Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fears that Obama will turn his back on the people who elected him

Among the left journals in the intertubes, Alternet has, to their credit I think, really turned up the heat on Obama's economic "centrism." Centrism, you might be aware, is really free-market dogmatism in drag, and it's become a stealth rhetorical term for those who are opposed to spending money to help the poor and unemployed, while supporting bailouts on the rich. Centrism also means not holding the Bush administration accountable for crimes against the state and humanity. Obama has appeared, at least to his supporters on the left, to be extremely eager to please the very forces who have (a) treated him with contempt bordering on racism, and (b) caused, with their greed and excess (at least) the disaster befalling America's working class today.

But back to Alternet. In this morning's edition alone, there are four pieces that can reasonably be taken as attacks, direct criticisms, critical analyses, of Obama: There's Obama being duped about coal. There's Obama being accused of refusing to get his hands dirty while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner drove the markets off the cliff with his stupid plan. And, a rather disturbing cover story wondering whether Obama will fight against attempts to loot Social Security to pay for bank bailouts. "Behind closed doors," writes William Greider, "powerful interests" are trying to convince the President to do just that. But if that's not enough in a single daily edition, Glenn Greenwald explains why liberals risk losing their power if they remain beholden to a leader (perhaps any leader, perhaps this particular one).

Of course, this is all a good thing, whether or not the President does what so many people on the left are justifiably suspicious he will do. Of course, it's equally important to form political strategies that make Presidential politics irrelevant, but pointing out how the savior is not really a savior is a vital part of that process, particularly now.

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