Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Whether Democrat Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney occupies the White House, corporate America wins the election

What Barack Obama Didn't Change: Corporate America's Power 
Mitt Romney & Barack Obama 

U.S. election battle today pits major disappointment against scary alternative 

Bill Tieleman’s 24 hours/The Tyee column
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
By Bill Tieleman
"The country Obama inherited was indeed in shambles, but Obama took a bad situation and, in certain ways, made it worse."
One candidate for president of the United States supports privatized health care, extrajudicial killing of opponents in foreign countries, wiretapping without warrants, and big business bailouts.
This candidate's $1-billion campaign is heavily corporately funded, with Microsoft and Google among his largest contributors, and he has Wall Street economic advisors and the strong support of the former speechwriter for ex-right-wing presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
The other candidate is Republican Mitt Romney.
So whether Democrat Barack Obama or Romney occupies the White House, corporate America wins the election.
And while there are substantive and serious reasons for U.S. Democrats to work hard for their candidate, the political system is stacked against any president making what Obama himself called "Change we can believe in" before his 2008 victory.
That historic election fuelled the hopes of progressive Americans, not just as the country's first black president but because Obama represented an opportunity to dramatically shift the balance of power towards ordinary citizens.
Obama made big promises -- to help unions organize more workers and ban permanent replacements for strikers, to close the horrendous Guantanamo Bay detention camp for foreign prisoners in Cuba, to increase the minimum wage and tie it to inflation, to amend the North American Free Trade Agreement, to reject wiretapping of Americans without warrants, to bring in a public health care system -- not boost private health insurers' profits, and much more.
Four years later, those promises remain unfulfilled.
Still waiting for change
Obama can't be blamed for all his failures -- certainly the Republican Party has done all it can to frustrate his agenda, especially after gaining a House majority in 2010.
But Republicans didn't force Obama to appoint Wall Street millionaires to key jobs in his administration or fail to jail a single banker from the 2008 sub-prime mortgage financial meltdown that rocked the world or at least try to reform the insanely expensive American political system.
Obama's disappointments have forced many progressive Americans to frantically plead with voters to ignore flaws in his record because a Romney presidency would be far, far worse -- true, but not the most appealing argument.
Faced with that choice, most Canadians would vote for Obama, even though on many issues he is significantly to the political right even of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Obama may be able, like Bill Clinton before him, to overcome Democrat voter discouragement and win a second term.
But those voters should be under no illusion that Obama will magically transform into a progressive president.
He's simply better than the alternative.



Anonymous said...

I live in BC. I have no say in the USA election all I can do is manage the result.

In BC I would like to know how we can get better government.

DPL said...

When as seen this evening, a candidate spent 37 million dollars of her own money and got beat by a fellow who spent 7 millions of friends and supporters, it sort of proved that getting elected in the US of A is not necessarily to help the poor, downtrodden, old , sick , but to help your company friends

Anonymous said...

You won't see a better government from the NDP.

The NDP insiders and loyalists are already lining up to get their tickets on the NDP's gravy train

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous:

I posted the prior comment regarding my concern that we waste time and energy on governments we have no say or control over. We should put our energy in making the governments we do have a say in as good as possible. Our politics is what we should discuss not USA politics.

How do you get an NDP rant our of that?

Anonymous said...

You will when the NDP does something you hate and have had no say or control on it.

It won't take very long either. I'd say within the first 10 to 15 months of their term.

Be around when it happens.

Anonymous said...

You don't get to be a 2nd term president without a multi-billion dollar campaign war chest at your disposal. Unfortunately bake sales and house concerts don't tend to cut it so the piper must be paid. The TARP invigorated Wall Street consensus is alive, well and doubling down. Rather than banning corporate donations hoping for a less plutocratic outcome, the right wing block of the Supremes made the whole thing no limit poker, effectively gutting the McCain Feingold campaign reform act, ascribing election rights to corporations as people. Maybe Obama's managerial inexperience in his first two years led to some mistakes ( Geithner / Summers the very deregulation architects of the previous crisis ). Geithner ( the previous fed chairman ) will be stepping down as Treasury Secretary ( perhaps to claim some AIG bonuses : ). What Obama does with Liz Warren will signal how serious he is at mollifying the liberal base as opposed to the very narrow but powerful Wall street interests and their back room dealmakers. He's got to pay the vig. It's just bidness, nothing personal.

Anonymous said...

A good statement if it made any sense and applied to British Columbia.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm certainly not one who's mad at you. It's true and only brainwashed fools believe the opposite.

The US isn't and never has been a democracy. It may not be as micro-managed as many other dictatorships (including the legions of ones it has imposed and supported). But it's not much far removed from a totalitarian police state.

Of course Obama is a far better option than Romney. But how much he can (or even wants to) change is microscopic compared to what needs to happen.

Sadly, that's the way it will remain until some sort of major popular uprising takes hold.

And this is almost as true for Canada as it is for the US.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. is a democracy even though Anonoymous Nov 8 12:37AM doesn't think so. It was shown in his statement when he said Obama is a far better option than Romney. If the u.S. was not a democracy, oppposite options would not exist.

The U.S. is most certainly far removed from a totalitarian police state.

He needs to learn alot more about how democracy works, and what exactly a totalitarian police state is. An example would be East Germany during the 1960's to mid 1980s.

cherylb said...

It's true though. All that money and nothing to show for it.


And all the lies too!

Still, I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

OMG im agree!

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Anonymous said...

Yep sure credible sources those are.

Try again.

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