AlterPolitics New Post

Watch: How Obama Lost His Grass Roots Supporters – In A Nutshell

by on Friday, November 5, 2010 at 12:51 am EDT in Politics

Here is a CAN’T MISS discussion between Dylan Ratigan, Glenn Greenwald and Cenk Uygur on the contentious divisions which now exist between Progressives and the President (and the Democratic Party).  The three identify Obama’s ultimate betrayal — which underlies a series of more easily identifiable ones, including his deliberate undermining of meaningful health care reform, financial reform, political reform, etc.

They articulate how his chosen methods of governance conflict so fundamentally with his former populist campaign promises as to literally obliterate his credibility and his former identity as a change agent.  Herein lies the impetus for the Democratic Party’s midterm losses: their overnight transformation from change agents — ushered into power with a populist mandate — to status-quo agents.

Here’s some highlights of the discussion:

Glenn Greenwald: You can complain and object to all sorts of things, but if at the end of the day politicians know that you’re going to give them your undying and unconditional support, because the other side is just mildly worse, what you’re doing is you’re ensuring that you’ll be ignored.   But I think this election actually revealed some leverage, which is one of the reasons why the Democrats got destroyed, is because the base of the party — the people who put Democrats in power in the last two elections — didn’t bother to go and vote.  And the reason they didn’t bother to go and vote is because they weren’t given a reason why they thought it was worthwhile.  That is leverage.  That is telling the Democrats you will be out of power.  Not just in the House of Representatives, but in the Senate and the White House if you continue on this path.


Glenn Greenwald: [Obama’s] whole campaign was based upon subverting that very system — namely that no matter who wins, Democrats or Republicans, the same special interests continue to prosper, while ordinary Americans suffer.  And the plan was that by assembling this highly energized, activated citizenry behind him — this army of people who believed in the change that he would bring — he could circumvent all of those power structures.  He could tell them that they could no longer have their way, because they couldn’t do anything to him, because he had this army of highly energized young voters, first time voters, and the like.  And they squandered that.  Instead of becoming the voice of populist rage, they became the target of it, because they became the agents of the status-quo rather than the agents of change.

Cenk Uygur: [Obama’s] fundamental error was — we didn’t ask you to do change on the specific issues.  That’s great, health care reform, etc. that’s lovely, ok.  And there was some good wins in Pell Grants, etc. right?  We asked you to change the system.  That’s what you missed. […]

Glenn Greenwald: … the real tragedy of the Obama Presidency is there are millions of people who had believed that the political process had nothing to offer them, who were turned away from it and wallowing in cynicism.  And they got convinced to put aside their cynicism for the first time ever — that there was really hope that they would be able to realize by investing themselves in the political process.  And that has come crashing down.  And I don’t see how it can be re-engaged, and the irony of the Obama Presidency —

Dylan Ratigan: Why not?  Why not?

Glenn Greenwald: — because people concluded that: “this , I thought, was the real chance that something would be making a difference, and if not even this worked, then I don’t ever believe anything will.”

Cenk Uygur: … I’m with Glenn.  There’s a great irony here, that the guy who sold us “HOPE” ultimately wound up robbing us of hope, and why?  Because this was our one chance.  Because the money power is so overwhelming, it is such a hard thing to fight, but he had amassed the army to fight it.  He had that army.  Let’s go, let’s do campaign finance reform, let’s change the way things are done so the lobbyists don’t own our politicians.  And he squandered it, so what hope do we have?  […]

Glenn Greenwald: … I guarantee there are lots of people who are watching who are thinking “Oh, look at how impatient they are.  What did they think, that he was going to come in and fundamentally and radically change and improve Washington in two years?”  I don’t think anybody thought that.  I certainly didn’t.  I think everybody was in it for the long haul, was willing to have patience.  But the reason people are disappointed isn’t because he hasn’t succeeded yet, it’s because he’s not trying.  He’s doing the opposite.  Everything he accomplishes is by meeting in secret with the very lobbyists who he said he was going to dis-empower.   Everything that he does is intended to entrench the system rather than to subvert and undermine it.  So if he were actually fighting, everybody, including everyone at this table, would have all the patience in the world […]

WATCH (in its entirety):

How rare it is to see candid discussions like this one, in the main stream media, giving an honest account for the recent Democratic losses — low progressive turnout — and then to expand on the WHY.

New Poll: Majority of Americans Reject ‘Obama-Lieberman’ Health Care Bill

by on Friday, December 18, 2009 at 2:46 pm EDT in Healthcare, Politics

New results from a national poll, conducted by Research 2000 between December 16 and 17, reveal that a majority of American voters are now AGAINST each and every aspect of the Senate’s ‘Obama-Lieberman’ health care bill — which President Obama is now urging for a quick passage.

The questions asked in the poll follow below:

  1. PUBLIC OPTION: Would you favor or oppose creating a public health insurance option administered by the federal government that would compete with plans offered by private health insurance companies?

    All Americans:   59% FAVOR
    , 31% OPPOSE, 10% NOT SURE
    Democrats:  88% FAVOR, 9% OPPOSE, 3% NOT SURE
    Independents:  57% FAVOR, 29% OPPOSE, 14% NOT SURE
    Republicans:  24% FAVOR, 64% OPPOSE, 12% NOT SURE

    So naturally, the Obama-Lieberman health care bill offers:  NO Public Option.

  2. PUBLIC OPTION + MEDICARE BUY-IN: If Congress proposed passing a strong public health insurance option PLUS allowing people age 55 to 64 to buy into Medicare, would you favor or oppose this idea?

    All Americans:   58% FAVOR
    , 31% OPPOSE, 11% NOT SURE
    Democrats:  88% FAVOR, 8% OPPOSE, 4% NOT SURE
    Independents:  57% FAVOR, 27% OPPOSE, 16% NOT SURE
    Republicans:  22% FAVOR, 69% OPPOSE, 9% NOT SURE

    So naturally, the Obama-Lieberman health care bill offers:  NO Public Option + NO Medicare Buy-In.

  3. MANDATE – NO PUBLIC OPTION, NO MEDICARE BUY-IN: Would you favor or oppose a health care bill that does NOT include a public health insurance option and does NOT expand Medicare, but DOES require all Americans to get health insurance?

    All Americans:   33% FAVOR
    , 56% OPPOSE, 11% NOT SURE
    Democrats:  37% FAVOR, 51% OPPOSE, 12% NOT SURE
    Independents:  31% FAVOR, 57% OPPOSE, 12% NOT SURE
    Republicans:  30% FAVOR, 61% OPPOSE, 9% NOT SURE

    So naturally, the Obama-Lieberman health care bill includes a Mandate with penalty, but with NO Public Option + NO Medicare Buy-In.

  4. OBAMA vs LIEBERMAN: President Obama has said he favors a public health insurance option. Senator Joe Lieberman is widely credited with forcing Senate Democrats to take the public option off the table in order to win his vote. Do you think President Obama should have done more to pressure Lieberman to allow the public option to move forward?

    All Americans:   63% FAVOR
    , 29% OPPOSE, 8% NOT SURE
    Democrats:  87% FAVOR, 10% OPPOSE, 3% NOT SURE
    Independents:  72% FAVOR, 18% OPPOSE, 10% NOT SURE
    Republicans:  13% FAVOR, 76% OPPOSE, 11% NOT SURE

    So naturally, President Obama — who was awarded a clear mandate for meaningful CHANGE from the American people — pressures his party to defy the will of the people and bend over for a single politician, Joe Lieberman, who takes a staggering amount of money from the health insurance industry.

What this poll reveals is that our government is no longer functioning as the democracy it was intended to be.  When the will of a clear majority of the people, including a staggering overwhelming majority of the President’s own party, are being undermined so brazenly — as shown above — it tells you that special interests have successfully hijacked our government.


Please sign the petition:

The petition reads: “America needs real health care reform—not a massive giveaway to the insurance companies. Senator Bernie Sanders and other progressives should block this bill until it’s fixed.”

Click HERE to sign.

Gallop Poll: Majority Of Americans View Members Of Congress As Unethical & Dishonest

by on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm EDT in Politics

The percentage of Americans who view members of Congress as “unethical and dishonest” has doubled from 21% in November 2000 to 55% today.  Congressional representatives take the honors as the least ethical, most dishonest of ALL professions, surpassing car salesmen, stockbrokers, and HMO managers.  It’s the first time in Gallop Poll history that a majority of Americans were polled harboring such negative feelings about their elected officials.  Here’s some of Gallop’s findings:

Gallop Poll: Honest & Ethical Standard Ratings Of Professions

It might be wise for members of Congress to take this as a wake-up call, and proactively propose meaningful campaign finance reform legislation (as in mandating publicly-funded elections).  Time to get moneyed influence out of Washington, before Americans lose every bit of faith that it’s still a government for and by the people.

Forcing Democratic Politicians To Legislate Progressively

by on Monday, November 2, 2009 at 12:13 pm EDT in Politics

One thing has become crystal clear over these last nine months — the Democrats do not give a rat’s ass about the core concerns of the Progressive movement.  On the campaign trail ‘candidate’ Obama said all the right things and with eloquence; with passion.  He articulated a whole host of issues important to us, and […]

The Status Quo And How Washington Ensures It

by on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm EDT in Politics

A major impasse appears to exist these days between Democrats and Republicans on virtually every issue.  On the surface, it would seem it’s all ideology-based.  But upon closer inspection, their hostilities are, in large part, incited by media-manufactured outrage, where partisan vitriol and ideological demagoguery drowns out all thoughtful discourse. Unfortunately, our country is in […]

Obama’s ‘Lobbyist Ban’: A White House ‘Aspiration’ To Remain Unenforced

by on Monday, October 12, 2009 at 10:25 am EDT in Politics, World

Kevin Bogardus of The Hill did a nice follow-up on the status of Obama’s campaign promise to ban all lobbyists from serving in his administration.  The White House issued a ‘guidance’ on the matter two weeks ago, and here’s what Bogardus’s investigative reporting uncovered: The Hill contacted all 20 Cabinet-level agencies to see if they […]