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Obama's Mission Impossible

By       Message Danny Schechter     Permalink
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With the midterm election less than a month away and the economic crisis unabated, the Obama Administration may be at a crossroads.

The President's own advisor, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker says the financial system is "broken." High unemployment is not dropping and home foreclosures are up.

The Obamacrats are being blamed for the economic downturn and the economy has become "the issue' of the November midterm elections.

The signs of an economic recovery are hard to see, and tensions with China, a leading trade partner, may be on the cusp of a trade war.

Add to this the trillions poured into two wars we are not winning, and you have the elements of a perfect storm that some fear could lead to a depression or even a systemic collapse.

With the President's popularity slipping and his opposition surging (at least in the media if not in the streets), the Democrats are expected to lose many seats, if not, control of the Congress.

Some in his party have been reduced to arguing, "we may not be great, but we are better than the other guys." There is an anti-incumbent mood in both parties and the rhetoric (but not yet the reality) of revolution is motivating parts of the electorate on both sides.

In the White House, the President has become more of a manager than a militant: initially trying to please all sides with appeals to bipartisanship, and later with programs to placate the military and Wall Street.

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Wall Street helped fund Obama's 2008 victory. He seems to have believed that policies that would support and even enrich the private sector would lead to more job creation and cooperation.

That didn't happen - and now more and more billionaires are funding the Republicans with no pretense to promoting equality or help for the middle class. The greed that drives these wealthy elite seems to know no bounds.

One by one, his chosen policy wonks have deserted the White House like those proverbial rats leaving a sinking ship.

First to go was wonder-kid Budget Director Peter Orszag; then, Christina Romer who headed his Council of Economic Advisors; followed by Larry Summers - the chief Economic Advisor and former Harvard president who was forced out of Harvard for remarks hostile to women.

Finally, Obama's Chief of Staff, former Rep. Rahm Emanuel, has said sayonara to return to Chicago for a mayoral run.

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Left in place - but hardly left - is Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Obama's Ambassador to Wall Street and point-man with China. Geithner and his former boss, Ben Bernanke, who heads the Federal Reserve Bank, see themselves as servants of stability wedded to big banks and the strategy of the soon to be departed.

They have no progressive pretensions. Little has changed for them.

The only claim this crew could make about achievement is that they averted something worse from happening. They may be correct, but proving a negative is difficult and doesn't play well with voters who are not well versed in the reasons for the financial crisis.

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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 Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

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