The Presidency is a figurehead position for American Empire which constitutes a conglomerate of corporations(examples and more examples, and also here) backed up by our global network of military bases. When it comes to the desires and well-being of the average Joe in America’s hinterland (everywhere else outside the “Washington Beltway”), the Presidency merely serves as a glorified public spokesman for the monied elite, just as the election process was about empty PR to win that corporate-collaborator government position. And to help the Commander-in-Chief orchestrate this massive con job of pulling the wool over the collective eyes of the nation’s 99%, he has the help of a servile corporate mass media which, for the most part, acts as a mouthpiece for the various corporate industrial complexes— military, financial, energy, food, pharmaceutical, prison, etc. The greatest con job by the American ruling elite over the last several decades was convincing and fooling the 99% that they live in a “classless society” and that Neoliberal Capitalism was not robbing them blind. If you view the
scripted charade, faux democracy politics of today in this harsh light of reality, then you won’t be so disappointed by all the campaign promises that not only failed to materialize, but which went in the complete opposite direction of the very propaganda we were sold.
Take for instance the widening wealth gap in America which at this time is as large and deep as the Grand Canyon. How did Obama live up to his pre-election rhetoric of the defender of the average working stiff?:
Saez, who’s known for his work on the income gap, has highlighted a surprising and discouraging fact: during the post-recession period of 2009 and 2010, the rich snagged a greater share of total income growth than they did during the boom years of 2002 to 2007.
In other words, inequality has been even more pronounced under Obama than it was under George W. Bush….
Here’s how Saez’s math breaks down, for the curious: In the 2009-2010 period, a time of modest economic growth, the top 1 percent of U.S. earners captured 93 percent of all the income growth in the country.
Got that? Now compare it to how the mega-rich made out during the Bush upswing years of 2002 to 2007. During that time, the top 1 percent of earners captured just 65 percent of all the income growth.
That means the rising tide has lifted fewer boats during the Obama years — and the ones it’s lifted have been mostly yachts.
How about his promises of safeguarding the economy from monopolization and financialization by the “Too-Big-To-Fail” Banks?
According to Bloomberg:
Five banks – JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. – held $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, equal to 56 percent of the U.S economy, according to central bankers at the Federal Reserve.
Five years earlier, before the financial crisis, the largest banks’ assets amounted to 43 percent of U.S. output. The Big Five today are about twice as large as they were a decade ago relative to the economy, sparking concern that trouble at a major bank would rock the financial system and force the government to step in as it did in 2008 with the Fed-assisted rescue of Bear Stearns Cos. By JPMorgan and with Citigroup and Bank of America after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the largest in U.s. history.
‘Market participants believe that nothing has changed, that too-big-to-fail is fully intact,” said Gary Stern, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
How about his record in other areas of policy? Let’s look at a list compiled by author Albert Bates:
- Suppression of news of serious war-crimes, including assassination of war correspondents, by prosecution of whistle-blowers like Bradley Manning and Julian Assange
- Corruption of the Justice Department, NSA, FBI and CIA to cover an ongoing criminal enterprise involving some $5 trillion in long-term graft from no-bid contracts going to the 1% — $50,000 per average US family, being extracted in taxes, inflation, bank defaults, student loans and diminished public services
- Conspiring with local police and mayors to quash and evict the Occupy movement
- Pursuing murderous US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in Orwellian opposition to international law
- Expanding US wars and armed attacks into more and more countries, despite treaties after both world wars that make use of military unlawful unless a country’s government attacks first (Kellogg-Briand and UN Charter)
- Expanding terrorist-by-definition drone wars on Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen (now spending more on drone operations than the entire budget of the CIA)
- Calling for more illegal wars on Syria and Iran while darkly hinting of an official first strike policy for use of nuclear weapons
- Torpedoing the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament negotiations and ramping up new nuclear weapon design, testing, and deployment
- Suppression of news from Fukushima, including ordering EPA to halt air and food sampling and working with other countries towards the same ends
- Assassination of Americans upon the non-reviewable dictate of the president
- Maintaining the Bush-era torture prisons and black sites
- Maintaining illegal rendition as official policy
- Control-drown/waterboarding anyone deemed a “terrorist” and extending sensory deprivation to local jails and State prisons despite all US and international case law finding this to be torture
- NDAA 2012 and 2006 Military Commissions Act that state the president can dictate any person as a “terrorist suspect,” and then disappear them without challenge or recourse
- Signing presidential executive order saying the US government can seize any resource, any person, at any time for “national defense”
- Minting his own Alberto Gonzales continuing criminal enterprise rubber stamp — Eric Holder
- Siding with Exxon, BP and the Koch brothers to accelerate climate- and ocean-destroying pollution; and
- Torpedoing the climate talks in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban. “
If I remember correctly, Obama ran as a Left-wing Progressive, a populist to change the system. Looking at his record since taking office, you would have to conclude that the Far Right is the New Left. …and the Left of yesteryear is certainly long since dead, suffocated and murdered by the Corporate State over the last several decades. Don’t take this rant as an endorsement for Romney, aka Mr. 1%… The Right has gone so far in that direction that they’ve fallen off a cliff.