Read Robert Cruickshank’s post on “Occupy the Progressive Movement.” Unfortunately, it only goes half way, which has been the problem with progressives since the health care bill sell off.
What’s needed from movement progressives and Democrats is to Occupy the White House. If the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), see Glenn Greenwald’s analysis or Jonathan Turley’s thoughts (h/t newdealdeme1), didn’t prove that to progressives nothing will.
I also understand that progressives and their leaders like Robert Cruickshank recoil from giving the Tea Party any credit. It’s understandable considering the astroturfing by the Koch Bros. and many others, because it’s hard to laud the Tea Party as grass roots when they’re being funded by 1% whales.
However, back during the Bush-Cheney era, when the Tea Party actually sprang up, giving Ron Paul the energy that now has him leading in Iowa, their foundation wasn’t the stuff of millionaire Republicans and financing through insiders. It was a genuine revolt by the right to Republican hypocrisy, which included that Republican Establishment that they targeted for take down. This included the very leaders in power, from Congress to the White House.
In 2010, the Tea Party succeeded, regardless of the loss of power and the irrelevancy they’re living today. Though the vindication of Ron Paul over the Koch Bros. wing proves that the righteous are finally having their day, even it’s likely to disappear post Paul.
Mr. Cruickshank hits very important points, which movement progressives will hail. But one glaring omission reveals the weakness of the progressive movement today, which still doesn’t have at its foundation the courage to go all the way.
Cruickshank suggests that organizing will manifest the change needed. He’s smart enough to know that Occupy’s agenda is not the same as the progressives movement’s agenda, but he won’t go so far as to answer the question I posed about movement progressives taking on the Democratic Party at the convention in Charlotte, giving political heft to Occupy. It’s not a small point.
I have tremendous respect, in some cases awe, of what movement progressives work to accomplish, which is especially productive on local levels and through primary challengers, but the progressive “movement” is still afraid to take it the last mile.
Unless movement progressives are willing to Occupy the Obama White House they will remain supplicants to a political message and leader that uses them during election seasons, but never delivers once empowered.
I understand fully the difficulty in accepting you cannot take down and defeat a corporate behemoth like Obama reelect.
Why no movement progressive is making the case against Pres. Obama on principles and policy in a public and tactical way reveals the weakness of Robert Cruickshank’s case, but also the “movement” he’s attempting to inspire to action.
No pain, no gain. There will be pain for taking on a Democratic president on issues and substance of his decisions, with the gain being that of movement progressives, which could harm Pres. Obama in a reelection year.
It is a hard choice, but one of long-term thinking and credibility over expediency that rarely delivers.
Movement progressives should have long ago decided to Occupy the current occupant of the White House who has compromised or caved time and again, while moving the entire country’s political discourse to the right.
The good news about Pres. Obama’s frightfully bad first term is that he played a role in helping Occupy rise, too.
As long as Pres. Obama’s reelection is more important than the policies, principles and purpose of the progressive movement the notion of “Occupying the progressive movement” is strictly amateur.
It’s not the job of movement progressives to get Pres. Obama reelected. In fact, it’s not really in their best interest, as the indefinite detention bill revealed. Why don’t they know that by now?