The Obama Illusion. Well, you can’t say we weren’t warned . . . | Street Jazz

The Obama Illusion. Well, you can’t say we weren’t warned . . .



I keep the oddest things.

In my desk is a February 2007 issue of Z Magazine, with an article by Paul Street. “The Obama Illusion: Presidential ambitions from the start.” The article not only details Barack Obama’s ambitions to the presidency (hell, these days, who doesn’t have them?) but , more importantly, it earns of his alarming tendency to compromise with the right-wing, even at the expense of the aims of his own party.

The correct prediction is made that if Obama were to be elected, the hysterical Right-wing would accuse him of being a dangerous leftist. But the truth, sad to say, is something few, if any, journalists talked about in 2008.

From the article:

Never mind, for example, that Obama was recently hailed as a “Hamiltonian” believer in “limited government” and “free trade” by Republican New York Times columnist David Brooks, who praises Obama for having “a mentality formed by globalization, not the SDS.” Or that he had to be shamed off the “New Democrat Directory” of the corporate-right Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) by the popular left black Internet magazine Black Commentator (Bruce Dixon, “Obama to Have Name Removed From DLC List,” Black Commentator , June 26, 2003).

Street also writes at length about Obama’s support of Wall Street Democrats to counter populist revolt against the growing corporatist sycophancy within the Democratic Party. Not only was the young Comrade Obama such a corporatist that was in bed these folks, but he also referred to - in what the article describes as a “tone laced with contempt” - the late progressive and very popular Senator Paul Wellstone as a “gadfly.”

This is the man whose White House now sneeringly refers to its base (the base it has betrayed so many times for almost two years) as “the professional left.”

The truth is, the Republican Party should love this guy; he is the ultimate Blue Dog Democrat.

Time and time again he has played up to business interests at the expense of the working class.

Again from the article:

Never mind that Obama voted for a business-friendly “tort reform” bill that rolls back working peoples’ ability to obtain reasonable redress and compensation from misbehaving corporations (Cockburn; Sirota). Or that Obama claims to oppose the introduction of single-payer national health insurance on the grounds that such a widely supported social-democratic change would lead to employment difficulties for workers in the private insurance industry—at places like Kaiser and Blue Cross Blue Shield (Sirota). Does Obama support the American scourge of racially disparate mass incarceration on the grounds that it provides work for tens of thousands of prison guards? Should the U.S. maintain the illegal operation of Iraq and pour half its federal budget into “defense” because of all the soldiers and other workers that find employment in imperial wars and the military-industrial complex? Does the “progressive” senator really need to be reminded of the large number of socially useful and healthy alternatives that exist for the investment of human labor power at home and abroad—wetlands preservation, urban ecological retrofitting, drug counseling, teaching, infrastructure building and repair, safe and affordable housing construction, the building of windmills and solar power facilities, etc.?

It is a brilliant, well-researched article, and little of this was covered or discussed by what is laughingly referred to as the “mainstream media” in 2008. It’s not talked about now.

Part of this may be due to Obama’s natural charisma, and part of it is due to the intellectual laziness of the national media. A lot of it is due to the fact that it appeared in a publication like Z Magazine, which is read primarily by the choir, and dismissed by “professional” journalists.

Well, the article is online, for those interested in what is has to say. To read the article:


And thank you, DeLani Bartlette

And thank you, DeLani Bartlette, for buying the Ozark Gazette a subscription to Z Magaxine all those years agao when we both worked at the OG together.


I got me a reply from Senator Lincoln’s office!

Marni Goldberg. Senator Blanche Lambert Press Secretary, sent an email after yesrdya’s blog.

Thank you for your email. The Senate has been in session for the last few weeks, and will continue to be in session throughout December. I have appreciated your invitations, as has Senator Lincoln. Unfortunately, Senator Lincoln does not currently have a trip to Fayetteville planned that would enable her to sit down with you for a conversation. We had not forgotten your request, just did not have a trip to Fayetteville already scheduled. With this in mind, please let me
know if there is anything I can do for you.

Merry Christmas,

Marni Goldberg


Quote of the Day

"To be a consumer is the most primitive level of being. It is to be a mouth, an eater, a devourer of things. To discover the truth of who we are, we must discard the consumer mentality and reclaim our spiritual dignity." - David Frawley

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