Sunday, October 2, 2011
Obama as LBJ-Street Protests Are Dem Disconnect To Party Activists
Once again the USA is witnessing mass street protests. Started by young activists, initially peaceful, with police intervention with aggression. If history is to repeat itself these protests, which originated in one location, this time Wall Street, will spread to other centers, then to the universities. Then Violence will erupt as the peaceful protesters are infiltrated by radicals.
That 2011 is not yet 1968, is because there has not been enough time to build up a head of steam. Further, the utter poverty which started the "Arab Spring" movements is not part of the American economic scene, 9.1% unemployment notwithstanding.
The other reason that the protest movement has taken a while to get under way is that, as under Johnson, there is a Democratic administration in power, and the left has been reluctant, apart from much moaning and groaning at such "progressive" sites as Daily Kos and Firedoglake, to suggest the radicals take to the streets.
That President Obama is the first Black president, and that he owes much of his election to the support of young progressives, and they have been reluctant, partly from embarrassment at having been taken for a ride, has also made the start of the protest movement somewhat tardy.
Even the most blind of Obama supporters in the progressive movement has now had the scales drop, and Obama stands revealed to them, as LBJ was in his time, as a centrist and not the epoch changer he was presented as.
Three things may happen. The protest movement may simply peter out, especially as the media seems not to want to give them the publicity that the 1960's movement received, and the economy may improve dramatically. In that scenario, President Obama will sail to an easy re-election from a grateful nation.
Or, the progressives may become so emboldened by their success, that it encourages a challenge to Obama from the left and he faces a Carter versus Kennedy scenario all the way to the convention. Such a split on the left will make Obama's re-election very difficult especially if the economy stays in the tank.
The third scenario is that the protest movement grows, and like in the 1960's/70's turns violent and middle America gets turned off by the spectacle. The possibility of a new "Reagan Democrat" will emerge and guarantee that, as in 1980 there is a tremendous electoral shift to the GOP in 2012. The Obama administration, abandoned by its left and right wings would suffer a Mondale like defeat.
Under this last scenario it would be ridiculous for the GOP to nominate a centrist like e.g. Romney or Perry.This would be the perfect time for a true rogue, i.e.Palin to take up the reins of office with an overwhelming mandate for social change.
If the Republicans did not nominate Palin, should she run, they will have made the same mistake the Democrats will have done and have not only abandoned their base support, but have lost the greatest opportunity for social change they will have had since 1860.