Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers "at the expense of hardworking Americans."
Then he got elected.
What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.
Taibbi's article is long, but is a must read. When I was finished, I was physically ill.
Update: As many posters have pointed out, this was not really a diary because it did not have enough original content. True. I was in a hurry to get this out, and had to leave quickly. Guilty as charged, and I apologize.
What struck me about this article was the fact that Obama tossed out the liberals who were a very critical part of his campaign once he became elected, in favor of the Rubens, Geithners, etc. He has now surrounded himself with the very people at the heart of the financial mess we're in now.
Also troubling to me personally regarding Obama's financial appointments is that - as an entity - they may have given Bob Rubin perhaps the most influence any one Wall Street insider has ever had in government. And Bob Rubin is no friend of liberals.