by Pascal Robert
In the video above from April 5, 2006 Barack Obama, less than two years in Congress as a pure neophyte was the only U.S. Senator to attend the first meeting of former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin’s–(Rubin is the man who advised all of Clinton’s deregulation that lead to the economic meltdown in 2008)–meeting of the Hamilton Project at the centrist Brookings Institute think tank. Here Obama talks about how the new economic order will not be a bloodless process. Watch Obama heap praise on the elites who engineered the economic crash. Furthermore, listen to what he says about these antiquated “Programs” from the 1930’s that people on the left “wrongly cling to,” meaning Social Security.
All the economic growth Obama praises here in this video from the 90s was caused by the dot com internet bubble that was a sham that collapsed and led to another recession. Notice Obama’s agreement with Bob Rubin on “markets.” This is before the Market totally CRASHED in 2008 causing the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. The irony is that the 2008 crash was caused by the same Clinton era policies that Obama is cheer leading in this video.
This speech is before Obama declared his candidacy for president in February 2007, and after barely two years of being in the Senate as a freshman. Yet it was so important to have this political novice speak at this meeting? Particularly among the same Wall Street types that would bankroll his 2008 presidential campaign. Hence what we see here is Obama speaking to his true base, those who gave him his marching orders, and continue to do so. The tone of his speech illustrates that he and those in the audience knew that his plan to implement their ideas was not limited to his freshman term in the U.S. Senate. Clearly they knew what larger job Obama was meant to do for them.
And what a job indeed. President Obama protected the Banks from prosecution from the sub-prime meltdown for their allegedly fraudulent activity, and his economic policies have insured record Wall Street profits while the rest of America faces austerity.
So while Black America continues to applaud with glee at their “first black president,” he serves the interests of those that have always ground the poor, and communities of color on the margin to dust. But this is the price we pay for our “politics of redemption.” I hope we feel better when the dream is over and the discovery of the nightmare begins.
Fortunately not all of us were so easily duped:
African American Political Science Professor Adolph Reed, Jr. was the first person to realize what Obama was way back in 1996 shortly after Obama won his first Illinois state senate race:
“In Chicago, for instance, we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program — the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance. I suspect that his ilk is the wave of the future in U.S. black politics, as in Haiti and wherever else the International Monetary Fund has sway. So far the black activist response hasn’t been up to the challenge. We have to do better.”
“The Curse of Community,” Village Voice, January 16, 1996–reprinted in
Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene
(New Press, 2000)
Moreover, this quote is always applicable when discussing Obama: