Difference between revisions of "Barack Obama"
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Latest revision as of 16:53, 1 August 2020
Barack Hussein Obama II, born August 4, 1961, is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017, and previously as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004. He is member of the Democratic Party and the first African-American president of the United States.
Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and generally has an image among many as being a "cool black guy" because of his public appearance and things like legalizing same-sex marriage, but whatever positives he may be thought to have are severely outweighed by his negatives. He was seen as kind of an outsider, a person other than an elderly white man man who rode the anti-war/anti-Bush/anti-Republican wave in 2008 but failed miserably to deliver on its hopes, radicalizing much of a generation to never trust liberals like him again, and even giving much of the impulse that elected Trump. His negatives include:
- His terrible appointments to office:
- He filled his cabinet with Wall Street executives, then supporting their bailout as well as the bailout of big banks and corporations at the expense of the people during the 2008 financial crisis
- His FDA appointee was literally a Monsanto executive
- Foreclosed on homeowners instead of bailing them out
- Cracking down on the Occupy Wall Street movement
- Continue the War on Terror and the War on Drugs
- Persecution of whistleblowers
- Normalizing and expanding upon the massive surveillance state developed under George Bush
- Neglecting the water crisis in Flint, Michigan (which is also a majority black city)
- Opening up the Arctic for drilling twice, along with issuing a myriad of executive orders for individual pipeline segment construction which complete the entire Alberta tar sands-to-Gulf Coast pipeline. All this in spite of that phony cynical veto of the Keystone XL segment.
- Got everyone's hopes up about prosecuting the Bush administration for war crimes and holding Wall Street accountable for the financial crisis — ended up "turning the page"
- Oversaw the biggest transfer of wealth to the capitalist class in history
- Deporting a record number of refugees
- Failing to close the Guantanmo Bay detention camp despite having said so during his campaign while he had a supermajority in both houses
- Passing Republican healthcare reform written by the Heritage Foundation
- Making Bush's tax cuts permanent after campaigning on returning back to Clinton's tax rates
- Going out of his way to help kill Bernie's campaign in 2020 and hand the nomination to Biden, who would prevent people from getting healthcare, prevent the youth from getting out of debt, ensure the wars and corporate plunder would continue without obstacle, and keep his "legacy" of Obamacare in place.
- Developed neoliberal trade deals with "investment protection clauses" which enslaved global south countries to corporations
- Developed relations with Saudi Arabia
- His "Asian Pivot", planted the seeds for the new Cold War with China.
- Crushing what remained of the Pink Tide
- Colluding with the right wing in Brazil to stage fraudulent corruption trials to that paved the way for a right-wing rise to power
- Supporting a right wing coup in Honduras
- Repealed habeas corpus with his signing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, paving the way for such events as the kidnapping of people by federal officers in Portland in 2020
- Overthrowing the Gaddafi government in Libya, plunging the country into deep poverty, splitting it into various warlord and Islamist factions, creating an open slave trade, and causing a major flood of refugees into Europe and other places
- Expanding the wars in Afghanistan, North-West Pakistan, Somalia, and Iraq (technically he ended one war with Iraq three years into his term, which he promised to do in six months, but followed it up soon with another new war)
- Starting wars in Syria (where he started by funding rebel militants), Yemen, and Libya
- Doubling down on sanctions on Venezuela, which exacerbated its domestic situation and which only plunged Venezuelans deeper towards poverty
- Continuing and adding sanctions on the DPRK
- Supporting regime change in Ukraine and Georgia
- Arming Ukrainian fascists and other far right-wing groups
- And various war crimes, such as:
- Drone strikes in Yemen, which had a 90% civilian kill rate. This serves to further radicalize the population and thus justify further "counter-terrorism" operations.
It's not enough that he did all this, but he did all that when he had the potential to be FDR and then some. Democrats had a filibuster-proof supermajority in US Congress for the first two years and all he used it for was getting Romneycare (the heavily water-down version of Obamacare first proposed) passed. Everyone remembers the congressional supermajority he wasted, but for some reason, we never talk about how Democrats also had a majority in governorship and state legislatures as well, so he could have dictated anything we wanted onto the states from Washington and he did nothing. With the worst financial crisis since the 30s, the material conditions were ripe for some massive Keynesian projects and the people would have supported him. Much of his base are Bernie supporters as well, and Obama had them and many more, and after getting elected he did literally nothing to mobilize the millions of email addresses belonging to devoted grassroots activists who had campaigned for him — in fact, he disbanded this grassroots army. Even for a neoliberal Democrat, he had underperformed — Bill Clinton at least got a couple things passed through Congress, even if they were minor, and was relatively dovish on foreign policy. Obama couldn't even do that.
To be fair, he did do a few good things:
- Signed the nuclear deal with Iran which is still blackmail but at least lifted some sanctions
- Lifted some sanctions on Cuba, met with Raoul Castro
- At least rolled out his stimulus package in response to the Great Recession instead of the German-enforced-style austerity in the EU