Progressives Challenge Obama In Iowa

Video by Roger Routh

For three years progressives have been trying to get President Barack Obama to live up to their expectations. And so far according to the founder of Progressive Democrats of America, they’ve been disappointed.

That’s why Tim Carpenter is organizing people to go to the Iowa caucus and vote for “uncommitted” as a way challenge President Obama.

“We’re organizing uncommitted slates to go to the caucus on Tuesday to challenge Barack Obama because he gave up on his promise to single payer (health care). He took too long to get troops out of Iraq. There’s still troops in Afghanistan. And we need a financial transaction tax.”

Carpenter’s call to action can be backed up with political muscle. Progressive Democrats of America was formed out of the people who fueled the Presidential campaigns of Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich.

Carpenter appeared with the Reverend Jesse Jackson at an organizing meeting in a Des Moines area church this week. They both endorsed an “inside outside” strategy — asking activists to go to the caucuses and work inside the Democratic party as well as participating in the “occupy” movement that works outside the party.

Transcript of Progressive Democrats of America Founder Tim Carpenter’s remarks

I believe we need an inside outside strategy. We’re not asking everybody in this room to vote for Barack Obama. We’re not voting for Barack Obama. We’re organizing uncommitted slates to go to the caucus on Tuesday to challenge Barack Obama because he gave up on his promise to single payer (health care). He took too long to get troops out of Iraq. There’s still troops in Afghanistan. And we need a financial transaction tax.

That’s why we’re going to the caucuses inside the party. That may not be for everybody. We understand that. But your role is to keep the street heat on. Work inside and outside. We’re all part of a larger social movement. As Reverend Jackson said we need to kick open that door and we have to build a real rainbow.

Many of us came onto the Dennis Kucinich campaign of 2004. Many of us in 1988 with Reverend Jackson. But I talked to a few people in this room who came out of the Progressive Party in 1948 with Andrew Wallace. We are a broader movement, inside and outside the Democratic party. So as we move the conversation today, we’re not asking you to go to any caucus to vote for Barack Obama, we’re asking you to go to challenge him both inside and outside the caucuses, I want to make that clear.

And one quick commercial.

The only reason this happened today was a number of folks came together and put together a little money so we could be here today. Reverend cleared his schedule and John Nichols cleared his schedule in-between the Ed Schultz show to be here today and many of you gave up your afternoons to be here today and we appreciate that.

We’ve brought with us a thousand signs that line this church and are waiting for you when you leave. We happened to bring an extra three-thousand ‘Healthcare Not Warfare’ stickers. We need you to take those into the caucus and remind folks that this movement is growing and vibrant. And as Reverend said we’re coming back in six weeks and we’re going to triple this size.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek.

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