It looks like The Nation is starting to fear that they’ve backed the wrong pony horse. Via TalkLeft, we learn that they’ve written a forlorn letter and petition to Barack Obama begging him please, pretty please, to be a progressive:
You stand today at the head of a movement that believes deeply in the change you have claimed as the mantle of your campaign. The millions who attend your rallies, donate to your campaign and visit your website are a powerful testament to this new movement’s energy and passion.
. . . . . . .
Since your historic victory in the primary, there have been troubling signs that you are moving away from the core commitments shared by many who have supported your campaign, toward a more cautious and centrist stance–including, most notably, your vote for the FISA legislation granting telecom companies immunity from prosecution for illegal wiretapping, which angered and dismayed so many of your supporters. (Ed. note: And how did the junior Senator from New York vote on that? Oh, yeah–the way The Nation wanted everyone to vote!)
. . . . . . .
Here are key positions you have embraced that we believe are essential to sustaining this movement:
§ Withdrawal from Iraq on a fixed timetable.
§ A response to the current economic crisis that reduces the gap between the rich and the rest of us through a more progressive financial and welfare system; public investment to create jobs and repair the country’s collapsing infrastructure; fair trade policies; restoration of the freedom to organize unions; and meaningful government enforcement of labor laws and regulation of industry.
§ Universal healthcare.
§ An environmental policy that transforms the economy by shifting billions of dollars from the consumption of fossil fuels to alternative energy sources, creating millions of green jobs.
§ An end to the regime of torture, abuse of civil liberties and unchecked executive power that has flourished in the Bush era.
§ A commitment to the rights of women, including the right to choose abortion and improved access to abortion and reproductive health services.
§ A commitment to improving conditions in urban communities and ending racial inequality, including disparities in education through reform of the No Child Left Behind Act and other measures.
§ An immigration system that treats humanely those attempting to enter the country and provides a path to citizenship for those already here.
§ Reform of the drug laws that incarcerate hundreds of thousands who need help, not jail.
§ Reform of the political process that reduces the influence of money and corporate lobbyists and amplifies the voices of ordinary people.
. . . . . . .
Stand firm on the principles you have so compellingly articulated, and you may succeed in bringing this country the change you’ve encouraged us to believe is possible.
Which of these principles, aside from withdrawal from Iraq and reform of the political process, did he ever espouse during the primary? Certainly not universal health care! I feel like Alice in Wonderland, only I stayed awake on the river bank this primary season while everyone at The Nation fell down the rabbit hole. They were just too busy publishing malicious and dishonest articles like this one and this one about Hillary Clinton to pay attention to what Obama was actually saying and doing, because he was just the guy they hoped would finally beat the bitch. If the editorial board and columnists had come to a reasoned decision to back Obama, fair enough–but why the constant, nasty, unfair attacks on Clinton?
Lately, my e-mail inbox and my home telephone have been barraged with messages from Katrina vanden Heuvel, Victor Navasky, and paid telemarketers begging me to renew my subscription and to donate still more cash to fight a big postage increase that may crush many smaller circulation and independent magazines. Well, sorry Katrina and Victor: I guess you should have thought about that before you alienated at least half of your readership by repeating right-wing smears against Clinton and talking yourself into fantasies about Obama becoming “America’s most progressive President in more than half a century.” (Good night and good luck, indeed!)
Oh well, you know what they say: sow the open barn door, and reap the piles of crap left behind. (The headline from this post was inspired by commenter kredwyn here at TalkLeft.) And Historiann says: Oh, yeaahh!