An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

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Netroots Bloggers Asking Good Question: Where is the Obama We Elected?

So, my friend, and husband of the leader of the UAA College Democrats, John Aronno, went down to Netroots, which has been in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  For those of you who don’t know, the annual Netroots gathering is a big shindig of left-leaning political activists and bloggers.  If only I had the money, I would go down.  Oh well, c’est la vie.  In any case, John got to go and be a part of one of the most impressive events for left-wing politics.  This year has some pretty amazing speakers.  Sen. Al Franken is probably the really big one, and by far one of the best.  But today there was an discussion with one of the President’s closest aid’s, Dan Pfeiffer.  This was a pretty impressive dialogue, if you have the chance to see it.  There was an interesting hit made by one of Obama’s biggest left-leaning critics, a blogger named Kaili Joy Gray.

We’re all Democrats, and we all understand the importance of making sure Democrats are in power, but they might not turn out in the same way the did in 2008.  You know, some people are saying, ‘I’ll show up on election day, but I’m not gonna knock on doors, I’m not gonna make phone calls, I’m not gonna donate money.  So, do you need us?

When Pfeiffer replied, “absolutely,” she asked an even better question –

What are you going to do for us?

So far, Obama’s track record has, sucked.  That is the general consensus among the hardcore liberal community, or at least, most of it.  He has accomplished some things, but the bulk of his campaign promises were either hopelessly watered-down, or he didn’t deliver at all.  Gitmo is still open.  Instead of getting us out of two wars, we are now involved in three more.  Healthcare Reform was a joke.  Economic Reform was also a joke.  So when the liberal community asks, “where is President Obama?” that is a pretty fair question.

Amy Goodman, the lead reporter on Democracy Now echoed this sentiment on CNN today.  The big question really is becoming – where does he stand?  During the Bush Tax Cuts episode, when the Democrats wanted to fight it out, Obama turned on his own party.  He turned on the liberal community.  He even blamed us for what was going on, saying that we were holding the American people hostage.  This is not a good reputation that a person in politics in this country needs to have.  He has openly attacked the left base that he has because they don’t open all of their statements with his praises the same way the right does of Bush still.  The sad fact is that Obama has a very bad problem with his pattern of periodically turning his back on his campaign promises and his own base when it serves him.

Of course, those who support him say that these things are going to happen.  Yes, they aren’t happening now, they didn’t happen back then, when Congress was MUCH more in favor of the Democrats and it would have been infinitely easier to do.  Instead, his supporters just keep promising that that greener pasture is just over the hill.  One question that John King asked to an Obama supporter was, does he have a choice about the appointment of Elizabeth Warren.  What was even more interesting was that the guy said yes.  Really?!  Does this guy actually believe that his base is going to just ignore it if he decides to ignore Warren?  That’s crazy.  No, he doesn’t have a choice.  Because Elizabeth Warren is the best thing that the middle class has going for it right now.  If he passes over her, he can kiss 2012 goodbye, or at least a lot of his base.

Another cool point in the discussion with Pfeiffer was if Obama would support same-sex marriage.  Of course, Pfeiffer didn’t want to answer one way or the other.  Kissing butt is a lot easier when everybody likes you.  The President has spoken out against same-sex marriage in the past.  The survey that Gray referred to was actually found out to be a fraud, but she then countered – would he?  Same-sex marriage is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in this country.  The old bigotries are finally starting to let up in a lot of places.  In California, the fight is still going on, and still going strong.  It’s ironic that I agree with a Libertarian, but I do think the government should have no say in who is allowed to marry.  King said that Pfeiffer drew the short straw, but the fact is that Obama could actually come out and say he will support something.  It’s okay.  People in this country are actually pretty understanding, most of the time.

Amy Goodman is one of my favorite reporters.  Democracy Now is one of my favorite news shows.  She went back to the key point –

Well, I think the operative words that Cornell was saying is ‘gonna, he’s gonna do this, we think he’s gonna do this,’ but I mean he’s had a number of years right now, to fulfill his promises.

So often is the contention among Obama supporters that things are going to happen.  This was how he got into office in 2008, and apparently how he is hoping to keep his seat come 2012.  That’s not going to work, President Obama.  Sorry, but the fact is that it is not going to work to tell people who you have rebuffed and openly attacked that you will decide to come around and deliver.  He hasn’t delivered very well before, what will change?  He didn’t deliver back when the Democrats had a super-majority in both the House and Senate.  If he couldn’t deliver back then, what is going to change in 2012?  What if there are more Republicans in the House and Senate?  Say he wins and they have a majority in both houses?  What will he do then?  This question is valid – what happened?  How is history not going to repeat itself?

Can we get an answer, Mr. President?  Probably not.  Whenever somebody asks a politician these questions, they generally just feed the public a bunch of schtick.  I hope John is having fun.  I am actually having fun watching it all play out.

Peace out,


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