Obama’s elite power base

Both right- and left-wing critics fail to consider the fundamental nature of the Obama regime. This presidency represents not a traditional ideology but a new politics that mirrors the rise of a new, and potentially hegemonic class, one for which Obama is a near-perfect representative.

His support comes from financial interests, software, and alt energy, with now-wavering support from public sector unions. But these primarily are monied elites, city folks who live on both coasts but not in the heartland. So, in many ways, they are isolated from the mainstream.

But Obama’s class strategy also poses considerable longer-term risks. The cognitive elites – clustered in places like Washington, New York, Boston, or Silicon Valley – tend to only talk to and listen to each other. This often makes them slow to recognize shifts in grassroots opinion on such issues as the health plan or global warming.

That’s why they barely see the populist uprising coming. Or, if they do see it, discount it as inconsequential.

That risks continued erosion of support from many hard-pressed middle-class voters around the country more concerned with economic growth and holding onto their home than saving the planet. These are precisely the voters, not the tea party activists or their leftist analogues, who likely will determine the political winners in 2010 and beyond.

I disagree a bit here. The discontent on the fringes is steadily going mainstream as a corporatist administration, habitually it now seems, favors corporate interests over the rest of us. That discontent will continue to grow.

  • I’m not sure I’d lump Silicon Valley in with any ‘powerhouses’ these days, having read earlier somewhere or the other today a report of 43 million sq ft (4 million sq m) of empty commercial real estate – “high-rises and commercial parks”, if I recall the quote correctly.

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