Obama: Servile Facilitator and Protector of the Political Establishment
In his now-infamous press conference defending his call to extend criminal Bush tax breaks for billionaires and corporations (and raise taxes on the poor), President Barack Obama angrily jabbed his finger at his critics, lambasting them as “sanctimonious”.
This telling moment dispelled all illusions about what interests Obama truly represents; whose side he is really on.
Obama’s Orwellian embrace of all things corporate and politically rightward has been deliberate, forceful and consistent throughout his career; not the product of cowardice, weakness, incompetence, naïve idealism, or bad timing. This is Barack Obama, as he has always been: a servile facilitator and protector of the political establishment; an insidious capitulator and “consensus man”; a sellout who piously sits back and lets others fight (while railing against their “bickering”), and then accepts whatever deal is politically expedient —no matter what morals or principles he violates, no matter who or what he betrays. To the pious, sanctimonious and self-serving Obama, it is wrong to be a “purist”, but good to be “impure”; a muddler. A sellout.
It must be pointed out that Obama’s attack on the liberal political base is not shocking or unexpected. His mythical image and occasional populist rhetoric aside, the Obama has never been a liberal, or even a “centrist”. As evidenced by his record, he fully supports the destruction of liberalism
It is no surprise to find Obama aping the similarly corrupt Bill Clinton, whose political “triangulation” strategy in the 1990s continues to destroy to this day. (It is also no surprise that we Obama has enlisted Bill Clinton himself to help sell the Bush tax cut extension to the Democratic Party base that no longer trusts Obama.) (It will fail.)
For Wall Street’s billionaires, the Pentagon’s warmongers, and Washington’s most shamelessly corrupt, there has been no greater gift than Obama and his presidency. Obama is doing the job that was given to him, and he is as haughtily pleased with himself as George W. Bush was.
The mendacity of hope
Those who seeking an explanation for Obama’s behavior need look no further than Roger D. Hodge’s new book, The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism.
Hodge’s incisive and withering analysis of Obama and his presidency comes at an ideal moment.
The world (particularly the baffled political Left that has been Obama’s favorite target for destruction) seeks answers as to why Obama has kept none of his campaign promises and why, instead, he has shamelessly and unapologetically continued and expanded on Bush/Cheney’s looting and atrocities.
As Hodge writes:
“His preposterously two-faced approach to Afghanistan is a perfect illustration of his compulsion to split the difference on any given political question—as is the disgraceful inertia of his response to [Deepwater Horizon/ BP] the worst environmental catastrophe in American history. He dillydallies, draws out both friends and opponents, dangles promises in front of everyone, gives a dramatic speech, and then pulls back to gauge the reaction. Since the policy itself is incoherent—and, as usual with Obama, riddled with stipulations and conditions—he can always trim and readjust as necessary….Since Obama is an intelligent man, surely he understands the meaning of mendacity.”
“Let us grant that Barack Obama is as intelligent as his admirers insist. What evidence do we possess that he is also a moral virtuoso? What evidence do we possess that he is a good, wise, or even a decent man? Yes, he can be eloquent, yet eloquence is no guarantee of wisdom or of virtue…Public morality reveals itself through public action, and all available public evidence points to a man with the character of a common politician, whose singular ambition in life was to attain power; nothing in Barack Obama’s political career suggests that he would ever willingly commit himself to a course of action that would cost him an election.”
“A proper understanding of our predicament can follow only from the realization that Obama, on his own terms, has not failed—his change-hope vision was always a mirage. In fact, Obama is doing what he set out to do…If we are to move forward politically, we must come to terms with the fact that Obama did not come to save American liberalism: he came to bury it.”
The politics of surrender
In a 2008 election editorial, The Black Commentator offered this prescient warning:
“If Obama is elected president, this electoral movement, with its heightened expectations and illusions, is bound to come up against, and clash with, the realities of the policies implemented by Obama. Supporters of the Democratic Party will no doubt tell us – as they have done countless times in the past with other Democratic Party presidents – to give Obama more time and a wider political space to act, and not to push him prematurely (so as not to awaken the Republican sharks waiting to attack him).
“We will be told – including by many of Obama’s “critical supporters” – to be patient, and then more patient, while at that very same time Obama puts into place the corporatist-type structures used so craftily by the ruling parties and institutions in Europe in the recent period (both of the right and of the so-called left) to co-opt, silence, demobilize and ultimately demoralize the working class and social protest movements.”
Now, two years later, this exact scenario has come to pass, as America’s first black president has not only continued the abuses of Bush/Cheney, but institutionalized them, while continuing to preach surrender.
In his press conference, Obama derided his Democratic Party critics for losing sight of the “long game”, as if anybody on earth still believes or trusts him. There is no “long game”. The jig is up.
It is bitterly ironic that America’s first black president has turned out to be the epitome of what Malcolm X called the “house negro” who obediently serves his master while keeping the “unruly field negroes” passive, peaceful and in check.
To quote Malcolm X again, this kind of individual is “somebody to come and tell you that your house is safe, while you’re sitting on a powder keg. This is the mentality today. Rather than face up to the facts concerning the danger that you’re in, you would rather have someone come along and jive you and tell you that everything is all right and pack you to sleep.”
The world sits atop a powder keg. And while Barack Obama signs checks for the corrupt and the wealthy, he jives.