Sunday, April 26, 2015

Truest statement of the week

In a parenthetical statement in the essay, Dyson recalls a private discussion he had with Obama in the White House. Later on, he writes that, “Throughout his presidency I have offered what I consider principled support and sustained criticism of Obama,” and states he has “expressed love for Obama and criticized him for not always loving us back.” A quick look at the White House visitor records helps paint a picture of this cozy relationship.
Dyson’s affection for Obama certainly shines through the work; even the scantest of criticisms is hard to come by. In perhaps the most ludicrous, topsy-turvy moment in the extended work, Dyson claims “Obama talks right … but veers left public policy,” whereas “West, on the other hand, talks left but thinks right.” In the real world, the exact contrary is true: Obama talks center-right and veers decidedly right on policy. Obama is and has always been a conservative. The Obama the Conservative project meticulously detailed his right-wing policies for years.
The evidence overwhelmingly shows that Cornel West is absolutely correct in his insistence that Obama “posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency.” This presidency is also built upon the expansion of murderous imperialism in the Middle East, upon the adoption of neoliberal trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (often described as “NAFTA on steroids”), upon the mass deportation and inhumane and illegal internment of millions of Latin@ immigrants and refugees, upon the privatization of prisons, upon the McCarthyist crackdown on whistleblowers, and more.
According to Dyson, West “derides” Obama as a “neoliberal opportunist.” This is not derision. This is an objective fact. Obama is a neoliberal through and through. He has made it his singular mission to pass the TPP and gut regulatory and labor laws, using secretive, anti-democratic methods in order to do so.

-- Ben Norton, "Liberals' Attacks on Cornel West Expose Their Political Bankruptcy" (CounterPunch).

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