Open Question: What Points should a DUMP OBAMA Manifesto make? Me: CALL FOR LEADERS WITH BACKBONE

The fertile mind of Jeff Roby has lately come to openly ruminate about a DUMP OBAMA movement. This diary poses the open question as to what main points a DUMP OBAMA manifesto should make. What should a 5 minute elevator speech sound like? If you casually mentioned to a co-worker that you joined a DUMP OBAMA movement, and they asked you “Why?” or “What’s that about?”, what would you want to say?

One suggestion by yours truly below the flip.

jeffroby has recently written about a DUMP OBAMA movement (see “It is none too soon to starta a Dump Obama movement“), and I expect he’ll be writing a lot more about it.

In the meantime, I thought it worthwhile to stimulate thoughts by others in this direction.

During my ‘Randi Rhodes forum days’, I used to regularly bash the Democrats, and refer to them as Democowards. I recognized that they didn’t have the electoral muscle to force through much of any oppositional legislation, but their lack of vociferous vocal opposition, their complete failure to rouse the public by any means other than some tepid statements to the media, disturbed me greatly.

As the Democrats gained power, and started showing us, as Randi Rhodes used to say of Republicans “who they are”, some of the Democratic bots began to wake up, and genuinely despair. I then switched my rhetorical attacks, not seeing the point of “kicking a man who’s down”, and began pointing out that mindlessly abandoning the Democrats wasn’t particularly smart.

Well, the Democratic Party certainly needs a kick, even if some of it’s base is wallowing in disempowering bitterness and despair (and thus needs a very different, gentler sort of kick). The question is “How do we kick that party?”.

A DUMP OBAMA movement is one way to kick the Democratic Party, but what sort of broad outlines should such a movement adopt?

My own suggestion is to

a) Issue a call for new leaders to step forth

b) Condemn so-called leaders, who should have held Obama accountable for his lies, and pressed him to keep more of his campaign promises, but didn’t.

Rather than write a fresh essay, I’ll just quote myself to further explain these ideas:


I’m an independent, not a lefty, but even if I was a lefty, I’m pretty sure that I’d still find the Left to be pretty pathetic, too. I’ve really gotten tired of pointing what, to me, is pretty obvious. Not just Obama’s betrayal and corporatism, but also the more or less complete failure of the Left to pressure Obama to keep more of his promises. I understand that most “connected” lefties  (inside the beltway types) would lose their jobs if they were completely honest and blunt, but why is there not more organizing outside of the “connected”, co-opted, prominent lefties?

I think they could do that relatively easily, by excoriating him when he betrayed them (even if the betrayal, as far as we know, only rose to the level of failure to fight hard) and taking their case to their fellow citizens. I.e., forget about the media – they are part of the system.

When is the last time you saw a demonstration in your neighborhood, for anything? I see maybe 2 demonstrations per year, it seems to me.

Let me give you an example of the motivation for the kind of demonstration that lefties could do, but don’t. At a recent job, my coworkers were talking politics one day, so I asked them if they’d heard of the deal Obama made with Tauzin. Nobody even knew who Tauzin was. Well, guess what, boys and girls: Keith Olbermann is not going to remind the American public that Obama screwed them this way, nor will he demand an apology for this betrayal.

Nor will the unions, which are also pretty pathetic (judging by the nambsy pambsy way I’ve heard them describe the Dems).

Nor will environmental groups – they prefer to be sheep-like as Obama’s passing the ball to BP and covering up for them is sure to result in Americans’ deaths and us paying for BP’s and Congress’ greed and corruption.

Nor will most lefty blogs reach out beyond their bloggerly world and do so. (None, actually, that I know of.)

If lefties want to pressure Obama in the way that I suggest, they will have to generate new leadership for doing so. I just don’t see any such leadership out there, though there are a few bright lights of journalistic integrity, like Chris Hedges.

If lefties did generate leadership and then actions of this sort, it’s reasonable to assume that they could damage the Dems’ electoral chances, in favor of the Republicans, and end up shooting themselves in the foot.

For those who have such concerns, they can just “double up” on their actions and messages, and make sure that they point out the betrayals, lies, and oftentimes looniness of the Republicans.

E.g., while letting all American know about Obama’s back-stabbing deal with Big Pharma/Tauzin, they can also point out that Americans have wanted a national healthcare plan for decades, but the Republicans were just as happy as the Democrats to let our current monstrosity of a healthcare system evolve, whereby we are paying about double what Europeans pay, typically with poorer outcomes.

See? That’s not so hard, is it? (I mean, conceptually.) So, you can damage both the Republicans’ and Democrats’ electoral chances and still get the message out, which (I believe) will put considerable pressure on Obama as his approval ratings go into the toilet.

He can then respond by at least keeping his popular pledges, or he can just keep screwing us. If the latter, well, I hope Mitt Romney beats Gingrich and the vacuous Sarah Palin, because if we’re going to end up with an R for president in 2012, let’s hope for the least damaging one. In the meantime, you can also grow a movement which will look to dump crappy members of both parties.

So, what’s YOUR suggestion for the main points that a DUMP OBAMA movement should espouse or convey?

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12 comments

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    • metamars on September 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm
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    How many hopes have you killed, today?

    • jeffroby on September 11, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Once that is brushed away, the talking points fall into place, and can be customized to taste.

    In the meantime, you might want to check out Glenn Greenwald’s “The profound mystery of the ‘enthusiasm gap’ “, and September 8’s “Why Should I Care? Leaders Lack Good Reasons to Vote For Democrats – or Against Republicans” by FireDogLake’s Jon Walker.

    I’ll have much more to say in a side diary (not front-page) later today.

    • ARGeezer on September 12, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Also or instead.

    There are serious people in the libertarian and paleocon camps who are also seriously concerned about the status quo. Their concerns go to the capture of the government by the TBTFs and other financial corporations, about the erosion of the Bill of Rights and Constitution, especially under GWB43, about the direction the economy has taken in sending jobs to China, about the sanity and sustainability of our glorious empire, about the manner in which the actions of the Fed benefit a few large players to the disadvantage of all else and about the manner in which the current arrangement only serves the immediate interests of a collection of private interests while the nation drifts towards destruction.

    We don’t have to agree with the direction they would like to move the country in order to join with them to bring down the current corrupt system. Nor need we fear the disruption that bringing down the financial system will bring. It will surely be worse the longer we wait and it is inherently unstable and bound to come crashing down in, at most, the medium term.

    Make no mistake, the Federal Government has the power, if forcefully exercised, to break apart the TBTFs, to investigate, prosecute and convict large numbers of top Wall Street executives and to set a new direction for the society and country. Even many of the very wealthy understand the problems with the existing system and are concerned with the society in which their heirs will live. Many existing elected representatives would likely join such a party, once it became viable as a third party. Within a cycle it could become the dominant party.

    What we need is to agree on the priority of bringing down the existing corrupt control of the political system by the financial sector and replacing it with one in which there is public and accountable financing of elections. If this requires a stand still on social issues then so be it. If we do not bring this monster to heel there will be no society within which to have social issues.

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