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President ‘Not a Liberal’ Obama

Historians will have a field day defining our president’s place among the roster of presidents. Certainly, his rhetoric is that of an inspiring progressive. His deficiencies in achievement can be readily attributed to the difficulty of the times and the political opposition.

But many will delve into the issue as to whether in fact he was a liberal or progressive, or whether he was primarily a left-handled fiddle player. The Cassidy quote in the article is revelatory: where the cost is low, the talk is liberal.

Although the chapter on Obama is far from written, one draft may describe him not as a liberal or conservative but as an “Obamist.”

A brilliant politician who was able to achieve a decisive re-election.

Some may call him a realist, never pushing for more than the possible.

But what do you make of a guy who gives a great gun control speech, assigns his vice president to the job of crafting policy, demands his webfollowers to write their Congressmen, and then says, “These liberals should spend some time listening to gun owners”. Or whose Veep proposes an assault weapons ban, but then says it’s not the assault weapons he is really after? A guy who buys into the ridiculous debt ceiling and fiscal cliff deals he negotiates, which result in self-made financial chaos? A guy who spent a year finagling a healthcare law to extend coverage to millions of poor, who will now be denied coverage due to the law’s deficiencies and lack of support.A guy who righteously opposed torture but secretly condones murder.

A guy who’ll keep historians busy for years to come.

Asher Fried

Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Feb 7 2013 - 7:48pm

Labor’s strange silence

Eric Alterman’s commentary on the “missing” part of President Obama’s inagural address provided insight into the “missing” commentary from organized labor.

How can the labor movement expect President Obama, or any other elected official, to continually comment on the worth of organizing and negotiation when the labor movement doesn’t present itself in the media? Having been a proud union member for over fifty years, I am always amazed that our union leadership hasn’t realized that every other entity advertises. Oh, labor tells its own story Lwith monthly magazines, or direct mail, but it doesn’t tell its own story to the general public, or even do a good job with its own members.

When the Church of Scientology had a commercial during the Super Bowl, it became obvious that labor was missing something—“The Will to Tell its Own Story.”

Every union member should be demanding the their union charge the AFL-CIO with the job of advertising labor’s stories. The AFL-CIO with minimal funding from each union member ($1 or $2 per month) could run a fully funded program to talk about the economy and why, when labor is undermined, wages go down. They could tell the American public about the disastrous effects of the “free trade” agreements that have sold out American manufacturing.

When labor begins to tell its own story, labor can expect others, including the president of the United States, to support its efforts.

Richard Slawson

Torrance, CA

Feb 7 2013 - 5:41pm

Regressive taxation

Who pays taxes? The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy just released its latest study at whopays.org. “The average overall effective state and local tax rates by income group nationwide are 11.1 percent for the bottom 20 percent , 9.4 percent for the middle 20 percent and 5.6 percent for the top 1 percent.” State consumption taxes are especially regressive, with on average a 7 percent  rate for the poor, a 4.6 percent rate for middle incomes and a 0.9 percent rate for top incomes.

 

Clarence Swinney

Burlington, NC

Feb 7 2013 - 12:26pm