On Bill Fletcher's Thoughts on Obama
By Tom Hayden
Progressive America Rising via TomHayden.com
I agree with Bill Fletcher’s essay on how to approach Obama in 2012. I only wish to add these thoughts.
First, I knew very well that Obama was a centrist, because he declared himself to be at the midpoint between Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson and “Tom Hayden Democrats” such as myself. I knew where things stood from the get-go. No matter how reasonably I described my beliefs, Obama would keep moving to the right of them in order to maintain his role as a centrist. Aside from the frustrations this would mean for progressives like myself, it also meant that Obama was defining “center” in an unfortunate way. He apparently didn’t mean a midpoint between the 75 percent majorities and 25 percent minorities on taxing the rich, saving Medicare and Social Security, and getting out of Afghanistan. He meant staying in the middle between the poles he chose to consider relevant, which meant the far right and the middle, leaving the Democratic Party liberals stranded on many issues.
But now Obama has stranded himself, with a majority of Americans favoring “another candidate” in 2012, and a fall-off of about 30 percent among all Democrats and Latinos. His strategy obviously is to get Democrats and Independents to hold their noses and vote for him against an obnoxious Republican in 2012.