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Top Story: Obama’s Winnings and the Unreasonable Liberal

“If you want to pull the party, the major party that is closest to the way you’re thinking to what you’re thinking, you must, you must show them that you’re capable of not voting for them. If you don’t show them you’re capable of not voting for them they don’t have to listen to you, I promise you that. I worked within the Democratic Party. I didn’t have to listen to anything on the left while I was working in the Democratic Party, because the left had nowhere to go.” – Lawrence O’Donnell, quoted in the film “An Unreasonable Man”

NOBODY KNOWS who will win tomorrow. That’s a matter of clairvoyance. But what the electoral map has shown is that President Obama is on the cusp of reelection, perhaps in a big way. If he does, he will win because he’s a Democratic president, running on the values of the party. People will vote for him not simply because of who he is, because it’s not 2008 anymore, but because of the party’s values he is supposed to represent.

It’s not an accident that Mitt Romney glommed on to President Obama’s foreign policy ideas in their debate together. In fact, Mitt Romney has attempted to Etch-a-Sketch his way out of the right-wing hole he dug for himself since he won the nomination. After paying homage to Mike Huckabee and the extreme right, Romney said abortion wouldn’t be “part of my agenda.” He even moved toward Obama on health care.

I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like. [Swampland]

It’s all smoke and mirrors, campaigning, telling voters what they want to hear so a candidate can get elected.

Remember President Obama in Osawatomie, Kansas, what I called “channeling Occupy Wall Street”? Trying to lay claim to Theodore Roosevelt and his a renewed “New Nationalism” at a time when Democrats were feeling low and disgruntled about his presidency. The spirit represented in that speech is what gave birth to the auto bailout that will likely be the reason he wins Ohio and a second term, if it happens, even if later he turned his back on unions as they fought to the death in Wisconsin while President Obama turned his gaze away.

America is not a nation of the 1%. Simpson, Bowles, Rattner, Walker, Dimon, and Trump don’t create jobs like the 99% do. Try to have a Christmas season without us. It wouldn’t be jolly.

America’s CEOs have a notion about how to fix the “fiscal crisis” that includes a plan to bombard politicians with phone calls, because they listen to fat cats making threats. Their arrogance has led them to ban together to school Congress, while expecting the American people to wait in the wings like you always do, seemingly willing to accept what will be delivered from on high. Changes to programs that the 1% don’t need, based on cuts the 99% don’t want. But they have the money and the power and they will exert by force their plan, expecting the President to go along.

If Mitt Romney would win it wouldn’t alter Wall Street’s 1% plan one whit. Instead, it would make it easier, because what awaits on the Democratic side is the unreasonable liberal.

President Obama is in a very precarious position. At 47-48% or so in the polls, that’s the tipping point for an incumbent to lose. The enthusiasm of ’08 is a memory, with many activist Democrats and progressives, the ones who do the political trench work, disillusioned. When Obama let Romney back into the race at the first debate it confirmed to many that his heart, head and political soul just wasn’t in it, because it wasn’t.

However, the thought of putting Mitt Romney in the White House is as unpalatable to Democrats, progressives, Greens, libertarians and independents as voting for a second term for Barack Obama is for many of these same people.

Voting Democratic remains much easier, even if people don’t know what it means anymore.

Part of that is due to what Democrats and progressives allowed to happen, forgetting the strategy represented by the Lawrence O’Donnell quote at the top, which the Tea Party movement taught while “the left” was sleeping.

No matter what President Obama did through policy he paid no price, except from the right. The Tea Party not only took it to Republicans, but they took it to President Obama in 2010. It’s been a long way back.

But what will come next if Obama wins?

The data, however, suggest just the opposite – that both candidates have benefited in the general election every time they have taken a left turn. President Obama was in deep political trouble 15 months ago when he cut the closest thing he could to a “grand bargain” with House Speaker John A. Boehner to slash the federal budget by trillions, and he did nothing for his popularity nine months earlier when he extended the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy. Not until he began talking like a populist did he begin picking up steam in the polls. Indeed, one of the most powerful messages the Democrats chose not to use in the 2010 midterm elections – which would have supported a policy that was extremely popular then and remains as popular now – was a simple message on taxes I tested nationally, which won in every region and with every demographic, including Tea Partyers: “In tough times like these, millionaires ought to be giving to charity, not getting it.” – Drew Weston, “America’s Leftward Tilt?”

When looking at Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama, most Democrats and progressives have no problem choosing the Democratic option.

As I wrote in January for U.S. News and World Report and still believe, Democrats and progressives would have been wise to amass and challenge Obama on policy, just like the Tea Party has done to Republicans. This wouldn’t have taken a primary challenge. However, activists inside the Democratic Party ducked the responsibility and missed the opportunity, which just might have made Barack Obama a better candidate in 2012. They missed that chance to do exactly what Lawrence O’Donnell said is necessary to get the party you identify most strongly with you to listen.

If President Obama wins reelection he won’t have a mandate, but he will have CEOs and the freedom of no political repercussions to cut deals that sowed the seeds of his party’s disillusionment going back to the health care sell out, as well as the 2010 election. A time when he let the right win, which continued until Obama had to get reelected again.

That led him to singing the liberal songs of the middle class, the auto bailout and partially universal health care.

The only thing standing in a newly elected President Obama’s path will be unreasonable Democrats and progressives, but especially the liberals who won’t owe him anything, but can finally take the fight to him if the toughness and tightness of the 2012 election battle teaches him the wrong lessons, leading him to follow the CEOs.

Many of you will likely vote Democratic tomorrow, but if the Democrat wins the presidency, and if you believe in the principles of the party, you’ll have to prepare to fight the person you’ve elected, because of what may already be sown too deeply into the policy narrative, because the battle was joined too late.

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23 Responses to Top Story: Obama’s Winnings and the Unreasonable Liberal

  1. Art Pronin November 5, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    I think Obama will win. I just hope the fight is finally had from labor etc on protecting ss and medicare from obama and his simpson crowd. maybe its too late, maybe not. but we must have it. we must.
    and if labor really i splotting this battle it will take them getting serniors into the streets, into local media etc to put the pressure on. something wicked this way comes

  2. secularhumanizinevoluter November 5, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    “Many of you will likely vote Democratic tomorrow, but if the Democrat wins the presidency, and if you believe in the principles of the party, you’ll have to prepare to fight the person you’ve elected, because of what may already be sewed too deeply into the policy narrative, because the battle was joined too late.”

    I am perfectly fine with that. The alternative…Mittens winning…means the fight is over…for women, for gays, for America.

    • jjamele November 5, 2012 at 7:35 am #

      Oh, please. The most depressing thing about this election is how little is stake with these candidates. This “the Earth will crumble into a cinder if the other guy wins” stuff is so. Very. Played.

      • Sandmann November 5, 2012 at 8:06 am #

        “The most depressing thing about this election is how little is stake with these candidates.”

        Making the ‘two sides of the same coin’ case is one thing, but handing the GOP a win after all of the bullshit they continue to pull would simply validate the ugliest tactics these cretins use.

        • jjamele November 5, 2012 at 9:06 am #

          I agree- but handing Obama a win also validates the murder of innocents in Afghanistan via cowardly, immoral use of Predator Drones. It also validates four years of capitulation and gives a thumbs-up to the Grand Bargain, which will be Grand only to the 1%. It also endorses the total abandonment of unions and the middle class.

          So, to hell with both of them. Both parties are full of BS artists, neither deserve my vote, and I’m immune to the endless The Sky Is Falling crap I’ve been hearing at least since 1980. If Romney wins the sun will rise on Wednesday and women will still have to travel hundreds of miles in many parts of the country to get an abortion. If Obama wins we’ll still be a nation firmly in the grip of the very wealthy, and the middle class will still be a few months away from getting totally screwed over. Oh, and whoever wins, the Military Industrial Complex will continue to be well fed, and we’ll continue to throw our weight around all over the world and then wonder “why don’t they like us?”

          The idea that there’s a lot at stake here with the choice of Obama and Romney is downright laughable.

          • jinbaltimore November 5, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

            yup

      • secularhumanizinevoluter November 5, 2012 at 11:17 am #

        “Oh, please. The most depressing thing about this election is how little is stake with these candidates.”

        Really….well I know two…or rather I USED to know two young women that might disagree with you if they could…but they can’t…cause they’re DEAD! And mittens and his sociopathic assmonkey sidekick want to take American woman back to the good old days when women died from infections they developed with from illegal abortions…or then there’s my brother…oh yeah…he’s DEAD too due to 3 years of undiagnosed symptoms from abdominal cancer.
        Don’t vote for President Obama if that’s your choice but “The most depressing thing about this election is how little is stake with these candidates.”? The most depressing thing about this election is the moronic utterances like that which show just how dim and disconnected from reality some of the electorate is.

        • jjamele November 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

          I’m sure there’s some sense in that illiterate spittle you insist on replacing English with in each post, but I’ve long since wearied of trying to wade through your garbage to find it. Seriously, show us Side B already, ok? Because your act has gotten really, really old.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

            As opposed to your everything about Obama sucks line? You are just SUCH an UBERprogressive ain’t you!

          • Isis November 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

            Well today I will just stick with cheerleading secularhumanizinevoluter. Really like that screen name by the way.

            Does not add anything to the debate but considering how often he has come under attacks this week, just wanted to say that some of us actually like to reading what he writes, understand why he distorts English to give more depth to his comments, and mostly agree with him,

            When I stick with saying “crazy” and “wingnut”, he goes for UBERchristofascist or something close which manages to have more depth in my view.

            So…You GO Secular, tell them and don’t let them shut you up!

          • Isis November 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

            Just to clarify my post I meant that my cheerleading does not add anything to the debate…..miss the preview function!

          • secularhumanizinevoluter November 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

            Thank you Isis…kinda like that handle too!

    • james richardson November 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      However, activists inside the Democratic Party ducked the responsibility and missed the opportunity, which just might have made Barack Obama a better candidate in 2012.

      This is exactly what pisses me off about the narcissists in the left. The people who are saying true changes can only happen through them did nothing when they had the chance. And they continue to say that they and they refused to do last time. But now that they have absolutely no leverage they’ll get it done for sure.

      People are voting for “President Obama” tomorrow. That is not the same thing as voting Democratic.

  3. TPAZ November 5, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    I just spent 2:02:22 watching An Unreasonable Man (Ralph Nader) one day before the 2012 presidential election. Taylor Marsh, thank you and God bless.

    • Taylor Marsh November 5, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      It is a REMARKABLE political film, TPAZ, so worth the time. I’m pleased you found it so.

      Back at you, my friend.

  4. casualobserver November 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Hell, we even did better than you guys in voting for ideological principles over party loyalty and we don’t spend all year yammering about it………

    A CNN Ohio poll released Nov. 2 had Obama at 47 percent, Republican nominee Mitt Romney at 44 percent and Johnson at 5 percent

    • secularhumanizinevoluter November 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

      “Hell, we even did better than you guys in voting for ideological principles over party loyalty and we don’t spend all year yammering about it………”

      So how’s that Mitt da Twit/Lyin Ryan thingy workin out for ya?

    • james richardson November 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

      It’s true, the left does like to bitch more. We’re thinkers, not doers.

  5. Cujo359 November 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    Frederick Douglass once observed, in essence, that however much injustice people will put up with is how much will exist. What the last four years have taught me is just how much injustice most progressives, or liberals, will put up with. The answer is just about any amount that “their” party will mete out, as long as The Other Guys manage to look just a little bit scarier. As long as it doesn’t affect them, pretty much any level of injustice is fine.

    The only things progressives have shown themselves to be good at in the last couple of decades is calling other people racists, and telling themselves they’re the adults in the room for putting up with this.

    Whatever happens today, it’s not going to have much effect on the next few years. Those consequences are already laid out for us. There’s just another two to four years of bad, followed by more so-so economic news and a gradual erosion of every other thing that makes this country special. The reason I think that is true is what I’ve observed about the last four years – progressives by and large will put up with it, and they’ll do their best to denigrate or insult anyone who tries anything beyond the conventional.

    Until that changes, nothing else will.

    BTW Taylor, I’m surprised that O’Donnell would admit what he did in that opening quote. It’s true, but it strikes me as a rare moment of clarity for him.

    • james richardson November 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      Progressives were the ones being called racists by the hardcore Obama supporters when they started complaining.

      • Cujo359 November 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

        While on one level I agree with you, when I’m referring to “progressives” or “liberals”, I’m referring to “self-identified” progressives or liberals. The majority of those people seem to be like the ones you and I are describing – the ones who think that progressives who won’t vote for Obama must be racists, or just want to feel good about themselves, etc.

        As to the question of who among us is likely to achieve the human progress that to me marks what “progressives” believe in, I don’t think it will be those I take to be that majority. On that question, I think it’s going to be those who venture outside their comfort zone who will make it happen. That’s often how it works.

    • Taylor Marsh November 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

      Cujo359 November 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      O’Donnell can be very blunt, which he was for a while on “Morning Joe,” so they quit having him, because he could eat Scarborough’s lunch on taxes & economy.

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    [...] It will make you understand what I wrote after Obama’s emotional talk with his troops in Chicago, how it’s always about him, no investment in Democratic Party principles or that legacy. [...]

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