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View Diary: Is OFA Serious about Climate Change or Not? (105 comments)

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  •  Obviously, they're the Obama Booster Club. (3+ / 0-)

    These guys serve no purpose but to support President Obama - they never have.  The only difference is that Electing Obama was good for democrats, and dogmatically following whatever he thinks is not.  This does not mean the organization has changed at all; the situation has changed but they are the same Obama supporters they always were.  I am not sure why anybody thought they ever would be anything but.  Honestly, I think I missed a memo or something where OFA decided it was going to stop being an Obama support organization and turn into the attack dogs of the left, because it seems like so many people are surprised and possibly hurt that OFA are supporting Obama rather than the left.

    The only thing I'd say about Keystone XL, is that I would not equate impartiality with... well, partiality.  Maybe Obama doesn't give a crap about Keystone XL.  Maybe he doesn't exactly like it but doesn't care enough to actually burn political points on it.  That is not the same as actually supporting or fighting for the Keystone XL.  Like making the good the enemy of the best, false equivalencies can make discussions roll out of control.

    Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate. - Bertrand Russell

    by Aramis Wyler on Fri May 17, 2013 at 12:47:10 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Self-fulfilling prophecy. (0+ / 0-)

      What I've seen is that people who would like OFA to be a group that pushes Obama and the nation left are mostly too cynical to show up at an OFA meeting. They made their assumptions about what it would be and their failure to try made those assumptions come true. I wonder if OFA could have been used to send a message to Obama and the administration about what the grass-roots wanted. We'll never know.

      •  LMFAO. (4+ / 0-)

        Dude.  We also don't show up at DLC meetings asking them please be our buddies.

        It doesn't mean we're cynical, it's means we're sane enough to know who our enemies are, and to recognize what a waste of time it is to treat them like friends.

        "The thing about smart motherfuckers is that they sound like crazy motherfuckers to dumb motherfuckers." Robert Kirkman

        by JesseCW on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:29:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093

          For all of Obama's failings, he's still the most progressive President of my lifetime with the most progressive record of any President in at least the past 40 years and he has show that he's responsive to pressure from the grassroots. And that's your "enemy?" Maybe you're at the wrong website.

          And yes, it's cynicism to be so sure that pressuring Obama is a waste of time that you won't even try. Extreme cynicism.

          •  Cutting Social Security benefits isn't progressive (5+ / 0-)

            I'm certainly not going to help him do it.

            •  Obama strengthened Social Security this year (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              6412093

              by letting the SS payroll tax go back up. That's his only major action on SS. He hasn't cut it. One bad budget proposal doesn't negate the rest of his record.
              I don't know who asked you to help cut SS. My point is that OFA could be used to pressure Obama, but most of the left is too cynical to even try that strategy. The responses I'm getting prove my point.

              •  Strengthened what he'd previously weakened? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                3goldens, enhydra lutris, Zinman

                You sound like the people here who've told me it's OK for Democrats to cut Social Security benefits now because Democrats will repeal the cuts they make later.  Reminds me of Wimpy on Pop-eye who was always going to pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

                There is no way OFA is going to be used to pressure Obama.  As others here have said, it's purpose was to reelect Obama and collect money.   Where that money is going to go now is what I'd like to know.  Somehow, I don't think it's going to be used to "strengthen" programs for the needy.  

                I'm old and I've got old-fashioned view of politics.   I deliver for you and you deliver for me.  If you break that bargain, I'm looking for someone else, not doubling down on a bad bet.

                •  When was it weakened? (0+ / 0-)

                  Benefits were not cut and the system wasn't in danger of being underfunded. It's not as though SS tax revenues are being saved for payouts in future years.

                  Imagine one day the top OFA people are getting reports from the latest series of local meetings. Their reports show that no one was responding to the latest half-assed proposal. Groups that met refused to donate and take action on what they were handed. They responded with a call for a more progressive proposal and started organizing around something better. OFA leaders realize they have to respond or they get to accomplish none of their goals. Of course, word will get back to the White House and the officials who grew out of touch with the grass-roots. The White House realizes they have to start with a better proposal if they have any hopes of rallying the base to pressure Congress and raise money.

                  That's people power. That's pressure. That's also something that will never happen because the left is too cynical to try. Everyone is too smart for that, right?

                  •  It was weakened when he cut the payroll tax (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    3goldens, Zinman

                    You are giving him credit for simply restoring the payroll tax to where it was before he cut it.

                    OFA is a tool to manipulate you into supporting the villagers.  It's purpose is to manipulate the grass roots not to be a grass roots organization.  

                    But I do agree that the left has been too cynical to try.  The effort has to come from outside the power structure not from within it.  OWS was correct about that though their tactics were naïve and their strategy was not suited to building a sustainable political movement.  

                    •  Yes, I'm giving Obama credit (0+ / 0-)

                      for doing something when he could have done the exact opposite thing instead. That's only rational. Personally, I think it was wrong to raise the most regressive federal tax, but that's how it is. The reality is that, after all the scare tactics and fear-mongering, Obama hasn't yet cut SS one cent. He has only punished the working poor with a payroll tax increase without getting any credit for strengthening the system.
                      Oh, and he gave out extra benefits to SS recipients as a one-time payment included in the stimulus bill. How DLC of him! He obviously hates retirees and aches to see them suffer in poverty! lol

                      Why you think OFA was created is irrelevant to how it could be used and manipulated by a coordinated grassroots effort. But, once again, we'll never see that happen since too much of the left have neutralized themselves with cynicism.

                      I'd say the Occupy tactics were far more effective than the large number of lefties who essentially sat back and waited for Obama to deliver change to them, or who waited to be "proven right" about the cynical opinion they had of Obama all along. That crowd have been about as useful as tits on a bull.

          •  Progressive? (3+ / 0-)

            I would argue that, using an objective measure of progressivism - meaning programs supported by thePresident, no rhetoric - both Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon were more progressive tha Barack Obama.

            •  Let's see... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              6412093, Onomastic

              Did Carter and Nixon...

              Make by far the largest investment in clean energy and energy efficiency programs in American history?

              Do the most to reduce oil consumption by having two rounds of auto mileage improvements, the first truck mileage standard, and finally forcing Detroit to get serious about electric cars?

              Sign the largest re-regulation of Wall Street and lending institutions since the New Deal?

              Create the consumer financial protection bureau?

              Accomplish, not just talk about, major health care reform?

              End two wars?

              Oversee a significant spread of democracy in the world instead of supporting dictators like we did through most of the cold war?

              Make major progress on LGBT rights?

              Make major cuts to the defense budget?

              Launch a major public works infrastructure program that expanded high speed rail?

              Not Carter or Nixon. Only Obama did those things. Yes, I'm aware of the standard list of gripes, much of which requires placing blame on Obama for things Congress blocked or forced on him (like keeping Gitmo open). Despite the negatives, the list above and more make Obama the most progressive by leaps and bounds.

            •  And LBJ and JFK. (0+ / 0-)

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:37:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  "most progressive president of my lifetime"? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, Zinman

            Big fucking deal.  The Presidents in most of our lifetimes were Dubya, Clinton, Bush I, and Reagan. RICHARD NIXON was more progressive than any of those guys. Pretty low bar you set there.

            Most of us have not even been alive long enough to ever have SEEN an actual progressive president.

            •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

              So the rational thing to do is to make the most of it and pressure Obama to get as much accomplished as we can. Whining that he doesn't meet an unrealistic standard of progressiveness we'll never see from any President is a waste of time and energy.

            •  Check Nixon on the environment vs. Mr. (0+ / 0-)

              Clean Coal.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:39:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                6412093

                We have Carter who talked a good game but didn't accomplish half as much as Obama to reduce oil consumption and build clean energy. And he made a compromise that opened up Appalachia to mountaintop removal, the worst environmental crime in American history.

                Nixon's only accomplishment was to have an environmental Congress and movement that he didn't fight back against. He had no environmental vision or initiatives of his own. He took agencies that already existed and merged them into EPA. Bureaucratic chair shuffling isn't impressive.

                Obama's environmental record is far superior to either Nixon or Carter.

                •  ROF,L. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Zinman

                  Nixon, EPA, Clean Air Act, NEPA, discussed environmental policy in State of Union Speech (a first) at a time when the environment was pretty much not on the radar.

                  Carter created the Dept. of Energy, as well as the idea of a national energy policy, and set one which included conservation, price control, and new technology.  Declared a Federal emergency that led to the Superfund law and put solar panels on the White House roof.

                  Unprecedented and novel actions.

                  After decades of environmental awareness, actions, activity and agitation, Obama has come up with nothing novel, supports clean coal & increased drilling, fracking and a certain ntorious pipeline. He hasn't attacked Climate Change in a significant manner, but put a tiny bump on the 2007 modifications (Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 - GW Bush) to the 1975 CAFE standards legislation (Gerald Ford). Nothing with the sweep of the EPA or NEPA, but he did put some of Carter's panels back on the roof.

                  That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                  by enhydra lutris on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:48:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Giving Nixon credit for the movement? Sick. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Onomastic

                    Earth Day 1970 was huge. The first dirty dozen list was released and dirty members of Congress were defeated. The movement was more than on the radar. As I already wrote, the initiative for environmental progress during Nixon's term came from Congress. There's no evidence that he had any environmental vision or took any personal initiative. Giving Nixon credit for a mass movement just to bash Obama is disgusting and inaccurate.  

                    Yes, Carter introduced the idea of a national energy policy, far too late in his term, and what little he accomplished was quickly undone by Reagan. Obama built more clean energy and did more to reduce oil consumption long term.

                    Some chump change to clean coal, that's far, far less than stimulus spending on clean energy, hardly negates everything good Obama has done. That's weak spin.

                    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                      Giving Nixon credit for the movement?
                      OK, so now you are despearat and are misrepresenting what I said in a desperate attempt to make an environmental hero out of somebody who isn't. Fine. Lemme know when you feel like discussing what I said and not some fabrication of your own.

                      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                      by enhydra lutris on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:43:32 AM PDT

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                      •  You wrote: (0+ / 0-)

                        "Nixon, EPA, Clean Air Act, NEPA, discussed environmental policy in State of Union Speech (a first) at a time when the environment was pretty much not on the radar."

                        Attributing those accomplishments to Nixon is misleading because the initiative didn't come from him in most cases. Claiming the environment was not on the radar is inaccurate. I responded to exactly what you wrote. You gave Nixon credit for things that happened only because he was strongly pressured, not because he had any real environmental agenda.
                        You're stretching to puff up Nixon because you can't process the reality that Obama has done more to reduce oil consumption and bring new clean energy online than any President in American history.

                        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                          You're stretching to puff up Nixon
                          Nope. The things I say happened on his watch really did.  Ditto Carter. And the things on Obama's did and are happening. Some of the "greatest evah" stuff is sort of bullshit, though.

                          The first CAFE standards  were under Jerry Ford - 100%, not some fractional increase over his immediate predecessor's (like Obama's small percentage change in Bush's standards, which were a huge change).

                          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                          by enhydra lutris on Sun May 19, 2013 at 11:50:32 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The numbers are what they are. (0+ / 0-)

                            Who built the most clean energy? Obama.

                            Who created the first heavy truck mileage and emissions standards? Obama.

                            Who forced Detroit to finally get serious about alternative fuel vehicles and electric cars? Only Obama.

                            Who had TWO rounds of auto emissions and mileage standard increases? Obama.
                            You're ignoring the second increase in auto standards, but it happened.

                            Who invested the most in high speed rail and made Transportation stop focusing on only auto-traffic? Obama

                            Who reduced oil consumption the most? Obama.

                            Who stopped the building of new coal power plants that don't include carbon capture? Only Obama.

                            Who stopped the issuance of new mountaintop removal mining permits? Only Obama.

                            Who was the first major party nominee to make clean energy and climate change a major part of his campaign platform? Obama in '08.

                            Who invested the most in energy efficiency? Obama, thanks to the green stimulus.

                            It may pain you to admit it, but Obama has gotten more tangible results than any of them.

                          •  Yoou just don't see it, that's ok, but simply (0+ / 0-)

                            tweaking your predecessor's CAFE standards a bit, much of which occurs in 2020-2025, sharing the hydrocarbon subsidies with wind to a larger degree than your predecessors, etc while encouraging more and more extraction at the dame time is not a crisis response, it's business as usual.

                            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                            by enhydra lutris on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:42:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  So you're pretty young, so what. (0+ / 0-)

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:35:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  He has expanded (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zinman

            The draconian national security state that began to exist post 9/11 without flinching. Used the DOJ to prosecute demonstrators and not corporate criminals, given wall street a huge break, refused to touch money in politics, preached about climate change while ignoring keystone, expanded oil drilling on and off shore....

             True, he has been socially progressive in some areas, but aside from his rhetoric he would have been at home as a republican President 30 years ago. He has failed to seize the opportunity to push for big progressive changes, or has been quick to retreat when the idea of such changes has met with resistance.

          •  Most progressive in the last 50 years: LBJ (0+ / 0-)

            Just consider what LBJ and the Democratic Party accomplished when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

            After signing the Civil Rights Act, LBJ commented that what he had just done was going to cost the Democratic Party the political loss of the South for a generation. That took guts, and the willingness to do what was right, regardless of what it might cost both him in the short term and what it would cost the Democratic Party for two or more generations.

            There was also his great War on Poverty, and other progressive initiatives; but what hurt LBJ was the Vietnam War, and it hurt him so badly that he didn't run for a second term and I suspect it tormented him until the day he died.

            Carbon di-oxide in the atmosphere is now 400ppm. That is "Climate Cluster Chaos". (hat tip to JeffW for CCC)

            by Zinman on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:05:38 AM PDT

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      •  Sorry, but they've made it clear that they're not (0+ / 0-)

        interested in any input, just $ and signatures. It isn't a self-fulfilling prophecy to take them at face value.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:44:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Keystone XL permit has been moved out another (0+ / 0-)

      six months to a year.  Perhaps Obama is smart enough to know that if he outright opposed the project, rather than delaying it, the oil industry would use that to garner even greater support for the pipeline.

      But, the pipeline is not part of the OFA agenda which is a deal breaker for a lot of Democrats.  The OFA agenda and Obama's can change over time.  I think it's too early to know what they can accomplish with regard to climate change.  But, climate change and water security should be at the forefront in the Hill.  But, greedy humans like to learn the hard way.

      Until it is clear that family members of billionaires start getting cancer from the toxins we are putting in our water or their homes get swept away by flood waters or multiple tornadoes, I don't see the fossil fuel companies doing anything differently.  The good news is that Wall St and private electric companies are doping out that renewables can be very profitable.    

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