Essayist, Yale English professor and TomDispatch contributor David Bromwich takes a careful accounting of the “sacked” and “saved” members of the Obama administration in an attempt to reveal the similarities between his presidency and George W. Bush’s.
As Bromwich argues, Obama’s value to the American public should be determined by assessing his behavior and its consequences, rather than his expressed intentions. To do this, he inspects 16 of Obama’s administrative appointments and the efforts to dismiss or retain them.
What follows should be regarded as one of the major attempts to detail the particulars of Obama’s failure to fulfill the promises of change he made as a presidential candidate in 2008. —ARK
David Bromwich at TomDispatch:
The usual turn from unsatisfying wars abroad to happier domestic conditions, however, no longer seems tenable. In these August days, Americans are rubbing their eyes, still wondering what has befallen us with the president’s “debt deal”—a shifting of tectonic plates beneath the economy of a sort Dick Cheney might have dreamed of, but which Barack Obama and the House Republicans together brought to fruition. A redistribution of wealth and power more than three decades in the making has now been carved into the system and given the stamp of permanence.
Only a Democratic president, and only one associated in the public mind (however wrongly) with the fortunes of the poor, could have accomplished such a reversal with such sickening completeness.
... Bush we knew the meaning of, and the need for resistance was clear. Obama makes resistance harder. During a deep crisis, such a nominal leader, by his contradictory words and conduct and the force of his example (or rather the lack of force in his example), becomes a subtle disaster for all those whose hopes once rested with him.