Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Klein, Krugman, and the "I Told You So" Crowd

Posted in Barack Obama by allisonkilkenny on June 17, 2008

Naomi Klein is complaining that the Most Holy Obamasiah has begun to reveal his true colors now that he has the nomination.

Now is the time to worry about Obama’s Chicago Boys and their commitment to fending off serious attempts at regulation. It was in the two and a half months between winning the 1992 election and being sworn into office that Bill Clinton did a U-turn on the economy. He had campaigned promising to revise NAFTA, adding labor and environmental provisions and to invest in social programs. But two weeks before his inauguration, he met with then-Goldman Sachs chief Robert Rubin, who convinced him of the urgency of embracing austerity and more liberalization. Rubin told PBS, “President Clinton actually made the decision before he stepped into the Oval Office, during the transition, on what was a dramatic change in economic policy.”

Furman, a leading disciple of Rubin, was chosen to head the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, the think tank Rubin helped found to argue for reforming, rather than abandoning, the free-trade agenda. Add to that Goolsbee’s February meeting with Canadian consulate officials, who left with the distinct impression that they had been instructed not to take Obama’s anti-NAFTA campaigning seriously, and there is every reason for concern about a replay of 1993.

The irony is that there is absolutely no reason for this backsliding. The movement launched by Friedman, introduced by Ronald Reagan and entrenched under Clinton, faces a profound legitimacy crisis around the world. Nowhere is this more evident than at the University of Chicago itself. In mid-May, when university president Robert Zimmer announced the creation of a $200 million Milton Friedman Institute, an economic research center devoted to continuing and augmenting the Friedman legacy, a controversy erupted. More than 100 faculty members signed a letter of protest. “The effects of the neoliberal global order that has been put in place in recent decades, strongly buttressed by the Chicago School of Economics, have by no means been unequivocally positive,” the letter states. “Many would argue that they have been negative for much of the world’s population.”

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Thank God for the common sense of Paul Krugman, who bitch-slapped Klein’s whining on his blog.

Obama didn’t pose as a Nation-type progressive, then turn on his allies after the race was won. Throughout the campaign he was slightly less progressive than Hillary Clinton on domestic issues – and more than slightly on health care. If people like Ms. Klein are shocked, shocked that he isn’t the candidate of their fantasies, they have nobody but themselves to blame.

Thank you, Professor Krugman! What would be so uproariously hilarious, if it weren’t so painfully tragic, is that there are those of us who have warned the Obamabots time and again that he is a corporate-conservative fraud, a pretender to the mantle of progressivism. Mike Gravel said in a video-recorded interview early this year that the senator supposedly representing Illinois was spewing empty rhetoric designed to let followers read into it what they wanted.

You know, the statement I like that I’ve heard from young people: there’s no ‘there’ there. And listen to the words. Make a speech and use the word change ten times-what specifically are you going to change? You’re going to change the health care system? Not really. You’re going to change the military-industrial complex? Not really. He wants another hundred thousand more troops. Are you going to change anything about your relationship with Iran? Not really. Nukes are on the table. Are you going to change anything with respect to Israel? Not really. He’s supported by AIPAC. Are you going to change anything for education? He’s on the education committee. He’s supported by the NEA. Where’s change? I don’t see any change. But he doesn’t say any of those things. He lets you figure out what the change is. So it’s like an actor. What does an actor do? He gives you a scene, and you read into it what the scene means to you. And that’s what he’s doing. It’s terrible, because what you read into it isn’t what’s going to happen, ’cause he’s going to have the reality.

Writers from web sites ranging from Black Agenda Report to The Progressive have repeatedly tried to shine the harsh light of reality upon the fraudulence of the Obama campaign. We’ve been telling people this for a years and a half, give or take, and the only response from the Obamabots was to attack us and accuse us of being downers, or worse: Naderites! Horror of horrors! Now that the Most Holy Obamasiah doesn’t need to suck up to the progressive bloc anymore in order to win the Democratic nomination to run for president, he’s abandoning his pretense that he was anything but just another Rubin-Friedman school DLCer using us all in order to obtain power.

Klein’s most ridiculous statement, by the way:

Now is the time to worry about Obama’s Chicago Boys and their commitment to fending off serious attempts at regulation.

No, you blithering idiot, the time to worry was before the Iowa Caucus, and during the long primary season. That was the time to worry about what Obama is. It’s far too late for you to start getting nervous about your demi-god.

Yes, we’ve warned and we’ve warned, but the Truth — as usual — fell on deaf ears. And now the Obamabots, having finally begun to sense that they’ve been manipulated, are complaining!? You skeevy little fuckers, you were told exactly what that fraud is. You got the candidate you wanted. Now you live with the consequences. We told you so.

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