[Marxism] Is Obama's shift to the right meant to lower expectations?

Dan Russell proletariandan at gmail.com
Sun Jul 6 11:14:20 MDT 2008


<At least he responded. And that is the best face. People remember Nader and
don't
want to go through this again.>

Pathetic, absolutely pathetic - I guess if Obama keeps moving to the right
its ok as long as he _responds_ when we call him out. 'Progressives' bitch
about getting stiff-armed and then simply abandon the notion of supporting
an actual progressive candidate who openly embraces them.

On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 9:44 AM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

>
> >Daniel: "I have been following Obama's rapid move to the right over
> >the last weeks"
> >
> >As Alex Cockburn put it yesterday
> >(http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn07062008.html):
> >
> >There have plenty of articles recently, some in this site, with
> >headlines such
> >"Obama's Lunge to the Right". I find these odd. Never for one moment
> >has Obama
> >ever struck me as someone anchored, or even loosely moored to  the
> >left, or even
> >displaying the slightest appetite for radical notions, aside from a
> >few taglines
> >tossed from the campaign bus. In economics and foreign policy he has
> swaddled
> >himself with right-wing orthodoxy to a degree that trangresses on
> >the grotesque.
>
> Here's an interesting article by an Obama supporter trying to make
> the best of a bad situation:
>
>
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/senator-obama-in-the-summ_b_110545.html
>
> Here's an article about a Facebook rebellion within the ranks of
> Obama supporters:
>
> NY Times, July 6, 2008
> A Political Agitator Finds a Double-Edged Weapon
> By NOAM COHEN
>
> Perhaps for the first time in his life, Senator Barack Obama may have
> reason to commiserate with the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh
> and George Allen. They surely could tell him a few stories about what
> it is like when Mike Stark has you in his sights.
>
> Mr. Stark, a 39-year-old former computer programmer and third-year
> law student at the University of Virginia, made a name for himself
> through his uncanny ability to get past the screeners for Mr.
> O'Reilly and Mr. Limbaugh and other right-wing radio hosts to ask
> embarrassing questions. He recorded the conversations — they usually
> ended abruptly — and posted them on his Web site, and his renown grew.
>
> In 2006, he took an interest in statewide politics and recorded a
> couple of body slams during George Allen's snakebitten Senate
> campaign in Virginia, asking about accusations of Mr. Allen's use of
> racial epithets.
>
> Mr. Stark's latest project has taken him to the Web site of Mr.
> Obama, who happens to be Mr. Stark's choice for president. And while
> he said he did not relish making Mr. Obama a target, Mr. Stark is
> using the candidate's own social-networking portal,
> my.barackobama.com, to confront him.
>
> A little more than a week ago, Mr. Stark suggested to a group of
> liberal activists who share an e-mail list that they should organize
> a group on the portal to lobby their candidate to oppose legislation
> granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that
> cooperated with the Bush administration's program of wiretapping
> without warrants. The immunity is part of an update of the Foreign
> Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, that is set to be debated this
> week.
>
> "Obama is getting mad props for social networking," Mr. Stark
> recalled arguing. "Why don't we use social networking to let him know
> that he can't keep elbowing his progressive base — the people who got
> him the nomination — away from the policy table?"
>
> A member of my.barackobama .com started the anti-FISA group, and Mr.
> Stark quickly signed on.
>
> In those 10 days or so, the group, with its ever-so-polite name,
> "Senator Obama Please Vote NO on Telecom Immunity — Get FISA Right,"
> has grown to more than 18,000 members and become the largest public
> group on the campaign site.
>
> On Thursday, the movement drew a response from the candidate himself
> — a long, conciliatory note that explained his decision to support
> the FISA bill. "This was not an easy call for me," Mr. Obama said in
> the statement, which was posted to the diary of Joe Rospars, a top
> Internet adviser to the campaign. "I know that the FISA bill that
> passed the House is far from perfect."
>
> The debate on Mr. Obama's Web site shows how a force he has harnessed
> — the power of social networking — can also be an unruly,
> unpredictable one that can turn back on him.
>
> "We felt we had a change candidate who would take everyone's concerns
> seriously," Mr. Stark said. "What we have is a stiff-arm to the
> progressive base, and it has really raised a question of how much of
> a change is this guy going to bring."
>
> Yet he conceded that a rift had emerged among his allies. "Some
> people are putting the best face on it," he said. "At least he
> responded. And that is the best face. People remember Nader and don't
> want to go through this again."
>
> The in-house protest network has raised some intriguing questions for
> candidates who use social networking. Just how much dissent should be
> allowed on their Web sites? Can similar protests be mounted by
> opposing campaigns infiltrating the site?
>
> It is hard to read the fallout in terms of the Obama campaign. A
> spokesman said the campaign's policy was to screen groups as they
> were proposed, and reject only those that advocated hate speech or
> made personal attacks.
>
> As for the Web site becoming an organizing tool for friendly critics,
> the spokesman repeated an earlier statement: "This campaign has an
> extraordinary group of committed supporters, and we greatly
> appreciate their willingness to share their time and ideas with us.
> We believe that an open dialogue is an important part of any
> campaign, and are happy that my.barackobama.com has become a vehicle
> for that conversation."
>
> Andrew Rasiej, an analyst of online politics who opposed the FISA
> law, said the episode benefited Mr. Obama. "What's the actual
> political damage?" he asked. "The fact that he has people complaining
> on his site? What does that mean? If anything, it's a positive,
> because he is allowing a debate on his site."
>
> And, lately, the plot has thickened. Mr. Stark said the anti-FISA
> group now contains those who oppose its very existence. "Some people
> have joined the group to criticize — What are you doing, hurting the
> campaign like that?" he said. "They joined the group that I created
> to challenge me. I really like this means of communicating."
>
>
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