Thursday, January 29, 2009
by Greg Palast
Republicans are right. President Barack Obama treated them like dirt, didn't give a damn what they thought about his stimulus package, loaded it with a bunch of programs that will last for years and will never leave the budget, is giving away money disguised as "tax refunds," and is sneaking in huge changes in policy, from schools to health care, using the pretext of an economic emergency.
Way to go, Mr. O! Mr. Down-and-Dirty Chicago pol. Street-fightin' man. Covering over his break-you-face power play with a "we're all post-partisan friends" BS.
And it's about time.
Frankly, I was worried about this guy. Obama's appointing Clinton-droids to the Cabinet, bloated incompetents like Larry Summers as "Economics Czar," made me fear for my country, that we'd gotten another Democrat who wished he were a Republican.
Then came Obama's money bomb. The House bill included $125 billion for schools (TRIPLING federal spending on education - yes!), expanding insurance coverage to the unemployed, making the most progressive change in the tax code in four decades by creating a $500 credit against social security payroll deductions, and so on.
It's as if Obama dug up Ronald Reagan's carcass and put a stake through The Gipper's anti-government heart. Aw-RIGHT!
About the only concession Obama threw to the right-wing trogs was to remove the subsidy for condoms, leaving hooker-happy GOP Senators, like David Vitter, to pay for their own protection. S'OK with me.
And here's the proof that Bam is The Man: Not one single Republican congressman voted for the bill. And that means that Obama didn't compromise, the way Clinton and Carter would have, to win the love of these condom-less jerks.
And we didn't need'm. Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!
Now I understand Obama's weird moves: dinner with those creepy conservative columnists, earnest meetings at the White House with the Republican leaders, a dramatic begging foray into Senate offices. Just as the Republicans say, it was all a fraud. Obama was pure Chicago, Boss Daley in a slim skin, putting his arms around his enemies, pretending to listen and care and compromise, then slowly, quietly, slipping in the knife. All while the media praises Obama's "post-partisanship." Heh heh heh.
Love it. Now we know why Obama picked that vindictive little viper Rahm Emanuel to run the White House schedule: everyone visiting the Oval Office will be greeted by the Windy City hit man who would hack up your grandma if you mess with the Godfather-in-Chief.
I don't know about you, but THIS is the change I've been waiting for.
Will it last?
We'll see if Obama caves in to more tax cuts to investment bankers. We'll see if he stops the sub-prime scum-bags from foreclosing on frightened families. We'll see if he stands up to the whining, gormless generals who don't know how to get our troops out of Iraq. (In SHIPS, you doofusses!)
Look, don't get your hopes up. But it may turn out the new President's ... a Democrat!
Greg Palast's investigative reports for BBC and Rolling Stone can be seen at www.GregPalast.com. Palast is the author of New York Times bestsellers The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse.
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