Obama hasn't been a total disaster on labor. Most notably, he stepped up in the Wisconsin mess and at least took sides in that debate, calling the push to end collective bargaining rights an "assault" on unions.Obama is a tragedy. The year 2008 was a potential turning point like 1932. Obama gave out the vibe that he wanted to be a pivotal figure, but once in power he proved to be a pussy cat that happily scampered up to Wall Street's lap and jumped up and began purring, carefully and happily ensconced.
But I remember following Obama on the campaign trail and hearing all sorts of promises before union-heavy crowds. He said he would raise the minimum wage every year; he said he would fight free-trade agreements. He also talked about repealing the Bush tax cuts and ending tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas.
It's not just that he hasn't done those things. The more important thing is that the people he's surrounded himself with are not labor people, but stooges from Wall Street. Barack Obama has as his chief of staff a former top-ranking executive from one of the most grossly corrupt mega-companies on earth, JP Morgan Chase. He sees Bill Daley in his own office every day, yet when it comes time to talk abut labor issues, he has to go out and make selected visits twice a year or whatever to the Richard Trumkas of the world.
Listening to Obama talk about jobs and shared prosperity yesterday reminded me that we are back in campaign mode and Barack Obama has started doing again what he does best – play the part of a progressive. He's good at it. It sounds like he has a natural affinity for union workers and ordinary people when he makes these speeches. But his policies are crafted by representatives of corporate/financial America, who happen to entirely make up his inner circle.
Americans need a real choice in 2012 but apparently won't get one. That's a shame.
I side with Matt Taibbi when he says:
I just don't believe this guy anymore, and it's become almost painful to listen to him.I go one step further. It is not "almost painful" for me. It is truly painful. I simply refuse to listen to any more lies from him, just as I refuse to listen to the lies from the Republican politicians.
Obama is the Jimmy Carter for this generation. But he also reminds me of Hubert Humphrey leaning on all his leftist/progressive credentials but running as a Mini-Me LBJ in 1968 offering 4 more years of senseless war in Vietnam until late in the race "saw the light" because he was behind in the polls and he finally stepped out of the shadows and announced himself as a peace candidate. In short, just another cynical politician lying about what he "stood" for.
Obama is playing the same trick. Promise them what they want to hear, but once in power, he obeys only his real masters, the Wall Street clique that has destroyed $10 trillion in wealth and resists any attempt to corral them and strip them of their power or to try them for their crimes.