The converging crises of fascism, endless war, climate change, mass migrations, and economic/racial/gender oppression create unprecedented urgency for united, radical action – in the street and in the voting booth. At previous Left Forums – and over the past many decades – progressives have debated the merits of working to “reform” the Democratic Party versus building a united independent radical political front.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
10 February 2009
“The Obama administration’s position is not change. It is more of the same.”
In just three weeks, the Barack Obama administration has demonstrated its determination to hold on to the same presidential prerogatives claimed by George W. Bush. Bush’s successor evidently wants the same prerogatives and he wants to get them through by the same means. Obama supporters either don’t care or are too deep in denial to admit this now obvious fact.The much talked about Obama administration changes in interrogation policy and intelligence gathering are nothing more than talk. Leon Panetta, CIA director nominee, made it official during his confirmation hearing.
Initially Panetta stated an incontrovertible and well documented fact, that the Bush administration kidnapped people around the world for the purpose of interrogating and torturing them. When republican Senator Kit Bond took Panetta to task for being truthful, Panetta obediently remembered his place, backtracked and told an enormous lie. “I am not aware of the validity of those claims.”
It is time to take not only Obama to task, but faux progressives to task as well. They are the Obamites who claimed they would hold his feet to the fire if we would just shut up and let him get elected. It is time to protest against them too and call them out for being the hypocrites they are.
Among people who call themselves “progressives,” it is common to hear George W. Bush derided as an idiot, a fool, an incompetent. In reality, “Bush is clearly the most successful president in modern history,” having stolen two elections, wrecked the Constitution and pursued wars with no end in sight – all with absolute impunity. The Democrats’ pitiful weaknesses are Bush’s strengths, the reason he prevails. Unless he is impeached, Bush’s legacy will last long beyond his term in office, since “a Democratic president will not undo what Bush has wrought” – not Obama, not Clinton. “The lack of movement politics and dependence on the hapless Democratic party have made the Bush winning streak possible and guarantee that it will continue after he leaves office.” Bush is triumphant. The “opposition” has failed.
The corporate rulers of the United States are determined to have their revenge against Dennis Kucinich, the heroic Ohio congressman who held high the progressive banner in the last two Democratic presidential primary seasons. Not content with having banned Kucinich from a succession of debates and erased his name and platform from the daily media discourse – finally forcing him to withdraw for lack of funds – corporate Democrats now conspire to oust him from his Cleveland congressional seat. Kucinich has been targeted by the same forces, and for the same fate as befell Georgia’s Cynthia McKinney and Alabama’s Earl Hilliard: exile from the Big Business-infested Democratic Party.
Her machinations since Democrats took over the U.S. House in January 2007 show that Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn’t scared of the Republicans – “her eagerness to cooperate with the Bush regime is matched only by her incompetence in leading Congress.” Pelosi and her leadership clique have never had the slightest intention of seriously opposing George Bush, since they are quite content with a status quo of endless war, half of New Orleans abandoned, true universal health care on perpetual hold, and a growing police state. Every constituency of the Democratic Party has been betrayed, with the complicity of Pelosi and her crowd. And there must be pay-back for back-stabbing.
Americans celebrate their nation’s independence on the Fourth of July. On that day in 1776 a group of propertied, nearly all slave holding, white men declared that Britain’s American colonies no longer existed as such. America was an independent nation and would fight to retain that status. How ironic that in July 2007, America is anything but independent from foreign influence.