I've been reviewing some of the reasons Obama will need to be pushed if he is going to be a progressive President, and some of the major areas in which we need to push him. The key thing is, we can't wait.
Already, Obama is selecting Cabinet members and advisors who put the counsels of caution and the interests of corporations over the needs of the poor, the unemployed and under-employed, immigrants, people of color, youth, women, gays, and even the middle class--in short, ahead of everybody who helped Obama get elected.
Already, Obama is signaling that left to himself, he will use the economic crisis as an excuse not to do some of the things that would solve the economic crisis more speedily--let alone create more economic justice in the future.
It's traditional to give new Presidents a grace period, a time to wait and see what they will do. We can't afford that now. We just threw big business, the war hawks, and the religious right an eight-year wedding party. We can't afford to give Obama a honeymoon.
We need to follow the advice of another Democratic President during times of economic crisis, Franklin Roosevelt. "FDR was, of course, a consummate political leader. In one situation, a group came to him urging specific actions in support of a cause in which they deeply believed. He replied: I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."
We can make the administration do what we deeply belive it must do. It's not too late, but it's not a moment too soon. As Dennis Kucinich said, "Wake up, America!"
What if Moveon were on the air today with videos calling the new administration to keep its campaign promises? What if all the $1o contributors to the campaign were now sending $10 a month to advocates and community organizers? What if people who went door-to-door for Obama and for a Democratic majority in Congress were out there today, signing people up for massive demonstrations one month after Election Day?
What would the next four years look like then? Let's find out, shall we?