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"Progressives For Obama" Change Name To Omit Their President

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Honest ObeA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It has taken almost a year for “Progressives for Obama” to make a partial break with their former object of adulation, proof that groupie-love is a powerful emotion. “Two of the founding members, Bill Fletcher and Tom Hayden, are making uncharacteristically loud anti-Obama noises and acting as if they played no role in convincing Obama that he could make war and serve corporate interests to his heart’s content, without fear of any trouble from the Left.”
 
Obama’s “Progressives” Do a Name Change
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Even the president’s most loyal sycophants on the Left are running for cover.”
The organization formerly known as “Progressives for Obama” has changed its name. After almost a year of President Obama’s massive transfers of the people’s wealth to Wall Street, his escalation of U.S. wars in South Asia, his shameless alliance with insurance and drug corporations, and his callous disregard for Depression-level Black unemployment, even the president’s most loyal sycophants on the Left are running for cover. It’s not a pretty sight.
Progressives for Obama” are now calling themselves “Progressive America Rising.” Two of the founding members, Bill Fletcher and Tom Hayden, are making uncharacteristically loud anti-Obama noises and acting as if they played no role in convincing Obama that he could make war and serve corporate interests to his heart’s content, without fear of any trouble from the Left. They had his back.
The left-wing Obamites were the nastiest of all. They viciously libeled anyone that advanced a Left critique of their hero, calling them enemies of a new “people’s movement,” when in fact it was they who were shutting the movement down in favor of a fan club and cheering section for Obama. Amiri Baraka spit poison at all who failed to pledge allegiance to the Great Obama, calling us infantile ultra-leftists and just plain “rascals.” Bill Fletcher and Tom Hayden stuck with Obama like little sorcerer’s apprentices as the president methodically savaged virtually every item on the progressive agenda. What else could they do? To break with Obama would amount to an admission that they were wrong about the progressive “potential” of their candidate; that he had always been a thoroughly corporate politician who would lurch to the Right as soon as he took office; and that, by failing to criticize Obama early in the campaign, they were guaranteeing that he would disrespect and ignore Blacks and progressives, once in office.
Bill Fletcher and Tom Hayden stuck with Obama like little sorcerer’s apprentices as the president methodically savaged virtually every item on the progressive agenda.”
Tom Hayden now declares it's finally “time to strip the Obama sticker” off his car. Well, whoopee. Back in the day, Hayden would have been expected to engage in some serious self-criticism for misleading so many people about Obama. The same goes for Bill Fletcher, who appeared on a Pacifica radio show last week sounding like he'd never been an Obama fan. Fletcher said it was inappropriate for the Nobel committee to award Obama the Peace Prize when the president had done nothing to cause a “fundamental shift” in U.S. foreign policy. You can't influence a president of the United States to do the right thing, Fletcher said, by giving him awards in hopes that he will earn them. But that's exactly what Fletcher and his fellow Obama fanatics tried to pull off when they endorsed candidate Obama on a wish and a prayer when there was no reason to believe he would undertake any “fundamental shift” in U.S. foreign or domestic policy. As a result, the Left played no role whatsoever in the 2008 election. They just blew kisses at Obama, hoping he'd kiss them back after the inauguration.
Fletcher and Hayden now say it's time to crank up the people's Movement machine and get back to the business of speaking Truth to Power. Which is all perfectly true. However, Tom Hayden and Bill Fletcher and the rest of the “Progressives for Obama” clique should first demonstrate that they have recovered their faculties before assuming any leadership role in a revived Movement. The last time they were near a Movement, they shut it down, and went to the Obama party, instead.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com. 

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What Else Can You Expect?

What else can you expect from these two?
Hayden, who was nothing but a liberal Democrat when he was in the California legislature, thanks to the fortune of his then-wife Jane Fonda. Or Bill Fletcher who was a part of the apparatus of the AFL-CIO bureaucracy for years.
Now, they're just sensing a new wind blowing.

Absurdities parading as "serious," "nuanced" thought

If these buttboys wanted to they would use their fame, fortune and influence to launch a real grassroots movement, or yet, to not only expose Obama but the entire corrupt two party system.  Sadly, Americans need/want "leaders."  The people are to disoriented, too dispirited, too distracted by "celebrity gossip, too "loyal" to the Dem Party that it will take a concerted media drive and effort to wake them from their sleep.  A boost from some "insiders" would help.
 
Why doesn't Michael Moore do one "grand finale" docu-film, one that exposes the corruption, over time, of the Democratic Party, how it has sold it's soul, the reality that Dem Presidents have historically been bigger war mongers than the Rethugs (maybe the Dem Party is prone to war because of their "inferiority complex")  Because lord knows the Dem Party was in the cat-bird's seat, poised to rid America of Reaganism and Neo-liberal economics once and for all.   So much for peace and prosperity under the one who was "heaven-sent." Could this not be Michael Moore's "piece de resistance?" 
 
All these people do is nibble around the edges, never engaging in a wholistic, composite attack, to feckless to lead the people they claim to represent out of the political desert.  To be "nuanced" about what and who Barack Obama is/about, is in essence, to be a "complex" ass-kisser an intellectual coward, a promoter of absurdities.  Obama started positioning himself to "outBush" GWB during his transition period as Beverly says.  Or can we not go back further to his embrace of the Grand Chessmaster himself, Brezinksi, the intellectual architect of "muslim extremism," "divide and conquer," and the ongoing "Great Game."  Zbig, we recall, bragged about creating Al Qaeda, known then as the lovable "freedom fighters." (You know, sort of like the Right Wing Butchers, nun murderers in Latin America anointed "freedom fighters." )
 
It's becoming a shameful, laughable, derisive act to pretend the "poor President" is hamstrung by the big bad Right Wing, the evil Rahmn Emanuel, those horrible Blue Dogs, and the complex problems inherited from Bush.  Glen Greenwald does a masterful job putting this delusion bordering on social disorder to rest, check him when you get a chance.  It's an elaboration of what you've already heard here at BAR regarding the health care debacle.
 
Here's the last two paragraphs, but read the whole thing.  Maybe we can paraphrase Greenwald and say," Progressive Movement as helpless victims PERIOD":
 
 
White House as helpless victim on healthcare
 
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/
 
"In essence, this reinforces all of the worst dynamics of Washington.  The insurance industry gets the biggest bonanza imaginable in the form of tens of millions of coerced new customers without any competition or other price controls.  Progressive opinion-makers, as always, signaled that they can and should be ignored (don't worry about us -- we're announcing in advance that we'll support whatever you feed us no matter how little it contains of what we want and will never exercise raw political power to get what we want; make sure those other people are happy but ignore us).  Most of this was negotiated and effectuated in complete secrecy, in the sleazy sewers populated by lobbyists, industry insiders, and their wholly-owned pawns in the Congress.  And highly unpopular, industry-serving legislation is passed off as "centrist," the noblest Beltway value. 
 
Looked at from the narrow lens of health care policy, there is a reasonable debate to be had among reform advocates over whether this bill is a net benefit or a net harm.  But the idea that the White House did what it could to ensure the inclusion of progressive provisions -- or that they were powerless to do anything about it -- is absurd on its face.  Whatever else is true, the overwhelming evidence points to exactly what Sen. Feingold said yesterday:  "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place."
 
Obama has orchestrated all of the fine mess he's put us in.  From the wars, wealth transfers, structural unemployment/poverty, lack of universal health care, deliberately ignoring double-digit Black unemployment and pain.   Sure, he inherited shit from Bush, but Bush was aided and abetted for 8 years by the Dems, and Obama has not only kept Bushies in his Administration, and failed to prosecute them, but he even has the "audacity" to exacerbate the problems he's inherited.  But at the end of the day, and one of several reasons he will go down in history as one of the worst of all time, is that OBAMA PLAYED the Progressives for Obama and "Liberals," and "African Americans," and "Gays," and "Hispanics," like a goddamn fiddle, and continues so even as wars grind America into the dirt and the reality that job losses are structural sets in.  These things, combined with the false hope created after 8 years of Bush dystopia, are poised to bring about one hell of a reckoning.  But, if not, maybe in a wicked sense he will go down in history as one of the best spokesman for the Imperium of all time.  We shall see.  Much will depend upon the continued absurdities of so-called progressives.
 
 

E.Cynic:I like the comment. One small point: we can't expect

these folks (entertainers, filmmakers, politicians present or former, etc) to be heroes.(Not saying that you do.) It's like the public wanting a President to "do it all".  Howard Zinn makes really good points on the topic: change comes from the bottom up, not top down.
  Writers like Glenn Greenwald (2n's) make some good points.  As do Glen Ford, B.A. Dixon, M. Kimberly here on BAR and the others who you have led me to (other blogs).  It's more the organizers, for me, like Nellie Hester Bailey of Harlem Tenants Council, NYC on the local level who take issues and fight/instruct on them. In NYC, lawyer Norman Siegel and the strategy used to fight off Columbia U.'s land grab under "eminent domain".   Nader is/was so good in his role as advocate for consumers, voters.  Cynthia McKinney is stateswoman and a leader.  I voted for Kucinich in primary, absentee ballot mailed the day before he quit Pres. race in 2008.  (I stay a Dem. so I can vote in NYC primaries, where the local elections are, but I don't know how long I can last with that.)  I have my issues with the Greens (disabled people and lack of access for us, and don't seem eager to change).  A national leader, Green, when inviting me to join the party,  asked if I was further to the left, like socialist than the Green Party.  Discussion didn't go further. International writers and activists I enjoy reading: Arundhati Roy, Vandana Shiva, Tariq Ali for starters. (I'm following the UN Climate Change Conference daily on DemocracyNow.)
You are young, do you ever think of running for local office?  Curious.

Ouch

Ouch. I felt that butt whoppin from waaay over here.

Branding and ReBranding... only in Amerikka

It's only fitting that in a country run by Madison Ave., Right Wing media (98% of all media), and psych-ops that the Progressives for Obama would "rebrand."
 
Public Relations & Mass Communication majors are probably one of the few college degrees where you can get a job today.
 
Why should the people trust Kool-Aide drinkers?  Those "leaders" who should have had the courage to call a spade a spade, like the writers and editors here at BAR?  I trust the Progressives for whatever the hell to be progressive about as much as I trust Fox News to be "fair and balanced."   The problem is that too many "outsiders" pain to be on the "inside."  And who's to say they won't undermine whatever they roll out next? Will a phone call from Obama or Rahmn to come over and have a beer cause their heads to spin?  Probably.  These people are mad because Obushco punked their silly, cowardly asses, making them look like the plum fools, idiots, and sychophants they are.   F****kem.
 
Some people want to "stand up", like BAR, other's want to be "heard." If the Progressives for whatever the hell want to be heard, and then, hopefully, eventually "stand up," perhaps they should start by listening.   Will they protest on the "outside" until they get on the "inside?"  Stay tuned.... I wouldn't put my eggs in their basket.  People like Progressives for whatever the hell are institutional whores, they worship the power structures they claim to want to tear down.



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