So over here at Tikkun we are as disappointed as other progressives at the first days of the Obama administration. But we have a strategy!
Andrew Sullivan has been reassuring conservatives all along that Obama is actually a conservative. We have been saying all along that in some degree he is a spiritual progressive, an heir to the civil rights movement. Tikkun editor, Michael Lerner's, angle is that Obama responds to the people who disagree with him and so as his friends we need to make a lot more fuss in disagreeing with him, but in a supportive fashion. Lerner wrote in an email:
"President Obama's appointments to key positions in his Administration range from reclaiming major figures from the Clinton Administration's center and right to explicit Republicans. Dramatically absent are any of the major figures in the movements that made his presidency possible (the anti-war, civil rights, environmental, and women's movements). This coupled with the decision to continue to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the banking industry without achieving effective control over its decisions, escalating the war in Afghanistan, rejecting negotiations with Hamas and hence effectively continuing the policy of blind support of Israel's right-wing governments, and appointing former lobbyists for corporate interests to major positions inside his inner circle has led many on the Left to question if the American people have allowed their enthusiasm at breaking down the last barrier of discrimination against Blacks in politics to close their eyes to the conservative thrust of the Obama Administration (even if conservative in a way that still respects the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of human rights and civil liberties, as the anti-torture moves of the first weeks suggested)."
So what's the strategy?
Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives invite you to a national conference to....
Support Obama to BE the Obama That YOU Voted For (not the Obama who has been capitulating to the Inside-the-Beltway "realists" and Wall Street powers who brought us the war in Iraq and the global economic meltdown")
April 29-May 2 Washington, D.C.
Registration information will be available at www.Tikkun.org and www.SpiritualProgressives.org by March 1.
If you already know it's going to be exciting and worth your while, take advantage of the Early Bird registration costs before March 1:
Whole conference: $100. Any single day: $50. Fees may be considerably higher after March 1, 2009. Checks made out to Tikkun and in lower left write "Obama Conference" and mail to: NSP Obama Conference, c/o Tikkun, 2342 Shattuck Ave Suite 1200, Berkeley, Ca. 94704.