March 5, 2014
Netanyahu's inaction to Obama's provocations sends powerful message
Kerry, after apparent criticism by Schumer, seeks to allay skepticism on diplomacy
How to ruin a perfectly good kid in 10 simple steps
2014 Oscars played it safe, but was faith lost in the shuffle?
Apple joins Hobby Lobby in touting corporate values beyond profit
March 3, 2014
Alina Dain Sharon: In the Hebrew calendar, a leap year has extra month, not day
Latest Obama appointment to prove Prez set on emasculating so-called Israel Lobby
Jewish World Review
Oct 10, 2011
12 Tishrei, 5772
Can Obama strike an alliance with Occupy Wall Street?
As the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators moved to Washington on Thursday and swarmed outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, President Obama was at the other end of Lafayette Square trying to align himself with the swelling protest movement.
“I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel, that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street, and yet you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place,” the president said at a news conference in the East Room.
For the struggling president, the nascent movement offers a chance at salvation, the opportunity to excite liberals with the sort of populist energy that has fueled the Tea Party for two years. But, as liberal leaders already know, the young movement must be careful to avoid Obama’s embrace: He decimated the progressive cause once, and he would do it again if given the chance.
Liberal activists who rallied behind Obama in 2008 watched as he defied their wishes and instead made unrequited concessions to the Republicans. “Every one in this crowd, I am certain, has had disappointments and frustrations with this White House,” Robert Borosage, a director of the Campaign for America’s Future, told the audience as he convened the Take Back the American Dream Conference, an annual gathering of liberal activists in Washington, this week. He accused Obama of being “too cautious” and “pre-compromised” and criticized his performance on jobs, global warming, defense and foreign policy.
Another of the speakers at the confab, former Obama White House official Van Jones, said it was liberals’ own fault for placing too much faith in the president. “We all affiliated [with] him,” he said. “We made a mistake.” Obama “got to become head of state, he got promoted — good for him,” said Jones, who was forced to quit the White House when conservative critics attacked him. “But here we are — and it’s worse than before.”
But the most striking thing about the progressives’ gathering this week was how little Obama was mentioned, and how dismissive the few mentions were. When one woman at the convention attempted to ignite Obama’s trademark “fired up!” cheer, only a few people responded with the usual answer, “ready to go!” The attempt quickly died.
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) came closer than most in defending Obama, with a less-than-ringing endorsement. “I haven’t always been the happy Democratic camper, okay?” But, in terms of liberals’ goals, “we can get there faster with our crowd than we can get there with their crowd.”
The more successful appeals ignored Obama in favor of calls to turn the Wall Street protests into a “movement moment” to target corporate greed and, as one protest flier put it, “Wall Street’s servants on K Street, in the Pentagon and in our government.”
That would seem to be a fat and juicy target. American companies are sitting on $2 trillion in cash while nearly 15 million of their countrymen are out of work. And Washington does nothing, in large part because vast swaths of the town are controlled by corporations. Some 5,400 congressional staffers have joined lobbying outfits in the last decade, according to a LegiStorm study, and 605 current congressional staffers have lobbied in the last decade. The Center for Responsive Politics counts 328 Obama officials who have already passed through the revolving door to corporate riches. Of the 120 lawmakers who departed from Congress last year, 39 are now in the lobbying trade.
The Democrats, however, have been unable — or unwilling — to turn the corporate excess to their political benefit. The Democratic National Committee’s latest attempt, a Web ad released Wednesday, shows various Republican presidential candidates calling for repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, a piece of legislation the average voter almost certainly doesn’t know about.
Then there’s Obama, entirely too even-handed to be a populist. “I think people are frustrated, and the protestors are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works,” he said during Thursday’s news conference. But in the next breath, he added: “Now, keep in mind I have said before and I will continue to repeat, we have to have a strong, effective financial sector in order for us to grow.”
True, but uninspiring. And liberals should by now know that a nuanced president cannot be a movement’s mouthpiece.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Dana Milbank's column by clicking here.
• 10/06/11 Chris Christie, such a presidential tease
• 10/05/11 Obama and his foot soldiers go toe to toe
• 09/28/11 Cain could deliver
• 09/26/11 Republicans? Mr. Nice Guys?
• 09/22/11 Why Ron Paul is winning the GOP primary
• 09/21/11 I am a job creator who creates no jobs
• 09/20/11 Obama launches a revolution
• 09/19/11 Dems for Romney?
• 09/14/11 ‘Supercommittee’? More than stupor committee
• 09/07/11 Mitt Romney finds his (corporate) voice
• 09/01/11 The infallible Dick Cheney
• 08/31/11 This liberal says Perry is the ultimate conservative candidate
• 08/29/11 Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler
• 08/10/11 How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots
• 08/09/11 The most powerful man on Earth?
• 08/08/11 The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington
• 08/04/11 Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
• 08/03/11 Government on autopilot
• 08/02/11 Dems mourn debt deal like death
• 07/27/11 Life imitates sport
• 07/26/11 Obama and Boehner take on Washington
• 07/21/11 Why Americans are angry at Congress
• 07/20/11 The new party of Reagan
• 07/18/11 Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate
• 07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
• 07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
• 07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
• 06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
• 06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
• 06/24/11 Mission accomplished, Obama style
• 06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
• 06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
• 06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
• 06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
• 06/02/11 The Weiner roast
• 06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
• 05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
• 05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
• 05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
• 05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
• 05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
• 05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
• 05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
• 05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
• 05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
• 05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
• 05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
• 05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
• 05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
• 04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
• 04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
• 04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
• 04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
• 04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
• 04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
• 04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
• 04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
• 04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
• 04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
• 04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
• 04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
• 04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
• 04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
• 03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
• 03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
• 03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
• 03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
• 03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
• 03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
• 03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
• 03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
• 03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
• 03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
• 02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
• 02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
• 02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group