Nothing seems to provoke President Obama more than being challenged by the progressive base. Maybe that's why it's a tactic that works.
Remember when you believed that if we just elected enough Democrats to Congress and took the White House, we could take this country back? We could stop giving tax breaks to people who didn't need them so that we would have a shot at creating jobs, providing for those in need, and still break even. We could end government-inspired discrimination against people because of the way they look, who they love, or where they were born. And we could actualize "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal," to quote Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
That was 2008.
As Keith Harrington, an environmental activist, wrote last month:
Three years ago, I spent a number of weekends going door to door in Virginia urging people to vote for our president. In that campaign I found a sense of pride, a sense of excitement, a sense of energizing virtue.
This weekend, I spent a good chunk of time training to do civil disobedience at President Obama's door in the desperate hope that he'll fulfill the promise that drove me onto the streets for him in 2008. And in so doing I've found the same sense of pride, the same excitement, and the same energizing sense of virtue that I did three years back.
Harrington is one of more than a thousand Americans who traveled from every corner of the country -- California, Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont -- to sit for arrest in front of the White House over the course of two weeks toward the end of August.