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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Has Obama left the Left or will the Left leave him?

to see I'm not alone take a look at this article.

The pundits seem to think that the last few weeks, and Obama's problems with his base; the reversal on FISA, gun-control, the "pivots" on the death-penalty, and rumblings that he will probably pull a McCain on his Iraq position. And don't forget his NAFTA (just plain) flop in the primaries.
But the Left's going to turn out in record numbers for Obama right? I mean all that Internet money raised? The excited college kids? Wrong. Obama had excited the idealist Liberal core of the democratic party like no other politician in a generation. He was supposed to be the first liberal president since Kennedy, or more correctly Roosevelt (lest we forget or even dare suggest that it was a liberal with socialist policies that saved this country).
The problem is grounded in the myth that the center leans to the right. That may have been true in the 70's but its changed over the last few decades. According to polls, the reality is that the center is far more to the left than the media, the pundits, or politicians would like to have you believe. The majority of Americans favor withdrawal from Iraq, universal health care, and when the spineless Democratic congress took impeachment off the table when the took over in 06, the majority of Americans (over 50%, compared to the 20% who were in favor of it when articles of Impeachment were actually brought against Nixon) polled favored impeachment of Bush and Cheney. In fact, on FISA, nearly 60% of Americans polled felt that there should be no immunity for the Telecoms.
Even after the disastrous failure of this Democratic congress that was elected to pass liberal policies; to end the war in Iraq and to fix healthcare, but then decided to do nothing but continue to enable Bush; even now that tsame congress has an approval rating lower than Dick Cheney, for some reason Obama thinks he has to do likewise, to move to the right to win. While he's perpetuating the myth that a liberal cannot win the presidency, this also raises a series of ethical questions among the idealistic left. If the democratic party just wants to win, ideals and principles be damned, then why would the idealistic left even participate in the process? The media and pundits are telling us that this won't affect Obama, that his base doesn't really care about this sort of thing so long as they get into the White House. But to the scores of college kids who set up the Obama grassroots networks, did web work, the diverse fundraising, this is exactly the type of issue they care about and the very type of politicking that they were hoping they were working against. This is not some cute little tiff. And they won't vote for McCain. But it is quite easy to go back to being apathetic.
Either there is a dangerous disconnect between the leaders of the Democratic party, who are still rolling over on issues anytime their patriotism is challenged or are called the "L" word, or Obama and the Dem leadership is taking for granted the very people who got them this far.

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