Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Stocks Bear Market Apocalypse Imminent Crash Gets Nuked Again - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold And Silver – A Reality Check - Michael_Noonan
3.The Killer Ape, Human Evolution, Artificial Intelligence and Extinction End Game - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Stock Market S&P 500 Volatility-Based Price Probability Range - Richard_Shaw
5.A Stocks Bear Market Is Now More Likely Than Not - Richard_Shaw
6.Money Supply and the Fed’s Serious Inflation Risks - Zeal_LLC
7.More Selling for Stock Market, Gold? - Brad_Gudgeon
8.Gold, Silver Precious Metals: a Critical Week Ahead - Rambus_Chartology
9.Gold Price Change in Character - Gary_Savage
10.Advice for Biotech Investors: 'Hold Your Powder' 'til Winter - TLSReport
Last 5 days
Why Millennials Are So Different - 13th Oct 15
Unhealthy, Not Wealthy, and Far from Wise, The Changing Healthcare World - 13th Oct 15
Which Is The Better Investment - Gold Or The Dow? - 13th Oct 15
Stock Market Initial Projection Reached (Short-Term Top Expected) - 13th Oct 15
Gold Signals The End Of This Monetary Era - 13th Oct 15
Gold for Stocks Bear Market? - 13th Oct 15
The Mindless Stupidity of Negative Interest Rates - 13th Oct 15
China, The Great Depressions 1 & 2, and Gold - 13th Oct 15
Top 3 Technical Tools Part 3: MACD - Video Lesson - 13th Oct 15
An Introduction to Technofeudalism Ascending - 13th Oct 15
Stock Market S&P 500: Is it This Simple? - 12th Oct 15
Chanos: I'm a Potential Purchases or Glencore Stock - 12th Oct 15
IMF Fears $3 Trillion Credit Crunch; Lagarde Warns 'IMF Credibility at Stake' - 12th Oct 15
Structural Reasons For A Long-Term Financial Markets Decline - 12th Oct 15
New Hedge Fund Buying Enters Crude Oil Market - 12th Oct 15
Stock Market / GDX New Lows Coming: Panic Ahead? - 12th Oct 15
Stock Market Gains, but the “Super Crash” Is Accelerating - 11th Oct 15
October Stocks Bear Market and Crash Killer - 11th Oct 15
A Bifurcated U.S. Housing Market, How Much Longer Can Unaffordable Housing Prices Last? - 10th Oct 15
Stock Market Primary V to New Highs Underway - 10th Oct 15
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria - 10th Oct 15
Gold And Silver Trapped In A Low-End Trading Range - 10th Oct 15
Free Traders Educational Week - 10th Oct 15
Stock Market Rally May be Broken - 9th Oct 15
Gold Stocks Major Breakout - 9th Oct 15
Contrarian Investing - Being the 10th Man - 9th Oct 15
U.S. Can Expect Recession in 1-3 Years - 9th Oct 15
The Greater Economic Depression Deep State - 9th Oct 15
Financial Markets Calm Before the Storm? - 9th Oct 15
Stock Market History Calling, Says Performance will be Crappy for Another ~10 years! - 9th Oct 15
Why This Feels Like an Economic Depression for Most People - 9th Oct 15
Dr Copper Back from the Dead - Time to Buy or Blink - 8th Oct 15
Glencore Rout Blamed on Short Sellers Playing With CDS - 8th Oct 15
The Real Reason for the Refugee Crisis You Won’t Hear About in the Media - 8th Oct 15
US Stocks: The [Trend]Line Between Bull and Bear Market - 8th Oct 15
Bundesbank “Reassures” Re. Gold Bullion Reserves as Deutsche Bank Shocks With €6 Billion Loss Warning - 8th Oct 15
How Our Aversion To Change Leads Us Into Danger - 8th Oct 15
Moving Stem Cell Research Forward: Bernie Siegel of the Genetics Policy Institute - 8th Oct 15
Stock Market VERY IMPORTANT Turn Date - 7th Oct 15
The 5th Convergence…An Economic & Financial Superstorm That Will Devastate America - 7th Oct 15
Summers Grades Janet Yellen's Fed Performance 'Incomplete' - 7th Oct 15
Gold Versus Central Banks Paper Ponzi - 7th Oct 15
QE3 is Over Get Ready for QE4 - 7th Oct 15
How to Profit from Government Mandates in Biofuels - 7th Oct 15
A Key Oil Price Trend That Everyone Is Missing - 6th Oct 15
Stock Market Turn Appears to Have Been Made - 6th Oct 15
Designing a Dividend Growth Portfolio for a Specific Retirement Yield Objective - 6th Oct 15
Peter Schiff Predicts Gold Price Breakout - Video - 6th Oct 15
Theresa May Declares War on Immigration - Conference Speech Full Transcript - 6th Oct 15
Is Russia Plotting To Bring Down OPEC? - 6th Oct 15
Target Date Funds As Aid In Retirement Investment Portfolio Design - 6th Oct 15
Stocks Bear Market Apocalypse Imminent Crash Gets Nuked Again - 6th Oct 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Has Obama Become Bush II?

Politics / US Politics Jan 21, 2010 - 05:14 AM GMT

By: Danny_Schechter


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleBarack Obama's election seemed an anomaly, but clearly it was disgust with his predecessor that drove him from obscurity to the presidency.

Obama's "outside-inside" strategy inspired millions of new voters. He organised, rallied new voters, used social networks and invoked change orientated slogans with more symbolism than substance.

But once in office, the office took over, co-opting his populist inclinations and burying his grass roots movement in a miasma of paralysing pragmatic centrism rationalised as the 'politics of the possible'.

Supporters became recipients of emails, not potential activists to lobby for his agenda. He allowed his "army" to dissipate while he moved into using the Oval Office as a bully pulpit. His followers were demobilised as he gave speech after speech.

Obama realised that the Bush era had not ended in the bureaucracies or in the media and halls of congress. To undercut its lingering impact, he moved right possibly to later move left.

He embraced some of Bush's tough-guy national security boilerplate. He got along with Pentagon power by going along. Compromise began to become his mantra. 

Miniscule reforms were presented as great victories. Withdrawal from Iraq was delayed as was the closing of Guantanamo. He seemed to be on a short leash as the real power brokers checked and check mated initiatives.

Had he become a Bush II? Many think so. Was he selling out or buying in?

Ross Douthat argues in the New York Times that Obama is a knee-jerk liberal who believes in working within institutions for change.

According to Douthat, "that makes him ... an odd bird who seems a Machiavellian willing to cut any deal juxtaposed with the soaring rhetoric of fairly ideological big government liberalism".

The problem with institutions is that they rarely change without media scandals or outside pressure.

People power versus polemics

It was not that Obama owed anything to 'the left' once his radical preacher Rev Wright and one time buddy Bill Ayers had became albatrosses.

He was now trying to appear non-partisan and non-ideological, but progressives read into his victory much more than was ever possible to achieve, much more than even he pledged.

He took the liberals for granted with lip service, not major policy shifts.

As the blogosphere blathered and the unions splintered, there was very little leverage or organising underway to reach out to his campaign activists.

As the right built people power, the left built polemics.

As his opponents - those that hated him and denied his legitimacy - seized the initiative, the Obamacrats moved into defensive bunkers keeping up appearances, one step forward, two back. They cultivated congressmen, not constituencies.

Once he realised that the most 'powerful man in the world', only had the power to propose while congress disposes; once he realised that the right not only would not play bi-partisan games and that the GOP had been taken over by the bully boys; once he realised that they would intimate their own to enforce 'discipline'; once he realised that they would not even accept the legitimacy of his election or citizenship; once he realised that to survive he needed to embrace the Pentagon's logic and the dictates of the Wall Street donors who had backed him; once he realised he was virtually alone in the Big House (yes, that is a metaphor, too, for a prison), the die was cast. He was captured, with a noisy chorus of naysayers on the right and left limiting his options.

He was trapped by the logic of his choices and the limits of his vision.


Which is not to say he was ever a man of the left. He told us that he would escalate the Afghan war during the campaign. He showed us where he stood on the economic collapse with his appointees like Summers, Geithner et al.

To fight off the right, he needed the centre and the media on his side.

He is by nature cautious and cunning, moving step by step, winning some battles, losing or giving up others. He knows that a president cannot pitch a perfect game. He is a perception manager, not a street fighter. For many he is a big disappointment.

For others, the question is 'did you expect Che Guevara?'

The challenge now is not to walk down memory lane but to strategise about building the future in an imperfect world.

What lessons can we learn and apply? How can the progressives reenergise an outside-in strategy, how can they/we start re-framing issues, building a base and then mobilising it? Will there be a return to the streets or more co-optation by the illusions of power in the suites?

Perhaps the disillusion now building on the left, will lead to more direct challenges to the Obama style and approach. On the other hand it could lead to fatalism and a dropping out of politics by people who were mesmerised by his charisma and naïve about how politics really works.

If that happens, the right will dominate the discourse and try to retake congress.

We have seen this before - with Lyndon Johnson forsaking butter for guns, with Bill Clinton taking refuge in the corporate centre.

The media is central to this because liberals, who have more money than conservatives, have not invested in media institutions to reach out to the mass audience. They have not rallied, for that matter, to the realisation that the US needs channels like Al Jazeera to build awareness about the larger world on television where parochialism and propaganda is rife.

So a new strategy is needed, to remake the Democratic party into something more democratic, to resist the power of big money in politics and to readopt a populist message along economic lines to champion the millions out of work before they become millions out of hope.  

News Dissector Danny Schechter has made a film and written a book on the “Crime Of Our Time.” (News Comments to

© 2010 Copyright Danny Schechter - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History