by Pascal Robert
On April 5, 2006, Barack Obama, a neophyte with only 15 months in Congress, was the only U.S. Senator to attend the first meeting of former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin’s Hamilton Project at the centrist Brookings Institute think tank, in Washington. Rubin is the man who advised President Bill Clinton to deregulate the banks, which led to the economic meltdown of 2008. In the video, above, Obama speaks to the Rubin crowd about how the new economic order will not be a “bloodless process.” He heaps praise on the elites who engineered the economic crash. Listen to what he says about the antiquated programs from the 1930′s that people on the left “wrongly cling to,” meaning Social Security.
All the 1990s economic growth that Obama praises in the video was a result of dot com and stock bubbles that later collapsed in recession. Notice Obama’s agreement with Bob Rubin on the wisdom of “markets.” The irony is that the 2008 crash was caused by the same Clinton era policies that Obama is cheer leading in the video.
“He heaps praise on the elites who engineered the economic crash.”
Less than a year after his Hamilton Project speech, Obama declared his candidacy for president, in February, 2007. We can now understand why it was so important to have this political novice speak at this meeting of the same Wall Street types that would bankroll his 2008 presidential campaign. 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 the larger job Obama was meant to do for them.
And what a job indeed! President Obama protected the banks from prosecution for the sub-prime meltdown and 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 into 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.
“His economic policies have insured record Wall Street profits.”
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:
“The majority of Negro political leaders do not ascend to prominence on the shoulders of mass support. Although genuinely popular leaders are now emerging, most are still selected by white leadership, elevated to position, supplied with resources and inevitably subjected to white control. The mass of Negroes nurtures a healthy suspicion toward this manufactured leader, who spends little time in persuading them that he embodies personal integrity, commitment and ability and offers few programs and less service. Tragically, he is in too many respects not a fighter for a new life but a figurehead of the old one.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Who would have thought it? A Black man as Wall Street’s perfect Manchurian Candidate? Truly a brilliant masterstroke. Well played. Indeed, well played.
Pascal Robert is an Iconoclastic Haitian American Lawyer, Blogger, and Online Activist for Haiti. For years his work appeared under the Blog Thought Merchant:http://thoughtmerchant.wordpress.com/ You can also find his work on the Huffington Post here:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pascal-robert/ He can be reached via twitter at:https://twitter.com/probert06 @probert06 or firstname.lastname@example.org.