Friday, July 15, 2011

Taibbi closes in on Obama

In a recent blog, Rolling Stone contributing editor, Matt Taibbi, comes very close in his last paragraph to supporting the headline to his article: “Obama Doesn’t Want a Progressive Deficit Deal.” Taibbi calls out the Democrats for a “transparent lie” when they claim to support a progressive solution to the current economic situation.

I agree: Obama has been maneuvering much more openly, quite blatantly in fact, since at least December 2010, driving not merely a rightwing agenda, but an extremist right wing agenda, a Tea Party agenda.

Taibbi quotes from a recent Paul Krugman op-ed where Krugman couldn’t be clearer. It’s hard, Krugman begins, to trust Mr. Obama to uphold Democratic principles and a liberal, progressive view of the needs of the country. Krugman noticed that Obama’s economic rhetoric has parroted the know-nothings and the cynics.

It’s getting harder and harder to trust Mr. Obama’s motives in the budget fight, given the way his economic rhetoric has veered to the right. In fact, if all you did was listen to his speeches, you might conclude that he basically shares the G.O.P.’s diagnosis of what ails our economy and what should be done to fix it. And maybe that’s not a false impression; maybe it’s the simple truth.

One striking example of this rightward shift came in last weekend’s presidential address, in which Mr. Obama had this to say about the economics of the budget: “Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.” --NYT, July 8, 2011, “What Obama Wants”

The difficulty with Taibbi’s blog is that he muddles the issue by suggesting that Obama’s purpose is to gain political advantage ahead of the 2012 elections.
Taibbi writes:

But what is becoming equally obvious, to both sides, is that the Obama White House is using this same artificial calamity to pitch its own increasingly rightward tilt to voters in advance of the 2012 elections.

If Taibbi had stopped before his last phrase, he would have been spot on.

But what is becoming equally obvious, to both sides, is that the Obama White House is using this same artificial calamity to pitch its own increasingly rightward tilt…

In his last paragraph Taibbi comes so close to nailing it.

I simply don't believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc. That they won't do these things because they're afraid of public criticism, and "responding to pressure," is an increasingly transparent lie.

Yes, it’s a transparent lie to think that the Democrats and/or Obama believe that by endorsing GOP anti-government, anti-civil society policies, they are gaining popular support.

Matt Taibbi is one of our clearest and most focused writers and has made important contributions, especially by documenting and elucidating many of the shenanigans that led to the financial meltdown of 2007-2008. If this particular blog is somewhat muddled, we can wonder if it is so because he’s writing for a national publication and it may not be so easy for him as it might be for others to call out Obama for who he is.

How much more clear do we need the signs to be? Obama appears to be a traitor to his party. In the last few days Obama repeated: 'I'm prepared to take significant heat from my own party.' President Obama has turned out to be a traitor to the hopes of the millions of his supporters. Obama appears to be a fraud, an imposter, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, devouring what little remains of the New Deal. Obama seems intent on keeping us on the unsustainable road of the post 9/11 world of permanent war and totalitarian government.

It’s time to seek an answer to the question: Who is Obama? And while we do so, let’s recognize that the Republicans are right. We can’t afford another Obama term.