Friday, November 13, 2009

Democrats mistaken in shunning Obama, progressive agenda

A rather predictable move. Democratic candidates moving "toward the center" supposedly to attract more votes. Such a strategy had been in practice for a long time until Barack Obama and Howard Dean came along.

Now it seems fashionable to follow the same pattern as candidates seek to distance themselves from the president and his "liberal" agenda. Never mind that the president is still popular while both Democrats and Republicans are experiencing deep lows in popularity. It seems that it's hard to break old habits.

Well, the evidence is coming in that many of Obama's supporters stayed home last election as the Democratic candidates tried to make their agendas not too much different from those of their Republican opponents.

The young and other normally detached populace got excited during the Obama campaign, but they might not be that excited about the status quo.

Now, Obama himself has suffered somewhat from the rather slow pace of reforms, but this is not because he is trying to make reforms! The progressive move toward healthcare reform, climate change, etc. is motivating conservatives with their tea parties and all, but the "slow" pragmatic approach may not be well understood by young Obama supporters.

Obama is not likely to have the high drama confrontations on issues that we remember from John F. Kennedy's administration. The times have changed, but he still is making very bold moves toward change. When passed, maybe I should add "if" but it's getting increasingly likely, the health care reform bill will be the most sweeping social legislation since Social Security. Yes, bigger than Medicare. In fact, maybe even bigger than Social Security. Every president since Theodore Roosevelt has tried to pass healthcare reform, and now Obama is right on the door of passing such legislation in his first year in office.

But still, people do not know all these facts -- they like action they can understand and soaring rhetoric.

Now the Democratic candidates -- some of them -- seem to be getting the wrong message about the shifting mood of voters.

They are not going to motivate sleeping Obama supporters by backsliding and distancing themselves from the president. And these supporters are not mostly conservative either.

Most Americans still favor the president and about 2/3rd of them support healthcare reform with a public option. The difference between these numbers will probably shrink once healthcare reform with a public option is passed.

All the other interpretations of the current situation with voters are just flashbacks to a different era. Times are changing.


whitehawk said...

thank you

Torgny said...

Many people think who have ad no practical first-hand experience of politic believe that a president can do whatever he wants and pass through any legislation he wsants. This is not true, and especially difficult is this in USA where the Senate often blocks any attemts to reform.

"The change is within ourselves." It is through the activity of many people tht change will come. Active people will produce a strong public opinion. We can not blame others (ex politicans) if we do not are active ourselves.

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