I can’t help but be struck by what seems to be the naive posture adopted by the President of late. First, he complains on 60 Minutes about being saddled by “fat cat bankers” who have the audacity to earn too much money. Then, he complains about “isolated extremists” who have the audacity to interrupt his golfing vacation on Hawaii. I am reminded of Bill Clinton’s lament when he railed against the “f…ing bond markets” when he first took office.
It must be something about Democrats who somehow think the job of President of the United States isn’t managing fat cats on Wall Street and terrorists from Yemen. Funny, everyone else seems to know that that is precisely what Presidents do. What did Senator Obama think he was committing to when he took all those millions raised by hedge fund managers? Didn’t he promise, in fact, to wage war in Afghanistan?
Of course, if Obama were indeed a man of the left, as the right drones on and on about, then he would deal with the bankers and the bombers instead of hanging his head and saying “woe is me.”
First, he would have nationalized the banks and begun a major infrastructure investment scheme to rebuild our roads, bridges, schools, build our fiber optic and wireless networks and finally build out a high speed rail network so that our workforce can increase productivity and put a definitive end to the deepening recession.
Second, he would have begun a global demobilization to put a final end to what political scientist Chalmers Johnson calls “the militarism and imperialism that have led to the near-collapse of our Constitutional system of checks and balances…” In its place we need a revival of global governance through the UN system that preserves our sovereignty yet makes democracy compelling to the millions who must be encouraged to take on their own domestic authoritarian regimes. He would, in other words, welcome the Dalai Lama not the dictators of Beijing to the White House.
Of late the American Obama Left led by people like the American Prospect’s Harold Meyerson and Progressives for Obama organizer Carl Davidson are very much on the defensive, clearly aware that the candidate they put so much hope into appears to be disappointing them. Yet, they now blame the victims – that is, the same people whom they helped convince to vote Obama into office – arguing that they have failed to push Obama from below to the left.
But that is exactly what those millions of voters thought they were doing last year from Iowa to Inauguration Day. They were there and they thought they were voting against the war and against the mess caused by Wall Street.
So what has Obama been waiting for? Is he or is he not the change they were seeking?
To ask the question is to answer it.