From Time for Change at Democratic Underground, part of a very long piece about the division among Democrats. I thought this nailed it: Yes, the administration and Congress have accomplished a lot -- but where are the programs and legislation that will help the people who are drowning out here?
This is the difference. The priorities are not the same, and the upcoming attack on Social Security and the austerity proposals to come will prove it:
Obama’s supporters note that many of us don’t even get excited about such victories as the repeal of DADT, and they ask “what has happened to DU?” What has happened is that we have a Democratic president whom many or most of us have come to believe is very bad for our country. More specifically, we believe that his actions have repeatedly supported the wrong side in the ongoing class war. We cannot get excited about small victories because they don’t seem to us to matter that much in the context of today’s overall picture.
What do I mean by small victories, and why would I describe the repeal of DADT as a small victory? Well, to be blunt about it, many of us believe that the class war is the defining issue of our time because so much else depends on it. The result of this class war will determine how the necessities of life are distributed in our society. It will determine the status or even the existence of long-standing social safety net programs such as Medicare and Social Security. It will determine whether the corporatocracy is allowed to maintain and extend their control over systems of communication in our country. It will determine how many people are able to find jobs and obtain adequate health care, shelter, and food for themselves and their families. And it will determine whether or not any restraints will be put on the ability of the corporatocracy to destroy our planet.
With all that at stake, we can’t get too excited about victories not related to the class war. DADT was repealed because the corporatocracy didn’t care to fight against repeal. That did not threaten their profits in the least. They were probably happy to let it be repealed because it gives the appearance to some degree that we are a progressive nation. If DADT repeal threatened their profits or their power they would have fought tooth and nail against it, and it would not have been repealed.
The wealthy/corporate class is winning the class war big time, and President Obama gives little evidence of being part of the solution. For all the reasons I’ve described, we see him more as part of the problem. Progressive victories that do not affect the class war in our favor do little to change our minds about this. Unless and until the President shows himself willing and capable of challenging powerful interests on our behalf we will probably continue to see him as part of the problem.
Of course most of us recognize that the obstacles to challenging powerful corporate interests in today’s world are considerable. We do not know for sure that another president could do better. But we want to see our president at the very least make a visible effort to challenge them and to adhere to his campaign promises on our behalf.