the Obama team

A Lot Can Happen in a month: Back to the Future

Last month I attended Thing Big, a  conference held in Washington under the sponsorship of Campaign for America's Future among other progressive groups. At that time progressives were concerned over the presumptive appointment of Sen. Gregg as Commerce Secretary and the Obama stimulus package was under attack..Did his appointment of Gregg signal a pull back by the President from the progressive agenda which he had put forward?

I was particularly impressed with the optimistic tone of the conference. The message that I took away with me was that while President Obama will no doubt make mistakes, he is a new president and can learn from them and  (as did FDR) .  Just as progressives and the labor movement won significant gains in the 'thirties, so too can a strong progressive movement today. Now we are at another political crisis point, with the Bernanke-Geithner-Summer team threatening to create a de-facto banker's dictatorship which would put the Obama administration into receivership..

Within days of the Think Big  conference, the optimism expressed by the speakers, seemed to be  borne out as Gregg withdrew.his name because of irreconcilable differences with the Administration.  Now we are at another political crisis point and we can hope that President Obama will pull back from his support for Treasury Secretary Geithner retreaded bailout plan. and use his bully pulpit to fight for the social reforms that he has endorsed. Robert Reich, Paul Kurgman and Robert Kuttner have addressed the current inflection point. It's just a month snce the Thing Big conference but the economic situation is rapidly deteriorating. Popular anger is on the rise and the president again appears to be  veering off course.