ineffective policies. He was in a position to know. From his book called "Locked in the Cabinet":

"The reviewer sets up the scenario by saying "Reich and his wife Clare, and Bill and Hillary go to Kinkaid's, an elegant restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue. It's a good-bye dinner for Clare, who is going back to Cambridge with their two sons. Over dessert, Reich can't help himself."

.."'It seems to me,' says Clare, weighing her words carefully, 'that corporations are downsizing not only themselves but also a big part of the middle class.'

She's bailed me out. I want to kiss her on the spot. I throw caution to the winds and ask B, 'Would you be comfortable saying what Clare just said?'

Consider the words of Bill Clinton to Reich and his wife.

'I have to keep myself from saying it everyday,' he says softly. 'I shouldn't be out in front on these issues. I can't be criticizing.'

Locked in the Cabinet

The president can't be criticizing corporations and their actions that hurt everyday people? Strange thing to say. And now there is still no criticism of corporations...and look where we are headed. Same old same old still not working.

Reich had more to say in an interview with Speigel Online.

'Obama Failed to Connect the Dots'

SPIEGEL ONLINE: When you served in the White House, President Bill Clinton began on the left but drifted to the middle after the Democrats lost significant ground in the mid-term elections. Do you see that happening again?

Reich: I was there with Bill Clinton when he tried to so called "triangulate" and please the voters in the middle. But the middle is a fiction. The middle is simply where most voters who respond to surveys say they are. What Clinton did and what Obama may be forced to do is to give up leadership; that is, to simply respond to polls. I think it would be a shame if Obama moved from leadership to opinion polls, but his advisors may feel that that's the only way to guarantee him a re-election.

This last week has given many of us an almost desperate feeling. Things we thought were held sacred by our party are now up for grabs. Policies that are innate to Democrats are now on the table to be picked over by the right wing extremists.

I am thankful for those who speak out now, and for those who spoke out in the past for the people the party appears to be leaving behind....seniors, the ill, the disabled, the needy. The few who do speak out keep us from feeling so very much alone without a party that stands up for us.

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