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Obama Didn't Betray the Left, the Left Betrayed the Left

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These liberals who whine and moan and groan and get livid over Obama’s “betrayal” are the same ones who carefully calculated Obama’s move and made excuses to those in the antiwar movement and those voting third party. These excuses were like: he’s just saying it to get elected, if he said what he really should say he would be assassinated, he’s not saying it but he’s thinking it and he will do it when he wins, and the best one of them all, we can’t let another Republican win so let’s get him elected and we’ll pressure him come January.

Well, it is way past January and the mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers who pledged to provide some backbone to the Democratic Party are missing in action. The grassroots social movements for change seem to be virtually non-existent and the antiwar movement is smaller than grandmother’s bridge club.

The tiny movements that exist like Single Payer Action are not receiving much help at all from progressive media like The Nation or progressive groups with visibility like  Few know health care activists are being arrested and prosecuted for raising their voice in Congressional hearings.

MoveOn has officially surrendered its antiwar movement credentials and is withholding the names of tens of thousands of left-leaning activists who would graciously mobilize to end the wars and establish single-payer health care.

Protests and rallies are not being attended presumably because they think Obama needs them to be patient because what he wants to do (whatever that is) is hard work. Groups like United for Peace and Justice (a massive liberal antiwar coalition) chose to not mark the Iraq war anniversary with a march because they were afraid people wouldn't pay attention since the economy was so bad.

All of this is despite the fact that Obama has been constantly compared to FDR by liberals through the citation of quotes like this one:

“You know, Mr. Randolph, I've heard everything you've said tonight, and I couldn't agree with you more. I agree with everything that you've said, including my capacity to be able to right many of these wrongs and to use my power and the bully pulpit. ... But I would ask one thing of you, Mr. Randolph, and that is go out and make me do it.” –FDR to Labor Activist A. Philip Randolph

Liberals tried to make Obama stand firmly against the FISA Amendments compromise when he was on the campaign trail, when they thought they had some power to leverage. His response to the tens of thousands who mobilized on his campaign website to oppose his support for something that would legalize many of “George W. Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping activities secretly and illegally ordered in 2001” was to talk them down and suggest he and the tens of thousands would have to agree to disagree.

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Obama, a constitutional law professor, was allowed to further betray the Constitution. Furthermore, the campaign told those who talked to them about Obama’s decision to support telecom immunity,Come on, who really cares about that issue? Does anyone think the left is going to vote for McCain rather than Obama?”

Democratic voters were treated as political slaves because the campaign knew it didn’t have to worry about people standing up for what they believed in, because they knew nobody would dare vote Nader or some other third party candidate instead of Obama. Nobody would risk having Republicans rule this country for four more years.

One may have thought that when Obama did get into office, progressives and liberals would begin to tug Obama to the left. But, organizations have chosen to go along with Obama’s agenda for continuity we can believe in.

Now we read the headlines and find ourselves faced with a president who wants us to think he will use the values in our Constitution to dictate our future as he explains to us why he can't hold people accountable for violating the rule of law or abruptly end wars in the Middle East that may be in violation of the Constitution. 

Photos are being withheld that "show rape," Obama is planning a super embassy for Pakistan (to support his policy of "occupations we can believe in"), and there's suggestion that troops might be in Iraq for another decade.

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So, what now? Where does a "betrayed" liberal go from here?


What led me to write this: Sherwood Ross's fine article "Obama Betrays the Liberals"

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for

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As I remember, the Obama campaign's "mark... by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 10:45:44 AM by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 12:53:45 PM
No question you are right about liberals being 100... by Jeffrey Rock on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 12:22:49 PM
but they aren't well known for buying Barack Obama... by John Sanchez Jr. on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 1:01:29 PM
It's important to remember that Obama stole th... by Perry Logan on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 6:34:07 AM
just ask Hillary Clinton!... by John Sanchez Jr. on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 7:11:47 AM
If liberals had chosen Hillary to be the nominee. ... by Kevin Gosztola on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 9:49:29 AM
What kind of Progressives are so anxious for more ... by Laudyms on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 4:54:49 PM
There is not a good war in Afghanistan.  Ther... by Philip Dennany on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 1:36:11 PM
shown on KPMH Fox 26 on their Great Day programme ... by sliphoch on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 5:47:55 PM
You might have had me up to that point, but no, th... by B. Ross Ashley on Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 11:48:03 PM
Obama was elected running a moderate conservative ... by Vinny Colletti on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 7:06:17 AM
Speaking of Hillary, she was all ticked off w... by shirley reese on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 2:22:45 PM
We keep saying "third party".  Peop... by Michael Bonanno on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 4:53:43 PM
I'm sorry I don't recollect exactly where ... by John Haigh on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 4:56:10 PM
This piece is full of "head-up-your-ass"... by Bryan Emmel on Monday, Jun 1, 2009 at 3:45:07 AM