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Thread: Obama Is Wrong to Push Democratic Party Centrism

  1. #1

    Obama Is Wrong to Push Democratic Party Centrism

    Tuesday, November 26, 2019

    by

    The Progressive

    Obama Is Wrong to Push Democratic Party Centrism

    Obama’s recent comments highlight an important division in the Democratic Party, one that’s prompted the recent emergence of two new candidates: Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts and personal friend of Obama, and Michael Bloomberg.

    by

    Leland Nally

    Former President Barack Obama recently offered some pointed criticism of the Democratic party’s “activist wing,” cautioning candidates to not move too far left and to remain “rooted in reality.”

    “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it,” Obama told an audience in Washington, D.C. “This is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement.”

    This is an odd take from a candidate who famously ran (and won!) on making major change, but it mirrors the feelings of establishment Democrats who remain uneasy of popular candidates including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and progressive policies like Medicare for All.

    Yet Obama’s comments highlight an important division in the Democratic Party, one that’s prompted the recent emergence of two new candidates: Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts and personal friend of Obama, and Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City.

    Patrick says he entered the race over fears of a floundering Joe Biden, and Bloomberg was apparently prompted to run by his personal anxiety over the possible nomination of Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

    As much as the donor class is concerned with preserving old systems, voters are mainly funneling their energy towards building new ones.

    These tensions come down to two competing theories of the Obama presidency. The first holds that Obama pushed the country too far left, causing a political backlash against a progressive administration that was out of touch with the American people. This is a favorite of the donor class and Democratic establishment, which urge a more moderate approach to win back Obama-Trump voters.

    The other theory is almost exactly opposite. It holds that Obama promised “Hope and Change” but instead delivered boilerplate centrism that produced a disillusioned working-class, paving the way for a right-wing populist resurgence. Proponents believe the fabled Obama coalition is still out there, waiting to be ignited by a genuine leftwing platform, as shown by the enthusiasm for Sanders and Warren — candidates who have called for “political revolution” and “big, structural change,” respectively.

    Obama’s call for incrementalism shows he clearly believes the former. I think the evidence proves him wrong.

    The fact is, Trump’s voters did not crave centrism and moderation when they elected him in 2016. Trump, like Obama before him, was the candidate of big-time change. If anyone wanted to tear down “the system,” it was the 2016 Trump voter.

    When asked whether Obama was right in saying that “the average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system,” Sanders replied, “Well, it depends on what you mean by tear down the system.” He went on to note that his political agenda, including raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and guaranteeing health care coverage for all, is “supported by the vast majority of working people.”

    Which system is Obama worried about “tearing down,” exactly? Of the progressive policies on the docket this primary, the only systems I see endangered are insurance companies, corporate profiteers, flagrant threats to a livable planet, and whatever hellish system is the one that puts kids in cages on the U.S.-Mexico border.

    As much as the donor class is concerned with preserving old systems, voters are mainly funneling their energy towards building new ones. In the case of health care, America doesn’t really have a “system” so much as a marketplace that sells health care services. Medicare for All is about finally building a system that works for everybody.

    The Democratic establishment fails to properly recognize where the momentum lies, and Obama’s calls for incrementalism only stand to embolden the status quo and needlessly stifle the most energized portion of his own party.

    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2...party-centrism

  2. #2
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    Let’s be clear, Sanders has a long career of accomplishing nothing.


    At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy, is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper - no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of the point.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by onthebottom View Post
    Let’s be clear, Sanders has a long career of accomplishing nothing.
    1.....he is refered to as the Amendment King for his work in tempering the worst instincts of Congress.

    2. That's because he, along with few others over the years, were the lone voices of dissent to the Military Industrial Complex and Wall St. bowing.

    The fact that 4 years ago he was a nobody and quickly changed the the national conversation as well as inspiring a movement that continues to grow is his main legacy now.

    I don't think you can close the book yet on what he will be responsible for.
    I endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President in 2020.

    It is my hope Tulsi Gabbard becomes his running mate.

  4. #4
    Why wouldn't a centrist former President push for a centrist candidate?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by basketcase View Post
    Why wouldn't a centrist former President push for a centrist candidate?
    He would. But, Obama was a consummate politician, he knows a slow-motion train wreck when he sees one. What he said was exactly what Democrats need to hear. they just don't like it.

    KK

  6. #6
    A three short years ago, Obama was on the cutting edge of progress...
    "I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in," Hillary Clinton

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jcpro View Post
    A three short years ago, Obama was on the cutting edge of progress...
    Maybe to a few shills in the press. And a bunch of rich white suburbanites.

    But his sheen was off on many minority and progressive circles by then.
    I endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President in 2020.

    It is my hope Tulsi Gabbard becomes his running mate.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kkelso View Post
    He would. But, Obama was a consummate politician, he knows a slow-motion train wreck when he sees one. What he said was exactly what Democrats need to hear. they just don't like it.

    KK
    Because running a centrist worked so well last time right?
    I endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President in 2020.

    It is my hope Tulsi Gabbard becomes his running mate.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butler1000 View Post
    Because running a centrist worked so well last time right?
    I don’t think one hateful bitch should condemn all moderates


    At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy, is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper - no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of the point.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by onthebottom View Post
    I don’t think one hateful bitch should condemn all moderates
    I'd say 2000 and 2004 also qualify. The 2008 primary was a rejection as well. Look what Obama campaigned on.

    Why would going back to the same policies that made people think bitting for Trump is a good idea be a good strategy?

    Why return to the same conditions that caused his rise?
    I endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President in 2020.

    It is my hope Tulsi Gabbard becomes his running mate.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcpro View Post
    A three short years ago, Obama was on the cutting edge of progress...
    The claim of Obama being a centrist now that's comical. He was the most liberal Democratic POTUS since Jimmy Carter.

    I shine and rise at the same time.

  12. #12
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    So Liberals are not "Centrist". Who would you consider to be "Centrist" in your opinion??


    On ignore: Disrespectful Individuals!!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by K Douglas View Post
    The claim of Obama being a centrist now that's comical. He was the most liberal Democratic POTUS since Jimmy Carter.
    That's not saying anything because the only other one was Clinton who took the party to the right.

    Obama ran as a progressive then....

    Didn't bring the troops home
    Didn't close Guantanamo Bay
    Deported 3,000,000
    Funded the private immigration centres
    Increased the military budgets
    Did more drone strikes (90% civilian casualty rate)
    Implemented ACA, created by the Heritage Foundation and originally supported my Mitt Romney.
    Went from two wars to seven
    Didn't support gay marriage until the SCOTUS forced him to
    Bailed out the banks while allowing them to foreclose on 5,000,000 homes
    Allowed Wells Fargo to commit 2,000,000 acts of fraud while not looking at a single criminal charge (even Reagan sent over 1000 bankers in the S&L crises to prison)

    Really?
    I endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President in 2020.

    It is my hope Tulsi Gabbard becomes his running mate.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bver_hunter View Post
    So Liberals are not "Centrist". Who would you consider to be "Centrist" in your opinion??
    No centrists aren't liberal. It's a fake label. They moved the Overton window farther to the right. To the point the Dems are more right wing than the Conservatives in Canada.
    I endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President in 2020.

    It is my hope Tulsi Gabbard becomes his running mate.

  15. #15
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    Obama wants to think he is still running the show. Thankfully he is not.
    swollen member

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butler1000 View Post
    No centrists aren't liberal. It's a fake label. They moved the Overton window farther to the right. To the point the Dems are more right wing than the Conservatives in Canada.
    That is your label, and the rest of the right wingers called them "lefties". You guys are really confused.

    The vast majority of the Democrats are centrists like Obama claims!!


    On ignore: Disrespectful Individuals!!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by bver_hunter View Post
    That is your label, and the rest of the right wingers called them "lefties". You guys are really confused.

    The vast majority of the Democrats are centrists like Obama claims!!
    The Death of The Liberal Class, Chris Hedges.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Butler1000 View Post
    Because running a centrist worked so well last time right?
    You know she wasn't a good candidate and that the party cleared the runway for her. I believe Obama gave his tacit approval to Hillary as a reward for her loyalty after the 2008 primary battle.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Butler1000 View Post
    No centrists aren't liberal. It's a fake label. They moved the Overton window farther to the right. To the point the Dems are more right wing than the Conservatives in Canada.
    Obama likely moved the Overton window to the Left. The Overton window moves gently not in great swings. In the U.S. it has tendency to reversion in the short-term. Let me say ACA was a monumental game changer in changing American's minds about universal healthcare.

    (Butler, you just think that government can do a better job of managing the distribution of healthcare.)

    The American electorate is likely more conservative at the median than the Canadian electorate. Our distrust of centralized government is inherent in our political DNA all the way to our founding.

    Canada was more chill. Let's just stay under British rule for a longer time. You were originally more conservative than the U.S. In the early 1800s, we were the radicals.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Butler1000 View Post
    But his sheen was off on many minority and progressive circles by then.
    I bet you Obama still has a lot of pull with African-American voters. Isn't that really behind the African-American attraction to Biden? The appearance that Biden is an extension of the Obama Administration. Isn't that why Kamala tried to take down Obama with the busing issue and other's have criticized Biden's association with the old racist, Southern Democrats back in the 1970s?

  21. #21
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    I think there is a school of thought that to win WI, PA, MI, FL that the Dems can’t run an east coast socialist.


    At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy, is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper - no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of the point.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by WyattEarp View Post
    I bet you Obama still has a lot of pull with African-American voters. Isn't that really behind the African-American attraction to Biden? The appearance that Biden is an extension of the Obama Administration. Isn't that why Kamala tried to take down Obama with the busing issue and other's have criticized Biden's association with the old racist, Southern Democrats back in the 1970s?
    The older voters yes. Younger ones? Polls and college campuses show otherwise.
    I endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President in 2020.

    It is my hope Tulsi Gabbard becomes his running mate.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by onthebottom View Post
    I think there is a school of thought that to win WI, PA, MI, FL that the Dems can’t run an east coast socialist.
    Except you should look up who won those states in the primaries in 2016, and look at the head to head polling matchups that have been done in those states.

    The growing theory in reality is a class of advisor and pundit will be out of govt contracts, and a class of donor without access if the Senator from Vermont wins.

    Look who Obama was speaking to when he said those words. And now he is trying to "clarify" things that he was outed.
    I endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President in 2020.

    It is my hope Tulsi Gabbard becomes his running mate.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by WyattEarp View Post
    You know she wasn't a good candidate and that the party cleared the runway for her. I believe Obama gave his tacit approval to Hillary as a reward for her loyalty after the 2008 primary battle.
    And Biden is?
    I endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for President in 2020.

    It is my hope Tulsi Gabbard becomes his running mate.

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