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Incumbent Lessons: What Obama’s Presidency Can Teach Sander’s Revolution


#1

Incumbent Lessons: What Obama’s Presidency Can Teach Sander’s Revolution

Peter Bloom

Bernie Sander’s call for political revolution is taking much of the country by storm. Once a fringe candidate, he has surged in the polls to legitimately challenging frontrunner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination with a resounding win in New Hampshire. More than just taking on Republicans or Centrist Democrats, Sanders is trying to build a popular movement to transform the US political and economic system.


#2

Bernie wants us to have the bran and the germ along with the endosperm that the elite are only content to distribute. Education and opportunity, debt free at that, are what he proposes. The shackles of job-based health care, etc. must be eradicated. Forget Obama, he is already history. Whole grain America! Accept nothing else! Do your part!


#3

If a candidate that inspires great excitement and loyalty in voters and with that builds a winning coalition to gain election then "compromises" in search of "pragmatism", turning to perceived capitulation and complicity, they will be seen as betraying their coalition and promises/rhetoric....such is the view of many of Obama's journey as Prez.

Bernie Sanders great idealism is his greatest strength; his commitment to "genuine social change such as the New Deal (that) required massive popular mobilization and visionary leadership not just beltway maneuvering" has lasted decades, it has not wavered with the wind or popularity or polls or focus-groups, it is held in his heart and morality, a commitment to the common guy and gal.

Integrity means far-more today than political scheming, also called "pragmatism", and complicit deal-making in the cesspool of Washington politics. Politicians feeding at the trough of great wealth and power are many, those working tirelessly for social uplift and equality are few. Sanders has learned lessons from previous Presidents and politicians.......


#4

A quick glance at public policy around the world reveals that Sander's single payer option and free education are anything but revolutionary. The dichotomy expressed in this article is a political illusion supported by the media, pundits, the Medical Industry, and the Education Industry; together they form the Truth Industry, an Orwellian creation that appears whenever the status quo is threatened.


#5

Obama never had to change for pragmatism.

He lied. Big time.


#6

Obama's main problem was that although he had a Democratic majority in the House and Senate when he came into office the Democrats did not have enough votes in the Senate to override filibusters. The key for Sanders is really a no-brainer. A House with a majority of Democrats and a Senate with enough Democrats to prevent a filibuster. If Sanders doesn't have that he will be faced with the same problem that limited Obama. Also, one advantage Sanders hopefully would probably have is that he would not be taking office with a collapsing economy. It would be impossible to carry out his agenda with the economic situation that confronted Obama. So Democratic control of both houses of Congress including enough votes to override filibusters in the Senate and a reasonably good economy is what Sanders needs to have a chance.


#7

"Orwellian", indeed !

"In an age of universal deceit, anybody telling the truth is considered radical" - George Orwell


#8

No favor is done to the cause of necessary change ("revolution") when frames like this are used... often:

"This reflects a more general narrative surrounding this race – that of the pragmatic lawmaker verses the idealistic revolutionary, the “progressive who likes to get things done” against the unrealistic iconoclast, the head against the heart."

There is no way that an individual who stands for Wall Street, enthusiastically pushes foreign wars (for the MIC), and assumes a "tough on crime" and/or "tough on whistle-blowers" (like the brave Edward Snowden or Julian Assange) policy IS Progressive!

Enough already with this canard!

By this form of discombobulation of language serial killers can be defined as peace-loving Americans!


#9

Then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's daily rant "I don't have the votes" (during 2009-2011 Democratic Party control of both houses of Congress) contradicts your assertion that "overriding filibusters" was the crux of the problem. Too many Congressional Democrats have voting records that any Republican would love.

Recall that Obama's 2009 economic stimulus and 2010 Affordable Care Act were purposely crafted to be GOP-friendly, allegedly to get some GOP votes, yet both bills passed with not one Congressional Republican voting in favor.


#10

Obama can't teach Bernie anything. He betrayed the base he built as soon as he got into office. Pragmatism my butt, he was always a center/right kinda guy. Through the campaign he kept saying "I can't do this without you behind me" (paraphrased) so when he was elected I expected him to call on his base to get involved and back him up, but the call never came. He walked away and gave us pragmatism from then on. Health care for example, could have had single payer but Obama took it off the table. In fact he took every good thing he could have done and sh-t canned it. His excuse is like Hillary's, can't get it through congress. No, YOU can't but I bet the people and you can.
Bernie is building a movement. If he stays close to his base and calls on us to fight for what we want changed, it can be done. The only reason people think it can't be done is because the likes of Hillary Clinton tell us it can't.
Democrats have become so much like Republicans they inspire no enthusiasm and offer only half hearted fixes to our problems. We need real change now and Bernie is the only one addressing real change.


#11

As usual, you skim the surface using superficial data to make your case.

There is a major difference your Job-Post today misses, and it's that Mr. Sanders has integrity. Obama was the Manchurian Candidate. The promise of being "the first Black President" along with lots of riches was a great enough temptation to make it EASY for him to sell out, do his part, and read The Script.


#12

This is another of those articles so poorly written that it needed an editor who has the courage to send it back to the writer with passages like this red-lined & a comment: "You cannot possibly mean this because it is patently false!?" Example: "Barack Obama has not fundamentally changed this dangerous balance of power in favor of the rich." Obama most certainly has fundamentally changed the dangerous balance of power he inherited to more favor the then-already insanely, pathologically rich! Denying that is also pathologically insane! Where are the editors when we need them? As the famous Berkeley professor of journalism pointed out three decades ago: "American editors are, as a class, a pack of cowards!" Oh, dear, God, how many more US editors must proved that prophetic statement's veracity?!


#13

Obama sez: "“One thing I learned through some tough election cycles: You can’t
separate good policy from the need to bring the American people along
and make sure that they know why you’re doing what you’re doing.”

Oh, really? Guess that explains 'Fucking re----s'; stonewalling citizens during the insurance industry-sponsored ACA sausage-making; locking the public out of the secretive corporate TTP/TTIP process, etc., etc.

Statements like this are more salt in the open, festering sores of those bound by Rope and Chains™.


#14

Tell it like it is Dede! Excellent!


#15

I think he will stick to his values and expose to all what and who the roadblocks are. This is what the tea party did and what we as informed citizens can use to break through the deadlock and oust those who won't work for or represent us.


#16

Yes, absolutely, Lrx. The pipedreamers (and sometimes I am one) see too much hope in Bernie and now they see too much disappointment with Obama. I simply hope for either Bernie or Hillary. I do LOVE the fact that Bernie is pushing leftist views into the spotlight. That is all good.


#17

Obama didn't have to cave when the Repubicans threatened to shut down the government, Bill Clinton, of all people, didn't cave, the government was shut down and the public outrage led to Newt and the boys eating crow and losing the House in the next election. Obama caved, and now it is part of the standard narrative that the Republicans can shut the government down any time they choose and there is no other option than to cave. BS.

Nobody forced Obama to create that Monster, the Simson-Bowles Commission, led by two reactionary corporatists. Thankfully, enough of the members refused to go along with the recommended disasterous cuts in SS and other programs, so it faded away, although Obama continued to plead for a Grand Bargain, or Sellout.

Poor Mr. Obama, he had no other choice! BS! Bernie is needed if for no other reason than to say NO to any and all such schemes, to say no to every reactionary scheme proposed by the GOP.

President Obama, he just couldn't do anything. He should have hollered NO everyday of his administation, however, the Pritzkers knew, Jamie Dimon knew, the Very Special People, knew the name of Obama's game, and they liked it.


#18

Reading LRX everyday, and noting the way he sticks to his story regardless of evidence or vitriol from the C.D. posters... I thought of you. You played precisely this role in former elections and the only reason I didn't assume that LRX was your latest screen name derivative is that he doesn't make ANY spelling mistakes. His grasp of grammar is better than most which suggests that he's been groomed.

But it's hardly surprising to find you reinforcing this individual's positions since this was YOUR role an election cycle ago.

Greg R/Monkes Tale and what was the other screen name... I forget?

The "farmer" who insisted that he liked Monsanto's products also doubling down as the most loyal and reliable advocate of ANY Democrat... particularly those that just so happen to back monstrous corporations like Monsanto.

What's a good tag team without backup?


#19

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#20

Hey, S, I guess I'm mostly glad you're still around to give those whose opinions are at odds with yours a comeuppance. I always get a bit of a wince-filled smile out of your paranoia (...which suggests that he's been groomed.) I simply state my views. I'm a pragmatic progressive. I'd love to see Bernie elected, but Hillary is 100x better than the r choices. And guess what? I'm growing NON-gmo corn this year from a smaller, local seed company.