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Are Liberals Useless?

Pictured: a politician exactly like Joe Biden.

Pictured: a politician exactly like Joe Biden.

Chris Hedges thinks so, and doesn’t care much for the President, either.

I am not disappointed in Obama. I don’t feel betrayed. I don’t wonder when he is going to be Obama. I did not vote for the man. I vote socialist, which in my case meant Ralph Nader, but could have meant Cynthia McKinney. How can an organization with the oxymoronic title Progressives for Obama even exist? [..] I don’t dislike Obama—I would much rather listen to him than his smug and venal predecessor—though I expected nothing but a continuation of the corporate rape of the country. And that is what he has delivered.

The notion that voting for Ralph Nader or an even more ridiculous figure like Cynthia McKinney is an effective strategy to move the country in a more progressive direction was thoroughly discredited by the 2000 election. The idea that Gore and Bush were pretty much the same was a common meme in lefty circles, and it turned out to be deeply misguided, to say the least.

Does Hedges really believe the country would look no different today if the Supreme Court hadn’t appointed Bush in 2000? Because I think he’s wrong.

Similarly, does anyone think John McCain would have overturned the Bush policy on stem cells, acknowledged the seriousness of climate change, spent a huge amount of political capital trying to reform health care, reversed Bush’s policies on labor, on the environment, or endangered species? Does anyone think John McCain would’ve nominated Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court or signed the stimulus bill?

This is not to suggest that Obama’s unwillingness to confront the Pentagon and Wall Street haven’t been a disappointment. They have.

Just don’t tell me that a vote for Nader in ’08, which was a vote for Palin, was the way to get a more progressive country.

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