Liberal anguish over Obama’s self-fulfilling prophecy

This is a duck

Jon Perr has a thoughtful but misguided piece at Crooks and Liars pondering why Obama’s popularity is sagging so precipitously. Is the problem that Obama is “hostage to his own fetish of bipartisanship.” Was he too timid in trying to get his version of health care and an economic stimulus passed because he desperately wants consensus? What, oh what, could the problem be?

Look, I’m sure Jon is a nice guy and he seems genuinely sincere as well as baffled at the nosedive in Obama’s popularity. But if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck – it’s a duck. Obama is a corporatist. So are most Republicans. Obama doesn’t fight Republicans because he’s nobly trying to find consensus among a sea of duplicitous sharks. The reason Obama doesn’t fight against Republicans is because he mostly agrees with them. It’s the corporatist class against the rest of us. Democrats as well as Republicans are members.

The prime beneficiary of the economic stimulus has been Wall Street. Banks have received hundreds of billions, if not trillions to keep them propped up when, if any of those involved were actual capitalists, such institutions would be allowed to fail. Accounting rules have been rigged so banks can mark to fantasy not reality, then book phony profits. They still get their huge, piggish bonuses too. As for criminal prosecutions against banks laundering money for drug cartels, oh gosh, that could hurt the market, so they get slap on the wrist fines instead.

DC locked arms with BP early on after the spill and it’s clear there’s been a cover up. Torture? Net neutrality? After some inspiring lofty speeches from Obama on this, business as usual has continued. These are all examples of a corporatist agenda.

And all the liberal hand-wringing in the world won’t change that.


  1. If the corporatist duck is the appropriate symbol of Obama, perhaps self-described liberals and progressives who continue to do the grunt work to ensure implementation of the Democratic and Republican party’s corporatist agenda, maybe the appropriate symbol for grassroots rank and file of the ruling parties is the ostrich.

    The thing is, not only are liberals and progressives in denial about the fact that Obama is a corporatist, Obama himself forgets that he’s “corporate” as well, which was clear from this week’s video/radio address.

    • Never confuse what people say with what they do. Bush promised us smaller government and less spending, while expanding government and spending more than any previous president ever dreamed of. Obama promised a return to sanity, while continuing almost all of the Bush policies– including warrantless wiretapping, the Patriot Act, REAL-ID, NAIS, and torture of enemy combatants (the latter he publicly opposes, but does it anyway).

      The words of a politician have no meaning; they are just what he/she says to get elected. A politician must be judged by his/her actions, and so far as I can see, Obama is Bush III.

  2. We all know that those who sit on the seat of government are in the pay of the corporate world, they call the shots, who gets invaded and when, where the tax payers money goes etc. So what’s next, new bums on seats, nicer smiles at the podium, while leaving the same corporate power in control? The system stinks from top to bottom, it is the system that should be criticised not the individuals that manage it, an Obama here a Blair there, so what, what changes. When the mass euphoria broke out at the election of Obama I reminded people of the same euphoria when Blair was elected which quickly turned to an effort to get him indicted. Over the years I have seen a multitude of smiling faces form governments and seen a library of election manifestos held aloft, but little changes, our standard of living goes up a little and goes down again, but we always struggle. We go to war on an alphabet of causes, we are always the just and the defenders of freedom, the other the evil enemy, the workers do the killing and get killed, the corporate world takes the bounty. It’s the system that needs to be destroyed, until that happens, we will struggle and we will go to war, we will kill ordinary people in the defence of those ordinary people and it will be the ordinary people that do the killing.

    The questions arise. Why war and hunger?
    Why does poverty continue to linger?
    Why such need in a world of wealth?
    Why put a price on a child’s health?
    Confused and angry the public stand
    gazing in disbelief at this pathetic band.
    Those shiny politicians designed by spin
    their street credibility paper thin,
    the great persuaders looking the mood
    struggling so hard just for our good!
    Masters of the art of wheeling and dealing
    exceptional experts at legal stealing.
    Enter the Media, drowning us all in trivial text,
    everything you need know
    of scandal and sport, crime and sex.
    Together they create a world of confusion
    all fashion and style, a vicious illusion.
    So no matter how often we point at need,
    we always drown in a sea of greed,
    no debate entered into, no answers found,
    the waffle the babble goes round and round.

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