Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Obama: Melissa Harris-Perry's Santa Claus

I am putting down “Lords of Finance” by Liaquant Ahmed to write this. It is history of the first great depression and Second World War Last week I read an essay on the written by Melissa Harris-Perry. As most of her commentaries, the focus was on President Barack Obama. IN a nut shell, she asserted that “Electoral racism, “specifically “the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts” is the causal predictor variable in Obama’s decline in support among whites from 61 percent to 33 percent currently.

To support her claim, she notes that Obama’s “legislative record for his first two years outpaces Clinton’s first two years” and offers several other comparisons. However she seems to avoid several factors and even fails to lack a more substantial comparison with one President Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, who in policy are more akin to the President than Clinton. Notwithstanding, the impact of a political climate in which people are equally disappointed in all politicians inside the beltway regardless of party affiliation.

Now not being white, or a political “scientist” (emphasis on the word scientist) or as astute on the matters as Professor white, my sciolism may be lucid for all to see. However being an academic as well, with a focus on behavioral epidemiology and a specialty in statistics, it is difficult for me to discern how she can come to such a conclusion as a reasonable answer for his drop in support among white liberals. First, incumbents serving in severe economic times always have lower approval and popularity ratings. Add to this, incessant high unemployment which has remained very high, military involvement in an increasing number of countries, and political paralysis in Washington. There is plenty of reason to question Obama's effectiveness.

Obama is more of a conservative than a liberal truth be told. This is evident from his consistent promotion of conservative corporate policies that serve the wealth more than the poor and middle class. But this is not important in Dr. Harris-Perry’s analysis. As an Obama apologist, she only can compare and list his accomplishments, unfortunately his record is clear. He serves Wall St and K street first and foremost and has demonstrated himself to be “more neo-conservative than any neo-conservative and seems to use “regime change” just as much as George W. Bush and his inner circle. “Just looking at the reckless manner in which we disrespect and lessen the value of lives there via the US policy of using drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to kill civilians in the hundreds daily is evidence of this alone.
The Obama administration put into place a legal standard albeit it untested, that allows for the singular approval from the Executive branch of the federal government, without proof to allow the federal government to target individual American citizens for assassination.

He has ignored his campaign promise to protect government whistleblowers, and instead has persecuted and prosecuted more government whistleblowers than ever in US History.

Last and more important, one can simply examine how he works with his economic team to objectively examine his skill set in terms of management ergo concluding something is lacking. I can use the dysfunction of Obama's retinue of economic advisors to demonstrate why I have this opinion and come to the aforementioned conclusion. To start off with, Larry Summers (former Director of National Economic Council), Paul Volcker (former Federal Reserve Chairman), Christina Romer (former Economic Advisor), Elizabeth Warren (former Special Advisor to the Treasury Secretary), Peter Orszag (former Budget Director), and Tim Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury) alone provide me with more than enough substance to make this argument. Just looking at documented occurrences covering the Volcker rule, issues regarding Citibank, the bailout and the first stimulus, gives one an additional layer for discussion.

For example, the Obama administration’s $500 billion plus proposal was only beneficial to the banks and big dollar investors at the expense of the US tax payer.
All I can say is that for Dr. Harris Perry to blame his failing numbers on racism is feculent and ignores the aforementioned. Not to mention that she does not separate support falling between liberals versus independents in her statement that it has fall among “whites.” And I know she will get on me since for me to openly criticize the economic approach of President Obama is tantamount to being an uncle tom, racist or something even worse. Albeit it has nothing to do with the person, his race and/or political affiliation, and more a dissonance with Keynesian economic philosophy, because I am an African American my position is untenable and unreasonable.

Even if I state what I agree with and approve of that the President has implemented thus far, I am still considered against the President just because I am in disagreement with a single policy. I was supportive of the administration’s efforts to implement tougher regulations that would have reduced the amount of federal financial aid flowing to for-profit colleges that prey on mainly low income African Americans. However, I eventually became disappointed when his administration caved to the industry’s lobbyists and their campaign against the Obama administration. I was able to applaud the first bill he signed into law on approving legislation that expands workers' rights to sue over discrimination and the fact that so far he is setting records for the number of women and minorities nominated to lifetime appointments at the level of the Federal Courts. Nearly half of the 73 candidates he has tapped for the bench have been women. In all, 25% have been African Americans, 10% Hispanics and 11% Asian Americans. He is the first president who hasn't selected a majority of white males for lifetime judgeships, far exceeding the percentages in the two-term administrations of Bill Clinton (48.1 percent) and George W. Bush (32.9 percent).

I was also supportive of President Obama’s $1.15 billion measure to fund a settlement for African American farmers reached more than a decade ago via the 1997 Pigford v. Glickman case against the U.S. Agriculture Department over claims of discrimination. This made it possible for approximately 70,000 African American farmers to receive cash payments and debt relief from the federal government. However when I question the decision to pander to #ocupywallstreet protesters and the same night attend an upper East Side DNC $35,800 a plate fundraiser resulting in $2.4 million added to his re-election campaign from Wall Street financiers and call it hypocrisy, my position was vilified. When I spoke out against the President’s policy decision to ask Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call the cell phones of consumers delinquent on student loans and other debt owed the federal government using robo calls I was condemned.

If I speak out and say I disagree with the Obama’s administration decision to waive legally mandated penalties for countries that use child soldiers and provide those countries U.S. military assistance, just like he did last year I am a hatter. The White House will issue a series of waivers for the Child Soldiers Protection Act, a 2008 law that is meant to stop the United States from giving military aid to countries that recruit soldiers under the age of 15 and use them to fight wars, for Yemen, South Sudan, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Last year, the White House didn't even tell Congress when it ended the Child Soldiers Prevention Act penalties. Their rational was suspect at best.

Dr. Harris-Perry would like to reduce Obama’s lack of support among whites and maybe even other racial/ethnic groups on racism but doing so in my purview misses the point. As such it places here in the class of other Jerry Springer-esque political pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Eric Dyson and Sean Hannity. As scientist we must base causation on facts and not emotions. For it seems it has never crossed her mind that Obama may not being a good job and this standard as such has nothing to do with race. I guess Obama’ is her Santa Claus. Meaning it is ok to tell kids that he brings toys, rides on a sleigh pulled by reindeer and slides down the chimney to bring kids toys, even when the house doesn’t have a chimney.


Anonymous said...

I think Melissa is to liberals what Hermain Cain is to republicans; they are both playing theirs roles for the establishment. ultimately obama is a mascot of the oligarch and plutocrats and liberals need to realize this. Next time folks should be a bit more critical when running to to the voting booth

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