Barack Obama flashback
by JJCPA, Thu Feb 15, 2007 at 10:31:00 AM EST
I came across an interesting article on Barack Obama that I thought I'd share with the folks at MyDD, so follow me below the fold...
What makes Obama different from other progressive politicians is that he doesn't just want to create and support progressive programs; he wants to mobilize the people to create their own. He wants to stand politics on its head, empowering citizens by bringing together the churches and businesses and banks, scornful grandmothers and angry young...
"The right wing talks about this but they keep appealing to that old individualistic bootstrap myth: get a job, get rich, and get out. Instead of investing in our neighborhoods, that's what has always happened. Our goal must be to help people get a sense of building something larger.
"The political debate is now so skewed, so limited, so distorted," said Obama. "People are hungry for community; they miss it. They are hungry for change.
What's interesting about these quotes is not so much what he's saying here, its that he was saying this in 1995. 12 years ago, the Chicago Reader profiled a candidate for the Illinois State Senate. Barack Obama has had pretty much the same message for 12 years, that we can come together and work toward positive change. The theme has broadened from a local, community theme to a national theme, but the vision is the same. Its not a focus group tested, lieberman lite false bipartisanship that Obama traffics in, its a desire to bring positive change. To reach out and bring together people from various backgrounds to affect those positive changes. To rebuild the sense of "Us" in a world that has become dominated by the sense of "Me."
And here's Obama in 2000, from another Reader article, covering some of his legislative record (this would be between 1996 and 2000, when Illinois was much redder):
Obama was a leader on an ethics bill that limited the gifts legislators can take from lobbyists and ended the practice of using campaign funds for personal use. (The senator's always been Paul Simon pure when it comes to taking gifts. He says he's one of "three or four" senators who won't let lobbyists buy him dinner.) He also worked to double the personal exemption on the state's income tax, figuring this would help low-income families. Republicans, who love tax cuts, willingly went along. Now Obama wants the state to institute an earned income tax credit for the poor. He also has introduced legislation to require drug companies to charge Medicare the same rates as their best customers, which would lower the cost of medicine for seniors. And he is asking the secretary of state's office to compile statistics on traffic stops, to see if minority drivers are targeted more than whites.
Anyway, the exact URL for the first article is here: http://www.chicagoreader.com/obama/95120
The second article:
And here's the Reader's archive of Barack Obama stories: