FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

After the Obama Betrayal

From The New York Times to The Huffington Post, from Counterpunch.org to The Nation, the outcry is the same:  Obama is not the man he presented himself to be.

As he now panders to seemingly any right-wing group that can fill a room, his staff is arranging fundraisers where the cover charge is $30,000.  Bob Herbert of the NYT echos the “disillusion” of “many of Obama’s strongest supporters who are uneasy, upset, dismayed and even angry.”

Across the progressive spectrum, the consensus is that Obama has abandoned any prospect for a transformational presidency, breathed life into a moribund and discredited right-wing, and incomprehensibly placed his very election at risk.

Most crucially, Obama has made the utterly cynical calculation that there is no price to be paid for abandoning his base, that the mantra of Anybody But Bush seamlessly melds into Anybody But McCain, that progressives will simply surrender.

So sure is Obama that progressives will bear any insult that he has taken to channeling the odious Jeanne Kirkpatrick of the Reagan era, denouncing those “counter-culturalists” who opposed the imperial wars from Vietnam to El Salvador and Nicaragua as the “blame America” crowd.

If Obama’s analysis of progressives is correct, we can expect another depressing campaign, what Herbert calls “the terminal emptiness of politics as usual,” followed by a presidency that honors right-wing ideology while serving corporate power.

But what if Obama is wrong?  What if progressives have a breaking point?  We have seen a revolt against Obama’s FISA/Telecom betrayal play out on Obama’s website, but the candidate has already responded to those dismayed supporters by essentially blowing them off.  Is this a “deal-breaker,” he asks, as if to say, “What are you going to do about it?”

There are some who suggest doing something.  John Nichols of The Nation suggests a coordinated push to get Ralph Nader into a debate with Obama and McCain.  Google and YouTube are sponsoring a debate in New Orleans this fall, and the bar is set at 10% support.  Nader is at 6% according to CNN, and those who would vote for him if he were competitive was 14% in a recent Fox poll.  It is vastly easier to go from 14% to 30% than to go from nothing to 14%.

Nader would be — to say the least — a formidable presence in any debate.  Once one gets beyond the caricature of Nader promoted by the political establishment, one sees a candidate who has intimate knowledge of every aspect of our corporate government, because we learn about an institution not by yielding to it, but by opposing it, something Nader alone has done for decades.  Further, he is a man who has never flattered us, never pandered to our baser instincts and never lied to us.

The prospect of such a debate would get Obama’s attention; the reality of it might shift the center of our politics as nothing else holds the promise of doing.

For those who do not wish to go gently, there is an alternative.

GREGORY KAFOURY is a trial lawyer and political activist in Portland, Oregon.  He can be reached at kafoury@kafourymcdougal.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
June 25, 2018
Daniel Falcone
A Reporter’s Reporter: a Conversation With Seymour Hersh
Gerald Sussman
America’s Cold War “Tugboat”
Jonathan Cook
The Defiance that Launched Gaza’s Flaming Kites Cannot be Extinguished
P. Sainath
A Long March of the Dispossessed to Delhi 
Sheldon Richman
What Does Trump Have Against Children?
Lance Olsen
Caught in a Trap of Our Own Making: Climate Change, Blame, and Denial
Seth Sandronsky
A Safe Black Space
Kary Love
Crying Children and Due Process of Law
Gary Leupp
Why It Just Makes Sense for the U.S. to Withdraw from the UNHRC
John Laforge
Kings Bay Plowshares Action Names the Trident with Blood
Mel Gurtov
After Singapore, Is Iran the Next US Target?
Kent D. Shifferd
A Different Perspective on Peace
Uri Avnery
Two Souls
Laura Flanders
National Suicide Point?
Ludwig Watzal
The Death of Felicia Langer
Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail