The deepening disenchantment on the far Left with Barack Obama has sparked a campaign here in New England to track Mr. Obama’s appointments and moves as he prepares to take office. Folks at The Phoenix group of alternative newspapers (Boston,Providence, Portland) have started a site named Take Back Barack.
Jeff Inglis, a commentator at the site, writes yesterday (excerpts,emphasis added):
….I’ve come to a deeper understanding of this visceral feeling I have of worry about Obama….
….Only time will tell whether Obama will do the right things, the things we voted for him to do – withdraw from Iraq, improve our education system, fix healthcare, green the economy. Many liberals and progressives are counseling us to wait and see, to give Obama a chance to make change.
That is the wrong path. We cannot sit back on whatever laurels we may have heard by electing Obama and let him do what he and his advisors want. We must remain constantly involved, a constant force to push Obama, his advisors, and Congress to do what we know needs to be done.
He might just do the right things, even if we left him alone. But we can’t take that chance - especially with the advisors he has chosen. Maybe he can take the Clinton out of Hillary and the McCain out of Jim Jones. Maybe they will come around – or even already have – to share Obama’s views on many topics. But I’m not willing to bet my future, my country’s future on that….Obama called on us to stand up and take our country back. We need to do that - and we start by Taking Back Barack.
Ralph Nader is not happy either. On Democracy Now (Dec 5) here is Nader in an exchange with Amy Goodman (excerpts):
…after appointing all the heavyweights, keeping Gates as Secretary of Defense, Hillary Clinton at State Department, and other positions—Treasury, for example, coming from Wall Street—the article said, well, it’s time now to consider some liberal appointees….Well, what’s left?….As long as liberals and progressives gave Obama a pass during the election and didn’t demand anything in return, he knew that he had their votes and he had their support regardless and moved right, moved to the corporate. And that’s reflected in the appointments that he has been putting in place….Now we look forward to the second level. Who’s going to be Food and Drug Administration head? Who’s going to be the head of the Auto Safety Agency or EPA? Will so-called liberals and progressives get their share of the Obama administration at that second level? It remains to be seen. But the signs are not very auspicious.
….(Obama) defeated Hillary Clinton in a close race, and now he’s reinstalling the Bill Clinton administration. Now, there are two interpretations, briefly, here. One, it could reflect his insecurity. That way, by putting Clintonites all over the government and keeping Gates, he is basically eliminating a lot of potential centers of criticism and challenge to his administration after January 20….
Amy Goodman asks about the Marine General Jim Jones nomination as National Security Adviser:
Jim Jones is basically the representative of what President Eisenhower cautioned us about, the military-industrial complex. He is experienced. He’s clever. And now he’s in the White House. So the question is, who’s going to run what? Is Obama going to transform Jim Jones? Is Obama going to transform all these establishment appointees? Or are they going to, in effect, transform him, in contrast to his more liberal rhetoric?
Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin is with Nader in this discussion and she has much to say about Iraq and Afghanistan; we’ll leave that for a later post. Stay tuned.