I am so tired of having to write this sort of piece. I need to be in full campaign mode, as does everyone else who calls themselves either "liberal" or "progressive." There's a point, every other year, when you put aside your whining about your pet issues that most other people couldn't care less about, and put yourself fully behind the most progressive candidate available to you. Yes, I'm sorry to say, because we elect our representatives through democratic means, it's unlikely that many of the candidates we choose from will be raging lefties. But that doesn't mean you don't have a choice.
There are less than five months to go. That means we have less than five months to create a meme that will encourage swing voters to show up at the polls and vote Democratic.
There is only one issue this election year, and probably for the next few election years, and that is money. I'm not talking about the deficit and the national debt. I'm talking about campaign financing.
Now, as I've said previously, money itself is not as influential with regard to electing people as many assume. if it was, we'd have had President Perot a long time ago. I think we can overcome the influence of money during election campaigns. But what we can't necessarily overcome would be the influence that will absolutely accompany a President Romney once he takes office and starts preparing to win a second term. If the professional left continues to be anything less than enthusiastic about a second Obama term, Willard Romney could squeak by and become president, and he will believe it was the post-Citizens United money that put him there. The Kochs are apparently prepared to spend $400 million to help Romney, and if you don't think Romney will be made to feel beholden to them for that contribution, well, there's this bridge in Brooklyn I could sell you for a song.
See, that's the real danger with Citizens United. If we do our job as citizens, the democracy will win out over the money every time. But if our side keeps trashing Obama and helps depress turnout, President Romney will have to thank huge contributors by making radical changes in policy in their favor. No more regulations of industry, and expect him to kill health care, Medicare, Social Security and Dodd-Frank, because they all impact his investors' bottom lines.
With less than five months to go before an election that could make or break us as a democracy, some high profile "progressives" are stupidly trashing the president.
Yesterday, our buddy Glenn Greenwald — who is more Libertarian than progressive, but who is still lionized by many progressives — posited that another 9/11 might be right around the corner due to "supporters of" President Obama's alleged "aggression." He cites as proof that Obama's actions will lead to more terrorist attacks statements by captured failed terrorists, who declared unspecified US actions in the Muslim world, without connecting any dots. You know, because our foreign policy should always be dictated by the rants of someone who's willing to blow himself up for a "cause" that he an't eve specify.
Here's a clue, GG. The drone attacks on specific al Qaeda targets is to get the people who have declared war on us, while ending the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan. What Obama's doing now in Pakistan is what Bush should have done ten years ago, except that he's doing it without risking hundreds of thousands of soldier and minimizing civilian casualties in the process.
And in Yemen, where the heaviest activity is of late, declared war on al-Qaeda back in 2010, and the United States couldn't and wouldn't send drones into the country without its permission.
But just as importantly, GG can't possibly think a "President Romney," who has already suggested he wouldn't think twice about starting a war in Iran, would be an improvement in this area. Can he? Romney's already all but said he'd start a war with Iran. That can't be seen as an improvement, right? Well, guess what? We have two choices in November, and if swing voters are served a chorus of "Obama sucks," you can look forward to at least four more years of Bush, because they'll stay home in droves.
To its credit, The Daily Kos has been moderating a bit lately, but their obsession with the drone program is still overblown and takes a decidedly anti-Obama tone. One of their latest threads on the program actually parrots aHullabaloo post about Greenwald's article above. In other words, once again, as with the NDAA, we have an article that these so-called "progressives" pass around without question all over the 'Net. We have a post on a major liberal blog, commenting on a post commenting on another post with no questions asked about the specious logic contained in the article itself. Not helpful at all.
Then, there's Robert Scheer's "Truthdig". For a website that's supposed to deal in "truth," it surely relies on a lot of hyperbole, with much of it guaranteed to help elect the bought-and-paid-for Willard Romney, which one would think would be somewhat anti-liberal. Their current lead story is about the drone program, of course; the professional left is obsessed with it. If you were to read these liberal blogs exclusively, you would have no idea that the Republican Party had spent the last two years blocking any sort of progress in order to damage President Obama and make him over into another Jimmy Carter. Instead, you'd swear "Rambo Obama" (yes, I kid you not; Scheer actually refers to him with that moniker several times on the site) was the cause of all that is bad in the world. The site actually says outright that OBAMA has turned the "United States into an outlaw state." Not Bush, but Obama. I wish I was kidding.
Why don't more liberals wonder why these people are suddenly pushing back on the drone program, just before a presidential election that represents a stark contrast in approach? If you haven't yet, it's time to start, because as these phony "progressives" trash President Obama mercilessly, right wing PACs and corporate denizens are flooding the GOP with money, investing in Willard Romney because they want to see a significant return. Romney can't win regardless of the money he receives, if we do our job properly. But that means looking at ALL issues, and supporting the slate of candidates who are better on ALL of them.
How progressive can you possibly be, if you allow this whining about the drone program to affect the election to the point that Romney wins? Imagine all of those families who will lose out. Imagine all of the poor people who will be stomped on. Imagine all-out war with Iran. You think he won't go after gay rights with everything he has? You think women will be better off?
In other words, people like Greenwald and Scheer are just as bad as teabaggers, because they put their ideology ahead of the good of the country.
This is the problem, folks. We don't have a smorgasbord of candidates to choose from in any election. Because we have a winner-take-all majority system, we have at most two viable choices at any one time. And our choice this year is between a party that loves Citizens United, and will happily sell their office to the highest bidders, and a party that loves their country more than their part, and is motivated to change the Citizens United landscape. By poisoning the debate in this country, these self-righteous fools are actually helping make things worse.
Progressive, my ass.
Anyone who is not absolutely on board with this president and the Democrats over Willard and the current incarnation of the Republican Party at this point in time is not progressive in the least. If you think Willard Romney is a moderate, who won't do as much damage as Dubya did, think again. We're not talking about the Romney who ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy; we're talking about the Willard Romney who will say and do anything to get elected president, and who heads a political party that has been completely coopted by by the Kochs and other rich people and corporations who are investing in him to do their bidding.
Forget the fact that Obama is one of the most accomplished presidents in the post-War era, despite being handled a virtual depression and a far more radical Republican opposition than has been seen in several generations. At the very least, you have to be able to see that allowing a chameleon like Willard Romney — who is in the process of selling his soul to corporate interests — to be elected.is simply unacceptable. And yet, with all of the anti-Obama rhetoric coming from the left that threatens to depress turnout and help the GOP, that could be happening.
It's an election year, folks, and there are less than five months to go. The choice is between continued hope and change and going back to the Bush era. Since the Republicans' main strategy is to discourage people from voting. it's time we were all on board in favor of Obama, and stop trashing him.
We can't afford to have Romney, Republicans and Citizens United win anymore. After 32 years, any progressive should see that.
But then, not everyone who is called "progressive" actually is one.