The Obama Disaster

I think that Obama is an empty vessel with great ambition.  He thought that he was smart enough to be able to transcend “insignificant” political differences.  Lacking any real beliefs and deluded by intellectual arrogance, his idea of victory would be creating some kind of agreement, even if it would be a surrender of anything that he pretended to be.

He brought in people who knew how to get stuff done: Summers, Emmanuel, etc.  How could he not know that this Democratic Leadership Council strategy would be a political disaster?


In the end, Obama’s legacy will be to legitimize some of the worst elements of the Republican agenda and to discredit anybody in the future who tries to call for progressive change.


Our last three Democratic presidents have all been pretty smart and total disasters.  All three caved when faced with opposition.  Obama, however, is the worst of the bunch, taking pride in his courage to attack the relatively powerless forces calling for a modicum of decency.


8 comments so far

  1. political economist on


    having met the man in a small group when he was trying unsuccessfully to unseat Bobby Rush, I can assure you that you are right on the money, the most notable aspect of Obama’s personality is his personal ambition. My only quibble with you is your suggestion that Summers, Emmanuel and team knew how to get things done. It would be hard to imagine under these extreme circumstances getting less done. Imagine the alternative Presidency of H Rodham Clinton who in most ways is an Obama clone and maybe you would agree. I like particularly your point about the consolidation and legitimization of the rightwing drift by Obama, following the similar pattern of the two preceding Democratic Presidencies.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Thoma, bob newton. bob newton said: The Obama Disaster « unsettling economics: Our last three Democratic presidents have all been pretty smart and t… […]

  3. […] The Obama Disaster « unsettling economics […]

  4. Willie Buck Merle on

    Happy holidays

    Ok some clarification here needed. Please state these 3 demo presidents and their particular cave-ins. So to judge the degree and context.


    Obama – Bush Tax Cuts
    Clinton – DOMA
    Carter – Malaise?


    • mperelman on

      Obama’s cowardly capitulations are too well known to rehearse here. With Clinton, NAFTA and welfare reform, two policies that George HW Bush could never have passed, are good examples. Carter is a far more benign example. He was relatively ineffectual, but never pushed many mean-spirited programs. His foreign policy was fairly good, especially in opposing Latin American dictatorships, but once he failed in the Iranian rescue attempt, his foreign policy became far more aggressive.

  5. mark hansen on

    sadly, am forced to agree with you on this.

    Carter did once suggest forcing anyone on unemployment compensation to take the first job offered.

    Clinton was the final sell out to the corporations who were told that unless the DLC’s boy Bill was made P
    resident, there was no way congress would pass NAFTA.
    two years later the unions stayed home allowing those who voted for it to be voted out. Bringing in Gingrich as speaker, who wrote the welfare reform bill.

    while it may have no bearing on anything, is it just a co-incidence that
    Johnson, Nixon, Bush2, and Obama who were the fathers of two daughters and no sons, either got us in wars or kept them going when we had no business in them in the first place?

    Clinton with only one daughter prefered cruise missle strikes.

    perhaps Presidents who father no sons don’t think as much about personal loss in wars as those who do.

  6. pebird on

    The only reason I voted for Obama was that I hoped that what remained of the left would finally realize that electoral politics is a dead end.

    Electing Hillary (although she would have made a better President) was not an option, the so-called progressives would have a field day with “if only we have elected Obama”.

    Thank god we can smell the corruption up close and personal. It feels great to be betrayed by one’s own sense of symbolism.

    The Democrats are over (thank you Obama). What is next?

  7. Willie Buck Merle on

    Thanks for your response. I cannot remember the other 2 demo presidents being at all this weak. Honestly, I was punk’d BIGTIME

    take care, happy holidays

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