Obama & the $ubprimers
Thanks to Max Fraser for his fact-based “Subprime Obama” [Feb. 11]. Most progressives have been seduced by Barack Obama’s charisma. But his voting record, his proposals on bread-and-butter issues and his list of economic advisers demonstrate that he is a centrist. As recession looms and Americans lose their jobs, their healthcare, their homes, it is time for real change in our economic priorities. Obama almost certainly cannot deliver real change–particularly if he challenges the centrist Clinton from the right. I hope I am wrong. Obama is an inspirational orator and an intelligent, likable man. But I make my decisions based on his public record.
With a record 2.2 million foreclosures in 2007 and a staggering 5 million estimated for 2008, a serious social and economic crisis threatens millions of Americans. As a candidate for the US Senate (www.DobsonforSenate.com), I have been calling for a five-year nationwide freeze on all foreclosures (homes, farms, factories, hospitals, utilities and infrastructure) since last October. The interests of greedy Wall Street speculators have been put above those of families who face losing their homes. Sadly, Senator Obama does not confront the crisis.
As someone who scripted a few pages of Pekar and Buhle’s Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History, I found it interesting that Maurice Isserman [“Weather Reports,” Feb. 11] tossed SDS, PLP and the Weatherman faction into the category of Protestant militants: they “mistook revolution…for a moral choice.” Yes indeed, we wanted to turn the moral world upside down, to decriminalize sexuality and criminalize war. We weren’t simply hoping to change the personnel of the state but to create a new moral world. In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., Dave Dellinger, Barbara Deming and Herbert Marcuse, revolution is a moral choice or it is nothing. Our vision was one of a world without war, a world of equality. Our faults were many, but our one virtue may have been our “moral choice,” the choice to stand up against war.
Foundation for a Democratic Society
Maurice Isserman aptly but dismissively situates John Brown and the 1960s revolutionary New Left together in the American tradition of radical individualism. What is missing from Isserman’s lifeless analysis is an appreciation of the extent to which these individualistic yet concerted skirmishes galvanized others’ perceptions, changing the course of events. Just as the courage of John Brown and his company terrified slaveholders and inspired more mild-mannered abolitionists, so Bernardine Dohrn, Eric Mann and the Weathermen and their heirs caused Nixon and Kissinger, fearing chaos, to limit their criminal enterprise while moving many of us, a little less reckless, toward a greater commitment to stop the genocide in Vietnam.