Fundamental to the social movement model is a conception of American political history in which movements, and not presidents, are the true instigators for change. Presidents are merely reactive. They are not the main protagonists. Obama himself endorsed this conception constantly on the campaign trail, and has repeated it often as president, proclaiming that “real change comes from the bottom up.” Supposedly, all of our progressive presidents have been preternaturally cautious, self-interested men who originated nothing themselves. Only forceful pressure from outside movements led them to undertake the audacious efforts for which history has wrongly given them credit. Hence, Abraham Lincoln would never have become the Great Emancipator had the abolitionists not pushed him to do so. Hence, pressure from the radical left and organized labor forced FDR into launching the New Deal.
A good example of this way of thinking arose during the 2008 Democratic primaries, when Obama, campaigning in social movement mode, sought to claim the mantle of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by celebrating oratorical force over grubby politics. His opponent, Hillary Clinton, noted that it took a president, Lyndon B. Johnson, to push through Congress the civil rights reforms for which Dr. King had fought, as well as the programs of the Great Society, and she pointed out that the job being contested for was president of the United States, not head of a social movement. For this, she got called a racist. But her deeper transgression was to run afoul of the movement conception of politics, in which the agitators are the true instigators of reform and officeholders the grudging instruments of pressure from worthy masses.
i remember the above and it mainly reminds me of what a jerk bill moyers was throughout 2008. he actively engaged in trashing hillary, he mocked her on air repeatedly. this alleged 'reporter' and 'journalist.' the only time he ever broke from the script was on the issue outlined above and that was because he worked for lbj, his hero.
but he participated in all the rest.
and it reminds me how every comment was turned into veiled racism and an attack and, often, a threat.
they really worked the hysteria for barack.
and i'm so glad bill moyers is off the air. people like that make me sick.
he's just such a liar. he really has no standards or ethics and i'm just glad pbs was no longer interested in him.
let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'