The Sequestration Tango: Obama and GOP Dance Through the Graveyard of the New Deal

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The Obama regime has been remarkably successful – in pushing forward a Republican agenda. Obama, especially, has “moved with such elegance and poise, his fans forgot that he was dancing with a partner: the GOP.” Together, they have starved the federal beast and forged a consensus on the inevitability of austerity. Let the gruesome-twosome take a bow.

The Sequestration Tango: Obama and GOP Dance Through the Graveyard of the New Deal

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Austerity is the order of the day, and no one is more responsible for that catastrophe than Obama.”

Barack Obama’s mission has always been to destroy the left wing of the Democrats in order to consummate a grand bargain – a melding – of the corporatists in both major parties. He entered national politics as a newly-minted member of the Democratic Leadership Council, which dispensed corporate campaign money to business-friendly candidates and incumbents. Ten years later, President Obama has succeeded beyond our worst fears. Black politics is in utter ruin, and the collapse of the Democratic Party’s left wing is all but complete. Austerity is the order of the day, and no one is more responsible for that catastrophe than Obama, who has waged war on so-called entitlement programs since the polls closed in 2008.

He packed his presidential team with the same gang of finance capitalists that Bill Clinton had allied with to consummate his Grand Bargain of 1999: the deregulation of the banks. Obama assumed the presidency with the economy in ashes as a result of what Clinton had wrought a decade before. Immediately, Obama turned the music back up, and the Corporate Tango began anew, full of choreographed emotion, stage-managed drama and canned passion. But the dancers – Obama and the Republicans – were all going in the same, preprogrammed direction: a backwards, counter-clockwise promenade to the Right, a dance through the cemetery of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Obama was playing the old Republican game of ‘starve the beast.’”

Obama moved with such elegance and poise, his fans forgot that he was dancing with a partner: the GOP. In 2011, following Obama’s lead, the loving couple initiated their sequestration, a timed sequence of moves that would ultimately force the gutting of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, along with a whole host of discretionary social programs.

As is required when doing the Corporate Tango, Obama lied through his teeth, swearing during his third presidential debate that he never proposed sequestration. But Gene Sperling, the White House National Economic Council director, was so proud of the sequestration gambit, he confessed that it was all part of the grand plan to put entitlements on the block. Obama claimed he’d been looking out for the government’s tax revenues. But the liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs put together a chart that showed Obama was playing the old Republican game of “starve the beast”; that he had undermined the government’s ability to pay for itself by supporting the vast bulk of President Bush’s tax cuts; and that the results matched Obama’s 2009 projections for government spending over the next four years, almost exactly. Obama’s train was running right on time.

Polls show that the Republicans are getting the blame for sequestration, but the stock market is hitting new heights now that austerity has triumphed, and that’s all that really matters to the moneyed classes, whether they are wearing Republican red or Democratic blue. They have won – at least until the next economic collapse, or until a new opposition to the rule of capital can be constructed. That will not happen anywhere near the event horizon of the Democratic Party, which has followed Barack Obama into the black hole of Wall Street. Once you go Goldman Sachs, you never go back.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].




Insanity & Disinformation in the "Information Age"

Well in case you didn't notice, Detroit is in a financial crisis, and the governor is poised to appoint an Emergency Manager (EM).  I am sure BAR will write about this eventually; and I'm putting everyone on notice that you more than likely won't like my comments, they won't follow "the party line."  You are forewarned.   That said, Rev.Al Sharpton weighed in today on the undemocratic consequences of an EM appointment.  He was on the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS).

The point of this is while Rev. Al can throw gasoline on the situation in Detroit and grandstand.  What has he or Obama or Michelle Obama said on TJMS about the coming austerity and hard times for persons of all colors, but African Americans especially?

I've heard all 3 on TJMS in the past, what about a heads up on the coming cuts?

On March 4, 2013 I watched Hardball.  Don't usually but wanted to get a read of the temperature, histronics, an politicking re: sequestration.  Two guests appeared and told Smerconish that Obama has agreed to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid much to the chagrin of his voting base.  Their point of incredulity w/r/t the Rethugs was:  "Dopes. Obama, against the wishes of the majority of Americans and those who voted him into office, is agreeing to cut social programs, the Great Society Programs, WILLINGLY, EAGERLY. "  Obama is doing something POLITICALLY UNPOPULAR (and economically destructive). Their point was to show how compromising and agreeable Obama is versus the nasty Rethugs who won't agree to "revenue" though Obama is willing to give away the house, and the keys, and the cat.   Obama set this in motion--making DEFICITS a key policy driver-with his Simpson Bowles Commission.

Amazing so-called educated and informed Black people will have something to say about an EM in Detroit but won't say Jack Shit about what the insiders/experts on MSNBC clearly and unequivocally stated, i.e. Obama is COMMITTED to entitlement cuts and a fiscal philosophy and plan of austerity on the one hand and privitization and expansion of corporate interest on the other.  (this is a preview of the anti-EM argument in the "D")  Though what he will do fiscally hurts all Americans but persons of color especially.

Obama, not Grover Norquist, is shepherding the demise of the social safety net and the rise of 19th Cen. guilded age capitalism.  Blacks already refuse to recognize as Kevin Alexander Gray and others have written, that Blacks have faired poorly under Obama, and the that the worse is yet to come.

Obama has set the discourse and stage for GRADUATED AUSTERITY through his "crisis" management style that's really Shock Doctrine capitalism in play.  Obama has insane and anti-intellectual persons of color believing:  "The Devil Made Me Do It!"  "If only these nasty Rethugs wouldn't make me BARGAIN AGAINST MYSELF."

The Tea Party Rethugs smelled a punk (would'nt you?), and called his bluff, now he's engaging in demagoguery to cover his missteps.  At some point in time, so-called intelligent people must conclude this guy ain't so bright, definitely lacks "street sense and toughness," or he's a corporate tool?  I'm okay with either pick, btw.

I don't know who is more pathetic, our educated class, our "Afro-Centric" media darlings (whores), or Obama.?

The best description I've heard of Obama?  "Conservative Technocrat."

p.s.  Yall know DAMN WELL big businesses "stealth weapon" (Obama) will approve Keystone XL.  I hope it doesn't come as a "shock/doctrine."  LOL

I seek power by my ability to define reality

Critical thinking and common sense ain't common no more, may we use it please?

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry and Activist Kevin Alexander Gray on Obama’s Record and Re-Election

on Democracy Now, 9/16/2012

p.s.  Obama won't visit the "D," he sends proxies like Trader Joe, in case you're wondering.  (He commemorated Rosa Parks a few days ago if you were'nt aware, a Detroit native/C.R. icon: what a wonderful photo op to rail against the "Dictator" Gov. Synder and the "undemocratic Emergency Manager law).  But, Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey won't point that out, will they?

If I were Melissa I'd say, politically speaking, "can't blame him."  Why give Fox Noise a field day.  Detroit is a Tea Party activist's wet dream: preview of....Detroit EM or no EM, democracy and all that jazz discussion to come.

p.s.s. For those who don't know it already, Kevin did not vote

for the Big O as in zero.


Laugh or cry soundbite on radio: Obama will fund $200million

Obama, radio soundbite news said, 3/16 or 3/17, "says he will promote renewable energy research, $200million a year and PAY FOR IT BY SELLING OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING PERMITS.

Even Orwell, Kafka and The Red Queen braintwistteasers to

Alice couldn't make up this real life "how stupid does he think we are?" (yes, he's gambling we're easily fooled and it's a "so-what?" and "screw you, people who care about the environment, didn't  I say it's a good thing because it's not going to cost any money?"

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