Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
  194
Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend
  5
199 Shares     
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
123 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

Become a Fan
  (27 fans)
By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 6   Must Read 4   Valuable 4  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H2 5/17/10

opednews.com

This piece is addressed to those --like many here on the opednews website-- who have used my pieces on President Obama as an occasion to attack him for being so much less progressive, so much less morally upright and bold, than they would want their president to be.

The point I am here to make is that IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER WHICH OF OUR PERCEPTIONS OF BARACK OBAMA IS CORRECT.

It's my belief that Obama, if he could just snap his fingers and move America forward in very progressive ways, would do so, but that he holds back on many of them out of his calculations (correct or otherwise) of political necessity and of overall political strategy. By contrast, a number of lefties here on opednews see him as just plain morally corrupt, not deeply committed to their values.

It has not proved very fruitful to debate these two different perceptions, but we don't have to. Either way, for us in America today who care about advancing progressive values, the basic nature of the action we are called upon to take is basically there same: either way, our best hope of advancing our values is to help Obama to prevail over his right-wing foes.

Whether we like it or not, there's no escaping one basic strategic fact: if the forces we care about are to advance, there's no other strategy than by using Obama to lead the charge, which means supporting him so he can triumph over his enemies.

However true it may be that the positions Obama has staked out fall short --or even far short-- of what one or another of us to the left of center would like, the fact remains that there are clear differences on all the issues we care about between Obama and the movement for which the likes of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Mitch McConnell are spokespeople.


Those who don't believe there are big differences should ask the people in the trenches: are things any better for your side under Obama than they were when Bush II was president? The answer across the board is yes. Even in those issue areas where progressives have experienced big disappointments as with the constitutional issues raised by the way the Bushites set up their "war on terror"-- the people will tell you that there have been beneficial changes. So also in all those areas like the environment, and health care, and regulating the bank industry, in which Obama is demonstrably closer to us than are the forces with which he has to contend.

Even if Obama declines to lead in a bolder and more assertive way to advance progressive values, on all fronts the picture is undoubtedly better than it was under Bush.

You may say, "That's not saying much." But however much or little it is saying, the reality remains that in this America --with this dark right-wing force still working to drag America down into its toxic pit-- the crucial point at which the battle against the darkness is being fought is where Obama is embattled against the right, on one issue after another. That's just the reality of the political struggle.

In this world, we do not always get to choose those on whom we must rely to deliver us from evil.

If you were a Jewish survivor in a concentration camp in Poland, you had to root for the forces of the Soviet Army to advance quickly enough to reach you in time. They were the actors "on your side," even though this Red Army was also the instruments of the brutal dictator who'd killed millions of his countrymen and had just set his country through a period of terror and mock-trial purges, the man who'd made a nefarious deal with Hitler to carve up Poland. Nonetheless the captives in the concentration camps in Poland perceived the Soviet troops, correctly, as liberators.

One has to know where one's real concern is, who is the central enemy.

With us, the vital concern is beating back that dark spirit that expressed itself in the form of the criminal enterprise which was the Bushite Presidency, and is now expressing itself as the party of fear-and-hating mongering lies and refusal to work together to solve the problems of our country.

On every political battle now being fought in Washington, the administration is closer to the progressive position than are its opponents.

Anyone who cannot see the difference is blind.

Anyone who CAN see it is driven to this inescapable conclusion: In the current political arena, with no other comparable force available to us, it is Obama's victories that will move the ball in the RIGHT direction and it is his defeats that will advance the dark right-wing agenda.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. He is the author of various books including The Parable of the Tribes: The (more...)
 
Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

The Mystery of Obama's Relationship with Power

Power and Corruption: Just What Is Their Relationship?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
25 people are discussing this page, with 123 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

a very detailed answer but I will outline the foll... by Mark Sashine on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 4:04:47 PM
I did not object to criticism of Obama. (As you do... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 4:13:19 PM
his book Audacity of Hope tells a lot about him an... by Mark Sashine on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 4:25:19 PM
Andy, you're talking about Obama as if you're talk... by Alan MacDonald on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 4:39:34 PM
One presidential term does not make an abrupt turn... by Margaret Bassett on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 4:36:09 PM
I concluded he was a quick study of his surroundin... by Margaret Bassett on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 5:07:09 PM
You have put together a reasonable argument and sh... by Jeffrey Rock on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 7:14:05 PM
I appreciate the civil tone of your comment, and I... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 7:35:05 PM
Sorry to misrepresent your points. Having said th... by Jeffrey Rock on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 9:00:25 PM
"I think that if we withdraw our 'taken for grante... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 9:27:55 PM
You dodged my questions but that's ok. Let's addr... by Jeffrey Rock on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 10:46:22 PM
You did not write that the Dems were only slightly... by Jeffrey Rock on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 11:00:17 PM
My only disagreement is that it does, IMHO matter ... by Steven Leser on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 11:38:22 PM
One can agree that the Republicans are worse and s... by Don Smith on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 10:59:40 PM
Bill Clinton thought he had a mandate, too, but lo... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, May 17, 2010 at 11:57:19 PM
To Don Smith, who wrote: "He had a strong enough m... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 8:27:15 AM
How anyone can now imagine that Obama is trying to... by Marika on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 2:34:20 AM
"How anyone can now imagine that Obama is trying t... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 8:30:09 AM
I'd label it very slightly less right-wing, not mo... by Marika on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 9:47:36 AM
"I'd label it very slightly less right-wing, not m... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 10:01:30 AM
I just got out my compass and it said "East is Eas... by Marika on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 11:35:54 AM
Our on-going and escalating (via SCOTUS nomination... by Bia Winter on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9:55:47 AM
Just wondering: Where do the Elders of Zion fit in... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 11:43:56 AM
You know, I once asked a Jewish friend "if you guy... by J. Edward Tremlett on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9:23:17 PM
I also feel that some things should not be allowed... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9:38:38 PM
...and that of our country. Maybe you should take ... by Bia Winter on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 8:52:45 AM
SERIOUSLY!? What do the names Geithner, Paulson, B... by Bia Winter on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 12:56:28 PM
It is not the Z word that deserves being put in th... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 2:30:52 PM
The difference between my list of prominent Jews a... by Bia Winter on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:04:37 AM
"...an African American student made a statement s... by Steven Leser on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 12:47:58 AM
...and proudly so, in most cases, including the Ri... by Bia Winter on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 8:59:01 AM
See this thread click hereSpecifically, see my com... by Steven Leser on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 1:08:47 PM
"Likkudnicks", if you like, but I still know what ... by Bia Winter on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 8:57:37 AM
You'd see that Stephen and Sandy Sand handed that ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 6:25:47 PM
Maybe YOU should have read further, J....unless yo... by Bia Winter on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 8:51:15 AM
If you'd rather hang your hat on the head of the p... by J. Edward Tremlett on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 9:55:26 AM
1. "If you have a progressive program you do not a... by Contextnow on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 6:23:19 PM
If the optic you find best is to flee the task, to... by Marika on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 3:30:53 AM
but not your conclusions.obama's smart, and the am... by Contextnow on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 6:17:01 PM
"Not necessarily true. Obama has appeased the righ... by Marika on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 3:41:08 AM
that's only because the broadcast media refuses to... by Contextnow on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 5:56:03 PM
I think that President Obama is not a "Progressive... by Blaine Kinsey on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 9:01:10 PM
your assesment of me above is not far off. except ... by Contextnow on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 5:53:14 PM
In your comments that are in response to other com... by Blaine Kinsey on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 9:10:48 PM
you are doing just what you accuse me of. i hav... by Contextnow on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:10:49 PM
When your best argument is to slander the motives ... by Blaine Kinsey on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 2:49:38 PM
Who is on the bottom? Is it the man who had a "men... by Margaret Bassett on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 5:29:32 AM
Thank you, Andrew for addressing the views of many... by Perry Logan on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 6:20:00 AM
Just a quick point to stand for many possible rejo... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 8:43:55 AM
And Small-thinking is what GOT US here in the firs... by Bia Winter on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 10:03:05 AM
Perry, where'd you learn to do all those cool effe... by Don Smith on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 9:46:39 PM
Disagreeing with Andy proves youre a lefty? Not at... by Contextnow on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 6:53:46 PM
Anyone that cannot see that cannot see. This so-c... by Mike Preston on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:45:17 AM
Treason?What else do you believe? Where are you ge... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 8:45:47 AM
We Lefties have been calling what's going on with ... by Bia Winter on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 10:17:15 AM
I do not agree with you that President Obama (desp... by Blaine Kinsey on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 10:22:56 AM
It often sounds like Obama's critics are disappoin... by astrobabe on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 11:14:02 AM
I am not disappointed that President Obama does no... by Blaine Kinsey on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 1:01:02 PM
you have completely misrepresented Dr. Shmookler's... by Contextnow on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:15:48 PM
You obviously cannot read, and you obviously canno... by Blaine Kinsey on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12:28:10 AM
When the hell is OpedNews going to stop allowing t... by Ty on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 11:35:11 AM
This:"When the hell is OpedNews going to stop allo... by J. Edward Tremlett on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 12:26:59 PM
"When the hell is OpedNews going to stop allowing ... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 10:24:31 PM
and only commented? After this amount of time coul... by Margaret Bassett on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 12:24:48 PM
Andrew B. Schmookler is mouthing the standard Corp... by William Bianchi on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 2:30:07 PM
"The way to beat the mad dogs of the right is to r... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 10:32:21 PM
I read everybody that is anybody from John Pilger ... by Mike Preston on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 4:21:37 PM
The Dem-bashers here are complaining about the rec... by Contextnow on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 6:11:20 PM
When the Republicans were in control of Congress, ... by Blaine Kinsey on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 1:25:16 PM
"You argue that the corrupt Democrats cannot leap ... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 1:58:45 PM
I do not agree with your article, but my comment w... by Blaine Kinsey on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 2:10:01 PM
the corrupt rebulicans did not jump over the cente... by Contextnow on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 7:24:11 PM
i never said "talk about all of the good things th... by Contextnow on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 6:39:16 PM
You are even more befuddled than I thought, and yo... by Blaine Kinsey on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 8:04:05 PM
Here is the full quote from your comment above: "t... by Contextnow on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:45:39 PM
Again, you are just providing additional proof tha... by Blaine Kinsey on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 2:01:05 PM
Changing the size and transferring to bold format ... by Marika on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 5:52:24 AM
i cut and pasted in my text, and it ended up looki... by Contextnow on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 6:26:12 PM
I have read all the comments on this page again an... by Jeffrey Rock on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 6:22:46 PM
"And then vote for third party progressives if you... by Contextnow on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 6:35:18 PM
So you support the Patriot Act, illegal eavesdropp... by Jeffrey Rock on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:05:15 PM
These are NOT the things Obama stands for, they ar... by Contextnow on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:29:47 PM
in terms of the right v left paradigm are we? Get ... by richard on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:15:08 PM
"It really doesn't matter which party hold the str... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 10:36:29 PM
Are aware that one of the most frequent attack dog... by Miriam Callaghan on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 11:33:08 PM
Does that make any arguments you might present bet... by Steven Leser on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 12:38:04 AM
Steven I was not referring to Mr. Schmookler. I di... by Miriam Callaghan on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 12:05:02 PM
Everytime they come whining for more of my money. ... by Bia Winter on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 10:31:52 AM
Thanks for posting jeffrey..I agree....Peace, Bles... by witch1 on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:42:42 PM
I would much rather have Obama be in bed with the ... by Katrin R. on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 3:57:53 AM
I am not a Christian, but your comment clearly imp... by Blaine Kinsey on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 10:48:55 AM
this response to katrin is dishonest and mean-spir... by Contextnow on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:53:13 PM
You again have failed to make any attempt to compr... by Blaine Kinsey on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 4:26:05 PM
Very well said. People who gripe about Obama at th... by Nancy S on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 6:32:33 PM
being a victim of the ordinary passions of the com... by richard on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:27:34 PM
Really appreciated Mike Preston's, William Bianchi... by richard on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 6:55:59 PM
You said it Richard!... by Jeffrey Rock on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:08:57 PM
It is you who are naive if you think you can have ... by Contextnow on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:39:43 PM
He was bought, bribed, threatened, or his family t... by richard on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 7:49:37 PM
i meant that dem-bashers are naive if they think t... by Contextnow on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 1:48:20 PM
I think therein lies the problem. All energy is s... by Margaret Bassett on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12:17:39 PM
I have no message. I am a quite ordinary person c... by Marika on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 4:04:29 AM
To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You'... by Katrin R. on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:05:17 PM
  You write from and academic and theological p... by David Glenn Cox on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 7:49:16 AM
"There is not one instance where the Obama adminis... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 12:09:43 PM
talking about W. We were talking about Obama. The ... by David Glenn Cox on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 8:00:27 PM
how many many Bush era depredations to this nation... by richard on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 9:37:05 PM
Some people are just determined not to see the tru... by Steven Leser on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 11:23:48 PM
Steven, you appear to be a very intelligent young ... by Miriam Callaghan on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:47:37 AM
[I'm a supporter of Andy Schmookler's]All's I can ... by William Meyer on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:11:23 AM
To be realistic, we should remember that the right... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 11:45:44 AM
Yes, the Right has strong internal disagreements, ... by Don Smith on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:16:43 PM
"Yes, the Right has strong internal disagreements,... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:54:35 PM
The way it was for me and thousands of others in t... by witch1 on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 12:10:25 PM
I'm amazed how quickly the American people forget ... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 4:06:03 AM
The problem for President Obama and the Democrats ... by Blaine Kinsey on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 10:38:29 AM
Obviously you either didn't read my last post yet ... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 4:33:57 PM
I am certain that you and I disagree about which o... by Blaine Kinsey on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 10:55:10 PM
I apologize for giving a "thumbs up" to my own com... by Blaine Kinsey on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 8:11:23 AM
I just read every comment. I'd just like to remind... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 6:03:48 AM
The matter is one of defining the nature of the be... by richard on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 9:54:28 PM
You are not telling us anything new. The corporati... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, May 24, 2010 at 11:55:02 PM
To Blaine & Richard,....Thank you both for pos... by witch1 on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 8:54:35 AM