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The Mystique of “Free-Market Guy” Obama

By       Message Jeff Cohen     Permalink
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That's why he [declared] to the New York Times last March that his economic policies were absolutely not socialist, but rather "entirely consistent with free market principles."

That's why during his 2008 "I love the market" interview on CNBC, he shunned the "populist" label.

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President Franklin Roosevelt showed in the 1930s that major reform is possible if a populist upsurge of ordinary people is mobilized to overcome the entrenched opposition of business interests -- derided by FDR as the "economic royalists."

The problem today is that Obama doesn't seem to have a populist bone in his body. A smart guy, he should know that it's absurd -- in an era when a shrinking number of ever-larger corporations dominate Congress and regulators as they deform markets in industries like banking and healthcare -- to keep believing we have a "free market." Yet he waxes on about being a "free-market guy."

I guess he's smart enough NOT to call himself "a corporate guy."

Liberal activists need to be smart enough to see Obama for the status quo politician he is -- and to act accordingly.

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Jeff Cohen is director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, where he is an associate professor of journalism. He founded the progressive media watch group FAIR in 1986.

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