He hides them that well the socialists hate him. He's seen as a"conventional bourgeois politician, dependent, like his rivals, on lavish financial support from corporate interests and the wealthy. He is not the product of any sort of genuine movement from below in American society, but rather the latest in a long line of demagogues employed to foster illusions that the big business-controlled political system can serve the interests of ordinary people."
Given these big business ties, Obama’s campaign rhetoric about confronting poverty and social inequality involve a level of cynicism and demagogy that is truly staggering. His incessant promises of change are not tied to any radical economic program that fundamentally challenges the profit interests of the giant corporations and Wall Street.
On the contrary, Obama has advanced a conservative fiscal policy, pledging himself to a “pay as you go” approach and stressing the need to reduce debt and deficits. Given that he would take office with a near-record $400 billion deficit inherited from the Bush administration, this already determines an agenda of austerity measures.
On Wednesday, the candidate toured a General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin and put forward a so-called jobs program involving investments in infrastructure and alternative energy that would total $210 billion over 10 years. In the face of the deep-going crisis confronting American capitalism, this is less than a drop in the bucket—and even this drop would quickly evaporate in the face of demands for deficit reduction.
Those who don’t want to talk about capitalism should by rights keep their mouths shut when it comes to poverty and unemployment. One cannot deal with either seriously without confronting the private ownership of society’s productive forces and the immense social inequality that it has created. The defense of jobs and living standards, the right to decent housing, health care and education for hundreds of millions of Americans can be advanced only through a far-reaching redistribution of wealth from the super rich to the broad mass of working people.
Clearly, the likes of Wolf, Buffett and Volcker are backing Obama because they know that he has no intention of going anywhere near such a policy.
To the extent that Obama’s rhetoric arouses popular expectations—and there are indications that it does—these will inevitably be dashed. In all probability, this will happen once the primary season is over and Obama is confronted by the Republican right as well as elements within the Democratic Party itself with the demand that he clarify his program. Should he capture the White House in November, he will head an administration committed to defending the interests of the American oligarchy both at home and abroad.
Those turning towards the Obama campaign as a means of effecting progressive social change in the US and bringing an end to US militarism abroad will find that the Democratic Party and the corporate and financial interests it represents will allow neither.
These necessary goals can be achieved only through a decisive break with the Democrats and the entire two-party system and the independent mobilization of the working class through the building of a mass socialist movement.