America is waiting for a message of some sort or another.
– David Byrne and Brian Eno
It ain’t pretty, the damage Barack Obama has done to working people by trying to cozy up to Republicans over the last four-plus years. Glen Ford of the Black Report Agenda put it this way:
…It was Obama who swallowed whole the corporate argument, previously championed by Republicans, that the national debt was Crisis Number One and that entitlement programs were the root cause. From the moment in January of 2009 when Obama served notice that Social Security and all other entitlements would be put on the chopping block, he became the chief mover and shaker for so-called entitlement reform. He created the model for austerity, through his Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission. It was Simpson-Bowles that provided the basis for the massive cuts offered by President Obama in 2011. When the Republicans balked at even a modest tax increase for the rich, it was the White House National Economic Council Director, the corporate deal-maker Gene Sperling, who came up with the sequestration scheme, which was timed to explode right after the 2012 elections. The idea was to make every popular constituency in the country scream – and accept the inevitability of massive entitlement cuts…
After the election, many Obama voters waited for a sign that he would focus this time on helping the working poor rather than corporations and banksters. But even the most devoted Obama groupies must know by now that he doesn’t measure prosperity by the number of Americans making a living wage, but rather in terms of corporate profits.
Franklin Roosevelt’s legacy was the New Deal. Obama wants his to be the Grand Bargain, which would open the door to the total dismantling of New Deal legislation. That’s how far the Democratic Party has fallen.