Before he took office, President Obama professed his admiration of President Reagan. Lately he’s behaving like President Eisenhower.
Many Americans remember Eisenhower’s farewell speech and have a nostalgia for his time in office. However, a careful reading of the history of his administration offers a much darker interpretation. The men that Eisenhower choose to cary out his foreign policy–John Foster Dulles, as Secretary of State, and Allan Dulles, as head of the CIA–turbo-charged the Cold War and embarked the US on a fateful program of corporate imperialism. Projecting the dangers of communism, the Dulles instituted a massive arms build-up, while deposing recalcitrant Third-World governments. On their watch, Iran and Guatemala were overthrown, and pliable dictators installed.
Now it’s Obama turn. After helping inequality explode, Obama warns of the dangers of inequality. As he’s leaving office.
As President Obama prepares to depart, it’s more imperative than ever for us to understand his legacy.
In hindsight it appears that Obama was a chameleon. While conservatives saw him as a Kenyon-Muslim-Socialist, herding them down the road to serfdom, liberals viewed him as their community-organizer-savior who would usher in the new–New Deal.
Neither view was correct, as Obama has turned out to be another corporate neoliberal.
When it comes to inequality, Obama neglects to mention that when he entered the White House in 2009 he had a historical opportunity to address runaway inequality. In the aftermath of the Wall Street crash the country was angry at the bankers that had caused the crash and eager for bold leadership.
Obama soon demonstrated that he wasn’t really interested in serving the public but in protecting Wall Street.
On 27 March 2009, Obama secretly told the chieftains of Wall Street assembled at a private meeting inside the White House, «My Administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks». «You guys have an acute public relations problem, and I want to help… I’m not out there to go after you. I’m protecting you».
This protection should be viewed in light of Obama’s financial benefactors. After all, Obama allowed Citigroup to select the men who would serve in his administration. Chief economic advisor Lawrence Summers, whose advice to President Bill Clinton in 1999 had encouraged him to terminate FDR’s Glass-Steagall separation of consumer-banking from investment-banking (Wall Street’s casinos). And, Timothy Geithner, who was the G.W. Bush era’s N.Y. Federal Reserve Bank President and thus king of Wall Street, became U.S. Treasury Secretary. Geithner went on to foam the runway with American homeowners to cushion a bank crash landing, causing millions of evictions.
Thus did Obama cement into place the massive inequality, he’s now at pains to decry. «Poverty Rose In 96% Of U.S. House Districts, During Obama’s Presidency». And, the income and wealth of the billionaires soared like at no time since 1923-1928. Meanwhile, the share of income and wealth of bottom 90 % wealth holders» both declined.
After January, he’ll have plenty of time to work on his game.