FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Buyers Remorse Over Obama

In the latest issue of The Nation, an “open letter” appears in which the signatories position themselves as abject supplicants to Obama, begging him to revert to his earlier stances in his primary campaign.

Thus the letter states: “Since your historic victory in the primary, there have been troubling signs that you are moving away from the core commitments shared by many who have supported your campaign, toward a more cautious and centrist stance……”  Several paragraphs later, the letter finally gets around to mentioning “withdrawal from Iraq on a fixed timetable” as one of the positions that Obama “embraced” during the primary.

When others have raised such criticisms, Obama has responded that they have not been listening to him.  On this one, I am with Obama.  How can one take this guy seriously as an “antiwar” candidate when he has voted for hundreds of billions of dollars to fund the Iraq war and to slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis? Neither Ron Paul nor Dennis Kucinich, both presidential candidates, nor Barbara Lee voted for these funds for a “war of aggression,” as Ralph Nader has properly called it.  On this score Obama’s voting record is no different from McCain’s or Hillary Clinton’s.

And Obama made it clear long ago in one of his few clear statements on the war that he does not oppose all wars and in fact supports “smart” ones.  Iraq is thus not  a criminal war, a war of aggression, but merely a “dumb” war.  Presumably the war in Afghanistan that Obama so loves is to be a “smart” war.  When you come right down to it, how different is Obama’s position that the war is not “smart” from McCain’s that, until the surge, the war was not “smartly” waged?  I would say that the difference is less than a dime.

The letter is also frankly dishonest when it says that Obama is simply moving to a more “centrist stance” In what sense “centrist”? The war is wildly unpopular and close to 70% of Americans want the U.S. out of Iraq asap.  What is “centrist” about moving away from a landslide majoritarian position?  And what is the “peace”candidate doing when he calls for 100,000 more active duty army and marines, when he calls for more military spending, when he calls for stepping up the war on Afghanistan, when he talks belligerently about Iran, and when he equivocates on how many tens of thousands of troops are to be left in Iraq?  All these are positions that the “peace”candidate took during the primary.  They are not new.

The “open letter” also pretends that Obama took a position for universal health care during the primary.  That is true only in words.  As Paul Krugman has pointed out, Obama’s health care plan is even worse than was Hillary Clinton’s – a mighty low bar.

The worst part of the supplicants’ letter is that it is all based on wishful thinking.  The idea that Obama is an “antiwar” or progressive candidate is a fantasy, never supported by the facts.  And there is no way to change Obama by begging as the letter does.  There is plenty of carrot, in fact downright ass kissing, in the letter – but no stick.
Ambitious pols understand sticks.

What is awfully irritating is that Katrina Vanden Heuval and the rest of the “liberal”elite criticize supporters of  McKinney/Clemente and Nader/Gonzalez for “wishful thinking.”  Compared to the sentiments and views of the supplicants’ letter, supporters of third party candidates are hard core realists. And it is very sad to see some of the signatories of this letter who in better times would have been men and women who put principle over partisanship.  Read the letter carefully.  Look at the signatories.  It may bring tears.

John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com

 

 

Your Ad Here

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com

April 26, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
As Trump Berates Iran, His Options are Limited
Daniel Warner
From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes
Simone Chun – Kevin Martin
Diplomacy in Korea and the Hope It Inspires
George Wuerthner
The Attack on Wilderness From Environmentalists
CJ Hopkins
The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists
Richard Schuberth
“MeToo” and the Liberation of Sex
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Sacred Assemblies in Baghdad
Dean Baker
Exonerating Bad Economic Policy for Trump’s Win
Vern Loomis
The 17 Gun Salute
Gary Leupp
What It Means When the U.S. President Conspicuously and Publicly Removes a Speck of Dandruff from the French President’s Lapel
Robby Sherwin
The Hat
April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail