July 21, 2010

Obama to Run as Republican in 2012

Filed under: Health Racket Bailout — Tags: — Russ @ 1:16 am


I’ve written many times about Obama’s predilection for, not just corporatist policy, but flat out Republican policy, for example here and here.
For a long time my assessment of this person was that he was a corporatist by ideology and, even more important, a status quo elitist by personality. He prefers neoliberal corporatism, worshipping the “savvy businessmen”, but he’d worship the elites and want to be part of the cool crowd no matter what kind of system he came up in – Nazi Germany (if he were white), Stalin’s USSR, even the Founders’ original republic, whatever.
I also regarded him as politically incompetent. I discussed Obama as exemplary of the Peter Principle, how his career up until 2009 was just one long swindle where he never had any responsibility or accountability and his way was smoothed by powerful helpers, but once he became president and had nowhere to hide, and actually had to produce in the eyes of billions who aren’t part of his cult, he was suddenly unmasked as incompetent and clueless. I’ve also noted his basically mediocre mind. He may have more raw intellectual power than Bush, but he’s just as narrow-minded, just as mentally inert, just as shallow and vapid.
My main piece of evidence for his political incompetence was the fact that he couldn’t even get the spoils system right. That the winning party doles out jobs to its supporters is such an institution that even the schools weren’t embarrassed to teach about it when I was growing up.
Yet Obama left many Bush cadres in place, as well as appointed new Republicans to vacant positions. Even if people wanted to believe Robert Gates already represented some “post-partisan” paradigm (which is a load of crap), OCC head John Dugan was a pure Bush political appointee. Obama left him in place. Is it possible that there was no hard-working Democratic operative who would’ve wanted the OCC job? I find that hard to believe. That’s just the most prominent example, but there are innumerable others.
Similarly, Obama named Republicans like Ray LaHood and Jon Huntsman respectively Transportation Secretary and ambassador to China. He also staffed many lower positions with corporate cadres who are Republican by affiliation.
I’ve also seen figures showing that most of the districts which received the greatest stimulus disbursements were Republican-held districts! Now, I know Obama’s shtick was how he was going to lead us all to the post-partisan Promised Land, but nobody took that seriously during the campaign. That’s standard boilerplate, the kind of lie it’s OK to tell since nobody would ever believe it. So when starting with the stimulus “negotiation” (where he caved in before the fight even began) he really started acting not just in a non-partisan way but in a seemingly pro-Republican way, I chalked that up to a snivelling little kumbaya appeasement mentality. And when he persisted in this behavior I said “he’s an idiot.”
So for awhile I had the picture of a corporate ideologue who was also incompetent and wimpy. But sometimes, when I looked at examples of Democrats who are alleged to be Republicans at heart (e.g. the banksters’ favorite lackey in the House, Melissa Bean), I wondered if Obama might not also consciously consider himself a Republican. He’s certainly cynical enough and enough of a sociopath that he could have calculated how “In a perfect world I’d be a Republican, but in this world my best bet is to pose as a Democrat, since all the stupid liberals will swoon over my race and my bullshit pseudo-progressive rhetoric.”
So I was entertaining that idea, when I read this NYT magazine piece, which convinced me. If this piece is accurate, then Obama loathes the Democratic party. Not just the “progressive” wing, but the establishment, the fund-raising machine, the Congressional delegation, the whole works.
The piece tells us how Obama keeps attacking Congress as such while refusing the pleas of Pelosi and other to attack just the Republicans. How he wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare and reinstate the Bush tax cuts. How he attacked his own stimulus, his own policy, that’s how repulsive he found it to be associated with a Democratic piece of legislation. How much he hates fund-raising, and how proud his flunkies are of the fact that they flout Party requests on that score. (Also how he destroyed his own grassroots organization once he was elected and it was no longer convenient.)
Now, we who reject both kleptocratic parties don’t care about that, but isn’t a member of either party, let alone a party leader, supposed to be a partisan? But if anything, Obama’s an implicit Republican partisan. Not just on the policy, but even on the propaganda, everything he does is explicitly or implicitly not just pro-corporate but pro-Republican.
So all that’s why I’ve come to think he really is a closeted Republican. And given his real inclinations, and the possibility of a primary challenge in 2012 (for as moribund as the Dems are I have to think there will be some sort of revolt, however picayune), and how discombobulated the Republicans are likely to be (Romney? really? Petraeus?), I’m going to say that I think there’s a slight but non-zero chance that Obama will flip parties and run as a Republican. It wouldn’t be much crazier than lots of other scenarios I hear seriously discussed.
(Besides, that’s the kind of crazy prediction where there’s no penalty if you’re wrong, since wrong predictions are a dime a dozen, while if you’re right you may look like a genius. 🙂 )


  1. Well said. Fathoming Obama’s motives has been the most difficult part of the political puzzle for me. Even if his policies had been clear in retrospect with every policy action prolonging Bush incentives, it took health care for me to give up on him altogether.

    Listing Obama’s motivations in the context of a party switch is brilliant for bringing clarity to the issue of his loyalties which seemed divided at best.

    The first wince I felt watching Obama during his campaign was this statement:

    “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they [the country] felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.”

    How odd -–a jarring disconnect for his age. Born in 1961, he was a teenager during the error he would have us believe he experienced personally –the gift of the orator when it works.

    But to some of us, he was ‘signaling.’ Sure, it was pandering to the right, but why at the height of the political fight against the right?

    I think the answer is that he was signaling his bipartisanship, not merely as sentiment, but signaling his loyalty to the corporatist fascist right that as you point out he has so consistently represented.

    And, I haven’t a clue to the solution.

    The progressive Thom Hartmann suggests joining either party to work at persuading them to your own progressive policies.

    i on the ball patriot always ends with ‘boycott the elections.’ I just don’t see how that will do anything but prolong the status quo.

    Comment by LeeAnne — July 21, 2010 @ 10:40 am

    • I talk about how Obama’s dream is to outdo Bush and consummate Reaganism in another post; I think it’s in one of those links at the top there.

      Neither party can be persuaded of anything. If Hartmann really says that, he’s astroturfing for the banks.

      I definitely agree with breaking once and for all with both parties, not even “boycotting” but just rejecting them absolutely and forever.

      The only exception could be at the lower, local and regional level. But at the national level, we’ll never again have anything but criminals under this system.

      Both kleptocratic parties have to perish, which means one has to perish first, since they prop each other up. My bet is the Democrats are the weak link. That’s probably why Obama hates them and likes the Republicans so much.

      Comment by Russ — July 21, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

    • I disagree with Thom Hartmann about joining the two major parties. If his argument has any merit it’s only at the local level. But that’s true of anything.

      I also disagree with Russ and others that “not voting” is any kind of solution. Not voting makes elites happy. It helps them sleep better at night and saves them a great deal of pocket money they would otherwise spend on campaigns. Oh, the crocodile tears they shed over the modern nonvoter! “Why don’t those people vote?” they wonder, feigning confusion as they shovel dirty cash into the campaign locomotive. “Are average people turned off politics or just plain stupid?” And behind them the ad campaign smokestack belches a towering carboniferous plume reminiscent of Mordor.

      In my view anything elites hate must have some good to it. The frank Republican distaste for voting — and the elitist Democrat disdain for uneducated voters — leads me to appreciate its merits.

      – Voting for either main party is foolhardy and suicidal.

      – Not voting just leads to being ignored. It’s a valid alternative to participating in the system, but it can’t be the #1 choice in the presence of a superior alternative. Besides, it gives cover to the elites to do whatever they want by claiming the silent majority (you) agrees. I understand everyone’s desire to be ideologically pure, but that shouldn’t lead us to neglect whatever levers of power we have remaining to us.

      – This leads us to the superior alternative, in my view, which is voting for a third party. And if none appeals to you go start one.

      I live in Minnesota, land of the governator before governators were trendy. Thanks to the Progressives of the 20s we don’t even have a Democratic party. We have a Democratic-Farmer-Labor party. Is that precious or what? If you vote for the lesser evil you get evil. Obama proves the monster you feared is exactly the same as the monster you voted for!

      Third parties make great spoilers. I recommend them to all my friends.

      Comment by reslez — July 22, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

      • I think you misunderstood me. I said reject “both parties”, not voting as such. (Indeed I even allowed for the possibility of not-yet-corrupt candidates from those parties at the lower levels.)

        I agree with voting for a third party if there’s a worthwhile one.

        However, if on the other hand one does want to boycott the rigged elections completely on the ground that voting at all validates the fraud and makes one an accomplice, I accept that argument as well.

        What we really need is a new movement, from which could then spring a new party, or with which existing third parties could end up coordinating.

        But the historical evidence is that for an alternative to be viable, we need the movement first, and then the party and electoral action.

        It’s not an instant gratification thing, and it’ll take time and lots of hard work. These seem to be a big stumbling block for a lot of people:

        “Not support the Democrats?! But how can we have a viable third party candidate by 2012?”

        Answer: Well, maybe we don’t. Maybe it takes a little longer than that.

        Comment by Russ — July 23, 2010 @ 2:45 am

      • Yes, it looks like I did misunderstand. My apologies and thanks for clarifying.

        Comment by reslez — July 23, 2010 @ 4:17 am

      • No apology necessary.

        So what’s up with Minnesota? On the one hand they can elect Jesse Ventura (primarily good as an example) and do good stuff like I’ve written about in a few posts:


        But then I read they’re the lead state in restoring debtors’ prisons.

        Are those just rogue judges or what? It’s obviously an abuse of power; there’s definitely no way any judge has to handle things the way they choose to.

        But I can’t tell if the law itself is perverted (i.e. intentionally written to empower judges to be such thugs), or if the judges are just choosing to pervert an otherwise normal set of laws.

        Comment by Russ — July 23, 2010 @ 4:59 am

  2. I always enjoy a good Obama bashing. I give as close to zero odds as statistics allows that Obama flips parties. Having said that, I’d love it if he does, because it would be the most unmistakable evidence-for the many who are in the dark or in denial- that the two party system is a sham.

    Comment by Edwardo — July 21, 2010 @ 11:15 am

    • Can you imagine how confused the teabaggers on both sides would be?

      Comment by Russ — July 21, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

  3. I think the tea baggers would become terminally caffeinated immediately.

    Comment by Edwardo — July 21, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

    • Isn’t it their Democratic counterparts who call themselves the “Coffee party”? 🙂

      Comment by Russ — July 22, 2010 @ 2:28 am

  4. I also regarded him as politically incompetent. I discussed Obama as exemplary of the Peter Principle, how his career up until 2009 was just one long swindle where he never had any responsibility or accountability and his way was smoothed by powerful helpers, but once he became president and had nowhere to hide, and actually had to produce in the eyes of billions who aren’t part of his cult, he was suddenly unmasked as incompetent and clueless. I’ve also noted his basically mediocre mind. He may have more raw intellectual power than Bush, but he’s just as narrow-minded, just as mentally inert, just as shallow and vapid.

    Yep yep yep. I can’t believe how stupid I was to believe this Potemkin Democrat was going to solve our problems.

    It was easily the most stupid political decision I’ve made in my entire life. Even Clinton was more of a leftist.

    Comment by jimmy james — July 22, 2010 @ 3:45 am

  5. Yup. Now it’s proven beyond any doubt at all. Both parties are absolutely beyond redemption. We can no longer even entertain discussion about trying to “take back” the Democratic party. It’s over.

    Anyone among the tea partiers who was actually serious about things like the Constitution and corporate welfare would know the same about the Republicans.

    Comment by Russ — July 22, 2010 @ 4:26 am

  6. Erm, points for flights of fancy, but I think I’m seeing a wee problem here. Given the apparently fanatical visceral hatred the wingnuts appear to have for Obama they seem unlikely to embrace him as a turncoat. Nobody who has spent more than a few minutes reading blog comments around US politics can have missed the hordes of zomboid rightists raving about narcissism, Chicago gangsterism, socialism, worst president since Jimmy Carter etc etc ad infinitum. (And what is that about Jimmy Carter anyway? Speaking as a mere foreigner he seems the last US leader to have said anything sensible). One does have to wonder why anyone would want to try and lead the Democrats, the Blue Dog phenomenon alone should be enough to deter any sane person. The Will Rogers witticism still stands –
    ‘I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat.’ Guess I may be firing wide of the mark here since you are talking about Obama’s inner disposition as you see it, rather than any real likelihood of his jumping ship. Again as a mere foreigner, the central problem of US politics seems to me to be that nobody who proposes any serious departure from business as usual can possibly be elected, hence I never thought Obama could achieve anything meaningful.

    Comment by gnomic — July 22, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

    • Yes, Obama never did truthfully propose any serious departure, he only lied, as his backers and the hacks always knew (as did anyone who actually paid attention to his record).

      As for the wingnuts, I thought of them, and I agree they’d have a hard time obeying the Republican powers that be on that one.

      But I could picture the big money agreeing to the idea, which is so far the most important thing.

      But you’re right, this isn’t something I’d bet money on or anything. I’m just saying that the evidence seems to indicate this person actually sees himself as a Republican.

      Comment by Russ — July 23, 2010 @ 2:35 am

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