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Tuesday, 05 January 2010 03:34

BuzzFlash Mailbag for January 5, 2010

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Subject: Obama Style Incrementalism Is Either Negative Or Inconsequential, Not Positive

On the feature issues of his campaign, that is, such as giving peace a real chance, health care for all, ending warrantless surveillance, reigning-in the banksters and getting serious about global warming. Seems he misrepresented himself as a progressive but got away with it by dint of his charisma and public speaking skills, particularly his "change we can believe in" and "yes we can," slogans which, it should be noted, he's rarely used as our president.

Why hasn't he? Perhaps because these slogans gave his campaign a populist edge, something that's OK for winning an election, but once in office, definitely not OK when it comes to pleasing those who financed his campaign, and to whom populism is a dirty word, which isn't surprising since every meaningful progressive turn these past two centuries has been associated with populism movements.

Alas, we'll never know whether President Obama, had he not abandoned the populism that got him elected, could have moved America towards a new progressive era, but for whatever reason this failing on his part to make good on a moment of great promise for change, doesn't mean that the moment is lost, since all we have to do to deliver on its promise is to rise up en masse and change the world. A task which is definitely doable today, what with over a hundred million Americans but a mouse click away.

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