|July 7, 2013
Obama is about to begin his second term, still saddled with a Republican House waiting to oppose him and attempt to destroy him at every turn. As long as people vote for the Republicans, they will continue this way as their base is solidly ultra right/semi-fascist under the guise of being democratic. Of course, Obama can be expected to be doing some of the bidding of Wall Street under his own guise of helping the middle class. So what should we do? Well blindly opposing Obama in the midst of attempts by so many to destroy his presidency makes little sense, about as much as blindly supporting everything he says or does. I truly believe that he wants to do some good, but is saddled by being head of the Empire and by his belief in capitalism as the only alternative to what's been happening.
Obama is basically a centrist Democrat and has followed this line pretty consistantly up until re-election time, when he turned more left to pick up the many voters who in conscience could not possibly vote for Romney. Obama has pursued the foreign policy of protecting the empire while also trying to moderate some of our behavior and has held out so far from attacking Iran or allowing Israel to do it. If you compare him to what Republicans are proposing, it's a no brainer in terms of who to vote for if you see things only as a choice between a Romney and an Obama.
But are things that matter only a choice between Obama and Romney? Clearly, it makes sense to keep the Republicans out of power positions, as their goal seems to be the complete destruction of the New Deal gains won under presidents like Franklin Roosevelt. But so far, Obama has only acted as about 25% FDR, and the other 75% has been mostly Bill NAFTA Clinton. What will propel things forward will be movements that can mature politically, such as hopefully the 99%ers. Massive pressure is needed from below to push Obama into taking more progressive positions on both domestic and foreign policies.
The Way Forward to Progress
The recent obstinence of the Republicans in terms of gun control outlines a dangerous trend in this country. With people armed with military grade weapons and the open and often racist disrespect the Republicans have encouraged against Obama, we actually have a form of threats and intimidation being served up against those who dare to oppose the right wing agenda of the party. Behind the talk about "the right to bear arms" stands the threat to use them. The fact that the NRA gets equal time against the president and runs hateful ads mentioning Obama's children means that even a president is subject to their threats and intimidation.
Progressives often delude themselves into thinking that it's just making profits for the gun lobby that drives the NRA. In reality they hold a gun to the head of government these days. Why else would they oppose a ban on the sale of assault rifles? It's a loser politically in many states at this point after the murder of 20 kids and their teachers with one, yet they persist.
The government incorporates all the progressive changes won during the Great Depression (social security, unemployment insurance, the recognition of unions and the right to organize, and later under the last FDR type president LBJ, we got medicare and medicaid). And is the real reason the Republicans pretend to be against it. They oppose the section of government that administers these hard fought rights which have been won and paid for and instead worship military spending and gunsby the same government they pretend to hate so much. Dumbed up by the corporate owned media like almost no place in the world, workers in America have neither a party nor an organization they can rely upon these days to represent their own separate interests. So the only option is to organize independently.
However, what then is our attitude towards Obama? Objectively, we must walk a tight rope between him and the Republicans. He made a tremendous speech from the heart at his second innaguration and we can only hope that he lives up to some of it. His second term goals seem reasonable compared to those of his opposition. Perhaps more of the real Obama will emerge in the second term. He has actually and finally attempted to reach out to his millions of suppporters on his email list asking them to become more active in politics and to join a group he has founded. This is something he would not, or could not, do in his first term. And the Republicans seemed to take full advantage of this. Like a shark smelling blood.
To not support Obama on some ocassions invites a complete Republican take over. I for one am not of the opinion that worse = better for us. And much of the opposition to Obama comes from reactionary and racist directions. Romney and Ryan would have cost lives, both here and abroad, had they entered the White House. We must be very careful when we oppose Obama to separate ourselves from the rabid and racist opposition. We do not have the luxory at this stage to say "a pox on both their houses." Fascism awaits in the wings waiting to rear its ugly head. Especially if we remain passive. The delay of aid to victims of hurricane Sandy should give a clear picture of what it means to have a Republican controlled House. In addition many folks will not understand or appreciate the difference between our criticisms of Obama and the right's racist nonsense. There is no chance of moving a Republican president to be progressive, except by force. There exists some possibility to push Obama more in our own direction in a peaceful and progressive way.