Fake progressives

US Politics
on 38 Comments

As the United States wraps up the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s administration– the worst first 100 days of any administration, according to various assessments–millions of Americans are expressing horrified surprise not at that abysmal record, (it’ll get worse in the second 100 days), but rather, at former President Barak Obama’s speaking fee: $400,000 for a talk on health care, to a Wall Street firm.  And in the wake of this (not so) shocking news item, yet more articles are being published reminding us of the reality of his actions, behind the beautiful façade of the elegant, loving, “scandal-free” model family.

Before that, and scandal-ridden as he was, Bill Clinton was described by TV political show host Rachel Maddow as “the best Republican president this country ever had.” Maddow’s description is a sad variation on the sorry refrain we hear in progressive circles today, that the reason we got into the mess we are currently in, is our leniency with what has come to be considered “the left.”  Indeed, we seem to fall very easy prey to the power of grammatically-correct, eloquent statements, even when they are utterly belied by the speaker’s actions.

Obama, as well as the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, are only a few of the many politicians that have completely departed from a stated commitment to progressive causes, into implementing actions that range from neo-liberal to outright hawkish.   Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who will receive an Israel advocacy award from StandWithUs on May 7th, is another such example.

Murray’s record is exemplary of that of fake progressives and their subservience to established systems of oppression and disenfranchisement.  Most recently, in the wake of Trump’s Muslim and Immigrant Ban, he defiantly stated that Seattle will remain a sanctuary city, even as the Seattle Police Department stopped transit service to the Sea-Tac International Airport to stem the flow of protesters heading there. Before that, and also during his administration, members of the Seattle Police Department went on counter-terrorism seminars in Israel sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, a Zionist organization more concerned with Israel advocacy than with the defense of civil rights. Not surprisingly, considering the fact that the Israeli military and police are invested in defending an illegal occupation and repressing the indigenous impulse towards freedom and dignity, the Seattle Police Department is now under consent decree because of the racism and violence it has characteristically engaged in.  Murray has also facilitated the building of a new youth jail in the historically African American part of the city, despite sustained opposition from his constituents.  And while he expressed his opposition to that facility, it was his administration that granted the permits, and his lawyers who joined the county’s efforts to deny anti-prison organizers the opportunity to be heard, to appeal the permits for the new jail.  Today, as Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s jails are currently engaged in a hunger strike for dignity and human rights, up to 750 prisoners in the Northwest Detention Center, one of the largest immigration detention centers in the country,  are currently on hunger strike to protest their appalling conditions.  And while Murray is not directly in charge of that prison, immigrant rights organizers say that Washington state politicians’ claim that they will not follow through with Trump’s immigration ban is proving to be a paper tiger.  The connections between the two hunger strikes, one just outside of Seattle, the other in Israeli jails, will be foregrounded with a solidarity rally by Palestinian rights activists on May 13th, days after Murray will have been honored by StandWithUs.

Like other fake progressives, Mayor Murray consistently denounces racism, issuing statement upon statement about his city being welcoming, tolerant, a sanctuary, yet rather than side with the victims of racism, he has chosen to align himself with an apartheid country whose very existence as “the Jewish state” hinges on discrimination.  An openly gay man, he has also jumped on the pinkwashing bandwagon, and agreed to keynoting a pinkwashing conference in Israel in 2015, despite appeals from the Seattle queer community to stop promoting that country as a gay haven, when in fact it misrepresents its own intolerance, and exploits regional  homophobia, to distract from its egregious overall human rights abuses.

According to StandWithUs’s event information, Murray is being honored for “standing up to anti-Israel pressure, and remaining a good friend of the Seattle-area Jewish community.”  StandWithUs’s claim is intentionally misrepresentative, as the Zionist organization knows full well that many members of the Seattle-area Jewish community, from the vibrant Jewish Voice for Peace local leadership and general membership, to the many Jewish members of QuAIA-Seattle  (Queers Against Israeli Apartheid), are completely opposed to Zionism.  Similarly, members of the Seattle-area Jewish community are spearheading the newly-launched JVP Deadly Exchange campaign, which seeks to end US-Israeli police partnerships.

Yet even as ample documentation keeps streaming in from various quarters, including the Israeli government itself, that Israel is an apartheid country that consistently, systematically, engages in human rights violations, Murray stands not with his own constituents, and not with the progressive Jewish community in Seattle, but with apologists for Zionism.

Murray is currently the incumbent in a mayoral race with another nine candidates, and is attempting to sound more progressive in his bid to be re-elected in a liberal city. Nevertheless, at the close of his four-year tenure as mayor, (and well over 20 years in political office in King County) Murray is not being honored by immigrants, youth activists, anti-prison organizers, people of color, the homeless, the queer community, but rather, by StandWithUs, an organization devoted to sugarcoating violent racist settler-colonialism.

Obama was our first black president, Hillary Clinton would have been our first female president, Ed Murray is Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, in an interracial marriage.  These are indeed social breakthroughs.  But at this critical juncture, we need to look beyond the symbolism of an individual. Throughout history, the greatest progressive leaders and organizers, even when grounded in the issue closest to their circumstances, have understood the global interconnectedness of oppressive systems.  Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to end segregation and voter disenfranchisement, but he also opposed war and militarism overseas.   Nelson Mandela knew that the freedom of black South Africans was incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.  At the grassroots level, Palestinians understand that the struggle to block the North Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock is a struggle for indigenous sovereignty.  Today, the organizers of the International Women’s Strike oppose sexism, but also racism and colonialism around the globe.

At this juncture, as the US critically needs to free itself from the grip of corrupt politicians and the devastation they are wreaking on all our social networks, the question we need to ask is how we can avoid more fake progressives in the future.

One answer may well be that we need to look away from politicians, and focus on amplifying and escalating the work grassroots organizers are doing, with no ambition to holding political office.  We can put all our energy into uplifting the efforts of our community members, rather than our supposed “representatives.”

But since political offices must be filled, we need to support our organic leaders as they shoulder that role. And we must always, always, stay away from Zionists and Israel apologists.   Because support for Israel, with its well-documented institutionalized racism, hypermilitarism, settler-colonialism, its violation of international law and the human rights of its indigenous community, is a fail-proof indicator of moral corruption and disrespect for disenfranchised communities everywhere.

About Nada Elia

Nada Elia is a Palestinian scholar-activist, writer, and grassroots organizer, currently completing a book on Palestinian Diaspora activism.

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38 Responses

  1. AddictionMyth
    May 1, 2017, 1:09 pm

    After the Orlando shooting, StandWithUs flew a banner the city saying “America, Israel feels your pain”. (Mateen was an employee of G4S – don’t get me started.) They are truly despicable.

    https://twitter.com/StandWithUs/status/742468239217856512

  2. ritzl
    May 1, 2017, 9:39 pm

    Always to the core of the concept Nada.

    You’re one of the best writers here, or even on this subject.

    Once this is resolved (God willing…) I look forward to your voice on other topics.

    Persevere. Make a difference.

  3. Jon66
    May 2, 2017, 9:29 am

    Martin Luther King jr supported Israel.
    From his speech to the rabbinic assembly in 1968, after the 6 day war.

    “I think it is necessary to say that what is basic and what is needed in the Middle East is peace. Peace for Israel is one thing. Peace for the Arab side of that world is another thing.

    “Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land almost can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”http://jpupdates.com/2017/01/16/what-martin-luther-king-jr-really-thought-about-israel/

    • RoHa
      May 2, 2017, 6:38 pm

      So what? MLK (or his wife) might have had some good ideas about American society, but that doesn’t mean he (or she) had any understanding of anything else.

      • Jon66
        May 2, 2017, 11:45 pm

        Roha,
        The author references Dr. King as amongst the greatest progressive leaders. He had a thorough understanding of Zionism and was supportive.

      • RoHa
        May 3, 2017, 8:57 am

        But the author does not say that a “great progressive” is always right about everything. Nor does anyone need to believe that the author is right about everything.

      • Jon66
        May 3, 2017, 3:30 pm

        Roha,
        Neither King, Mandela, or anyone is infallible. But It is disingenuous to mention King in an article about Palestine as a progressive issue without acknowledging that he disagreed with opposition to Zionism. King was a Zionist until at least shortly before his death when he was on record supporting Israel as a Zionist state. There is no evidence to contradict this. By the definition of the author, King would have been a “fake” as well, but she did not refer to him in this light. Rather the opposite.

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2017, 4:31 pm

        Anotherwords, “Jon 66”, you cannot come up with any positive evidence MLK is a Zionist which isn’t derived from a phony source.

        Oh, BTW, how do you reconcile the principles of MLK, equality under the law, and Zionism?

      • YoniFalic
        May 3, 2017, 7:15 pm

        King may have begun to realize the wrongness of Israel & Zionism.

        http://forward.com/news/359110/martin-luther-king-jrs-pilgrimage-to-israel-that-never-was/

      • Jon66
        May 3, 2017, 11:38 pm

        Yoni,
        Your link addresses King’s opinion in the summer of 1967. The Rabbinical Assembly in which he gives support for Zionism and Israel is from 1968 and only 10 days before his death.

      • RoHa
        May 4, 2017, 12:13 am

        “King was a Zionist … By the definition of the author, King would have been a “fake” as well, but she did not refer to him in this light.”

        Ah! That’s your point. If you can show that King was, indeed, a Zionist, then I agree with you that he would count as a “fake”.

        Perhaps not disingenuous of the author, though. If she does not believe that King was a Zionist, then there is no reason for her to include him in the fakes.

      • Jon66
        May 4, 2017, 10:40 am

        Roha,
        In his speeches and writings when he addressed the subject of Israel he was always supportive. This was not true of all black leaders and he was certainly aware of the criticism of Israel from Carmichael and others.
        So instead of using him as an example of the ‘right’ kind of progressive, perhaps the author should have used him as an example of why Israel is not a litmus test for progressives. Rather, King is an example of the ability to be both progressive and pro-Israel. Of course this simply undermines her point.

      • YoniFalic
        May 5, 2017, 10:31 am

        In addressing the Rabbinical Assembly King was fundraising, but like those of many progressives of the late 60s, his opinions of Israel seem to have been evolving toward more skepticism of Zionist claims and toward more sympathy for native Palestinians.

    • Donald Johnson
      May 5, 2017, 11:02 am

      Jon, if you are arguing that real people are usually flawed and nobody is perfect than congratulations. You’ve made your point. King was not morally consistent in that he was echoing racist Israeli justifications for a state which they established by expelling hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. And he insulted the Palestinians by echoing the Zionist claim that Palestine was a wasteland until the people of European descent came to fix things up.

      A morally consistent MLK would have taken his ” I have a dream” speech and modified it to say Israeli Jews and Palestinians would one day live in peace and equality, etc…

      The charitable assumption to make about King is that he didn’t know about the Nakba and was ” well informed” by being told the usual propaganda stories from the Israelis about the history and he thought they were true. Around the same time James Michener wrote one of his massive historical fiction pieces about a region, in this case Israel/Palestine It’s called ” The Source”. I read it. Michener obviously writes as a liberal and gives the extremely one sided story of modern Israel as the Zionists of the time would have told it. He presumably thought it was true.

  4. punterweger
    May 2, 2017, 12:07 pm

    @Jon66 – MLK did was a great leader, but he was not infallible. Given his evolving views at the time and Israel’s slide towards the right and racism since then, one has to wonder what he would say about the apartheid regime that has continued to grow since 1968. Clearly his words no longer reflect the views of the younger generation of leaders in the black community. Just look at the statements of the Movement for Black Lives or of Cornel West.

    • Jon66
      May 2, 2017, 11:46 pm

      We can’t know how he would feel now, but we do know how he felt when he was alive. He supported Zionism.

      • eljay
        May 3, 2017, 3:15 pm

        || Jon66: We can’t know how he would feel now, but we do know how he felt when he was alive. He supported Zionism. ||

        It’s a shame that MLK was a (pro-)Zionist hypocrite.

        … “we must stand with all of our might to protect … its territorial integrity. …

        What, I wonder, did he think comprised Israel’s “territory”?

      • Jon66
        May 3, 2017, 7:06 pm

        Eljay,
        I don’t know what he meant
        If you read the full exchange from his visit to the Rabbinical Assembly you see he doesn’t distinguish between Palestinians and Arabs.
        http://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/sites/default/files/assets/public/resources-ideas/cj/classics/1-4-12-civil-rights/conversation-with-martin-luther-king.pdf

      • eljay
        May 3, 2017, 8:48 pm

        || Jon66: Eljay,
        I don’t know what he meant … ||

        What he meant by what?

        || … If you read the full exchange from his visit to the Rabbinical Assembly you see he doesn’t distinguish between Palestinians and Arabs. … ||

        What does that have to do with determining what he considered to be the extent of Israel’s territory?

      • Jon66
        May 3, 2017, 11:41 pm

        Eljay,
        Again I have no clear idea of King’s view of Israel’s borders. That is beside the point. What’s material here is that in an article giving examples of “the greatest progressive leaders and organizers”, King was given as an example. The article ignores the fact that King supported Zionism as a concept and Israel as a state. Whether or not that was the 1967 or other borders doesn’t matter.
        It’s fine to disagree with the support of King for Zionism, but then he shouldn’t be used as an example of the ‘correct’ type of progressive if that excludes those supporting Zionism.

      • eljay
        May 4, 2017, 7:20 am

        || Jon 66: Eljay, Again I have no clear idea of King’s view of Israel’s borders. That is beside the point. … ||

        Perhaps you don’t have a clear idea, but my musing was precisely on that point.

        || … What’s material here is that in an article giving examples of “the greatest progressive leaders and organizers”, King was given as an example. … he shouldn’t be used as an example of the ‘correct’ type of progressive if that excludes those supporting Zionism. ||

        I didn’t use King as an example of a progressive, so I don’t know why you’re taking this issue up with me.

      • MHughes976
        May 4, 2017, 12:23 pm

        The MLK-Zinosm matter was discussed here around August 12 last year. I thought jon was right at that time, though with a certain reservation about King’s tendency to avoid the subject. That reservation still applies, though rather less as I fight my way through the internet thickets to his published statements. I also think that this is a very important matter – King isn’t an infallible authority and he didn’t cast his vote for Zionism with the loudest of fanfares but he was in some way the swing vote that committed American and general Western opinion Israel’s way.
        I find Lenni Brenner’s ‘The Black Civil Rights Movement and Zionism’ very helpful, coming from one who knew many of those involved, though I don’t agree with his final assessment. But it’s quite a full record.
        In addition to the Rabbinical Assembly speech mentioned by jon there is a press release by the SCLC for August 27, 1967 and a batch of letters sent by King on September 29, all stating and a Zionist ‘Israel must be secure’ position to recipients Eisendrath, Held and Wise. These are not dubious sources – all are to found in the archives of the King Center, searching ‘Israel’ and ‘anti-Semitism’. The context is the Conference on New Politics of August 31 (was it 30?) that year which had featured much anti-Israel sentiment. King has taken care not to be there when all that was debated, delegating the matter successfully to Hosea Williams. There was a terrible risk of his movement’s breaking apart – Brenner is good on the stressed relationship with Stokely Carmichael. Harry Belafonte was trying to mediate and I think has in a fashion been trying ever since. The conference was bound to lead to great anxiety among King’s Jewish supporters and it was those his statements were attempting to reassure. He may not have wanted to sound a fanfare but when he pressed he always said what was from the Z point of view the right thing.
        There was consistency in this. There is much reference to a very strongly pro-Israel (not exactly pro-nonviolence) manifesto called ‘The Moral Responsibility in the Middle East’, whose text took me some finding – I don’t think anyone’s too proud of it – published over the signature of King, Niebuhr and others in several newspapers from May 28 to June 4 in support of Israel’s 6 Day war effort – though King would say later that he had lent his name without seeing the text.
        Niebuhr’s influence is strongly at work, I think – he was the leading liberal Protestant Zionist, who parted from friends over the issue. It’s very interesting that the mainstream churches were laggard in taking this view. But Israel would be able to count on them for a long time afterwards. And because of King, the overwhelmingly influential leader at a time of divided opinion, they would be able to count on mainstream Black opinion, particularly in the US Congress.
        Brenner, the Trotskyite friend of Carmichael/Sekou Toure – and authority for Ken Livingstone’s fateful recent words – does think that King would have changed, quite rightly saying that the Israel/South Africa link was to become more of a scandal in the 70s. But I think he himself shows that American Black opinion did not much extend its sympathy from Black South Africans as Israel’s indirect victims to Palestinians as victims in a more direct sense.
        Moreover, King had cast the die so firmly that retraction would have been very hard, and we see this in the actions of King’s circle, including Harry Belafonte, Rosa Parks and Andrew Young, in writing another very strong – really rather brutal – pro-Israel manifesto for the New York Times of November 23, 1975. It is not just that they take a pro-Israel but that they echo the argumentation of King’s letters of 67.
        King was a momentum rerum, a force which set many things in their course. In Western opinion on the ME, not so well.

      • Jon66
        May 4, 2017, 9:09 pm

        Hughes,

        Thanks for the thorough summary. Many pro-Palestinian authors invoke the name of King in the assumption that there is only one ‘correct’ or ‘progressive’ view of the situation and that King must have had this position. Perhaps by examining the Zionist stance of King, they could realize a broader understanding. It’s not that King is infallible, but if a man of his stature who was aware of the situation in the ME, was a Zionist, than perhaps there is some merit in the position.

      • RoHa
        May 5, 2017, 2:14 am

        “It’s not that King is infallible, but if a man of his stature, who was aware of the situation in the ME, was a Zionist, then perhaps there is some merit in the position.”

        I have yet to see evidence that King was any more aware of the situation in the ME than the average ignorant American. But even if he was, I think it is more likely he knew that he had enough problems without arousing the ire of the Zionists as well, or was simply wrong, than that there is any merit in the Zionist position.

        I think that it is silly to classify people as “progressive” as though they all toed a single party line of acceptable doctrines. Better by far to say “these people agree on this point, those on that point”, but not to assume that the same groups will also agree or disagree on a third point.

      • eljay
        May 5, 2017, 8:54 am

        || Jon66: … It’s not that King is infallible, but if a man of his stature who was aware of the situation in the ME, was a Zionist, than perhaps there is some merit in the position. ||

        The more likely explanation is that due to his religious beliefs / upbringing (among other things) a fallible King could accept the acts of injustice and immorality (incl. terrorism, ethnic cleansing, oppression, torture and murder) being committed by Jews against “third world” Arabs far away in the M.E.

        I doubt very much that Mr. King would have found “merit” in Jews committing those same acts of injustice and immorality against blacks in the U.S.

      • eljay
        May 5, 2017, 10:06 am

        MLK:

        … Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land almost can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. …

        Israel: A true democracy, a bastion of Western glory that makes the desert bloom. (I’m surprised he omitted “moral beacon” and “light unto the nations” from his description.) No mention of any of the past or on-going (war) crimes committed by Zionist Jews or their religion-supremacist “Jewish State” construct. No wonder Mr. King found “merit” in the Zionist project – he was well-steeped in Zionist propaganda.

        (I’m still curious to know what he thought comprised Israel’s territory.)

        … Peace for the Arabs means the kind of economic security that they so desperately need. These nations, as you know, are part of that third world of hunger, of disease, of illiteracy. …

        Pity the hungry, diseased and illiterate Arabs! You can practically hear their cries for a “Jewish State” to come and liberate them from their desperation.

      • Keith
        May 5, 2017, 10:29 am

        ROHA- “…I think it is more likely he knew that he had enough problems without arousing the ire of the Zionists as well….”

        There is also the matter of gratitude/loyalty to his Jewish supporters, along with an awareness of the impact of a potential loss of Jewish financial support. Also, back then there was not the awareness of the situation which we have now. Back then, I was more-or-less ignorant of the situation, relying mostly on media propaganda.

      • MHughes976
        May 5, 2017, 4:50 pm

        I think more badly of myself in those days, Keith. I can remember thinking that Zionism was a really bad idea but letting myself be overwhelmed by the propaganda, the near unanimity of public opinion in favour of Israel, its coursgeous fighters, its modenity and all that. I knew but wouldn’t let myself admit.
        King had advantages denied to us. He had actually been to Palestine. He had had intense conversations with an articulate supporter of the Palrstinian cause, Stokely Carmichael, though perhaps he found the Marxist, insurrectionist style irksome. Mind you, his own interpretation of the Arab world in terms of feudal despotism was para-Marxist. He took the trouble to elaborate bad arguments – why should the Palestinian masses have been penalised for Saudi monarchism? He wasn’t provincially American. He was a politician but he was also a liberal Protestant intellectual and his failures are in an important sense its failures, the result of its overcompensation for previous anti-Semitism.

  5. festus
    May 2, 2017, 6:23 pm

    A little quick research:

    Nonetheless, defenders of Israel often refer to a letter by Dr. King. This letter is reprinted in full on many web pages and in print. One example of a quotation derived from this letter is:

    “… You declare, my friend; that you do not hate the Jews, you are merely ‘anti-Zionist’ … And I say, let the truth ring forth from the high mountain tops, let it echo through the valleys of God’s green earth: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews… Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jewish people, has been and remains a blot on the soul of mankind. In this we are in full agreement. So know also this: anti-Zionist is inherently anti-Semitic, and ever will be so.”

    Antiracism writer Tim Wise checked the citation, which claimed that it originated from a “Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend” in an August, 1967 edition of Saturday Review. In an article on January, 2003, essay he declared that he found no letters from Dr. King in any of the four August, 1967 editions. The authors of this essay verified Wise’s discovery. The letter was commonly cited to also have been published in a book by Dr. King entitled, “This I Believe: Selections from the Writings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” No such book was listed in the bibliography provided by the King Center in Atlanta, nor in the catalogs of several large public and university libraries.

    Soon afterwards, CAMERA, a rabidly pro-Israeli organization, published a statement declaring that the letter was “apparently” a hoax. CAMERA explained how it gained so much currency. The “letter” came from a “reputable” book, Shared Dreams, by Rabbi Marc Shneier. Martin Luther King III authored the preface for the book, giving the impression of familial approval. Also, the Anti-Defamation League’s Michael Salberg used the same quotes in his July 31st, 2001 testimony before the U.S. House of Representative’s International Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights.

    The bogus letter was further quoted by writers in prominent publications one would imagine armed with fact-checkers capable of spending the short amount of time needed to verify the primary source. Mort Zuckerman, the editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report quoted the letter in a column (17 September 2001). Warren Kinsella followed suit in an article for Maclean’s (20 January 2003). Commentary, which is known more for its ideological zeal than any appreciation for factual scruples, ran a piece by Natan Sharansky. He quoted the false passage as a block–some ten months after CAMERA declared it a hoax.

    • Jon66
      May 2, 2017, 11:47 pm

      Festus,
      That’s interesting but has nothing to do with my comment.

      • Mooser
        May 3, 2017, 2:52 pm

        “That’s interesting but has nothing to do with my comment.”

        Meaning you have all kinds of other evidence MLK was a Zionist? Not the usual faked stuff? Well, bring it on.

      • MHughes976
        May 4, 2017, 12:31 pm

        The forged ‘King’ letters were an attempt, I think, to commit King rather more than he would have liked to the idea that the only explanation of anti-Z is anti-Semitism, which would probably have wrecked his relationship with Stokely Carmichael, something he much wished to avoid.

    • Mooser
      May 3, 2017, 12:27 pm

      “festus” just want to let you know, “Jon 66” handles Zionism on a 6th or 7th grade level.

  6. iResistDe4iAm
    May 3, 2017, 11:23 am

    Barack Obama: Fake Progressive

    Obama Legacy: From a Nobel Peace Laureate to a regime-changing Warmonger
    http://i.imgur.com/C5uDZrL.jpg

    Change We HE Can Believe In

    In 2008, Barack Obama promised change
    In 2009, Barack Obama fulfilled his promise and changed

    He changed from a liberal Democrat to a neoliberal Neocon
    He changed from a tough principled negotiator to a weak bipartisan appeaser
    He changed from an advocate of rule-of-law to an enabler of torture & drone executions
    He changed from a professor of constitutional law to a sponsor of unconstitutional laws
    He changed from a defender of government transparency to a persecutor of whistleblowers
    He changed from a master of equal opportunity to a slave of lobby interests
    He changed from a Nobel Peace laureate to a regime-changing warmonger
    He changed from a champion of civil rights & democracy to a protector of autocratic regimes
    He changed from a neutral & honest broker to an obsequious ‘Israel’s lawyer’
    He changed from a promising visionary statesman to a ‘leading-from-behind’ reactionary ruler
    He changed from a preacher of audacious hope to a master of war, turmoil & despair

    Barack Obama promised change, so he changed

    • Mooser
      May 3, 2017, 2:49 pm

      “Barack Obama promised change, so he changed”

      And Trump is incapable of change.
      In a while you can tell us which works out better.

  7. Boo
    May 3, 2017, 12:18 pm

    Apart from Ed Murray, I don’t see a single name in this article who is currently an elected official, currently running for office or even publicly contemplating running for office. And if it’s intended as a comprehensive list of notable “fake progressives” — let alone a compendium of PEPs — it falls woefully short.

    For all those still taking pleasure in lashing a dead donkey (or weeping crocodile tears for one), I reiterate that politics is the art of the possible. A much more useful list would enumerate those current officeholders (or seekers) who ARE progressive on Palestine, etc, and DO have a viable chance of achieving higher office. I, for one, would rather use my time, money and energy to support such individuals rather than to vituperate those who’ve fallen short.

    • RoHa
      May 4, 2017, 12:26 am

      The most serious flaw in the article is, of course, the comma after a subject clause.

      But there is another oddity.

      “…Hillary Clinton would have been our first female president, …. These are indeed social breakthroughs. ”

      I don’t see how something that didn’t happen can be a social breakthrough.

      Nor would it have been a social breakthrough if she had been elected. The real social breakthrough came in 1960, when Sirimavo Bandaranaike became Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Women presidents, prime ministers, governors, state premiers, etc. are ten-a-penny now.

      (This is why I reject Clinton’s whine that “misogyny” played a part in her losing the election. Even I cannot believe that the US is so socially backward.)

  8. Keith
    May 4, 2017, 6:43 pm

    In view of the topic of this thread, I think it highly apropos that I link to a brief video of Bernie Sanders defending his signature on the letter to the UN criticizing the UN for anti-Israel bias. https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/vb.407570359384477/953404734801034/?type=2&theater&notif_t=comment_mention&notif_id=1493847533690389

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