Sensing defeat at the polls and in the December budget wars over extending the Bush tax cuts, liberal leaders have turned to scolding President Obama’s 2008 fans who have deserted him and threaten to undermine his reelection.
“We’ll quit over a really mean tweet,” he said, adding in a mocking whine: “Did you hear that terrible tweet? And it was retweeted four times.”
He and Robert Borosage, head of the Campaign for America’s Future, which is sponsoring the event, expressed concerns that progressives are demobilizing right when they are needed most because, as Jones said, “people went from hopey to mopey.”
Said Jones to a half-full Washington Hilton convention room, “I’m watching the movement that broke the back of Karl Rove’s stranglehold on Congress, who elected the first African-American president, I’m watching that movement that inspired the world, that shocked the world, that stunned the world, in the moment of maximum peril, sit down.”
Jones said that the movement may have been demoralized when Obama, with a big Senate majority and control of the House in 2009, failed to push a broad agenda and was eventually pushed back by the Tea Party movement.
“It turned out we only had one-third of what we needed to govern,” he said in a call for summertime protests. “You have to have a movement in the streets, and we abandoned the streets. You have to have a media establishment, like they have centered on Fox,” Jones said.
Borosage and Jones also said the movement needs to re-energize not just to reelect Obama but to fight against the Obama-GOP “grand bargain” expected to be cut in the lame duck congressional session in December over the Bush tax cuts, the debt limit and other key economic issues.
But his target for that wasn’t the GOP, it was Obama. “We call on this president to issue a veto threat,” he demanded.