I resist the tendency to see the contemporary United States’ many harsh inequalities and crimes as radical departures from the nation’s (supposed) noble and democratic origins. Look at the nation’s founding document, The Declaration of Independence, issued on July 4, 1776. It’s not for nothing that radical democrats cite it in opposition to plutocratic polices like George W. Bush’s plutocratic tax cuts, Bush and Barack Obama’s record- setting bailout of Wall Street parasites, and Obama’s corporatist health reform. The DOI advanced the idea of democracy by granting “the people” the right to “alter or abolish” a government that becomes “destructive” of their rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and by proclaiming that governments “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,” not the divine right of kings and lords.
What matters is not who’s sitting in the White House. What matters is who’s sitting in.
– Howard Zinn
Who will save “the progressive movement,” such as it is , from the blathering of Robert Kuttner? According to a recent story on National “Public” Radio, leading “disappointed,” “frustrated” and “betrayed” American “progressives” are reflecting on the (not-so) “liberal” Obama administration’s ongoing imperial and corporatist torpor –- a likely context for more right wing victories in the mid-term elections next November –- with an interesting question: “is it [the problem] Obama or is it us?” By N”P”R reporter Andrea Seabrook’s account, this was the main question discussed by “left wing activists” (Seabrook’s revealing term for liberal Democrats) at a recent conference on Barack Obama’s presidency called by the Washington-based group Campaign for America’s Future (CAF).