Thomas Paine:

“Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Don't Worry, Progressives: Obama Will Lead the Way (wink, wink...)

By Joel Mittlemann
San Diego, California

      Responding to criticism that he has failed so far to appoint even one progressive from the “Democratic wing” of the Democratic Party to his team, President-elect Obama insisted during his press conference yesterday that the change he envisions will come from his leadership, not from his staff or cabinet.
      “Don’t look at the people I surround myself with. Look to me. Ultimately, policy decisions will emanate from me, by the spirit of change I have promised and intend to honor.”
      He then repeated much of what he had said in ads and campaign speeches, with some important differences: “Instead of prosperity trickling down, pain has trickled up. Working family incomes have fallen by two thousand dollars a year. We're losing jobs. Deficits are exploding. Our economy's in turmoil. Simply put, laissez-faire capitalism is a failure. Let’s face it—it isn’t working. We cannot possibly drive down the very same path. Instead of giving hundreds of billions in new tax breaks to big corporations, the wealthy elite and oil companies, I plan on restoring a mixed economy, with serious regulations on big business. Then we need a repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act, to restore workers’ right to form unions. Instead of more tax breaks for corporations that outsource American jobs, I'll give them to companies who create jobs here. Instead of extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest -- I'll focus on the middle class and the poor. We’re going to end NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, the IMF, HMO’s, as well as create a single-payer health care system.
      It doesn’t matter that the people I’ve got on my team have been hard-core, right-wingers and central players in the economic and moral crisis that faces America—they’ve seen the light, and it is held by me. I will lead the way, don’t you worry about that.”
      Asked why, if he intended on ending Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans immediately upon his inauguration, he appeared to be abandoning that idea to say he might simply allow them to expire in 2011, President-elect Obama said that given the economic crisis, he needed to focus on “more pressing issues.”


      President-elect Obama has reportedly charged his economic team to develop a plan for the future implementation of the Greater Regional Advantage Free Trade Agreement, or, GRAFTA. He assured reporters the plan would include safeguards for American jobs, the environment, and the human rights of the poor all over the world. This reporter thought President-elect Obama winked when he said that, but others thought it was just a twitch.

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