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Getting Change Wrong


Getting Change Wrong

Bill McKibben

In the mounting, panicky attempts of elites to derail the Sanders candidacy, one strand dominates.


We are seeing people who want real change on the left and the right. McKibben did a good job describing what is going with regard to the left. But on the right we see candidates promising great changes too like sending 11 million illegal immigrants back to where they came from and at least for awhile barring all Muslims who are not US citizens from entering this country. And we see candidates promising to undo whatever Obama has accomplished as soon as they take office. Michael Dukadis ran as a manager. Obama ran as an agent of change as well as hope. Change you can believe in was the theme that defeated Hillary Clinton. After taking office he ran into a Republican Party that made its main goal not a better United States but a failed presidency for Obama. Maybe Sanders is the guy who can finally bring about change wanted by the left but it will not happen if the Republicans are able to stop him like they largely stopped Obama.


I am not sure Obama was being honest or not. The reason I say that is only about 2 months before the election in November of 2008 it started to become apparent that huge financial institutions were in danger of collapse because of the housing crisis. Obama had to redirect his entire campaign from the type of change he was advocating to figuring out what to do about a collapsing financial system. His opponent John McCain kept expressing confidence in the economy despite the danger signs. Obama spent much of his first term trying to get the economy back on track after the worse situation since the Great Depression. So I don't think it is fair to say he was lying when he was hit with an unexpected situation. Something similar could happen to Sanders. Nobody can know for sure. In any event, it is almost certain Sanders would be facing a House of Representatives with a Republican majority because of gerrymandering. Obviously Paul Ryan will not take up any agenda from Sanders but will put forth his own agenda. That is most likely what would happen. The agenda of the House would probably be to repeal Obamacare, end EPA regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, etc.


The Republicans did not stop Obama. Obama stopped Obama by turning traitor to all of us who bought into his hope and change diatribes. He did not lead, he followed orders fom his corporate bosses; a millionaire forever more until he hopefully is jailed, along with most of the Bush Administration, for crimes against humanity.


Re-read the Declaration of Independence and fill in your own interpretation of where the citizens of the US stand today.


Despite the Republicans Obama was able to get some things done his first term. Two obvious things were the Affordable Care Act and doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars. He also provided more funds for green energy than all previous presidents. He began the withdrawal of troops from Iraq as promised and completed it his second term. He ended torture of prisoners. He got job creation going and that has lasted for about 70 months. Middle class real wages are now rising for the first time in a long time. In his second term he got an international climate agreement. Change did happen but you apparently didn't notice it. Hopefully the next president will continue these changes and eventually we will reach what Obama promised. I think he said it would be a long hard road. Maybe you missed that part.


Better off than the citizens (or subjects) of almost any other country in my opinion. Many people want to come here. There must be a reason.


"After his election in 1932, FDR met with Sidney Hillman and other labor leaders, many of them active Socialists with whom he had worked over the past decade or more. Hillman and his allies arrived with plans they wanted the new President to implement. Roosevelt told them: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."


The solutions to all the problems Obama has faced are the opposite of the actions he and Congress implemented. Starting during the campaign with telecom immunity he showed his true center-right colors and enough people ignored them to elect him anyway. Faced with collapsing banks his solution was to give them money and make virtually no demands for any more responsibility from them than they were showing. The same with the car companies. Faced with worsening climate catastrophe, he's stuck with the absurd and obscene all of the above nonsense, sabotaging COP after COP, and only recently has he begun to shop for the appearance of a legacy. His answer to challenges in the oil-containing section of the world was not renewables, but war. His answer to a chronic health crisis was to expand the power of the insurance companies that are one of the main problems. He and the Democratic central committee have collaborated with the Republicans on almost every issue that's arisen or could be brought up, including gerrymandering. And so on.

Every issue. Perfectly good solutions, many not even needing congress, and he took the 1% way out every time. Clinton is even worse, whatever lies she's telling in reaction to running against a real progressive with a movement behind him.


Pretty good article Bill, but like Bernie and Hillary, you give Obama too much credit. He was such a disappointment!


He did almost none of that. What did get accomplished was a tiny percentage of what was needed, and in the case of the health crisis, a tiny percentage of what could have been gotten, given the movement. In Iraq, the troops have been in and out and in and out and in, all the time increasing the percentage of mercenaries and so our cost. He hasn't closed Guantanamo; as far as I know he hasn't closed black sites or ended torture or rendition. He's helped to worsen inequality. Meanwhile, on the only issue that matters--climate catastrophe--he's actively sabotaged international agreements and opposed every meaningful change, offering instead, superficial nonsense and lies and incremental change that promises only to delay the collapse of civilization by a couple of months. The net effect of his reign has been to delay needed changes in economics, energy and ecology, and other aspects of our lives for 8 years. In the end, this may make the difference between our survival and extinction.


Case in point that expands on Bill's observation that Sanders is likely to make the TPP fail: During the 2012 election neither Obama or Romney ever mentioned TPP even though it was moving forward at the time and both candidates in the Japanese election (which occurred about the same time) vigorously debated TPP.

If Sanders had not entered the 2016 race no Democrat or GOP candidate would ever mention TPP through the entire election process.


One of the strategies to "make me do it" was to get 10% of the US electorate to vote socialist or communist, thereby giving Roosevelt and Congress cover to enact the New Deal to keep the US from going commie.


FDR was pushed by Huey Long. His populist ideas threatened the elite just as Bernie scares them today. The media yells socialism or communism when anyone attempts to improve the commonweal. Fear and greed thy name is America.


The key metric during the Obama years is the fact that the too big to fail banks that controlled 25% of US bank assets when Obama took office, now control 45% and will control 50% of US bank assets by the time Obama leaves office.

Those banks and their corporate cronies have a stranglehold on all things healthcare, energy, climate, jobs and just about everything else. The ultimate execution of everything Obama has done on paper is controlled by the too big to fail banks who doubled their power base under Obama.

All of the change Bernie proposes will happen only if those banks can be broken up...that will be Bernie's first and most important job as president.


Yes, yes, with a couple of points:

  1. It's not just banks; it's also other corporations through interlocking boards of directors.

  2. It's very important, but for the moment, banishing inequality has to be a means to an end, and that end is our survival of the climate and larger ecological crisis. We're stuck because at its most basic, what we have to do in the next decade is simply to physically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and resequester enough to stop warming the Earth.

But in our society money and power are interchangeable commodities, so the political-economic system caused by our emotional illness is making that simply logistical GHG problem very difficult, so we may need to at least partly fix the poli-economic system to get rid of our greenhouse gas problem, and while we can't heal the emotional problem in time to fix the political-economic problem in time to solve the ecological crisis, enough of us at least have to acknowledge that psychology is the root of the problem to be able to start fixing the political-economic problem so we can get rid of the greenhouse gas problem.And then of course, there's the media that's preventing awareness, and the complex interlocked other ways people are mushroomed and gaslighted. It's an extraordinarily difficult complex, but trying to do one at a time will never work in time (less than 10 years before the risks of utter collapse accelerate out of control).


Well said wicklund!

It was clear from day one that Obama was/is an integral part of the machine that is killing the planet. Movement killer indeed.
While speaking of “hope and change” he stated:
“We can’t have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past. We need an energy strategy for the future – an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy.” – President Barack Obama, March 15, 2012

It confounds me how so many “progressives” ignored what Obama didn’t even try to hide which is most currently evidenced in his unwavering support of TPP.

In the meantime re: what is going on in the minds of the wealthy democrats and the supposedly large demographic of baby boomer women who support HRC? Lack of empathy? Inability to think critically? Being comfortable in their wealth and not wanting to rock the boat?

I’ve never seen anyone like Bernie Sanders in my life and I’ve been through many elections.
It is not about Bernie’s ego, his need for power, control, money . . . it is about a movement . . .


On another note: wouldn’t it be wonderful to see Jane as “first lady”
What a breath of fresh air.
For starters perhaps Bernie/Jane will dispense with the obscene “inaugural ball” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/2013-inauguration_n_2310770.html)

to quote Cookies: go, bernie go!
And we all need to do our part as well. No more arm chairing it.


After getting change wrong, Hillary takes her quest for change directly to the people. WARNING: Rude, crude change bro edition:


No one is saying that Obama didn't have any accomplishments: he protected the bankers and hedge fund operators from prosecution; he protected GW Bush, Dick Cheney and too many others to mention here from prosecution from of history's worst war crimes, the results which continue today; he has protected the oil, gas and coal industries from any effective revenue loss while fooling the rest of us into thinking he was "stopping the rise of the oceans" as he promised; and to be sure, he has not stopped the torture going on in Guantanamo. If you believe that try a little vacation time there and try their lunch menu served in a tube jammed down you throat. Best part of your visit will be in knowing your departure date. Obama is a fraud and I am a democrat; at least while Bernie is in the running.