Saturday 18 December 2010

Obama Has Not Sold Out

Obama never bought in. The Left of the main leftish party is always shrieking about sell-out and betrayal, sometimes justly, sometimes not. But how can you sell out something into which you never bought? How can you betray something to which you never owed any allegiance? Yes, Obama opposed the Iraq War. And yes, he was and is black. But what, in itself, does either of those facts prove?

The attraction of Obama has always been, not the man himself, but his supporters: Bob Casey, Ben Nelson, Jim Webb, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Bart Stupak, Jim Jones, Dick Lugar, Chuck Hagel, Squire Lance, Christopher Buckley, Douglas Kmiec, Donnie McClurkin, those who voted for Obama on the same day as they voted in California and Florida to re-affirm traditional marriage, those who voted for Obama on the same day as they voted in Colorado to end legal discrimination against working-class white men, those who voted for Obama on the same day as they voted in Missouri and Ohio not to liberalise gambling, and those who voted for Obama from coast to coast while also keep the black and Catholic churches (especially) going.

Obama has signed healthcare into law after having promised not to do so if there were any provision for federally funded abortion, which there is not; would that there were a public option of a single-payer system alongside that ban, so as to make abortion practically impossible, but one thing at a time. Nor is their coverage for illegal immigrants, still less the amnesty being promoted by Senate Republicans. Traditional marriage is Obama's own stated view. He has kicked the Freedom of Choice Act into the long grass, and instead endorsed Casey's Pregnant Women Support Act as well as concentrating on the Employee Free Choice Act supported by pro-life stalwarts such as Stupak, and such as Marcy Kaptur, who declined to endorse either Obama or Clinton because neither was offering enough to the victims of the "free" trade agreements that she and Stupak are now prominent in seeking to repeal, not without White House encouragement.

And what was the alternative? The Clintons? I was initially quite warm towards John McCain. Yes, the suggestion that McCain was against abortion was laughable. But a man of McCain's experience, like the decorated Jacques Chirac, struck me as likely to leave the warmongering to such draft dodgers as Bill Clinton and George Bush. However, he then came out as wanting Robert Kagan as Secretary of State and the treasonable Randy Scheunemann as National Security Advisor. With Britain tagging along as ever, that would have meant war against Iran, war against Russia over Georgia, war against Turkey over the Gaza flotilla, and now war against North Korea.

Still, a credible primary challenge would be in order, both to keep Obama on his toes and because someone will have to be the nominee in 2016. Marcy Kaptur would be good: a pro-life battler and a Progressive Caucus member. A pro-life woman seeking the Democratic nomination has happened before. But never on a full platform of policies. And certainly never from the populist, anti-war Left. One to watch? Watch, and pray. What would it take to persuade her to run?

For that matter, what would the Old Right say, faced with a pro-life, anti-war, anti-NAFTA, anti-KORUS supporter of traditional marriage who also happened to be a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus? After all, Pat Buchanan and Paul Craig Roberts served under Reagan, a service involving no less compromise, within the context of not commenting outside one's sphere of responsibility, than would be entailed by service under such a Democrat. No Republican nominee is ever going to make them any sort of offer, but what if that Democrat offered, say, Deputy Attorney General to Andrew Napolitano in order to help repeal Bush's assaults on constitutional liberty, Deputy National Security Advisor to Philip Giraldi, and a comparable position of his own choosing to Buchanan?

Plus others to figures from that same constituency, thus covering the full shared agenda of fair trade, repealing much or all of the USA Patriot Act, ending completely the neoconservative war agenda, strict campaign finance reform, a crackdown against corporate influence generally and corporate welfare in particular, tax cuts for the poor and the middle class, halting and reversing the national emergency of unrestricted and illegal immigration, and making English the only official language of the United States. Made such an offer by such a candidate, what would the paleocons say, and why? After all, they managed to serve under Reagan.

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