Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Sam Smith

Over the past few weeks I've been a good boy. I've placed everything having to do with the real Barack Obama into a futures file and spent my time on the far grimmer matter of the real John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Now the party is over and it's time for people to put away their Barack and Michelle dolls and start dealing with what has truly happened.

This, I admit, is difficult because the real Obama doesn't exist yet. He follows in the footsteps of our first postmodern president, Bill Clinton, who observed the principles outlined by scholar Pauline Marie Rosenau:

Post-modernists recognize an infinite number of interpretations . . . of any text are possible because, for the skeptical post-modernists, one can never say what one intends with language, [thus] ultimately all textual meaning, all interpretation is undecipherable.. . . Many diverse meanings are possible for any symbol, gesture, word . . . Language has no direct relationship to the real world; it is, rather, only symbolic.

As James Krichick wrote in the New Republic, "Obama is, in his own words, something of a Rorschach test. In his latest book, The Audacity of Hope, he writes, 'I am new enough on the national political scene that I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.' "

This is remarkably similar to Ted Koppel's description of Vanna White of TV's Wheel of Fortune: "Vanna leaves an intellectual vacuum, which can be filled by whatever the predisposition of the viewer happens to be."

Obama has left the same kind of vacuum. His magic, or con, was that voters could imagine whatever they wanted and he would do nothing to spoil their reverie. He was a handsome actor playing the part of the first black president-to-be and, as in films, he was careful not to muck up the role with real facts or issues that might harm the fantasy. Hence the enormous emphasis on meaningless phrases like hope and change.

Of course, in Obama's postmodern society -- one that rises above the purported false teachings of partisanship -- we find ourselves with little to steer us save the opinions of whatever non-ideologue happens to be in power. In this case, we may really only have progressed from the ideology of the many to the ideology of the one or, some might say, from democracy to authoritarianism.

The Obama campaign was driven in no small part by a younger generation trained to accept brands as a substitute for policies. If the 1960s had happened like this, the activists would have spent all their time trying to get Martin Luther King or Joan Baez elected president rather than pursing ancillary issues like ending segregation and the war in Vietnam.

Obama himself took his vaunted experience in community organizing and turned its principles on its head. Instead of empowering the many at the bottom, he used the techniques to empower one at the top: himself.

It is historic that a black has been elected president, but we should remember that Obama was not running against Bull Connor, George Wallace or Strom Thurmond. Putting Obama in the same class as earlier black activists discredits the honor of those who died, suffered physical harm or were repeatedly jailed to achieve equality. Obama is not a catalyst of change, but rather its belated beneficiary. The delay, to be sure, is striking; after all, the two white elite sports of tennis and golf were integrated long before presidential politics, but Washington - as Phil Hart said of the Senate - has always been a place that always does things twenty years after it should have.

There is an informative precedent to Obama's rise. Forty-two years ago Edward Brooke became the first black senator to be elected with a majority of white votes. Brooke was chosen from Massachusetts as a Republican in a state that was 97% white.

Jason Sokol, who teaches history at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in History News Network:

|||| On Election Day, Brooke triumphed with nearly 60 percent of the vote. Newspapers and magazines hummed with approval. The Boston Globe invoked a legacy that included the Pilgrims, Daniel Webster, and Charles Sumner, offering the Bay State as the nation's racial and political pioneer.

Journalist Carl Rowan was among the unconvinced. For whites, voting for Brooke became "a much easier way to wipe out guilt feelings about race than letting a Negro family into the neighborhood or shaking up a Jim Crow school setup." Polling numbers lent credence to Rowan's unease. They showed that only 23 percent of Massachusetts residents approved of a statewide school integration law; just 17 percent supported open housing. ||||

That's the problem with change coming from the top, as Obama might have heard when he was involved in real community organizing. It also helps to explain why there have been no more Catholic presidents since John Kennedy. Symbolism is not the change we need.

Getting at the reality of Obama is difficult. He performs as the great black liberal, but since he is one half white and one half conservative, that doesn't leave him a lot of wiggle room.

To be sure, in the Senate he got good ratings from various liberal groups, but two things need to be remembered:

First, liberals aren't that liberal any more. Thus getting a 90% score merely means that you went along with the best that an extremely conservative Democratic Party was willing to risk. This is not a party that would, in these times, have passed Social Security, Medicare or minimum wage. In fact, many liberals aren't much interested in economic issues at all - especially that portion of the constituency that controls the money, the media and the message.

Second, politicians reflect their constituency. Obama's constituency is no longer Illinois. He has a whole new set of folks to pander to.

There is one story from Chicago, however, that remains relevant. A citizen walks into his alderman's office looking for a job. "Who sent you?" he asks. "Nobody," he replies. Says the staffer: "We don't want nobody nobody sent."

Who sent Barack Obama remains a mystery. He has risen from an unknown state senator to president in exactly four years and that only happens when somebody sends for you.

The black liberal image falters on a number of other scores including Obama's affection for extreme right wingers like Chuck Hagel and an obvious indifference to anybody who votes like, say, a state senator from Hyde Park. Think back over the campaign and try to recall a single instance when Obama reached out to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party or to the better angels of the Congressional Black Caucus. Instead his ads attacked as 'extreme' the single payer health insurance backed by many of his own supporters, he dissed ACORN and Colin Powell was as radical a black as he wanted to be seen palling around with.

The key issue that has driven Obama throughout his career has been Obama. He has achieved virtually nothing for any other cause. His politics reflects whatever elite consensus he gathers around himself. This is why his "post partisanship" needs to be watched so carefully. If Bernie Sanders and John Conyers don't get to White House meetings as often as Chuck Hagel, Obama will glide easily to the right, as every president has done over the past thirty years. If liberals, as they did with Clinton, watch without a murmur as their president redesigns their party to fit his personal ambitions, then the whole country will continue to move to the right as well.

Since the real Obama doesn't exist yet, it is impossible to predict with any precision what he will do. But here is some of the evidence gathered over the past months that should serve both as a warning and as a prod to progressives not to take today's dreams as a reasonable facsimile of reality:

Business interests

Advisor Cass Sunstein told Jeffrey Rosen of the NY Times: "I would be stunned to find an anti-business [Supreme Court] appointee from either [Clinton or Obama]. There's not a strong interest on the part of Obama or Clinton in demonizing business, and you wouldn't expect to see that in their Supreme Court nominees."

Obama supported making it harder to file class action suits in state courts. David Sirota in the Nation wrote, "Opposed by most major civil rights and consumer watchdog groups, this big business-backed legislation was sold to the public as a way to stop 'frivolous' lawsuits. But everyone in Washington knew the bill's real objective was to protect corporate abusers."

He voted for a business-friendly "tort reform" bill

He voted against a 30% interest rate cap on credit cards

He had the most number of foreign lobbyist contributors in the primaries

He was even more popular with Pentagon contractors than McCain

He was most popular of the candidates with K Street lobbyists

In 2003, rightwing Democratic Leadership Council named Obama as one of its "100 to Watch." After he was criticized in the black media, Obama disassociated himself with the DLC. But his major economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee, is also chief economist of the conservative organization. Writes Doug Henwood of the Left Business Observer, "Goolsbee has written gushingly about Milton Friedman and denounced the idea of a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures."

Added Henwood, "Top hedge fund honcho Paul Tudor Jones threw a fundraiser for him at his Greenwich house last spring, 'The whole of Greenwich is backing Obama,' one source said of the posh headquarters of the hedge fund industry. They like him because they're socially liberal, up to a point, and probably eager for a little less war, and think he's the man to do their work. They're also confident he wouldn't undertake any renovations to the distribution of wealth."

Civil liberties

He supports the war on drugs

He supports the crack-cocaine sentence disparity

He supports Real ID

He supports the PATRIOT Act

He supports the death penalty

He opposes lowering the drinking age to 18

He supported amnesty for telecoms engaged in illegal spying on Americans


He went to Connecticut to support Joe Lieberman in the primary against Ned Lamont

Wrote Paul Street in Z Magazine, "Obama has lent his support to the aptly named Hamilton Project, formed by corporate-neo-liberal Citigroup chair Robert Rubin and other Wall Street Democrats to counter populist rebellion against corporatist tendencies within the Democratic Party. . . Obama was recently hailed as a Hamiltonian believer in limited government and free trade by Republican New York Times columnist David Brooks, who praises Obama for having "a mentality formed by globalization, not the SDS."

Writes the London Times, "Obama is hoping to appoint cross-party figures to his cabinet such as Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator for Nebraska and an opponent of the Iraq war, and Richard Lugar, leader of the Republicans on the Senate foreign relations committee. Senior advisers confirmed that Hagel, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and one of McCain's closest friends in the Senate, was considered an ideal candidate for defense secretary.

Richard Lugar was rated 0% by SANE. . . rated 0% by AFL-CIO. . . rated 0% BY NARAL. . . rated 12% by American Public Health Association. . . rated 0% by Alliance for Retired Americans. . . rated 27% by the National Education Association. . . rated 5% by League of Conservation Voters. . . He voted no on implementing the 9/11 Commission report. . . Vote against providing habeas corpus for Gitmo prisoners. . .voted no on comprehensive test ban treaty. . .voted against same sex marriage. . . strongly anti-abortion. . . opposed to more federal funding for healthcare. . .voted for unconstitutional wiretapping. . .voted to increase penalties for drug violations

Chuck Hagel was rated 0% by NARAL. . . rated 11% by NAACP. . . rated 0% by Human Rights Coalition. . . rated 100% by Christian Coalition. . . rated 12% by American Public Health Association. . . rated 22% by Alliance for Retired Americans. . . rated 36% by the National Education Association. . . rated 0% by League of Conservation Voters. . . rated 8% by AFL-CIO. . . He is strongly anti-abortion. . .voted for anti-flag desecration amendment. . .voted to increase penalties for drug violations. . . favors privatizing Social Security


Obama voted for a nuclear energy bill that included money for bunker buster bombs and full funding for Yucca Mountain.

He supports federally funded ethanol and is unusually close to the ethanol industry.

He led his party's reversal of a 25-year ban on off-shore oil drilling


Obama has promised to double funding for private charter schools, part of a national effort undermining public education.

He supports the No Child Left Behind Act albeit expressing reservations about its emphasis on testing. Writes Cory Mattson, "Despite NCLB''s loss of credibility among educators and the deadlock surrounding its attempted reauthorization in 2007, Barack Obama still offers his support. Even the two unions representing teachers, both which for years supported reform of the policy to avoid embarrassing their Democratic Party 'friends,' declared in 2008 that the policy is too fundamentally flawed to be reformed and should be eliminated."

Fiscal policy

Obama rejected moratoriums on foreclosures and a freeze on rates, measures supported by his primary opponents John Edwards and Hillary Clinton

He was a strong supporter of the $700 billion cash-for-trash banker bailout plan.

Two of his top advisors are former Goldman Sachs chair Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers. Noted Glen Ford of black Agenda Report, "In February 1999, Rubin and Summers flanked Fed Chief Alan Greenspan on the cover of Time magazine, heralded as, 'The Committee to Save the World.' Summers was then Secretary of the Treasury for Bill Clinton, having succeeded his mentor, Rubin, in that office. Together with Greenspan, the trio had in the previous year labored successfully to safeguard derivatives, the exotic 'ticking time bomb' financial instruments, from federal regulation."

Robert Scheer notes that "Rubin, who pocketed tens of millions running Goldman Sachs before becoming treasury secretary, is the man who got President Clinton to back legislation by then-Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, to unleash banking greed on an unprecedented scale."

Obama's fund-raising machine has been headed by Penny Prtizker former chair of the Superior Bank, one of the first to get into subprime mortgages. While she resigned as chair of the family business in 1994, as late as 2001 she was still on the board and wrote a letter saying that her family was recapitalizing the bank and pledging to "once again restore Superior's leadership position in subprime lending." The bank shut down two months later and the Pritzker family would pay $460 million in a settlement with the government.

Foreign policy

Obama endorsed US involvement in the failed drug war in Colombia: "When I am president, we will continue the Andean Counter-Drug Program."

He has expressed a willingness to bomb Iran and won't rule out a first strike nuclear attack.

He has endorsed bombing or invading Pakistan to go after Al Qaeda in violation of international law. He has called Pakistan "the right battlefield ... in the war on terrorism."

He supports Israeli aggression and apartheid. Obama has deserted previous support for two-state solution to Mid East situation and refuses to negotiate with Hamas.

He has supported Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, saying "it must remain undivided."

He favors expanding the war in Afghanistan.

Although he claims to want to get out of Iraq, his top Iraq advisor wrote that America should keep between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Iraq. Obama, in his appearances, blurred the difference between combat soldiers and other troops.

He indicated to Amy Goodman that he would leave 140,000 private contractors and mercenaries in Iraq because "we don't have the troops to replace them."

He has called Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez an enemy of the United States and urged sanctions against him.

He claimed "one of the things that I think George H.W. Bush doesn't get enough credit for was his foreign policy team and the way that he helped negotiate the end of the Cold War and prosecuted the Gulf War. That cost us $20 billion dollars. That's all it cost. It was extremely successful. I think there were a lot of very wise people."

He has hawkish foreign policy advisors who have been involved in past US misdeeds and failures. These include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Anthony Lake, General Merrill McPeak, and Dennis Ross.

It has been reported that he might well retain as secretary of defense Robert Gates who supports actions in violation of international law against countries merely suspected of being unwilling or unable to halt threats by militant groups.


Obama opposes gay marriage. He wouldn't have photo taken with San Francisco mayor because he was afraid it would seem that he supported gay marriage


Obama opposes single payer healthcare or Medicare for all.


Obama would expand the size of the military.

National Service

Obama favors a national service plan that appears to be in sync with one being promoted by a new coalition that would make national service mandatory by 2020, and with a bill requiring such mandatory national service introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel.

He announced in Colorado Springs last July, "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

On another occasion he said, "It's also important that a president speaks to military service as an obligation not just of some, but of many. You know, I traveled, obviously, a lot over the last 19 months. And if you go to small towns, throughout the Midwest or the Southwest or the South, every town has tons of young people who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's not always the case in other parts of the country, in more urban centers. And I think it's important for the president to say, this is an important obligation. If we are going into war, then all of us go, not just some." Some have seen this as a call for reviving the draft.

He has attacked the exclusion of ROTC on some college campuses

Presidential crimes

Obama aggressively opposed impeachment actions against Bush. One of his key advisors, Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School, said prosecuting government officials risks a "cycle" of criminalizing public service.


Unlike his deferential treatment of right wing conservatives, Obama's treatment of the left has been dismissive to insulting. He dissed Nader for daring to run for president again. And he called the late Paul Wellstone "something of a gadfly"

Public Campaign Financing

Obama's retreat from public campaign financing has endangered the whole concept.

Social welfare

Obama wrote that conservatives and Bill Clinton were right to destroy social welfare,

Social Security

Early in the campaign, Obama said, "everything is on the table" with Social Security.


As things now stand, the election primarily represents the extremist center seizing power back from the extremist right. We have moved from the prospect of disasters to the relative comfort of mere crises.

Using the word 'extreme' alongside the term 'center' is no exaggeration. Nearly all major damage to the United States in recent years - a rare exception being 9/11 - has been the result of decisions made not by right or left but by the post partisan middle: Vietnam, Iraq, the assault on constitutional liberties, the huge damage to the environment, and the collapse of the economy - to name a few. Go back further in history and you'll find, for example, the KKK riddled with members of the establishment including - in Colorado - a future governor, senator and mayor after whom Denver's airport is named. The center, to which Obama pays such homage, has always been where most of the trouble lies.

The only thing that will make Obama the president pictured in the campaign fantasy is unapologetic, unswerving and unendingly pressure on him in a progressive and moral direction, for he will not go there on his own. But what, say, gave the New Deal its progressive nature was pressure from the left of a sort that simply doesn't exist today.

Above are listed nearly three dozen things that Obama supports or opposes with which no good liberal or progressive would agree. Unfortunately, what's out there now, however, looks more like a rock concert crowd or evangelical tent meeting than a determined and directed political constituency. Which isn't so surprising given how successful our system have been at getting people to accept sights, sounds, symbols and semiotics as substitutes for reality. Once again, it looks like we'll have to learn the hard way.


At November 5, 2008 12:13 PM, Blogger marnie said...

Hi Sam,
Thanks for the list. It's very helpful as we continue campaigning.

At November 5, 2008 12:27 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Sounds good to me. I'd vote for him.

At November 5, 2008 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And he called the late Paul Wellstone "something of a gadfly"

Well, he was. And I'm from Minnesota.

At November 7, 2008 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work. But I would vote for Obama over McCain any day.

I use to be a Republician before McCain ran for President.

At November 7, 2008 2:56 AM, Blogger M Saleem Chaudhry said...

The win of Obama is depictive of not a race ,creed or religion but American's choice of a leader with requisite positive traits to face the challenges of 21st century as a head of the only Super Power of the day.

At November 7, 2008 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why was my comment deleted?

Do you have to support killing babies (whose only crime is to have a confused, scared, dumb or even wicked mother) to be considered 'progressive' now?

Is there a list of must-have traits that members of the 'progressive' movement must share, and is the insistence of abortion-at-any-stage-for-any-reason now one of them?

I'm calling you an intolerant censor, Mr. Smith. Nice way to treat your readers, too. I'm going to make SURE that people know about this.

At November 7, 2008 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess you're new here, 9:18. This site has a long-standing problem with Undernews articles Sam cross-posts to various sub-topic pages. Comments on these articles frequently get dropped in the process. I have seen comments from every part of the political spectrum on every topic disappear at one time or another. There is no conspiracy or censorship of specific opinions involved.

One piece of evidence in support of this view is that posts like yours, which mention the lost comments and make accusations of censorship, never get deleted as they would if your censorship hypothesis was correct. Also, I have seen many instances of "censored" comments being re-posted without vanishing a second time. Perhaps the Bush years have tuned your paranoia level a little too high.

At November 7, 2008 11:28 AM, Blogger M. Pyre said...

"but I would vote for Obama over McCain any day"

says "Anonymous."

Well good for you! You're **against** the GOP! Brilliant strategy, putting yourself in the false binary mindset, and in the bargain, voting **against** any form of change.

Obama's success proves why the First Amendment seeks to separate Church and State. Obama is a religious messiah. The religion is Democrat Delusion. People supported and voted for Obama because of a religious fantasy, a sort of distorted prophecy of "hope's audacity."

Nobody paid attention to Obama's virtual identity with the Bush/Cheney Agenda. Why would they? You can't be a messiah and a turncoat at the same time, can you?

Somehow, The Obama Prophecy reminds me of Joseph Smith, the Angel Moroni, and the LDS Church.

GREAT essay, Sam Smith!

At November 7, 2008 11:41 AM, Blogger Joseph said...

The good thing about Obama is that he will keep the spirits of Blacks high while they become poorer in the coming years as a result of this economic downturn. The fantasy that everything will soon be alright will discourage many people from rioting a bit longer.
Of course, the delusion ends when they realize that Obama's appointees are no better than Bush's.

At November 7, 2008 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

918, you are correct. Comments DO get deleted here. Sam Smith has himself ADMITTED that he sometimes censors and deletes comments. Pay no mind to the likes of the 1102's here who enjoy persisting in their little delusion that their hero would never engage in censorship. They are quite wrong about that, but it is pointless to argue with them on this topic. Trust your gut instinct on this instead.

At November 8, 2008 12:23 AM, Anonymous Dave said...

Again Sam, as my comment was also deleted, why do you consider hope to be meaningless? Hope and change. When I am out of change, all I have is hope.

What do we do now? We continue to push for change. And, I feel redundant typing this twice, as Ghandi said, "Wee must BE the change we want in the world." We can't just vote and hope that someone else will do it. Voting is the smallest part of the effort for change. When drastic changes are needed, we can't wait for a politician to do it, we have to grab the problem by it's proverbial bubus and change it ourselves.

Don't like global warming? Stop driving and turn your electricity off.

Don't like war? Stop one. Tell people not to fight. Stand outside of a recruiters ofice and turn away the young people going in there.

Don't like telephone spying? Use payphones instead of cellphones.

March to the sea and gather your salt, my progressive friends, because it won't come in on a truck. (For those who don't know, look up Ghandi and salt in google.)

At November 8, 2008 9:51 AM, Anonymous jersey girl said...

Firstly, I'd like to thank you Sam for an excellent article.

Some of these comments are scary to say the least. We are truly living 1984. It seems no one is bothering to listen to the real facts when someone presents them and are instead mesmerized by the pretty pictures on their telescreens. Those who have pointed out his not very liberal ways are accused of being a McCain supporter or even worse, a racist.

Even when confronted with what Obama has actually voted for or espoused during the campaign, which much of it is very right wing, they still chant, "change we can believe in"! .. Really? I mean REALLY???!!!

What if Obama's name wasn't mentioned at the beginning of that list and McCain's name was inserted instead? What on earth do you think these so called "progressives" for change would have to say then?

I rest my case.

At November 9, 2008 8:00 AM, Blogger Samson said...

Nicely said Jersey Girl.

It would indeed be interesting to put that list up in front of 'progressives' without Obama's name or that this is Democratic policy being mentioned. I wonder how many would support that agenda.

People always say that McCain would be better than Obama. The ones who say that never give reasons why. They just chant it like a mantra. They just say it over and over and thus it must be true.

But, when you see a list like the one the excellent Mr. Smith has compiled here, one wonders just how much better than McCain Obama really is.

Of course, I regularly get booted off of progressive web sites for daring to point that out.

At November 9, 2008 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

San sounds like a crabby old 60's counterculture radical who is one step away from complaining about "these young people and their god-damned loud music " and two steps away from waving his cane at them and shouting "get off my lawn, you punk kids..."

Hey, I don't hold it against him. This is (I'm guessing) a guy who came of age at a time when all his heros - JFK, MLK, Bobby Kennedy, were shot down, and who has lived through Nixon, Reagan, Bush the first, and the distastrous Bush II.

People who follow the news with a skeptical eye already discovered everything in this article. Like Sam, we've have kept our mouth shut.

For myself I have no illusions about Obama being able to move the country very far in the direction it needs (single-payer health care, dismantling our overseas empire) -- in fact I am pretty sure that he wouldn't do it even if he had was given a magic want to pass legislation doing those things. But he has done something I haven't seen before - he's run a campaign that built a genuine grass-roots movement of people who learned the ABCs of organizing and taking hold of power, including a lot of young people and a lot of hard-pressed people who really don't have time for that kind of thing, but know how important it is. If Obama-Biden morphed into Bush-Cheney next week, that would still be a force to reckon with.

At November 9, 2008 8:56 AM, Anonymous Adam Shinbrot said...

There's an awful lot of laughter on the left-wing blogs these days about some pundit's comments election night about America being a center-right country.

Laugh while you can, monkey boys. A remarkable confluence of a lousy economy and a charismatic candidate with appeal to the young elected Obama, but the electorate itself (as opposed to the polling population) indeed tends to vote right-wing, and the election of Obama is and was a fluke.

But in the end, the choice was between McCain and Obama, and while Obama is in no way progressive, McCain is positively antedileuvian; I doubt he actually can walk upright for long periods of time. This wasn't by any means the first time we had to choose the lesser of two evils, and it won't be the last, either.

Obama can change and grow in office, and he won't be anywhere near as bad as Dubya, he couldn't be; that's the best we can hope for. This is America, after all, a nominally Democratic but wholly capitalist country, after all.

At November 9, 2008 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used kinesiology to test this for truth. Sorry, but it failed! Shame on you. What's your agenda?

At November 9, 2008 10:04 AM, Anonymous Dave said...

Jersey Girl,

You should channel your energy into persuading a majority of the country that you are correct if you want someone voted into office you can agree with.

Adam Shinbrot,

Obama being elected is most likely due to which voters came out and voted. If you base your perceptions of the country on what you read on the internet, than you may feel inclined to believe that, but if you were to go out in nearly any major urban area, you would find that that is not nearly as true as you believe.

Anyone here have ideas on what to do now to further the progressive movement, or are we just going to complain about Obama not being progressive enough?

At November 9, 2008 11:49 AM, OpenID louisproyect said...

Congratulations, Sam. This is about the best thing I have read on Obama. For those interested in my far more modest offerings:

At November 10, 2008 11:54 PM, Blogger tj said...

The outrage that this article is creating is kind of funny. the premise that Sam puts forth is that we don't know who Barack Obama truly is.

But of course these position where well articulated by Obama throughout the campaign. Not to mention clearly layed out in the audacity of hope.

I think the more remarkable thing about Obama is his consistency. The two main positions that Barack has modified or has simple congered up for political pandering, are his health care program and his belief that Jerusalem should remain the capital of Israel. Barack has continually articulated his desire for a universal health care. However, he's said on numerous occasions that his moderated proposal would be a first step towards that ultimate goal.

The Jerusalem thing is total pandering to American Jews. Almost all of, even the most conservative, Israel Jews have long given in to the idea of retaining Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Sam I think what your more considered about is not that we don't know who Barack Obama really is, which by the way was John McCain's main attack line and which was an attempt to race batting, that Obama doesn't toe the ultra-liberal line.

This is of course not a question of do we know Barack Obama's position. But rather a question of where does the meter lie in American politics. I think the key point that most people miss when thinking about American politics, and one that Obama certainly didn't miss, is that this country contains over 300 million people from every country in the world. This in itself isn't a revelation, but what is missed is that Barack is now in charge of governing all of them. He doesn't simple have the position of governing his base, but of leading a nation, which is a hell of a lot more conservative then the Ultra-left often thinks it is. SO I don't think we should lament a post-modern president, we should rejoice. And find hope in a politics that at its core is post-idealogy and that practices pragmatism over partisanship.

At November 11, 2008 12:57 AM, Blogger MDB said...

Reminds me of an old fable of the snake and the dog crossing a river ... "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up."

... and the old cliche' "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."

There's going to a war soon of the likes we have never seen. This isn't "doom & gloom", when a world that is sick of America's bullsh*t discovers that they've been had again, that nothing is really changing, "change" was just a "word", just as useful as "Mission Accomplished" was for it's time, they'll turn on us, and many of the American people will join them, that is the ones that aren't still standing around with their heads up their ass*s telling us that Obama is going to change.

Change your underwear, your shirt, your socks, your hair-do, because that's all that's going to "change".

No, I take that back, things are about to change, but in no why these hard-core Obamazis think they will.

At November 18, 2008 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

some of what you write sounds plausable, and until i got to the end i was unsure if i had voted correctly. but i know the pena family. i worked for years with richard at st. anthony's in the neuro ward. there is no kkk involvement with that family. and if you are lying about that to make your point what else are you lying about? since you do not name the senator or governor it's hard to check.
and to the fool who thinks women are stupid and wicked who find themselves needing abortions, don't have one. but as a woman who has health problems such as diabetes or kidney disease can lose their life or a vital organ to a pregnancy maybe you could learn a few things before you make your ignorant judgement. a nurse

At November 18, 2008 8:46 AM, Blogger TPR said...

The sentence read "Go back further in history and you'll find, for example, the KKK riddled with members of the establishment including - in Colorado - a future governor, senator and mayor after whom Denver's airport is named."

The mayor was Ben Stapleton in the 1920s and 1930s.

At December 24, 2008 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

obama is sooooooo wrong about basically everything he and i agree on nothing. all those un born babies that he just decided hey lets let them kill the babies WRONG!!!!!! anyone who claims to be christian should have understood how we can not let this man be in charge but lets just pray he gets the wisedom he needs and double thinks a few thing

At January 11, 2009 2:23 PM, Anonymous Jack4Obama said...

Never before in human history are so many people set up to be so disillusioned. Expectations are so high that Barack won’t even get to Day 100 before the serious backlash begins. Check out the “Has Barack Let You Down Yet?” gear at cafepress…it’s already beginning….the guy can’t walk on water (I'll make it a link it to my name for folks who want to check it out...there's some other cool stuff there too.)


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