Obama a sellout?

Barack Obama is selling out to stuffy-nosed swells.  Don’t take my word for it; that’s the dim asseveration of David Dayen, executive editor of the liberal periodical the American Prospect.

In an optimism-popping post “What Obama Really Wants,” Dayen explores taboo territory for Democrats: a clear-eyed assessment of what the forty-fourth President wants to see in the 2020 election (besides his spare frame back behind the Resolute desk).  Dayen ditches the burnished terms with which the media usually uses to describe the former community organizer and law don.  He opts for Realpolitik: “[Obama’s] interventions in the presidential race are music to the ears of the wealthy and powerful.”

How is Obama, the one-time tribune for the hope-starved underclass, now doing the bidding of the well-heeled set?  By splashing cold water on his party’s red hots.  “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it,” Obama told the New York Times, not so subtly addressing Bernie Sanders’s infernal column-like rhetoric.  Moreover, Obama dampened more keyed-up Democrats, saying that though the Party could “push the envelope” with a “bold” vision, “we also have to be rooted in reality.”

In other words, free health care, free college, free housing, and free and open borders all sound nice, but they lack the verisimilitude of being politically doable.

Imagine that.  Barack Obama berthing the highest hopes of voters who elected him to chart new courses of the possible.  It’s almost like he knows something about being elected president not once, but twice.

Dayen doesn’t care for Obama’s party-pooping, what with two Young Pioneers leading the primary field.  Only cold-hearted Scrooges would bother waking progressives from their profuse dreams.  “[W]ithout doubting Obama’s sincerity that a moderate politics and only a moderate politics can spell victory next November,” Dayen sadly avers.  “I can’t help but notice the audiences for his targeted attacks on progressive policy: wealthy donors in the most rarefied, winner-take-all enclaves of America.”

Is this really a surprise?  You have to question the political ken of someone who thinks it unusual the owner of a $14 million Martha’s Vineyard estate might be dubitative about courting the wrath of the landed.  Obama already intimated that he’d vocally oppose Sanders clinching the nomination.  He’s not about to let the Bolsheviks put what’s left of his legacy up against the wall

For all his naiveté, Obama had a political gift for shrouding the direction his party has been moving in since triangulating Bubba turned the White House quarters into various seraglios. 

In a sweeping new article in American Affairs, Julius Krein dispels a modern narrative about American politics: the working class is of no concern to crafters of national policy.  “However one defines the working class, it has scarcely any political agency in the current system and no apparent means for acquiring any,” Krein writes in contradiction to the claim that a handful of Midwestern counties now decide national elections.

The fundamental political divide is no longer working class versus elite, or even urbanites versus rural roturiers.  Our real rubber match over power is between two well-off sects: “elites primarily dependent on capital gains and those primarily dependent on profes­sional labor.”  And the clash is tearing Democrats apart.

While income equality has become a pervasive phrase on both the left and right, its application has usually been to the economic divide between lower and higher classes.  This is misleading, if not irrelevant.  Yes, the top 10 percent has leapfrogged over the slim gains of the middling rungs of the economic ladder.  But the separation is much starker when comparing the top 9 percent to the top one percent.  “Since 1979, the real annual earnings growth of the top 1 percent has more than tripled that of earners at 10 percent, while growth for the 0.1 percent is, in turn, more than twice that of the 1 percent,” Krein notes.

The upper class losing footing compared to the upper-upper class is driving the radical politics of the Democrats, who have given up on Clintonian neoliberalism—otherwise known as lightly managed capitalism—and have adopted outright socialism and racial and sexual identity politics as their doxa.

The false god of identity and false promise of communistic utopia are meant to transpose what Krein calls “meaningless and depressing” information jobs the professional class now relies on.  There is also the acute economic anxiety felt by these Democrat-voting winners, who fear “when the next recession, the increasing automation of white-collar jobs, and the logic of shareholder primacy all take their toll.”

The fear of precarity among the near-elites is the driver behind the swell of support to the Warren and Sanders campaign, despite neither appealing to the traditional Democratic base of hard-up workers and minorities.  It’s also why both campaigns draw so much support from university students, despite their much higher average earning potential compared to the non-college educated.

As the Republican Party continues to make inroads into former industrial enclaves that have shed their former productive glory, Democrats fight over a handful of populous urban centers.  Barack Obama is hoping to stave off a splinter of the super-rich from the moderately rich.  He’s getting last-minute help from billionaire Mike Bloomberg and former Massachusetts governor and current Bain Capital executive Deval Patrick.

Democrats have a choice: try to retake political power with the help of the moneyed, or fully embrace egalitarianism.  “The heart wants what it wants,” said the poet.  This presidential primary could end up breaking the Democratic heart with a choice between two loves.

Barack Obama is selling out to stuffy-nosed swells.  Don’t take my word for it; that’s the dim asseveration of David Dayen, executive editor of the liberal periodical the American Prospect.

In an optimism-popping post “What Obama Really Wants,” Dayen explores taboo territory for Democrats: a clear-eyed assessment of what the forty-fourth President wants to see in the 2020 election (besides his spare frame back behind the Resolute desk).  Dayen ditches the burnished terms with which the media usually uses to describe the former community organizer and law don.  He opts for Realpolitik: “[Obama’s] interventions in the presidential race are music to the ears of the wealthy and powerful.”

How is Obama, the one-time tribune for the hope-starved underclass, now doing the bidding of the well-heeled set?  By splashing cold water on his party’s red hots.  “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it,” Obama told the New York Times, not so subtly addressing Bernie Sanders’s infernal column-like rhetoric.  Moreover, Obama dampened more keyed-up Democrats, saying that though the Party could “push the envelope” with a “bold” vision, “we also have to be rooted in reality.”

In other words, free health care, free college, free housing, and free and open borders all sound nice, but they lack the verisimilitude of being politically doable.

Imagine that.  Barack Obama berthing the highest hopes of voters who elected him to chart new courses of the possible.  It’s almost like he knows something about being elected president not once, but twice.

Dayen doesn’t care for Obama’s party-pooping, what with two Young Pioneers leading the primary field.  Only cold-hearted Scrooges would bother waking progressives from their profuse dreams.  “[W]ithout doubting Obama’s sincerity that a moderate politics and only a moderate politics can spell victory next November,” Dayen sadly avers.  “I can’t help but notice the audiences for his targeted attacks on progressive policy: wealthy donors in the most rarefied, winner-take-all enclaves of America.”

Is this really a surprise?  You have to question the political ken of someone who thinks it unusual the owner of a $14 million Martha’s Vineyard estate might be dubitative about courting the wrath of the landed.  Obama already intimated that he’d vocally oppose Sanders clinching the nomination.  He’s not about to let the Bolsheviks put what’s left of his legacy up against the wall

For all his naiveté, Obama had a political gift for shrouding the direction his party has been moving in since triangulating Bubba turned the White House quarters into various seraglios. 

In a sweeping new article in American Affairs, Julius Krein dispels a modern narrative about American politics: the working class is of no concern to crafters of national policy.  “However one defines the working class, it has scarcely any political agency in the current system and no apparent means for acquiring any,” Krein writes in contradiction to the claim that a handful of Midwestern counties now decide national elections.

The fundamental political divide is no longer working class versus elite, or even urbanites versus rural roturiers.  Our real rubber match over power is between two well-off sects: “elites primarily dependent on capital gains and those primarily dependent on profes­sional labor.”  And the clash is tearing Democrats apart.

While income equality has become a pervasive phrase on both the left and right, its application has usually been to the economic divide between lower and higher classes.  This is misleading, if not irrelevant.  Yes, the top 10 percent has leapfrogged over the slim gains of the middling rungs of the economic ladder.  But the separation is much starker when comparing the top 9 percent to the top one percent.  “Since 1979, the real annual earnings growth of the top 1 percent has more than tripled that of earners at 10 percent, while growth for the 0.1 percent is, in turn, more than twice that of the 1 percent,” Krein notes.

The upper class losing footing compared to the upper-upper class is driving the radical politics of the Democrats, who have given up on Clintonian neoliberalism—otherwise known as lightly managed capitalism—and have adopted outright socialism and racial and sexual identity politics as their doxa.

The false god of identity and false promise of communistic utopia are meant to transpose what Krein calls “meaningless and depressing” information jobs the professional class now relies on.  There is also the acute economic anxiety felt by these Democrat-voting winners, who fear “when the next recession, the increasing automation of white-collar jobs, and the logic of shareholder primacy all take their toll.”

The fear of precarity among the near-elites is the driver behind the swell of support to the Warren and Sanders campaign, despite neither appealing to the traditional Democratic base of hard-up workers and minorities.  It’s also why both campaigns draw so much support from university students, despite their much higher average earning potential compared to the non-college educated.

As the Republican Party continues to make inroads into former industrial enclaves that have shed their former productive glory, Democrats fight over a handful of populous urban centers.  Barack Obama is hoping to stave off a splinter of the super-rich from the moderately rich.  He’s getting last-minute help from billionaire Mike Bloomberg and former Massachusetts governor and current Bain Capital executive Deval Patrick.

Democrats have a choice: try to retake political power with the help of the moneyed, or fully embrace egalitarianism.  “The heart wants what it wants,” said the poet.  This presidential primary could end up breaking the Democratic heart with a choice between two loves.