Obama, who has spent nearly three years in the White House single-mindedly defending the interests of the financial elite, has in recent weeks adopted this populist persona with the aim of derailing the emergence of social protest, in the form of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and seeking to channel it behind his reelection campaign.
Typical of such carefully staged events, the site of Obama’s remarks—Osawatomie, Kansas, where Theodore Roosevelt gave his 1910 “New Nationalism” speech—was chosen for its symbolism. By wrapping himself in the mantle of Roosevelt’s Progressive Era reform agenda, Obama hoped to lend credibility to his improbable pose as a man of the people and opponent of the moneyed interests.
The speech was notable only for its unbridled cynicism. As always, Obama proceeded from the premise that the American people are infinitely gullible and suffer from collective amnesia with regard to the record of his administration.
President Obama thinks he can win reelection by running the same hoax on his Democratic base as he did in 2008: flavoring his speeches with progressive sounding rhetoric while tightening the bankers’ grip on government and continuing his pursuit a “grand bargain” with the Republicans. In his speech on Tuesday in Kansas, Obama depicted himself as the reincarnation of President Teddy Roosevelt, known as a corporate “trust-buster” at the turn of the 20th century. But Obama is no trust-buster. He has never busted a corporate monopoly. His administration approved the merger of Comcast and NBC, consolidating even an bigger monopoly and giving the lie to his 2008 campaign promise to reinvigorate anti-trust enforcement.
The Obama m.o. is to talk a progressive game and then do just the opposite. He claims he found it “infuriating” to rescue the banks from collapse when he came to office. If that’s the case, then the best thing that could happen to Black people would be for Obama to get absolutely furious at us – and then the trillions would flow. When Obama supposedly got furious at the banks, he put the whole government and the Federal Reserve at their beck and call and funneled more than $16 trillion into their accounts. Apparently, it pays big time to get Barack Obama “infuriated.” If he gets mad enough at you, he’ll open up the windows at the Federal Reserve and hand out trillions of dollars in interest-free loans. Then, if you’re a bank that he’s really mad at, you can take the people’s money and buy U.S. Treasury bonds and get a healthy return on your cost-free investment.