Why is Obama considered more progressive?

I had a friend ask me why I considered Obama more progressive than Clinton. I gave him the pat answers but I would be interested to hear from ya'll if you think he is more progressive and why?

Comments

I'm not sure he is much more progressive

except on issues of national defense, of course.

Most people I know (including me) have generally seen both candidates as similar on most positions. It's not so much about policy as it is about tone and demeanor, maybe even about honesty.

Also, Obama hasn't been steeped in machine politics for a long as Clinton has. That's a big plus in my book

Consistency and honesty are progressive ideals.

I don't see his policies as more or less progressive than Clinton's. I see his outlook as more progressive. He has refused to take a low road, even when he could have. That's progressive. He has "community organized" the entire country into a massive grass-roots campaign. That's very progressive.

And that's my .02

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Honesty is a progressive ideal

even if it's not practiced uniformly. That said, it's probably also a conservative ideal, a Libertarian ideal, a Communist ideal, you name it.

Which probably makes your point. It's sad that we've arrived at a political crossroads where the simple act of being honest can be considered remarkable.

Well

I said it was an ideal Betsy, not a standard practice. That is one of the reasons I support Obama - because even though Senator Clinton has given ample opportunity to his campaign to take a low road, he hasn't done it. I believe he is essentially an honest man, working a ground-up, grassroots campaign in a way that is unprecedented. If there are historical antecedents, they have not occurred in my memory.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

So, if it is a progressive ideal

Then we should come down hardest on those progressive candidates who fail to embrace it in their campaigns.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Just trying to work through something......

I know a lot of Democrats who don't consider themselves Progressives. I imagine that they also think that honesty is an ideal of their "faction" of the Democratic Party. I simply think that we set ourselves up for an awful lot of grief by claiming honesty as one of our ideals as if it is a quality that only we possess or appreciate. I'm sure I read it wrong, but the title of your initial comment just rubbed me wrong because it came across to me as those ideals are exclusively held by Progressives.

If we fail to criticize Progressive candidates and elected officials when they don't embrace an ideal that we have claimed as being Progressive - especially one as lofty as honesty - then we risk being dismissed as hypocrites if/when we hold other candidates/elected officials to that standard. It is almost like we're setting ourselves up.

I think it is very risky to claim a quality like honesty, or even consistency, as Progressive ideals as opposed to claiming we support certain issues. I think I just like issue statements better.

I've struggled for a while with the whole Progressive purity thing and since I make it a habit of researching Republicans and writing posts critical of them I'm also struggling with being consistent with the criticism. If I go after an R for something and I don't go after a D, then I'm being inconsistent and hypocritical. Anyway...I'll work through it and figure it out for myself.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Honesty is the top thing our elected representation owes us.

These are our public servants and if they are not honest, it stands to reason that they are in it for another purpose.

That being said, it's a hard objective to tow the line on all the time. Human beings that we are, there are times when we say what others who push hard want us to say, make promises that we can't keep because of unforeseen circumstances, be tempted by or tricked into something that turns out wrong, and a myriad of other things that are the drama of Human condition.

This is the reason transparency in our government is so important. And why we need our watchdogs too.

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

You're right; the problem is that Honesty can be subjective.

I don't disagree that our elected officials need to be honest; however, consider Pork. A Congressperson brings home a good chunk of taxpayer change that turns into a few hundred real jobs for his constituents. He stuck the spending authorization in an unrelated bill as an amendment. Is that dishonest? Some people would say yes, but I bet his constituents would have no problem with it, particularly those few hundred who were previously unemployed.

Of course some things are cut and dried, but then certain situations are not.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

He is only dishonest about it

If he lied about it.

If he stuck the amendment in an unrelated bill and the amendment was debated and voted on through the regular process on the floor of Congress, no, he didn't lie.

If he came home, and said, I've never added a spending authorization in an unrelated bill as an amendment, then he'd be lying and be dishonest.

You're either honest or you're not. The truth is not relative, in my opinion.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

You're right

I personally have no problem making exceptions at times. Our candidates and elected officials are only human and will certainly make mistakes. I guess like with any other situation we'll find it easier to give the benefit of the doubt to those we favor.

I think my issue is with claiming honesty as an ideal of the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party as if we value the quality more than other groups value it. I don't think that is necessarily true.

You're right about transparency too. We not only need our watchdogs we need access to as much information as possible. I don't want the spin on the documents and data they use to make decisions...I want to see the documents and data.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Throw 'em under the bus

The way to deal with it, as I see it, is to call a spade a spade. I don't believe that it is necessary for candidates to lie "for the greater good" of the party.

I am supportive of Democratic candidates because I want to further the platform they are presumably going to push, but I'm not going to support a candidate who compromises his or her integrity for the sake of gaining or remaining in office. There's no point to such a person taking an freakin' oath. What would that oath mean?

I'm not going to look the other way, wink or blink or nod and say "well, I really need this jerk because he/she is a Democrat, so I'll overlook the fact that he or she just disrespected me by lying to my face." That's what I got so mad at my man Bill for -- for pointing at me through that camera and parsing the "sexual relations" concept. Please. Bill, I could have handled the truth.

(Ok, so eventually I forgave him, but that had more to do with the hypocrisy of the outcry from the House Republicans than it did my thinking I still needed Bill to carry the torch. Nah, he blew it. Way to go, Bill.)

So screw 'em. And that's how I can denounce a member of the GOP for dishonesty. I'll do the same to the Democrat. If we don't demand better we will never get more.

This is pretty much the way I see it.

It's being consistent that can cause the problems.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Hmmm.

I know Progressives who are not Democrats.
I know Democrats who are not Progressive.
I know a lot of people who are not honest.
I don't see them as related, necessarily. I hold honesty as a value, or an ideal. Because I consider myself progressive, I see it as a Progressive ideal. I don't take it lightly, but I never claimed any "progressive purity", for myself or any candidate. I'm really not sure where you came up with that one. Go after whomever you choose, and hold whichever standards you choose to hold.

If you like issues statements better, by all means, make one. I answered TrueMeckDem's question for myself, not for you. I would never presume to do that.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

I never said....

I never said you claimed Progressive purity. I was speaking in general terms. You asked where I was headed and I was trying to explain. The topic has come up before.

This is supposed to be a site that promotes Progressive ideals and Progressive candidates or progressive candidates. I've been working my way through these questions as they come up because to promote "Progressives" and "progressives" we do need to define what they are in basic terms - not just what they are to us individually. Is someone progressive because they are good on all the issues or is someone progressive because they have the right qualities or does it take both? (Hypothetical questions, but this would make a good discussion.)

Honesty is a quality and it is much more difficult to measure as it can mean different things to different people. Persondem has a good example in a comment up thread.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I disagree with that as an example of dishonesty.

I see it as an example of a Congressman working within the framework of the current system to do his job. If he promised beforehand that he would never add an unrelated spending amendment to a bill, and then did it, then he would be breaking a promise, and would have to have a pretty good reason for it for me to not consider that dishonest.

If he lied about it after the fact, stating he had never done it, when in fact he had, that would be dishonest. But simply adding it to the bill? No, that's not dishonest. I don't like it, it's not dishonest.

As I posted above, I don't believe that the truth is relative. The way someone views it might be, I suppose. To me, the truth is always the truth, and saying something other than that is lying. Speaking the truth is honest. That is what I value.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

It's about intent

which is hard to know.

A politician that pushes for public policy that helps make him rich is being dishonest unless he says that's what he's doing, even if the law may not require that kind of disclosure. Trying to sneak something in under the radar is dishonest, even though it may not be lying.

Who knows what lurks in the hearts? So yeah, transparency is the answer. Almost always.

I agree on this example

We may like the proposed use of the cash or we may not. We also may not like the system, but you're right...you gotta work within it to get things accomplished. Of course, that doesn't mean you/we/the candidate shouldn't work to change it at the same time.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Of course.

Working to change the system is, ultimately, what helps me decide on a candidate. Bob Barr would like to change the system as well, but I'm pretty sure he and I wouldn't agree on what those changes should be! And honesty, which in my mind goes hand in hand with transparency (public honesty?), is a big part of that.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Yikes.....That's a scary thought

Shows where my head is. I don't even think of Bob Barr as an "agent of change". Gives a whole new meaning to "be careful what you ask for", doesn't it?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Be careful indeed.

You never know what your "wish" is going to stir up. Be specific!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

he is on LGBT rights

While Clinton would only repeal the portion of her husband's Defense of Marriage Act that bars federal recognition of same-sex relationships, Obama supports full repeal, so that states without marriage amendments could recognize marriages from other states. Expect to see that relevant difference exploited in light of the recent Cali Supreme Court ruling.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

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Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

What is a "progressive":

Progressive is defined as use of or interested in new ideas.

More progressive than the other candidates, but tempered in reality is how I see Barack.

Deborah W.

Progressive Historial terms?

What is a "progressive":* dawns642

Excellent question!

1. Large Insurance Company that sells Car Insurance to crazy Cuba's in Miami at hugh discounts.

2. Large Instant Can Soup Company located in Youngtown, Ohio. Prides itself in selling soup below Campbell prices at hugh discount. Known for by-passing normal cooking processing in Chicken Soup.

3. Teddy Roosevelt, Former President of the United States known as the first progressive to charge up San Juan Hill without a Horse.

4. Woodward Wilson former President of the United States who was elected on a Progressive platform due to mix up with the term Progressive by Teddy Roosevelt who change the term Progressive to Bull Moose progressive Rough Riders.

5. Progressive Alabama. A town in Southern Alabama during the Civil War that was wipe out by Union Raiders. The name of the burn out town was later change to Depressive, which was later change to Entreprise when the Air Force build a large military base there.

6. A large Aircraft Carrier build in World War 2 by the Navy and name by President Roosevelt Wife which was sunk by Japanesse KamiKaze attacks. President Truman upon assuming the Presidental Office after President Roosevelt death change the name of the sunken Carrier to the Eleanor Roosevelt.

Here's the important comparison:

Clinton and Obama would both raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011, and

2006: McCain Voted Against An Amendment To Raise The Minimum Wage. McCain voted against an amendment to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour in three steps. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 62.4% of all minimum wage earners were women in 2006.

2000: Too Busy On The Campaign Trail To Help Minimum Wage Earners; McCain Missed Vote To Increase Minimum Wage. McCain missed a vote to increase the minimum wage by $1 an hour over three years, to $5.50 an hour beginning March 1, 2000, to $5.85 an hour beginning March 1, 2001, and to $6.15 an hour beginning March 1, 2002. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 62.9% of all minimum wage earners were women in 2000.

1998: McCain Voted Against An Amendment To Raise The Minimum Wage. McCain voted against an amendment to increase the minimum wage to $5.65 an hour beginning January 1, 1999, and $6.15 an hour beginning January 1, 2000. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 64% of all minimum wage earners were women in 1998. [1998 Senate Vote #278, 9/22/1998]

1996: McCain Voted Against An Amendment To Raise The Minimum Wage. McCain voted against passage of the bill to increase the minimum wage from its current level of $4.25 per hour to $4.75 per hour on July 1, 1996, and to $5.15 per hour on July 1, 1997. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 64.3% of all minimum wage earners were women in 1996.

1989: McCain Voted Against An Amendment To Raise The Minimum Wage. McCain voted against minimum wage increases to $4.55/hr in 3 annual steps by 10/1/91. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 63.1% of all minimum wage earners were women in 1989.