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The Obama Administration & US Politics

The Obama Apologists and Republican "Resurgence"

As the 2012 election is now over, Barack Obama has won a second term. Many wonder how his policies, his administration, and how the entire political arena, will change our future.

Postby Aquarian » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:51 am

The outcome of the 2010 midterm elections is an indictment of the apologists for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

As a result of the November 2 elections, in which the Republican Party regained control of the House of Representatives and picked up seats in the Senate, the entire political system in the US has shifted farther to the right. The consequences for millions of working people will be severe, as the attack on social conditions and democratic rights is intensified and military violence is employed even more aggressively around the world.

Two years ago, a variety of “left” and liberal forces strove to convince those sections of the population over whom they had influence that the Obama campaign represented a watershed in American politics and that under his administration the policies of war, attacks on jobs and social programs, and the shredding of Constitutional rights would come to an end.

The Nation magazine and others painted Obama, a thoroughly conventional bourgeois politician with a track record of subservience to the Democratic Party machine in Illinois and to big business, as a “progressive” who would turn America around. This effort, which combined self-deception and deliberate falsification, helped generate illusions in Obama and lull the population to sleep.

What are the results? Obama, given a free hand by his left-liberal apologists, steered a right-wing, pro-big business course from his first day in office (and even before). In the face of the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, the administration bailed out Wall Street while doing nothing for the millions of unemployed and impoverished workers and the legions of families facing the loss of their homes.

Every major action taken by Obama and the Democrats has guaranteed the resurgence of the right. In November 2008, millions of working people went to the polls to repudiate the Bush administration. The Republican Party suffered a humiliating defeat, resulting in Democratic control of the White House and large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.

One could not imagine more favorable political conditions for the smashing of the Republican right, assuming the victorious president and party had any desire to do so. None of those who are now insisting that working people and youth devote their efforts to pressuring Obama to “stand up to the right” address an obvious question: If he was unable and unwilling to do it in 2008, why should anyone believe he will do it now?

As it turned out, the Obama administration worked assiduously to provide a breathing space for, not an alternative to, the Republican Party and the extreme right.

Has any party or any administration in US history ever done so much in so short a time to demoralize their base of supporters as the Democrats and Obama have done between 2008 and 2010?

The upper-middle class liberal apologists for Obama, in the face of the Democratic debacle, continue to deny reality. They are incapable of drawing a single critical conclusion from what has happened. Their comments veer from despair to clutching at political straws, all of it, as always, impressionistic and superficial.

The mainstream pundits claim that the population punished Obama for his “extreme liberalism.” This is false and absurd.

Thirty million fewer people voted for the Democratic congressional candidates in 2010 than in 2008 out of disgust with the party’s right-wing policies. Whatever the inevitable political confusion given such an enormous betrayal of campaign promises and hype and the complete lack within the political system of a genuine alternative on the left, millions of people who stayed away from the polls are moving to the left, not the right.

A few liberal columnists have acknowledged the obvious: that Obama failed to advance any sort of aggressive reform program to tackle the economic crisis. However, their explanation of the causes of this “failure” is utterly banal and unconvincing.

The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel, writing in the Wall Street Journal, complains that voters “were alienated because they didn't believe his [Obama’s] team had fought aggressively enough for the interests of working- and middle-class citizens… The inadequacy of the recovery program—largely a result of concessions to the GOP—became a political catastrophe for the White House.”

Pathetically, she concludes, “All of this presents an opportunity for Mr. Obama to show he stands with working people and the middle class.” In other words, the working class should extend even more political credit to this right-wing administration!

What did vanden Heuvel say in November 2008? In a piece headlined, “Transformational Presidency,” she wrote, comparing the 2008 election result to that of 2004 (when George W. Bush won re-election), “Four years later, our offices are filled with editors, writers, interns, and colleagues—some crying, this time with joy—all jubilant about the new era of possibility opened up by Barack Obama’s victory…

“Obama’s election marks a remarkable moment in our country’s history—a milestone in America’s scarred racial landscape and a victory for the forces of decency, diversity and tolerance.”

Robert Scheer, longtime left journalist and a contributing editor to the Nation, claimed this week in “Payback at the Polls” that “Barack Obama deserved the rebuke he received at the polls for a failed economic policy that consisted of throwing trillions at Wall Street but getting nothing in return.”

But in November 2008, Scheer was also in the mood to celebrate. He wrote then: “It’s time to gush! Later for the analysis of all the hard choices faced by our next president, Barack Obama, but for now, let’s just thrill, unabashedly, to the sound of those words.”

He went on: “Politics will never be the same. The fat cats and back-office politicos are out, and grass roots—youthful and Internet-connected—will dominate in the future, as they did on Tuesday. President-elect Obama knows that, and, at least on this night, I fully expect him to be true to those who took him on this journey.”

These people foresaw nothing and have learned nothing.

The Nation’s Eric Alterman is even more brazen, blaming the population for its failure to understand Obama’s supposedly far-reaching social agenda. “Well, this being America,” he writes, “a great deal of easily exploitable ignorance is fueling the fire. Obama’s healthcare reform, his financial reform, the stimulus, the saving of the auto industry, etc. make these two years among the most consequential in the past half-century.”

In reality, all those initiatives were carefully crafted anti-working class measures which have strengthened the most powerful sections of the ruling elite and worsened conditions for broad layers of the population.

Alterman is typical of the well-heeled liberal element that makes a profession of spreading illusions in the Democrats. A 2003 piece in the New York Observer described an encounter with the Nation journalist at a fashionable Manhattan restaurant. “Mr. Alterman reeked of success,” the author wrote. The Observer went on to note that Alterman “ordered foie gras, the Kobe beef and a glass of pinot noir. Earlier, he’d said he liked his lunches ‘expensive.’”

The response of the upper-middle class left to the Democrats’ defeat underlines the chasm that exists between that social layer and the working class. The questions of jobs, living standards, poverty, retirement, homes and education, as well as current and future wars, mean nothing to the Vanden Heuvels, Scheers and Altermans. They are as callous about the conditions of the American working class as Obama himself. Their interests hinge on “cultural” issues—the politics of race, gender and sexual orientation.

These left-liberals help police the strangulating capitalist two-party system in the US, with its firewall against a socialist alternative.

The danger exists that if mass anger remains bottled up within the present set-up, unable to find a genuinely anti-capitalist outlet, it will turn malignant. The continued subordination of the working class to the Democratic Party creates conditions for the emergence and growth of extreme right-wing and fascistic movements.

The critical issue is that the political lessons of the 2008 and 2010 elections and the experience of the Obama administration be drawn. Everything depends on a political rupture by the mass of working people with the rotten, bankrupt Democratic Party and the establishment of the political independence of the working class on the basis of a socialist and internationalist program.

David Walsh

http://wsws.org/articles/2010/nov2010/pers-n06.shtml

Again...

No one here has been able to provide a coherent explanation for the false perception that Obama is a raging Socialist, or even a leftist in the liberal sense. However, this only reflects the disconnect the political establishment has created among the American people. Thus, voters are left with very little options in voting for "the other person" when it comes to the immense failures of the dominant party. A vicious cycle indeed.
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Postby greeney2 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:23 am

The voters are not disconnected, they have connected and sent a message to Washington unpresdented since 1946, "They the voters" are very unhappy with the dominant parties policies and results. I don't know what planet you are on Aquarian, but this administration and the Congress leaders are as far extreme left as it gets, or at least we ever had, and the voters just rejected that far left, as a philosophy to run our country. Locking another party out of closed door meetings, and railroading bill past them violated States from representation, and the people put their foot down Tuesday. Nothing mysterious about that, or a cynical plot. Somehow Harry Ried pulled off a victory, but this election was a profound message from the voters.
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Postby Aquarian » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:30 am

I don't know where you're getting your repudiation analysis from, but what happened in the Midterm Elections was a knocking out of the Blue Dog Democrats, over 20 of them (24 in total). Whereas, the more "progressive" caucus of Democrats saw a reelection rate of over 95%. There is no "magic alteration" from liberal (2006-2008) to conservative. To suggest that would mean that the American people are maniacal when it comes to decision-making. The result of the elections was not a result of overwhelming support for Republicans. It was a result of the collapse of the support for the Democratic Party and its pro-corporate and reactionary policies. The only visible alternative for those angered by the dominant party was to either abstain from voting or voting for the Republican counterpart. In-fact, more people abstained rather than voted for Republicans according to exit polls: http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2010/ ... lston.aspx

Despite the claims of a popular mandate for the Republicans, the total vote cast for all House Republican candidates actually fell by 11 million compared to 2008. But the total vote for the Democrats fell by much more, nearly 30 million, to barely half the votes cast in 2008.

The aggregate figures for the last three elections show the trend clearly. In 2006, when the Democrats won control of both houses of Congress from the Republicans, the total House Democratic vote was 42,255,280 compared to 35,657,353 for the Republicans, an overall margin of more than 6.5 million votes.

http://wsws.org/articles/2010/nov2010/vote-n04.shtml
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Postby frrostedman » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:28 pm

greeney2 wrote:The voters are not disconnected

It is agreed among those who aren't so jaded they can't see... that the MSM and Obama are the ones that are completely disconnected. Disconnected from the American people.

The polls show it, Obama's approval ratings show it, and the Nielson ratings show it.

FOX News (well connected with the American people) for the first time in history, outperformed all other channels (mainstream public channels included) in the election coverage.

The far left progressives continue to paint Americans as disconnected and ignorant; continue to pretend that Obama's socialist agenda is just what the American people need; and continue to depict Fox News as a radical ultra rightwing group of villains completely disconnected from mainstream America.

If these progressives were right, then the facts wouldn't continue to show the complete opposite time and time again.
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Postby Aquarian » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:06 am

You keep labeling Obama a Socialist or far-left liberal and all you have to do is do a quick Google search on the World Socialist Website, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Democratic Socialists of America, Federal of Student Socialists, etc. and your entire analysis of the Obama Administration gets sucked into a blackhole. You're sounding like a doll whose string can be pulled and will reitirate whats its programmed to say.

Leave the Matrix!
The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.
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Postby frrostedman » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:42 am

I'm programmed?

You really don't have a clue, do you.

Anyone with even remedial knowledge can look at Obama's body of work and the history behind the people Obama has surrounded himself with, and come away with the same conclusions I have made.

Quite obviously, it is you that resides in some kind of alternate reality where facts are rejected and lies are embraced.
"But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about Jesus being a great teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." C.S. Lewis
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Postby Aquarian » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:38 am

Rahm Emmanuel is a Socialist? Tim Geitner? David Petraeus? Hillary Clinton? Biden? Wow.

What this reflects is that certain segments of the population have shifted farther to the right, so any concessionary shift from that is viewed as a radical left turn, when in fact, it is nothing short of regressive conservatism. I don't see any single-payer health care system in place, worker-run venture and enterprise, full public ownership of banks, free secondary school education, full employment measures, ending of wars and occupation that benefit the privileged few, closing of military bases, full freedoms for the LGBT community, overhaul of the Federal Reserve, overhaul of corporate wealth, wealth hoarding, etc.

You're trapped in a false reality that the Republican victory on November 2 was a reflection of American ideologies, when in fact, it is not. It is a protest against the Democratic Party's inaction, capitulation, betrayal and lies. It is the collapse of support for the Obama agenda because Obama and the Dem Party rode on a wave of anti-war/anti Bush sentiment. You think American voting patterns reflect a maniacal psyche? I don't think so. You may think so, but one has fully analyze the whole picture before you go around parading for corrupt Republicans. You're no better than the Obamabots and despotic Democrats in power. You can't have it both ways. You're either against the destitute/morally bankrupt Congress as a whole or you're for it. Being for one party over the other is a matter of convenience.
The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.
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Postby frrostedman » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:04 am

Aquarian wrote:Rahm Emmanuel is a Socialist? Tim Geitner? David Petraeus? Hillary Clinton? Biden? Wow.

What this reflects is that certain segments of the population have shifted farther to the right, so any concessionary shift from that is viewed as a radical left turn, when in fact, it is nothing short of regressive conservatism. I don't see any single-payer health care system in place, worker-run venture and enterprise, full public ownership of banks, free secondary school education, full employment measures, ending of wars and occupation that benefit the privileged few, closing of military bases, full freedoms for the LGBT community, overhaul of the Federal Reserve, overhaul of corporate wealth, wealth hoarding, etc.

You're trapped in a false reality that the Republican victory on November 2 was a reflection of American ideologies, when in fact, it is not. It is a protest against the Democratic Party's inaction, capitulation, betrayal and lies. It is the collapse of support for the Obama agenda because Obama and the Dem Party rode on a wave of anti-war/anti Bush sentiment. You think American voting patterns reflect a maniacal psyche? I don't think so. You may think so, but one has fully analyze the whole picture before you go around parading for corrupt Republicans. You're no better than the Obamabots and despotic Democrats in power. You can't have it both ways. You're either against the destitute/morally bankrupt Congress as a whole or you're for it. Being for one party over the other is a matter of convenience.


I just don't understand why you spewed all that at me. I'm against Obama, not "for" this party or that party.

Generally speaking, yes, I am pro Conservative and anti Liberal. But right now the big problem is Obama and if it meant voting Democrat ticket to get him out of office I would have considered that.

And as far as you name the people above as people that Obama has surrounded himself with? Again, you display a fundamental shortcoming in your knowledge of who Obama is and what he's about.

Trust me, he's not looking to any of the people mentioned for counsel.

Look at the folks visiting the White House; the appointees; the Czars; the people that raised him! All radicals, progressives, and/or supporters of Socialism or Marxism. These are some really spooky people! Read up on John Holdren! Ask yourself why Bill Ayers is the most frequent visitor to the White House! Ask yourself why Obama has countless links to George Soros.

Let's look at some of the people that support, advise, or were directly appointed by Obama once he took office. To name a few:

Bill Ayers ("Workers of the world unite!")
Cass Sunstein (scary anti-gun radical - author of Nudge)
Van Jones (avowed Communist)
Rev. Wright (need I say more)
Mark Lloyd (airwaves should be controlled by gov't)
John Holdren (radical of radicals)
Anita Dunn (favorite philosopher, Mao)


"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists." – President Obama

“What is more important is to find means by which we can redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all. This is government’s obligation.” – President Obama

“And I think when you spread the wealth around, that’s good for everybody.” – President Obama

“We cannot expect Americans to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can aid their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism.” - Nikita Khrushchev
"But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about Jesus being a great teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." C.S. Lewis
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Postby BloodStone » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:51 pm

Kinda makes ya laugh hey Tom , Aquarian sits there and cries how the Tea Party are radicals, yet he can't see all the progressive marxist surrounding the Fraud in Chief...and the damage they are doing right in front of him... :roll: pathetic..

Very frightening indeed...






BloodStone...
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Postby Aquarian » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:33 pm

I have repeatedly mentioned how the Obama Administration has damaged this country. I have repeatedly mentioned that the Obama Administration is nothing but a continuation of the previous administration. It is a continuation of protecting the privileged interests through bank bailouts and furthering the empress of the war machine (Afghanistan and Pakistan). You fail to see these acts as anything but a continuation of the same vanguard interests out of convenience and political parlaying to your favorite party.

A quick Snopes of your very out-of-context words completely obliterates the premise of your argument:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/ownwords.asp

In all those quotes, he was explaining a campus atmosphere, mostly words from a classmate named Joyce.
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