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Commentary :: Politics
Obama has thumbed nose at progressive base
11 Apr 2010
Modified: 07:17:20 AM
President Obama has squandered the enthusiastic support of his progressive base by pandering continually to Republicans.
When Barack Obama came into the White House in January 2009, his polled approval rating ran at 60 or 61 percent.

Now, a brief 15 months later, only 41 or 42 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing.

While reliable polling numbers gauging the allegiance of Obama's progressive Democratic base are hard to come by, my guess is that segments of the Democratic Left are now about as excited about the Obama presidency as is Senator Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky.

Such is the case with this writer.

Never in my memory has a president elected with so rousing a mandate--such a sense of a fresh start and a new and hopeful beginning for our nation--squandered that mandate as quickly as has Barack Obama.

While factors of partisan politics and Tea Party lies are certainly involved in Obama's retreating poll numbers among Americans in general, his determination from the outset to pander to the threats and sullen demands of petulant congressional Republicans–-his obsession with “bipartisanship” where no bipartisanship was in the offing–-has been a major cause of an early loss of momentum with his progressive base.

Progressives are disgusted with Obama for ceding so much to Republicans on health care reform without a fight. We have no public option and the medical insurance industry has millions of new customers mandated by law to purchase health insurance from them.

Progressives are further disappointed with Obama’s blatant sop to Big Oil as outlined in his unprecedented proposal to open vast areas of the Continental Shelf to oil exploration and drilling.

And if those departures from our expectations--those slaps in our faces-–were not enough, Obama has given new life to the Bush administration’s most egregious human rights violations with his assent to summary assassination of Americans without so much as a hearing or a trial.

One can assume a Predator drone will take out Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his family somewhere, some night, while they sleep. Such an action is cowardly and disgusting and not representative of the collective ethos of Obama’s progressive base which he apparently takes for granted.

I will not vote for Barack Obama again. I will sit the election out in 2012 or I will vote for a Green or Socialist candidate.

This work is in the public domain
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