In the last post I was urging Bernie Sanders to run against Obama to force him to identify what he would do in a second term. Well, there is no longer a need for an opponent to do this. Occupy Wall Street has spread around the country is a good indication that many are disappointed with a system that defers to wealth and corporations while exploiting middle class workers. Mr. Obama will be as much a target of this movement as anyone else if he continues to try to finesse his way back in the White House by being the great compromiser. If there is one thing OWS doesn’t want it is compromise with those seeking to maintain the status quo.
If winter comes and the cold weather results in a retreat of the protesters to warmer quarters, Obama may think he doesn’t need to think big. But, he will be mistaken. The country is ready for deep reforms and any half measures will result in low turnout for progressives and a win for Republicans. On the other hand, if he embraces the discontent demonstrated by protesters and the many who share their discontent, and lays out a program of real reform, he could be on his way to another term. So far, he has been a disappointment as a leader and a man of vision. But, fortunately, none of his likely opponents seem well equipped with those qualities either. Obama has begun to talk the talk, but is it all election hype or the real deal? The OWS crowd and their supporters can help smoke him out and make him take a stand.