Hard Core Democrat Reich Recognizes Inequality Came From Bill Clinton, Obama

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is a hard core “Democrat”. He is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. His next book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, will be out in March. Obama deliberately turned away from Reich and his ideas about not too much inequality and being guided by greed. Instead, like Clinton before him, Obama gave power to Goldman Sachs potentates (Summers, etc.). The same who helped set-up Google and Facebook.

I generally agree with what he wrote, except where I made (hopefully) nasty comments 

Robert Reich hopefully disingenuously asks:

“Clinton and Obama chose not to wrest power back from the oligarchy. Why?

In the first two years of the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. Yet both Clinton and Obama advocated free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who consequently lost their jobs any means of getting new ones that paid at least as well. Clinton pushed for Nafta and for China joining the World Trade Organization, and Obama sought to restore the “confidence” of Wall Street instead of completely overhauling the banking system.”

Obama augmented inequality drastically by engineering a fat cats rescue, with taxpayer money. Even Trump was not that bad, that way (as more recent graphs show)…

PATRICE AYME: It’s better than that: Clinton demolished president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Banking Act of 1933. Obama refused to re-established it. Thus Clinton and Obama were not revolutionaries, they were counter-revolutionaries. For Clinton and Obama, it is not just that plutocrat FDR was not plutocratic enough. For Clinton and Obama, FDR was a dangerous revolutionary, a Bernie Sanders erroneously elected.   

ROBERT REICH: “Both [Clinton and Obama] stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class. They failed to reform labor laws to allow workers to form unions with a simple up-or-down majority vote, or even to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violated labor protections. Clinton deregulated Wall Street before the crash; Obama allowed the Street to water down attempts to re-regulate it after the crash. Obama protected Wall Street from the consequences of its gambling addiction through a giant taxpayer-funded bailout, but allowed millions of underwater homeowners to drown.”

PATRICE AYME: Obama named ambassadors people who had given enough money to his campaign. All “Democrats” saw this. 

ROBERT REICH: “Both Clinton and Obama turned their backs on campaign finance reform. In 2008, Obama was the first presidential nominee since Richard Nixon to reject public financing in his primary and general election campaigns, and he never followed up on his re-election promise to pursue a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United vs FEC, the 2010 supreme court opinion opening wider the floodgates to big money in politics.

Although Clinton and Obama faced increasingly hostile Republican congresses, they could have rallied the working class and built a coalition to grab back power from the emerging oligarchy. Yet they chose not to. Why?

PATRICE AYME: Good question. My answer is well known, and it’s the roughest, the one all are afraid to profer, in a case of collective hypnosis: personal corruption. If one compares different countries in the “West” one sees that in some countries (USA, Britain, Germany) some leaders became immensely wealthy after their “service”. Famously, Truman refused to make money from his ex-position of US president. And he explained that making money from it would demean the office of the presidency.  

Instead of expounding the obvious, namely squarely asserting that the plutocrats in control found willing empty suits to do as they were told, Reich opts for euphemisms:

ROBERT REICH: “There is no longer a left or right. There is no longer a moderate ‘center’

My answer is not just hypothetical, because I directly witnessed much of it: it was because Clinton, Obama and many congressional Democrats sought the votes of the “suburban swing voter” – so-called “soccer moms” in the 1990s and affluent politically independent professionals in the 2000s – who supposedly determine electoral outcomes, and turned their backs on the working class. They also drank from the same campaign funding trough as the Republicans – big corporations, Wall Street and the very wealthy.

A direct line connects the four-decade stagnation of wages with the bailout of Wall Street, the rise of the Tea Party (and, briefly, Occupy), and the successes of Sanders and Trump in 2016. As Eduardo Porter of the New York Times notes, since 2000 Republican presidential candidates have steadily gained strength in America’s poorer counties while Democrats have lost ground. In 2016, Trump won 58% of the vote in the counties with the poorest 10% of the population. His share was 31% in the richest.

By 2016, Americans understood full well that wealth and power had moved to the top. Big money had rigged our politics. This was the premise of Sanders’s 2016 campaign. It was also central to Trump’s appeal – “I’m so rich I can’t be bought off” – although once elected he delivered everything big money wanted.”

PATRICE AYME: Well, agreed with the rest, BUT the last point is disinformation. “Big money” wanted to keep having its tax avoiding, law avoiding, unemployment fostering and disempowerment promoting globalization. Globalization is how Roman plutocracy created the sort of “Republic” they liked, one they owned. (Nevermind it caused unending civil war, degeneracy and decrepitude.)  The Davos crowd wanted Davos to go on and on, until they own the world for sure. Then came Trump…

ROBERT REICH: The most powerful force in American politics today continues to be anti-establishment fury at a rigged system. There is no longer a left or right. There’s no longer a moderate “center”. There’s either Trump’s authoritarian populism or democratic – small “d” – populism.”

Democrats cannot defeat authoritarian populism without an agenda of radical democratic reform, an anti-establishment movement. Trump has harnessed the frustrations of at least 40% of America. Although he’s been a Trojan horse for big corporations and the rich, giving them all they’ve wanted in tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks, the working class continues to believe he’s on their side.

Democrats must stand squarely on the side of democracy against oligarchy. They must form a unified coalition of people of all races, genders, sexualities and classes, and band together to unrig the system.

Trump is not the cause of our divided nation. He is the symptom of a rigged system that was already dividing us. It’s not enough to defeat him. We must reform the system that got us here in the first place…”

Reich points out Democrats controlled Congress for 16 out of 24 years, prior to this. He lauds the “Affordable care Act” (Obamacare), which has been a disaster for nearly all, including the poorest (I was direct witness of this, because I know some of the poorest). Those who made like bandits were the healthcare industry, and their financiers. 

A friend of mine posted a lament about the failed impeachment of Trump, calling it a “day of infamy”, “never to be forgotten”. I pointed out that Biden and Pelosi were war criminals, that was really what “infamy” was. I put links to my supporting essays. He has a vast following, being owner of a Venture Capital firm in the Silicon Valley. He took out his Original Post, with plenty of Trump hating comments. Progress. However, this major “Dem” donor didn’t address the bottom line: Biden and Pelosi should be tried. The dereliction of the “Democratic” Party is not just Obama, Clinton, and their helpers and minders. Nor is it just Pelosi and Biden. Obviously Pelosi’s December 5, 2019, confession that she was a war criminal was a cry for help: she is a big time Catholic, she wants to make contrition before meeting God and Lucifer.

What needs to be examined most is the failure of analytical capability in so many US citizens claiming to be “good” while they fostered (be it only by supporting Pelosi and Biden) the war in Iraq, or inequality (by supporting Clinton and Obama). Right, I was a force helping Obama at a crucial juncture. But I recognize I was had. Although I knew, even then, that Obama was a quick buck artist. But I had not cynically anticipated how far he would go doing the opposite of what was convened.

So we need authenticity. In his anti-establishment rage, certified since he fought Reagan, Trump brought some deep down authenticity. So, of course, does Sanders, long what Trump calls a “Communist”…

Curiously, and let me jokingly feed a baby conspiracy theory here, the fact that the Iowa caucus results were delayed… doesn’t look like an accident, on the face of it. A firm tied to Hillary Clinton, herself tied to Biden (as Kerry and Bloomberg, both billionaires, are, at least in spirit) set up an app which conveniently crashed. Hence the fact Biden was severely rejected in Iowa is masked by this delay: Biden doesn’t seem to have finished among the top third, and is slugging it out with Senator Klobuchar…

What is clear is that Sanders’ greatest adversary is not Trump. Oh no. Trump is actually running a strident anti-drug companies advertising, explaining to “Americans” that they pay much higher prices than any others around the world for the same exact drugs. The exact sentence used by Trump was used by a progressive such as yours truly, for years. So yes, Trump is a so-called “populist”, so is Sanders, and the establishment hates them, because they will reduce how much money flows to the greedy elite….

So, yes, it looks like an accident favoring the established Elite. But conveniently the fact Biden lost is drowned by a talk about an app… How many accidents do we need, before we suspect a conspiracy?

Patrice Ayme

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5 Responses to “Hard Core Democrat Reich Recognizes Inequality Came From Bill Clinton, Obama”

  1. SDM Says:

    Of course Sander’s show of strength in Iowa had to be thwarted by any means possible by the DNC crowd. Their corruption knows no bounds. Hence the “app” failure excuse for the muddled mess. Trump already promised better beautiful healthcare but failed to deliver, nor did Mexico pay for a “beautiful wall”. No infrastructure plan either. He has delivered only on tax cuts and cruelty at the border. Sanders offers a better alternative but will it carry the day?

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  2. Scott Morrison Says:

    Never ascribe to malice what incompetence can explain? (And don’t let computers anywhere near elections.)

    No tears lost re: Biden.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Scott Morrison: well, I wrote this before it surfaced that Iraq War authorizing Biden was in difficulty. Even the New York Times (!!!!!) let me roll that theory out, and even more surprising, many readers approved. The app outfit is straight from Hillary Clinton. Now, alleging conspiracy, and malice, yours truly got an ELECTED official to resign recently from her salaried position (in 24 hours). The general problem is that malice and incompetence are generally entangled. Please go see the movie “Jojo Rabbit” for further edification about the general incompetence of the Nazis. Or then (more advanced!) https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/…/a-closed-society…/

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  3. Kevin Berger Says:

    Cue in the “never ascribe…” quote above, which is certainly healthier (heh) overall than Paranoid Conspiracy Theory (cf. also the quip from Michel Rocard IIRC, about the prevalence of conspirators vs. dumbfucks), but one might (should?) still set aside a small part of his available “opinions space” for the possibility of foul play, that is, some sort of clandestine pre-WWIII move by the currently reigning Hegemons, given the general fuckery of the times, and the larger, absolutely dysmal, genocidal track record of our anglos Elites.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well turns out the app was made by Clinton associates. No announcement could be made of Biden being FOURTH and Sanders first. The fact they chose Clinton associates, without bids, is no accident, we know as much. When a crime has been committed, or a misadventure happened, it’s natural to ascribe potential malice and go explore, that’s what police does.

      One of my main themes is indeed that the world wars were no accident: Germany thought it had interest to engage in mayhem: that’s explicitly written down, for both wars. The USA also had interest to help Germany mess up the world order of European empires, replace it by their own. Fact is they helped Germany for both wars… In the beginning…

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