(Parts I & II dealt with Barack Obama’s apologists, his base, the racist opposition to him, and why he’s an ideal front man for corporate capitalism–why his base takes so much abuse from him, yet keeps coming back for more. Today we’ll look at exactly how he’s betrayed them.)

How exactly has Obama betrayed the people who elected him? It would require a book to detail all of the ways. In the interest of brevity, we’ll only hit some of the low points.

During his 2008 campaign, Obama promised that his administration would be the most open in history and that he’d protect whistleblowers. The reality? He’s run the most secretive administration in history and has systematically and viciously persecuted whistleblowers. He’s even repeatedly used the Espionage Act of 1917 (an Orwellian piece of legislation originally designed to crush dissent during World War I, and used to throw into prison those who openly opposed U.S. entry into the war). He’s used this despicable, free speech-suppression law to ruin the lives of those who were _not_ engaged in “espionage” to benefit the “enemy” (whoever or whatever that might be, now), but rather who exposed government wrongdoing to public view. Whistleblowers Obama has targeted include Thomas Drake, Bradley Manning, Jeffrey Hammond, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Barrett Brown, among many others.

And it’s even worse than that. Obama promised to respect individual rights and civil liberties. Instead, as the recent NSA leaks have revealed, he’s delivered a total surveillance state that would put East Germany and the Stasi to shame. Now, almost unbelievably, in the wake of Ed Snowden’s (and Glenn Greenwald‘s) NSA revelations, Obama is making speeches about reining in the surveillance abuses he himself created.

Obama promised accountability. To date, his “Justice” Department has done essentially no investigation of two of the greatest crimes in U.S. history: the stampeding of the nation into an illegal war of aggression and the most massive financial fraud in world history. The war resulted in 4500 U.S. dead, over 100,000 Iraqi dead, millions more driven from their homes, and ongoing sectarian mayhem. The financial fraud resulted in a worldwide financial crisis, $70 _trillion_ in losses, and millions upon millions losing their jobs and homes. Yet Obama has refused to investigate these atrocities, let alone prosecute the perpetrators. Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder has even stated that the major banks, largely responsible for the financial crisis, are “too big to jail.”

During the 2008 campaign, Obama promised healthcare reform, including a “public option.” Once in office, he took the public option off the table almost immediately. He didn’t even try to get it. Didn’t even use it as a bargaining chip. Instead, he delivered a Heritage Foundation plan that threatens neither private insurers nor the pharmaceutical industry. As Michael Moore put it, Obama delivered “a quarter of a loaf.” (The only other things he’s delivered on have been social issues, e.g., gay marriage and scrapping “don’t ask don’t tell”–things that his base supports and that in no way threaten corporate interests; and even there he’s been a day late and a dollar short.)

Obama promised to fix the economy. He had his chance when he came into office. He could have asked for, and quite possibly obtained, a stimulus package adequate to jump start the economy and put millions back to work. Not incidentally, his campaign economic advisors, notably Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, were advocating precisely this. But once in office, Obama immediately ditched Krugman and his other progressive advisors and replaced them with Wall Street insiders such as Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers. Under their guidance, he asked for a stimulus package big enough to save the banks and prevent total collapse of the economy, but not big enough to put much of a dent in sky-high uenmployment. Obama asked for and delivered a stimulus only one-third to one-quarter the size that his former progressive economic advisors advocated. We all know the results.

There are many other instances where Obama has betrayed those who elected him, but this is a blog post so I’ll stop here.

If you’re an Obama supporter, face it: he’s betrayed you.

The Republicans appeal to the very worst in people: racism, misogyny, homophobia, sadism, callousness, religious zealotry,xenophobia, and a boot-licking, blustering, bullying nationalism. By and large, they deliver what they promise.

In contrast, the Democrats, and Obama in particular, appeal to the best in people–compassion, tolerance, a desire for justice and fairness–and rarely if ever deliver. Instead, they routinely betray the hopes they’ve raised.

You decide which is worse.

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Comments
  1. […] When he had real power, with big majorities in both houses of Congress during his first two years, what did Obama do? He produced a grossly inadequate stimulus package that was just large enough to save the big banks, but not the millions upon millions who’d lost their jobs and homes — for them, he did next to nothing; he pushed through a grossly inadequate healthcare measure (Michael Moore called it a “quarter of a loaf” measure) that was designed to preserve the parasitic healthcare insurance industry and big pharma; and beyond that, he didn’t even try to accomplish anything significant regarding climate change or much of anything else. (For more on Obama’s betrayal of the people who voted for him, see “Obama and His Base: An Abusive Relationship, part 3″.) […]

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