Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Liberals to Obama: 'Stand Firm'

By Perry Bacon
A group of high-profile liberal activists, including authors Howard Zinn and Gore Vidal, filmmaker Robert Greenwald and Eli Pariser, one of the leaders of MoveOn.org, have written an open letter to Barack Obama, criticizing what they call "troubling signs that you are moving away from the core commitments shared by many who have supported your campaign" and urging him to "stand firm on the principles you have so compellingly articulated."

"We recognize that compromise is necessary in any democracy. We understand that the pressures brought to bear on those seeking the highest office are intense," the group of more than two dozen intellectuals and activists wrote in a letter posted on the website of The Nation magazine on July 30. "But retreating from the stands that have been the signature of your campaign will weaken the movement whose vigorous backing you need in order to win and then deliver the change you have promised."

The group specifically criticized Obama for his vote for a bill that granted telecommunication companies immunity from prosecution for a controversial Bush administration domestic wiretapping program. They called on Obama to remain committed to goals he has set, such as universal health care and removing troops from Iraq on a timetable.

Such a small core of activists don't post much of a political problem for Obama, who is popular among voters who identify themselves as liberal.

But this group previewed some issues where they would challenge Obama if he wins in November.

"In other areas--such as the use of residual forces and mercenary troops in Iraq, the escalation of the US military presence in Afghanistan, the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the death penalty--your stated positions have consistently varied from the positions held by many of us, the 'friends on the left' you addressed in recent remarks," they wrote. "If you win in November, we will work to support your stands when we agree with you and to challenge them when we don't. We look forward to an ongoing and constructive dialogue with you when you are elected President."

The letter adapted Obama's own slogan "Change We Can Believe In," with special emphasis on the word "we." It was also signed by author Walter Mosley and Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation.

By Washington Post Editor  |  August 5, 2008; 8:19 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McCain Gets Bikers' Motors Running in S.D.
Next: Obama's Birthday Wish: Win Virginia...

Comments

Let's face it you would have to be half nuts to want to be the next President of the United States. The amount of clean up after the Bush administration is mind blowing. We have two choices here people.
If we had it to do over again would we choose Bush twice.
This is a critical moment in our history. It seems to me that this experiment in Democracy is destroying itself; and We The People are to blame. These are not football teams that we are rooting for! Four more years of Bush McCain would just about do it.

Posted by: Ann | August 6, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it you would have to be half nuts to want to be the next President of the United States. The amount of clean up after the Bush administration is mind blowing. We have two choices here people.
If we had it to do over again would we choose Bush twice.
This is a critical moment in our history. It seems to me that this experiment in Democracy is destroying itself; and We The People are to blame. These are not football teams that we are rooting for! Four more years of Bush McCain would just about do it.

Posted by: Ann | August 6, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, let me see. They have withheld vote on oil here and now. Most likely they would lose the majority vote.

Sept 30th moratorium is up. And if Obama does notthing. Drilling will be full force in offshore, and shale. So he has to compromise to bring a few DEMS back in the fold hopefully to get a little drilling with conditions of alternative energy.

I believe in free enterprise so I hope they just drill away.

Of course Pelosi will most likely tie it to an expenditure bill coming up an it will be, shut the government down or vote for the compromising bill. I hope they shut the government down and save some more tax dollars.

Honestly, I believe the DEMS screwed up to be so hard nose and let it go this far. Obama will pay for this at the election polls, most likely as he discussed this with the congress and they chose together to go this way. That is what happens when you want to act like your Pres. and your not.

Go republicans, kick butt. They have the majority, but when your wrong your wrong. Not they will have to get 2/3 majority to win they ideology hoax if Pres. will veto it.

By the way DEMS you can have Boone Pickens. Is he not the one, the corporate raider or stock raider of the eighties. That guy is only on your side because if federal funds get cut for alternative fuel his tail will be paying dearly for his investments.

Posted by: charleydan | August 5, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Leon... time to pack it in.... HRC was the one who would have been savagely destroyed by the repugs. She and the Clinton people are criminal money grubbers and that is what would have sunk her lying butt.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 5, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Wow. The trolls are out in force these days... running scared from the enormous WIN that Obama will have in a few months, I presume.

I agree that Obama should stand firm, and I did not like his vote on FISA. However, had he voted against the bill, we would have seen ads for the past month about he's not tough on terrorists. It was the winning decision.

Posted by: Sarah | August 5, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Oh please, by all means Obama start verbally articulating everything that move.org and so forth espouse. Please, please do so and with alacrity. Bring out your true colors for all Americans to see, just as Dukakis and McGovern had done previously. Whoa, neither became president. This article did forget to mention Obama's stance to legalize same sex marriages, and declare partial-birth abortions valid. So Barack stand firm and say what you really believe - words matter.

Posted by: Adrian | August 5, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Stand firm, but stand on solid ground and that will be firm, where the truth comes out and it is not that of idealogues, but practical and the road this nation truly needs.

Posted by: majorteddy | August 5, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I guess they didn't realize Obama would take the "move on" literally.

Posted by: thinkwithyourbrain | August 5, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Go Obama go! Forget those "fools" at MoveOn.org. They severely tarnished Americans view of them with that "dumb" attack on Gen. Petreaus back (i.e. Gen. Betray Us) in Sept 2007.

Left-wing Liberals are under the perception that Obama is a liberal. Right-wing Conservatives are the perception that Obama is liberal. Those of us in the middle (75% of US population) see Obama as one of us, practical.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | August 5, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

LOL! Stand FIRM "Jellyfish"! Stand Firm!

With Barry O'Flip-Floppa behind the Wheel;

All I can say is:

ZINN! VIDAL! GREENWALD! PARISER! Stop Standing!

Here comes "Bus of O'Bomba-Nation!"


Run Libbies! RUN!!! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT-The | August 5, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Let me get it straight: Liberals are asking Obama to stand firm on issues that they care about, such as "universal health care and removing troops from Iraq on a timetable" among others. Not that liberal could ever stand firm. However, Obama has been doing some flip flopping since his trip to Europe. There is not a day that the "friendly" media does not report on Obama's latest flip flop with a "surprise." What would you expect from a candidate that listens to hundreds of advisers, and reads daily tracking polls before he makes any decision? Definitely, it is not a good sign of a leadership that is needed in the White House from any President.

Posted by: Wiel | August 5, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh Eli, Eli, Eli...

So smart yet so naive.
You built Move-on into a giant force to be reconned with and grasped the nomination from the woman.
But the woman was a policy wonk who gave detailed proposals of the progressive agenda she had set in less glowing oratory.

The guy you got did not promise anything. It was all speeches- rhetoric- and flimsy policy proposals that weren't substantial enough to tie him to any policy.

So you got the politician after all. The "changes" he has promised are not universal health care- he is the one whose program covered less people, remember? He is the one who vaguely spoke about NAFTA and then sent his people to Canada to tell them he wasn't serious.

Now we are stuck with him.

Thanks Eli.

Leon

Posted by: Anonymous | August 5, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

He's a DEMOCRAT! They are constitutionally UNABLE to withstand the assaults of those mean, nasty Republicans who call them names and give them nuggies on the head. Stand up for themselves and their principles?!

Why, it's like asking a deaf man to hear, or a blind man to see!

Posted by: Trunk Monkey | August 5, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

:) Stand Firm? you need a backbone for that.. deceptions lies and hypocracy will not help you stand firm

Posted by: Mat | August 5, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company