Skip to main content

The real Obama revealed. A poor record on most levels

There is now a body of informed opinion which holds that Obama is certainly no libertarian, that he is the worst president when it comes to the way whistle blowers are treated, he speaks much but delivers little and as a lawyer, many of the laws he has supported have curtailed liberties - and probably most importantly, he has failed his constituency over favouring the likes of Wall St.

"You have to hand it to Barack Obama when it comes to having it both ways: He never stops serving the ruling class, yet the mainstream media, from right to left, continues to pretend that he’s some sort of reincarnation of Franklin D. Roosevelt, fully committed to the downtrodden and deeply hostile to the privileged and the rich.

The president’s double game was never more adroit than during his most recent State of the Union address. Reacting to the speech, the right-wing columnist Charles Krauthammer spoke on Fox News of Obama’s “activist government” beliefs and his penchant for “painting the Republicans as the party of the rich” while portraying himself as the defender of the “middle class, Medicare and all this other stuff.” Meanwhile, the “liberal” New York Times praised his “broad second-term agenda” as “impressive” and blamed the G.O.P. for “standing in the way” of the many liberal reforms that the president supposedly wants to enact to help the poor and the middle class.

Yet the address contained hardly anything progressive: On the contrary, Obama’s proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to only $9 an hour — and not for two years — was a populist parody. Under the president’s proposal, a minimum-wage worker supporting a family of three (two parents, one child) would make $18,720 a year in 2015 — barely above today’s federal poverty line of $18,480 and well short of the 1968 peak, inflation-adjusted, of $21,840 a year, or $10.50 an hour. Combined with Obama’s mosquito bite of an increase in the top marginal income-tax rate to 39.6 percent — restoring Bill Clinton’s top rate would still put it at way less than the Eisenhower-era top rate of 91 percent — the minimum-wage bill insults the many millions of less fortunate people who voted for the incumbent. So much for “activist government” and an “impressive” agenda.

Of course, I don’t take this sort of hyperbolic commentary seriously anymore. If Obama ever had a “philosophy,” it’s about power sharing — that is, sharing parts of his plastic personality with the powers that be — from the Daley brothers in Chicago who advanced his career, to the bankers and hedge-fund mangers who financed his campaigns, to the lobbyists and party barons in Washington who write his legislative proposals. Never has a leading American Democrat (including the dean of “New Democrats,” Bill Clinton) done less to promote “activist government” in support of less-privileged people while getting so much undeserved credit for “trying” to help them."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…