Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Will Progressives Answer the Call to Arms?

What does it take to make progressive Americans understand that they are unwanted in today's Democratic party?

What does it take to persuade progressives to form their own party?

If the recent bleating of the official White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, sitting in his office in the West Wing, hasn't done so, what on earth will?

Gibbs berated the "professional left," whatever that is.

"I hear these people saying he (Obama) is like George Bush," Gibbs prattled.  "These people ought to be drug tested.  I mean, it's crazy."

Mr. Gibbs, when you come down from whatever you're smoking, please tell us in precise detail how Obama's Iraq and Afghanistan policies differ from Bush's; how his position on executive secrecy, detention without trial and  suspension of habeas corpus  differ from Bush's; how the appointments of Timothy Geithner and Robert Gates to cabinet posts differentiates him from Mr. Bush; how his justice department differs from Bush's in failing to reinstate citizens' rights; how his refusal to consider what he himself acknowledged is the only true health care reform, i.e. single payer, distinguishes him from Mr. Bush; how his authorization of assassination of American citizens differentiates him from Dick Cheney. Other than skin color and hair cuts, how do you tell the difference between the two presidents?

Gibbs said the "professional left," whatever that is, is "not representative" of progressives  who organized, campaigned, raised money and voted for Mr. Obama.  As one progressive who did all of those things, I find Gibbs's remarks insulting, arrogant and obscene.

"They," he said, invoking Glenn Beck's favorite pronoun, "will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we've eliminated the Pentagon.  That's not reality."

Sorry, Gibbs, but reality is the fact that Canadian health care is substantially iuperior to ours, and less costly.  Realty is an unchecked Pentagon  spending us into the poor house and running amok with decisions and policies that should be overruled by the Commander in Chief.

"They," said Gibbsie, "wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president."

Wrong again, Gibbsie.  I would be quite satisfied if Dennis Kucinich were president; I urged him to run nine years ago, campaigned for him, raised money for him and voted for him in the primaries.

The reason I join the "professional left," whatever that is, in criticizing Dr. Kidglove's performance in the White House is precisely that Dennis Kucinich is a friend of mine and, Gibbsie, Barack Obama is no Dennis Kucinich.

The United States is the only advanced democracy in the world that no longer has a political left.  Both parties in our two-party system are right of center -- and drifting further to starboard with each passing day.

If Gibbs's impertinence doesn't trigger the formation of a new, Progressive Party in the United States, (headed, I hope, by Mr. Kucinich), there will never be a viable left in this country.

When liberal ideals are forever lost to a people, democracy is dead as well.


  1. Just a couple of anecdotes that popped into my head reading this fine post:

    The first, which I was reminded of reading your "Gibbsie's" quote, "They wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president" remark.

    I was so infuriated at one '08 democratic (and pardon my grammatics if I do NOT capitalize those parts of politics for which I hold no respect, like political parties, the political offices they hold, etc.) presidential debate moderator, Tim Russert, and his one "serious question" of Kucinich in that debate, to wit:

    RUSSERT: "This is a SERIOUS question" (no shit, Tim!) --"The god-mother of your daughter, Shirley MacLaine, writes in her new book that you sighted a UFO over her home in Washington state" (to audience laughter), "that you found the encounter moving, that it was a triangular craft, silent and hovering, that you felt a connection to your heart" (interspersed with shots of Kucinich grinning, sheepishly, helplessly, yet knowingly), "and heard directions in your mind. Now, did you see a UFO?"

    This is the kind of "serious questioning" by the media that had me dancing on Russert's grave at the announcement of his sudden unexpected (but most welcomed!) death.

    The second anecdote that came to mind was of Gibbs saying of people he labeled the 'professional left' as folk who "ought to be drug tested" and your implication that perhaps it is Gibbs who has been smoking something. It came from Cindy Sheehan over on Facebook where it was reported she issued Robert Gibbs the following challenge:

    Peace Activist Cindy Sheehan Challenges Gibbs To A "Pee-Off" to determine just who exactly has been smoking something funny. (At the time of this comment, no response yet from Gibbs.)

    So, yes, a dying, rotting Empire in the late stages of collapse could use, no, NO!, desperately needs to reclaim, the voices of reason like those of a Kucinich, of a Nader, from the refuse of our media's landfills; the voices of which they have so skillfully ignored, discredited and disposed of.

    But are there enough of us left to do so before it's too late?

  2. Enough? Takes but a few to start a movement. We can count numbers later!