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Zenilman begins: "Wall Street Democrats aren't especially happy with the words coming out of Barack Obama's mouth, but most of them are biting their tongue - and still writing him checks."

President Barack Obama is greeted by an enthusiastic crowd in Detroit after his Labor Day address, 09/05/11. (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)
President Barack Obama is greeted by an enthusiastic crowd in Detroit after his Labor Day address, 09/05/11. (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)



Obama's 'Populism' Offends Wall Street Democrats

By Avi Zenilman, The Daily Beast

15 January 12

 

Super-rich bankers and investors are nursing a bitter grudge over Obama's populist rhetoric. But the president has hurt their feelings more than their pocketbooks, and there are still big reasons to stay on his side, writes Avi Zenilman.

all Street Democrats aren't especially happy with the words coming out of Barack Obama's mouth, but most of them are biting their tongue - and still writing him checks.

On Friday morning, less than a week before the president visits New York to raise money at both the four-star restaurant Daniel - the last time he dropped by was in July - and Harlem's Apollo Theater, his reelection campaign echoed Newt Gingrich's recent populist attacks on Mitt Romney for his record as an investor and executive at Bain Capital. In a public memo, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter called Romney a "corporate raider" who exploited the middle class before adding that President Obama would "level the playing field" and "restore fairness for consumers."

The language, coming as public concern about income inequality has reached record highs, strikes an already raw nerve. While the campaign has been raking in cash at a faster pace than his record-setting 2008 campaign - it announced last week that it raised $42 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 - the enthusiasm has not spread to the bankers and investors who Democrats have relied on in recent decades to partially counter the historic alliance between the Republican Party and big business. "There's this deep-seated feeling that he really doesn't understand how business operates," said a financial executive who has remained a strong Obama supporter. "This talk about fairness sounds whiny - they need to talk about collective responsibility. 'Fairness' calls for rectifying injustice and businesspeople don't think of their calling as unjust."

The root of the discomfort predates Obama's recent push for higher taxes on the wealthy, and often seems more than just a policy disagreement. After all, many on the left point out, Obama didn't break up the big banks that were propped up by the government because they were too big fail. The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill of 2010, which placed limits on certain kinds of trading and created the Consumer Finance Protection Board, may have kicked up simmering anger, but the complaints - at conferences or in investor letters or in interviews - are often tinged with a sense of personal betrayal. (They also nearly always cite a December 2009 interview in which the president called out "fat cat" bankers.)

While Obama's populist rhetoric might underwhelm Wall Street, the threat of a Republican Party gripped by the cultural conservatism of the Tea Party still looms.

The most recent public example came in November, when private equity billionaire Leon Cooperman, who like many finance executives expressed support of the idea of higher taxes and a social safety net, wrote a scathing open letter to the president. "I can justifiably hold you accountable for your and your minions' role in setting the tenor of the rancorous debate now roiling us," the private-equity billionaire wrote. "To frame the debate as one of rich-and-entitled versus poor-and-dispossessed is to both miss the point and further inflame an already incendiary environment."

It's a striking departure from the last presidential cycle, when employees of Goldman Sachs donated more to the Obama campaign than any other company. In the spring and summer of 2007, Obama raised $7.7 million from the financial industry, while Romney brought in $5.1 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Four years and one great recession later, they've basically switched places, with Romney raking in nearly $8 million and Obama - who has watched former supporters like Chicago hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin go back to support only Republicans - has seen his haul fall to $4.2 million. (Fourth-quarter-industry data is not yet available.)

Both donors and operatives, speaking to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity because their universe is full of hushed personal rivalries and petty grudges, said that, for now, much of the money from the financial sector was rolling in out of a sense of obligation. "They're whining because Obama hurt their feelings," said House Financial Services chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who guided the financial reform bill through Wall Street and is grudgingly respected by Wall Street. "He's not really interfered with their income."

While Obama's populist rhetoric - and his oft-noted inability to schmooze as well as Bill Clinton - might underwhelm Wall Street, the threat of a Republican Party gripped by the cultural conservatism of the Tea Party and the religious right still looms. In New York, where the financial community provided much of the support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's successful push to legalize gay marriage, and other urban financial centers, the unanimous opposition by Republican candidates to abortion rights, opening up immigration, and gay marriage doesn't go over well. In a defense of Bain's record published in Friday's Politico, Stephen Rattner, a former investment banker who was perhaps the most powerful Democratic fundraiser in Manhattan until he joined the Obama administration to oversee the rescue of the auto industry, made sure to go out of his way to mock Romney's "come-lately embrace of hard-right conservatism."

There's no indication that the president will have trouble funding his reelection campaign, but to some degree it might be more important than ever for politicians to get the mega-rich excited. In Iowa and South Carolina, billionaires have taken advantage of recent changes in campaign finance laws and kept the primary campaigns of Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman alive by plowing millions of dollars into super PACs, organizations that aren't bound by normal contribution limits and run as many attack ads as they can afford. Which means that the 70-plus fundraisers Obama attended last year could go a long way if he successfully assuaged the feelings of a few cranky men and women. "I've seen a 180-degree turn from where we were, even a year ago, in terms of support for the President," said a source close to a wide range of major Democratic donors.

 

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+82 # Richard Raznikov 2012-01-15 15:49
That's just great, isn't it? Obama's rhetoric is upsetting the multi-millionai res whose feelings have been hurt. Too bad that's all it is. As several have conceded, and as Frank points out, the rhetoric hasn't hurt their bottom line any.
I want to see action, not mere rhetoric. I am not convinced Obama means a word he says about level playing fields and correcting the ludicrous imbalances. All I see is symbolic junk while Wall Street rolls on and corporate America gobbles up whatever remaining scraps have escaped.
It's the pigs on Wall Street who are whining, spoiled, corrupt little swine that they are. A real President would prosecute them. This one thinks talking is enough, but he's fooling fewer people all the time.
 
 
+64 # RMDC 2012-01-15 18:37
I'm with you Richard -- more action and less empty talk. Obama is the president of empty talk. Remember Hope and Change We can Believe in.

The action Obama is taking is his appointment of a new Chief of Staff -- Jacob Lew -- a former Wall Street banker. Here is what wikipedia says about Lew:

"In June 2006, Lew was named chief operating officer of Citigroup's Alternative Investments unit, a proprietary trading group. The unit he oversaw invested in a hedge fund "that bet on the housing market to collapse."

The White House Chief of Staff is a really important job. Essentially he is the gate keeper of the president. He controls who sees the president, what the president learns about, what Obama does day to day. In short, the chief of staff is the president's handler. So Wall Street now has its man in control of Obama.

In the class war, the rich have won and we have lost. There's no use pretending we have a chance. They control everything. It is coming to the time when we will have to simply refuse to cooperate -- no work, no taxes, no consumption. Shut the economy down for a very long time. No violence, just stop the economic wheels of the US. Stock up on stuff so you can hold out for a year or more.

Also buy local and independent.
 
 
+28 # ChickenBoo 2012-01-15 21:49
Great post,RMDC. I am completely with you. Good idea to learn how to manage a small flock of chickens, too. I would SO love to starve those corporate bastards out.

Quoting RMDC:
banker. Here is what wikipedia says about Lew:

"everything. It is coming to the time when we will have to simply refuse to cooperate -- no work, no taxes, no consumption. Shut the economy down for a very long time. No violence, just stop the economic wheels of the US. Stock up on stuff so you can hold out for a year or more.

Also buy local and independent.
 
 
+6 # dfvboulder 2012-01-16 00:25
Well said.
 
 
+16 # Ralph Averill 2012-01-16 01:12
"whining, spoiled, corrupt little swine..."
Not bad. I like "thieves, thugs, and whores."
The little dears can't understand why they aren't admired by one and all.
 
 
+3 # Doubter 2012-01-16 16:11
What a crock! These bastids know we see them as villains and that their puppet has to look as if he cares for the sweaty masses.
Besides: What feelings?

This piece is riddled with ironies:
"This talk about fairness sounds whiny -"
"it might be more important than ever for politicians to get the mega-rich excited."

All they have to do is wear a little "FOR SALE" button.
 
 
+26 # LessSaid 2012-01-15 18:38
Wall Street Democrats are Blue Dogs Democrats at best.
 
 
+18 # Virginia 2012-01-15 20:35
One can only hope he's keeping Guantanamo open for Wall Street.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-01-16 08:50
Well, technically, he is.

But I don't think he's planning on them occupying it.
 
 
+29 # Erdajean 2012-01-15 21:01
What? If Barak Obama is a populist, I am Queen Elizabeth. Oh yeah, he SAYS all that stuff, but the Wall Street Thugs, Democrat or whatever -- and there is not a dime's worth of difference -- are handing Obama their bucks because he is doing EXACTLY what they have been telling him to do since Day One.
His "populist" costume is strictly for the election year. And if we fall for that AGAIN, we deserve the poverty and misery -- and maybe a jail cell with no exit -- he and his "mentors" have in store for us.
Unless our people rise, take up our torches and our pitchforks and take back this country NOW, we're goners.
 
 
+4 # Hanalea 2012-01-16 07:17
Which of the GOP gaggle of goons would you prefer in the White House?
 
 
+6 # cynnibunny 2012-01-16 14:39
Quoting Hanalea:
Which of the GOP gaggle of goons would you prefer in the White House?


It's not an either/or situation. Just because we criticize Obama doesn't mean we can't support him. Of course the GOP is not an alternative. But to sit back and expect Obama to solve all our problems just because he looks like a good Democrat - is simply stupid.

Vote for the least offensive, and hit the streets, editorial pages, direct letters, etc.
 
 
+2 # Doubter 2012-01-17 16:54
Aren't you tired of having to choose the lesser of two (or more) evils?
 
 
+4 # cynnibunny 2012-01-16 14:36
Erdajean, you're absolutely right!

His "populist" costume is strictly for the election year. And if we fall for that AGAIN, we deserve the poverty and misery -- and maybe a jail cell with no exit -- he and his "mentors" have in store for us. "
Unless our people rise, take up our torches and our pitchforks and take back this country NOW, we're goners.

We underestimate the power of protest. Protests prevented a Nicaraguan invasion. OWS has put inequality on the map with the corporate media, and forced Obama's hand.
 
 
+13 # grouchy 2012-01-15 21:37
Well, not EVERYTHING is lost--yet--beca use we citizens still have our individual votes. It's a matter of HOW we use that vote. Now can we citizens get middle America to catch on to how much they have been screwed and are being screwed by this system? I think things will have to get a lot worse before that happens. Maybe when folks are standing in bread lines or living under bridges, they will have the time to reflect on their choices. Tis sad.
 
 
+8 # Capn Canard 2012-01-16 07:28
grouchy, there are some problems with that tired old get out the vote rationale. Our feeble little votes rarely, if ever, bring much hope and change. The Tea Baggers got their boys in and thankfully they've been very ineffective at pushing forward substantial policy change. In my book, the American voting system is not an effective way to beneficially change government. However, I do see it as a recipe for creating an effective plutocracy effort to take even more control with the continual elimination of individual liberty of the poor. I believe that our only viable solution is a parliamentary system with multiple parties that will require true collaboration and real compromise, even with the FASCISTS of the GOP. The conservatives represent this lie: about 40 plus percent of Americans truly believe they are in the economic 1%, when they are really in the 99.9%. Meanwhile we(the 99.9%) get screwed by the 0.1%!
 
 
+4 # cynnibunny 2012-01-17 11:15
Quoting Capn Canard:
....However, I do see it [American Voting System] as a recipe for creating an effective plutocracy effort to take even more control with the continual elimination of individual liberty of the poor. I believe that our only viable solution is a parliamentary system with multiple parties that will require true collaboration and real compromise....


Think 'tail wagging the dog', since voting has become so well managed and spectacle-ized. It is a massive legitimation machine. There is no power with votes when - for example - a Democratic candidate who wins with a huge mandate pulls back on the reins when he enters office, and submits his mandate to the GOP for approval.

By the way, just because I say voting is not enough, I am not saying it is insignificant. Just don't think that getting your candidate in office is enough. Protest, dissent of all kinds, etc are very powerful.

Protest by a significant minority brought about the withdrawal from Vietnam during a Republican presidency. It also created the EPA.
 
 
+13 # Rita Walpole Ague 2012-01-16 10:33
Sorry to confront you with the truth, grouchy, but reality is that the vote has gone 'buy buy', similar to rule of law, civil rights, etc. Election fraud (a.k.a. death by Diebold and mass disenfranchisem ent) ain't pretty at all, any more than American Revolution II is and will be.

One hell of a fight we the 99% have to...

UNDO THE COUP!!!
 
 
+7 # futhark 2012-01-16 12:44
The common misconception is that the American Revolution was synonymous with the War of American Independence. While they were certainly connected, the conclusion of the War of American Independence in 1783 did not mean the end of the Revolution. The Revolution has continued to this very day with landmarks including the Constitution with its provisions for peaceable amendment and inclusion of the Bill of Rights, the liberation of the slaves, female suffrage, citizenship for Native Americans, the Civil Rights movement, and, now, the occupy movements to reassert the sovereignty of the People over self-serving financial interests.

Throughout American history there have be groups who have sought to monopolize political power to serve their own selfish interests, trying to undo parts of the American Revolution. Such a series of mini-coups, like the voter frauds that placed Cheney/Bush in office for 8 years, need to be contested each and every time.

It seems to me that right now the major effort needs to be exerted to redefine people as individual Homo sapiens, to the exclusion of corporations and to dismember the military-indust rial complex and security state apparatus that are infringing ethics, morality, and the philosophical basis of the American Republic.
 
 
+2 # cynnibunny 2012-01-17 11:07
Quoting grouchy:
Well, not EVERYTHING is lost--yet--because we citizens still have our individual votes.

A Vote is almost NOTHING! A vote is no more than 'proof of democracy'. Protest, dissent of all kinds, peaceful marches, sit-ins (like those in Wisconsin) - all of these are more powerful than voting. They sway public opinion, and can even communicate dissent to the corporate media - then to the average Jane and Joe.

When the message reaches a significant public, then it is hard to deny. The 1% and the 99% are now buzzwords, all because of OWS.
 
 
+1 # karmakat 2012-01-18 12:28
Unfortunately, the media are marginalizing the protests and the authorities are criminalizing the protesters. People are being arrested for being on public property and pepper sprayed for no reason at all.
 
 
+29 # CL38 2012-01-15 21:40
"This talk about fairness sounds whiny - they need to talk about collective responsibility. "

Wall Street wants to talk about collective responsibility? ? Where was their collective responsibility when they created the financial crash in '08? When exactly did they take moral and financial 'responsibility ' for what they did?

Until then, any talk about 'collective responsibility' is
 
 
+24 # James38 2012-01-16 00:32
....is...??? Great comment, but you left us hanging. When you actually calculate how much of the available wealth the rich have sequestered for themselves, and how much good could be done by some "moral" or reasonable and proportionate redistribution, the conclusions are stunning. The rich have forgotten two things lately. One is that all wealth is created by the entire society. The rich create nothing by themselves. The other is that there is a finite amount of wealth around. It is like an apple tree. If the "owner" grabs half of the apples and locks them up, knowing full well he can never eat them all, but keeping them anyway, you have a bunch of needlessly hungry people through no fault of their own. We need to plant enough apple trees so everyone can have some. The next step is to extend this awareness to the entire planet we live on. We are destroying its ecosystem by polluting the atmosphere with CO2, and when it is wrecked, all of us suffer and die. Yet the rich and powerful of the world are all grabbing as much as they can, heedless of the consequences. Oil and coal executives and all of their enablers among the world's leaders are trotting like lemmings toward the cliff, herding the rest of us along with them. Some of us better wake up PDQ. Doubt any of this, or want a more complete scientific understanding, read "Storms of My Grandchildren" by Dr James E Hansen. Also read "The Vanishing Face of Gaia" by James Lovelock.
 
 
+6 # Capn Canard 2012-01-16 07:50
James, how about the wacky idea of eliminating money? After all, money(i.e.pursu it of wealth) is the source of all of our problems including war and it is only poor people who are killed. Quick FACT: the WEALTHY PRODUCE NOTHING. The only thing they are doing is winning a game of monopoly. Meanwhile the poor are left with nothing but debt. This is exactly what happened leading up to 2008. The ideas of James Lovelock won't be accepted until the game of monopoly is eliminated, redefined, examined and taken out of the box and destroyed, or drowned in the bathtub. This will take a shattering of illusion. We need to abuse ourselves of the conventional wisdom.
 
 
+4 # lincolnimp 2012-01-16 11:29
Capn Canard I'm all for it...how do we go about doing it? I ask this earnestly.
 
 
0 # Capn Canard 2012-01-16 16:38
linconimp, that is the question that needs to be argued, debated, and kicked around. Some talk about a resource based economy. Let me give you a couple of links, but I am certain that eventually we will need to evolve beyond "money" as a measurement of value and quality. Here are some ideas, one is more developed(thoug h I believe it wouldn't be that much stronger than our current system) by a Larry Mason, here is his site:

http://www.nopom.info/index.html

And then there is the "Thinking About Revolution" a manifest of John Spritzler and Dave Stratman, this one is more solid though it doesn't flesh out the ideas:

http://www.newdemocracyworld.org/thinking.pdf

and here's a bit more:
http://www.openmoney.org/
http://www.reinventingmoney.com/
http://resourcebasedliving.com/

Some of this seems... well, it needs more meat on the bones. But I guess ideas have to start somewhere. I believe that we need to see that this as a battle between a paradigm based on "quantity" versus a new paradigm based on "quality". At least that is how I like to see it... but I am always open to better ideas. I believe that our species is in dire need of a new paradigm... it just seems to me that Sisyphus might be getting tired...
 
 
0 # James38 2012-01-21 07:42
Cap, this is like blaming the hammer for hitting your thumb. Money is a tool, and can be used well or poorly. The problems are at a deeper level of understanding. We need a better education system for one thing. Well educated people would not allow the further burning of fossil fuels, because they would understand basic science and have the ability to see the obvious and think logically about it. The fact that Arctic sea ice is disappearing along with the world's glaciers would tell them the truth, not be ignored. Extend this example to many other areas, and the real problems will be obvious.
 
 
+7 # RLF 2012-01-16 05:14
We need to get a government that is serious about isolating these bastards and their games from the rest of us...so that next time they screw around we can let them go down in flames and not take us with them!
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2012-01-15 22:07
Here' a wee, somewhat impertinent idea.
Would it be feasible to fund "Occupy -wherever you are", with a national treasury managed by some sworn trusties, like they do to bankrupts (As I found out!), the funds being disbursed as needed in each location to counter the big-buck liars, cheats and wannabe's.
That includes diverting funds from those who would donate to what Ob' hopes to raise (I've heard 1 billion many times as his target).
There are many more of us than them and if we all gave a little, who knows? Could have regular, transparent reports audited by those who are qualified in this way, so everybody gets to see where it's all going.
A bit like RSN or a community radio station but nation-wide and beyond. We could even set it up as a corporation and claim "Personhood"! I'd love to shove that in the faces of the Roberts, Ailito, Scalia Thomas supreme swine-court who made this possible for their rich handlers and hoist them with their own petard.
I'm pretty hard up but I'd gladly kick in something if we could get some trustees that were indeed trusty.
Is this just a naive fantasy or could it work? I'm not an accountant but I'm never short of concepts.
 
 
+1 # Lolanne 2012-01-16 11:45
Quoting reiverpacific:
Here' a wee, somewhat impertinent idea.
Would it be feasible to fund "Occupy -wherever you are", with a national treasury managed by some sworn trusties, like they do to bankrupts (As I found out!), the funds being disbursed as needed in each location to counter the big-buck liars, cheats and wannabe's.
That includes diverting funds from those who would donate to what Ob' hopes to raise (I've heard 1 billion many times as his target)... We could even set it up as a corporation and claim "Personhood"! I'd love to shove that in the faces of the Roberts, Ailito, Scalia Thomas supreme swine-court who made this possible for their rich handlers and hoist them with their own petard...


Interesting idea, rp. I like it, except that I would not want it to divert funds from those contributing to Obama's campaign. The repigs have endless funds, thanks to SCOTUS, to run their dirty, mud-slinging ads, and O will need every penny he can get to counter them. I don't like the system, but it's the one we have right now. And I still think getting the dems in power with an overwhelming majority is the best way to go this year.
 
 
+8 # angelfish 2012-01-15 22:07
"Wall Street Democrats"? You've GOT to be kidding! There's no such critter! Whores that they are, they throw their money at ALL the Candidates and call themselves "Democrats" so they can shave in the morning without cutting their throats, all the while, in reality, they're cutting OURS! "Wall Street Democrats"? Puhleeeeze!
 
 
+9 # lincolnimp 2012-01-15 22:49
Wall Street Democrats!?!?!? Talk about an oxymoron.
 
 
-4 # John Locke 2012-01-15 23:12
Its all a game, just watch and laugh...
 
 
+5 # angelfish 2012-01-16 12:27
Quoting John Locke:
Its all a game, just watch and laugh...

NO, John. Watch and WEEP!
 
 
+3 # John Locke 2012-01-16 17:58
angelfish: I was attempting to say, Obama will get the money he needs, its a game of upmenship, money will be available and like always there will be strings attached... maybe I stated it to simply... Sorry!
 
 
+10 # Larkrise 2012-01-15 23:25
"Obama is the President of empty talk." That hits the nail directly on the head! Obama is the King of Smoke and Mirrors. All blow,no show. Don't listen to his fine and fancy rhetoric. Look, OBJECTIVELY, at his record. Look at his pattern of behavior. His healthcare reform was a giveaway to Big Insurance and Big Pharm. It will be 20 years until the donut hole is finally closed. Everyone who has insurance watched their premiums, copays and deductibles go up and up. What happened to the Public Option that Obama refused to support? Then, he loves to brag on his credit card reform. Oh, baloney! All that was, basically, was to make the fine print bigger. It didnt touch usurious interest rates. What about stopping the foreclosure crisis, that has cost millions their homes? Obama refuses to do anything of substance because"it might hurt the real estate industry." Where is a true, hefty infrastructure program to put thousands back to work? And dont whine about Obama not having the votes. He did have them and lost them. I could fill pages with the campaign promises he has broken;the lack of courage he has shown;the Constutional rights he is taking away. Why bother. One way or another our corrupt and broken political system is eating us alive. Obama is but one symptom of it. A society in denial is another.
 
 
+18 # James38 2012-01-16 00:10
Quoting Billionaire Leon Cooperman, "the private-equity billionaire wrote. "To frame the debate as one of rich-and-entitl ed versus poor-and-dispos sessed is to both miss the point and further inflame an already incendiary environment."

This is totally revealing of a purblind mind. Cooperman can not conceive of the absolute absurdity of his statement. His unquestioned feeling of entitlement has consumed every last shred of his consciousness and his conscience. It is actually ridiculous that such a thing as a "Billionaire" should exist, when the average man has not a snowball's chance in a pizza oven of even being a millionaire. But this guy thinks that anything that even hints at leveling the playing field is some kind of an awful threat to his "income". ROTFLMAO and disgusted at the same time. He needs a billion dollars like a fish needs a bicycle. He is like a fish with a whole collection of gold plated bicycles. Half of his entire estate and income would help a lot of people, buy a lot of education for the poor, level the field a little, and still leave him with a lot more than he would ever need. Can you imagine trying to talk some humane sense into this guy? Ugh. I hope he wakes up and feels some shame in the place of his false pride and greed. I wonder if he lives in one of those ultra opulent palaces you see pictures of in the glossy Architecture mags. Defending the rich is a sorry job. Being one of them is worse.
 
 
+8 # mlyon01 2012-01-16 00:10
Obama's 'Populism' Offends Wall Street Democrats? Nonsense. They know perfectly well Obama's their man.
 
 
+8 # dfvboulder 2012-01-16 00:28
How warped is that? That we are even paying credence to the whining of the filthy rich is disgusting.

As W showed us, just because you're on third doesn't mean you hit a triple.
 
 
+4 # dfvboulder 2012-01-16 00:46
This is truly pathetic.

We've gone way too far when we take "let them eat cake" seriously.
 
 
-5 # MidwestTom 2012-01-16 04:56
Basic logic: You do tot bite the hand that feeds you. Obama has gotten m,ore from Wall Stet at this point in the election cycle than any previous Presidential candidate. During the '08 election the Rebubs only got 42% of Wall Streets donations. They want to make sure that they own whoever is elected.
 
 
+22 # native son 2012-01-16 05:06
My thing is - what's your alternative? Romney? Anything that the Republicans put put there, including Romney is worse than Obama. The only strategy is to hold your nose, vote for Obama, and then put his feet to the fire by occupying the White House and Congress in 2013.
 
 
+4 # Hanalea 2012-01-16 07:30
Obama has certainly dropped the ball in more ways than one but one must consider what he's been up against. All this railing against the man, even though much of it is justified, isn't going to get us anywhere; would anyone here actually LIKE to see Romney or one of the other Repugnicants as president?
Obama is our best bet and yes indeed, the people must hold him to his old and burgeoning populist campaign promises. We must also hold him to the greening of America and America must help to lead the way. It's beyond shameful that we have not signed the Kyoto Agreement and that industry "scientists" continue to influence with their global warming denials. This is suicidal lunacy, paod for by big biz which doesn't want to loose a single dime. Once climate attains critical mass (and it may well have done so already), no other problem will even be relevant.
 
 
+14 # mwd870 2012-01-16 06:28
How sad that Wall Street Democrats aren't especially happy with the words coming out of Barack Obama's mouth. What is it exactly that distinguishes Wall Street Democrats from Wall Street Republicans?
 
 
+3 # elmont 2012-01-16 08:16
I don't want to add to the vitriol out there about the malefactors of wealth that brought us into this mess. But the most interesting point suggested in the article is that the Wall Street Democrats (not an oxymoron by any means--else they wouldn't be writing those gigantic checks) may be Dems because they oppose the Repugs' social agenda (reproductive or gay rights, for example) more than they support the Repugs' notions of unfettered capitalism, i.e., an unregulated Wall Street. My 2 cents is that they oppose the Repugs' social agenda and know that, rhetoric aside, Obama is in their collective hip pocket. So it's safe for them to give the big bucks to the Dems.
 
 
+10 # slow_learner 2012-01-16 08:31
Bill Moyers new show has insight from Winner-Take-All Politics authors Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. It is the system that is broke, encouraging psychopaths in finance and greed in politics, serving only the super-wealthy.
 
 
+3 # bugbuster 2012-01-16 12:11
I see a pattern developing here. Obama was swept into office spouting left-leaning campaign talk. Then he veered to the center. Romney's record in elected office puts him just about where Obama is.

To get elected, you have to deal with a boneheaded collection of vacuous ideologues of both stripes. You have to pander.

Obama has done a reasonable job. So will the winner of the next Presidential election.

The place to direct our fury is at the Congress. Starting with Newt and his ilk in the 90s, going forward to today's Tea Party delegation, we see how bad things can get there.

Some will remember excesses of the Democratic party. I'm on the left, but people I knew used to annoy the hell out of me by indiscriminatel y dissing honest business operators--loca l store owners even--just because they sought to make a profit.
 
 
0 # SenorN 2012-01-17 03:35
Call me naive, but I hope most of you are wrong about Obama. I believe he's still our best hope and I still trust him to do the best he can for us under the incapacitatingl y partisan system we've created and without completely destroying his financial support.
We should not fight him. We should fight NDAA & Citizens United, possibly the two great travesties since the Japanese internment camps. I know he agrees with us on these issues.
 
 
0 # ganymede 2012-01-18 09:12
I can't disagree with most of the anti-Obama rhetoric shown here, but I will continue to say that there are no alternatives. Obama will most likely win in November and then we will have to do everything humanly possible to force Obama to be the leader we want him to be, and I think he wants to be. The Republican Party is collapsing and there's a good chance we will have one party government for at least four years in which time we can completely reform government. You may think this a pipe dream, but the alternatives are even much more unrealistic.
 

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