Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Putin’s World: Why Russia’s Showdown with the West Will Worsen - John_Mauldin
2. Stocks Bull Market Grinds Bears into Dust, Is Santa Rally Sustainable? - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Gold and Silver 2015 Trend Forecasts, Prices to Go BOOM - Austin_Galt
4.Gold Price Golden Bottom? - Toby_Connor
5.Gold Price and Miners Soar on Huge Volume - P_Radomski_CFA
6.Stock Market and the Jaws of Life or Death? - Rambus_Chartology
7.Gold Price 2015 - EWI
8.Manipulated Stock Market Short Squeezes to Another All Time High - The China Syndrome - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Gold, Silver, Crude and S&P Ending Wedge Patterns - DeviantInvestor
10.Is the Gold And Silver Golden Rule Broken? - Michael_Noonan
Last 5 days
Stock Market At Minor Top - 22nd Dec 14
UK Christmas Sales 2014 High Street Start Dates List - 22nd Dec 14
Ruble Takedown Exposes Cracks in Putin’s Defense - 20th Dec 14
Oil Drilling Our Way Into Oblivion - 20th Dec 14
Stocks Bull Market Resumes - 20th Dec 14
Gold And Silver Nothing Is Ever As It Seems And No Respite For PMs - 20th Dec 14
What Are Technical Indicators Saying About the Stock Market? - 20th Dec 14
Here’s How You Can Still Make 27% With Apple Even if You Buy Now - 20th Dec 14
Gold Stocks to Shine in 2015 - 19th Dec 14
Why Alibaba Stock Shares Are a Screaming Buy - 19th Dec 14
China, Dollar, Japan, Europe Burning Questions for 2015 - 19th Dec 14
U.S. Economy is in a Sweet Spot! - 19th Dec 14
US Dollar and the Gold Fairy Tale - 19th Dec 14
Show Me The Money (Flow)! Tracking Money-Flow Through Value Shifts In Stock Markets - 19th Dec 14
The Commodities Market Is Not Dying, It’s Just Hibernating - 19th Dec 14
The Price Of Gold And The Art Of War - 18th Dec 14
Euro Succumbs to ECB QE Expectations and FOMC - 18th Dec 14
John Williams: A Downhill Run for the U.S. Dollar in 2015 - 18th Dec 14
Outrage at Taliban Islamic Fundamentalists Massacre of 132 Pakistani School Children in the Name of God - 18th Dec 14
How Inflation Changes Retirement Benefit Choices - 17th Dec 14
The Real Reason It's Tough to Beat the Stock Market - 17th Dec 14
Russian Currency Crisis and Debt Defaults Could Create Contagion in West - 17th Dec 14
How to Profit From Russia's Stock Market Crash - 17th Dec 14
Russia Crisis - If You Put Your Money in the Bank Will You Get it Back? - 17th Dec 14
Crude Oil Price Crash, U.S. Employment and Economic Growth - 17th Dec 14
Opposing Forces At Play In Gold and Silver Precious Metals Complex - 17th Dec 14
Wall Street Will Always Find An Excuse For Not Raising U.S. Interest Rates - 17th Dec 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Dramatic Stock Market Selloff

Has Obama Become Bush II?

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

By: Danny_Schechter

Politics

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.

Disillusion

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 Dissector.com/plunder.) Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org

© 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.


© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - 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

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014