Barack Obama and the Left

Election '08

One thing before I get to anything else --if you're as disgusted as I am by the way Barack Obama and the rest of the Dems folded like a cheap camera on the FISA issue, do something positive about it -- donate money to Georgia state senator Regina Thomas. Thomas is an African-American who is running in the July 15th Democratic primary for Congress in Georgia's 12th district against the reactionary, pro-war, anti-inheritance tax, anti-immigrant, pro-telecom immunity incumbent, John Barrow. Thomas has sterling progressive credentials and given the fact that she's running against a conservative white man in a Democratic primary where 70% of voters are African-American, a lot of people think she has an excellent shot at winning.

Bloggers such as Digby, Matt Stoller, and the crew at Firedoglake have already come out in support of Thomas.   

To donate money to Regina Thomas via ActBlue, click here.

Now, on to the main subject of this post -- if you're a liberal Obama supporter, this past week or so has sucked pretty hard. We've seen Obama move sharply to the right on a number of fronts, including:

--  hiring the centrist, pro-Walmart economist Jason Furman as his economic policy director (and yes, I know that Furman's done good work on issues like Social Security privatization, but if you're truly committed to a progressive economic vision, he's not the guy you'd be hiring);

-- naming, as his campaign chief of staff, Jim Messina, who served as chief of staff to Max Baucus, and who appears to strongly support Baucus's pro-corporate agenda;

--  forming a Working Group on National Security that consists mainly of reanimated corpses from the 80s and 90s (Warren Christopher, Sam Nunn, David Boren, Madeleine Albright) rather than fresh, bold new thinkers like Samantha Power;

-- making statements
that are strongly supportive of NAFTA and that conflict with his position during the primaries (Obama is now saying he won't unilaterally re-open NAFTA);

--  releasing a campaign ad, his first of the general election, which hits on right-wing rather than progressive themes (it emphasizes "cutting taxes" and "moving people from welfare to work" -- why not "universal health care" and "getting the hell out of Iraq"?);

-- and, finally, throwing his weight behind the FISA "compromise," which deservedly earned him Atrios's dreaded "wanker of the day" award.

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