Will an Obama presidency open the door for progressive change?

Maybe, says Socialist Unity

Obama cannot entirely ignore the radical expectations that he has encouraged. The Clinton administration died on the cross of failing to make good their promises for universal health care. Obama has to deliver something, and that means that an American society that has been accustomed to things gradually getting worse year on year, will see that things can also get better. That is a much more fruitful context for radical politics.

No chance, says Dennis Perrin

Once Obama’s president, many of these “progressives” say that they’ll feel safe enough to challenge the Dems from within. I’ve heard this from a number of quarters, including from people I respect, and it’s utter bullshit. Won’t happen. The Clinton years are the template, and that’s already ancient history. The Obama years will crank it to a new, obscene level. Power always attracts followers and servants, and the idea that “progressives” will go after President Obama as he fortifies the police state, expands war, and keeps private interests flush, is ridiculous and ahistorical.

I’m with Socialist Unity on this. An Obama presidency will raise expectations for real change. He’ll have to deliver something, and the job of the Left will be to keep pressing the issues. Perrin sounds a bit burned-out. It’s an occupational hazard for activists. Hey Dennis, I know lots of progressives that are and will continue to oppose the militarization of society and the wars. But if you lose hope, then you lose most everything. “Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind.”


  1. “The Clinton administration died on the cross of failing to make good their promises for universal health care.”

    If the Clinton administration died at all (and their reelection argues otherwise) it was due to their having no principles except that the Clintons ought to be President.

  2. Biden saying they might pursue criminal cases against Bush Administration? Calling for $150 billion r&d into cleantech? Saying he wants to end the wars?

    Socialist Unity seems to think Obama will open doors that will be fruitful for radical politics. Works for me.

  3. Having lived for a long time and heard since about the 1950s all the radicals talk of fighting from the iside to change the UK Labour Party back to its roots and seen it continually lurch to the right and end up with Blairites who were further right than Thatcher, leaves me with the feeling that it wont happen in the US either. Historic eveidence tends to be a fair guide.

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