Go Right Young Man

And we were too deferential to our most zealous supporters. During election season, Congress sought to placate those on the extreme left and motivate the base — but that meant that our final efforts before the election focused on trying to allow gays in the military, change our immigration system and repeal the George W. Bush-era tax cuts. These are legitimate issues but unlikely to resonate with moderate swing voters in a season of economic discontent. - Evan Bayh

Now that the President has returned from his 200 million dollar a day vacation the pressure will surely intensify for him to move to “the center”. What exactly does that mean? The thing that always gets me is that people say this as if this or any other Democratic President since LBJ has ever been pushing a truly progressive agenda. What these people call left most progressives consider center right. The wing-nuts have succeeded in moving the definition of a liberal to just left of their most conservative member. What this has done is cause the Dems to change their agenda from what was once truly progressive to this watered-down version of Republicanism.

I can’t imagine what the country would look like today if FDR and LBJ had not been pushing real progressive reform during periods when others were telling them to move to the right. The refrain from the right and the wealthy will always be don’t upset the status quo the system will fix itself if left to its own devices. Now you may disagree with some of the components of their agendas but who can argue that these brave men laid the foundation and increased the middle-class in this country. Democrats used to stand for groundbreaking and innovative thought to some of our most difficult challenges. Today, I don’t see that willingness for innovation or the bravery to even offer new ideas and solutions.

Let’s be clear moving to the center has never solved any major problem facing this nation. What moving to the center has done is insured that nothing gets done and this is exactly what the wing-nuts want. But why would so-called Democrats call for a move to the center? The answer is simple the corruptive influence of money in our system has had a negative effect on both parties. There is no longer one party that is willing to address the systemic problems that allow the wealthiest to profit at unprecedented rates while the rest of us are lucky to just break even.

The Bush Tax Cut debate will demonstrate for all to see how this phenomenon has affected our political system. The mere fact that we are having a discussion about whether to borrow money from China to pay for tax-cuts to give to the wealthiest 2% of our population speaks for itself. The mere fact that this President who campaigned vigorously against this very prospect is now considering allowing a compromise that will keep them in place is ludicrous. How could you not fight for this when the majority of Americans are opposed to it? This speaks volumes to what is meant by moving to the center and of where the center is. How is this the center and of what universe?

The time has come for progressives to do what the teabaggers did to the Republicans and that was to give them the balls to stand for what they believed in. When many were telling the Republicans that they would have to move to the center following two disastrous elections the teabaggers and their handlers would have none of that. The teabaggers didn’t come up with any new ideas for the Republicans but they forced them to stand on their principles-as misguided as they were. This is not the time to retreat back to some center-right agenda. The problems facing this country are too large and too important. It was the center-right that came up with a stimulus that was too small and misguided to address the problem it was created to fix. It was the center-right who came up with the debt commission recommendations that will put more burdens on the poor and middle-class to reduce the deficit. It is the center-right who believes that tax breaks and outsourcing are good for American workers and not unions. It is the center-right who wants us to believe that 8-9% unemployment is the new normal and we will just have to get use to it. It was the center-right who came up with a mandated healthcare bill that gave away the store to the same industries that were creating the problems.

After the 1994 midterm, when Democrats lost the House and Senate, Bill Clinton was told to "move to the center." He obliged by hiring the pollster Dick Morris, declaring the "era of big government is over," abandoning much of his original agenda, and making the 1996 general election about nothing more than V-chips in televisions and school uniforms....Oddly, though, after Republicans suffer losses in the first midterms they pay no attention to voices telling them to move to the center. If anything, Ronald Reagan and the two Bushes moved further right. - Robert Reich

Mr. President there comes a time in everyone’s life when despite everyone around them screaming not to do something you have to stand on what you believe in the innermost place of your heart. That time is now. You must not give in to the “voices of reason” because they are not being reasonable they are being accommodating to those who have your failure as their number one goal. How does one negotiate with someone whose sole mission is your destruction? Is it victory if they do it quickly or without pain? Is it better to lose clinging to what you believe in or winning by believing in nothing?

“Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation.” - William Lyon Phelps

The Disputed Truth

Tags: President Obama, Center-Right, Evan Bayh, Robert Reich, President Clinton, teabaggers, teabaggers (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

I call bullshit

That trip didn't cost that much. And it made a ton of very important friends.  The whole focus on the trip... that's stupid.

The real focus is on the fact that 4 BILLION dollars were just spent no less than three weeks ago - to buy off an election . 85% of that lobbyist cash went straight into the GOP. No surprise , really - the lobbyists are just as afraid of the TEA party as they are of losing their meat puppet GOP . The lobbyists want fake debate, people arguing endlessly - and nothing to get done so they can corrupt the country.

The best agenda is a sort of pick and choose - I agree that it's time to fight - but what you should fight for is the concept , first, that the Lame Duck - is just that. A lame duck.

 

It's not. This has been the hardest working congress in history - and it would be a fitting end to the congress that drained the swamp of the bush republicans,  passed tons of reform - and basically honored every promise that was ever made - to go out into the interim period between November and December of 2010, in the final days of its existence. 

The expression lame duck was originally applied in 18th century Britain to bankrupt businessmen, who were considered as "lame" in the sense that the impairment of their powers rendered them vulnerable, like a game bird injured by shot. By the 1830s, the usage had been extended to officeholders whose service already had a known termination date. In current American usage, for instance, a President is considered a "lame duck" not only if he has been defeated for re-election, or after his successor has been elected, but also whenever he cannot be, or is known not to be, a candidate for reelection.

Members of Congress in similar circumstances are also considered "lame ducks."  And  may accordingly well be applied to Members who are known not to be seeking re-election as well as to those who have been defeated. In particular, however, after an election of Congress, all the Members who did not gain reelection can be described as lame ducks until the term of the new Congress starts.

When the previously sitting Congress, which includes these Members, meets in a post-election session, this session is called a lame duck session as well.

 

And historically they haven't gotten much done. So. Here's what really needs to happen. And it can happen, esp. with this congress.

 

1. Act on the findings of the deficit commission. Set the country on a straight path to reduce the deficit.

 

2. Finish the work on the bush era tax cut issue.  Work that top line bullshit about how the top two percent really don't need a tax cut - into a new dialogue about why the hell someone who is making 250k or more suddenly - according to the GOP - is someone we all have to think about as a "small business". If it is a small business, then let's talk about structure. Is banking all the money into your personal account the best way to go? No way.  Set things in motion so that if people are just hoarding cash they're going to pay a penalty.

 

3. Help the Unions by doing the card check thing. Unions need to seriously evolve. Card check is a way to go.  Its a good first step to getting the unions to finally be on as members of the board of directors, like they are in Germany.  But for now card check is huge. And the GOP loves to bash unions so it's not something to do in the next congress - and it makes a good stable basis for business growth - employee owned companies usually kick ass.

 

4.  Some. Any. Environmental legislation. Let's face it these are dangerous times - seriously , seriously wicked climate change is in the works. People say - wow, there's no big giant hurricane so why is it an issue. Trust me on this point. It is. I know someone who is putting on their tombstone, "I tried to warn them about climate change"... the only catch is, will the hot windborne sand scrub the writing off?   Even the pentagon has issued private internal memoranda about the effects of climate change - and are preparing for the worst - their spec says global chaos can result. You have two weeks supply  of food in the grocery stores all across america. Watch what happens if just the least environmental glitch shows up. Its way better to be proactive about this. The trend is real.

 

5. Don't ask. Don't Tell. Good lord. What a stupid policy. There will be a finding, in the next few days - as to what troops believe about the policy. But this is a modern navy, army and air force. We're a rapid strike, highly technological force. We land F16's on carrier decks. We launch predators in the sky. This is a new world. I think we'll find that the modern armed forces can absorb a repeal of this policy. The Congress could look at it.

 

6. Finally, a serious look at improving healthcare reform - to the point of institutionalizing a national health service. No matter how you slice it, if you're opposed to healthcare reform - you're in the pockets of big pharma.  You're with the lobbyists. This single issue more than anything defines the fight - in the early part of 2010, the big lobbyists spent 25 million dollars on a big campaign to get people to try to hate it - and despite all their catchy catch phrases - they ended up with still, a majority of people supporting it - even the flawed reforms that came out of the senate. More and more people are going to realize how important healthcare reform is - and how much better things are under reform. I say. Give them more of what they like!

 

Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm - ? No way.  I at least agree with that. But the whole concept of anyone being on vacation - in the hardest working congress in history.

That's what I call bullshit on.  I would agree with anyone who says fight. It's the best strategy.

 

by Trey Rentz 2010-11-17 09:48AM | 0 recs
RE: I call bullshit

The vacation thing was sarcasm.

by Forgiven 2010-11-17 10:31AM | 0 recs
RE: I call bullshit

Ok, I apologize. But still you have to be very careful about the GOP. They deal with some pretty toxic stuff. They have out of work , failed hollywood entertainers on staff now - and those guys constantly use this kind of catch phrase mentality.

VOLDEMORT FOR PRESIDENT

 

:)

 

by Trey Rentz 2010-11-17 10:37AM | 0 recs
"What the Teabaggers Did"

The time has come for progressives to do what the teabaggers did to the Republicans and that was to give them the balls to stand for what they believed in. When many were telling the Republicans that they would have to move to the center following two disastrous elections the teabaggers and their handlers would have none of that. The teabaggers didn’t come up with any new ideas for the Republicans but they forced them to stand on their principles-as misguided as they were. This is not the time to retreat back to some center-right agenda. The problems facing this country are too large and too important. It was the center-right that came up with a stimulus that was too small and misguided to address the problem it was created to fix. It was the center-right who came up with the debt commission recommendations that will put more burdens on the poor and middle-class to reduce the deficit. It is the center-right who believes that tax breaks and outsourcing are good for American workers and not unions. It is the center-right who wants us to believe that 8-9% unemployment is the new normal and we will just have to get use to it. It was the center-right who came up with a mandated healthcare bill that gave away the store to the same industries that were creating the problems.

This paragraph is hash; until "progressives" define a "progressive agenda" that has some actual policies and proposals attached to it ("defending the middle class" is not an agenda, remember?), then "what we stand for" is meaningless. Complaining about "center-right" is a way to deflect from the left's real problem: an abandonment of the core issues we should be pushing: poverty issues, and helping those most in need.

"Teabagging" worked, such as it did, because a core group of conservative voters have made abundantly clear that they have beliefs - however odd - and a willingness to vote out people who do not support them. There is no analagous show of strength on the part of the left, who rubber stamp the exact same people (70 year old Nancy Pelosi; 80 year old Charlie Rangel; Robert Byrd literally until the day he died; John Dingell... we could go on. And on) who have done little to define or advance an actual progressive agenda. Democrats claim - literally after the 2008 election - to be people in favor of change... yet no change of any consequence has happened at the most senior levels of the national party.

When I see a hot headed lefty activist run against a longstanding, do little sitting Congressperson (preferably a longterm "liberal lion") in a heavily Democratic district, then, and only then, will I know that anything like "Tea Party Anger" has engaged the left. As long as "progressives" see only "Blue Dogs" as needing to be put down, they are not asking themselves the hardest, least pleasant and most painful questions: why are we assuming that some of these people are actually "on our side"? And, what, really, do we hope to accomplish?

I'm a liberal and a lifelong Democrat. I don' think we need to be the "center-right" of anything; but I think if we want liberalism to succeed, we need to be clear about what that looks like and how we hope to achieve it. That's the failure. That's our problem. And blaming the others won't solve it. The fault we can fix lies in ourselves.

by nycweboy1 2010-11-17 10:13AM | 0 recs
Obama is so much more LBJ than FDR

One term is plenty.

 

 

by donkeykong 2010-11-17 12:57PM | 0 recs

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