Obama: Progressives have 'a certain kind of rigidity' that leads them to form circular firing squads

Former President Obama spoke at an event in Berlin hosted by the Obama Foundation Saturday. After a brief speech, Obama took questions. The first question came from an organizer in Ireland who wanted to know how he could “show the value in compromise and the beauty in consensus.” This question prompted an answer that went on for about ten minutes. Near the end of his answer, Obama warned that progressives have a tendency to form “circular firing squads.”

“One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States, maybe it’s true here as well, is a certain kind of rigidity where we say ‘Uh! I’m sorry this is how it’s going to be,'” Obama said. He continued, “Then we start sometimes creating what’s called a circular firing squad where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues. When that happens, typically, the overall effort and movement weakens.

“So I think whether you are speaking as a citizen or as a political leader or as an organizer…you have to recognize that the way we’ve structured democracy requires you to take into account people who don’t agree with you. And that, by definition, means you are not going to get 100 percent of what you want.”

Obama didn’t name any names but what he’s saying here certainly applies to what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been doing both with her Green New Deal (in which everything must all be done at once) and her DCCC blacklist which Jazz wrote about earlier today. In fact, AOC is the perfect example of a far-left politician who would rather form a circular firing squad than seek compromise. And, honestly, that’s fine with me.

AOC may be the it-girl of the freshman class, but a lot of the other Dems who came in with her last year are more conservative than she is and only won because they weren’t far left extremists. If she wants to blow them all up, it’s not going to work out the way she expects. So bring on the circular firing squads!

Here’s Obama making the point above: