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Web Letter

Obama is still continuing the Bush policy of regulating the US labor markets, driving down wages and driving up unemployment. We still have, with no reforms, the anti-worker H-1B regulations.

Until Obama reforms or ends H-1B, then he is an enemy of working American families. I don't care what he does. He is the enemy of my family and all American families.

Considering that he is following Bush and the GOP on every economic issue that really matters, I don't have a problem voting for a Republican against Obama. Voting against Obama and working for his defeat is the only thing we have. The only tool we have to protect our families against the corporatist like Obama is to vote them out.

I don't care if he gets the PLO and the Zionist to tongue kiss each other. Obama is the enemy of working American families.

max moreland

Pendleton, IN

Sep 27 2009 - 2:52pm

Web Letter

In contrast to Mr. Scheer’s concern that Obama will not be able to equal Reagan in creating a political revolution because of antiwar sentiment in the Obama progressive base, I think Obama actually has a chance to eclipse the Reagan revolution, and Afghanistan could be a convenient starting point.

When I was a young student at UC Berkeley, I had the privilege of studying with one of the architects of the Reagan revolution, and it was clear that there were many prongs to this pendulum-swinging effort that focused more on ideology and philosophy. There was an intellectual underpinning to this revolution, in which Toqueville's concerns about the readiness of America for “real” democracy produced small “r” republicanism led by a self-interested wealthy class as the best form of “government.”

At the center of this philosophy was Ayn Rand’s Virtue of Selfishness, in which the trick was to convince the “base” that if they abandoned altruistic ideals and pursued a life course of selfish individualism, they too would be become wealthy some day and rule America.

Fast-forward to thirty years later, and we see the reckless result. The wealthy class now “owns” government and this is played out every day in the pay-to-play culture in Washington. This special-interest-oriented policy-making is what led to the Enrons and Countrywides, debt-equity swaps, and bailouts of Wall Street executives who simply got caught up in their own selfish greed and desire to become as wealthy as possible.

In foreign policy, this produced a continuation of the military-industrial complex and Big Oil as the drivers of war. It was their selfish desire to profit from war that created the conditions for invading Iraq, and the funding of defense systems with very little security value. It also required the US to be the “fulcrum actor” in the wake of the end of the cold war, as the US alone decides who is violating international law and what should be done about it.

Afghanistan provides a unique opportunity for Obama to reset foreign policy so that it is more “world-centric” than US-centric. This is based on a “progressive” philosophy that we are our neighbor’s keeper, that we do live as a responsible member in a community of nations and that international legitimacy requires that actions to deal with legitimate security threats are taken with an international approach and response.

Al Qaeda attacked America in 9/11 partly because they see America as a “dishonest” world cop. They see the money flowing to American companies based on American action around the world, and it disturbs them. It is sort of like the beat cop on the street only arresting competitors of companies whose stock they own.

Obama has an opportunity to create a legacy that far exceeds Reagan by going beyond antiwar reflexive reactions, and actually changing the dynamic and necessity for the US to continue to play the fulcrum actor role. Obama is a gifted leader and orator and has even more popularity and respect outside the US than inside the country. It is time to use this leadership position to call for the creation of a truly international rapid response force under international command, capable of responding to the various threats around the world. Such a force should be comprised of nearly every nation in the world, and its leadership should reflect such international composition and be based on world consensus on a wide range of international issues such as Afghanistan.

The time is now to move beyond the selfishness endemic to national rule, and reset foreign policy based on responsible world community. This is the “progressive” ideal--not selfish isolationism--so when are we going to embrace it?

Metteyya Brahmana

Santa Cruz, CA

Sep 26 2009 - 7:41am

Web Letter

The "Obama Revolution" was abandoned by President Obama on Inauguration Day. Look at his platform and the platform promises dismissed or shelved to die in their own time. We knew he was a moderate when we voted for him, but what we hoped for was a commitment to the realization that a progressive stance was desperatly required in response to the damage done in so many areas of our social and political lives here and abroad. What we got was an almost immediate brush-off, with pandering to and appeasement of the right wing and no seat at the table for progressives--only an aide sent to smile and pat us on the head as progressive intrests were sumerally dismissed. "But doesn't he make you feel good?" No. He doesn't. As one friend said: "This is as close to 'Bush 3' as we could get." I agree.

There's nothing to save; the ship was scuttled by its captain.

William Taylor

Rancho Cordova, CA

Sep 24 2009 - 7:53am

Web Letter

Referring to anything Obama-esque ocurring (or attempting to) in the last many months as revolutionary is genuinely going out on a linguistic limb. Any significant modification from one beleagured presidency to another has only been a blip on the societal and political radar screen.

In order to have anything "revolutionary" occur, there needs to be some thought and action which shows its radical (as in "root") origins, and, thus far, the Obama administration has either protracted and promulgated the moral laxities and economic toxins of the Reagan and Bush years, or merely mimicked the cheerfulness of the Clinton era.

Any revolutionary approach to the nation's ills would require both efficacy and efficiency, but almost nothing substantive has appeared, to date (Cash for Clunkers does not amount to much, in the grand scheme).

In Obama's speech to the UN (9/23) he said that the US was "setting its sights on" a good many goals, but there was no talk of actual planning armament or ammunition.

In order to have an appropriate explosion of revolutionary "change," some fissionable materiel is required. Thus far we have a pot of tepid water, simmering on the back burner: not even remotely revelatory, much less revolutionary.

Ivan Hentschel

Cedar Creek, TX

Sep 23 2009 - 12:15pm