(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
We have now reached a point where there is beginning to boil over a lot of open criticism and disappointment finally from the “mainstream” left over the performance of Barack Obama, and his leadership skills.
Instead of just a few grumblings, made over hushed tones, immediately followed by pronouncements about how it’s only been just 3 months…5 months…8 months… etc., people are now coming to the full realization, even on DailyKos now, that Obama is not going to govern in a manner that brings about any substantial change whatsoever.
Yet many commentators from Ed Schultz, to Michael Moore, to Arianna Huffington, to Markos, to Keith Olbermann etc. generally see the problem as one of being — that Obama is just too unengaged, or not forceful enough, or not providing strong enough leadership. The idea put forth here is that Obama really wants to do the right thing, but he is just a poor negotiator, or isn’t standing up enough, or too happy to compromise away his real “dearly held” beliefs.
But I disagree with this second part of the analysis. I have seen enough now to come to the conclusion that Obama is really executing the agenda that he wants, and advancing the agenda that he and his friends want. He just fooled a whole lot of people during the Primaries with his (deceptive) lofty rhetoric, deliberately left unspecific, and charming speeches and charisma.
The problem with Obama, however, is not one of ommission, but one of commission. Recall that just as George W. Bush ran in 1999-2000 as a “compassionate” conservative with no critera at all about what that really meant for the middle-class ( a Dick Cheney Presidency-??). Well, Barack Obama ran his campaign very similarily as “Martin Luther Obama” come to save the little people – with no policy program ever put forward for doing any such thing – and an ever accumlating track record for totally backtracking on the few progressive ideas casually tossed about (then later retracted) throughout his campaign. Things like….suddenly being anti-NAFTA during the critical Wisconsin Primary (which he won), only to immediately reverse himself (and align himself with the pro-NAFTA agenda) once that State had voted for him.
But what we continually see is that Obama has no problem whatsoever with twisting arms, pressuring the Senate, asserting his own will, etc. when he wants them to vote against the reimportation of cheaper, generic Drugs (to prevent seniors from saving enormous amounts of money). He has no problem with villifying Howard Dean right out in the open, or outright intimidating progressive Congressman like Pete DeFazio with the open threat “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother“, when he disagreed with Obama’s new Military escalations. And he has no problem with protecting, and even praising the agenda of Joe Lieberman.
To understand the real Barack Obama, and also what is further to come, all you have to do is look at his very first week as President, after capturing the hearts and hopes of the grassroots. The very first things he did was:
1. Empower the corrupt BlueDog, Corporatist, pro-War Rahm Emanual to head public policy for adminstration.
2. Replace (fire?) the progressive 50-State DNC Chairman Howard Dean, and deny him any proper credit for 2006/2008 Election victories (that he benefited from), and snub and humiliate him.
3. Empower and resuscitate Bush’s own War Secretary frickin Robert Gates to continue 8 more years of permanent Foreign Occupations, permanent Military Bases, permanent War Profiteering, permanent Taxpayer-financed Contractors, and Multi-front War expansion.
4. Demand a hands-off policy against any effort to remove the stalking horse republican Joe Lieberman from his Democratic Chairmanship position.
Right there it became clear whose Obama’s friends were, and just as significant (if not more so) whose Obama’s friends were not (the progressives, and people with any integrity).
The incoming administration, elected on “change“, made no effort to hire any government reformers, progressive policy people, consumer advocates, government whistleblowers whatsoever — rather those people were deliberately shunned in favor of a decidely pro-WallStreet, pro-BankMonopoly, pro-GoldmanSachs-Citibank, pro-War-Establishment, pro-permanent-Occupation, pro-Neo-Establishment, pro-CIA-secrecy, Corporatist administration by design.
All that which has followed, has been a predictable and inevitable consequence of that design. So, rather than seeing Barack Obama as a “weak” leader, we must begin to see him in the same way that we saw George W. Bush. A guy who wants the Foxes to be the guards at the Hen House, and who also wants to drive away and banish the few progressives who dare raise their hands in protest.
The sad truth is that Obama, in fact, is a very strong and decisive leader. He has just setup the tables to lead this Country decidely down the same old crooked Wall-Street, World Empire path that he inherited, without so much as a speed bump to slow it down (much less policies that would ever possibly reverse it).
Corrupt leaders often sometimes appear either “weak”, incompetent, or forgetful — as they struggle to keep their lies straight, and tie themselves into knots trying to keep their broken promises from being exposed. Generally, they like to even play up these (false) impressions of being incompetent or forgetful, etc. (example: Ronald Reagan on the IRAN-CONTRA enterprise), because this is obviously more forgivable and more “human” (therefore charming), than outright corruption.
However, Obama’s backroom deal, and his later explicit pressure put on the U.S. Senate to kill the admendment that would permit the simple reimportation of cheaper, generic Drugs is an act not of weakness, incompetence, lack of toughness, or passivity.
It is an act of determined strength, like all his other actions, and an act of clear, explicit, FAT-CAT corruption. President Obama, and his status-quo hackery administration represent an explicitly corrupt, fraudulent administration — whose friends are all well known enemies of progressive change, and “the little guy”.
So in addition to finally now unanimously recognizing the bad performance of the Obama administration, we must now also finally recognize its explicit corruption and deceit.
What we have is George W. Obama Johnson, and the audacity of 8 more years of a nakedly, corrupt, deceitful, truth-adverse, middle-class-adverse, adminstration by design.