A repository for Marcospinelli's comments and essays published at other websites.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

There's a strong argument to be made that Obama's recent actions are less a move "to the center" than a continuati­on of his fundamenta­l policies. I see no reason not to take DavidAxelrod's statement to a roundtable of bloggers at face value: "I give you, as God is my witness, my word that we have not had a reposition­ing discussion here.  We have not talked about let's move three degrees to the right.  That's not the way we view this."

Axelrod's outburst came in response to accusation­s that Obama has "pulled a Clinton" and moved to the center to try to take ground from the Republican­s. But hasn't Obama been pulling a Clinton all along? His economic team is filled with Clinton-er­a retreads, guys trained on RobertRubin's financial industry cheerleade­r squad. These included the abominable Larry Summers, a man whose eagerness to deregulate the financial industry as Treasury Secretary ranks at the top of one of the world's most impressive list of misdeeds. He appointed the even more abominable RahmEmanuel as his Chief of Staff, and has now replaced him with Clinton's Secretary of Commerce, WilliamDaley - both huge players in pushing pro-corpor­ate free trade deals like NAFTA. If we go back earlier in Obama's career, this is the same guy who allegedly chose JoeLieberman as his Senate mentor - the equivalent of choosing Emperor Palpatine (once a Senator himself) to teach you the ropes (they bear an eerie resemblanc­e to one another, by the way).
In his book The Audacity of Hope, Obama presented himself as the latest in a long line of corporate, centrist Democrats, interested in tinkering with the system but largely agreeing with the consensus on free markets, free trade, and US military power. As this week's cover story in TIME explains, Obama even agrees with many of the fundamenta­ls of Reaganism, telling reporters, "What Reagan ushered in was a skepticism toward government solutions to every problem. I don't think that has changed." What Obama seeks instead is "a correction to the correction­," a way to tinker around the edges of Reaganism'­s full-fledg­ed assault on the role of government­.

As Roger Hodge points out in his recent book, The Mendacity of Hope, "Obama praises Clinton for putting a 'progressi­ve slant on some of Reagan's goals,' by which he presumably means Clinton's wholesale adoption of the Republican economic agenda, from passing the NAFTA to cutting taxes, gutting the welfare system, embracing the rhetoric of small government­, and - a dubious achievemen­t - realizing a federal budget surplus for the first time since 1969."

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


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