Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Business of America Is Giving Americans the Business

Time for one of those point and nods, although this time the nod is pretty much immediately followed by weeping, gnashing of teeth, and the ripping up of my voter registration card. I mean, really, is there a point in voting? I "love" the line in here that a constituent is someone who can afford a lobbyist. I don't have enough money to matter.

Think I despair too much? For those of you who don't want to read the entire Matt Taibbi article, here's the very late in the game kicker (that should make you start from word one):

There's no other way to say it: Barack Obama, a once-in-a-generation political talent whose graceful conquest of America's racial dragons en route to the White House inspired the entire world, has for some reason allowed his presidency to be hijacked by sniveling, low-rent shitheads. Instead of reining in Wall Street, Obama has allowed himself to be seduced by it, leaving even his erstwhile campaign adviser, ex-Fed chief Paul Volcker, concerned about a "moral hazard" creeping over his administration.

"The obvious danger is that with the passage of time, risk-taking will be encouraged and efforts at prudential restraint will be resisted," Volcker told Congress in September, expressing concerns about all the regulatory loopholes in Frank's bill. "Ultimately, the possibility of further crises — even greater crises — will increase."

What's most troubling is that we don't know if Obama has changed, or if the influence of Wall Street is simply a fundamental and ineradicable element of our electoral system. What we do know is that Barack Obama pulled a bait-and-switch on us. If it were any other politician, we wouldn't be surprised. Maybe it's our fault, for thinking he was different.

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Blogger Patrick said...

I've been thinking the same thing, of course, about Obama hope and disappointment; and even though I expected disappointment, predicted it, it still hurts. To answer Taibbi's question, I'd have to say that Obama hasn't changed so much as Wall Street--money in general, as the health-care legislation makes clear--continues to be the real power in Washington.

With George, I'd like to cultivate a European or LeonardCohen wizened cynicism about American politics, but I'm too American to manage it. I always get sucked in by the hope even when I know it's hype.

9:37 AM  
Blogger George said...

That Leonard Cohen cynicism is called Buddhist-Canadian-roué.

9:20 AM  

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