IMHO: Can the left offer a real alternative?

IMHO -- if you really recommend voting no on the tax deal, you need to have a practical, immediate alternative to the immediate impacts on unemployment, and tax rises for workers that will otherwise take place. If not, then the objections are demagogic.
The Left and other components of the broad coalition that elected Obama appear to be splitting and beginning our classic pattern of "eating our young" --- the longtime curse of the US Left. Further this appears to be happening at a time just 20 months before the coming 2012 confrontation with the ultra right.
The chief lesson, to me, is the need to UNITE, not DIVIDE, our efforts to consolidate progressives' base both in and out of the Democratic party. We ALL have the same concerns about the dangers and negatives in the tax deal, about the outrageous Republican hostage-taking. But we all also know how weaknesses in the grass roots bases of our movements, the neighbor to neighbor and workplace connections, combined with the difficulties of the fierce right-wing counterattack against Obama and especially his left wing, contributed to the mid-term defeats.
Lets focus on the strategies and tactics of rebuilding that MAJORITY base -- at which point any administration advisors advocating ignoring the LEFT can be replaced with stronger voices!

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  • @Tom I don't think the most important is with whom you are uniting. The point is what is gained. In this case it's unemployment comp extension for 2 million working families and no tax hike for tens of millions more.

    If the rule is only unite with the like-minded you get sectarianism.

    Posted by Joel Wendland, 12/14/2010 7:38am (8 years ago)

  • Building a coalition requires credibility. Next time Obama promises not to extend tax cuts on the wealthy if reelected, who is going to believe him? How can he be trusted on any issue, when he has carried on the exact same foreign policy as Bush, the same trade policies, now the exact same domestic policy, and has even moved to the right of Bush on immigration policy?

    The question is not whether or not to unite, but with whom are you uniting? What do you have to gain from siding with people who don't want you on their side, and continually antagonize you?

    And why are the majority of people going to support a left coalition that governs from the far right, even on issues where there is massive popular consensus in favor of the left position like the tax cuts?

    Posted by Tom, 12/14/2010 12:03am (8 years ago)

  • End the wars and we will have the means to cover the immediate needs of unemployment, etc. That plus ending the tax breaks for millionaires should give enough to cover immediate contingencies until more constructive planning can be developed.

    We need organized pressure to accomplish this feat and it is possible if only the electorate will wake up and be willing to battle for these necessities. Start organizing liberals, progressives, independents, disillusioned Republicans, etc. We are nearing the cliff.

    Posted by Pearl Volkov, 12/13/2010 10:15pm (8 years ago)

  • This is the point that makes most sense. The GOP wasn't going to be pressured into avoiding a stand-off on unemployment insurance. That's obvious.

    Posted by Joel Wendland, 12/13/2010 7:50am (8 years ago)

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