Liberals, Progressives, And The Reality Of American Politics

Liberals and progressives in large numbers are denouncing the agreement reached between President Obama and Congressional Republicans on the issue of the so called Bush tax cuts being continued for another two years.

The author is not happy with this agreement, which will raise the national debt by nearly a trillion dollars, take money away from the Social Security reserves by the fact of a lower collection of Social Security taxes, and allow the further stratification of America by making the rich richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class further exploited! πŸ™

However, the restoration of the estate tax, the continuation of unemployment compensation for the millions out of work in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the retaining of other tax credits for the poor, and the two year limit on the extension of tax cuts, are all good points in an unpleasant but realistic compromise for the moment, so that taxes do not go up for everyone on January 1!

Barack Obama made clear yesterday at his news conference that he felt the GOP were “hostage takers”, but that the American people would be further victimized by the GOP, which he said only cares about the super rich, if he did not make a temporary deal!

Obama made clear that the battle over taxes was just delayed, not resolved, and that he would make it an issue in the 2012 campaign. So although he may be seen by many as “caving in” and “surrendering”, his contention is that the fight will be brought to the GOP in the next election, and it sounded as if he was prepared to be Harry Truman a la 1948, and “give them hell”!

Certainly, his rhetoric was aggressive and confrontational regarding the GOP. But it was also critical of the “purist” progressives and “pie in the sky idealists” who are criticizing his strategy!

Obama pointed out that he has either accomplished what his goals were, or has made progress on those that are not achievable in the short term. He is looking to the long term, and he feels that he has kept the promise of his campaign to bring change, or start to bring change in many areas where the politics make it impossible for now to accomplish success!

Obama said compromise is unavoidable in American politics, and that playing politics alone would not bring about desired results. We would not be the nation we are if not for compromise, Obama asserted. In that, he is absolutely right!

And when one looks at the history of the Democratic Party and the progressive and liberal crusade for a better America, one unfortunately MUST realize that this nation is fundamentally a conservative nation slow to react to the need for change! πŸ™

Progressives, liberals, and the Democratic Party have accomplished great things since the 1930s, but the resistance and opposition to these changes has been fierce, and therefore, progress has been incremental, often delayed and often frustratingly slow! πŸ™

But one thing is absolutely clear: When Democrats, progressives and liberals fight and divide amongst themselves, the right wingers of this country triumph! πŸ™

When discontent leads to a decision to work against a Democratic President because everything is not ideal and perfect, the Republican Party wins! πŸ™

It happened in 1980, when liberal opposition to President Jimmy Carter, as exemplified by Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, helped to lead to Ronald Reagan in the White House!

It happened in 1968 when liberal opposition to Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey led to Richard Nixon in the White House!

It led to Al Gore losing Florida in 2000 when Ralph Nader, a true “pie in the sky idealist” took enough votes away to throw the state to George W. Bush!

So do we want Barack Obama to be damaged and cause his loss for 2012 and get a far less desirable Republican in the White House? πŸ™

Certainly, a second term of Obama will bring more chance of change and reform than if a Republican is elected!

If nothing else, the Supreme Court and lower federal court judge appointments will be a lasting legacy, which would be better under the control of Obama than a Republican President from 2013-2017!

So the reality of American politics is that compromise is often essential, as only TWICE has a Democratic President had enough of a margin of his party to be able to accomplish most of his goals: Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s and Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s!

Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama have had to work within the framework of a strong opposition blockading a lot of change!

This is the sad truth and reality of American politics, and progressives and liberals NEED to recognize this and work with President Obama and give the Republican Party “hell” over the next two years and in the Presidential Election of 2012!

2 comments on “Liberals, Progressives, And The Reality Of American Politics

  1. Fred Searcy December 8, 2010 12:24 pm

    I certainly don’t disagree with anything you said. However, I would have rather made the tax cuts the issue in the 2010 election and not the 2012. If the Democrats had been a little more unified in their voice on this issue, then it is possible there would not have been such devastating losses in 2010. I also didn’t hear Democrats (and Obama) campaigning on the accomplishments of Congress this year. Instead, they pretty much ignored monumental legislation enacted by a Democratic Congress and allowed the Republicans define fear issues.

  2. Tom December 9, 2010 1:28 pm

    I feel that the disagreement with Obama goes almost back to the first 6 months in office. If you look at the midterm, and the fact that MSNBC, and the left wing blogs have been very unhappy with Obama, you can see why the midterm ended so badly for the Democrats. I have stopped watching MSNBC, because they don’t understand that they have been undermining everything they supposedly stand for. By attacking Obama they have demoralized the base, and encouraged people not to vote. I don’t see it getting any better in the future, and that scares me.

    If there is one argument that needs to be made to the left it is this. Reagan didn’t change our country in 4 years, or even 8 years. Our country changed over a period of 30 years of conservative deregulation, defunding, military spending, and huge tax cuts. (this include Clinton) Obama can’t turn around 30 years in 2. If they really want change stick together and maybe in 30 years things will be back to normal.

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