Showing posts with label Liberalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Liberalism. Show all posts

Thursday, April 2, 2015


In a recent article in The Nation, Eric Alterman is putting out a "Wake Up Call for Us Liberals." He starts by citing the dinner Barack Obama had with arch conservatives like George Will, William Kristol and others. It was a misplaced confidence the newly elected President had that the extreme right could temper its ideologies and work with the left. No such luck. Alterman explains why defining the differences in beliefs: "The primary difference between liberalism and conservatism, at least in theory, is that the latter is an ideology and the former isn’t." He continues with an observation from Lionel Trilling, ” Liberalism is a large tendency rather than a concise body of doctrine.” In other words, the Progressive is free to The conservative is narrowly limited by its ideologies. Our political dysfunction has several sources but one of the most important is allowing, "...conservatives to define the terms of debate at a time when conservatives have lost all sense of moral, intellectual and especially practical responsibility."

More on this later.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Obama gets tough in opening second term

Mitch McConnell doing Obama
It looks like the President is tired of taking the crap that the Republicans have been dishing out for the last 4 years.  It started with a comment by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in October of 2011.  He said: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”   He wasn’t, and McConnell turns out to be the idiot he looked like for the last four years.  He and House Speaker John Boehner, since the GOP took over the house in 2010, have spewed a non-stop diatribe of what a failure Barack Obama had been.  They were wrong and the American people knew it.
And because the Republicans were trounced last November in the elections, Boehner now is taking a new approach.  He is saying that “Obama’sfocus is to annihilate the Republican Party.”  Actually, Obama doesn’t have to do anything.  The GOP, led by the Tea Party, is doing that all on their own without any help.  The remark from Boehner made at a Ripon Society luncheon was confirmed by the Speaker’s spokesperson.  Even with a Republican majority in the House that can block the President’s legislation, it is obvious that this gang of obstructionists is running scared, as they should be.
David Gergen, who has advised four Presidents, said: “Years from now, historians are likely to look back upon Barack Obama's second inaugural address as a rich treasure trove for understanding his presidency and possibly the course of American politics.”  It’s the sort of thing you say about a great President.  Another interesting comment by Gergen was that not only was Obama more confident, but that he was also “liberated.”  Gergen thinks that refers to the comfort of a second term and not having to run again, as well as showing that Republicans are not willing to compromise.  Either way it is very promising.
Obama’s inauguration speech reminds us of Lyndon Johnson’s brand of liberalism and the Great Society.  It is a welcome return to values that espouse equality with the emphasis off the wealthy and now directed at middle America, lower income brackets and the needy.  Another famous Mitch McConnell comment following Obama’s speech was: “The era of liberalism is back.”  How fitting that it comes at a time when we must pass new laws on gun control, comprehensive immigration reform and improving the environment.  The President also plans to work on his 2010 Obamacare.
Gergen says, “He emerged as an unapologetic, unabashed liberal -- just what the left has long wanted him to be and exactly what the right has feared.”     
Pulitzer Prize winner Historian Gary Willis writes about Lincoln’s maneuvering of the Declaration of Independence into the “founding creed of the country.”  In it, Lincoln says, we are all created equal, which was mirrored by Martin Luther King 100 years later in 1963, and what President Obama was talking about when referring to the declaration as our “founding creed.”  Gergen maintains that Obama has made equal opportunity the “central goal of his presidency.”  He adds that the GOP expected a plea for partisanship but received something of an ultimatum to cooperate, or else.
The question is whether Americans support Barack Obama in what he wants to accomplish in his second term.  According to a CNN/ORCInternational survey released Jan. 22, the percentage of those believing global warming is a fact resulting from cars, power plants and factories has doubled to 49%.  On immigration, 53% want a path for illegal immigrants to legal residents compared to 43% who want to deport them. Today, 51% favor all or most of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with 44% opposed to all or most of it.  Is there any doubt why the President would demand cooperation from Republicans?


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