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Old politics in new bottles

vastleft's picture

Glenn cannily opines about something we've been talking about for the last year or so: meet the new new politics, same as the old new politics.

I do disagree with Glenn on one thing, which is his presentation of several either/ors — such as closing Guantanamo or not, repealing DOMA or not — as proper tests of Obama's progressive fealty.

Closing Gitmo isn't the same as ending the kangaroo-court tribunals and related debased forms of American "justice." Repealing DOMA isn't the same as legalizing gay marriage. Even "withdraws from Iraq" could mean any of several scenarios (such as leaving all our mercenaries in Iraq) that would provide bragging rights but false or insufficient change.

As America's Anti-Manichean-in-Chief, Glenn surely realizes that Obama may quite possibly do a few high-road symbolic acts and still not bring us serious progressive reforms. If we over-invest in those symbolic metrics, then — if it turns out that Obama cares what progressives think to some heretofore unseen extent — we may well get those and little else.

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amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

when Democrats agree to sacrifice what they claim their beliefs are and to show contempt for the "Left,"

yup.

the difference with Obama is that he is pretending to care about what everyone says and makes a show of "listening" and lies openly like Bush/Rove about the value of it -- as he did with LGBT folks just last week about appointments -- and with those bs "house parties" on health -- while not at all intending to act on anything he hears from those on the "left".

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Bet Everything on The Bottom, Not the Top -- on a chart from Nate Silver --

... He uses it to prove that Obama is a progressive. I think the problem here isn't what Obama stands for its what he'll fight for. There's an old John Edwards video where he points that things aren't going to change much if you replace a bunch of corporate republicans with corporate democrats. He even used the example of how republicans, with the usual sell out Democratic Party members, stopped healthcare reform but managed to push through the Horrible "Let's Compete with Slave Labor" NAFTA. If we follow this theory, then everything at the bottom of that list is likely to pass, with very little at the very top, or more progressive laws ever getting a hearing ...