On Obama. Apologists vs. Young Turks

Here are the two main positions among progressives now about Obama’s lack of action, as put forward by bloggers. I call it the apologists vs the young Turks and both of them appear to be loyal Democrats.

Cenk Uygur at Firedoglake takes the apologist position that Obama is just somehow misguided and progressives need to prod him so he will remember his roots, then act. Plus Obama’s inaction is due to an unresponsive system not of his making.

I’m sure Obama is a progressive that would help the average American if he thought he could. But apparently he thinks he can’t. He can only bring them a small amount of change because of what he thinks the system will allow.

Big Tent Democrat at Talk Left takes the young Turk view. Obama was elected with a clear mandate to major change and has failed to act.

But his Presidency so far has been a squandered opportunity. What is surprising is that any self professed progressive Democrat would not express disappointment about this missed historic opportunity.

Those more radical, like myself, say if if looks, walks, and talks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. On health care, Copenhagen, and financial reform Obama has consistently and unwaveringly supported a corporate America agenda even when it was clearly not in the general interests of the citizenry. He’s plenty smart and capable. He’s acting like he is because that’s what he wants to do, not because he’s forced to or is misguided.


  1. NO – He is a centrist, which puts him in the damned if you do and damned if you don’t camp. The progressives think he is to conservative and cowardly and the right thinks he’s a socialist, commie, fascist taking the country down the road of Lenin.

  2. I thought he was a centrist when I voted for him. Now I agree with Bob that Left-Right distinctions are irrelevant– he’s a corporatist, like his predecessor.

  3. I’d go for that too. Did you see Bill Moyer’s interview with Matt Taibbi & Robert Kuttner? They really get into showing that point.

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