Obama Speaks Populist, Caters to Power Elite

bankstersHere’s a good column by Robert Scheer, who voted for Obama with hope in his heart, but “came unglued” recently when he received “yet another of those ‘we the people’ e-mails from the president.”

“Barack Obama’s faux populism is beginning to grate, and when yet another one of those ‘we the people’ e-mails from the president landed on my screen as I was fishing around for a column subject, I came unglued. It is one thing to rob us blind by rewarding the power elite that created our problems but quite another to sugarcoat it in the rhetoric of a David taking on those Goliaths.

In each of the three most important areas of policy with which he has dealt, Obama speaks in the voice of the little people’s champion, but his actions cater fully to the demands of the most powerful economic interests.

With his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, he has given the military-industrial complex an excuse for the United States to carry on in spending more on defense than the rest of the world combined, without a credible military adversary in sight. His response to the banking meltdown was to continue George W. Bush’s massive giveaway of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street, and his health care reform has all the earmarks of a boondoggle for the medical industry profiteers.”

Scheer begins the following passage with an example of Obama’s populist rhetoric, a quote from the president’s fund-raising e-mail:

“ ‘As we head into the final stretch of health reform, big insurance company lobbyists and their partisan allies hope that their relentless attacks and millions of dollars can intimidate us into accepting the status quo. So I have a message for them, from all of us: Not this time. We have come too far. We will not turn back. We will not back down.’

But we, following him, have already backed down. Does the president not recall that he began his health care reform effort by ingratiating himself with the insurance lobbyists in taking ‘single payer’ off the table on day one? The insurers are not really upset with what may survive as a minuscule public option, for they have won the big prize: Everyone must buy insurance from them under penalty of law, and there will be no built-in requirement for cost control. Their so-called opposition to the current plans has to do with fine-tuning the president’s guarantee of their future profits.”

See full column: “Dear Barack, Spare Me Your E-Mails

Comments

2 Responses to “Obama Speaks Populist, Caters to Power Elite”
  1. Given that Pakistan has nukes and missles to deliver them, and they just had an assassination, and the Taliban are very active within their borders, I think that the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many, and we do need to be in Afghanistan.

    I would agree, the stance on health care needs to be beefed up, and he needs to take the GIANT step of revealing he and his family will forego the “privileged few” healthcare plan for the Congress and him and the Supreme Court, so as to hilight this glaring “New Feudalism” feature of our supposed democracy. What’s good for the populace, must also suffice for the dukes, barons, and kings and queens.

  2. Don Pelton says:

    Thanks Doug.

    I confess I’m confused about Afghanistan. You may well be right about that.

    I do know that it is usually amazingly easy to justify starting a war, and almost impossible to justify ending one. We’ve been through this so many times.

    There’s a weird notion — a prevailing notion, really — that we best support our troops by keeping them at war (in harms way). That’s also considered very patriotic.

    Alien anthropologists will no doubt someday be quite confused by how such insanity can be a cultural norm.

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