Obama Lurches to the Reagan Right

It is certainly interesting to watch Barack Obama's rightward lurch to the center these days compared to his 2008 "Change We Can Believe In" campaign. As a candidate, he provided us with soaring rhetoric and blistering critiques of the Bush tax cuts and the Global War on Terror.

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President Obama

According to exit polls, 65-70 percent of Gays voted for the man, although roughly one-in-three Gays chose the lackluster John McCain.

Obama promised to end the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, close down the Guantanamo Bay Prison and terminate the Patriot Act. Our liberal progressive community cheered wildly.

He also took on Wall Street as greedy and corrupt, despite taking three times more Wall Street campaign money than John McCain. And he certainly assured us, relentlessly, that anybody making more than $250,000 a year would have their taxes raised.

He promised huge and monumental changes.

What a difference two years makes! He squandered his super majority in both congressinal chambers and in two years spent more money than Bush did for the entire Iraq War.

In a televised Chamber of Commerce speech this week, Boy Obama abandons and rebukes the American Left. He robustly endorses American capitalism and a GOP pro-corporation, Wall Street agenda, including reductions in the corporate tax rate, regulations and entitlements.

He articulated so many ideas (conspicuously lifted from the GOP platform and right-wing think tanks) that he sounded like an echo of Newt Gingrich. No surprise, Obama’s new theme for the next two years and his re-election is “Winning the Future”, the exact title of the former Republican Speaker’s book.
This follows last month’s decision by the “Change” President to extend all the Bush tax cuts for two years, only to have them expire in time for his re-election campaign. How timely! Will he then again use the issue to disingenuously rally his liberal base and the GLBT community once again?

After all, hasn’t he turned his Oval Office over to corporate America’s Fortune 500 CEOs right in front of our eyes? His new Chief of Staff will be Bill Dailey of ATT and the former Clinton Commerce Secretary. Remember when the Clinton Administration hijacked the Gingrich Agenda and did more to complete Ronald Reagan’s agenda of Free Trade Acts, balanced budgets, lower capital gains taxes and not launching any new spending programs? Clinton was more of a Republican than his predecessor, George H. W. Bush.

Obama’s new Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors is the CEO from Goldman Sachs, and the new Chair of the White House Job Creation Council is from General Electric. Meanwhile, he promises to sign at least three GOP Free Trade Acts with South Korea, Panama, and Columbia to allow US corporations to invest in cheaper overseas labor with more to be signed in the Asian region.

As far as Iraq and Afghanistan go, Obama is running those wars on Bush’s terms and Bush’s timetables. No change there, just a continuation of Bush’s time-lines for withdrawal. He even calls Army Private Bradley Manning, who helped Wikileaks expose alleged US atrocities, “a danger to America”.

Guantanamo Bay Prison will never be closed, and even Dick Cheney expressed approval of Obama’s deference to existing Bush policies. Soon the Patriot Act will be renewed with only pretencious cosmetic changes.

None of this is insignificant. After all, Obama’s Press Secretary told us that Obama read a Reagan biography during the Christmas holidays, just before he made the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts. And he hired Reagan’s last Chief of Staff, Ken Duberstien, as a liaison to the new Republican House. And don’t think it is NOT calculated to have TIME Magazine run a front cover issue of Obama and Reagan arm-in-arm — nearly kissing. Is this what the gay community was anticipating?

This is not the change the Obama majority in the GLBT community voted for. The Obama transformation makes it look like the 2008 candidate was dressed in political drag, mouthing speeches that titillated his chanting, adoring audiences; only to go back stage, disrobe, and come out on FOX News before the largest-ever Super Bowl audience and say that he has always lowered taxes — and thinks that Bill O’Reilly and his crew are good for America