03 August 2019

Obama Legacy and What, now, shall we do?

 Farflung correspondents, 

Below is an excerpt of a reader comment on Talkingpointsmemo (which if you don't know you should), on the legacy of Obama.

His first full term was spent trading in his political capital to address a healthcare system that was refusing to care for sick people because greed. He also did the little things like helping to pull us out of the worst recession since the depression and kill OBL. So, yeah, I forgive him for acting in good faith at those moments in history when the world needed the GOP to step up and act like adults. The GOP did the exact opposite and that is the real story here. Literally nobody new the depths they would go to sabotage Obama. The fact they are still getting away with is all the more infuriating.

I agree with this, more or less, but I do argue that Obama reflected the same overly cautious attitude of many Democrats (still, and most of them are less visionary and capable than he). Progressives (hell, let's start calling ourselves LIBERALS, for starters) in our country have become afraid of our own shadows. This is one of the reasons that many younger Democrats are angry and frustrated. I really do believe that decisive action is critical, and is actually popular.

We should not be hemming and hawing about impeachment, for example. Of course the Senate won't convict. Acknowledge that. Bring the impeachment inquiry, conduct it expeditiously and quickly (since we've already wasted two years), lay out the case, censure Trump, and vote not to refer it to the Senate with an explanation that it is deemed a foregone conclusion that the partisan gridlock in the Senate would prevent fair consideration.

Meantime, and I've been saying this since Jan. 1; PASS the damn progressive legislative agenda that we want to enact as soon as we have both houses and the presidency. Write the damn bills. All of them. Talk them up. Go on the political shows and refuse to talk about Trump and his BS and say, we want to talk about the solutions WE HAVE for America. Then our candidates need to run on those issues. Do we disagree about details? Of course. But hash it out. Make the compromises in our own caucus, hammer out the bills, and pass them. Presidential candidates can talk about the tweaks and improvements they'd like to see, but they can all agree to run on the broad outlines of an ALREADY PASSED in the House agenda for America. If Nancy Pelosi were the great master legislator that her admirers claim she is, this is what she would be doing. Schumer is a caretaker; he can do nothing legislatively. But she can. Passing bills, even in only one house, is a way to SET AN AGENDA.

I am deeply disappointed in the leadership in our party and very fearful that a combination of cheating, con-man politics, and poor turnout could even spell defeat for us in 2020 if we don't up our game and soon. And I don't think I need to convince many Democrats, or even many Republicans, that that would be utterly catastrophic for our country.


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