Obama Moves Effortlessly to the Right

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Only fools should feel sorry for Obama as he prepares for a Republican-led House and weakened Democratic control of the Senate. This is Obama’s “comfort zone,” where he can continue to woo Republicans to join his grand center-right coalition. The only people Obama has no tolerance for are liberalish Democrats, who will emerge relatively stronger in the new Congress thanks to the decimation of Obama’s Republican-Lite friends in conservative Democratic ranks. By freezing federal wages, Obama signals that he has no philosophical problems with the GOP’s general aims.


Obama Moves Effortlessly to the Right

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Obama rushed to align himself with what he anticipates will be the ‘new’ center, following the GOP’s mid-term gains.”

True to his center-right DNA, President Obama surrendered critical political ground to the GOP even as the lame duck Democratic Congress remains in session. In declaring a two-year pay freeze for federal workers (who are disproportionately African American), Obama endorses two central corporate axioms: that too-high worker pay and benefits is what’s wrong with the American economy, and that federal spending is a drain on economic growth. Once one accepts these core rightist assumptions, there is nothing to stop the spiraling wage “race to the bottom,” as AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka points out, and no remaining rationale for meaningful public intervention in the total corporatization of American life. Obama has, essentially, dismantled any principled opposition to Republican dogma. It has for some time been apparent that this is the president’s primary political mission.

With unseemly haste, Obama rushed to align himself with what he anticipates will be the “new” center, following the GOP’s mid-term gains – but he would have gotten to the same political place, anyway, as soon as the new Congress convened in January. The truth is, with his pay freeze shuffle, Obama surrendered nothing dear to himself to the GOP since he is a true-believer in the rule of capital, having transferred more of it to Wall Street – $12 to $14 trillion – than anyone else in history.

Obama has, essentially, dismantled any principled opposition to Republican dogma.”

The president enjoys cuddling with the putative opposition, just as he did in his first months in office when he packed White House health care events with Republicans and corporate CEOs, while banishing leftish Democrats from the premises. This is Obama’s comfort zone, his element, the political space where he might actually be the most “progressive” person in the room, by some minute calibration. And even if he is not, many folks will assume he is, based on his skin color – the corporate president’s perfect camouflage.

Republicans cuddled back, affectionately, at news of Obama’s freeze. “We are pleased that President Obama appears ready to join our efforts,” said incoming House majority leader Eric Cantor, of Virginia.

On Tuesday, Obama’s Frankenstein, the budget deficit reduction commission – a monstrosity he invented on his own volition, under no pressure whatsoever from his own party and relatively little from the GOP minority – emerged from solemn conclave to announce all 18 members will vote on a “final product” on Friday, December 3. Democratic co-chair Erskine Bowles, a rich former investment banker from North Carolina, and his Republican counterpart Alan Simpson, the troglodyte former Wyoming senator, had earlier released their own, shared vision of a low corporate tax rate, barely existing safety net future. The irascible Simpson predicted that progressives will react badly when they see the end result: "We will listen now in the next few days to the same old crap I've been dealing with all my public life: emotion, fear, guilt and racism." He means that people will be calling him, accurately, a hardhearted, racist bastard.

Obama values the Simpsons of the world for making his own corporate politics look enlightened by comparison.”

Simpson need not worry. Obama, who scoffs at the very idea of white guilt and specializes in assuring racists that they can hold their heads high with no apologies, has Simpson’s back. Obama values the Simpsons of the world for making his own corporate politics look enlightened by comparison. Therefore, Obama will speak warmly of Simpson, the man who called Social Security “a milk cow with 310 million tits,” and then choose a position substantially to the left of the Utah Neanderthal – but way to the right of most of the Democratic Party and its remaining members of Congress.

Although reduced to a minority, House Democrats are a dramatically more progressive group than before November 2. The good ole boys of the Blue Dog Caucus lost half their members, while one-third of the corporatist Democratic Leadership Council’s “New Democrats” – Obama’s nearest soul-mates – are gone. In contrast, less than a handful of Progressive Caucus members lost their seats. This is very bad chemistry for Obama, who has always regarded the Democratic “left” as his main adversaries, the people that might, at least theoretically, trip up his steady, stylized dance to the right by insisting on such nonsense as “public options” for health insurance or – heaven forbid! – defunding America’s wars.

Thinks tanks associated with “progressive” Democratic politics recently produced two budget counterproposals (see here and here) that are reminiscent of the Progressive Congressional Caucus’s budget-conjuring exercises of years ago. These alternative budgets cannot be pleasing to President Obama, since they are direct challenges to his deficit commission’s devilish machinations – and his own.

Congressional Democrats have the potential to embarrass and unmask Obama as he seeks an ever-rightward consensus with the GOP.”

With the decimation of his like-minded Republican-Lite Blue Dogs and New Democrats, Obama will be forced in the next Congress to collaborate even more openly with Republicans if he is to continue to prop up Wall Street and sustain the American imperial offensive in the world, his primary concerns. Congressional Democrats have the potential to embarrass and unmask Obama as he seeks an ever-rightward consensus with the GOP. Judging by his behavior in the health care battle – which was entirely a clash between the right and left wings of the Democratic Party, with Obama leading the right – the president can be expected to act mercilessly to break the back of any movement to assert progressive principles in the House, or among “the base.” As usual, Obama can be depended on to move decisively against his fellow Democrats, even as he bares his neck to Republicans who have declared their intention to bury him.

In the midst of such brazen betrayals and deceits, Obama will call urgently on Blacks in and out of Congress to circle their wagons around him – to, in effect, join in his pact with the devil by becoming conservative Democrats, for the sake of the First Black Presidency.

During the presidential campaign, we at BAR warned that Obama was too heavy a burden for Black folks to carry. He has methodically fouled his own political nest, and demands that Black America – the people he told us did not exist, in 2004 – sacrifice its historical principles and proud progressive legacy, for his sake.

Let him march to hell on his own; he has plenty of friends there.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].



Well said.  This is what Obama likes and believes in.

One thing about it...

One thing about it... President Obama is going to heed to the will of the people, and so since we allowed ourselves to be CREAMED on election day, THIS the supposed will of the people right? We really are in no position to give him grief after the fact when we didn't have his back at the polls.

have his back!!

Like Glen says, only fools, I see there are still plenty of them out there

Have his "back?" Are you serious or suffering from dementia?

OMG.  How in the hell can you transplant a spine into a jelly fish?

Not even Charles Darwin has an answer for that?  "Have his back."

Fuck Obama.  He don't need no "back."  Nine year going and GWB STILL doesn't give a fuck what people think.  Basically still telling the public, "yall kiss my ass, I'll be dead and gone before you assess my policies."  Also saw that he gave Obama a thumbs up recently, no doubt due to Obama's VINDINCTION of and continuity with  Bush-era practices and policies.

"Had his back." Fucking hilarious if it weren't so sad.  If only Obama had the PEOPLE'S back like he's had GWB's back.


Obama White House pressured Spain to drop Bush torture prosecution, leaked cable shows





Obama move to the right

ha ha, My sentiments exactly,  Let the bastard bear the cross alone, and hopefully it succeeds in breaking his back completely.

Flat Footed Far Left

This articles exposes the harsh reality that the far left is unable evolve into a dynamic and forward thinking element in society that can bring real change and progress to the country.  The far left is stuck in an eternal crouched position of opposition begging for the meager dollars to spread its cantankerous message.  The message today is apparently that Mr. Obama is actually the worse thing that could have happened and a President Palin or Thune would actually be an improvement.  Rather than respond to the challenge by supporting and developing real and genuine leadership at a tangible level, say sponsoring or defending an outspoken Congressman or Senator, we instead wail and moan about a President who actually makes some effort towards the things we want. (Oh, I forgot Bush was just about to do equal pay for women and gays in the military...)  If you are serious about responding to Obama and moving him left or eventually building a grassroots movement that really has a chance of national prominence, put your dollars behind an elected official and defend their agenda. Let's stop being silly and trying to run national campaigns that have no hope when we can really get say for example, an anti-zionist to congress or a Mayor who argues for using taxes on corporations towards reparations.  I guess that's problematic because it will involve more than "speaking truth to power" and it will require an acceptance of the realities of governing.  

Support republicans, vote for a democrat

My major issues during the presidential election in 2008 were ending the middle east war/occupation, implementing universal health care, ending corporate corruption, start a policy of government transparency (and a few more).

Can you tell me what inroads Obama and the democrats have done in the last 2 years while they controlled the government to addressing those issues? Or are they not important enough to address.

Hope is the opiate of the masses. If you think that things are going okay, continue voting for the democratic party. If you want to see changes but are voting for the democrats, see Einstein's definition of insanity.



Is the president up for re-election or something? Oh, well.

The cheerleaders in donkeyland still believe in their "harsh" fantasy. The reality is that the democratic partisans tried to hustle votes for blue dogs and failed. Instead of accepting their failure and pushing a common sense course correction, the democratic partisans are doubling down on their same, old, failed appeasement agenda. They have no credibility, because they don't speak truth. They can't get the blue dogs over the finish line, yet they want to tell the left how to get over the finish line. What a joke! At the end of the day: The withholding of support for blue dogs by the left is a great long term strategy. The short-sighted, democratic partisans wouldn't know anything about long term anything since they're too busy worrying about saving what's left of the blue dogs.

Accurate points, but narrow paradigm

The full spectrum dominance of media propaganda in this country is insurmountable.  Does anyone think information flows will change in a way to benefit the Left in the era of Citizens United?  $4 Billion spent on this last election and the "messages" were more akin to a reality t.v. show, than a democracy.  No discussion of how to create jobs, how to beef up education and training, how to resurrect manufacturing and skilled trades.  I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

The "flat-footedness" of the "Far Left" is due in no small part to Right Wing media control. And by "Right Wing" I include, healthy segments of CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, I could throw in Huffingpost for good measure.  There is no greater cheerleader for war than the "liberal" NY Times or WaPo's editorial pages, no bigger Zionist than Wolf Blitzer on CNN, and no bigger Obama apologist than Rachel Maddow.  What perpetrates as the "Left" voice in America is not a true voice.  The propaganda, however, has distorted what the "Left" means.  The "Left" voice in America is a DLC, centrist, center-right meme, it is not a true progressive theme.  Which also leads to the query as to whether America is truly progressive in the first place?  Do we simply feign being Leftists when in practice and in politics, in elections we're actually Righties????

That question alone deserves thought and analysis.  Do the actions of the Left reflect their rhetoric?  Is the Democratic Party progressive or centrists?

A huge reason that Obama is oft times perceived as "worse than Palin or a Thune"  is because of the powerful, corrosive, cancerous impact he has on gutting the true Left's ability to either elevate their messages or their policies.  For example, would Diane Feinstein empty her bile on Assange if Palin were President?  That's the $50K question, isn't it?  And it goes to the heart of what are we Leftists truly supporting?  Our we supporting policies or "the team?"

You appear to be arguing for working within the existing system or framework.  I can't deny there are financial, legal and structural reasons one can't be totally dismissive of this.  Ask Nader about his 3rd party sojourns to get my drift. 

Having said that, the most powerful and important thing one can do is build grassroot movements.  The problem with working within the "system" is that corporations run this country.  You can "get behind" a "progressive" candidate all you want but they will be coopted by corporations whether out of similar interests or necessity, the need for campaign funds.  This is why so many are "opting" out of the system, why more and more people so no reason to vote.  America is truly on a facist footing where corporations and the military-security complex can do damn near whatever they want and totally ignore the will of the people.  In fact, Wikileaks makes it clear that most governments are criminal enterprises. 

Frankly, I don't see any meaningful solutions "within the system."  Except, perhaps, for starters, mounting a primary challenge to Obama in 2012.  Arguably this will be a "conclusive litmus tests."  That is, if the "party" can't mount a primary challenger to Obama, then the "party" is a worthless mechanism.  On a national level I don't see solutions, I see dark days ahead.  The payroll tax, the measly $20 a week in our paychecks, will gut Social Security, will open the door wider to linking the "deficit" and "tax breaks" to the wholly distinct and solvent Trust Fund. 

Think, "small is beautiful," because the big boys and girls have the US and the planet careening off a cliff.  There are no solutions on a national level only responses to the deprivations on a local level.  Anyone with an ounce of prescience can see that saving America from itself is a losing cause. The capitalistic culture and mindset of Americans has a death grip and won't let go.  No one will believe in alternative lifestyles and solutions until they are forced to adopt them, and by then it will be too late. Americans will countenance war as long as they can continue the consumerism without major disruptions, we see that right now.  Did anyone hear any linkage between the deficit hawks and continuing Bush tax cuts?  Did anyone hear any linkage between deficit reduction, Bush tax cuts, and reducing the military budget and footprint?  Didn't think so. These mofos are gonna do what they want, damn the public good.

Ask yourself this simple, profound question, and dissect it, it should shed some light and thought on the dilmena.  What happened to the antiwar movement?  Why so much silence when Obama escalated war in Afghanistan and increased drone strikes in Pakistan?  Why no push back? The point is, if the "antiwar" Nobel "Peace" Prize winning president can't be checked on his Bushian military escapades around the globe, actually "out-Bushing Bush," then how in the hell do you expect him to go left?  Obama is about to serve the Grover Norquist acolytes up some filet migon and help to "starve the beast," so he can then convince the sheeple that he "saved" us from the rapacious Rethugs.  There is no "saving" Obama or pushing him anywhere.  The bastards is 2 steps ahead of the stupid "Left" who cling to false hopes. 

just a couple of factual

just a couple of factual points:

Erskine Bowles is from North Carolina NOT Georgia

Alan Simpson is from Wyoming NOT Utah

Barry Obummer is from Mars

Correction accepted, gladly.

My apologies to all on the home states of Simpson and Bowles. When one thinks one "knows" a fact, one neglects to check.

Glen Ford

The march to hell

And it really will be a hell in the coming years. Our food supply is being systematically destroyed, our society is dependent upon a downward spiraling war based economy and rewards unsustainable business practices, the private armies will continue to be paid by those that still have money and power (and some will) and they will turn on us (whites, blacks, yellows etc) with the same vengeance.and cruelty as they did on the Iraqis.

Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan are all going in the same direction, supporting the same bosses, and selling the people out each and every time.

This isn't some joke. Do you think that most Germans in 1925 would have believed that they could be a Hitler? Maybe the Tea party supporters hoped that, but generally there was a feeling it wasn't going to get worse. They were wrong, and so is America's current complacency.

I hope that most of your readers voted for McKinney or Nader. If we are to survive intact at all, people will have to put human rights first and foremost for all, no exceptions. I will not vote for any candiate if they don't support human rights for all, no matter who the opponent is.


Everything that Adolph Reed, Jr. Predicted About Obama....

Everything that Adolph Reed, Jr. predicted about Obama over 15-years-ago or so, before Obama became a well-known politician nationwide, has come to pass. Dr. Reed saw from the beginning that Obama was nothing more than a black Clintonite. In fact, he maybe worse because at least Clinton had more of an excuse to move to the right in the 90s when the country as a whole was still drunk on Reaganism. Obama pissed away his mandate and has solidified the Democratic Party's move to the right that began under the Clinton Administration. Funny how most of us here two years ago predicted how the liberals and progressives would whine and complain about how much Obama has betrayed them, when the writing was on the mofo wall during the campaign. We kept telling them over and over again that Obama wasn't to be trusted, yet they did everything in their power to either ignore or shut down any debate completely regarding Obama's "audacity of hope" sham.  

What I can't understand is this devotion to Obama from the majority of black folks -- many who should know better but to damn stubborn to come to the conclusion. I have friends and people in my family who know Obama is a bullshit politician, yet they simply brush it off and refuse to hear about his policies because they are still intoxicated with the whole aura of a black presidency. "Give him a chance!" "Well, he's a politician, and politician has to do things like this to get by." "He can only do so much!" I honestly don't know what it's going to take for our people to realize how detrimental Obama's policies are to working people. Hell, it took the 2008 campaign for the majority of black folk to see what Slick Willie was all about. 

This was the Democratic Party's one chance to finally steer the party to the left after moving so far to the right under Clinton and Bush, and all was simply pissed away for the sake of putting a Cosbyite family into the White House so we can morally feel good about ourselves. Policies be damned! 

Two Things

First, the devotion to Obama is not so hard to explain when you look at how many of his supporters defend him.  Most of the ones who do define Obama by looking at how his most vocal opposition (Boehner, Rep. King, Beck/Hannity/Scarborough, McConnell, the Tea Party, etc.) views him.  There has never been a thorough and cogent defense of Obama's policies or political leanings since the Health Insurance debacle.  These people have not accepted that Obama can be hated as much as he is AND that he does work in our best collective or individual interest.  Identity politics are at work here.

Second, the Obamas may be many things, but they are not Cosbyite.  Bill Cosby actually fought NBC tooth and nail to keep the bigoted (and rather old) Hollywood stereotypes of Black Families (at the time, this meant being poor, loudmouth, sassy troublemakers who live in the 'projects') from infecting his show.  Obama never shows that kind of fight...unless it's for the rich.

Who is Your Alternative Candidate?

Democrats always talk smack about their candidates, but they're not very good at promoting alternatives.  Oh, wait!  That's right.  The progressive candidate in '08 was John Edwards.  How'd that turn out? 

So, who is this progressive god that we should be turning to?  The electable progressive candidate?  And are progressives going to have the discipline to build alliances to get this candidate elected?

Tired of the complaining about Obama.  Time for progressives to put up or shut up.


I'm a little confused by this, but what is he doing.  If he is gunna dig the hole i guess he can lye in it. Autoglass Thanks


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