HOW DID I GET LEFT BEHIND BY THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT?
Well, I'm flummoxed. I guess I'm not a progressive, after all (though I've lived and voted my entire adult life thinking that I was liberal aka progressive). Here's news from the Take Back America conference. "A whopping 72% were for Obama, compared to 16% for Clinton, with just 12% saying they’d be happy with either."
Add this to MoveOn's endorsement of Obama, it seems that while he's split the union vote with Clinton, he's winning the progressive vote. Though living up to their expectations might be easier said than done, they are realistic about what the president might be able to do right off the bat: asked what he expected the next president to do when he/she takes office Hickey said the first priority should be a plan to end the war in Iraq "or face a revolt from the left." But second, he said, would probably have be an economic stimulus package and he said that universal healthcare would likely have to be a longer term goal.
See, from what I can tell, Hillary Clinton has already formulated a responsible plan to extract us from the war in Iraq, while Barack Obama has floated a "hard date" for withdrawal that one of his top foreign policy advisers calls a "best case scenario" that he won't necessarily follow once he's POTUS. Hillary's plan is so sensible that she's received the endorsement of anti-war Congressman John Murtha (and isn't it interesting that this is despite the fact that his good pal, Nancy Pelosi, has been sending unmistakable signs that she supports Barack?).
Fool that I am, I thought universal health care was a top priority for progressives. After all, aren't liberals supposed to be the ones who care most about the interests/concerns of the working man? An economic stimulus package is an important issue, agreed, and Hillary has proposed an impressive program to create jobs and at the same time reduce America's dependence on foreign energy sources and address the global warming crisis. Obama, also, has addressed the economy and its impact on American families. But his health care proposal is hardly "universal," and he has repeatedly voiced the Republican talking point about "fixing" Social Security. As Paul Krugman said, "Progressives who fought hard and successfully against the Bush administration’s attempt to panic America into privatizing the New Deal’s crown jewel are outraged, and rightly so." I guess a lot of progressives weren't so outraged after all.
I think the "progressives" have left me behind. I'm no young, elite movement maker-and-shaker. No, I'm just a 50-something lifetime Democrat and liberal, who has been as anti-war as anyone (hey, I made my bones in the anti-Vietnam War days and spoke out against the Iraq invasion from the very beginning and never waivered). I'm also one of those despised Baby Boomers who still believes that real solutions take hard work and the courage to fight for the rights of Everyman. I still cry, "Union! Union!" and believe that ordinary Americans deserve a president who listens and responds to the needs of the working poor and middle class. And I want to see proof that that's been their agenda and life's work before I fall in line.