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Thread: Are the American Presidents/Politicians Puppets of the Corporations ?

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    Question Are the American Presidents/Politicians Puppets of the Corporations ?

    Are the American Presidents/Politicians Puppets of the Wealthy/The Rich Big Money/Profit Corporations Banks the Media and the Lobbyists Capitalists/Capitalism ?

    Obama isn't on our side

    April 19, 2012 2:53 am CDT

    http://socialistworker.org/blog/crit...-isnt-our-side

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    Politicians are the wealthy, the corporate moguls, the capitalists. It's not an alliance, it's the same entity, the capitalist class.
    sing me to sleep then leave me alone

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    Bourgeois leaders uphold bourgeois class interests. Simple as that. Corporations are how the bourgeoisie control the means of production in the modern day.

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    Does a bear shit in the woods?

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    Indeed, they are. These multi-million dollar campaign contributions from Citi Bank, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Chase, Warren Buffet, Koch Brothers, Boeing, etc, come with strings attached. You even had the Supreme Court basically say money is a form of speech, and corporations are people.

    The reason why this has occurred is lucid; most Americans don't have millions of dollars to purchase a politician, but the bourgeoisie does. Also worth noting is: the reason why running for office costs so much was intended to mean politicians must make deals with those who have the means to supplement the campaign costs. With this, strings are attached, you must vote in their interests instead of your constituents interests.
    I am an Anarchist not because I believe Anarchism is the final goal, but because there is no such thing as a final goal. - Rudolf Rocker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Dollars View Post
    Does a bear shit in the woods?
    No, I do.

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    Pluto is not a planet anymore either.
    [FONT=Arial Narrow]"Body tissue deprived of life energy turns cancerous. Cancer is the hysteria of cells condemned to death. Cancer and fascism are closely related. Fascism is the frenzy of sexual cripples. The swastika owes its magnetism to being a symbol of two bodies locked in genital embrace. It all stems from a longing for love. Comrades, make love joyously and without fear."

    [/FONT][FONT=Tahoma]Khrushchev: "It’s interesting, isn’t it? I’m of working class origin while your family were landlords."
    Zhou: "Yes, and we each betrayed our class!"[/FONT]

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    Quote Originally Posted by darforthewin View Post
    Pluto is not a planet anymore either.
    Bourgeois lies meant to take attention away from the Plutonian proletarian revolution that started in 2006.

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    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana][FONT=Verdana]A President Who Doesn't Even Try[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]Is Obama Kowtowing to the Right? Or Is He One of Them?[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]by Ted Rall[/FONT]
    [/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]The President's progressive critics blame him for continuing and expanding upon his Republican predecessor's policies. His supporters point to the obstructionist, Republican-controlled Congress. What can Obama do? He's being stymied at every turn.[/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]The first problem with the it's-the-GOP's-fault defense is that it asks voters to suffer short-term memory loss. In 2009, you probably recall, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. By a sizeable majority. They even had a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. His approval ratings were through the roof; even many Republicans who had voted against him took a liking to him. The media, in his pocket, wondered aloud whether the Republican Party could ever recover. "Rarely, if ever, has a President entered office with so much political wind at his back," Tim Carney wrote for the Evans-Novak Political Report shortly after the inauguration.”[/FONT][/FONT]

    This is somewhere between highly misleading, and factually wrong. Yes, the Democrats technically achieved a barely filibuster-proof majority, in 2009. What is Left out is that many of those Democratic wins were achieved by running Democrats who were well to the Right of the party, the only kind of Democrats who could win in those areas. They sacrificed ideological purity for numerical supremacy. The problem is that being on the Right end of their party, most of these ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats didn’t support a lot of the more progressive pieces of legislation, so, in truth, Obama didn’t really have a filibuster-proof majority. All it took was for just one of the aforementioned ‘Blue Dogs’ to vote the other way, and any initiative was dead in the water. This only underscores the importance of reforming the filibuster rules because it’s an enormous impediment to enacting any kind of progressive legislation.

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]“If Obama had wanted to pursue a progressive agenda—banning foreclosures, jailing bankers, closing Guantánamo, stopping the wars, pushing for the public option he promised in his healthcare plan—he could have. He had ample political capital, yet chose not to spend it.”[/FONT][/FONT]

    He might have been able to do some of those things, but he probably could not have done all of those things.

    [FONT=Tahoma][FONT=Arial][FONT=Verdana]“Now that Congress is controlled by a Republican Party in thrall to its radical-right Tea Party faction, it is indeed true that Obama can't get routine judicial appointments approved, much less navigate the passage of legislation.”[/FONT][/FONT]
    [/FONT]
    Yup.

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]“Oh-so-conveniently, Obama has turned into a liberal-come-lately. Where was his proposed Buffett Rule (which would require millionaires with huge investment income to pay the same percentage rate as middle-class families) in 2009, when it might have stood a chance of passage?”[/FONT][/FONT]

    Well, for starters, the ‘Buffet Rule’ was inspired by a statement Warren Buffet made in 2011, so without a time machine….

    Again; this underscores the importance of fixing the filibuster, because otherwise anything that gets less than 60 votes is dead in the water.

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]“Team Obama's attempt to shore up his liberal base also falls short on the facts. Progressives were shocked by the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling, along party lines, that legalized strip-searches and body cavity rapes by police and private security firms who detain people suspected of any crime, even minor traffic infractions.”[/FONT][/FONT]

    By the author’s own admission, it was a 5-4 ruling, (As was Citizens United.) ergo; it barely passed. If more voters had shown up for Kerry in 2004, or for Gore in 2000, it’s almost certain that these decisions would have gone the other way.

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]“Responding to fall 2011 polls that indicated softening support among the younger and more liberal voters who form the Democratic base, Obama's reelection strategists began rolling out speeches inflected with Occupy-inspired rhetoric about class warfare and trying to make sure all Americans "get a fair shot." But that's all it is: talk. And small talk at that.[/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]Instead of introducing major legislation, the White House plans to spend 2012 issuing presidential orders about symbolic, minor issues.”[/FONT][/FONT]

    That’s mostly accurate.

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]“Repeating Clinton-era triangulation and micro-mini issues doesn't look like a smart reelection strategy. The Associated Press reported: "Obama's election year retreat from legislative fights means this term will end without significant progress on two of his 2008 campaign promises: comprehensive immigration reform and closing the military prison for terrorist suspects at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Piecemeal presidential directives are unlikely to make a sizeable dent in the nation's 8.6 percent unemployment rate or lead to significant improvements in the economy, the top concern for many voters and the issue on which Republican candidates are most likely to criticize Obama. In focusing on small-bore executive actions rather than ambitious legislation, the president risks appearing to be putting election-year strategy ahead of economic action at a time when millions of Americans are still out of work.[/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]Of course, Obama may prevail. Romney is an extraordinarily weak opponent.”[/FONT][/FONT]

    That’s all pretty solid. I don’t think Obama is going to see anything near the 2008 turnout. Furthermore; his administrations’ inability to enact real reforms, or, worse yet, in some cases, failing to even pursue meaningful reforms will cost him, dearly, in the general election. However; he is the incumbent, and, as the author points out, Romney is an especially weak opponent. I suspect Obama will be reelected by a slim margin.

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]“For progressives and leftists, however, the main point is that Obama never tries to move the mainstream of ideological discourse to the left.[/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]Obama has been mostly silent on the biggest issue of our time, income inequality and the rapid growth of the American underclass. He hasn't said much about the environment or climate change, the most serious problem we face—and one for which the U.S. bears a disproportionate share of the blame. Even on issues where he was blocked by Congress, such as when Republicans prohibited the use of public funds to transport Gitmo detainees to the U.S. for trials, he zipped his lips.”[/FONT][/FONT]

    Yup.

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]“Obama has mostly shunned the time-honored strategy of trapping your opposition by forcing them vote against your popular ideas.”[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]For the most part, that’s true, with some exceptions. For example; the Buffet rule is wildly popular among Americans, but was killed by the Republicans, because it only got something like 54 votes. However; this doesn’t seem to have cost them anything, even though, according to statistics, something like 53% of registered Republicans support it.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana][FONT=Verdana]“In 2009, for example, it would have been smarter politics—and better governance—to push for real socialized medicine, or at least ObamaCare with the public option he promised. He would either have wound up with a dazzling triumph, or a glorious defeat.”[/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]
    [/FONT]
    I’m not sure the defeat would have been particularly ‘glorious.’ While I certainly agree that the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act didn’t go nearly far enough, and the president was negligent in not pushing for a strong public option, let’s not forget that it wasn’t a total loss. For example;
    Insurers can no longer refuse coverage or randomly drop people under the aegies of a ‘Pre-Existing Condition.’
    Health insurers can’t charge different rates based on gender, or medical history.
    Medicaid was expanded to cover individuals up to 33% above the official poverty level.
    Last but not least subsidies were provided to help some Americans who could not afford insurance.

    It’s not perfect, it’s not even great, but it was an improvement, especially for the working class. So, let’s just not lose sight of that.

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]“Liberals don't blame Obama for not winning. They blame him for not trying. “[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]It’s not just the Liberals who blame him for it.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]“When he does crazy things like authorizing the assassinations of U.S. citizens without trial, progressives have to ask themselves: Is this guy kowtowing to the Right? Or is he one of them?”[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]I think Obama is more of a Centrist Democrat. Furthermore his administration has repeatedly been very tough on the Left wing of their base, and their party. I think Barack Obama is a product of his environment. He’s the product of an ivy-league education, which means he’s been thoroughly indoctrinated.[/FONT][/FONT]

    [FONT=Georgia][FONT=Verdana]In summation, it bears mentioning that none of these problems would be improved by allowing the Republicans to dominate the Senate, and the White House, and, more broadly, that continuing to ignore the political process is costly, and counterproductive.[/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana]Economic Left/Right: -7.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.13
    [/FONT]


    "Kick over the wall 'cause government's to fall,
    How can you refuse it?,
    Let fury have the hour, anger can be power,
    D'you know that you can use it?"-The Clash, "Clampdown"

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    The thing is, even if politicians were not puppets, the internal logic of value would make them dance to its tune anyway. Capital flight, as one example.

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    It's very obvious that Obama is not on ANY of our sides.

    For goodness sakes, he's not even liberal in ANY sense of the word. Obama is just a centrist who is merely shoved into a government with center-right policies.

    Let's not forget that he also gets enormous contributions from corporations. Not as much as the Republicans, but still enormous by any standard.
    Liberté, égalité
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    Quote Originally Posted by DinodudeEpic View Post
    It's very obvious that Obama is not on ANY of our sides.

    For goodness sakes, he's not even liberal in ANY sense of the word. Obama is just a centrist who is merely shoved into a government with center-right policies.

    Let's not forget that he also gets enormous contributions from corporations. Not as much as the Republicans, but still enormous by any standard.
    Liberalism is centrist.

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    Corporations is the latest form of class rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Railyon View Post
    The thing is, even if politicians were not puppets, the internal logic of value would make them dance to its tune anyway. Capital flight, as one example.
    Yes.

    I think the OP question as stated is a little tricky. On the one hand, right now yes, the best way to describe the process is that candidates "sell themselves". Obama's trying to raise 3 summer-blockbuster's production-cost worth of funds to run, obviously that means he's making a lot of promises to a lot of rich people.

    But this is a surface feature of the system, not a fundamental one. Any look at Parliamentary governments with vastly better regulations and processes to keep elections more democratic shows that the money in campaigns is not the fundamental reason for corporate/big-business sway in government.

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    Obama, the Democrats, the Republicans and every other party in the U.S. House of Reps, Senate or any bureaucratic system in the United States has ever cared about us, the Proletariat, or the Peasant. They are only considered about themselves and how to please those with more power than them. They both claim to help when really they never cared nor will they ever care. They're all for the Bourgeoisie and puppets of the Capitalists. The U.S. bureaucracy is pathetic. They would sell out so easily. The corporate CEO's have done it time and time again, buying politicians that is, to support their Capitalist mode of production.

    So to answer your question no, no one in the U.S. bureaucracy cares about the worker
    Yes, we want to make your wife a radical feminist lesbian, we want to forcibly gay marry you to a leatherclad bear, we want to send your kids into white slavery at the court of a black communist dictator, we want to paint your church red with the blood of christian babies, we want to set fire to your ikea and your SUV, we want to rape your labrador with the broken pieces of your white picketed fence.

    We want to wage nuclear war on the nuclear family.
    why? because we are pinko freedom hating commienazi atheist bastards, its just what we do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Higgins View Post
    Any look at Parliamentary governments with vastly better regulations and processes to keep elections more democratic shows that the money in campaigns is not the fundamental reason for corporate/big-business sway in government.
    I agree that there are features other than corporate/big-business interests that run parliamentary democracy, like plain old demagoguery, but given that 99.9% of what legislatures deal with really doesn't affect most voters, in any system this provides a massive vaccuum for moneyed interests to fill.

    Now true, this may mean that "money in campaigns" is basically replaced by "money in pockets" or "money for friends", but where there is no real benefit of "democratization", then there is little justification for most people to expend efforts to fight special interests. This outcome of parliamentary systems is fairly invariant across societies; for example, "financial"deregulation" is much further along in many western European societies than in places with notoriously powerful financial interests like America, Japan and Britain.

    Perhaps we are making the same point, that no matter what "safe guards" are allegedly established all parliamentary systems degenerate into plutocracy. So I agree reforms a largely futile, but perhaps I'd go further in claiming that they can be more insiduous insofar as tehy confer a veneer of "transparency" upon the process when in fact they do very littleof the sort.
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    Nope. They're class enemies, from Teddy Kennedy all the way over to Willard Romney. Fuck them all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarxSchmarx View Post
    I agree that there are features other than corporate/big-business interests that run parliamentary democracy, like plain old demagoguery, but given that 99.9% of what legislatures deal with really doesn't affect most voters, in any system this provides a massive vaccuum for moneyed interests to fill.

    Now true, this may mean that "money in campaigns" is basically replaced by "money in pockets" or "money for friends", but where there is no real benefit of "democratization", then there is little justification for most people to expend efforts to fight special interests. This outcome of parliamentary systems is fairly invariant across societies; for example, "financial"deregulation" is much further along in many western European societies than in places with notoriously powerful financial interests like America, Japan and Britain.

    Perhaps we are making the same point, that no matter what "safe guards" are allegedly established all parliamentary systems degenerate into plutocracy. So I agree reforms a largely futile, but perhaps I'd go further in claiming that they can be more insiduous insofar as tehy confer a veneer of "transparency" upon the process when in fact they do very littleof the sort.
    Yeah I think we agree. I was just trying to take a nuanced take on this because on the one hand the money is very blatantly an issue, but it is one expression of a fundamental issue with capitalist representative democracies.

    I wouldn't say that "safe-guards" are inherently insidious though. Are movements against Jim-Crow voter-discrimination policies insidious? Suffrage? Movements of workers or the oppressed can force the system to change some of the balance just as the ruling class can go on an offensive and remove bourgeois rights or protections workers have won previously. Again, this is not to say that these systems can be "fixed" just that I think there's a difference between a real popular movement for increased rights (or just for respect for the bourgois rights we supposedly already enjoy) and campaigns that seek to get reforms enacted through the normal "legal" process (i.e. some initiative from and run by a politician or NGO) as some sort of fix-all for the system like the people who fetishist campaign finance reform or run-off voting.

    So I think it's the context in which a reform may have been passed - if it comes from above then it will be toothless at best anyway, but some reforms are legitimate defeats for the ruling class and create more confidence in our class to fight back (and self-organizing experience) such as the movements against black voter disenfranchisement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie Higgins View Post

    I wouldn't say that "safe-guards" are inherently insidious though. Are movements against Jim-Crow voter-discrimination policies insidious? Suffrage? Movements of workers or the oppressed can force the system to change some of the balance just as the ruling class can go on an offensive and remove bourgeois rights or protections workers have won previously. Again, this is not to say that these systems can be "fixed" just that I think there's a difference between a real popular movement for increased rights (or just for respect for the bourgois rights we supposedly already enjoy) and campaigns that seek to get reforms enacted through the normal "legal" process (i.e. some initiative from and run by a politician or NGO) as some sort of fix-all for the system like the people who fetishist campaign finance reform or run-off voting.

    So I think it's the context in which a reform may have been passed - if it comes from above then it will be toothless at best anyway, but some reforms are legitimate defeats for the ruling class and create more confidence in our class to fight back (and self-organizing experience) such as the movements against black voter disenfranchisement.
    I agree. What happens is that reforms that are the result of mass movements cannot be sustained when those movements evaporate; what keeps issues like black voter exclusion at the forefront aren't laws on the books or bureaucrats but tireless activism. It's telling that when this social context in essence disappear, the reforms do as well. In america, a good example is the welfare state, which dissolved in the 1990s absent a strong movement for equality of outcome. Similarly, the rights of women in america gained from universal suffrage onward are under assault because there is no powerful social movement to back up the institutionalized protections.

    The tendency of movements to establish complacency once reforms have been won are what plague single issue organizations and movements that focus on the rights of disenfranchised groups to the exclusion of the broader struggle. That is why means-tested social benefits become politically difficult, but when the same benefits are made universal taking them away becomes a "third rail".
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