Quelle Surprise! Democrats Have a Candidate for the Presidency!

Originally published on The Agonist

Disclaimer: The Economic Populist is a politically nonpartisan blog. The author's views below are not necessarily those of the editors of EP or of other writers who contribute to this blog.

"This is a political crime of deception, an enormous bait and switch, in which liberals and quite a few independents were misled by a serial liar who purposely characterized himself as a reformer…" Numerian

Did you receive your email from Barack Obama yet? If you are a Democrat, or on his campaign mailing list, the president has promised you are going to be the first to know when he formally launches his reelection campaign. It could be any moment now; apparently the White House is waiting for a slow news day when Libya and Fukushima and Congressional budget negotiations aren’t dominating the media agenda. Once the news is out, you are expected as a loyal Obama supporter to start sending in campaign donations and begin attending campaign organization meetings.

The problem is, if you are a liberal, the chances are pretty high that you haven’t forgotten that the White House thinks of you as "fucking retarded". That’s at least how Rahm Emanuel described liberals when he used to work in the White House; he was a bit less patronizing during the recent Chicago mayoral election when he needed their votes. Still, everybody knows he holds the left wing of the Democratic Party in contempt, and he will probably never forgive them for not aggressively supporting all those beloved Blue Dog Democrats who got wiped out in last November’s mid-term election. Rahm Emanuel maintains the quintessential Democratic Party insider attitude regarding liberals – they are doormats to be walked upon day in and day out, except around election day, when they are expected to rise up, stand upon some real doormats, and convince people to get out and vote for whomever the party has put up for election.

There is no evidence so far that the White House has changed its opinion about liberals. President Obama has never really taken back the comments his previous press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said about liberals in an interview with The Hill:

These people ought to be drug tested. They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and when we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality. They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.

As a liberal, I’m not sure Dennis Kucinich would make a very good president, though I like a lot of his ideas. And try as I might, I can’t find any quotes from liberals calling for the elimination of the Pentagon. But I damn sure would like me some of that Canadian healthcare. For some mysterious reason, ever since President Obama’s healthcare bill was passed by Congress, my health care premiums have gone up twice, and not by small amounts. Call us drug-addled – send us off for drug testing – but we liberals warned President Obama that a health care bill without a public option was guaranteed to solidify, and not weaken, the power of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies to charge as much as they wanted, even if that meant millions more Americans had to go without healthcare altogether.

No Options for the Public

President Obama used to like the public option as a basis for healthcare reform, but that was when he was candidate Obama. Liberals have a very hard time recognizing the person now in the Oval Office as the same man they campaigned and voted for. Candidate Obama promised to eliminate torture, close Guantanamo, shut down the war in Iraq, restore civil liberties like habeas corpus, bring banksters to justice, make affordable healthcare available to all, eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, put strict limits on greenhouse gases, defend Social Security and Medicare, and open up the White House to greater public scrutiny. President Obama, the candidate’s doppelgänger who actually sits in the Oval Office, approved the torture of Bradley Manning, sentenced the prisoners in Guantanamo to life terms there even though they have never been charged or tried for any crimes, shifted the war in Iraq over to Afghanistan, added to rather than eliminated the Bush catalog of civil rights abuses, failed to indict even one bankster when evidence of massive fraud in the financial industry abounds, caved to the Republicans on healthcare reform after showing no leadership on the matter for over a year, extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, gave up on global warming legislation, undermined Social Security and Medicare by siding with conservative hawks who insist the only solution to trillion dollar deficits is to slash entitlements, and shrouded the White House with a cloak of secrecy that would make Dick Cheney feel right at home.

This is not simply a litany of disappointments for liberals to stew over. This is a political crime of deception, an enormous bait and switch, in which liberals and quite a few independents were misled by a serial liar who purposely characterized himself as a reformer, when in fact he has proven to be nothing more than George Bush with a hint of eloquence. In the face of this deception, what will liberals do when the White House sends out emails asking for support?

Obama on Thin Ice

The first worry the White House has is whether liberals will abandon the president the way independents have. According to the most recent Quinnipiac Poll, 37% of independents feel President Obama deserves reelection, but 52% do not. Among all potential voters, 50% do not feel Obama deserves reelection against 41% who do. Obama’s overall approval ratings have fallen to an all-time low for his presidency – only 42% approve of his performance.

This is not a good situation from which a sitting president should start a reelection campaign. Even worse, voters right now rate it a toss up as to whether they would vote for President Obama or an unnamed Republican candidate. This clouds the question as to whether Obama can win reelection, but that picture clears up a bit when specific Republican candidates are matched against President Obama. None of the Republicans stands up well, which shows how weak the Republican field is at the moment.

Similarly, the polling results show that overall Democrat support for the president remains high, at 79%, though this is ten points lower than after his election in 2008. Within these numbers, Obama scores less favorably among Democrats who identify themselves as liberals or union members. This is the second worry for the White House. The Obama team knows that liberals aren’t going to vote for Republican candidates of any sort, but they are counting on liberals to come around and serve as the ground troops for the campaign, as well as a major provider of individual donations. Liberals are definitely out in force, but in places like Madison, Wisconsin, and Columbus, Ohio, where attacks are being waged at the state level against unions and collective bargaining. It has not gone unnoticed among tens of thousands of people who attend these events that candidate Obama promised to be among the protestors if unions were ever threatened, and that this is yet another campaign promise that has been forgotten by the president.

Let's Make Up

The 2012 election promises to be a lot closer than the one four years ago, and in close elections, Get Out The Vote efforts, and an effective ground campaign, can make all the difference. This White House is seriously behind in generating support and enthusiasm from independents, and it therefore cannot afford to see any slackening in support and enthusiasm from the Democratic Party faithful, who are by and large liberals. A point is going to come when the White House and President Obama realize how much damage has been done to the liberal base, and President Obama is going to have a John Kerry moment. This refers to the point in the Kerry campaign where he turned decisively against the Iraq War, and his poll results and campaign effectiveness began to improve as his own party finally rallied to his cause.

President Obama will go all populist, and start talking about greedy bankers and obstructive Republicans. He’ll do it in a nice way, of course – he has to maintain his cherished reputation for bipartisanship and political decency. He’ll expect the liberals to come around like they always have in the past. If they do – if they start pounding the streets and sending in those $100 checks - Rahm Emanuel will be right, but in a way he did not expect. Liberals will indeed be “fucking retarded” for coming out in support of a party and its candidate who is more at home in George W. Bush’s Republican Party and who desperately needs liberals to forget this fact.



EP is non-partisan

The Economic Populist is officially non-partisan, since we are an economics blog, primarily. That said, I'm fairly certain almost all site readers would choose none of the above since we cannot get policy for the U.S. worker, U.S. middle class and in the national interest.

It's just battle of the lobbyists.

none of the above ... except

For sure, none of the above for reasons stated by Robert Oak. Except there is this one candidate who maybe .... could this guy be real? .... nah!

But still, I'm thinking this Buddy Roemer down in Louisiana could be worth registering Republican just to vote in the primary ....

And he won't even consider taking more than $100 from any one of us .... so, as long shots go, against all odds, you know .... $100 gets what? .... remote possibility of shaking up the two-ring presidential circus ....

Well, I thought, for an economics blog, something like buying junk bonds on the off chance .... more of a gamble than an investment .... but what else is there in this day and age?

Link to Roemer's very brief statement

re: none of the above

I will still vote for the lesser of two evils, so I will hold my nose and vote for Obama again. But I will not be donating, knocking on doors, or calling up strangers like I did last time. As numerian said,

Liberals are definitely out in force, but in places like Madison, Wisconsin, and Columbus, Ohio, where attacks are being waged at the state level against unions and collective bargaining.

This is as it should be. Let Obama spend some of his Wall Street money to pay working class people to work for his re-election. All of our donations and volunteering should go to people who are actually on our side. Wall Street should have to foot the bill for their guy.

Donald Trump

Ignoring the "birther" thing of recent, (see the Sunday Morning Comics for a good take on that one from the Lewis Black), Donald Trump has really called cash on China and trade, I mean it's astounding and surprising that Mr. Hair, reality show, womanizer, bankrupt casino owner (although he has managed to land of his feet which in that game, many didn't)....

could say something that should be coming out of the mouth of a Democratic candidate, really got a lot of people's attention.

That said, this campaign is pretty much only going to help jobs by filling the coffers of TV ad space and campaign staff with assuredly billions...
so that's the only purpose I see is in an indirect way corporations will be spending a lot of dough to get their representatives into the White House and Congress.

Ross Perot in a Very Bad Comb Over?

Trump is free to say some things that other candidates with political careers and a little less personal money would not be able to utter (I'm leaving out Ron Paul for the moment, who until recently didn't have much of a political career).

Exactly how hard Trump would be on business if he were in office is altogether another matter. His real estate empire was bankrupt in the 80s and was saved only by some extend and pretend games by the banks, for which Trump has always been grateful (especially to JPM Chase). That is one industry he would not to see under pressure, at least when it comes to their very serious commercial real estate problems of the moment.

Good point

For a moment, maybe just seconds, I had a slight smile when I heard Trump was running. Then the doubts set in and Trump made the "birther" remark about the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate. At that point, any benefit Trump might have offered evaporated by his alliance with the entirety of that screwed up notion.

But your point is key. I got a great three day package at the Taj Mahal when Trump was on the ropes. They were literally removing the Taj towers off of the roof as we arrived. Trump was saved by the banks and, I'm sure, he can never forget. He's a hobbyist anyway. Perot was a real candidate.


He just can't say no to Wall St campaign contribution .... as well as future support for retirement tours, speeches, etc. A real leader would have tackled the financial reform issues etc even if he had to bypass any future campaign contributions and settle for one effective term

Obama as "false flag" operation

This is the best and one of the earliest critiques of the "brand Obama" hypocrisy. Obama may not be worse than Bush (or he may), but the fact that he has a) lied so cravenly to the public and b) implemented disastrous policies at a point where we simply can't afford them makes contempt and ridicule mandatory. Ignoring him won't make him go away (which would be my preference).

The polling analysis is first rate. Don't bother with anyone else for now, imho. Obama struggles against a generic candidate but wins against specific Republicans. The wisdom of the people prevails! He's a loser and phoney and people see that. But when one of the crazies is put in place of "Republican," he wins. That's not something to be proud of. But the Democrat Money party boys will beat their chests (they've already started) by ignoring this analysis.

False Flag Obama

False flag operations are covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities.  Wikipedia

Obama campaigned as Mr. Positive, a new beath of air, the changemeister.  But even before he was inaugurated, he appoited Tim Geithner and Larry Summers.  That was the point at which the false flag of the people came down and the real flag of The Money Party was hoisted.  He should be ashamed but he won't.  He and the top 1% who ruin the country on a perpetual basis are doing exactly what they want to do; stealing everything that isn't nailed down.

Fine statement of fact and reality Numerian!


The One Party System

In the last thirty years the Republicans have not been correct on much, not taxes, see income inequality and the deficit, not energy policy, see the three wars. The meltdown in Japan and problems in the Middle East have not driven prices as high as the speculators did in 2008. Didn't get it right on Free Trade, see the unemployment rate, didn't get it right on repealing Glass Steagal, see bank bailouts, didn't get it right on welfare to work, see poverty rate. War on drugs: failure.
Maybe the only thing Republicans have been correct about in the last thirty years?...That Clinton was "stealing" their ideas and like Obama, Clinton could be a "better" republican than even an actual republican, able to dismantle Social Security and Welfare, while serving everyone up to the insurance Co's. The Republicans already have their men. This is why they ran old Bob Dole who had no chance and will field candidates this election who have no chance, Obama has earned the endorsement of the oligarchs. We have not had a democrat in the White House since Kennedy.


This post shoud go viral about the time Obama announces iomorrow

I tend to ignore Obama because he sounds like a cross between a broken record and the talking Abe Lincoln at Disney World. However, he is announcing for 2012 tomorrow. This would be a nice welcome to the real world notice. This is the key line, imho:

This is a political crime of deception, an enormous bait and switch, in which liberals and quite a few independents were misled by a serial liar who purposely characterized himself as a reformer… Numerian

Special thanks to artist Lucy White - lucywhite.com (& facebook) - for permission to use her remix of the guys.

And here we go again, Obama's big money donors are lining up Wash Post


Rent a Liberal

With all this talk of being the first presidential candidate to raise $1 billion, with almost all of it coming from the Money Party and little of it from individual donors, Obama must be counting on the need to pay people to staff his ground operation since volunteers won't be showing up. It'll be like the Census Bureau program of temporary employment, capable of putting a positive blip on the employment data until the campaign is over. A twofer if you will: the President is personally putting people to work, while also staffing a campaign sorely in need of physical bodies to man the telephones and show up at rallies. His new campaign motto should be: GE brings good things to life!

The Republican in Democrat Clothes

What will the next slogan be from the exponent of "Change We Can Believe In" how about to "I Got It Made, Too Bad 'Bout You Liberals" or "We Just Made Some Cake, Would You Like Some"? or

Sounds from the White House:
"My corporate boys from Wall Street are coming so please exit by the back door you progressives. We wouldn't want them seeing you raggety, maggety liberals begging in our American White House."

Ironies! Who knew. I didn't; we were pretty stupid, weren't we? If he gets a second term, what more damage can he do? Will he be the end of our liberal species? Is it too soon to write our demise? I don't know, but it sure don't look good for the home team.