The Obama presidency is turning into an extended metaphorical demonstration of a sports technique called the “head fake.” A basketball or football player will move his head briefly in a direction opposite to where he intends to go so as to fool his adversary into making the wrong moves. A sports head fake only works for a fraction of a second, because the real direction of motion must be revealed.
Obama has mastered the art of the political head fake to the degree that his fakes last for months. During his campaign, he faked an anti-war move, an anti-torture move, and an anti-corporate corruption move. In office, he has cranked up the Afghanistan war, provided blanket immunity for CIA torturers, and fed hundreds of billions of public funds into crooked financial corporations.
When Obama is criticized for not carrying out his campaign promises, his defenders insist that the head fakes are the reality and the actual policies of the administration should be ignored. It is this stubborn insistence that the fantasy Obama is real that shows the power of Obama’s fakery.
Americans should be demonstrating in the streets against a president who shields torturers, feeds a perpetual war machine, and engineers massive transfers of wealth from taxpayers to rogue corporations. Instead, they are fooled by one head fake after another. We are being faked out of our democracy and our prosperity by the slickest front man the American plutocracy has ever produced: Barak (Head Fake) Obama.