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That Lying Obama Again

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Eric Zuesse

On July 4th, the Washington Post headlined, "With Democrats split on inequality issues, Obama shifts talk away from income gap," and Zachary Goldfarb summed up by saying that "Obama's public statements suggest he is skeptical that members of either party would embrace some of the policies aimed squarely at reducing income inequality, such as taxing wealthier Americans in order to give more benefits to poorer Americans."

The reality, however, is exactly the opposite of what Obama is asserting. For example, on 23 January 2014, Pew's people-press.org reported their poll finding that when asked "what would do more to reduce poverty?" 54% favored "Raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to expand programs for the poor," which is the progressive position, and only 35% favored "Lowering taxes on the wealthy and corporations to encourage investment and economic growth," which is the conservative position. In the partisan breakdown of those numbers there, Pew reported that among Democratic voters, 75% favored the progressive position on this matter, and only 17% favored the conservative position on it. This means that in Democratic Presidential primaries, a candidate like Elizabeth Warren, who favors and campaigns on the progressive position, will increase her support during her campaign if she runs on it, whereas a candidate like Hillary Clinton, who favors and campaigns on the conservative position, will lose her support during her campaign if she runs on it (instead of away from it). So: the progressive position is the winning position on this matter in Democratic primaries. As for the general election, that overall finding of 54% versus 35% would mean an overwhelming win of the Democratic Presidential nominee (if it's a progressive one) against the Republican nominee, in the general election, regarding that key issue. In other words: on this central political issue, the progressive position will not only sweep the Democratic primaries, but it will also be devastating against the Republican nominee in the general election. Yet nonetheless, the diehard conservative Obama (who is progressive only in his lying rhetoric) opposes it. That Wall Street "Democrat" opposes it.

Those Pew findings also show that, amongst Republican voters, on this issue, 59% favor the conservative position, whereas only 29% favor the progressive position.

So: a candidate such as Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would perform quite well among Republican voters if only they weren't Black, or female, or (which is the most unacceptable thing of all for Republicans) self-described as being a "Democrat" even if they actually take on solidly Republican ideological positions and effectively block Democratic ones from being passed in Congress whenever they win the actual power to govern.

Nor is this Pew poll unusual or anomalous. Similar findings have predominated for a long time among the polling on this matter:

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Here's an extreme case: On 6 May 2014, CNBC bannered "CNBC survey shows millionaires want higher taxes to fix inequality," and reported that their survey of "514 people with investable assets of $1 million or more" (not merely millionaires but people with over a million in "investable assets" alone), 64% included among their policy-prescriptions "to lessen the inequality of wealth in the United States," "Higher taxes for the wealthy." Furthermore: "Among those who say inequality is a problem, 78 percent of Democrats support higher taxes on the wealthy, and 77 percent back a higher minimum wage. That compares with 31 percent and 38 percent, respectively, for Republicans." In other words: even in a Democratic candidate's fundraising among Democratic Party donors, the progressive position will do better for a Democratic Party candidate than the conservative position on this issue will. There is simply no advantage for an honest Democrat to go the way Obama does.

This presents the obvious question: Why do candidates such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tend to win the nomination of the Democratic Party? The answer to that question is extremely complex, but what it comes down to is that, behind the scenes, the most powerful conservative American oligarchs, such as Rupert Murdoch, extremely wealthy Republicans, have actually provided vital assistance, sub-rosa, to candidates such as Hillary Clinton in America's Democratic Party, and to candidates like Tony Blair in Britain's Labour Party. This happens in such candidates' party primaries, not in the general election (when those same donors are doing everything they can to crush the conservative Democrat whose nomination they had secretly assisted). In fact, this mechanism showed itself even in a general "election" when, during 2000 and 2004, some of the biggest Republican Party donors were secretly funneling money into Ralph Nader's campaign in key states in order to help him to draw off enough Democratic voters to throw the Presidential general "election" to the Republican Party's nominee. Of course, they succeeded in 2000 (by throwing both Florida and New Hampshire to Bush and therefore denying Al Gore the Presidency despite Gore's having won 543,895 more votes in 2000 than Bush did).

Any Democrat who votes for any Democratic Party primary-election candidate when that candidate isn't very clearly and unambiguously progressive is just a sucker of the aristocracy, because he's being manipulated by them against not only his own best interest but the best interest of the nation. The end result of that is: we get "Democratic" Presidents like Obama and the Clintons. Look at what that has produced.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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You produce some interesting poll results as usual... by Maxwell on Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 at 12:31:32 PM
The point that I was trying to make is that Obama ... by Eric Zuesse on Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 at 1:14:53 PM
Certainly there are times when Obama lies, thus de... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 at 5:04:53 PM
If we listen to what BO said in his campaign speec... by Daniel Geery on Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 at 6:55:12 PM
We disagree. Campaign promises may well mislead b... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 9:15:51 AM
There are sites that track Obama's broken promises... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:55:42 PM
But "change you can believe in" is so empty of mea... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 1:27:10 PM
Indeed, I gave a lot of thought to my promises at ... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 4:35:24 PM
Patrick and you deserve all the thumbs up you can ... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 5:19:07 PM
I share your sigh, along with what I see as your c... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 8:59:00 PM
Robert Becker does, I believe, share our core valu... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 9:44:06 AM
Sorry but your default to something hardy defined,... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 11:12:49 AM
I think my values are pretty clear and classified.... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 12:45:40 PM
This is one of those comments you make which shows... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 12:56:10 PM
These two comments are unfortunate IMO. All I sai... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 1:14:44 PM
This is my last ever comment to you, just to defen... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 2:46:00 PM
One finale, then I will not respond to you. Thanks... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 3:00:58 PM
Pal, I do wish you would accept Robert's clear con... by Maxwell on Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 8:20:12 AM
Thanks for the good efforts, but I can live with t... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 10:43:53 AM
Well I had never before actually looked up the def... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 4:09:58 AM
Actually, I am not so cold-hearted and merciless t... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 1:26:38 PM
Ask Robert if he is going to define "core" values.... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 4:27:48 AM
Core values from my political website, voteutah.us... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 2:51:16 PM
Thanks, Daniel, sorry you felt obliged to do this.... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 3:23:24 PM
Sometimes our fight and advocacy of these values h... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 5:49:18 PM
Without immigrants, largely from Mexico, we wouldn... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 8:11:52 PM
I have not had a problem with immigration as I bel... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:52:04 PM
I agree with all, except to note that even my own ... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 5:57:39 PM
The people we really need to import to the U.S. (a... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 7:12:23 PM
That would be interesting! Imagine if Palestinians... by Bill Johnson on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 9:02:25 AM
At this point, pretty much anything different soun... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 11:30:20 AM
The question is, if you had been elected, would yo... by Lynne Kringler on Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 2:04:57 AM
The Dems, the President, and the Republicans are i... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 8:12:17 AM
You know that I agree with you in many things. But... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 9:09:46 AM
Naturally, it isn't always so much what you say as... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 1:01:28 PM
We agree in many things and you do know that I thi... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 9:16:27 AM
Ask Robert if he wants you to define "core values"... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 4:31:57 AM
Regarding Obama suggesting or implying that he can... by Maxwell on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 9:24:34 AM
Well, happy to find other good, logical, realistic... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 10:52:23 AM
Not to quibble about semantics, but I do think pro... by Patrick Walker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 1:48:24 PM
There is no way of knowing how much intent was beh... by BFalcon on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 9:22:35 AM
Criticism of failure is necessary but demonizing c... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 11:17:39 AM
I was hoping to be done with somewhat semantic iss... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 11:52:58 AM
Great comment.I think we may all be guilty of some... by BFalcon on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 12:13:36 PM
Of course I mostly agree.What I meant, however, is... by BFalcon on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 12:26:26 PM
Well, here I go again. Let's see if I can e... by Lynne Kringler on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 5:05:02 AM
While I don't quite agree in re Obama--just based ... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 12:38:56 PM
Upset away!I agree that working together on things... by Maxwell on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 1:03:49 PM
And that's why we two share values (as realist pra... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:00:56 PM
I gather you mean, it wasn't a fixed promise, but ... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 5:51:43 PM
Very good, you caught my drift, and I didn't think... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Jul 14, 2014 at 8:46:17 PM
Promising to quit a thread is precisely analogous ... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 7:43:08 AM
I was making a point about the difficulty of confi... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 9:29:33 AM
" Of course, there are gross intentional lies, lik... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 12:42:38 PM
No need here to classify or label. Just sayin'... ... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 11:34:48 AM
Why do you think Bernie caucuses (mispelled?) with... by Lynne Kringler on Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 at 5:56:12 AM
BF, My further thinking explained in reply to Robe... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 11:57:07 AM
Perhaps Obama's most ominous lie for the future of... by Lance Ciepiela on Sunday, Jul 13, 2014 at 6:49:38 PM
I have to strongly agree with the point that "poll... by Patrick Walker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 9:35:05 AM
Well, the country is too big for one president so ... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 10:33:26 AM
I think I have to split the difference on this cal... by Patrick Walker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 11:20:19 AM
I tend to withhold what I see as personal moral in... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:18:11 PM
As I've said before in our discussions, I think we... by Patrick Walker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:46:01 PM
"And, as politics is an intrinsically moral endeav... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 1:44:22 PM
I opened a BIG philosophical can of worms by my re... by Patrick Walker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 2:43:59 PM
Happy to agree with almost all of this and happy t... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 3:24:25 PM
" There's hope in the hills, after all. "I wouldn... by Maxwell on Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 8:09:09 AM
"The polling-winning elections/running the country... by Maxwell on Saturday, Jul 12, 2014 at 8:28:45 AM
I do agree with Robert that calling it an outright... by Maxwell on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 8:00:47 AM
Go for it. I enjoy and learn from your comments. ... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 11:20:52 AM
While voters and the people who have given up on v... by Patricia Gray on Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 at 1:20:00 PM
There's a huge difference. The entire Republican P... by Eric Zuesse on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 3:50:55 AM
Ha, fools all. Because really, Obama has shown us... by Peter Selby on Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 at 5:59:06 PM
I posted this may,2012 Quit whining and don't e... by Lynne Kringler on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 4:49:39 AM
Good piece Lynn, you seem to understand what it ta... by Mark Ropel on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 8:37:01 AM
The claim that there's not a dime's worth of diffe... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 8:40:20 AM
Subject: Obama is not bush I have many things... by Lynne Kringler on Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 at 5:45:28 AM
I too have to renege on my last word to respond br... by Maxwell on Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 at 8:21:42 AM
I will always believe Obama was selected by wealth... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 7:07:16 AM
If you study his two, very cautious books (often d... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 9:27:03 AM
Misrepresentation is, in my opinion, a lie. I am g... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 7:43:22 PM
My biggest question is why, if it's only a handful... by Patrick Walker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 9:05:09 AM
We agree completely. I think fear and loathing of... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 9:32:12 AM
I agree with you that the fear of Republicans' win... by Patrick Walker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 9:48:41 AM
I wasn't "excusing" these suspect Dems (and the ot... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 10:21:04 AM
I didn't think you were excusing them; I was just ... by Patrick Walker on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 10:49:41 AM
I agree with you, Patrick. ... by Eric Zuesse on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 2:32:55 AM
Obama is a liar, but not in this case.Where is the... by Jerry Policoff on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 6:30:10 PM
Well,....... journalists can sometimes get carried... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 7:47:59 PM
These two statements are direct contradictions of ... by Eric Zuesse on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 2:37:08 AM
And your point is?You took a comment a reporter wr... by Jerry Policoff on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 6:21:12 AM
Yes, Obama is a liar, and Zeusse clouds that point... by Jerry Policoff on Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 at 8:02:15 PM
I thank you for your comments here because they pr... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 11:35:21 AM
It's true that by the nature of elective politics,... by Maxwell on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 7:32:30 AM
I agree with what you say, but would like to point... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 8:50:17 AM
Right, and those who called him on that silly lie-... by Maxwell on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 8:06:09 PM
One more observation on this thread that will not ... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 8:30:18 AM
No, O has in the last few weeks or more openly cha... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 9:53:45 AM
I was about to say a similar thing, as follows: a ... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 12:54:03 PM
What is this, the song that never end?. Come one,... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 1:20:20 PM
My oh my how do the pigeons come home to roost! Ad... by Bill Johnson on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 2:30:01 PM
And that's the last word. ... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 2:57:26 PM
Talk about the thread ending not with bang but a w... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 8:26:22 PM
Brave patriot, taking ad hominem pot shots with on... by Maxwell on Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 10:21:54 AM
And a cartoon slam as my hair doesn't look at all ... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 at 11:18:23 AM
"Please, leftwing Trickster fits me better than ly... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 at 2:56:08 PM