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Tuesday: Liberal Great Expectations

Jesse Jackson Sr. wrote a somewhat cryptic column in the Chicago Sun-Times today called Who Will Speak for America’s Poor?.  He gems nicely with the sentiments of Paul Krugman, who yesterday wrote in Fifty Herbert Hoovers, that one of the best ways of stimulating the economy is to start at the state level and keep former state workers from slipping into poverty.  If you get the state to keep employment up with new infrastructure projects, there will be money going to other businesses and tax revenue as well.

Jackson’s column is a bit sly.  Does anyone recall the controversy that erupted during the primaries when Hillary said that Martin Luther King’s dream of Civil Right’s legislation wasn’t enough and that President Johnson was needed to make the dream possible?  Hoo-buy, she might as well have said she was going to go bleach her sheets and chop a cross down.  Hillary never minces words when it comes to inflammatory rhetoric.  She goes right for the jugular, she does.  I know how angry *I* was when she turned out to be the grandmaster of her KKK cell.

That’s why I’m a bit puzzled by Jackson today.  It seems like he might actually be, um, *agreeing* with her but this time he is talking about the war on poverty:

When Barack Obama takes office, he will usher in the greatest period of reform in America since Lyndon Johnson in 1965-66. In a few extraordinary months, Johnson pushed through the Voting Rights Act, immigration reform and Medicare, and launched the War on Poverty. That effort was an early casualty of the war in Vietnam, but by the end of Johnson’s presidency poverty had been dramatically reduced.

Yet Johnson is seldom invoked as a great president. In part that is because his administration was itself a casualty of the Vietnam War. In part that is because his reforms sparked a reaction, with conservatives running against affirmative action, crime and welfare, profiting from the race-baiting politics of division. By the end of the Reagan era, poverty was no longer fit for political debate. Now politicians in both parties compete to appeal to the middle class and ignore the poor.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last campaign was the poor people’s campaign. He wanted to bring poor people from across the country, across racial and religious divides, to Washington to demand action. He was taken from us in Memphis, helping low-paid sanitation workers to organize, before his plans could be completed.

Now 40 years later, Obama will be inaugurated one day after the holiday celebrating’s King’s birth and life.

He will come with a mandate to get the economy moving, to put people back to work. And across the country, the weakest and most vulnerable Americans will be hoping that he takes up LBJ’s war on poverty, and King’s poor people’s campaign.

Yikes!  It sounds like Jackson is expecting Obama to act like a liberal.  Either that or Jesse Jackson has joined the ranks of the racists.  That almost doesn’t seem possible except that the same thing happened to Hillary.

Anyway, here is another one of those pre-post-partisan pols who isn’t grasping the whole hopey-changey message wherein Barack Obama gets to say he likes Reagan while he’s channeling Lincoln and protecting the people who profited from Bush.  Get with the program, Jesse.  He’s new!  He’s fresh!  Just because he’ll have the wind at his back, nearly a filibuster proof majority and mobs of angry citizens ready to scalp the Republicans who oppose him doesn’t mean Obama has to act like a liberal, Keynesian, anti-poverty, LBJ, FDR type of Democrat.  Heck, he didn’t even campaign as a Democrat most of the time.  Besides, where would be the payoff for the Whole Foods types?

Obama and his bloggy droogs have been very busy lowering expectations and here Jesse Jackson is sticking a jack under the bus.  He’s saying that now is the time for Barack Obama to fulfill Martin Luther King’s dream and Obama, the great African-American change agent, won’t have any excuses.

Damn him and his rainbow ponies.

On another note: The Confluence has been nominated as a finalist for Best Liberal Weblog for the 2008 WeblogAwards.  I’d like to thank everyone who nominated us.  It is truly an honor to be included on the list with other wonderful bloggers.  It’s also our privilege to be representing the rest of the PUMA community.  We wouldn’t be here without you.

I’d like to thank the posters who make it possible with quality content and witty prose.  The Confluence is now my favorite place on the blog.  I never know what to expect but I know it will be good.  Thanks especially to:

RonKSeattle, Katiebird, BostonBoomer, LadyBoomerNYC, Madamab, GaryinChapelHill, Mawminc, Shtuey, myiq2xu, Regency, Stateofdisbelief, Dakinikat, SM77, HeidiLipotpourri, Taggles and all of the other posters who have made this year such a success.

Thanks also to our friends who have featured us on their pages, murphy at pumapac, Alegre, Anglachel, Correntewire, Cannonfire, Heidi Li’s Potpourri, edgeoforever to name a few.  And thanks to the commenters who have created a vibrant ongoing cocktail party with humor, intelligence and biting snarkasm.

It’s hard to believe that we aren’t even a year old yet.  We’ve come a long way, baby!

Now, let’s beat the pants off of Josh Marshall.

28 Responses

  1. Its a nice site! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

  2. First, congratulations on the recognition and it is well deserved.

    As for the Rev. JJ, he consistently never misses an opportunity to be inconsistent.

  3. Woooohooooo–CONGRATULATIONS TO RD & THE CONFLUENCE! Of course, it’s no surprise to us that this is the place to be. I’m just surprised there is a competition. TM?? Puh-leaze. I ran from there when the Hopium hit and have never looked back. I love this place. I always learn, laugh, and get to banter with the best.

    To listen to that clip of Hillary, it always amazes me that they repeatedly managed to transform such a calm, poised, and intelligent woman into a shrieking threat to all-MANkind with their careful editing and hysterical interpretations.

  4. Congratulations! Yay!!! I lurk and infrequently comment, but always always read and laugh. Thank you riverdaughter and others for a great time and a great read.

  5. There’s a small group on Facebook called I bet I can Find 1,000,000 People Sorry They Voted for Barack Obama: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=52115924358. If you’re on FB, sign up. I know I didn’t vote for him and neither did anybody here, but we are sorry he got elected.

    Congrats to the Confluence!

  6. JJ, Sr.has know that Obama is a fraud…He got caught on a open mike and his son threw him under the bus. Was it JJ that said Obama is a white man passing for Black??

  7. shv, i’ll wager that jj sr also knows his son is a fraud also. i’d rather not hear his opinion of michelle. jj sr is no fool unlike his son.

  8. Congrats, RD, for the well deserved nomination. Also, great picture of the Unity Unicorn.

  9. Jesse has always had doubts about Obama and that is why he got thrown under the bus. Remember when Bill Clinton compared Obama’s South Carolina win to Jesse’s previous win there? Liberals reacted as if Bill had compared Obama to Satan which was very insulting to Jackson. Clinton clearly was not intending to belittle Jesse but the Obama people certainly did. i don’t agree with everything Jackson has said or done, but he has done a heck of a lot more for the AA community that Obama ever has – or probably ever will.

    Now I think Jesse is indicating that he is uncomfortable with Obama’s focus on the middle class but not the poor. Bill Clinton enacted many policies that helped people move out of poverty – job training, expanded health care, day care, etc.. As a result record 7 MILLION people moved into the middle class. (Bush has completely undone this accomplishment.) I don’t hear Obama proposing these kinds of program. Not to mention he had the gall to say that the Clinton administration had left the poor behind instead of praising these accomplishments as evidence that Democratic policies are effective.
    Jesse is obviously unhappy about Obama ignoring the poor and he has taken a risk pointing it out. I can’t fault him for that. Too bad more liberals aren’t doing the same.

  10. JJ Jr. has now lost the senate seat he through his father under the bus for. Yah, they say he was a snitch all along, but I’d bet that he only became one to cover his ass when the hanky panky over selling the seat became apparent. He came out so defensively without being accused that it was obvious that something more was happening behind the scenes.

    I have said all along that the way the media rammed Obama down our throats, means that he is a corporate puppet for the wealthy and that no economic or social justice for the masses will come from his presidency. FISA, renigging on the windfall oil profit tax, renigging on rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, his love affaire with the anvangelicals, his posturing flip flop on abortion, his vote for the Bush/Chaney 2005 energy bill, his lopsided male dominated cabinet, and his embracing of more republican leaders than liberal humen rights oriented democrats are just a few signs that he is no FDR, MLK or LBJ. He’s more of a Ronald Reagen with a twist.

  11. Exactly, BernieO.

    Jesse himself said the Obama campaign was engaging in “gotcha politics” for accusing Bill Clinton of racism in SC.

  12. Actually Jesse Jackson Sr. defended Hillary when she made that statement about King and LBJ working together to pass the Civil Rights bill. I hate to link to DU, but it’s the only place I could find anything on it. I’ll post the comment here so you don’t have to use the link.


    Yesterday on MSNBC, Jesse Jackson, Sr, an Obama supporter, said Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson were a team. He further noted anyone who attacked Hillary for the comments she recently made about the two was in error. Below is a link to a summary of Joseph Califano’s account of the way King and Johnson worked together. So if what Hillary said is true, why did Obama criticize her and call her remarks “unfortunate” and “ill-adivsed”? Was he ignorant of the history of how King and Johnson worked together? Was he playing the race card to try to stem losses from Hillary’s win in New Hampshire and shore up his position in South Carolina? Why did he say what he said?


  13. BurnieO,

    Your comments are spot on!! Just like the “progressive” media has out-foxed Fox, I think the democrats have become the party of wealth and corporate dominence. After sucking the life blood out of the republicans, they have bought the democratic party and have worked overtime to purge it of the real liberals and human rights activists. They have used Obama’s race as a tool to accomplish this effort by manipulating the public through racial guilt, marginalizing women and living civil rights leaders like JJ Sr., and by the race baiting of anyone who challenges Obama or “his” agenda.

  14. Over the weekend, I heard someone from Newsweek on the radio acknowledge that what Hillary said was true. Of course, he didn’t mention her name; he just referred to it as a “campaign controversy.”

  15. Kendall Johnson, ITA with your comments.

    If the media is pushing a candidate, vote for the other guy. The MSM/MoT is bought and paid for. As is the Democratic Party. As is Obama. He was sold to a bunch of mindless fauxgressives who think words speak louder than actions. They’re all about symbolism and are slaves to inertia. They also seem to know nothing about history. And they can’t tell a scam artist even when he turns around and bites them in the a$$!

  16. Yikes. I’m in moderation. Please let me out. 🙂

  17. Congratulations, RD; a well-deserved nomination for your insightful writings and your disciplined leadership among this very diverse group.

  18. I would bet that the race baiting of anyone who dares to challanges “The One” will continue, and it won’t just be against whites. JJ Sr. was accused of trying to crush Obama’s candidancy out of jelousy for merely questioning his motives.

  19. If I had known there was an award for “best liberal blog” I would have predicted this months ago! LOL

    Congratulations RD & all the great posters who make this place so worthwhile.

  20. Congratulations to all the excellent writers here at Confluence–and to all us astute readers who know quality when we see it, too.

    Who gets to vote? And how?

  21. “Now 40 years later, Obama will be inaugurated one day after the holiday celebrating’s King’s birth and life.

    He will come with a mandate to get the economy moving, to put people back to work. And across the country, the weakest and most vulnerable Americans will be hoping that he takes up LBJ’s war on poverty, and King’s poor people’s campaign.”

    JJsr is right to hold Obama’s feet to the fire.

  22. JJ Sr will be so disappointed by Obama. Like holding Obama’s feet to the fire on Pastor Rick worked sooooo well, let’s try it again regarding poverty. JJ Sr. I think already knows that with Obama only monied interests get a set at the Obamanation table.

  23. NEW POST UP!!!

  24. okasha skatsi, I was wondering that too. Is the voting open and, if so, how do I vote?

  25. Voting commences January 5 or 6th, I forget which. We will put up a badge showing our nomination that will be clickable to the voting site.
    If you are a split personality, make sure all of your personas have email addresses.

  26. I had the honor to meet JJ senior, he visited my city this month.
    I really don’t think he likes or trusts Obie. His speech was full of “ifs” and he made it clear that just electing a black man is only an achievements if he followsin the steps of the civil rights movement. He ended saying that If President Obama does not keep his promises of social justice and progress, he would taint and set the civil rights movement back 50 years and there will be another generation until another black man would be considered good enough.

    he didnt sound too hopeful

  27. Please don’t make us think about Josh Marshall with
    his pants off..

  28. Congratulations on your nomination! You all have been another respite for me over these last agonizing months. I’ve been a constant lurker, but alas my comments pale in comparison to all you others so I just speak from my heart and inquisitive mind instead.

    Just wanted to also point out that PBS had that special re-aired on LBJ before the election (I think) and it just depicted pretty well how LBJ and MLK worked together (sometimes at frustrating odds in terms of speed for implementation), and whose actions were intertwined in importance to allow the Great Society to happen.

    And I am most agreement that Obama doesn’t give a horse’s a$$ about the poor, but will implement some pilfering policy to make it look like he does.

    Happy New Year everyone!

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