Saturday, February 28, 2009

May it be?

A president worth supporting? A president who is taking incremental step after incremental step in trying to force truly substantive change? I am so cynical and so injured over the many long years that I can't quite bring myself to believe it. And yet, there are signs that Obama is using the memory of his first lackluster "bipartisan" month in office and the increasing urgency of the economic crisis to start implementing a far more radical and progressive agenda. Yes, it's possible to use the "shock doctrine" in the other direction too, D.C. Fat Cats!


Obama To Lobbyists: I'm Ready To Fight

President Barack Obama challenged the nation's vested interests to a legislative duel Saturday, saying he will fight to change health care, energy and education in dramatic ways that will upset the status quo.

"The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long," Obama said in his weekly radio and video address. "But I don't. I work for the American people."

He said his ambitious budget plan, unveiled Thursday, will help millions of Americans, but only if Congress overcomes resistance from deep-pocket lobbies.

"I know these steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they're gearing up for a fight," Obama said, using tough-guy language reminiscent of his predecessor, George W. Bush. "My message to them is this: So am I."

Some analysts say Obama's proposals are almost radical. But he said all of them were included in his campaign promises. "It is the change the American people voted for in November," he said.

Nonetheless, he said, well-financed interest groups will fight back furiously.


I have high hopes for Obama. I hold back because it's hard to believe a moment of political change may actually have arrived. I still can't decide if Obama is the winner in this possible game of clever brinksmanship or if he's just the ultimate, most patient political centrist that has ever lived. Change cannot come quickly enough for me. One good sign is the way the GOP seems to be pulling apart at the seams. If the center is all that's left at the end of the day, we can start pulling from the left a lot harder AND actually getting our way.

Two links worth noting: