Scott has provided the fundamental case for Obama’s reelection, no matter how disappointed with him you might be. I want to build on that a bit by summarizing a few thoughts I’ve had about the left during the election cycle. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed in many of those who consider themselves to be on the left. We have created some self-mythology that we are the reality-based community, the ones who have an understanding of history and government, and who take policy seriously and learn from the past and present.
This is obviously not true.
Within left politics in 2012, the big story has not been Occupy or any other social movement. It hasn’t been building on the Wisconsin protests to create long-lasting change. It’s been a discussion of this question: Has Obama been so horrible that we can’t vote for him?
I’m really disappointed in the left in this conversation.
Disappointed may not be strong enough a word in my case. Particularly in the case of Wisconsin recall efforts, or even the Chicago teachers strike, I looked to see who was banging the drums for the left to get out and take action, to raise funds, to do really anything to support the workers and fight back against the forces working to further undermine workers’ rights. I looked particularly at those whose previous complaints about Obama and the Democrats included exclamations that progressives should work on building their own independent power structures and movement to force the conversation in their direction. And what I saw was a wasteland.
No posts, no extortions to assist the efforts in Wisconsin and elsewhere, nothing at all in many cases. Their focus remained on how much a disappointment Obama has been and never mind the people fighting for their future at the state level. The only blogs and bloggers I saw doing what they could to drum up support for those efforts were from the ones derisively dismissed as ‘Obots’ by the folks who feel they’re too good to vote for Obama today.
Disappointment really doesn’t cover my feelings there.
I still hope Obama wins, and the Dems gain overall, since four more years of progressive whining beats the hell out of the horrors a Romney/Ryan/Tea Party Congress would bring, and besides, most of that whining can be discounted by the (in)actions of its authors.
If you’re interested in real change, read the rest of Erik’s post linked above, and the one he links to. The history is there. The path to real change is there. Maybe it will happen, but given what I’ve seen the last year or so, I’m not as optimistic as I once was.