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When Will We Take Responsibility for the Obama Presidency's Failings?

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Lance Selfa writes in his book, Democrats: A Critical History, takes a close look at what groups like PDA and examines whether the left can take over the Democratic Party. He quotes PDA founder Kevin Spidel who told William Rivers Pitt, "The most important thing we do is that inside-outside strategy. Pulling together members of the Green Party, the Independent Progressive Politics Network, the hip-hop community, the civil rights community, our allies in Congress, the anti-war community. We are bringing together all the social movements within the Democratic Party under on effective tent, and we will do it better if people can contribute to our cause."

Essentially, Spidel (and I imagine anyone who celebrates the "potential" of PDA) would like all those discontent to not let their discontent create alternatives to working with the Democratic Party. In fact, they would like people to help deter creations of alternatives; PDA did not do anything to denounce or deter the Democratic Party's funded campaign to force Nader/Camejo off the ballots in the 2004 Election.

The examples of Dennis Kucinich's campaigns, Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition, writer Upton Sinclair's 1934 primary victory, and Howard Dean's eventual demise in 2004 are all bitter indications of the shenanigans and uphill battles candidates have to face as they organize and run as a Democrat. And, with Kucinich, candidates not only are forced out of the race but are tasked with the duty of herding progressives into the center of the Democratic Party and inspiring them to support a much less robust progressive agenda and much more corporate Democrat like current President Obama.

This writer is very cognizant of the dismal state of the Left. There currently exists no surefire way for any progressives, Greens, socialists, communists, Marxists, or whatever label members of key social movements anoint themselves with to win state power. Ballot access laws effectively make it a chore for candidates from parties not Democrat or Republican to run. Media corporations effectively refuse to cover politics that is not Democrat or Republican. And, the people of this country are conditioned to believe politics is only Democrat or Republican and, actually, that's why so many Americans are angry and upset with the state of this country.

Many recognize how similar the Democratic and Republican Parties are in this country. The characterization is no longer simply that there isn't a dime's worth of difference (as Ralph Nader has said) but much deeper. It's that what Americans are faced with is a corporate party with a left and right wing. Or, it's that we have a war party that splits off in a left and right direction (or something similar to these characterizations).

What is the answer? Where do we go? How willing are we to raise our expectations?

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At forums all over the world like the World Social Forum, at summits organized by movement leaders all over the world and at conferences held here in the United States, there are people willing to make the cogent analyses necessary to understand the objective reality we face as a people. There are scholars and thinkers and concerned citizens and sharp, energetic organizers willing to develop and work to get this country turned around so it is no longer going in the destructive downward spiraling direction that it had been going in for decades.

But, what has to be done so this can translate into the political arena? When do social movements get to grow up and actually run this country? When leaders from social movements get to lead? And, when do we stop using the Democratic Party as a measuring stick for what's possible in American politics?

I don't have the answers to the problems this country faces because of the broken electoral system, the control corporations have over politics in this country, the influence that corporatism and it's fiendish offspring militarism have over the agenda and policies of America, but I do have the unwavering interest in a better future one that my children, their children and their children and so on and so forth should be able to enjoy--a future where generations won't have to confront the levels of contempt, exploitation and injustice toward humanity that seem to be increasing because of the policies of an elite few who run this country.

One wonders if a future focus is enough to take on the sharp contradictions of society. But, if that doesn't push us to mature politically and socially, what will?

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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 OpEdNews.com

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Your article is insightful and to the point. The o... by Skywalker Payne on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 11:24:09 AM
Because your message is essentially what I want th... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 3:25:04 PM
Sorry to repeat this, but have you all forgotten C... by bruce powell on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 10:28:20 AM
So, accept it: Obama is the furthest extent capbal... by bruce powell on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 11:35:31 AM
Bruce pretty much summed up the situation. Aside f... by Evelyn Pringle on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 12:00:56 PM
The AF 1 ride was humiliating, but did you see the... by Guitar Chris on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:52:20 PM
The AF 1 ride was humiliating, but did you see the... by Guitar Chris on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:53:17 PM
Feingold, Kucinich, Grayson. The true leadership.... by Guitar Chris on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:48:31 PM
Yes, Grayson is maybe even better, fresher, in bot... by bruce powell on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:30:17 AM
The link below is one place to start (check more o... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 12:07:54 PM
Backon April 17, 2010 at 22:11:26, I posted a Diar... by Terry Adcock on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 12:26:29 PM
Humanity has had its day and that day is soon to b... by Dick Hudson on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 12:37:04 PM
Progressives of this country MUST openly proclaim ... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 12:39:29 PM
and we do not always know who they are. Bashing th... by Margaret Bassett on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:03:48 PM
Meanwhile, as we wait for some sort of leadership,... by FAITHCARR on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:19:20 PM
Truly, these are dark days for progressives. For m... by Perry Logan on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:25:41 PM
Sorry Perry but I think the Democratic party has b... by Evelyn Pringle on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 2:38:37 PM
I doubt my agreement will be the kiss of death for... by GLloyd Rowsey on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 6:48:58 AM
The author raises some excellent and provocative q... by laurabonham on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:30:13 PM
I'll give Progressive Democrats of America credit ... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 2:54:59 PM
Why are we under the impression that Obama is fail... by Guitar Chris on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:36:10 PM
He's one of the best politicians the empire has ev... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 3:07:36 PM
but most people in American NEVER take responsibil... by Michael Morris on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 1:51:27 PM
"We are no on the course that Rome took and I have... by Aurora on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 3:10:34 PM
and when Washington is in the same state, the fall... by Michael Morris on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 4:19:44 PM
Nero set fire to Rome to clear it of a plague of r... by Arthur M. Howard-(Scotoni) on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 1:58:50 AM
The humble, gentle, peaceful and "meek" majority c... by Arthur Avalon on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 2:17:48 PM
It's refreshing to see you acknowledge the lack of... by Sherwin Steffin on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 2:22:49 PM
I might be able to connect with more people?I'm go... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 3:13:15 PM
You are making my point for me. In order to accomp... by Sherwin Steffin on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 4:16:50 PM
"We are talking the focused commitment andmobiliza... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 11:57:27 AM
Most of you who know me have witnessed my rants ov... by steve scheetz on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 2:57:29 PM
... Ron Paul never DID sign on to the 35 needed AR... by Brian O'Moore on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 11:38:41 PM
"It is time to take a very hard look at the Obama ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 12:33:33 PM
An interesting article, as evidenced by the large ... by Bruce Morgan on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 6:00:19 PM
You said, "Obama made it very clear where he stood... by Don Smith on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 9:53:39 PM
When I first started reading your comment, it look... by Bruce Morgan on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 12:45:32 AM
Read Glen Ford as well as his long-time co-writers... by GLloyd Rowsey on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 7:23:52 AM
When I heard Obama say that corporate money and in... by Philip Pease on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:53:01 AM
Kevib Gosztola wrote: "This would be a valid argum... by Daniel Penisten on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 7:28:15 PM
First of all, we the citizens who voted for him, a... by Harvey Solomon on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 8:04:15 PM
Progressives are in the same position that the Lik... by Carol Davidek-Waller on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 10:20:25 PM
... than what preceded him, for 8 full, miserable ... by Brian O'Moore on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 at 10:53:47 PM
I don't know how this could come about, but if we ... by Elizabeth Hanson on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 12:28:26 AM
In order to have a party, you must have people who... by Doc "Old Codger" McCoy on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 1:08:29 AM
Don't disagree with your analysis in the first par... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:21:20 AM
And in my humble opinion, you'll be wasting your t... by GLloyd Rowsey on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 11:17:15 AM
I would only go to journalism school if I could ga... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 11:31:52 AM
Party Politics is a meaningless exercise that is d... by Walter L. Bradley Jr. on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 8:06:08 AM
Everyone is so quick to jump on the "dump Obama be... by Liberty Bell on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:12:03 AM
Or the Chosen One but in the period from 2007 to J... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:52:58 AM
Lousy Health Insurance that we have to have by for... by Debbie S on Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 12:45:05 AM
To fully acknowledge our blame, we must acknowledg... by Jeff Poster on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 9:27:44 AM
You should not accept advice from me without skept... by Blaine Kinsey on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 10:16:34 AM
I acknowledge the reality that Americans want "ins... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 11:35:16 AM
staked himself a carefully calculated position in ... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 12:35:15 PM
The answer may lie in those cultural institutions ... by Jere Hough on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 2:29:01 PM
You provide no new information, leave no thought t... by Sherwin Steffin on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 5:09:46 PM
An accurate diagnosis of the illness must precede ... by Jere Hough on Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 7:00:24 PM
Over the decades, every concrete step forward in a... by Mary Bell Lockhart on Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 12:09:31 AM
I have no confidence that the Democratic Party (or... by Terry Adcock on Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 2:31:37 PM
THERE IS NO HOPE FOR CHANGE,BRAINWASHED AND DUMMED... by MARGARET BASET on Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 5:15:42 AM
Your article disappoints. I had hoped that you wou... by ssg13565 on Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 2:12:10 PM
" If Obama could have counted on the vocal support... by Terry Adcock on Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 2:50:20 PM
Now that that there is virtual unanimity that ... by Herbert Calhoun on Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 4:20:17 PM
With the Republicans, Blue Dogs, or Right Wing nut... by Debbie S on Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 12:13:59 AM
Apparently some people here still think the past e... by ssg13565 on Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 3:24:58 PM