Glen Ford Calls Out Obama for His Ruthless Advocacy of Corporatism & Destruction of the Democratic Party
Glen Ford has long recognized and called out Obama's determined blue-doggedness in doing all he can as President to promote and permanently entrench corporatism. Glen Ford on Obama’s Tuesday press conference:
Oozing condescension and a certain cattiness, Obama dismissed Democratic critics for playing "games" while he did what was necessary to wring an unemployment benefits extension from the Republicans. As Obama tells it, he stood like a pragmatic rock - if one can imagine such a thing - between the Republican "hostage-takers" and the "purist" and "sanctimonious" Democrats - a party of one.
Ford takes issue with Obama’s ferocious audacity in referring back to his "pragmatic compromise” to establish a health care bill. Ford:
Actually, Obama was determined from the start of his presidency to conspire with Republicans and corporate leaders to derail any possibility of a bill that might set the stage for single-payer legislation in 2009 or some future Congress. Instead, Obama protected private insurers by locking them so tightly into the system that it will be near impossible to dislodge them in the foreseeable future. Obama accomplished this, not just by ruthlessly marginalizing single-payer supporters, but also by choosing his own congressional operatives and effectively bypassing Democratic leadership - much the same m.o. as in his latest "compromise" with the GOP. He wielded the power of the White House and the false lure of bipartisanism to utterly smash the left half of his party, deriding the dwindling "public option" holdouts as starry-eyed perfectionists who had become the enemies of the good - a performance he reprised on Tuesday in lambasting critics of deal with the GOP on taxes on the rich.
In the course of the long health care battle - a struggle waged entirely within Democratic ranks -Obama let the air out of the Democratic balloon, and the GOP steadily rose from its valley of near-death. The Republicans wound up conceding nothing on health care, while their corporate patrons won more than they could have dared imagine back on Election Day, 2008, when it seemed that single-payer was an idea whose time had come.
The health care victory that Obama still celebrates was a defeat of fellow Democrats by the combination of a solid Republican minority, the right wing of congressional Democrats, and Obama's White House. This is Obama's formula for governance - what I call his "comfort zone" - a political space previously inhabited by Bill Clinton. Whatever the Clintons and Obama think about each other on the personal level, they have together laid a great money pipeline that flows from Wall Street to the coffers of corporate Democrats - most dramatically, bankrolling much of Obama's $700 million presidential campaign. In return, Obama reinstated the Clinton finance capitalist team that had a decade earlier reversed Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal banking regulations. Obama turned the Wall Streeters loose to engineer the greatest transfer of wealth in human history - an ongoing project that has in less than two years transformed the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve into sugar daddies and guarantors of finance capital, worldwide, at a cost of tens of trillions of dollars. The bailouts have melded with and overshadowed in the public mind Obama's tepid 2009 stimulus, so that Republicans can speak effectively of the two phenomena as if they are the same thing - a trick made much easier by the fact that Obama also rhetorically linked the bailouts and stimulus as one-two Democratic economic punches.
As for Obama’s pro-corporate shenanigans re the finance bill, Ford:
Meanwhile, Obama guided the Democrats to pass a fraudulent financial regulation bill that left the derivatives casino-economy intact, if not more strongly entrenched.
The Great Recession, which by all historical rights should have sent the Republicans into eclipse for a generation, instead saw a miraculous GOP rebound that left the Democrats shattered and pitifully incoherent. That's the real big picture of Obama's brief presidency - a period of breathtaking dissolution of the Democratic Party as Obama facilitated the swallowing whole of the American state by Wall Street.
Some say “to-may-to”, others say “to-mah-to.” Obama says, “Bipartisan framework.” Those paying attention say, “BETRAYAL!”