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The Politics of Capitulation

Ten Reasons I’m Not With Barack

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

Just got an e-mail from Barack Obama.

“Russell – I have one question for you,” Barack writes.

“If you’re with me in this election, will you say it right now?”

I’m not with you, Barack.

And I’ll say it right now – I’m not with you, Barack.

Here are ten reasons.

Number ten: Single payer. As a young politician, you said you were for single payer national health insurance. Then when you became President, you were against it and worked to keep the insurance companies in the game. Result – 123 dead a day from lack of health insurance.

Number nine: Kill list. You said you were against detention without trial, but you are okay with killing without trial? And according to the New York Times, you personally pick the candidates for execution. Result: Shredded Constitution.

Number eight: Minimum wage. During the 2008 campaign, you promised to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour. When you became President, you didn’t lift a finger to do anything about it. Result: Unchecked poverty.

Number seven: Corporate crime. It’s been four years since the financial crisis crippled the American economy. And still, not a single prosecution of a high ranking Wall Street executive or major financial firm. Fraud played a major part in the meltdown. Yet, your Justice Department, led by corporate lawyers, hasn’t gotten the job done. Result: No justice.

Number six: Israel/Palestine. Instead of standing up to Romney and Netanyahu, you buckled. Or as Tom Friedman put it, you shut down the peace process. Result: No peace.

Number five: Energy. Instead of pursuing a 25 year plan to get us off fossil fuels, you accepted the fossil fuel industry’s mantra of – we need it all – oil, coal, nuclear, alternatives. Result: Ongoing addiction.

Number four: Taxes. Instead of getting behind a Wall Street speculation tax and reversing our regressive tax structure, you surrendered to the top one percent. Result: Increasing poverty.

Number three: Money in politics. Instead of campaigning against the moneyed interests, you swim with them, in the cess pool of American politics. Result: Democracy in decline.

Number two: Military industrial complex. You push Republicans in the Congress to increase military spending. As a percentage of GDP, military spending under your administration has been higher than it was during any year of the George W. Bush administration. Result: ObamaBush.

Number one: Capitulation. You never had it. You folded from the get go. Or as your former Harvard Law Professor Roberto Unger put it – You “evoked a politics of hand holding – but no one changes the world without a struggle.” Result: Wasteland.

Last month, Unger said that you “must be defeated in the coming election.”

I agree.

Anything less sends the wrong message.

Russell Mokhiber edits Single-Payer Action.