Many of us have been wondering whether the Progressive version of Barack Obama would show up at some point during this transition. We may be forced to wait forever if Steve Hildebrand has his way. Hildebrand is a former Obama adviser who published an op-ed on the Huffington Post today basically telling Progressives to shut the f&*^$ up.


Obama “was elected to be the president of all the people – not just those on the left,” he wrote. So stop with the complaining about the appointments and the policy tilt to the center and the pro-business talk in his bailout pronouncements and the appointment of Larry Summers and Paul Volcker and other very pro-Globalization Clintonites.


After 8 years of Bush and  two wars and pro-rich folks, pro-business tax cuts, after Katrina and Guantanamo, after  Rumsfeld’s “free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things”, after Rumsfeld’s “you go to war with the army you have”, after Alberto Gonzalez and Abu Ghraib and fake mushroom clouds to justify real shocks and no awe, after Condi buying shoes in New York while Black people drowned in New Orleans, after Dick dreaming of Iraqis seeing occupiers as liberators, after 8 years of stagnation on the Israeli-Palestinian front, after 8 years of anti-intellectualism, I think it was normal for The Left to expect a Democratic president to be slighly leftist or at least pretend to be for a few months. After all, that wing of the Democratic party gave him the nomination. He ran on an anti-war platform and defeated an establishment candidate mostly on the strength of that argument. Now as is the custom, he wants to “govern from the center” and eventually come back to the leftists in 2012 when their vote will be needed to give him 270 electoral votes. We’ve seen this show before. And ironically it was brought to us by The Man from Hope.

Perhaps Ralph Nader had a point. A third party might be the counterbalance required to keep Democrats on edge so as to get some form of a progressive agenda implemented.

It is early days, but  let’s hope Steve Hildebrand does not really speak for Obama and the reality of his presidency will align with the hopes we held while we cheered him along as he campaigned.