— In the capitalist creep towards fascism the Obama Administration actually blipped the radar.
[NOTE — As this title implies, be though it may, it remains imperative to never vote for a GOPwinger!]
Often when writing I like to include a song for background listening while reading. In this instance, I picked a song called “4 out of 5” by Soul Coughing. Why does four out of five fit this subject? Well, had Hillary Clinton won the presidency in 2016 it would have meant a Bush or a Clinton president in four out of five US presidencies. Sure seems like a monarchy to me! What do you think?
Anyway, here’s the song I
One Day While on Facebook
One day, on Facebook, I described Barak Obama as a caretaker president. My Facebook friend responded by claiming I used faulty analysis. Of course, during the cruelty days of Donald Trump it was way easier to imagine President Obama as not a bad guy!
But was I correct? We hear from America’s media a lot about Russian oligarchs but very little about American oligarchs. So let’s examine some of America’s Oligarchial Equations.
The Ronald Reagan-George H.W. Bush Administration and the George H.W. Bush-Dan Quayle Administration amounted to 12 consecutive years of GOP powerhouse politics. The Bill Clinton-Al Gore Administration then lasted eight years. So also did the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney Administration. Barak Obama-Joe Biden Administration (with Hillary Clinton as secretary of state for four years) also served eight years.
This meant that for 32 of 36 years a Bush or a Clinton was at the very top of the US government either as president, vice president or secretary of state. Also consider before becoming Reagan’s vice president, the elder Bush was director of America’s CIA during the Ford-Rockefeller Administration.
Think why Clinton really lost. It wasn’t due to Bernie Sanders, the Russians, the media or Donald Trump. Hillary lost because she was the penultimate insider campaigning before an electorate that desperately wanted to elect an outsider.
Had Clinton won in 2016 (she was the early best bet among oligarchs) and had she become re-elected in 2020, it would have meant a Hillary Clinton-Tim Kane Administration serving for eight years. This would have tallied 42 years of presidential administrations with a Bush or a Clinton at the top for 38 of them.
It would have meant a Bush or a Clinton in 10 out of 11 presidencies!
Indeed, I stake my claim Obama was a caretaker president.
An Electorate Full of Obama Hope
Absolutely sickened by eight years of horror from prolonged war in Afghanistan and Shock and Awe upon Iraq, plus a collapsed US economy, the electorate wanted an outsider to become president in 2008. Given America never before had a black president, this fact alone made Obama the perfect outsider choice. He campaigned as a long-needed and long-awaited progressive.
The US had not seen a progressive president since John F. Kennedy was shot!
Much like the very progressive Franklin D. Roosevelt bailed America out from The Great Depression, the electorate believed Obama’s campaign messaging that he’d govern similarly. That he’d deal head-on against pitfalls from Bush-Cheney’s Great Recession; he’d challenge the bankers, the military-industrial complex and big pharma, big oil, big agri, etc.
That perhaps he’d turn the tide to a Drug War that enabled America to become the world’s leading imprisoning nation. Indeed, America evolved into a nation whereby 12% of its citizenry sport felony convictions. We also had become a nation suffering way too many drug war-related murders.
Perhaps he’d even restore The Glass-Steagall Act which prevented banks from speculating in the markets. Maybe he’d also tighten the FCC lid which loosened too allow media consolidation: Five corporate conglomerates control 90% of all media in the US!
It was hoped Obama would provide relief for a middle class that became riddled with debt and rapidly losing ground. It was hoped Obama would help poor folk rise from the bottoms, that he’d help them find more meaningful lives and education and good jobs for their children. There was even hope the minimum wage, which had stagnated at $7.25, would be raised.
Fooling The Electorate
America’s oligarchy generally is served by Oligarch Protection Units (OPUs). These include not only pedigreed politicians and high-powered members of the media, but also professional consultants and political operatives who command seven-digit salaries.
The 2008 political operatives clearly knew Insider candidates Hillary Clinton and John McCain would falter in the 2008 election. This is why Alaskan governor Sarah Palin was desperately picked on the GOPwinger side. But, overall, they needed a new kind of pedigree to win and control the presidency on behalf of oligarchy. Obama perfectly fit the bill!
Thus, America’s oligarchy wrapped its tools behind Obama who postured as a progressive populist. Sadly, once elected, he removed his community organizer shoes and instead settled in with the elite wingtips. It seemed as though he wanted to prove not only could a black man become president, but he could also enjoin and hobnob the powerful elite … this, without first having been a sports celebrity.
As it was, everybody got fooled. Obama sidestepped the needs of the people and overwhelmingly delivered for oligarchy. His administration centered on:
- Cabinet appointments based on Wall Street’s Citigroup selections, including a Defense Department stocked with leftover Bush-Cheney neocon warmongers. Except racial or female acquiescence, there was very little that was progressive about who Obama appointed to his presidential cabinet.
- Continuing the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also started new proxy wars on Libya, Syria and Yemen. Additionally, the US coalesced behind a rightwing coup in Honduras and lobbed huge military and cold war-like threats against Russia over Ukraine and Crimea. Much of this action was with warmonger Hillary Clinton as secretary of state!
- He absolutely crushed The Occupy Movement which finally and seriously highlighted America’s widespread economic disparity (see also the 2014 Princeton Study on Oligarchy).
- He created a condition whereby 95% of all new wealth generated during his two terms went to the fat cats at the top — CEOs were obscenely enriched!
- He conflated Obama Care over a much-needed, wanted and long overdue universal health care system. Private health insurance stayed intact, prescription drug companies saw bonanza and too many Americans remained uninsured or underinsured.
- He consolidated into permanence the Bush-Cheney tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires Moreover, no fat cats were ever prosecuted for ripping off rank and file Americans as bankers were tidily boosted. Defense spending remained wild and the never-ending drug war raged leaving way too many Americans frail in their attempt to survive within a cruel and unfair underground economy.
The smooth, polished and media savvy Obama appeared healthy for people. But, in reality, he was totally subservient to oligarchy. Indeed, he was a caretaker president and very well prepared to hand the presidential reigns over to Hillary Clinton. Obama helped to defeat Bernie Sanders and he boosted many of the falsehoods of Russiagate.
I think Kennedy was trying to warn us on what would come, i.e., a building oligarchy. He did his best to prevent it … but he got shot and killed!