Thursday, February 28, 2008

Prog Slog for 2009

Hillary still has a shot to wiggle into the Dem nomination, but Barack is certainly more likely. He also appears to be ahead of the presumptive GOPper, John, that borrow-and-spend hawk whom so many conservatives distrust.

So, for us self-identified progressives, what's the chance of getting big results from this moderately liberal glad hander? I fear not too good.

In the middle of the race, Johnny Reid (not Hussein) Edwards was the standard bearer for the underclasses and the best spokesman for progressive issues. ...and he wasn't that impressive.

The key issues have fallen out of the candidates pockets and speeches, as they promote their electability. Too progressive, they seem to think is scary to voters. I think they are dead wrong, that this is precisely the time for one of those brief peaks of big improvements. Americans are sick of war, of corporate greed, of shameless pandering to and rewarding of the richest at the expense of the rest of us.

I have to concur with Bill Fletcher, Jr., over at the Black Commentator, in his Obama, Enthusiasm & Movement Building. He writes that it's hard times for progressive issues, and offers only scant hope:
While there are many progressives who have entered into the Obama campaign and are doing good work, there needs to be an independent voice and location to push progressive politics. I spoke the other day with someone working in the campaign that - as enthusiastic as she is - acknowledged that a number of the proposals her committee has been developing have simply been overlooked. My guess is that more of that will happen and the candidate will be increasingly influenced by financial contributors and those forces he believes to be most significant. If the progressive voice is only one among many, it will be drowned out. Progressives need to figure out where they can make a difference in the larger campaign as well as explain to their respective constituencies why they are taking the step of supporting Obama; what to expect and what not to expect from the candidate; and what can be done now.
There's the hope and it's more crumbs than loaf.

In theory and faint possibility, Obama could take office and show that's he's the serious progressive he's never been as a legislator or candidate. Don't count on it.

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