One Reason The Fundraising is Difficult
The Obama Defection: Former Supporters Lambaste The President
By Danny Schechter
There were two recentAmerican elections that spoke to the power of incumbency. Despite corruption charges, the venerable Black Democrat Charles Rangel, now in his 80's, was re-elected to Congress by his Harlem constituency.
Orin Hatch, a cranky conservative Republican beat back a challenge to his Senate seat from harder right Tea Partiers in Utah.
It takes a lot to unseat an American politician with seniority.
Barack Obama is hoping that he too will be returned to office despite all the money and conservative fervor trying to topple him. Never in history has so much lucre and political animus been targeted at one politician.
The Supreme Court's ratification of key provisions of his health care "reform" will buttress his appeal, giving him some new bragging rights at a time when the economy remains depressed. Yet, even his former Economic Advisor Larry Summers says the economy will not rally enough to help him.
So, to try to change the media focus, he has increased global war making to burnish his image as a patriotic hardliner. The tougher sanctions he backed against Iran are soon in effect but ironically; they may lead to a backlash if oil prices rise, as they are likely to.
This race is not just a right-left battleground. Obama is under fire from his own supporters for failures and perceived betrayals linked in large part to his foreign policy, not health care or advocacy for it sex marriage or immigration reform.
In some ways, this year's contest echoes the way the anti-Vietnam war movement rallied against the then pro-war "liberal" Democrat Hubert Humphrey in 1968.
1968 is remembered as a year of surging protests the world over just like today. Activism was at a high point in America too, so when the Democrats chose a candidate stuck in a cold-war pro war stance, there was a rebellion against the party by its own faithful. There were protests in the streets at the Democratic Convention in Chicago and growing support for an electoral challenge by Bobby Kennedy.
Democrats were at war with each other even as the Republican candidate Richard Nixon claimed to have a plan to end the war. As we know, Nixon's plan was an escalation but he won, only to be driven from office two years later.
While liberal advocacy groups like MoveOn and some environmental coalitions rally to Obama largely because the alternative is considered much worse, criticisms of his hawkishness, caution and centrism among progressives reaches a fever pitch. In fact, just this week he, reportedly, begged his supporters to send more money as donations fall off. He may be panicking.
Writes political scientist Michael Brenner,
"Barack Obama received a blast last week from one of his former Harvard law professors who made the case that he "must be defeated."
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