‘What the Hell is Wrong with Progressives? I’m Sick of It …’

by on August 19, 2008 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights, Economy, Election, Organizing

‘I’m sick of progressives protesting Obama because of his imperfections.’

by EvilAsh / MyDD(direct democracy) / Tue Aug 19, 2008

On the horizon is perhaps the single most important election of the past thirty years. Our economy, military, infrastructure, legal structure, and foreign alliances are all literally falling apart. The nation that created the U.N. is now seen as a larger danger than Iran, Russia, and North Korea by a majority of the world, including Europe. In a nation of laws, those laws have been broken and openly ridiculed by those who are supposed to uphold them. Our neglected infrastructure already has a body-count that will likely grow. Our military is far past the breaking point, only held together by the sheer willpower of our men and women in uniform who are carrying ever-heavier burdens. Our economic future is bleak, with no signs of recovery for at least a year or more.

Our president is willing to ignore the Constitution, lie to suit his needs, invade foreign countries without cause, and ignore those in need. In the past eight years, the top 1% has grown exponentially wealthier, while the bottom 90% have struggled to stay even.

One of two men will be the new President in five months. There are two choices, and only two. Obama, or McCain.

McCain doesn’t give a damn about the economy. His lead economic advisor believes that those of us struggling to stay afloat are a bunch of whiners. (The man was fired, but now is back with the campaign.) McCain thinks the housing crisis is our faults, and if we would just stop taking vacations or get a second job, then we would be fine. In effect, he believes that the millions threatened with the loss of their homes are just too lazy to do something about it. (He doesn’t realize, apparently, that most of us haven’t been able to afford a vacation in years, and many work 70 to 80 hours per week at their FIRST job.)

On our infrastructure, he has nothing to say, except that he would pull money from THAT fund to give a tax break to the oil companies in the hopes that they would give us a break at the pump out of the goodness of their hearts. He has repeatedly said, after thirty years in elected office, that he doesn’t know much about the economy. You’d think in all that time that he might have . . . I don’t know, overheard something at a party.

McCain loves the military, but only career military. Because he certainly isn’t interested in helping our vets to get the same benefits offered to our men and women in uniform after WW2. His reason for opposing education for our troops . . . they might leave the military to pursue higher education. And heaven forbid giving our troops a future outside of the military.

On legal issues, all you need to do is look to Bush. McCain has embraced Bush’s lawbreaking, and he endorses the anti-constitutional measures Bush has taken over the past seven years. He promises to continue torture, warrantless-wiretapping, and domestic spying. This from a man who has sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution since his first day in Annapolis is both egregious and deeply dishonorable.

Obama’s policies are progressive, even if some of his personal beliefs sometimes fall short. He is pro gay-rights, pro-choice, and for getting out of Iraq as soon as reasonably possible. He has a progressive tax plan, he is for universal health care, he is aggressively for renewable energy, he is pro-union, he is for strong international alliances. Obama has led in the polls for months. He still leads today, although that lead has grown thin recently.

And yet, what do I see when I read progressive blogs? What do I see when I read progressive-leaning publications like the Huffington Post? I see diaries lambasting Obama for not being progressive enough. I see articles screaming about how he will lose without Hillary. I see diarists claiming that he has lost their support over THEIR pet cause, whether that be FISA, Gay Marriage, or any of a hundred hot-button issues. Not because he is opposed to their cause, but because he isn’t for their cause ENOUGH.

I am not arguing that these issues are not important. EVERY issue is important, and I disagree with Obama on many of them. And if there was one chance in one million that John McCain were more progressive on ANY OF THEM, I might understand one’s reticence to throw their full support behind Obama.

But that isn’t the argument. I haven’t heard ONE story on how McCain will throw his support behind gay marriage. I haven’t heard ONE story on how McCain is going to end warrantless-wiretapping and reinstate the rule of law. I haven’t heard ONE argument on how McCain is going to help unions or the poorest among us.

Because, for progressives, this battle isn’t between Obama and McCain. This battle is between Obama and a magical super-progressive candidate that does not now, nor has ever existed. Obama is held to a simple standard, the standard of perfection. When he dares to be mortal, he is eviscerated by progressives for his failures.

And I, for one, am sick of it.

I’m sick of it because politics is a zero sum game. A no-vote for Obama in protest of his imperfections is a yes-vote for McCain and his active hostility of everything all of us hold dear. Im sick of the glee that some PUMA’s get from every bit of bad news about Obama, willing to watch the nation burn under President McCain because of their hurt feelings. I’m sick of it because while we naval-gaze and write concern-diaries about how Obama isn’t always 100% flawless in every way, the other side is gearing up to finish off their demolition of our nation. I’m sick of it because the only way we can lose this election is if progressives continue to do EXACTLY what we’ve been doing.

Because while we bitch and moan about OUR candidate, the folks on the other side are teaching themselves to LOVE theirs. They will do so with willful disregard of fact, with purposeful self-delusion. And if they can’t quite make the leap to LOVE McCain, then they will certainly find a way to HATE Obama. And right now, we’re helping them.

I don’t suggest we make ourselves in the self-deluded-republican image. That’s insane. But we can and we MUST take all things into context. We must stop looking for fault in Obama, and look to the positive. If he misspeaks, look for WHY he misspoke, rather than rail on him for doing so. And, when attacked, defend Obama with every ounce of passion we can summon. When Obama falls short of perfection, it is up to US to shore him up and lend our support. Because, when given the choice between the two, Obama is THE progressive candidate. And, imperfect as he may be, he’s the only one we’ve got.

Which makes him OUR candidate, and our only hope for a functioning country over the next four years.

[Go here for the original.]

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Oli (Newtopian) August 19, 2008 at 5:58 pm

First of all, nobody is downplaying the importance of this election. The problem with the so-called “progressives” who support the Obama campaign is that they fail to recognize the importance of direct action. We cannot wait for our expectations to be met by simply casting a vote for a candidate who is running under the rhetoric of an establishment party which led us into and continues to fund a endless occupation, does nothing to curb the domestic spying programme and justifies the propaganda machine that is the war on terror. What I am tired of is people having to settle for candidates and policies that don’t meet our demands and then having to be criticized any time we decide to think out of the two-party system box. If your idea of democracy is having to conform to the standards of a failed two-party system, then you don’t know shit about what it means to live in a free country.

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