Strange, but candidate Obama sounds like the furthest thing in the world from a 'Blue Dog' in that speech. If anything, he resoundingly sounds like a progressive populist ready to take on the 'status quo' no matter what the cost.
But hindsight is 20/20, and as time has gone by, the 'real' Obama has emerged.
In this scenario, Obama has always been more comfortable with the center-right forces within the Democratic party--Senator Max Baucus and the Blue Dogs--and the Clintonistas of DLC lineage who now fill his administration. His real political challenge was to string along the liberals with reassuring talk until they were stuck with lousy choices-- either go along with this popular president's pale version of reform or take him on and risk ruining his presidency. This sounds a lot like the choices Democrats faced during the Clinton years. Candidate Obama said it was "time to turn the page." We are still waiting to see what he meant.
I do not subscribe to the manipulative, deceptive portrait (not yet), but you can find lots of supporting evidence in Obama's behavior. His response to the financial crisis demonstrates a clear desire to restore Wall Street power, not to change it. His war strategy in Afghanistan looks like the familiar trap of open-ended counterinsurgency. The trap may soon close on him when the generals announce their need for more troops. Will this president dare to say no? Obama negotiated a truly ugly deal with the pharmaceutical industry--a promise not to use government bargaining power to bring down drug prices. His lieutenants still yearn to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility' by taxing the health-care benefits of union members or whacking Social Security.
In the above video President Obama speaks of 'shared responsibilities' yet, to the contrary he has failed beyond reason to hold Wall Street and the Banks accountable for the greatest 'Heist' and transfer of wealth with controlled fraud, but has egregiously failed to stand up and demand an emergency reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, or do as the the British government and now France have done which is to unilaterally announced a one-off tax of 50 percent on bankers' bonuses above $40,700. Indeed, President Obama has surrounded himself with the same group of 'failed' Wall Street insiders: Rubin, Summers, Geithner and Bernanke who were most certainly responsible for the destruction of our economy in the first place.
President Obama talks about a 'Rescue for the Middle Class' in the above video, yet to date, let us take a simple program that again shows the stark reality of Main Street vs. Wall Street/Bankers that was reported by Elizabeth Warren:
* Nationwide, only 10,187 homeowners have received permanent mortgage modifications. That's only 4.7 percent of those enrolled in three-month trial plans. In October, Herbert M. Allison Jr., the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial stability, told the panel that Treasury had internally forecast that "up to 75 percent" of trial modifications would achieve permanent status.
* Of the 79 mortgage services enrolled in the program, only 10 have received payment for successfully modifying loans on a permanent basis. They earned $2.3 million for their efforts. By contrast, the administration had set aside $50 billion in bailout money for modifications on mortgages not owned by government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The data is through the end of October. The administration launched its foreclosure prevention drive in March.
HAMP was supposed to help three to four million homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying their mortgages, enabling them to make lower monthly payments. But with 10 percent unemployment (a 26-year-high), mounting foreclosures and as many as one third of all homeowners with a mortgage currently owing more on the mortgage than the underlying property is worth, the program simply "isn't working," Warren said.
"The program that Treasury has designed does not have the scope, the scale, or the permanence needed to deal with the foreclosure problem," she said.
It's a stinging indictment of a program launched to great fanfare not even a year ago, as President Obama sought to help aggrieved homeowners on Main Street who had watched for months as massive infusions of taxpayer dollars went to Wall Street instead.
It is simply stunning to me to find the 'hidden duplicity' that President Obama seems to believe that he is somehow 'getting away with' and that perhaps 'his base' are not noticing what is really going on behind closed doors as opposed to this 'Main Street Mask' he wears in front of the camera, while all actions speak otherwise:
President Barack Obama is actively discouraging Senate Democrats in their effort to include a public insurance option with a state opt-out clause as part of health care reform. In its place, say multiple Democratic sources, Obama has indicated a preference for an alternative policy, favored by the insurance industry, which would see a public plan "triggered" into effect in the future by a failure of the industry to meet certain benchmarks.
The administration retreat runs counter to the letter and the spirit of Obama's presidential campaign. The man who ran on the "Audacity of Hope" has now taken a more conservative stand than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), leaving progressives with a mix of confusion and outrage. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have battled conservatives in their own party in an effort to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Now tantalizingly close, they are calling for Obama to step up.
In the above video, President Obama talks about how 'Wall Street should know better' - as if that were all he had the power to do: scold them, instead of taking direct action as mentioned above in my diary: Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, Tax the bonuses up to 50 percent as has the UK and France, place a tax on trades within Wall Street itself, and above all, demand a real Pecora Commission with an Independent Investigator of exactly what happened and who was responsible for taking our economy down like the Titanic.
But let's take a closer look at the comparison between the current projected 'bonuses' that Wall Street and the Bankers are paying out this year of all time 'record profits' based on 'our dime' - $140 billion is the amount of projected bonuses this year:
How much is $140 billion?
The U.S. economy grew at a $89 billion annualized rate in the third quarter. That was the first growth since the second quarter of 2008 and came to $22 billion in actual growth in the third quarter.
The bankers, after causing the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression, are rewarded with six times the growth accomplished so far in the much heralded "economic recovery."
Meanwhile, seven million families face foreclosure and 25 million Americans can’t find full time work.
Tom Hartman sees very clearly exactly what the 'duplicity' of President Obama is leading to:
First they came for the banksters, and showered them with money and put them in the Administration in a way that was not change we could believe in.
Then they came for the military industrial complex, and sent more and more of our children to die in faraway lands that had never attacked us in a way that was not change we could believe in.
And now they've sold out our hope for a national health care system now run by millionaire gangsters in suits. And who is left to speak for us?
First Obama continued Bush's policy of giving the banksters money, and we protested feebly.
Then he expanded Bush's wars, and we protested more loudly.
Now he's going to force us to give trillions to the gangsters who run the "health insurance" companies (while they promise to behave nicely in return) and thinks we're going to go along with it and it'll get him re-elected.
He's wrong. And that's why Obama is heading for a disaster.
Please, President Obama, step up and lead. We'd like some that "change we can believe in" that's actually the real thing.
One of the primary reasons Americans will not be able to 'negotiate' with other countries for cheaper drugs, has to do with the 'closed door' deal the President Obama made with Big Pharma. This 'deal' will cost the American people billions and billions of dollars over the next several years. The people that will be affected are those that are least able to pay for their prescriptions, such as the elderly and the disabled. Americans already pay up to 50 percent higher costs in drugs than any other nation. Hat tip to 'lizard people' for this video.
The reason that I did this 'video' diary was because I wanted everyone to actually see the 'Candidate' that we placed our trust in, not just from memory but through the words, actions and deeds of President Obama. It is easy to say such things as: I always knew that Obama was a corporate centrist now, but watching these videos tells an entirely different story, when we all worked our asses off to get him elected.
I don't even recognize the person I worked so hard for who is our Commander in Chief and President these days. I am not so naive as to believe that there are some politicians that will 'say anything, no matter how big the lie' to get elected, but in the case of President Obama, he instilled in the hearts of millions of suffering and forgotten middle class and poverty stricken people in our nation, that it was going to be a time to, above all change the status quo, and above all that this election, as he said, 'was our moment, our time, that it was about us' and in the end, he has broken that bond of trust and and betrayed not just a small portion of his own party, the so called progressives, but has destroyed the 'confidence' in his ability as a leader.
After the devastating results of Reagan, Bush and Clinton, we had this rare opportunity to reclaim the soul of the Democratic Party, the working man's party, and now due to President Obama's duplicity and corporate Wall Street/Banking ties that have become dubious and recalcitrant, President Obama 'instead of righting the ship' and steering us clear of the dangers of being completely swallowed whole by the very Corporate Robber Barons he 'railed against' during his campaign, he has become a 'moral political hazard' to our own party and this maybe the last the season when Democrats reveal which side they are on.
We were told that if we did not bailout the Banks and Wall Street, our countries economy would be destroyed. After bailing them out, our economy was destroyed regardless, and now these same crooks and liars are making record profits and the largest bonuses in the history of our nation.
Now President Obama is essentially pulling the exact same stunt: if we do not vote for the Health Care Reform bill, which is nothing more than another 'transfer of wealth' to the Private Insurance Companies (exactly like the Wall Street rip-off) that our country will 'go bankrupt'.
Here's a clue President Obama: We are already bankrupt, and because President Obama has refused to lead and has chosen instead to 'pretend' he is working for Main Street, his duplicity has left his own party morally bankrupt, spiritually bankrupt and physically bankrupt. Good luck getting one fucking penny from your so-called base.
We can thank Rahm for pushing the so called 'liberal agenda' under the bus and trying to discredit Howard Dean and the entire Labor movement 'as just another bunch of lefty wing nuts' - when it wasn't about that at all. It was always about the power and the money and making certain that above all the Robber Barons made out in the end because the more 'butter they had on their bread' was and always has been the bottom line for Rahm and Obama.
What they are not 'getting' is the tsunami that is rearing it's 100 foot wave behind them as they are all slapping each other on the back, congratulating one another for the 60 votes they have 'blackmailed' their Whorish counterparts for in the next great 'transfer of wealth' to the Private Insurance Companies.
There is an enormous, rising tide of populism that crosses party lines in objection to the Senate bill. We opposed the bank bailouts, the AIG bonuses, the lack of transparency about the Federal Reserve, "bailout" Ben Bernanke, and the way the Democrats have used their power to sell the country's resources to secure their own personal advantage, just as the libertarians have. In fact, we've worked together with them to oppose these things. What we agree on: both parties are working against the interests of the public, the only difference is in the messaging.
With unemployment at 10%, the idea that you can pass a bill whose only merit is that "liberals hate it" just because the media will eat it up and print your talking points in the process is so cynical and short-sighted it's hard to comprehend anyone would pursue it. It reflects a total insensitivity to the rage that is brewing on the popular front, which is manifest in every single poll out there. Yet time and again, we're told "Obama retains his popularity with liberals" and that "screeching liberal bloggers" aren't having an impact. Nobody seems to notice that the "screeching liberal bloggers" are reflecting the very same sentiments of the vast majority of the country, whether the very small segment of the population who self-identify as "extremely liberal" holds the President responsible or no.
Rahm Emanuel has convinced himself that Ron Brownstein is a "liberal" and dismisses all of this as "the progressive backlash against the progressive backlash." He's betting that any inadequacies will be forgotten come November 2010 if the Dems can claim a "w" by passing any crap bill and slapping "health care" on it. And that if Congress just spends the next year naming post offices, any objections that Americans might have to paying 8% of their incomes to private corporations who will use the IRS as their collection agency will just disappear. It's scary to think that people this obscenely stupid are running the country. All the while, the painfully obvious left/right transpartisan consensus that is coalescing against DC insiders of both parties appears to be taking everyone by surprise.
I sadly must agree with that last sentence that reads: 'It is scary to think that people this obscenely stupid are running the country.'
The fact that President Obama actually believes along with that idiot Rahm or the Whorish Democratic Senators, that there is not a tsunami of epic rage coming right at them is utterly amazing to me.
The 'Candidate' Obama in the videos above has somehow been swallowed whole by the 'machine' that has become our 'Ruling Class Oligarchy' whose hubris knows no bounds. But there will be consequences and this will not end well. Duplicity always has it's price.
My heart aches for what could have been, what should have been, what has been lost and how much we as a political party will 'pay for' the political moral hazard of 'Candidate Obama.'
Can we at least stop 'pretending' that this election was ever 'about us, about Main Street,' about the Middle Class or about fighting against the 'status quo?'
The real President Obama is finally coming into vivid focus, but the videos I've put in this diary are living proof of the 'Candidate Obama' who seems to have vanished into thin air.
For many, Candidate Obama was a transcending political figure, the last great hope of finally digging the heart and soul of the Democratic party out of the depths and finding once again the 'intentions' of justice for a 'new deal' for a new and fresh start such as FDR presented during our last great depression. To 'pretend' that Candidate Obama did not present himself as this 'Warrior for Main Street' is ludicrous at best, and to find that the person we elected hasn't the stomach for standing up to Wall Street and the Banks, or the very Corporate interests he ran against, but has chosen to take 'the easy way out' by abandoning those people that held their trust in his 'words' is a betrayal that will not be forgotten for a very long time within our party.
Don't take my word for it, just watch the videos.
UPDATE: Thanks for recommending this diary. This has been one of the most difficult diaries I have ever written. Like many of you who worked to so hard to make certain that President Obama was elected, I had great hopes that he meant those words that I have noted in these various videos. I have not, nor plan to 'give up' on my President or the Democratic party. However, having said that, I was taught the difference between right and wrong, courage and cowardly behavior, that your word is your 'bond' and that trust and integrity were standards and values that in the end, defines all of us as human beings and who and what we are. Holding our elected 'public servants' to their 'actions, words and deeds' are all that we have in the end. If we cannot demand that our elected officials honor the 'faith and trust' of our political body, then we are lost. I only hope that in holding President Obama's feet to the fire, that he finds that person inside of him, to go forward on the behalf of the American people (not Wall Street, not the Banks, not the Private Health Care Industry or Corporations) but remember that we are the same people that expect a 'fair shake, a bit of justice, accountability and a honest days pay for an honest days labor.' We are not looking for a 'handout' like so many of these bailed out Corporations, but we are not going to stand helplessly by when blatant favoritism for these Corporations continues time and time again.
That is wrong. That is 'selling us out' and that is not who I voted for in this last election. Enough is enough. Thank you.
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