Former President Barack Obama went to Europe but delivered a message that seemed to be directly aimed at Democrats in the United States. Speaking at an Obama Foundation event in Berlin, the former president said he was concerned that members of the progressive wing of the party could end up shooting themselves in the foot by focusing their ire on other Democrats who should be seen as allies. Specifically, Obama talked about how he had to compromise in order to pass the Affordable Care Act, which was hardly his ideal solution to the U.S. healthcare system, and the Paris Climate Agreement, which he knew was not enough to tackle the huge issue of global warming.
“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,’ and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad,’ where you start shooting at your allies because one of them has strayed from purity on the issues. And when that happens, typically the overall effort and movement weakens,” he said.