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At $30,000 a plate dinner, Obama tells base: Ah, shaddup!!!!!

(Update) As ilustratated by riverdaughter:

As related at Salon:

Obama's view of liberal criticisms
By Glenn Greenwald

Last night, Barack Obama spoke at a $30,000 per plate DNC fundraising event at the "home of Richard and Ellen Richman, who live in the exclusive Conyers Farm development in Greenwich [Connecticut]'s famed 'back country' neighborhood," and said the following about liberal critics of his presidency:

Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn't there. If you get the financial reform bill passed -- then, well, I don't know about this particular derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven't yet brought about world peace and -- (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.) We have had the most productive, progressive legislative session in at least a generation.


What's most striking about Obama's comments is that there is no acceptance whatsoever of responsibility (I've failed in some critical areas; we could have/should have done better). There's not even any base-motivating vow to fight to fix these particular failures (we'll keep fighting for a public option/to curb executive power abuses/to reduce lobbyist and corporate control of our political process). Instead, he wants you to know that if you criticize him -- or even question what he's done ("well, I don't know about this particular derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that") -- it's your fault: for being some sort of naive, fringe-leftist idiot who thought he would eliminate the Pentagon and bring about world peace in 18 months, and/or because you simply don't sufficiently appreciate everything he's done for you because you're congenitally dissatisfied.

New midterm slogan: If we keep voting for the Dems, maybe they'll stop hitting us.

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Submitted by lambert on

Since the public option was kabuki in itself -- that helped Obama achieve his own policy goal, which was to bail out the insurance companies. What a shithead!

Submitted by Randall Kohn on

Yet there are those who by now are pretty much on the same page as Corrente re Obama, who still feel the PO was (or coulda woulda shoulda been) legit. I know FDL and Jane Hamsher are not exactly faves here, but she covers the same event in even more scathing language than Glenzilla in her post Obama Mocks Public Option Supporters. /Rodney King

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

there are people -- sometimes majorities, even -- who feel they are legit. Doesn't make them legit.

"Public option" is accurately defined as:

some sort of undetermined amount of access to some sort of undetermined program with some sort of undetermined benefits and some sort of farcical hope of creating some sort of competition to Big Insurance.

What is the plausibility that the bought-and-sold lawmakers who crookedly eliminated proven reform approaches (single-payer, nationalized healthcare) from the discussion would have crafted a meaningful policy based on this conceptual cipher, one that would bite the hands that feed them?

Simple answers to simple questions: zero. See also: zilch, zip, nada.

Submitted by lambert on

.... if people hadn't felt it was "legit." That's why it worked as bait!

What amazes me is that people still cling to it, want to use it for "write-ins," and so forth -- when it's a classic neo-liberal solution that leaves a rigged market in health insurance for profit at the center of the system. The career "progressives" have a lot to answer for on this one, not that they ever will, and in retrospect it's a mercy they never got seriously involved with FinReg, or that would have been even worse than it already is.

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Submitted by Rangoon78 on

Dear moderator, could you delete email tag from last comment. Please

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on


Submitted by lambert on

... but FYI email names in posts are scrambled, so that even though humans can see them, crawlers can't grab them, or at least have a hard time doing so.

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

Labor leaders, alarmed at a possible Republican takeover of one or both houses of Congress, promise to devote a record amount of money and manpower to helping Democrats stave off disaster. But political analysts, and union leaders themselves, say that their efforts may not be enough because union members, like other important parts of the Democratic base, are not feeling particularly enthusiastic about the party -- a reality that, in turn, further dampens the Democrats’ chances of holding onto their Congressional majorities.

(Bolding from the article.)

But, but, but..but...but... Those (union folks and such) are the same folks that Donna Brazille said would not be needed in the brave new world of the Obama new Dem Party. "Y'all just go along home now - we don't need you anymore we have this brand new, spiffy group of voters that will vote for us from now on."

Uh-huh. That's working out well I see.

Submitted by cg.eye on

... because that's when he lets the mask slip, and undoes all that OFB propaganda about him giving a damn about anyone other than the banksters.

"We have had the most productive, progressive legislative session in at least a generation." Exsqueeze me? The session threatened day and night by the filibuster? The one where he compromised every goddamn piece of legislation written by putrid lobbyists, in the name of bipartisanship? WTF?

Submitted by jawbone on

lets slip the words of truth to those private fundraisers -- where the audience is definitely in the top echelon of wealth in the US.

He feels comfortable enough to tell them what he really thinks, and, for the most part, what he's said to those private fundraisers is what he ends up actually doing.

Watch out, SocSec and Medicare/-aid. After that, what will he cut, slice away on, undermine? He hasn't yet gone after Federal civil service employees' wages/salaries, health care, and pensions, has he?

Gov.Chris "We can't raise taxes on the rich!" Christie is now going full bore after public employees' pensions and salaries. I just saw video of him taking some street fighter body stance (jaw stuck out, head forward, hands at chest height, elbows out, moving his fingers toware his chest as if to say "Wanna piece of me? Just try it!") when he addressed a firefighters' group. Apparently there had been some boos; he said if you think you can outshout me, you've got another think coming, etc. He then told them they had to take cuts to their pensions and health care if retired, wages if still working (iirc), for the good of the state budget. Next he'll be telling them they have to work and climb ladders until they're 70 or something.

But, we dare not raise taxes on the Uberwealthy!

And contractual rights do not, apparently, apply to worker bees.

Submitted by lambert on

Obama's sneering, snarky tone is quite reminiscent of Bush, isn't it?

Dear Lord. 45,000 people a year dying for lack of health care, a plan that doesn't kick in 'til 2014, and The Big O tells us to eat his shit and like it. No thanks.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

No, Mr. Yuppie, I am congenitally hard-wired to see a shit sandwich when I see it. Report comes out about One in seven people in poverty and one in four children are poor and now 51 million people are uninsured, as our "Betters" are chortling and eating caviar. Dear leader is in his element. He has arrived. He's part of the club now. There are clinical names for his behavior, but it's common term is "full of himself".

Time for a real labor party. From Tom Geoghegan we learn that 73% of the U.S. are non college educated. Unlike Germany, they have no representation at all. Germany respects their skilled tool makers. These are the doers. Every successful civilization is run by the tool makers. Also the Germans don't preach that college is the answer and that you are cooler if you went to college. Our colleges now teach us how to be drones. Germany refused to accept the badgering of US and UK neo-liberals about their unions. And so they are on top of the exporting world. They went for quality while we went for quantity of crap and unproductive finance frauds.

Is it too late? We could adopt the co-determination boards that Germany has. Their boards are comprised of half workers. These workers along with the big unions can tell their company, BASF for example, that they can locate their headquarters in Great Britain with weak labor unions but not without a co-determination board. I read somewhere that they can tell Bosch that they can have factories in Indonesia as long as not one German Bosch employee loses his or her job. And a funny thing happened, Bosch's profits keep going up. They also have their immigrants in the union so no immigrant is taking away a job. They are paid the same as Germans. This is in manufacturing. There is unfortunately not much union membership in the hotel and restaurant service industry.

But maybe start with small government banks like the German Sparkasse. It would act like a real public option. In Germany these banks lend to small manufacturers at low interest. These manufacturers keep Germany's trade balance in tact. And they issue credit cards. So no more money given to the banksters. The interest goes back into these people's banks. This is similar to the early colonial money in various colonies especially Pennsylvania.

Such a great book "Were You Born on the Wrong Continent". Fun read. Couldn't put it down.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on


He's going to need a lot of those fundraisers because he's never going to get the grass roots money he got last time. Hey Obama, you might want to study the Adrian Fenty situation. I know you're way smarter than he is, but oh, never mind.

It would not surprise me if Obama chose Fenty as his next chief of staff.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

he's not going to get the Wall Street money he got last time because he hasn't sucked up to them sufficiently. He's already decided he can do without the grassroots cash.

Submitted by Hugh on

This is Bush. Remember when Bush got up before a dinner of movers and shakers? In his best smirk mode, he said that they were his people, you know the haves and the have mores. It was a throw off line but it encapsulated the essence of his Presidency. There is nothing so memorable in Obama's remarks, but this is his "have and have more" moment.

This was not "the most productive, progressive legislative session in at least a generation" because there was nothing progressive about it. But remember Obama was speaking to an audience of wealthy corporatists. For them, it was indeed extremely productive: an enormous sellout on healthcare, the slashing of Medicare, ongoing bailouts and support for the banksters, the spiking of any real financial reform, keeping the stock market bubble going via the Fed's ZIRP, stopping climate change legislation cold, and the prospect of taking a major chunk out of Social Security.

If you are a MOTU, the Democrats and Republicans are like A1 and Worchestershire sauce. Either way you get the steak.

Brian.Nelson's picture
Submitted by Brian.Nelson on

I find it interesting that there are millions of former pro-Obama supporters out there who are now finally seeing the light. This man has his own agenda and he will stop at nothing. The only thing to do is to vote out the dems. Then the entire government will stop because he will veto everything that the repubs want to do. If the online casino sites government can't get anything done then maybe we Americans can actually fix the economy ourselves.

Submitted by lambert on

I don't read the blogs where online activism, such as it was, goes on -- FDL, OL, DK, and so on and so forth. Are they in full fund-raising mode, with bats and all that, or have they gone dark?

My impression is that they have gone dark, since that stuff bleeds over into Eschaton and the Sideshow, which I still do read, but am I right? Because if "the netroots" have walked away, that's a very interesting data point.