The Obama Question

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Gary Dorrien offers a critique of Barack Obama's presidency and argues that progressives should not give up on Obama even though many have been critical of his time in office. In The Obama Question, Dorrien contends that Obama’s achievements have too often been discounted.


Gary Dorrien

Comments [23]

Peter Talbot from Harrison, NJ

Dorrien's reprised critique with Leonard's help is not up to the flaming standards of the Limbaughers and Coulterains of the too-cynical-to-be-lunatic right, but it's a nice tonic.

Obama's choice of health care for all, (most?) was clearly chosen (a) because it was Hillary's tubthumper; (b) because it's not a "black" issue, and cannot be read simply along racial lines and (c) because it echoes sentiments raised by Republicans and the business community. It was a worthy choice (contrary to Dorrien's implication), but Obama has been tepid about taking on anyone in the business community (here, the drug makers, retail sellers, insurance grifters and hcare providers) with the truth to counter their heavily lobbied lies:
1. Public healthcare is without exception superior to nearly all US health care provision. The assassination of public health care by the insurance cronies was and is an inexcusable, untenable, filthy murderous series of self-serving lies. Pre-existing condition exclusions? That would have been called murder in any country in the world prior to the 1950's. The actuaries among us know the truth: universal community rating is required. So is a hard line to prevent endless extensions of drug patents, and an end to prohibition of importation of drugs from other countries that make them cheaper.
2. Obama's take on the ultimate cause of the economic crisis has been colored by the almost treasonous opinions of the Goldman Snacksians that continue to run Treasury and the Fed. The fact is that the repeal of Glass Steagal allowed the banks, in collusion with rating agencies and departments of the US Government (USAID, Treasury, Commerce, others) to hypothecate dubious debentures and rebrand and resell them many times over as "highest quality" equities based on implied backing of the US Currency. The entire CDS/CDO schema is, in point of incontrovertable fact, the illegal counterfeiting of US Currency. The banks are behind the anti-Obama push not because he was unkind to them. Quite the opposite: they want him out before he gets a second term and the courage to do what should have been done in the beginning: closure of the Fed, criminal prosecution of the ratings agencies, repudiation of any further payments to any bank to maintain liquidity due to equity positions in "tranched" debt of any kind, closure of AIG, dissolution of Fannie Mae and restructuring of Freddie Mac, prosecution of ongoing reo fraud by the banks with mortgage exposure, reinstitution of the gold standard, etc., etc., No need to think about this much: just do exactly what the real progressives (TR and Taft)tried to do in 1907.

America is guilty of destroying the world's economy just so fiduciary responsibilities were met by pension funds insisting on posting double digit interest assumptions ad infinitum. Time for the house of cards to fall. Obama simply doesn't have the courage nor the support to do the job that really needs doing.

Jul. 05 2012 05:13 PM
Sheldon from Brookyn

JG - I respectfully think that your "he's a muslim" rationale was off-base.

I have no idea what "anti-Israel" policies you are talking about.

It's been a few days since the death of Yitzak Shamir - the first Israeli prime minister to play the US and Reagan for a fool, with regards to settlements, almost all of his successors have followed suit, something that's not lost on most non-Jewish Americans..

Jul. 03 2012 01:08 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon

No, I supported Obama in 2008, although not the whole 9 yards, and I still favor him over Romney, who I consider an empty suit.I was just merely stating the fact that Obama's father having been a Muslim would naturally tend to make his son want to try to seek greater accommodation with the Muslim world, which Obama did try to establish. But he got very little in return for his initial efforts. As a result, he has toned down some of his earlier anti-Israel rhetoric and has actually been very staunch against letting Iran get away with a cover bomb program.

Jul. 03 2012 12:45 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Jim, this was a repeat broadcast, so Leonard couldn't ask Mr. Dorrien anything he didn't ask the 1st time it aired.

Jul. 03 2012 12:45 PM
Barry from Brooklyn

Jgarbuz: do all the people who call Obama a Muslim follow Islamic law?
Being against Likud does not make one anti-Israel.

Jul. 03 2012 12:40 PM
john from office

For the 4th, God bless America and President Obama. Four more years!!!

Jul. 03 2012 12:39 PM
The Truth from Becky

He is a President who happens to be Black AND White? Why do we keep arguing about this? Why do we care? The answer is soooo obvious!! Stop already.

Jul. 03 2012 12:39 PM


The race card? Really?

Jul. 03 2012 12:39 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

JG - you are starting to sound old, grumpy and out of touch...

Jul. 03 2012 12:38 PM
john from office

Jim, because he is not your president, he is the president of the entire nation. He is not a black president, he is a president who happens to be black. You want perfection, he is human.

Obama never got a fair shake because of racism, and I am a republican.

Jul. 03 2012 12:34 PM

@Barry, John, and Becky

Since the show interactive... perhaps you three might like to help me understand the justification for the three issues that I posted? Please try to avoid calling me a bigot for challenging the performance of the President that I voted for.

Jul. 03 2012 12:30 PM
The Truth from Becky

With that JBuzz, what other President has been a Mormon? A Catholic? A Jew? We can do this all day!!

Jul. 03 2012 12:30 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Barry,

What other president had a Muslim father? Under Islamic law, he is a Muslim. He was born to a Muslim father.

Jul. 03 2012 12:28 PM
Barry from Brooklyn

What other president has been called a socialist and a Muslim? He has been subjected to unprecedented red-baiting.

Jul. 03 2012 12:22 PM
john from office

Becky, you are right. Obama has met opposition from day one. The reason is that the "establishment" still cannot accept a black man in the office. And liberals are upset because he is not their boy.

Obama 2012 !!!

Jul. 03 2012 12:22 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I don't consider "progressive" to mean the same as "liberal." I think of it as left of liberal but right of radical (w/bonus alliteration).

Jul. 03 2012 12:22 PM
The Truth from Becky

This entire Presidency has been like walking into the wind, on all issues, thanks to the repubs.

Jul. 03 2012 12:19 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Once upon a time, "progressivism" meant voting righs for Blacks and women, and better working conditions for workers. Today it means abortion, gay marriage and feminist supremacy, not equal rights. The radicalization of what is meant to be "progressive" has cooled off the ardor of many such as myself.

Also, the consistent anti-Israel stance of radical progressives has alienated many Jewish progressives.

Jul. 03 2012 12:13 PM
joe from nearby

@Ed from Larchmont-

Obama actually is a moderate conservative.
The reason he only appears liberal to you is because you are to the right of Genghis Khan. After all, it all comes down to your point of view.

Jul. 03 2012 12:10 PM

Please ask Gary how we are supposed to rationalize the broken promise of transparency (prosecuting whistle-blowers and withholding information from Congress)?

As a followup, please ask him to explain why no bankers have been held accountable for their crimes associated with the mortgage crisis?

As a followup, please ask him to explain why Guantanamo remains open while American citizens are being subjected to military surveillance?

I must have missed the progressive success story.

Jul. 03 2012 12:07 PM

My only question is why there is no viable third party candidate?

Jul. 03 2012 11:47 AM
Gerald Fnord from Palos Verdes, Ca

The problem is that there are many on the Left who, being used to the idea that one must fight unmerited power, see powerlessness as an indicator of virtue. This (and a melodramatic elaboration of it leading to see people as either 'good' or 'evil') leads both to the vice of thinking far too well of the oppressed (who often are morally the worse for their mistreatment as well as physically) and to the preference for being pure and out of power over being corrupted by this wicked world and wielding power for a net gain.

Contrary to what many on the Right seem to believe, American liberalism has always had a strong pragmatic strain---for example, many of us (most?) would prefer a single-payer health system, but are willing to back a massive subsidy of the insurance industry in the form of a guarantied customer base in exchange for more control of it in the name of decency, e.g. Robomneycare (or 'Willardhusseincare', if you prefer). F.D.R., our most radical President (pacem Ed), was insistent that things be tried, evaluated, and dumped if not up to snuff...that's not ideology at work, except the ideology of trying to preserve both our economic institutions and democracy by making the economy behave acceptably to the masses---if (even our somewhat constrained) property rights seem to cease to benefit most people, either they or democracy will go.

Jul. 03 2012 11:04 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The Obama Presidency will go down in history as the most radical of presidencies. In particular, in addition to other areas, he will be recognized as a president in the pocket of Planned Parenthood (radically pro-abortion), and of the homosexual lobby, and of ACLU (which used to be a good organization). He is a radical secularist and has no use or understanding of religion in American society or for Americans.

Jul. 03 2012 06:03 AM

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