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The Race for the US Presidency 2012 & Why Obama Must Be Defeated

NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

Why Obama Must Be Defeated  -  by Russell Mokhiber

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/20/why-obama-must-be-defeated

"...Not one of the great left critics in the United States have dared say what Harvard Law School Professor Roberto Unger said last week.

'President Obama must be defeated in the coming election.'

Why?

'He has failed to advance the progressive cause in the United States.'..."


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Left Turn
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Joined: Mar 28 2005

While I'm no fan of Obama and the Democratic party, and don't advocate a vote for either, I don't share Unger's view that 'President Obama must be defeated in the coming election.'

There are only two electable candidates to the presidency of the United States: Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney. Unger's view implies that a Mitt Romney victory is a better outcome for progressives than Obama's reelection. It is not. Mitt Romney has clearly staked out economic and fiscal positions to the right of Obama, positions that will leave the American working class in a worse position than if Obama is reelected. And given Mitt Romney's political positions opposing both a woman's right to chose, and birth control, it's a position that is highly offensive to women. So it is not in the interest of the American working class to imply support for a Romney win, because it legitimates those policies for which Romney stands.

None of this is to suggest that the American working class has any interest in supporting Obama's reelection. Arguing in favor of voting for Obama is defeatism of the worst variety. It's the argument that the wroking class must continually vote against its interests in order to prevent an even worse outcome.

The American working class has nothing to gain from participation in the farce that is Obama vs. Romney. They have every interest in working to build an alternative to the false paradigm of Democrats vs. Republicans, and this work is badly needed regardless of who wins in November.


josh
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Joined: Aug 5 2002
“There will be a cost for his defeat in judicial and administrative appointments.” That's it, Mr. Unger? How about the evisceration and possible privtization of social security and medicare? The death knell to unions? Massive tax cuts for the rich, including a less progressive income tax system and the end of the inheritance tax? Not to mention repressive action against immigrants, gays and women. Factor any of those in? And increased attacks on public education and teachers. But I'm sure your tenure at Harvard won't be affected. So you don't have to worry.

Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Defeat Obama and elect Romney?? No effing way. Obama at least has sung at the Apollo. Tongue out

 


Boom Boom
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KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

What a bunch of goofballs.

Written in some Alice in Wonderland caucus meeting, as if it was the left that was going to defeat Obama.


Bec.De.Corbin
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Joined: Mar 17 2010

Counterpunch is getting as funny as the Onion...Laughing


knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

Not even Republicans think Romney is better than Obama...they are both Wall Street puppets. 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

The superrich in America love Obama because they control him and the Republican Party the same by funding. Democratic voices are shut out of presidential nominations by the money machine.

Cold warriors used to say that one party rule in the former USSR was dictatorship, and yet this is what the oligarchs have created in the USSA. In truth, though, the republic was overthrown in 1947 with the signing of the National Security Act. The NSA, CIA, and Joint Chiefs of Staff were created. It's been a military dictatorship with an economy based largely on war ever since. Obama is merely another cosmetic leader in Warshington following orders from his real constituents namely Wall Street and 8000 military contractors etc.  The only way Americans could possibly have a voice in government is to hire a lobbyist at a rate of tens of thousands of dollars an hour. The average American has no representation in government. It's a deeply corrupt dictatorship.

Sadly, and historically, it has been the banking and financier oligarchy who decide whether and when to have oligarchy, autocracy or democracy. There have been instances when oligarchs take the masses into their circle of power and allow for representation in government but only to guarantee payment of debts owed to financiers. Sovereign debts became more valuable than debts owed to kings and queens whose debts died along with them. Today it is more sporting to enslave whole nations of people with debt. There is no sign of democracy yet and not until such time as bankers and governments realize that debts which can not be paid, won't be. Then we will see a return to democracy on the say so of bankers and the oligarchy.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

The Prince of Drones has always been a war mongering imperialist.  In the lead up to his first nomination battle I kept saying that if you listen closely to what he is saying it is exactly the same thing as Ms. Rice's justifications as Bush's resident war monger.  I thought an Obama Rice ticket would have been far more honest.

They are all trained at America's elite schools where they are taught American Exceptionalism.  Frankly I don't see that Obama is better than Bush and I doubt if Romney will be any different than either George the Second or The Prince of Drones.

The only difference I see is that when Bush did something evil people who support democracy and peace protested. When Obama does the same things progressives play the three monkeys game.  If Romney is elected at least there will be an outcry when he does the same as his predecessors Bush and Obama.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

They are all the same president - each a cloned duplicate of the one before them churned out by a corporatocracy as if so many injection molded plastic widgets of some oil derivative or another. 


Jacob Two-Two
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Joined: Jan 16 2002

There are some small differences, domestically, in who becomes president, but in the bigger picture it is totally irrelevent. The US is about as democratic as Iran.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Why split hairs? All democracies are on a continuum of manipulated process. France, Germany, Ecuador, US, Iran, Canada- all the same.


knownothing
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Joined: Mar 24 2011

Sure makes you thankful for the NDP anyway...to have a third option is something to be proud of


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

knownothing wrote:

Sure makes you thankful for the NDP anyway...to have a third option is something to be proud of

Yes we do have an alternative but it didn't just appear overnight.  For most of the last forty years I have had Liberals tell me that i have to vote for them for exactly the same reasons as activists are told in the US that they should be voting for Obama. 

I can't tell the difference. Was Martin better than Mulroney? If NDP supporters for the past 50 years had followed the wisdom that voting for the lesser of two evils is the best thing to do then there would not be a third party in Canada either.


love is free
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Joined: May 21 2012

the thing that some of the far left dead-enders don't get is that progressive presidents institutionalize more just organizations of power and distribution of resources, while reactionary presidents make every more to entrench the advantage of the plutocrats and their familiars.  it's perverse to hope, as many of these types do, that millions of people live in misery for protracted periods of time, so that they become class conscious and radicalized - that's just dark. 


Jacob Two-Two
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Joined: Jan 16 2002

And how has Obama done this?


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

Counterpunch is getting as funny as the Onion...Laughing

 

good point


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

I don't know why anyone would expect the Democrats and their president to advance progressive issues - they aren't a progressive party.  They're just not as horrible as the Republicans and their execrable offshoot the Tea Party.

That said, given the extremely limited choice, I'd go with Obama simply because Romney's stance on women's reproductive rights is unacceptable.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

DaveW wrote:

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

Counterpunch is getting as funny as the Onion...Laughing

good point

There are good and bad writers on Counterpoint.  Some of them are as out to lunch as commentators from the National Post and the Toronto Star.  A few are a mirror image of the Quebecor pundits. However there are still great articles on it.  Like anywhere else in the media you need to separate the chaff from the grains of truth. In US terms CNN is far closer to the Onion and Fox is on a different scale altogether.

 

___________________________________________

Soothsayers had a better record of prediction than economists


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Progressives in the US will never get out of this bind until they start the long haul of debating both the elephant and the donkey.  Those political animals have turned the US electoral system into a zoo.  The NDP has taken 50 years to be on the doorsteps of power but their ideas have been part of the debate in our politics even in the dark years after the parties constitutional blunder when they were almost wiped out.  The US needs people to start the debate not be muzzled for the good of the lesser evil.

[People's favourite cliches about a first step may be inserted here]


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Here are two news stories from the same day, June 14th.  They highlight why I think Obama should be defeated. His imperialism reeks to the extent that it is impossible to hold ones nose and still be able to mark and X.

Quote:

U.S. President Barack Obama gave the Medal of Freedom to Israeli President Shimon Peres in a special ceremony at the White House on Wednesday evening (Washington time).

In remarks he made prior to handing Peres the medal, Obama described Israel as “one of our strongest allies and one of our closest friends.” He said that Peres “is nothing short of extraordinary.”

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/156867#.T-YXBXDctAk

Quote:

n the eve of the fifth anniversary of Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip, a group of 50 international aid and human rights organizations have called upon Israel to immediately lift its blockade of Gaza.

“The Gaza blockade has been going on for five years now in contravention to international law. The blockade impacts on the life of more than 1.6 million people, half of them children,” the group said in a short statement. The signatories include human rights groups Amnesty International, Oxfam, Save the Children and Terre des Homme as well as several United Nations bodies such as UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/on-anniversary-of-hamas-gaza-takeover-50-ng...


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

Obama Sells Out Labor and the Environment ...Again   -   by Rob Urie

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/22/obama-sells-out-labor-and-the-env...

"This week the Obama administration was caught hiding behind secrecy agreements to mask its role in the latest 'free trade' deal, the Trans-Pacific-Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The pact is designed to further shift legal and regulatory authority from governments to multi-national corporations.

To state the obvious, if doing this were in the public interest, there would be no need for secrecy. The pact was originally framed as an extension of existing agreements to Asian countries. However, with Canada and Mexico brought into the open as partners it is now apparent that it goes well beyond previous trade deals.

In fact it is looking like the endgame to achieve total corporate control over our lives.."


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I think the USA is an extremely conservative country with pockets of progressivism all over. The president - whether Democrat or Republican - really has no choice except to go along with doing things that make true progressives puke - because, if for example, Obama were to cut back on support for Israel - he'd be condemned throughout the country as a far out leftist that has betrayed the USA's best friend ever. That's just one sordid example. If Obama were to put forth proposals to really get tough on corporations - same thing, he'd be tarred and feathered in the MSM, although many in the population would support the move.

John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are about as progressive presidents of the USA as we are ever going to see.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Meanwhile:


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

A friend suggested the Democrats hold a 'beans and franks' dinner across the road from the Romney event. Laughing


wage zombie
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Joined: Dec 8 2004

There isn't anything across the street.  looks like some kind of artificial beach.

https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=880+meadow+lane,+southampton,+ny&ll=40.858...


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Yeah, the suggestion was to have a campfire dinner (franks and beans) on the beach and a singalong. Maybe "Tom Joad" or "John Henry". Laughing

 

 

ETA: It's the association with the Kochs that could hurt Romney, though. As for the money - I'm sure Obama has his own fund raisers.


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

here's one alternative to simply voting for more syphilis or gonorrhea..

 

Arming the Left: Is the Time Now?  -  by Charles Southwell

http://www.legitgov.org/essay_southwell_arming_the_left_is_the_time_now_...


"...this is the most right wing government we have ever had in the US...As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against. It will take time but it's time to get more left-leaning liberals and outright leftists to at least POSE a threat by getting organized and getting armed..."


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Boom Boom wrote:

A friend suggested the Democrats hold a 'beans and franks' dinner across the road from the Romney event. Laughing

And then re-enact the campfire scene from BLAZING SADDLES?


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

The big problem with the "Obama MUST be defeated" argument is that it's been tried before with other Democratic presidential nominees and incumbents...and it's never produced good results.

In 1968, all the "Humphrey must be defeated" argument did was give Nixon the power to bomb Cambodia and overthrow democracy in Chile.

In 1980, all the "Carter must be defeated" argument did it did was give Reagan the power to arm the death squads and the Contras in Central America, cut social services down to nothing, destroy environmental regulations, crush unions and bring the world to the brink of nuclear armageddon(the freak emergence of Gorbachev is really the only reason most of us are still alive).\

in 2000, all the "Gore must be defeated" argument did was to at least help give us the Iraq War, probably give us 9/11, let Bush pack the Supreme Court with crazies who would later rule that the rich had a constitutional right to buy elections, and give us the Patriot Act and a vastly beefed-up "national security state".


Yes, the Democrats often suck...yes, in as many ways as possible they need to be challenged...yes alternatives have to be built(and built the only way they can be, at the local level up, not at the presidential level down, since the Nader campaigns have shown us once again that presidential campaigns NEVER build alternative parties)but we've had THREE examples in the last fourty-four years that proved, once and for all, that making things worse in the short run NEVER makes things better in the long run in U.S. politics.

It might be different if those who are pushing a "Obama must be defeated" strategy had done a damn thing to work for electoral reform...but none of them, including Ralph, EVER did.  In a perverse way, it seems that they actually prefer the existing anti-democratic presidential election system in the U.S., and are committed to working within it even though it's been proven that doing so is futile and leaves nothing to show for the effort.

Those that want to go the presidential route have an OBLIGATION to lay out a broad strategy for how doing so can possibly lead to positive results and eventual gains.  At this point, none of them have offered any such strategy.  And I say this as someone who voted Nader in 1996 and 2000, and seriously considered voting for Barry Commoner in 1980 and supporting Eugene McCarthy in his independent effort in 1976(at that time I was only fifteen and couldn't actually have voted for him yet).

 


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