By Jack Jodell, Mar. 28, 2012
In recent, previous posts, I have thoroughly shredded the claims advanced by the extremist, completely out-of-the-mainstream extreme right wing that Barack Obama is either a Fascist or a Socialist. For, this group of ignorant, bitterly partisan reactionary Republicans (who mistakenly claim they are conservatives) have chosen the insane paths of name-calling and obstructionism rather than adopting the sane paths of honest discussion and compromise when it has come to the President’s agenda. On very rare occasions they have passed parts of Obama’s bills, but have done so only after offering a large amount of worthless political posturing, grandstanding, and pure unadulterated noise.
I won’t keep you in suspense about what I believe is the most accurate description of the President: he is a left-leaning reformer who is also a CORPORATIST. Notice that I said left-leaning rather than leftist, liberal, or progressive. For he has been anything but a flaming, far-left liberal or progressive, and has actually been much more of amainstream capitalist than anything else. In fact, when he took office, with the Dow plunging, the rate of job losses exceeding 700,000 PER MONTH, and the economy in freefall and contracting, he managed to actually SAVE capitalism in this country! He did so by giving massive government-funded financial aid packages to the nation’s biggest banks on Wall Street, as well as to the ailing American automobile industry. His stimulus package contained massive tax cuts for corporations but much less for small, mom and pop businesses. You’ll note that only the biggest Wall Street banks got stimulus funds: nothing was made available to much smaller banks. These were hardly the actions of some wild-eyed, radical-left extremist! After all, it was not his fault that nearly all of these big Wall Street banks chose to pocket this money and sit on it, or waste it on huge executive bonuses, rather than make it available to smaller banks who would have gotten it into the hands of small businesses and individuals much sooner! As a result, unemployment has remained higher than it should be, but has nonetheless slowly come down in spite of ever-rising, much higher energy costs. American auto manufacturers have completely recovered, and are making profits and issuing profitable stocks and dividends to investors once more. There have been changes along the way, to be sure. Much were needed and some were painful. But the very thought of Obama having saved the capitalist system while somehow mysteriously converting it to a socialist one is utterly preposterous!
Speaking of Wall Street and higher energy costs, the main cause of high gasoline prices has been due to irresponsible, greedy Wall Street speculators! Obama has simply not gone after them the way a true liberal might have done, and has instead allowed the “free market” so beloved by conservatives to rule the day, much to the detriment of the rest of the country! He also extended the ridiculous and wholly unneeded Bush tax cuts for the wealthy for two additional years, yet another indication of his corporatist-bent. Were he an actual liberal, he would have ended those tax cuts his very first day in office and would have pressed for even HIGHER taxes on the richest 1%. Unstead, he has weakly advocated a mere return to the Clinton-era tax rates, which represents an increase of LESS THAN 5%. But oh, has this puny step ever made conservaties dump abuse all over him! Rather than castigating him,however, conservatives should feel greatly relieved that his administration has taken such a mild approach to wealth redistribution, a redistribution which is very badly needed in this country at present after more than 3 solid decades of income being redistributed UPWARD to the very richest!
Obama began his presidency with several notable and very key holdovers from the previous Bush administration. Rather than sweeping his slate completely clean, he hung onto Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, and Robert Gates, and even grabbed Leon Panetta from the previous Clinton administration. These were hardly the actions of a radical-left socialist, and were instead remarkably conservative in nature. He originally hinted at, but quickly abandoned, support for a public option, single-payer choice for his health care plan. The plan that passed Congress narrowly, after a bitter partisan debate, was far more friendly to the existing for-profit insurance companies than it proved to be beneficial to the American citizen. For, while it did restrict insurance companies from arbitrarily excluding participants, it guaranteed them vastly greater numbers through its individual mandates for the public. Day to day control of the industry remained in private hands, and neither rates charged nor the industry’s administration of health care were threatened by government regulation other than the stipulation that no one can be excluded from coverage. Yet no sooner was the bill passed than conservative Republicans derisively began calling it “Obamacare” and threatened to repeal it once they regained control of the White House. Numerous lawsuits, many funded by the insurance companies themselves, came into being, and the battle has now gone before the Supreme Court as to the program’s constitutionality. But clearly, this was NOT an attempt by Obama to directly control America’s health care industry or subvert the capitalist system!
In the area of national defense, the President has disappointed many on the left who thought he would eradicate the use of rendition as well as close down the notorious interrogation base at Guantanamo. He has also stepped up the use of drones in Pakistan, and even found and killed Osama Bin Laden, something his predecessor, who spoke loudly but actually accomplisheed little, was never able to achieve. So much for the ignorant, silly claim by the far-right that Obama is secretly a Muslim! While Obama did in fact end the war in Iraq, and promises to do the same in Afghanistan, that war still rages on as of this writing, and the same questonable support contractors (Halliburton and Xe) remain part of the picture. They have profited handsomely as they have done over the past decade. If this isn’t corporatism in action, I don’t know what is!
The disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is yet another example of how corporatist the President has been. True, there was much ballyhoo made about BP being forced to ante up $20 billion to help repair the damage it wrought. But now, long after the initial uproar, very little of this money has made it into the hands of needy Gulf residents whose lives were drastically impacted by BP’s irresponsibility. Instead, millions of BP’s advertising money has been funneled into a lying twlevision propaganda campaign, which tells us the Gulf is all back to normal and businesses are thriving again. This is a massive lie, because nothing of the sort has occurred! Instead, wildlife and human alike are being poisoned by the after-effects of the supposedly safe oil-dispersing agents which were poured over the oil slicks. Many cases of respiratory illness and even cancer have been claimed by local residents, but all of this has gone mostly unreported in the mainstream media and apparently igmored or silenced by the White House. So much for Obama being a dangerous anti-business socialist! The truth of the matter is that, from day one, he has in many ways been one of corporate America’s biggest friends!
The President’s far-right critics are simply dead wrong when they call him a fascist or a socialist and resort to the ridiculous name-calling they do. For he has been mainly a more-conservative-than-many reform Democrat, and has shown only a half-hearted stab at liberalism with his health care plan and very modest regulatory changes for Wall Street. Because of this, he has been a source of much disappointment and frustration to those on the traditional left, including many workers and labor unions. He has been a friend rather than an ogre to capitalism in general, and save for the occasional call for much-needed greater regulation in certain areas, has been very moderate in his approach to economics. He is neither the threat nor the beast that the far-right has portrayed him as. For, by and large, he has been in many degrees one of them: a CORPORATIST.
With this in mind, the reactionary far-right should just shut its collective big mouth and START GOVERNING! For every new petty name-calling incident proves that THEY are the ones who are anti-democracy and anti-American, and can blame no one but themselves for the anger voters will deservedly vent against them next November!