Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Barack Obama Cautious & Pragmatic or Sell Out?

Obama & the Neocons & the Clintonites
Is it real change or more of the same
Is it just too early to tell?
Some Republicans approve of Obam's picks for his transition team.
Others on the Far Right from Rush Limbaugh & Glenn Beck to Sean Hannity think its the end of the world. Were they just racists all along who are now unmasked ?

Jeremy Scahill argues that Barack Obama's choices for his transition team and the ways in which he has responded to certain issues have been praised by those who should be his sworn enemies and therefore Obama has to some extent already sold out. His supporters and progressives should now be wary of where Obama will lead America. But one wonders that Scahill and others maybe underestimating the political decisions Obama is making which maybe are part of a stragey which is not about the short term gains but the victories to be had in the long run.To have come as far as he has Obama is far from a naive starry-eyed romantic figure but is one who is pragmatic but also with a sense of purpose and what is right.

Neocons, Republicans and War Criminals Rave About Obama's 'Team of Rivals'

Posted by Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet at 9:51 AM on November 30, 2008.
Obama is getting praise from all the wrong people
As Barack Obama's opus, Team of Rivals, continues its rolling debut, the early reviews are in and the "critics" are full of praise for the cast:
"[T]he new administration is off to a good start."
-- Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell.
"[S]uperb ... the best of the Washington insiders ... this will be a valedictocracy -- rule by those who graduate first in their high school classes."
-- David Brooks, conservative New York Times columnist
"[V]irtually perfect ... "
-- Senator Joe Lieberman, former Democrat and John McCain's top surrogate in the 2008 campaign.
-- Karl Rove, "Bush's brain."

"I am gobsmacked by these appointments, most of which could just as easily have come from a President McCain ... this all but puts an end to the 16-month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, the unconditional summits with dictators, and other foolishness that once emanated from the Obama campaign ... [Hillary] Clinton and [James] Steinberg at State should be powerful voices for 'neo-liberalism' which is not so different in many respects from 'neo-conservativism.'"
-- Max Boot, neoconservative activist, former McCain staffer.
"I see them as being sort of center-right of the Democratic party."
-- James Baker, former Secretary of State and the man who led the theft of the 2000 election.
"[S]urprising continuity on foreign policy between President Bush's second term and the incoming administration ... certainly nothing that represents a drastic change in how Washington does business. The expectation is that Obama is set to continue the course set by Bush ... "
-- Michael Goldfarb of the neoconservative Weekly Standard.
"I certainly applaud many of the appointments ... "
-- Senator John McCain
"So far, so good."
-- Senator Lamar Alexander, senior Republican Congressional leader.
Hillary Clinton will be "outstanding" as Secretary of State
-- Henry Kissinger, war criminal
Rahm Emanuel is "a wise choice" in the role of Chief of Staff
-- Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, John McCain's best friend.
Obama's team shows "Our foreign policy is non-partisan."
-- Ed Rollins, top Republican strategist and Mike Huckabee's 2008 campaign manager
"The country will be in good hands."
-- Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush's Secretary of State

**Team of Rivals will be playing all day, every day for at least the next four years**


On the other hand there are those who argue that some writers on the left expect too much from Obama. That obama can perform miracles and walk on water as it were. While there are those on the right who see Obama as the worst thing that could happen to America they predict increased class war fare or the removal of whites from jobs and positions of authority to be replaced by Black Americans and a slide into socialism and communism or at least an insane form of Political Correctness and the establishment of Hate Crimes in which Evangelical Christians and others have their freedom of speech curtailed.

Tim Wise in an article at AlterNet.org argues that current progressives and leftists are too negative in their responses and opinions about President Elect Obama and should change their attitude by learning a thing or two from the Civil-rights movement and other activists in the 1950s and 1960s.The current progressives have become so cynical that they have given up before the real struggle has just begun. In their defense I would say that after decades of losing one battle after another seeing the gains made being rolled back especially during the Bush Regime it may be difficult to realize that there has been a victory which is hopefully just the beginning of more to come.

Enough of 'Barbituate' Left Cynicism, Obama Is a Victory over White Supremacy
By Tim Wise, Red Room. Posted November 26, 2008.

We don't need the "everything sucks" analysis; Obama has mobilized millions of activists and that energy is looking for an outlet.

...Now, in the wake of Barack Obama's victory these barbiturate leftists are back in full effect, lecturing the rest of us about how naive we are for having any confidence whatsoever in him...Those of us who find any significance in the election of a man of color in a nation founded on white supremacy are fools who "drank the kool-aid," ...

... What matters to them is raging against the machine for the sake of rage itself. It's as if much of the left has become co-dependent with despondency, addicted to its own isolation, and enamored of its moral purity and unwillingness to work with mere liberals...

and he argues that for all that needs to be done will take time and the actions of numerous activists to ensure Obama moves in the right direction.

...For those who can't get excited about Obama, so be it, but at least realize that there are millions of people who, for whatever reason, are; people who are mobilized and active, and that energy is looking for an outlet. Odds are, that outlet won't be the Obama administration, since few of them will actually land jobs with it. So that leaves activist formations, community groups and grass-roots struggles. That leaves, in short, us. Just as young people inspired by the center-right JFK candidacy in 1960 ultimately moved well beyond him on their way to the left and made up many of the most committed and effective activists of the 60s and early 70s, so too can such growth occur now among the Obama faithful. But not if we write them off.


...It wasn't anger and pessimism that broke the back of formal apartheid in the south, but rather, hope, and a belief in the fundamental decency of people to make a change if confronted by the yawning chasm between their professed national ideals and the bleak national reality.

In other words, what the 60s freedom struggle took for granted, but which the cynical barbiturate left refuses to concede, is the basic goodness of the people of this nation, and the ability of the nation, for all of its faults (and they are legion) to change. Look at pictures of the freedom riders in 1961, or the volunteers during Freedom Summer of 1964 and notice the dramatic difference between them and some of the seething radicals of today -- whose radicalism is almost entirely about style and image more than actual analysis and movement building. In the case of the former, even as they stared down mobs intent on injuring or killing them, and even as they knew they might be murdered, they smiled, they laughed, they sang, they found joy.

From Information Clearing House in another article attacking the Republicans on the one hand for their response to Obama's victory but the writer is also critical of those on the left who the writer sees as far too negative about Obama before he has served even one day as president. The author Sheila Samples believes that what has occurred is extraordinary and that those who supported Obama should be more supportive of him and more positive about the furure instead of getting too wrapped up in their own perceptions of how things should proceed. She begins by illustrating how certain fairly racist very vocal people on the right have gone a bit ape-shit over Obama's victory dredging up and projecting their darkest most irrational conspiratorial paranoid fantasies but this she argues was to be expected. She argues that what was not expected was how quickly and how deeply felt was the response on the left; that is the negativity and wholesale criticism and cynicism on the left with each new decision made by President-Elect Barack Obama. I disagree to some extent that is in the sense that at times peoples hopes were raised so high as to be far beyond what could be realized or accomplished by one person or within a short period of time. As others have noted to reverse what the Bush Regime and the Neocons have done to America may take much longer than just four years to fix and that this will not be easy.

In a sense the over-reaction of the right shows how revolutionary or radical Obama's victory is viewed by the right. What to them seemed impossible has come true which fills them with wonder and fear. To those on the left they viewed the election of an African American to the presidency as more or less inevitable that is that such a day would come whether now or at a future date.

We Will Not Jump Ship By Sheila Samples

November 29, 2008 "Information Clearinghouse" -- The recent blowout election that gave us President Elect Barack Obama resulted in a flood of emotion that engulfed both parties. The one thing they had in common was that neither party could believe it.

...Republicans, terrified of change, were in shock -- in total disarray. But the next morning, they were out in force -- maggots streaming from rotten turds whose blossoms had been stomped on.

The Heritage Foundation warned against the danger of the Left's "radical agenda" of health care, education and energy. House majority leader John Boehner ... maintained that Obama may have won, but his "far-left agenda" was out of step with the majority of Americans...

Boehner's predecessor, Dick Armey, was quick to point out that Obama didn't win -- Republicans lost. And they lost because they were just too damned compassionate. Armey is chairman of Freedom Works, which advocates scrapping the Federal Income Tax, kicking older folks out of Social Security to keep from overburdening the young, and of course freedom -- such as that of network carriers to manage and control Internet content...

Richard Haass, Council on Foreign Relations president, hissed, "The one thing I'm sure of is, events will test him. ...There will be coups. ...There will be genocide. ... There will be terrorism." ...

Georgia Congressman Paul Broun called Obama a "Marxist" who was determined to set up a jack-booted Gestapo civilian security force to use against citizens ... In the ensuing flap, Broun refused to apologize, or to acknowledge that the "civilian national security force" proposed by Obama is, in reality, a two-year-old pilot program -- The Civilian Response Corps of the United States of America trained and equipped to "deploy rapidly to countries in crisis or emerging from conflict, in order to provide reconstruction and stabilization assistance." The State Department has already deployed members to Sudan, Chad, Haiti, Lebanon, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

While for instance Rush ...

Limbaugh, who has been in shrieking racist meltdown since the day Obama announced his candidacy. Referring to Barack Hussein Obama early and often, Limbaugh stoked racist fear by warning ...(the country was ) being taken over by a "half-minority." ...

Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and their gang of slimy supremacist clones inflame the fires of fear and hate on a daily -- hourly -- basis. They know exactly what they're doing. ..

And Michael Savage warns that Blacks ... are poised to take over the entire nation and " ...that there's gonna be a wholesale firing of competent white men in the United States government up and down the line, in police departments, in fire departments. Everywhere in America, you're going to see an exchange that you've never seen in history..."

(and ) Lisa Miller, former front-page religious writer for the Wall Street Journal, now Newsweek's Society/Religion editor, asks, in a shameful, code-word laden piece -- "Is Obama the Antichrist?"

Miller ...says conservative Christians believe a great battle is imminent. "After years of tribulation -- natural disasters, other cataclysms (such as the collapse of financial markets) -- God's armies will vanquish armies led by the Antichrist himself. He will be a sweet-talking world leader who gathers governments and economies under his command to further his own evil agenda." Miller says, given Obama's liberal positions on abortion and traditional marriage, it's no wonder that "Obama triggers such fear in the hearts of America's millennialist Christians."

... However, the ripples of uneasiness and fear surging through Democratic ranks as a result of these assaults is a bit puzzling. Perhaps it's because after eight years of covering -- and uncovering -- deceit, lies, and monstrous war crimes perpetrated by George Bush, they are hesitant to trust another president regardless of his party affiliation. Or, perhaps they're afraid to have hope because they believe George Orwell's flat, no-wiggle-room assertion that -- "All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia."

Those on the left who complain that Obama is "loading up his administration with Clintonites" should pause and take a deep breath. Anybody old enough to serve -- who has the experience to serve -- would necessarily come from either the Clinton or the Bush era. Which would you prefer? We should remember it is Obama's policies, not theirs, that will be put into effect. He promised change -- to be honest and up-front with all the people. He is keeping that promise.

Last week, in three days Obama held three press conferences wherein he outlined policies that reach far beyond the immediate crisis, such as his long-range plan to boost the economy by creating 2.5 million jobs. "We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children," he said, "and building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead."

Obama is not perfect. The problems Bush is only too happy to dump on him are almost insurmountable and getting worse by the day. Obama will make mistakes, but he has promised that, with our help, the hopes of all Americans can be realized. Together -- we can change the direction of the country.

We will not jump ship. Come hate or high water -- we can do it.

and so it goes,

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