Obama’s Cheerleaders Fall on their Faces
by John Stauber (Common Dreams)
The electoral debacle suffered by the Obama Administration and its Democratic Party will be blamed on many things, especially the secret wealth behind the myriad of coordinated campaign front groups dominating TV advertising in the wake of the Supreme Court’s horrific decision in the Citizen United case, a Right Wing coup that essentially drove the nail into the money coffin encasing American democracy.
But let the blame be laid instead with the Obama Administration itself, the phony rhetoric of change and populism it embraced to win in 2008, and the betrayal of its promises of fundamental reform, openness and peace, ideals that so excited new and independent voters just two years ago. I’ve been writing since 2007 about the sell-out of the peace movement by MoveOn and its co-option as a campaign tool by Democratic Party. Web-centric, navel-gazing fundraising operations such as MoveOn and the liberal millionaires behind the Democracy Alliance fooled themselves into thinking that the election of Obama meant the Republicans were vanquished. But the pro-war, pro-Wall Street, anti-Single Payer reform antics of Obama and the Democrats undercut their reform rhetoric and revealed the hypocrisy of Democratic corporate liberals, or “progressives” as they have come to be called.
Obama’s great email list of over ten million contributors, controlled by the Democratic National Committee and renamed Organizing for America, and the five million strong list of MoveOn, and the hundreds of millions spent in the past half decade by the elite wealthy funders behind the Democracy Alliance, were futile in this election. The phony health care reform bill and the idiotic and suicidal ratcheting up of the war in Afghanistan, a war doomed to failure in the years ahead, sealed the fate of the Democrats as they labored to paint lipstick on the pig that is the health insurance law, while sitting on their hands in the face of the counterproductive escalating war. The economy was put in the hands of Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, a bit like handing Bonnie and Clyde the keys to the bank vault and a new get away car.
Rather than building a progressive movement for real populist change, MoveOn and the other cheerleaders for the Obama Administration led the parade right off the cliff, and all the liberal hucksterism could not convince the base of youth and Black and independent voters who rose up in 2008 that this Administration and its Party are what it claimed to be then, on the side of fundamental change and reform for typical Americans.
It will be interesting to see if anything changes in the next two years remaining in the Obama presidency, if inside the shells of these failed liberal lobbies there is any intelligent leadership that is really able to connect with the alienation, anger, hopelessness and hatred of government that ruled the day on November 2, 2010. Is there anyone home in these organizations who really understands, as the Right does, that there is a need to organize at the grassroots around fundamental principles, and to mobilize the anger that is felt by ones base?
I doubt it. I don’t see it. The ‘rally around Obama’ crowd will probably learn exactly the wrong lessons out of the electoral debacle suffered November 2, 2010. Obama 2012? That will sell about as well as a failed economy and endless war.