Barack Obama’s metamorphosis from symbol of change in Washington to puppet of a system still dominated by the Republican Party is complete. The great black hope of progressives is gone, replaced by a new “yes sir” servant for the mostly-white elite that have run things for so long.
Ignoring the Democratic and Independent base that gave him the highest job in the land, Obama announced agreement with Republicans Monday night, extending the Bush-era tax cuts that helped drive America into the greatest recession of modern times while depending on unspecified and largely-unidentified loans from foreign governments to finance an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed along with a one-year reduction in Social Security taxes.
Progressives and others who bought into the Obama drama during the 2008 election feel rightly betrayed while Republicans once again savor a victory over a political novice who proves over and over that he has neither the capacity for governing nor the backbone for leadership.
Obala’s capitulation is a massive reversal of his long-standing promise from 2008 that tax cuts should only go up to $200,000 for individuals and$250,000 for couples. Now he says he still opposes the move on a “permanent” basis and supports “only” a “temporary” two-year extension of cuts at all income levels.
Few Democrats and even fewer independent buy the President‘s shell game. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is so pissed he issued a statement through spokesman Jim Maloney, saying saying “now that the President has outlined his proposal, Senator Reid plans on discussing it with his caucus tomorrow.”
Senate sources tell Capitol Hill Blue that the caucus meeting will be “anything but cordial” and some Democrats are “on the verge of mutiny” over Obama’s capitulations.
“The President sold out,” said one senior hill aide. “He sold out his party and he sold out the American people.”
Republicans, of course, offer praise for Obama, characterizing the President’s change of heart the way plantation owners might treat a once-rebellious slave who became a tool for the ruling class and helped put down a rebellion.
That optimism may the short-lived. Democrats feel backed into a corner right now but they may, in the long run, tune out to be less spineless than their leader. And Obama must one day realize that his opposition still considers the color of his skin as a reason to dismiss all dreams of his Presidency — even the good ones.
- Obama reaches compromise with Republicans over tax cut extension (theglobeandmail.com)
- Weakened Obama unveils tax compromise (alternet.org)