Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Obama Announces Relection - What's a Progressive To Do?

In a surprise move (not) President Obama announced, online, that he is running for reelection.

Now, for those who have read my posts it should come as no shock that Obama has been a major disappointment to me and so far it has been hard for me to get excited about working for his reelection. But make no mistake, there is no option to voting for and supporting President Obama. The crazy that has been coming out of the House since the Republicans took over is just a sample of what they might do if they are actually in charge. Fortunately, between the weak slate of candidates they have put forward so far and the inexplicable decision to go after Medicare the Republicans seem to be doing some of Obama's work for him. At the same time his approval ratings with Democrats are far below where Bush was with Republicans at the same time in his first term.

One big question for Obama is whether he is going to actually fight the Republicans. As E.J. Dione points out in a really good piece the budget proposal put forward by the Republicans is a truly radical attack on the fundamental New Deal programs that help those with less combined with huge tax cuts for the richest individuals and corporations. Fighting that is a fight Obama can win if he is willing to engage in it. Unfortunately, based on his past performance, that is a big if. He has already seemingly surrendered on the issue of getting the rich to pay their share, though that is the only way to balance the budget without destructive cuts to our basic safety net. The video Obama released as part of his reelection announcement did not fill me with confidence that he is ready to fight. If anyone can discern any actual substance in it please let me know.

But that is not the end of the story. As Progressives we need to look beyond the Presidential contest to races, primaries and general elections, in our states and in the House of Representatives that provide the opportunity to put Progressives in office. ActBlue (see the link on the right side of the blog) is a good place to start looking and I hope to use this space between now and November 2012 to suggest some specific candidates.


Joe T said...

great post

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