Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I have to wonder what Ms. Klein seeks to achieve in her put down of the energy and enthusiasm of all segments of the population. I see very little substance in her high-schoolish attacks on the very people that unseated the backwards corporate-founded regimes that we have been floundering under for the past 8 plus years. Is it that negativity just cannot stop flowing from the brain, like the pruned grapevine, rooted and permanently attached to the ancient soil of the past? Yes, it is an easier task to sit and pontificate with small-hearted criticism against individuals who worked hard to achieve something than to accomplish the goal oneself, but if she had worked in the communities, side by side with all strata of people, she would have known the personal side of the effort was much deeper than the shallow criticism she offers.

Work is still happening to reach the goals of a better America, but it is real boots-on-the-ground work that will achieve change, not the empty bellowing of our educated wordsmiths.

J. Ferrari

Ashuelot, NH

Apr 27 2009 - 2:03pm

Web Letter

I think the people who are despairing at the moment must have been the ones that thought Obama was Superman!

I'm happy with all that's been done so far. His pragmatic, rather than ideological, governing has been a breath of fresh air. In four years, the US will have come a long way.

One last point: Obama boycotted the UN racism conference because it was known ahead of time that the Iranian president was going to spew hatred at Israel. Please make that correction.

Eveline Xia

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Apr 23 2009 - 8:23am

Web Letter

I think that this reality-check is unnecessary if we keep in mind that we progressives did not elect Obama to make these changes but merely to move the center left so that we can prepare for a third party and a true progressive to truly make the changes we envision.

I, too, volunteered for the Obama campaign and donated money, but I saw this election only as a stepping stone, a baby step to achieving the real goals of true progressives. I look forward to supporters like me banding together to form a truly progressive third party--one that will see that our goals are truly reached. Obama was just one baby step in this direction.

Janet Oelklaus

San Rafael, CA

Apr 21 2009 - 2:19pm

Web Letter

This article reminded me of Alex Cockburn's column of 10/08 identifying Obama's support of the bailout as evidence that he'd already traded whatever progressive economic reform he might have entertained in return for the support of the financial sector. Now, as he decides to let a second set of criminals walk, I am furious about his refusal to direct Holder to prosecute torturers (and their proxies). I cannot possibly take seriously any assertion that he will oppose even the most egregious outrages of the neoliberal consensus.

If there is no prosecution of a torturer, there can be no establishment of America's moral legitimacy, let alone leadership, in global political matters. Obama's oratory concerning the "rule of law" which escaped his lips on yesterday is utterly hollow.

I think that there is little he can do regarding the "economy," given that we are but one player among many in a global economic debt structure. And not a very important one either.

My feelings about this administration are now a strange mix of resignation, anger and betrayal. But underneath it all is my anger with myself for getting caught up in the emotional wave that swept a man of color into power. I let that emotion (and it really was glorious) and its veneer of historical significance determine my political vision. As a historical materialist, I guess I have only myself to blame.

But Klein's work is a very powerful solvent. Thanks.

S.J. Cipolla

Wyncote, PA

Apr 21 2009 - 2:05pm

Web Letter

A great thought. I've been thinking in the same vein. I'm heartened that the pushback on investigations of torture have moved the administration to open the area to Congress and not stand in the way. Hope springs upward. I communicated my horror at torture this way. Dear Mr. President, You are a father, I am a father, a 7- & 10-year-old in box with ants in their father's hearing to make him talk is torture.

I assume millions of you did similar things someone heard.

Gary Watts

Monroe , OR

Apr 21 2009 - 12:34pm

Web Letter

Fabulous article by Naomi Klein! I love her calling us all to action, rather than just letting us wallow in the disappointment of a president who begins to look like his predecessor, only more granola.

Janet Desroches

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Apr 21 2009 - 6:52am

Web Letter

A clever article, Ms.Klein. And I agree with one of the letter-writers that we have to go beyond hope and organize, get active to push things forward.

I get dozens of e-mails daily from various progressive websites that are mobilizing their ranks for action. I sign many petitions daily. So join the many excellent organizations online and donate funds if possible to encourage their work. The PDA is an excellent contact and is working hard for the projects we all elected President Obama to do. As pointed out, he needs to hear from us in large numbers about the issues we are concerned about and now,while discussion is continuing about them, is the time to let our wishes be heard.He can be reached with comments at WhiteHouse.gov. and letters to the newspapers are effective. The issue about a universal healthcare system is vital and Rep. Conron's bill #676 needs our support.

Our work is cut out for us!

Pearl Volkov

Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Apr 21 2009 - 2:51am

Web Letter

I was and am an enthusiastic Obama supporter. I like his wife, his kids, his dog. I like what he's done, so far.

I did not expect him to turn capitalism into sausage, guillotine war criminals, turn the sea to lemonade.

Anyone who did hasn't been paying attention to American politics, these last 200 or so years.

I believe he wants to be pressured into realizing a more activist, social-democratic agenda. In this context, my "hope" is directed down here, not up there: I hope we continue to pressure him in that direction.

This isn't a time for resentment, feelings of betrayal, disillusionment. Still less is it a time for abandoning Obama and diluting our forces with third parties and fringe absolutists.

There is never going to be a better president to impliment our aspirations. It is essential for us to make the best of what we have, rather than sulk in our tents.

Barry Blitstein

New York, NY

Apr 20 2009 - 6:44pm

Web Letter

One look at Obama's economic advisers during the campaign should have given you a clue about his policies. These were the people who gave us NAFTA, and open the door allowing the economic idiots in the Bush administration to destroy the world's economy. I exaggerate slightly, Bush had help from the G-20.

I must confess, I was somewhat hopeful that he would get away from the Bush administration's "axis of evil" nonsense and negotiate respectfully with other countries without preconditions. But again we have Democrats who supported the Iraq War in foreign policy positions.

For the first time in my life, I didn't vote for a Democrat for President. I voted for Nader!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Apr 20 2009 - 2:10pm

Web Letter

Anybody who equated hope with salvation is bound to be disappointed. President Obama has held pretty close to his liberal roots. I didn't expect Obama to satisfy me or any other liberal completely. The president has done a better job of outmaneuvering conservatives on the budget than I expected. He has in a calculated way done right on social programs, torture and the environment. He has made Rush Limbaugh the center of the Republican Party. His actions on the Somali pirates opened the fissures in the already-divided conservative movement.

Steve Garcia

Austin, TX

Apr 19 2009 - 12:22am