by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“The president is happiest when John Boehner and the Republicans come to the negotiating table but that is when the rest of us are most at risk.” In his quest for a Grand Bargain with the GOP, Obama has declared war against every progressive principle and betrayed every core constituency of the Democratic Party. Nevertheless, “thanks to his success in marketing himself as an agent of change, and the complete capitulation of black voters and other progressives, Obama is free to do as he pleases in America and around the world.”
Freedom Rider: Obama Perfects Right Wing Policy
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“Nothing sticks to him, no matter how awful his actions.”
Conservative pundit William Kristol had this to say about Barack Obama, a man he lauded as a “born again neo-con.” “What’s the joke – they told me if I voted for McCain, we’d be going to war in a third Muslim country? I voted for McCain and we’re doing it.”
It was said that Ronald Reagan had teflon, that is to say, nothing stuck to him. If Reagan had teflon, then Barack Obama has patented a brand new, space aged non-stick material, because nothing sticks to him, no matter how awful his actions. Thanks to his success in marketing himself as an agent of change, and the complete capitulation of black voters and other progressives, Obama is free to do as he pleases in America and around the world.
He is showing his true self, and the portrait is an ugly one. Obama has been able to follow his predecessor George W. Bush in spreading evil intent and action around the world.
It was clear to anyone who was paying close attention that Barack Obama is a lover of conservative policy. His demonization of the 60s and its supposed excesses, his paeans of praise to Ronald Reagan, and his love of a so-called consensus with Republicans were proof that the idol of progressives didn’t have a progressive bone in his body.
Being a smart man with conservative leanings, Obama had only to ponder how he would get away with the worst right wing behavior and still get Democratic love. In foreign policy it is very simple. Make a case for saving people and don’t get any Americans killed.
“Obama, the idol of progressives, didn’t have a progressive bone in his body.”
If Obama, makes the case for war and terror even after having consulted with Bill Kristol and his ilk, most progressives will go along with whatever he says without question, complaint, or protest. If as in the case of Libya, the dirty deed is done without a loss of American lives, as the president bragged after Gaddafi was killed by a raging mob, then so much the better. “Without putting a single U.S. service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives, and our NATO mission will soon come to an end.”
Americans love wars if they are short and sweet, don’t result in coffins covered by Old Glory, and are waged for what they consider to be noble motives. Obama got the evil tyrant routing down perfectly, and helped people who think of themselves as do gooders to justify their support for the horror inflicted upon Libya.
In domestic policy, Obama continues on this path of making what used to be unacceptable suddenly palatable. The budget deal, rightly called “a Satan Sandwich” has resulted in Democrats outdoing Republicans in their pledges to cut the budget. Social Security is no longer the third rail of politics because Obama put it on the table along with earmarks and every other government expenditure. Republicans can breath a sigh of relief as even the lowest hanging fruit stays on the tree.
Obama policy making is worse than Bill Clinton’s cynical triangulating. Obama’s plans for grand designs are meant to change politics forever by making the most fundamental principals of the Democratic party irrelevant. The president is happiest when John Boehner and the Republicans come to the negotiating table but that is when the rest of us are most at risk.
“Social Security is no longer the third rail of politics because Obama put it on the table.”
Naïve Democrats may excoriate him for caving to the Republicans or for not having a backbone but their observations are wildly off the mark. Obama has plenty of backbone. This very perceptive man sought out the job that requires him to do the bidding of corporate interests and the dictates required of an empire. He is certainly not naïve, he is very ambitious and a true believer in the right of the state and corporations to exert their influence over the rest of humanity.
The result is that Republicans are winning whether they are in power or not. If Obama succeeds in being re-elected in 2012 he will probably be followed by a Republican in 2016. Having discredited nearly everything that Democrats claim to want, right wing ideology will have emerged triumphant, perhaps permanently.
It seems that every Democratic president pushes American politics further to the right. Triangulation is followed by a budget super committee and Republican wars are followed by Democratic interventions. Clinton may have said that the era of big government is over, but Obama agreed to across the board budget cuts and refuses to protect entitlements.
Perhaps it isn’t surprising that the man who is president at this momentous point in history would be a person who changes politics in such a negative way. The influence of money, the death of black politics, and the end of the financial system as we know it combine to insure that the person who emerges at the top of the political heap will be an unmitigated disaster. The question is, will we rise to the occasion and call him what he is.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com.