Obama and the Art of Wooing Big Business

Back in 2010, President Obama made the unprecedented move of using the State of the Union platform to criticize the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down any previous limits on political campaign spending by corporations.  

"Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations -- to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

According to those on the left and the mainstream media, the Citizens United decision will end up making a mockery out of our electoral system.   Apparently privatizing profits and socializing losses, a.k.a. TARP, wasn't enough to do that initially.  

Bombastic progressive and former MSNBC, now CurrentTV (who?) pundit Keith Olbermann, compared Citizens United to the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford in which the Supreme Court famously decided that imported slaves were not U.S. citizens and therefore unprotected by the Constitution.

Dramatic much?

It's funny how the left takes great pleasure in deriding corporate special interests, yet failed to catch that Obama received his biggest donation during the 2008 campaign from none other than Goldman Sachs.  Hypocrisy goes hand in and hand with politics but it's hard to take a group seriously that demagogues big business while their president appoints the king of tax breaks, GE CEO Jeffery Immelt, to head the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. 

Still, even as Democrats and President Obama have continued their condemnation of Citizens United, the Obama campaign has recently advised the White House in a memo to give previous top campaign donors a "sense of access" according to the HuffingtonPost.  This memo was in response to CEO of Full Sail University Ed Haddock, who had yet to confirm his financial support for Obama's second run.

Principles always change fast when it comes to big money. 

The Center for Public Integrity has just put out a report revealing that almost 200 of the president's top donors "have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events."  The report came out only three days after the New York Times ran a story on Obama meeting with two dozen Wall Street executives in the White House Blue Room to discuss his reelection.

I guess those fat cat bonuses have to go somewhere. 

Democrats may love the image of championing the cause of the middle and lower class, but the fact is that they have always been just as beholden to wealthy special interests as Republicans.  Just ask Rep. Nancy Pelosi and her 38 waivers for businesses in her own district for the Obamacare mandate. 

As long as governments at all levels continue to dole out benefits, special interests groups will always be there to throw wads of cash at whichever candidate offers the most goodies, and politicians will always be more than happy to oblige.  The art of statesmanship has boiled down to convincing the public that they can give them the moon.  Farmers will get their subsidies, oil companies obtain tax breaks, unions receive protection, seniors get their entitlements, public school teachers are protected from accountability, and large financial institutions are bailed out. 

Famed political philosopher Frederic Bastiat defined government as "the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else."  The problem is not special interests; it is the belief and practice that an institution with a monopoly on force and coercion exists to provide benefits to one group at the expense of another.  The art of picking winners and losers is best utilized by a market economy, not by the government.

When it comes down to it, President Obama would be dimwitted not to take advantage of the Citizens United decision.  He is, after all, like any other person who acts in his own best interest.  Collectivist rhetoric makes good talking points, but always takes a back seat when it comes to winning reelection.  If he can continue to demagogue wealthy interest groups, simultaneously receive their donations, all the while convincing his base that he represents the working class, he may be a shoe-in for 2012.

Back in 2010, President Obama made the unprecedented move of using the State of the Union platform to criticize the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down any previous limits on political campaign spending by corporations.  

"Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations -- to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

According to those on the left and the mainstream media, the Citizens United decision will end up making a mockery out of our electoral system.   Apparently privatizing profits and socializing losses, a.k.a. TARP, wasn't enough to do that initially.  

Bombastic progressive and former MSNBC, now CurrentTV (who?) pundit Keith Olbermann, compared Citizens United to the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford in which the Supreme Court famously decided that imported slaves were not U.S. citizens and therefore unprotected by the Constitution.

Dramatic much?

It's funny how the left takes great pleasure in deriding corporate special interests, yet failed to catch that Obama received his biggest donation during the 2008 campaign from none other than Goldman Sachs.  Hypocrisy goes hand in and hand with politics but it's hard to take a group seriously that demagogues big business while their president appoints the king of tax breaks, GE CEO Jeffery Immelt, to head the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. 

Still, even as Democrats and President Obama have continued their condemnation of Citizens United, the Obama campaign has recently advised the White House in a memo to give previous top campaign donors a "sense of access" according to the HuffingtonPost.  This memo was in response to CEO of Full Sail University Ed Haddock, who had yet to confirm his financial support for Obama's second run.

Principles always change fast when it comes to big money. 

The Center for Public Integrity has just put out a report revealing that almost 200 of the president's top donors "have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events."  The report came out only three days after the New York Times ran a story on Obama meeting with two dozen Wall Street executives in the White House Blue Room to discuss his reelection.

I guess those fat cat bonuses have to go somewhere. 

Democrats may love the image of championing the cause of the middle and lower class, but the fact is that they have always been just as beholden to wealthy special interests as Republicans.  Just ask Rep. Nancy Pelosi and her 38 waivers for businesses in her own district for the Obamacare mandate. 

As long as governments at all levels continue to dole out benefits, special interests groups will always be there to throw wads of cash at whichever candidate offers the most goodies, and politicians will always be more than happy to oblige.  The art of statesmanship has boiled down to convincing the public that they can give them the moon.  Farmers will get their subsidies, oil companies obtain tax breaks, unions receive protection, seniors get their entitlements, public school teachers are protected from accountability, and large financial institutions are bailed out. 

Famed political philosopher Frederic Bastiat defined government as "the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else."  The problem is not special interests; it is the belief and practice that an institution with a monopoly on force and coercion exists to provide benefits to one group at the expense of another.  The art of picking winners and losers is best utilized by a market economy, not by the government.

When it comes down to it, President Obama would be dimwitted not to take advantage of the Citizens United decision.  He is, after all, like any other person who acts in his own best interest.  Collectivist rhetoric makes good talking points, but always takes a back seat when it comes to winning reelection.  If he can continue to demagogue wealthy interest groups, simultaneously receive their donations, all the while convincing his base that he represents the working class, he may be a shoe-in for 2012.