Portrait of a Failed Politician?
“If you widen the lens, the public is being sold a big lie — that our problems owe to unions and the size of government and not to fraud and deregulation and vast concentration of wealth. Obama’s failure is that he won’t challenge this Republican narrative, and give people a story that helps them connect the dots and understand where we’re going.”~ Robert ReichJust so. Obama has lost the political battle. Indeed, he never actually engaged it. Rather than challenge the right wing account of political and economic world, he capitulated to it. The result is more or less total failure. And other "liberals" - like Andrew Cuomo, for instance - are following in his footsteps. But that does not mean Obama failed; he is doing precisely what he aims to do. The result is - not "will be," but "is" - a disaster for working class and poor Americans.
"No one is denying that this is a time for belt-tightening. Or that some unions have problems. Or that some union contracts look over-generous in austerity America. But the fundamental truth remains: powerful and reckless unions did not cause the Great Recession by rampant speculation. Nor did an out-of-control labour movement cause or burst the housing bubble. It was not union bosses who packaged up complex derivatives to sell in their millions and thus wrecked the economy and put millions out of work. Nor was it union bosses who awarded (and continue to award) themselves salaries worth hundreds of millions of dollars for doing nothing of social value. Neither was it the union movement that was bailed out by the taxpayer and then refused to change its habits.In other words, accurately identifying culprits is a reasonable place to start. And the anti-union story about the sources of our economic disaster simply holds no water.
All that was the work of the finance industry.Yet, as America continues to search for solutions to its economic problems, it is the labour movement, and not the banking sector, that is getting it in the neck. This is despite the fact that many unions, especially in such cases as the bailout of Detroit's automakers, have proved themselves highly flexible in sacrificing wages and long-held workers' rights in order to preserve jobs. Meanwhile, the finance industry, where true and meaningful reform has failed to happen, still squeals as if President Obama were a raving socialist."