Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > The Obama Presidency was a Disaster for Establishment Democrats: 2

The Obama Presidency was a Disaster for Establishment Democrats: 2

In the previous post of this series, I pointed out that Barack Obama’s two terms as president was one of major non-systemic reason for the repeated and sustained electoral losses suffered by the democratic party. While the general public disdain about decisions and policies during his term are often attributed to racism, it is also true that he won both the popular vote and electoral college in 2008 and 2012. So clearly, something else is at work. I mean.. he did win many mid-western states with a pretty high percentage of whites in both 2008 and 2012.

In my opinion, public disdain of Obama’s two terms was largely due to the fact that he turned out to be just another empty suit whose decisions and policies helped the rich and corporations at the expense of everybody else. In fact, he was reelected in 2012 only because Mitt Romney was a bigger corporate shill than him. Obama’s popular vote margin did decrease from 10 million in 2008 to 5 million in 2012, as did his margin in electoral college from 365-173 in 2008 to 332-206 in 2012. Having said that, he won fair and square on both occasions- which is what matters in the end.

But that still leaves us with the question as to how Obama got reelected in 2012, after the dismal performance of democrats in 2010 midterm. Also, why he remained somewhat “popular” even though the democratic party suffered further losses in 2012 and 2014. Part of his “popularity” might be due to the fact that few wanted to call out the first black president for being an empty suit shilling for corporations. But the other part of his “popularity” is largely due to the fact that he was not Bush43. As many of you know, Bush43’s second term was such an unmitigated disaster that Obama could look competent just by not repeating any of the large screw-ups of his predecessor.

Accordingly, he was able to restrain himself from overtly invading other countries in the middle-east and making extremely poor personel choices (remember “brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) and being generally free of serious scandals and charges of overt corruption. Now you might say that this is a very low bar for somebody elected to the office of president. Then again, just look at the guy before him (Bush43) and the one after him (Trump45). Obama remained somewhat popular by simply following the neoliberal script- which is to appear erudite and competent, not make too many big short-term mistakes and cultivate rich elites and lapdog media types who will sing his praises.

The generic neoliberal script did not, however, work for the democratic party for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is much easier for one nominally powerful person at the national level like the president to cultivate his public image and elites. Presidential elections are usually about who is the lesser and more presentable crook to assume the post of chief executive of USA. Most people do not expect the president to be involved in the day-to-day running of the city, town or state of residence. Therefore, public expectations about him (or her) are very different from those of lower level elected representatives.

Elections at the level of representatives for national or state legislatures, in contrast, are often driven by partisan voters who believe that their choice will validate their beliefs. Since the majority of people correctly assume that electing democrats or republicans will not make their lives any better, it comes down to people who vote to validate their beliefs. That is why elections in USA tend to be driven by bullshit issues such as access to abortion, war on drugs, war on crime, welfare for non-white etc. That is also why “culture issues” dominated american politics and elections from mid-1980s to 2008.

But what does any of this have to with neoliberalism not working for democrats? Weren’t they able to win in states like West Virginia a couple of decades ago? Well.. they were able to win such “red” states as late as the early 2000s, but not because of espousing neoliberal ideas. Democrats, you see, were able to win all those so-called “red” states as long as their candidates promoted populist causes- specifically of the economic variety. As many of you know, establishment democrats became republican-lite by the early-1990s and their candidates either stopped being economic populists or were replaced by more corporate friendly figureheads.

It is therefore not surprising that those who voted in many parts of the country most hurt by all those “free trade” agreements and other neoliberal policies were increasingly of the type driven by “cultural issues”. To make a long story short, democrats abandoned people in ‘flyover’ states and those people then stopped supporting that party. At the same time, ranks of establishment democrats were increasingly filled with credentialed professional types who could care less about people who were not like them.

But what does any of this have to do with why the Obama presidency was so disastrous to democrats?

The short answer is that it was similar to the captain of the Titanic not altering course or reducing speed in a known iceberg field. The somewhat longer answer is that the ability of Obama to get elected, and the reelected, convinced establishment democrats that identity-driven neoliberal politics was sufficient to win against republican candidates. The two terms of Obama convinced them that they could sell a neoliberal turd covered by a thin layer of social justice issues and identity politics.

It is therefore not surprising that a lot of the so-called rising stars of the democratic party (Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Joaquim Castro, Gavin Newsom etc) are poor clones of Obama. They are all “properly educated”, photogenic, “properly pedigreed”, “media-savvy” people with handlers who feed them the right sound and media bites and who can deliver empty carefully-lawyered speeches with lots of fake conviction. While that strategy sorta worked for Obama in 2008 and even 2012, it is doubtful if it would work today.

You see, until 2008 many people in USA believed that their economic situation would keep on getting better, regardless of occasional and temporary setbacks. A number of events and structural shifts within the previous 8-9 years have totally changed that, especially for people under the age of 40-45. Today, most people (especially young) in USA simply do not believe in the system and its various “credentialed experts”. That is why somebody like Bernie Sanders got so much support among younger voters. Obama and his poor clones belong to the pre-2008 era.

Now this does not mean that they cannot win election in any state. Indeed, Obama clones can (and do win) elections in certain coastal states like California, Massachusetts and New York. However, it is also clear that such creatures are incapable of winning elections against even mediocre republican candidates in non-coastal states. But why? Well.. it comes down to the fact that Obama clones are unable to motivate voters who sit out elections because they correctly believe that democrats are basically republican-lite. In contrast, republican candidates can motivate their core ideology-based voters by spouting nonsense about “cultural issues”.

But what does any of this have to do with Obama’s position on “illegal immigration” and “free trade”? As it turns out, a lot..

While establishment democrats are busy expressing outrage about Trump’s plans to deport millions of “illegal immigrants” and “build that wall” between Mexico and USA, they forget that the policies of the Obama administration were responsible for more deportations (often under pretty atrocious circumstances) than Trump has manged to in an equivalent period of time. That is correct, Barack Obama’s administration started the current mass deportation machine with its private prisons, arbitrary powers and flagrant abuses of power. Is it any wonder that many citizens of Hispanic descent were not particularly enthusiastic about voting for a third Obama term under HRC?

Some of you might wonder why ivy-league educated “policy wonks”, such as those employed by the HRC campaign, could not figure out that many “illegal immigrants” frequently had relatives in USA who had become citizens- through naturalization or birth. Did they not realize that pissing upon voter groups who might otherwise be very sympathetic to your cause was a bad idea. Did they not realize that Obama’s deportation crusades had already put the democratic party on pretty shaky ground with Hispanics in USA- most of whom are Mexicans. Here is what I think.. establishment democrats did not care about what Hispanic voters thought because they believed that they had no option. While it is true that most Hispanics who voted still voted for democrats- a large number who could have simply chose not to vote for either party.

Let us now turn our attention to how the Obama administration’s support for various “free trade” policies and treaties as well as increased levels of job outsourcing hurt the democratic party. While Obama was not the first american president to pimp “free trade” and outsourcing, it is notable that a majority of job losses in sectors of economy with previously well-paying and stable jobs occurred during the 2nd term of Bush43 and two terms of Obama44. While the events which started that process occurred in the 1990s and early-2000s, it is noteworthy that Obama was far more vocal about his support for “free trade” agreements and outsourcing. Perhaps more problematically, many democratic candidates for national and state legislatures kept on repeating official party positions about “free trade”, education, skills, retraining and other assorted neoliberal lies even after it was obvious that most voters could see their bullshit.

It is therefore not surprising that many working-class people did not bother voting for them- as evidenced by low turnout levels in the 2010 and 2014 (and to a lesser extent in 2012) elections. In 2016, more than a few of them voted for Trump. It is important to realize that the democratic establishment willfully ignored the needs of the working class just like it did for Black and Hispanic voters. I should also point out that most Black and Hispanic voters are part of the working class. To make a long story short, establishment democrats took the support of their core voter constituencies for granted and then proceeded to ignore and humiliate them. While this behavior has been part of establishment democrat behavior for over two decades now- the two terms of Obama in combination their hubris led them to greatly speed up the process of alienating their key voter constituencies.

In the upcoming part of this series, I will talk about how the rise of “identity politics”, “culture wars 2.0” and SJW-ism during the two terms of Obama44 further doomed electoral prospects of the democratic party.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. September 9, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    IRL, I’ve said to many people’s shock, “Good thing it’s a white guy in office again because now you can openly criticize the gov’t. You just gotta worry about the NSA.” Remember when Bush was Prez and everyone was joking about “that dumb hick from TexASS.” If Crooked Hillary won, we’d have TPP and you’d be call a Ms. Ogo-Nyst for saying it’s bad. At least with Trumpypoops you can say “this sucks!”

    • September 11, 2017 at 6:24 am

      See? Who says Trump didn’t make America great again?!

  2. September 11, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    unrelated but…. can you do a post on IQ between races, HBD all that BS (the scientific substance behind the designation of “race” even?)… The value of IQ as an ISOLATED variable (if that’s even been done, which I doubt bc it’s not possible, right?) in a person’s life…..
    I honestly am beginning to think the only diff btwn “white” and “lesser” is a higher % of people with EXTREME autism, that have been allowed to flourish (due to a wider social safety net, guaranteed by previous violence, and the threat of future violence towards other groups…. and historical luck) and later been capitalized on… That and a subconscious fear of being out-bred due to SHIT recessive genetics…. idk tho…. also, are you a prepper or is that retarded…. All this north korea shit……..

    Here are three posts about that whole race, IQ and HBD bullshit from a few years ago. FYI.. I have written many more about that issue.

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/question-for-high-iq-and-hbd-aware-morons/

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/the-fundamental-problem-with-iq-based-arguments/

    and

    https://dissention.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/trashing-another-conservative-belief-race-income-and-iq/

    • September 11, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      AUTISM EXACTLY… I hadnt even read those links previously…. Jesus Im good…. thats all that shit is….

      • azn
        September 11, 2017 at 9:18 pm

        IQ talk is the latest fad among whites and their Asian orbiters. These idiots do not get that creativity is what matters not the ability to regurgitate bullshit.

        However I suspect that in reality it is just a way to keep non whites mentally subjugated, it is indeed hostility based on malice

      • webej
        September 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

        You cannot measure potential creativity, it is hard enough to agree on creativity even after it results in something. It has long been said that it is difficult to say what it is that IQ measures and predicts. All the same, would you defend the notion that there is no difference between an individual who scores 130 or 90 on an IQ test?

      • September 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

        @web

        I dont take issue with the idea of IQ if one is measuring EXTREMES, i.e. someone who is mentally handicapped vs a Stephen Hawkings or something, but in the middle… How many other variables are there to a question like that, that cant be simplified with a single IQ number??? Probably a lot…. Everyone doesnt learn the same way (in terms of effectiveness) either so…

        And even with the extremes, vs the 130 to 90 and everything else… The problem is… what do you mean by “difference” and what am I supposed to take from that meaning… because by “difference” it seems like most people mean TOTAL superiority, which I FULLY disagree with… a lot of high IQ people do fucked up shit and vice versa, life is complicated… Any binary computer programming-like modulation of human behavior is autistic as fuck and caused the GFC…. it’s also racist….

      • azn
        September 12, 2017 at 10:36 am

        I highly recommend zizek’s talk on racism and apartheid, that really surprised me. U see, contrary to popular belief the colonial masters (or apartheid scums of SA) in India did not sell their exploitation and racism as a master servant relationship, there was a distinct lack of inferior race bs. Rather what was often said was how rich and old the native culture is and how modernity and self rule would destroy these poor innocent people(like a child) they also remarked how the western man is too scientific and practical for his own good. Basically proto liberalism
        Malcolm X saw through this liberal bs(compared them to fox) and refused to go back to Africa to search for his roots, rather the X symbolized a blank slate on which something new can be made.
        As an Asian I have seen first hand how much the liberal bs has destroyed the self image of Asians who feel compelled to ritually support their stagnant and harmful cultures while being especially sensitive to any white criticism, overreacting is impotent and that feeds the cycle. This neuroses has caused deep seated inferiority complexes while at the same time giving west a pass for all the looting and humiliation. I believe that the explicit master servant relationship during slavery era US was definitely better than the backhanded liberal bs asians had to deal with, this is why Blacks have clarity white asians are clueless and regularly get cucked by whites.

        On a side note, read the texts of MLK, he got it that the problem of racism is not one of white intolerance or attitude adjustment(which is extremely condescending and pushes the mighty whitey trope) rather it is one of economic disparity and political power, so I would suggest that u don’t write long responses to two line insults by whites, rather just nurture the hate, act in bad faith and wait for the right moment to strike, which by the looks of it is gonna come in the near future.

        Azns have a concept of peaceful death, I think that when the day comes and u take ur revenge on them, which may terrify even a horror novelist, u would feel that life has been worth living. And finally do not discriminate, let ALL whites have it, as AD has predicted other ethnicities will join in on the feeding frenzy

    • Yusef
      September 17, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      “The value of IQ as an ISOLATED variable (if that’s even been done, which I doubt bc it’s not possible, right?) in a person’s life…..”

      This has been studied extensively, though perhaps not as extensively as it could be. A statistically significant correlation between high IQ and anything else, positive or negative (for example rate of divorce, income level, educational attainment,) has never been established.

  3. azn
    September 12, 2017 at 7:30 am

    AD white worship among Asians women of all colors is a well established fact. However what do u think causes this perverse self hate, I would like to know about especially two women Indian(colonized) and Chinese(largely molested). U have written about the thirst for status but give a clearer picture.
    Recent events made me realize that Azn women truly give 2nd class treatment to their men but the same is also disturbingly true for the men too who seem to value white companionship.

    • September 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      The same shit is happening in the black community.

      I am taking a trip to Philippines this year and from what I hear, see and the bit I DO know, unlike East Asians, Southeast Asians are more receptive to black males. In Thailand, some of the “hoes” there emulate black hip-hop ratchet culture so much, it’s laughable! East Asians worshiping the ground white folks walk on is nothing new and it’s pathetic.

  4. Thegenius
    September 12, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Illegal immigration has been much more devastating to poor blacks than to poor whites. Its just that media doesnt pay any attention to poor blacks.

    • hoipolloi
      September 18, 2017 at 12:57 am

      Make that media and politicians. Now only they are talking about illegal immigration and abuse of H1 visa because it is starting to hurt whites. Illegal immigration hurts poor African-Americans and other colored minorities.

  5. warondrugs
    September 12, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Obama did nothing for blacks. I am shocked at how many blacks supported him when it was clear that he didn’t give two shits about them. He was a Reagan-like, corporation-loving President.

  6. mikeca
    September 13, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    I don’t think it is true that Democrats did nothing for the working class.

    Obamacare was intended to provide insurance for working poor who did not have employer health insurace.

    The 2009 stimulus package created working class jobs.

    The stimulus package included temporary cuts in the payroll taxes which working poor pay. Most working poor don’t pay any income tax but they pay payroll taxes.

    All of that was accomplished in 2009-10. After Republicans took control of the House in 2010, they blocked all efforts to help working class people.

    Where Democrats failed miserably is in sell their accomplishments. They failed to sell Obamacare and the benefits it created. They failed to sell the stimulus package and the jobs it had saved and created. Republicans demonized these accomplishment at every opportunity and Democrats did little to defend them.

    • Yusef
      September 25, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Obamacare may have benefitted people who made damned near nothing, but I disagree it helped working poor if that means people who make some money. It saddled these people with huge payments. I do mean saddled, too. The program isn’t voluntary you know. And why would that be, if it was a benefit? If it was a benefit wouldn’t be clamoring to get in? In many cases working poor people were forced into deciding which was better, to pay a steep fine and have no insurance but be able to swing it and hope for the best, or pay for some insurance they really couldn’t afford and not be breaking the law and worrying about that. It’s a disaster and if you think it is just a matter of the dems not being able to sell their accomplishments I suggest you talk to a few of your fellows and not trust the media so much. As to what Obamacare was intended to do, does it really matter? We don’t elect people to go in there and intend to do nice things. We “hire” them to do a tough job and get it done. You have to make an argument Obama didn’t go single-payer because he really believed Obamacare was going to be better. Then you MIGHT be able to say Obamacare was intended to help people. I don’t think you can. What really shows up is that Obamacare was more likely intended to help big pharma, yet once again.

  1. October 26, 2017 at 10:11 pm

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