How the 2010 elections changed the political terrain

Are we ignoring the results and consequences of the 2010 elections? They have put the whole political spectrum way to the right in a way that Obama cannot ignore ; despite all the left pundits' claims to the contrary. Obama must defer to some extent to that vote. All the Democrats who were reelected don't have to pay attention to it as much because their constituencies were not part of. It was not the message from their constituencies. But it was directed at Obama because it was led by the Tea Party who focused on Obama specifically. The election was a direct repudiation of Obama by the majority no matter that it was insane and stupid . It is the insane and stupid reality of a moment of the dynamic equilibrium of American voters in this period.

I'd still want Obama in as President rather than any of the current typical proto-fascist Republicans. So, on the sort of bottomline political issue I'm still with Obama. Nothing wrong with a more left Democrat pushing him in primaries. The key to win back Congress based on the current labor thrust starting in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan , the anti-Tea Party surge. Even this right step by Obama in the budget war does not put him as far right as the current Reps. As I say, it is taken in part because Obama can't utterly ignore the message of the 2010 election. In part he has to say, "you voted for this America , so I am mandated to give some of what you voted for." The balancing of the budget, getting rid of the deficit, was a major plank of the Tea Party, no matter how economically stupid it is to cut federal spending in a depression. Obama must respond to the ignoramus economics of the American man in the street or woman in domestic economies.

Secondly, the current Republicans are so loony rightwing, that Obama seems to have isolated or closed on the issue of raising taxes on the rich. We'll see , but the Reps seem to be actually absolute or non-negotiable on raising taxes on the rich. That makes sense, in that these Republicans have no constituency except the rich or the ruling class, (Yes the rich are Obama's constituency too, but Obama also has a gigantic working class constituency; he has irreconcilably antagonistic constituencies) who are quite agitated by what they lost in the financial crisis, and madly determined and mono-manaically focused on getting it back from the working class. It looks like they even refused to move on raising taxes on the rich when Obama threw in cuts in Social Security ! Furthermore, can the Reps really allow a government shutdown and or default ? A default would hit their exclusive Masters in the form of a US default creating another world financial crisis. So, it is interesting that the Reps couldn't go for the Social Security cut if the tax increase on the rich was still part of the far anyway. Stay tuned. Obama is putting on TV.

Obama has to be concerned that the insanely anti-Obama, white supremacist rooted , insanely anti-Obama Tea Party upsurge that won the last election won't be successful in blaming a government shutdown and resultant economic disaster on Obama. He has a disadvantage in relation to Clinton because of the white supremacist element in the anti-O rightwing activists. Clinton was able to have most people blame Gingrich and the Republican the last time we went down this gambit in 1995. Obama can't be sure of that he won't be blamed for a shutdown, because of the insane and irrational blaming of Obama for so much that has happened that really shouldn't even be considered bad from the standpoint of many of the Tea Party followers. The TPers are, again, insanely against their self-interest in being up in arms about extensions of health care, pay equity, stimulus etc. So, Obama is correct to negotiate in the media and "bend over backwards" to a point, i.e. the point of not giving up raising taxes on the rich, giving in on everything but that, isolates the critical class issue, the one on which the Republicans seem not willing to give up, the absolute non-negotiable element in the instructions from their principles, the ruling class.

It is the voters in 2010 who put Obama in this position. It is not some personal conservatism of him. Focus on Obama's personality or political personality is not "cogent'. He was left out to dry by the American voters in 2010. The House in the hands of wingnut Republicans is an insuperable barrier to doing anything under the American system, especially with respect to the budget because the House had the Power of the Purse. So, he is correct to say, "this is what you voted for." Or wrought by not voting for some Democrat because Obama didn't do enough left stuff.

Obama's move right also has the effect of forcing the Left to do get very active up off their asses in protesting against those right wing moves. Rather than sitting at computers writing articles, go out and organize a march on Washington protesting. This is the penance of not organizing to fight the Tea Party in 2010. It is a sort of negative dialectical taunt or agitation, a lowdown version of FDR's "go out and make me do it"; "go out and stop me from making these concessions."

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  • Contradictions, catastrophies, and calamities abound for the Obama administration and its political base if the peace, jobs, and justice issues which it marginally addresses, are not more boldly and clearly faced.
    Perhaps a misprint or typographical, John Henry calls for" ..a more left Democrat", pushing him. We can agree with this, but perhaps even more and more significantly if he had printed "more left democrat".
    Indeed, we want the Republicans with democratic instincts and leanings to be active in democraticizing work places with massive card check, collective bargaining, voter education, voter mobilzation and voter registration. Not to mention independents, the working poor, people of color, African Americans greens, socialists, civil libertarians, Latinos, women, seniors, youth, communists, and the rest(including Communists).
    The "more left Democrat" would include heroes like John Conyers and John Lewis, of course, socialists like Bernie Sanders,(or those tagged socialists by the far right, like Democrat Sherrod Brown for example, along with every other progressive for that matter-the whole congressional Progress Caucus)or any congress member who would work constructively with the left or center forces for progress and change. This and all with whom we fight for economic progress with, we applaud.
    We would work with and for them to help let the whole united democratic electorate contour what concessions we will make and not make around the 2012 elections, its prelude and aftermath.
    Massive and concrete peace, jobs and justice, including peace with the planet's ecology, is what we must have, or die.
    We must help change the political terrain left from 2010- in and alongside of the Obama administration, rolling down like a mighty water, from a mighty living stream.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 07/20/2011 2:45pm (13 years ago)

  • Wrong Focus on the Left:

    On the left, much of the criticism of President Obama is focused upon his rhetoric and language moving towards the Right and his dismissal of his Keynesian economists. The impression is that he is moving to the Right by agreeing to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block. However, as John Henry points out, "... the point of not giving up raising taxes on the rich, giving in on everything but that, isolates the critical class issue, the one on which the Republicans seem not willing to give up...." Hopefully if the President can make this point stick in the minds of the American people, they will ignore the racist, irrational, anti-Obama rants of the Right-Wingnuts.

    Posted by Nat Turner, 07/16/2011 11:14am (13 years ago)

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