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Obama, Year One: The Inauguration Seems A Lifetime Ago; GOP's Bay Watch Work$;

By Danny Schechter


Who woulda thunk, that on the eve of the big anniversary of President Obama's inauguration, an event at which we saw the late Teddy Kennedy and his loving dogs being cheered, an event the whole world was watching, that a year later almost to the day, the White House would be in nail-biting mode as Teddy's State, my former state too for many years, went for Republican Scott Brown, a political nobody who masked himself as a political everyman in the "homeland" of the original tea party. He and his truck did well rolling over his apponents. Credit where credit is due.

Who would have thunk that the sands would shift this way, and, that the Obamacrats would rest on their laurels while the voters revolted against a moribund Democratic Party to elect a truck driving former male model for Cosmo Magazine as their next Senator, a political chameleon who managed to bury his party identity and fuse a populist stance to a reactionary political program. There was no reference to the GOP on his bus or pitch.

Scott Brown was congratulated by the President and conceded to by his opponent Martha Coakley who never got it, until it was too late. This outcome is really an indictment of a Democratic Party that buried its mission and preoccupied itself in the suites while conceding the streets. which did not make creating jobs a priority and did not lead the fight for economic justice of fight the banks they were subsidizing".It was also significant that Brown positioned himself in the center, as an independent, not a Republican or right-winger. He invoked Teddy's name even as he condemned Teddy's game".

I have been writing all week about the failure to deliver, first of aid in Haiti, and now this debacle. This is a story of the failure to mobilize for hope in America, a failure to shape a popular and populist strategy outside the beltway. It is a wake-up call to Obama to go back to offering a vision, and not be a functionary for financial and war machines. It is a call to abandon the "inside game" and go to the people in the way he did in the campaign. That was a winner. This strategy is not! At the same time, his 'so-called" pragmatism is in many ways who he is.

As Economist Simon Johnson put it on Baseline Scenario: A Trap Of Their Own Design

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"The theme for the November midterms should be: Which part of the 8 million jobs lost [since December 2007] do you not understand? The big banks must be reined in and forced to break themselves up, or we'll head directly for another such crisis.

Instead, the Democrats have fallen into a legislative and electoral trap that amazingly they built for themselves.

"Top Democratic political strategists have become obsessed with the idea that they must pass legislation on financial reform, no matter how much that requires compromise (e.g., discarding the consumer protection desperately needed in this arena) the thinking is that as they control the Presidency, House, and Senate (sort of), any other outcome will be judged a failure."

"Run hard now, against the big banks. If they oppose the administration, this will make their power more blatant and just strengthen the case for breaking them up. And if the biggest banks stay quiet, so much the better go for even more sensible reform to constrain reckless risk-taking in the financial sector.

When you are running against opponents with bottomless resources, great hubris, and a profoundly anti-democratic bent, get them to speak early and often in as public a manner as possible. Dig up and publish everything there is to know about them. Review and forward the details of how JP Morgan was humbled over Northern Securities and how John D. Rockefeller was finally brought to account.

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FDR's favorite president was Andrew Jackson. The White House might like to read up on why Jackson confronted, ran against, and ultimately defeated, the specter of concentrated financial power. President Obama needs to do the same."

To compromise is a mistake"

Actually, this is a mistake than can become a deeper disaster.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at See

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