Remember the good ole' days when presidential candidate, Barack Obama, was described by less-than-honest Republicans and conservatives as the "most liberal senator in the Senate?" Remember that?
This liberal is still waiting for a few of those, you know, "green shoots", of new liberal goverance in America, to sprout. I'm relatively sure at this point that I'll be waiting a long time.
We're 15 months into Obama's presidency...and it should now be clear to anyone paying attention....that Obama is a moderate, centrist leader.
Yesterday, this "most liberal ex-senator" unilaterally surrendered to yet another big corporate interest group. Obama now joins the cerebral and Very Serious, ex-1/2-term-governor-puffball, Sarah Palin....and the WTF, Republican National Committee Chairman, Michael Steele....in the wingnut chorus of "drill, baby, drill." The "most liberal" Obama has lifted the ban on a good portion of offshore oil drilling.
Will drilling more offshore lead America to a place of independence from foreign oil? Don't make me laugh. Lifting the ban on offshore drilling will not make one bit of a difference in addressing our dependency issue.
Why, then, would the "most liberal" ex-senator, now president, announce such a surrender to wingnut talking points?
Some say that Obama has made a deal with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Huckleberry-SC). I guess the idea is that Graham will now work with Obama on climate change legislation. I suppose that Obama really learned his lesson during the health care debate-breakdown of 2009. Or maybe not.
President Obama worked with not-interested-in-working-together, Republicans all of last year....and wound up with ZERO GOP votes for a much needed national health care reform bill. Obama was patient, allowing people like Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Olympia Sowe (R-ME), and Mike Enzi (R-WY) to drag their feet in Max Baucus' Senate Finance Committee Gang of Six....from which came health reform's end product.
What Obama received in return for being unilaterally bipartisan....was 8-10 months of getting his political teeth kicked in by enraged conservative fools holding signs, busting up townhalls, and threatening violence.....all enthusiastically replayed nightly by corrupt, corporate media. That's what Obama received for being unilaterally bipartisan.
So, here we are again. Apparently, the Democrats think it's time to move on climate change and energy in the Senate....and caving to Republican talking points is Obama's first move.
But The Reverend has a slightly different take on what Obama is doing.
Few people know why it is that the Gang of Six,....3 Senate Democrats and 3 Senate Republicans,.....were anointed by Obama as the channeling-source for his health care bill. The NY Times has revealed that President Obama, before the process got started, told Max Baucus, Chair of the Gang of Six, to negotiate directly with hospital leaders.....get them to give in, compromise, not actively fight the final legislation....and in return Obama's promise, via Baucus, to the hospitals was a guarantee that a public option would not be included in the final bill.
Moreover, we now know that Obama sat down, privately, with Billy Tauzin,..Big Pharma lobby honcho and former congressional member....and cut a deal before congressional work on health care reform began in earnest. That deal extended a promise that Obama and Congress would not negotiate for lower drug prices for seniors through bulk purchasing or reimportation in return for a promise from Big Pharma that they would cut some $80 billion from their pricing structure over 10 years.
The final bill had no public option....and no bulk purchasing or reimportation of drugs provisions.
I think what President Obama is doing by allowing more offshore drilling is similar to what he did with health care reform. He's giving Big Oil what they want up front, probably in return for Big Oil's handshake agreement to not actively fight the Democrat's climate and energy legislation.
My deepest cynical self thinks that what Barack and Rahm are really doing is securing future corporate contributions to Democrats by giving the Bigs what they want right now. It's the worse kind of surrender and enslavement to the very industries who have, regrettably, become too big to be governed.
Expect something very similar in any bank regulation "negotiations."
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