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Why Barack Obama is the More Effective Evil

By       Message Glen Ford     Permalink
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He was the bankers' guy in the Democratic presidential primary race. Among the last three standing in 2008, it was Obama who opposed  any  moratorium on home foreclosures. John Edwards supported a mandatory moratorium and Hillary Clinton said she wanted a voluntary halt to foreclosures. But Barack Obama opposed  any  moratorium. Let it run its course, said candidate Obama. And, true to his word, he has let the foreclosures run their catastrophic course.

Only a few months later, when the crunch came and Finance Capital was in meltdown, who rescued Wall Street? Not George Bush. Bush tried, but he was spent, discredited, ineffective. Not   John McCain. He was in a coma, coming unglued, totally ineffective.

Bush's bailout failed on a Monday. By Friday, Obama had convinced enough Democrats in opposition to roll over -- and the bailout passed, setting the stage for a new dispensation between the American State and Wall Street, in which a permanent pipeline of tens of trillions of dollars would flow directly into Wall Street accounts, via the Federal Reserve.

And Obama had not even been elected yet.

" True to his word, he has let the foreclosures run their catastrophic course."

Obama put Social Security and Medicaid and  all  Entitlements  on the table , in mid-January. The Republicans had suffered resounding defeat. Nobody was pressuring Obama from the Right.

When the Right was on its ass, Obama stood up and spoke in their stead. There was no Evil Devil forcing him to put Entitlements on the chopping block. It was HIM.  He  was the Evil One -- and it was not a Lesser Evil. It was a very Effective Evil, because the current Age of Austerity began on that day, in January, 2009.

And Obama had not even been sworn in as president, yet.

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Who is the Effective Evil? I haven't even gotten into his actual term as president, much less his expansion of the theaters of war, his unique assaults on International Law, and his massacre of Due Process of Law in the United States. But I want to pause right here, because piling up facts on Obama's Most Effective Evils doesn't seem to do any good if the prevailing conversation isn't really about facts -- but about  intentions.  

The prevailing assumption on the Left is that Obama has good intentions. He intends  to the Right Thing -- or, at least, he intends to do  better  than the Republicans intend to do. It's all supposed to be about intentions. Let's be clear: There is absolutely no factual basis to believe he intends to do anything other than the same thing he has already done, whether Democrats control Congress or not, which is  to serve Wall Street's most fundamental interests.

But, the whole idea of debating Obama's intentions is ridiculous. It's psycho-babble, not analysis. No real Left would engage in it.

  I have no doubt that Newt Gingrich and Republicans in general have worse intentions for the future of my people -- of Black people -- than Michelle Obama's husband does. But, that doesn't matter. Black people are not going to roll over for whatever nightmarish Apocalypse the sick mind of Newt Gingrich would like to bring about. But, they have   already rolled over  for Obama's economic Apocalypse in Black America. There was been very little resistance. Which is just another way of saying that Obama has successfully blunted any retribution by organized African America against the corporate powers that have devastated and destabilized Black America in ways that have little precedence in modern times.

" When the Right was on its ass, Obama stood up and spoke in their stead."

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Obama has protected these Wall Streeters from what should be the most righteous wrath of Black folks. To take a riff from Shakespeare's Othello, "Obama has done Wall Street a great service, and they know it." He has proven to be fantastically effective at serving the Supremely Evil. Don't you  dare  call him the Lesser.

He is the More Effective Evil because Black Folks -- historically, the most progressive cohort in the United States -- and Liberals, and even lots of folks that call themselves Marxists,  let him get away murder ! Yet, people still insist on calling him a Lesser Evil, while he drives a stake through Due Process of Law.

I have not spoken much about the second half of Obama's first term in office. That is the period when the Left generally becomes disgusted with what they call his excessive "compromises" and "cave-ins" to Republicans. But that is a profoundly wrong reading of reality. Obama was simply continuing down his own Road to Austerity -- the one he, himself, had initiated before even taking office. The only person caving in and compromising to the Republicans, was the Obama that many of YOU  made up  in your heads.

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Glen Ford is aveteran of Black radio, television, print and Internet news and commentary. He is executive editor of and was co-founder of

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