Obama Sends a Warning to American Progressives

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In a speech in Germany, Barack Obama warned progressives in the Democratic Party to avoid becoming a “circular firing squad.”  Here is a taste of Martin Pengelly’s article at The Guardian:

Barack Obama warned on Saturday that US progressives risk creating a “circular firing squad” at a time when prospective presidential candidates are competing fiercely against each other to run against Donald Trump.

The former president was speaking in Berlin, at an Obama Foundation event.

“One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States,” he said, “maybe it’s true here as well, is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be’ and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad’, where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues.

“And when that happens, typically the overall effort and movement weakens.”

Read the rest here.

Who does Obama have in mind?  Bernie?  Or perhaps he is responding to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”s comment that moderation is “meh.”

2 thoughts on “Obama Sends a Warning to American Progressives

  1. Yet to Idealists and Fanatics, The Purity of the Cause must be Absolute and Total. There Can Be No Compromise with Perfect Purity of Ideology. (Ask a survivor of the Global Caliphate of ISIS or the Killing Fields of Cambodia how far that can go — and has gone).

    It’s a secular version of religious fanaticism; I’m sure Prof Fea and others reading this have had run-ins with Jot-and-Tittle “Show Me SCRIPTURE!” types, and this is a similar Absolute Purity or Nothing.

    Yet some months ago on Internet Monk, one commenter observed :
    “Evil seems to be the side most obsessed with Purity.”

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  2. Former President Obama’s comment is not profound. Both major parties (and even third parties) have their purists who jockey for position during the primary season.

    As far as the specific object of Obama’s remark, it might have been AOC or even Bernie, but I personally think the de facto head of the DEM party can see other very extreme forces brewing at the grassroots level. If they prevail in the nominating process, the Democrats will experience another 1972. The mainstream media has whipped these rabid ideologues into such a crazed frenzy that yesterday’s honorable liberal men like Hubert Humphrey or Adlai Stevenson will have their photographs stomped and burned on the floor of the upcoming Milwaukee convention. Obama is savvy enough to see the party’s current direction.

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