Green Means \”Impeach\”

Death of the Obama Myth

You’ve heard this spiel before. Obama, during the campaign, was just playing possum to get elected. Hiding his true Progressive nature. Pitching himself as a “centrist” to big business and scared whites while cunningly concealing his real agenda. Crawling until he could fly. And then, once he was elected, he would show his true colors and the left-wing Millennium would begin.

So now Obama has won the Presidency. By a landslide. His “honeymoon” period has already begun. During his term of office, he will never have more freedom to do what he wants than in the next few months. So what is his first act as President-elect? He appoints RAHM EMANUEL as chief of staff.

Who is Rahm  Emanuel? He is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Leader Steny Hoyer, and Whip Jim Clyburn. His mentor is Bill Clinton. He has strong ties to the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the organization that, in the late 1980s and in the 1990s, under Clinton, shredded the Democratic Party’s few remaining links to its populist New Deal traditions. He is a member in good standing of the New Democrat Coalition, described by Wikipedia as a group of Democratic Senators and Congresspersons “who claim moderate and pro-business stances.” In 2002, he supported Bush’s plan to invade Iraq, but lamented that Bush had not found the right message to sell the war to the American people.

Most importantly, he was the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair for the 2006 elections. In this devastating 2007 Truthout exposé, Matt Renner reported how Emanuel, while claiming neutrality, strongly supported, with contributions and other forms of pressure, pro-war, pro-business Democratic House candidates, like Tammy Duckworth in Illinois (who was backed by Barack Obama), while deep-freezing all antiwar Democrats, like Christine Cegelis (running in the same Illinois district as Duckworth). By the way, Duckworth lost, whereas the charismatic Cegelis would probably have won, but that did not seem to phase Emanuel.  In other words, he is probably more responsible than anybody in the House (except Pelosi) for keeping the Democratic Party a pro-war, pro-corporate party.

Obama might well be considering keeping on Robert Gates as Defense Secretary. He is also considering appointing his economic advisor Austan Goolsbee, who is consistently described as a “centrist” (read: Republican-lite), as Treasury Secretary.

The myth of “Obama the Closet Progressive” is dead. Can we bury it now?