A week after the Obama administration has pushed through the Bush era tax cuts for the rich, it is a good time to again reflect on the meaning of Obama and the role of the Democratic Party.
The 2007-2008 election campaign of Obama was unique in that it took on a popular character, which ultimately helped him win the Democratic primary and the general election. Under the slogan of “change we can believe in” Obama promised a new type of bourgeois politics to answer the country’s pressing problems.
However, after two years of economic crisis the capitalists and ruling class have responded by successfully attacking the living standards and the remnants of the political power of the working classes and oppressed people. Arguably, general social and political polarization is the greatest it has been in generations.
How do we explain the discrepancy between the promises of Obama’s election victory and this reality? What is the nature of the Democratic Party? How can we historicize its current character? What is its relationship to the need to find the political forms within the new content among the American oppressed and working classes that seems to be emerging in response to the crisis?
Meanwhile, a new dust up within the Left is going on between supporters and critics of Obama and the Democratic Party.
One side, led by the trade unions, the Congressional Black Caucus, The Nation and the former Progressives for Obama, argues for a popular front against finance capital and the white populist right.
The other side urges direct opposition to Obama and the Democratic Party and the call for some kind of political alternative.
We are reposting some of that analysis below.
Protest Obama, An Open Letter to the Left Establishment
Glen Ford, Psycho-Babbling Obama
Paul Street, Note to “the Left”: Obama Hates You