For Obama Addicts, Forget About Changing Obama’s Political Strategy
Like every other political junkie, I watch TV programs like The Ed Show, Countdown, and the Rachel Maddow Show. During the last two years, it has been painfully obvious that commentators on all of those shows have been, shall we say, mystifiedat Obama’s incessant need to reach out and find compromise with Republicans. Ed, Keith, and Rachel have had plenty of “WTF?” moments with guests about Obama’s pathological need for bipartisanship or post-partisanship governance.
The consensus that emerged over the last two years was that some type of intervention was needed to get Obama to STOP this destructive need to compromise with non-compromising Republicans. Ed would cajole Obama to give it up. Keith would just plain yell at him, and Rachel would use sweet reason to get Obama to abandon his political strategy of bipartisanship governance.
None of it has worked.
While the progressive TV commentators appear to have figured out that an Obama intervention is doomed to failure, other progressives still cling to the hope that words will get through to Obama. Recently on DailyKos, I’ve seen two well written diaries placed prominently on the front. One bemoans the lack of fight in Obama, while the other dovetails into an interesting take of Obama as mediator-in-chief. Katrina vandel Heuval has an editorial in that rag known as the Washington Post were she outlines how Obama will be a failed President if he doesn’t change his ways.
I agree that an intervention is needed, but not with Obama. I think anti-Obama progressives need to have an intervention with their fellow progressives who still support Obama. It is the Obama supporters (addicts) who have issues, not Obama.
Obama’s political strategy of bipartisanship and chasing phantom independents is not some pathology on Obama’s part. Bipartisanship is not like drinking to excess to drown some deep dark insecurity or inner demon. Obama’s political strategy goes to the core of what he is – a corporatist.
A corporatist is not going to buck the system or bring about real change. At most, a corporatist will change the curtains as a cosmetic diversion, but the basic power structure will still be intact. A corporatist will adapt a political strategy that protects himself from actually pursuing reform or change. In this case, the perfect political strategy to prevent real change in Washington is bipartisanship.
Think about it. Even with overwhelming Democratic majorities, the first thing Obama always did was to reach out to Republicans. With Republicans always saying “NO” to everything, Obama had to start “compromising” to get Republicans to go along with the final bill. Translation: Obama would jettison important progressive items in the legislation. Eventually, the final product will not be a threat to any established political or economic interest.
Let’s face it. With the Republicans embracing their inner Homo erectus, bipartisan legislation will always be toothless or inherently deeply flawed. If Republicans called for a “kill the gays” bill, Obama would propose legislation that only killed half the gay and lesbian population of the United States. This is what bipartisanship governance has devolved to in the U.S.
Most Obama addicts are deeply conflicted about Obama. The Obama addicts don’t want to admit that they got played in 2008, so they continue to plead with Obama to do the right thing. They are wasting their time.
If you know an Obama addict, I urge you to get them to counseling. I’m sure that you can find an Obama’s Anonymous group in your area. The first step in correcting this problem is for the Obama addict to admit to themselves that they have a problem.