Friday, June 18, 2010


Sam Smith - The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote a column in the Washington Post that would have made her a prime candidate for psychotherapy had she been talking about alcohol or sexual problems. Fortunately, she was just writing about Obama and how "progressives" were not really opposed to him: "What's happening on the left isn't the equivalent of the anti-incumbent anger on the right. Most progressives support Obama and want his agenda to succeed."

Leaving aside the distortion of the term progressives - properly applied to those tired of liberals in denial - the claim raises some precise questions that vanden Heuvel never addressed. For example, do her "progressives" support:

- The war in Afghanistan?

- The continued use of Gitmo and similar facilities?

- The continuation of unconstitutional practices in wiretapping?

- The harassment of government whistleblowers?

- The corporate-driven war against public education?

- The bailout of huge banks while foreclosure-threatened homeowners are left to fester?

- Increased funding for war on drugs?

- Obama's plans offshore drilling?

- His handling of BP crisis?

- The support Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestine?

- Obama's plans to undermine the Miranda ruling?

- The extension of the Patriot Act?

- Obama's attempt to wrest more budgetary control from Congress?

- A commission designed to cut Social Security and Medicare?

- Plans to turn public housing over to corporate slumlords?

In fact, true progressives oppose all the above and as a result do not want Obama's agenda on these points to succeed. Vanden Heuvel best go back to calling herself a liberal, because for them, it’s an agenda, sadly, they can live with.