Saturday, July 24, 2010

Plus, I Have Some Wonderful Oceanfront Property That I'll Sell You For Next To Nothing

So, there was something called Netroots Nation or something going on in Las Vegas, a gathering of "progressive activists" as the Wall Street Journal called them (via), or leftists as the headline of this MSNBC article called them (though in the body of the article they are called "liberal activists and bloggers." Roy Edroso was covering it all for his alicublog, so I'd quit paying attention, but apparently President Obama addressed the convention in a "surprise video appearance" to urge liberals to "keep up the fight." This suggests that Obama has figured out that his frequently-expressed contempt for the mass of the population and their concerns wasn't such a good idea after all. According to the MSNBC piece,
"Change hasn't come fast enough for too many Americans. I know that," Obama said in a surprise video appearance to liberal activists and bloggers at Las Vegas convention. "I know it hasn't come fast for many of you who fought so hard during the election." ...

In his remarks to the annual Netroots Nation gathering, the president said the combat mission in Iraq would soon end, and that the administration is working to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays and close the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

"In ways large and small we've begun to deliver on the change you fought so hard for," Obama said.

"We can't afford to slide backward. And that's the choice America faces this November," he added. "Keep up the fight."

Yeah, I felt my gorge rise, too, when I read that. Even if the "combat mission in Iraq" ends, the occupation of Iraq by our forces won't -- the idea is to let Iraqi troops protect US interests -- and "the combat mission" has already moved to Afghanistan and Pakistan. As for repealing DADT and closing Guantanamo, Obama has shown himself to be as half-hearted about those projects as he was about a public option for health care or the Employee Free Choice Act. Or the economic stimulus and rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the rich. Or in standing up to Teabag Nation and its media enablers.

I like the way the Huffington Post paraphrased Obama's "slide backward": "Obama warned about returning to Republican policies 'that got us into the mess.'" Come again? Obama has continued and enhanced the Republican policies that got us into this mess, whether in foreign policy or in domestic economy or civil liberties, while protect the worst malfeasants from accountability for their crimes. According to the article (which embeds the Obama video), "Obama urged the crowd to 'consider what we've accomplished,' then rolled a clip of Rachel Maddow laying out some of the administration's legislative victories." So much for Maddow's standing as a journalist, when she's pimping for one side in an electoral campaign.