April 6, 2011
On Monday, we had the announcement that the President had filed for reelection in 2012. That should come as no surprise but he emphasized earlier that this was not to be his primary goal. Of course, any politician’s “promises” are to be taken with a grain of salt. Obama, however, promised there would be “change we could believe in.” His two year term thus far has clearly illustrated that, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” There are millions of people expressing buyer’s remorse as Tracy said (click on the photo): “We were enamored. We thought Obama was a champion of the middle class. A fighter for the average American. We bought the dream, only to awaken to the nightmare that he had morphed into Professor Friendly, defender of the upper crust. Thanks for the crumbs. We want our money back!”
A recent article on this topic and only a portion of what I discuss here has recently appeared, entitled: President Obama’s Five Broken Campaign Promises. Maybe Obama’s motto for 2012 should be: ”If you like what you’ve got, we’ve got much more for you!” I was a strong supporter of the President in 2008; I don’t like much of anything he has DONE and I believe his performance has been poor. I’ve learned to distinguish between what he SAYS and what he DOES. It is not my objective to comment on his leadership traits here, which has been one of my professional specialties for 30 years, but rather his performance in important policy matters.
—In December 2010, he capitulated totally to a “deal” with Republican Senator McConnell and Representative Boehner to cut taxes for the rich and, in the process, cutting Senators Reid and Speaker Pelosi out of the negotiations. He “compromised” and claimed that he had been held “hostage” by the Republicans in return for unemployment insurance. He further offered them a 2% cut in payroll taxes, exclaiming he given big tax cuts for everyone. Of course, that was just a “Trojan Horse” for Republicans to use to complain about social security deficits later. I first wrote a blog about this disastrous negotiation in December, reposted last month.
—He failed to support a strong healthcare reform bill which had a public option and did anything to cut costs. The net result was a blank check for the insurance companies to raise rates and further prove that the reform bill was defective. And then the test for a mandate continues in the courts.
—He failed to support a strong Wall Street reform bill which addressed the basic problems of bank reform including too big too fail. Big banks are now larger and more profitable than ever and giving huge bonuses to reward their executives. He has not formally appointed Elizabeth Warren, the champion for consumers, to a position of authority in representing consumer protection reforms.
—He appeased the Chamber of Commerce who had spent 10’s of millions of dollars against him in the 2010 elections, appointed their representatives to key White House positions and apologized for not being more friendly to business. The FACT is that Wall Street and the Corporations have made out like bandits in the recovery since the financial collapse. The incredibly corrupting influence of big business money in the Obama administration is documented in this 10 minute video clip.
—He has refused to support the anti-union efforts by Governors in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, etc. (after promising to march with workers) when these Governors have attempted to destroy collective bargaining in their states.
—He has failed to build the Democratic Party by directing the DNC chairman to go on the attack and support Democratic principles in the states. The DNC chairman, Tim Kaine has been rendered ineffective and impotent. By his own description, he and the Democratic Party were “shellaced” in the 2010 elections. the Democratic Party has proved to be a bunch of incompetent wimps to oppose the Republican Fascists.
—He appointed Jeffrey Immelt, the Chairman of GE, to be his “jobs” advisor and GE paid no corporate income tax in 2009 and has built their profits in foreign business, especially China. Nice role model for a “Jobs Advisor”, huh? He further appointed Bill Daley as Chief of Staff and Gene Spelling as economic advisor. Both have strong contacts and have worked for Wall Street and the Corporatists and that occurred even though Obama promised to end the revolving door. His Director of OMB fled to Citibank to be paid multimillions there.
—He has expanded the war in Afghanistan spending nearly 3 billion dollars a week and started a new war in Libya without even properly consulting with Congress. He promised to close GITMO and end torture. Instead he has not only decided to keep GITMO open, but to try terrorists there with a military tribunal. There have been many reports of Sgt. Manning, an American citizen, being tortured there worse than a prisoner of war.
—He, along with his Secretary of the Interior Ken Salizaar, has approved new deepwater oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico under pressure from the oil industry. This has occurred after the worst environmental disaster in the U.S., the BP Horizon accident, and even after it has been proven that the blowout preventors have a permanent design problem and are defective. Companies are using disaster plans developed nearly a near before the accident! Salizar should have been fired after the BP disaster.
—Even after the incredible nuclear disaster in Japan, he has renewed his support for nuclear fission energy.
—He just appointed Jim Messina to be his campaign manager and to manage his one billion dollar campaign. One of Messina’s main roles will presumably be to keep “progressives” away from the White House. In 2009, Messina had been directed to threaten the Campaign for Americas Future (CAF) to discontinue their efforts to influence “Blue Dogs” in providing support for Obama policies. Messina had also served as an advisor to Senator Baucas who was one of the main supporters of the health insurance industry to insure we did not have a public option in the healthcare bill. Here is a quote from a NYT reporter over a year ago in Huffington Post: “This should be big news. Even while President Obama was saying that he thought a public option was a good idea and encouraging supporters to believe his healthcare plan would include one, he had promised for-profit hospital lobbyists that there would be no public option in the final bill.”
—And NOTHING has been said about the massive transfer of wealth and income that has been going on to the upper 1% during the past two years, added to that in the past thirty years. This is the ultimate cancer in our society which will literally kill millions and destroy our Republic. Obama has been totally silent on that issue as the Corporatist society would have it. The entire discussion about “Jobs” (the real job picture is here) and deficit reduction is total garbage and the public is expected to believe these lies. Here is a map of how the fascist Governors are coping with their unemployment (“Jobs”) issue without even a whimper from Obama or the Democratic Party.
Thus, when I received an email letter on Monday, April 4 to support his reelection, I wrote:
“To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Monday, April 4, 2011, 1:25 PM
FYI. I am not going to support President Obama nor support the Democratic Party any longer. Obama is a “DINO” (a Democrat In Name Only) and he does not support the principles or policies of even the national Democratic Party. I will work for the creation of a third political party who does represent most of these principles and is willing to fight for them. The Republican Party is a fascist party and Obama has been complicit or even enabled these Corporatists. He does not represent me.”
The President has shown that he likes to work from a check list of “things to do.” But quality doesn’t matter as long as the schedule is met. We are yet to experience his efforts at fighting for the budget cuts proposed by the fascist Republicans and their Tea Party compatriots sponsored by billionaires. In contrast to FDR in his fourth year of the Great Depression, Obama has shown every willingness to cave in to anything to maintain “peace” and avoid conflict. Some have compared his “negotiation” skills with those of Neville Camberlain in negotiating with the Nazi Third Reich.
This campaign announcement is a strong effort on the part of Obama’s campaign committee to get people to commit to his reelection 18 months before the election. This is a strategy to get liberal Democrats and progressives to “back off” from making any demands. The FACT is that YOUR donations will be so trivial compared to those from corporations that it clearly rates as Chump Change. (click on picture)
The President and his campaign advisors, especially Messina, have decided that their best chances for reelection rest with persuading an amorphous mass of “independents” to vote for him and who have no strong views on anything! The attitude is: let’s get those suckers on board.
This is the essence of the “DINO”, Democrat in Name Only, campaign. They realize that they can amass huge amounts of campaign money from corporations and it won’t matter what others do. They understand that is what the Republican Fascists are going to do with the support of their billionaire friends like the Koch Bros. and Murdoch. So their strategy is to abandon all principles and go for the money. The only thing that matters is having the money to run for reelection! And to hell with the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision that gave corporations unlimited ability to contribute to campaigns; let’s use that decision and “win.”
What is happening to us is a complete Fascist movement driven by the Corporatists acting on both political parties described by Jill Dalton and myself in several blogs. It is very sad to see my Democratic friends totally unaware of what has been going on,and totally oblivious to this manipulation of content and substance to remain in denial. They apparently reason they have no other choice. I am sorry to have to express these thoughts and share them with you. But I strongly believe that the future of our Republic depends upon our being honest and candid with one another. The present political system does not do that. It is only interested in power and money which is a totally corrupt and basically immoral system; it is not interested in solving problems with a rational and morally just foundation.
The FACT is that the Corporate Fascists—the Corporatists control every aspect of our government with their billions of dollars. Both political parties are partipating in this, even though the strongest thrust is with the Republican Fascists. This MUST be changed and this may be our last chance to try to do that. In the 1930’s the Germans looked the other way with the rise of the Third Reich. There is always risk in making change but we cannot rely on this two party system to act on our behalves. WE CANNOT SUPPORT THIS APPROACH TO SOLVING OUR PROBLEMS OR WE CAN BE ALMOST CERTAIN WHAT THE OUTCOME WILL BE!
Perhaps one the most outspoken persons today who speaks eloquently about this subject is Chris Hedges. Here is a recent radio interview you should hear. And here is one of Chris’s most recent posts describing his activism in New York City. There are many more from Chris but I leave you with a song from one of my favorite artists, Leonard Cohen, “The Future”, for your enjoyment pleasure.
Superb creative graphics here provided by Tracy Knauss.