We know that there isn't much "Hope" for "Change" -- at least for progressive change -- should President Obama win a second term as president.
Even when he had the chance, with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress during the first two years of his presidency, and with a solid mandate from the voters to act on restoring civil liberties, taking significant action against climate change, ending the wars and defending Social Security and Medicare, he did nothing.
There are some Democrats still caught up in the fantasy, imagining that if the president is re-elected, and doesn't have another term to worry about, he will finally show his "real colors" and become the progressive they imagined him to be in 2008.
The evidence that this is not the case, though, is clear in the way he is campaigning. You don't hear, and did not hear in either of the first two presidential debates, any call for voters to give the president a strong Democratic majority in House and Senate. In fact, there was not a word in either of those debates from the president about the importance of getting rid of the Republican control of the House, and of solidifying the Democratic grip on the Senate to prevent Republicans from again blocking any progressive legislation.
If the president really planned on being a progressive, he would have taken the many opportunities handed to him by Romney in those debates, and by questions from the moderator and the audience in the second debate, to blame Republicans in Congress for the failures of his first term, and would have told the 65-70 million viewers to get out there and elect Democrats to Congress -- especially progressive Democrats. He had a chance to single out the Democrats in tough races where a win would really shift the balance not just to the Democrats, but to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, for example Elizabeth Warren over Scott Brown in Massachusetts, or Tammy Baldwin over Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, or Alan Grayson over Todd Long in Florida.
Instead, the president was silent about the congressional races.
What this tells us is two things. One, the president and his staff don't really care about Congress, and in fact think that the way to win the White House for a second time is to back away from progressive positions as much as possible, in order to win those so-called "middle of the road" voters who, for the most part, are swayed by weird, meaningless things like appearance, demeanor, and image. And two, the president and his handlers probably don't even want to have a progressive, or even a Democratic majority in Congress, because if they had such a thing, then the president would be compelled to do progressive things in his second term, and he doesn't really want to do that.
This is a president who is happier coddling corporations, massaging the military-industrial complex, and ignoring the indigent. That's easy to do when you have a Republican Congress. You can pretend to be a nice progressive guy trying to do the right thing, only to be stymied by the troglodytes in Congress. But if you helped elect those trogs by not fighting for a Democratic majority, it's really not honest to then blame Congress.
~ from Democratic Dysfunction and Warnings of Future Betrayal are Evident in the Obama Campaign by Dave Lindorff ~
I decided to share the majority of Lindorff's column (written before the 3rd debate) today because he makes a very important point. When Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were trying to win a second term, they were all over the country trying to help out their party's candidates in Senate and House races. Both talked about the importance of providing a strong majority in Congress for their party.
For the most part, Obama has been AWOL in this department. Lindorff has made a strong case as to why: Obama doesn't want to be constrained by a Democratic majority!
The way politics used to work in this country makes that sounds strange to write. Almost EVERY presidential candidate in US history has tried to cajole voters not only to vote for him but as many of his party's mates as possible. The fact that Obama has shown so much disinterest, in this regard, SHOULD tell you something very important about the man.
The question is: Are you listening?