Journal: The Fall of Obama–30 Years in the Making

03 Economy, 08 Wild Cards

CounterPunch Diary

The Fall of Obama

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Counterpunch

The man who seized the White House by fomenting a mood of irrational expectation is now facing the bitter price exacted by reality. The reality is that there can be no “good” American president. It’s an impossible hand to play. Obama is close to being finished.

The nation’s first black president promised change at the precise moment when no single man, even if endowed with the communicative powers of Franklin Roosevelt, the politic mastery of Lyndon Johnson, the brazen agility of Bill Clinton, could turn the tide that has been carrying America to disaster for 30 years.

This summer many Americans are frightened. Over 100,000 of them file for bankruptcy every month. Three million homeowners face foreclosure this year. Add them to the 2.8 million who were foreclosed in 2009, Obama’s first year in office. Nearly seven million have been without jobs in the last year for six months or longer. By the time you tot up the people who have given up looking for work and the people on part-time, the total is heading toward 20 million.

Fearful people are irrational. So are racists. Obama is the target of insane charges. A hefty percentage of Americans believe that he is a socialist – a charge as ludicrous as accusing the Archbishop of Canterbury of being a closet Druid. Obama reveres the capitalist system. He admires the apex predators of Wall Street who showered his campaign treasury with millions of dollars. The frightful catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico stemmed directly from the green light he and his Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, gave to BP.

It is not Obama’s fault that for 30 years America’s policy – under Reagan, both Bushes and Bill Clinton – has been to export jobs permanently to the Third World. The jobs that Americans now desperately seek are no longer here, in the homeland, and never will be. They’re in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Indonesia.

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