Having read through most of David Plouffe’s book on the Obama Campaign, I am beginning to feel a bit more hopeless. Since President Obama’s election, I know I have been critical of his choices of staff and find myself increasingly critical of his policies. As an Obama supporter, I felt a strange sense of anomie as I watched him choose his staff and begin to govern. After reading through Plouffe’s saga, I think I know why: I suspect that the candidate Obama was not the genuine Obama, and that we have been taken.
The candidate Obama ran as a DC outsider: a man who told us that fundamental change in our politics was vital. He promised changes in lobbying practices; an end to Gitmo, Iraq and a genuine reconsideration of Afghanistan strategy; an end to Wall St. abuses with effective regulation; an end to Bush tax cuts and a break for the middle-class and home owners in foreclosure, an end to back room deals at taxpayer’s expense – an audacious list of changes that resonated with Americans long disaffected with the system.
President Obama has chosen to surround himself with the same DC insiders that helped to create the economic and foreign policy disasters we face today. Just look at the headlines. Obama invoking Bush Administration rules of government secrecy; Obama Administration weakening Investor protections; Obama Administration opposed extending Unemployment Benefits; Obama Administration cut a deal with AIG to not pay back bailout money even as they are giving out larger bonuses than last year; Obama Administration making a secret deal with Pharma to keep drug prices high…
Under the Bush Administration more and more wealth was being controlled by less and less Americans. Unemployment, homelessness and poverty were increasing and Americans were dying in a useless and pointless war. The Obama Administration has not changed a single policy that created this epidemic of human misery.
Some people want to cling to hope, but as a realist I consider actions – not words. Some people want to blame Summers, Geithner and Emmanuel, but it was Obama who chose them.
My mother taught me that you are judged by the friends you keep, and President Obama chose Wall St. Oh, the audacity of it all…