(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Cross-posted at Firedoglake.com
I posted this on Grayson’s website:
I am a former supporter and donator to your first campaign, and have generally been very impressed with the positions you have taken. I heard you on Sam Seder’s show of Wednesday the 21st, though, and must say that I am very disappointed to hear you denigrate the idea of a primary challenge to President Obama.
I have asked a number of high-profile progressives what they would think about a primary challenger, and of the ones who have taken the negative position, the reasoning seems to boil down to the old “lesser-of-two-evils” argument-that no matter how little difference there appears to be between Obama and Bush on matters of substance, we still must reelect Obama because he’s, I don’t know, not a Republican, or not as illiterate as Bush, or something. The best argument I’ve heard is the Supreme Court one: If we don’t put Obama back in, then when the critical 5th vote comes up, we’ll get another evil corporatist. This fails on a number of levels: Change originates from an organized electorate, not from the top down, for one; and for another, Obama has never done anything to in any way hinder the oligarchy, so where does the idea come from that, at such a critical moment, he would suddenly change? Not a good reason to support Obama, or to fear a Republican win.
Seems to me that the situation is this:
1.) Obama is provably a corporatist tool of the oligarchy: He was put into power by Goldman Sachs’ money and the assistance of the corporatist media. And, once installed, he has done exactly everything they want him to do. Except on matters of style or of peripheral social concerns, he has governed in every way just like George Bush did;
2.) Obama has effectively gutted the movement toward real change. Whether by design or not, he has proven to be the perfect foil for the progressive movement which was coalescing around him in 2008; this movement, under a strong progressive leader in the Presidency, could really have had a chance to turn this country in a better direction. Instead, what you see is widespread disgust and increasing apathy amongst progressives-exactly what we don’t need, but exactly what the oligarchy wants;
3.) The only way we are going to get real progressive change out of the coming economic disaster is if we have a strong, organized people’s movement to counteract the lying liars at Fox/ABC/CNN/NBC/CBS and the massive money of the fossil fools and the war industries. Yet Obama works to stultify any progressive instinct; his administration is a cold, dead hand on the Democratic Party, working at every turn to stifle any movement toward any type of change that would provide any opening for a real challenge to the ruling kleptocracy. Obamacare is a perfect example; instead of giving us a public option, we get this monstrosity which will mean that people like my wife and me-I am 60, she is 54, we make around $50,000/year with preexisting conditions, and simply cannot afford private health insurance, yet will get no subsidy because we make “too much money”-will have to fork over the tax penalty at the end of the year, and will get nothing for it. This really will hurt us (basically giving us the choice between buying substandard health “insurance” or paying our home mortgage)-and that’s if we don’t get sick again, and both of us have preexisting illnesses (two cancers, for me). Perfect position for the healthcare-denial criminals-they’ll squeeze ever-more money out of the dying middle class, but little real good will be done. Not so good for We the People, but those are the masters Obama serves;
4.) In our ineffective duopoly, the only chance a progressive movement has is to take over the Democratic Party just as the rightist theocratic oligarchy did the Republican Party. Yet Obama is preventing this-just by his monopolization of the presidency; so
5.) Why not run a challenger against Obama? I am old enough to remember Bobby Kennedy. I remember the excitement progressives felt; I saw the energizing effect it had on people politics. This is the only path I see toward getting the activated political majority we need-do you see another? And even though we failed to stop Nixon, the sheer excitement of the time led to the creation of a political point of view which finally stopped the Vietnam War, and which echoes still today. And if this leads to Obama’s defeat: So much the better. It is far preferable that Obama lose and we have a shattered Democratic Party to rebuild, than for him to win-and the corporatist poison that is killing us continue to spread while the Democratic Party is paralyzed for another 4 years. Yet somehow the “lesser-of-two-evils” myth continues; somehow the vain hope seems to spring eternal that our corporatist overlords will maybe not be so bad on us if only we put in another Clintonist Blue Dog rather than an illiterate bumpkin. What that means is the difference between Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy-but this is only a difference in degree as to how painful the conditions of our slavery are, not in any way a fight over whether we should be owned by these neofeudalists in the first place.
So: Can YOU give any coherent reasons why we shouldn’t primary Obama-and if he wins anyway, deliberately support the Republican so he loses and then maybe, just maybe, we can rebuild the Party? The ideal situation would be to elect as many progressives to the congress as possible, but to vote Green for the top spot if there is no real Democrat running. That way there would be strong coherent voice of opposition to President Romney’s policies-and when the economy hits the fan, it’ll be the Republicans who will be blamed, not the Democrats.
So what do you say? Can you change your position-and call for a primary challenge to Obama, regardless of its effects on his chances for reelection?
Thanks for listening. I’d love to hear a response.