As our own previous post highlighted, in 2008 candidate Obama campaigned on "Openness" and "transparency" in government - the candidate who PLEDGED "I will not hold negotiations that affect public policy, or public finances, in secret" - has become the president who forces even good, "liberal" Congressional Democrats to defend the President's Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, for REFUSING to ANSWER to the public about the exact terms of the "Christmas bailouts" for Freddie Mac this past December... much less was Democrat Congressman Brad Sherman forced to try to defend (actually, Congressman Sherman tried to change the topic, i.e. DIVERT and CONFUSE the issue) Obama's Treasury Secretary for T-Sec. Tim Geithner's role (as then New York Federal Reserve Bank President in 2008) in awarding billions of dollars of taxpayer bailouts - DOLLAR-for-DOLLAR BAILOUTS for "derivative" financial losses that amounted to pure casino gambling bets - to insurance giant AIG, for AIG "passing" those billions of dollars of bailouts loot right through to Goldman Sachs, the mega hedge-fund that has effectively been Giethner's sponsor for most of his career in public service. (Whether during the Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, or Hank Paulson tenures as Treasury Secretaries, Giethner and the entire U.S. Treasury department have basically had a "keep Goldman Sachs & J.P. Morgan happy" agenda.)
Well, if keeping Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citi-bank, Bank of American, N.Y. Bank Mellon, Wells Fargo, and other huge NY banks and hedge funds was the priority of the previous Bush and Clinton administrations, and their Treasury Secretaries in financial & economic policies, "Keeping the big banks happy" MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT the priority of American voters hard-hit by this ECONOMIC RECESSION, that was PREDICTED, in 1999, by Senator Byron Dorgan and all other objective observers, who KNEW that passing that President Clinton signing the very, RADICAL Right-Wing, Phil Gramm written Financial DEREGULATION bills; the GRAMM-Leach-Bliley Act, and Commodity Futures Modernization Act (2000), would create INVITATIONS TO FRAUD and lead to chaos in U.S. financial markets. (Video bottom this post).
But first, here's Buzzflash's guest comment, "IF the ONLY VOICE President Obama allows Democrats & Independents who OPPOSE his "of, by and for bankers & lobbyists" agenda is to STAY AT HOME on election day, that IS the voice that they will take to voice their frustration, if not dismay, at the "Democratic" Party being HIJACKED by the same bankers, hedge-funds, and lobbyists who DROVE AMERICA's ECONOMY RIGHT STRAIGHT INTO THE DITCH in 2008.
Mr. President: "Yes we can -- stay home!"==================================================
BuzzFlash Guest Commentary
Jan 20, 2010
On Nov. 4, 2008, I, along with so many Democratic Americans, was thrilled with your election to the presidency, enjoying the vision that night of all of those Americans who packed Grant Park in Chicago to listen to your words of inspiration.
I really believed in your message of hope and change.
Less than a year into your administration, I am disappointed -- actually, outraged -- at the direction that you have taken. The election of Scott Brown in a state where Democrats held a 3-1 voting advantage should be a wake-up call. It is not too late to do something, but your approach needs major surgery.
For instance, the major problem is that you have ignored your base, which has resulted in an "enthusiasm gap" on the Democratic side. Your chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, said a few weeks ago about those of us on the left, those of us who were the heart and soul of your movement when the establishment was with Hillary, "Where are they going to go?"
Here is my answer: "Yes we can -- stay home."
While Emmanuel was referring specifically to the elimination of a public option in the health-care bill, I have a message for you, Mr. President, and for your Democratic allies in Congress: If this disaster of a health-care bill passes basically as the U.S. Senate has proposed, [as President Obama's White House team - Rahm Emanuel, et al, have HELPED Right-Wing "Blue Dog" Senators Baucus, Lieberman, Nelson, and other SABOTAGE _REAL_ reform items, like the public option, right OUT of the Senate bill] I and many of my ilk will indeed stay home.
When you spoke so eloquently on the campaign trail, you said that the next president would have an opportunity to be a "transformational president," much like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were. Unfortunately, you started your administration by catering to the middle, to those who love Wall Street and could care less about Main Street. Your options now are not great, but you could make a few definitive statements about how you will lead this year in a way that will transform America.
A true transformative leader will scrap the health-care bill right now and dictate a few things to the U.S. Senate: Eliminate the filibuster. We are a country founded on majority rule, not 60 percent rule. By scrapping that, you can then start over by keeping some of your promises on the campaign trail and not have to worry about 60 votes. That is “change we can believe in.”
Here are my suggestions. First, you have to become passionate about what you say. You were passionate on the campaign trail, and America wants you to return to that form. The Tea-Baggers are just 30 percent of the electorate. You have not answered them with your own outrage. We need that tone of outrage and indignation, from you, not your professorial approach.
Second, you have to send a message to Joe Lieberman that he has been a turncoat who is not longer welcome in the Democratic Party. His approval ratings are in the twenties and low thirties, so he is not popular anywhere except for Fox News. By not answering him and allowing him into the health-care argument, you have looked weak. You have to exude strength, and that has been missing over the past year.
Here is what happened with Lieberman. Your forgave him for campaigning against you. You forgave him for almost running as John McCain's running mate. You forgave him for being the person who scrapped the public option. Once again, you have not projected optimism and strength, two of your assets on the campaign trail.
Third, you have to use the bully pulpit to communicate to the American people. They need to know that the Republicans voted against Social Security and Medicare, against the SCHIP program, against everything of any consequence over the past century. Ask the Republicans this question: What legislation have you passed in the past century to improve America? They will have no answer, because they have not passed anything except tax cuts for the wealthy and legislation approved by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is very unpopular.
Fourth, you have to emulate something that George W. Bush did. Yes, you may cringe when I say that, but he was passionate and told members of his party that there would be consequences if they opposed him. Congress did agree with you on some major bills last year, such as the stimulus, but many of them were of minor importance. Make your opponents fear you, not by using Emmanuel, who is despised by more than half the people on Capital Hill, but by making this personal. If they vote against it, they will feel your retribution. It worked for FDR even though he was in a wheel chair.
Fifth, you have to clean house. Tim Geitner and Larry Summers are in the pocket of Wall Street, so for you to regain the vote of those who are angry at the bankers and big-moneyed interests, you need a major overhaul. Throwing Geitner under the bus will be the first step in winning them back.
Sixth, you have to woo back the young people who loved you so much a year ago. You have to go to college campuses and talk to them, encourage them, and listen to them. They are the future of America, and they too want you to lead, not to be weak.
Seventh, you made a huge mistake on Afghanistan. If you had said before the election that you were going to use a surge in that country, you would have lost a great deal of your base. That war has been taking place for over eight years. What are we going to accomplish with another three? That has many people angry, and you have to address that.
Last, I say this as a Pennsylvanian, you have to encourage Arlen Specter (whom even George W. Bush considers a turnvoat) to retire. Tell him that you will not come to Pennsylvania to campaign for him, that you will support a true Democrat, Joe Sestak. Right now, I can tell you that there is a tremendous amount of anger in the Democratic Party about Specter. If Specter wins the primary, he will lose to Toomey in the general election. If Sestak wins, then he will defeat Toomey, who can be tied to Wall Street through the Club for Growth.
Democrats want a Democrat in office, not a Repub who changed because he would have lost to Toomey in the primary. If Specter wins, he will screw you just the way he screwed Bush, who campaigned for him in 2004. He is a loose cannon.
(An aside: If Specter, who has had a number of bouts with cancer, wins, he may not last the six years, and a Republican governor may choose the successor.)
If Specter is the Democratic candidate, I can tell you one thing: "Yes we can -- stay home!"
p.s.- Is it fair to mention that, besides being Right-Wing Big Finance apologists who SUPPORT tax cuts for the wealthy, no-oversight bailouts for N.Y. mega-banks, and every Cheney-Bushian lies-to-war, expanding wars, and police-state government powers policies, ARLEN SPECTER, JOE LIEBERMAN, RAHM EMANUEL, and LAWRENCE SUMMERS are all members of the same faith... and that they all appear to have MASTERED the "art" of PRETENDING to be "Democrats," while REVERTING to radical RIGHT-WING REPUBLICAN agendas on wars and financial policies, whenever it is convenient for their careers?
And that Democratic voters are getting TIRED of MULTI-MILLIONAIRE TURNCOATS HIJACKING the Democratic Party?
And that, just possibly, such "TURNCOAT politics" and politicians MIGHT ACTUALLY FAVOR a REPUBLICAN RESTORATION to power, the better t solidify the current round of bailouts and economic policies, and to engage the next round of dictatorial war powers and transfers of public monies to private bank vaults and war contractors?
In 1999, Senator Byron Dorgan PREDICTED, that then President Clinton signing the radical Right-Wing Republican PHIL GRAMM written DEREGULATION bill, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, would LEAD DIRECTLY TO ECONOMIC CRISIS, probably in about 10 years or less:
Tim Giethner, Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Rahm Emanuel, and most of the Treasury & political figures in BOTH the Clinton AND Obama "Democratic" White Houses, SUPPORTED this RADICAL RIGHT-WING Republican DEREGULATION legislations - i.e. OPEN INVITATIONS to FRAUD in the US financial markets.