The Top 7 Critiques of Obama from a Reality-Based Perspective
By Tim Hjersted

Barack Obama has been called everything from a gun-hating, closet-Muslim hiding socialist to a big-government loving, deficit exploding, tax increasing, class-warfare waging liberal elitist. He's been compared to Hitler and denounced for wanting to destroy capitalism and/or America. He pals around with terrorists. They say he wasn't born in America and secretly hates white people.

For partisan Democrats, the Right's deluge of attacks on Obama over the years might be seen as a great gift, as it has understandably painted conservatives who echo these sentiments as laughably crazy (or brilliant propagandists adept at appealing to the fears of their base). But for those that get their news from outside the right-wing echo chamber, the truth of these smears is well understood. Criticism from MSNBC or the mainstream left on the other hand has been largely shallow or non-existent (although I confess I rarely watch any mainstream TV to keep score).

But from what I have seen, I've observed a great tragedy, as this partisan jockeying has given the mainstream debate about Obama's successes and failures a false illusion of depth. On one hand you have all the lies and myths of the Republicans representing Obama's fiercest critique, and on the other hand you have all the defenders of Obama singing his accomplishments and virtues while debunking all the myths constructed by the Right.

What this left/right positioning of the debate has accomplished is to shut out and marginalize legitimate, reality-based, deeply meaningful and truly damning critiques of the Obama presidency and his administration.

So in the spirit of illustrating exactly what I mean, here are 5 articles and two videos that challenge this falsely constructed spectrum of opinion, offering a true (reality-based) critique of Obama.

Just imagine if these perspectives were allowed to enter the mainstream debate.

 
It is urgently important to prevent a Republican administration under Romney/Ryan from taking office in January 2013.The election is now just weeks away, and I want to urge those whose values are generally in line with mine -- progressives, especially activists -- to make this goal one of your priorities during this period.Romney and Obama exchange fingers in Tuesday night's debate. (Reuters)An...

One Response to Daniel Ellsberg's call for swing-state lefties to vote for Obama

 
The moral philosopher Cornel West, if Barack Obama’s ascent to power was a morality play, would be the voice of conscience. Rahm Emanuel, a cynical product of the Chicago political machine, would be Satan. Emanuel in the first scene of the play would dangle power, privilege, fame and money before Obama. West would warn Obama that the quality of a life is defined by its moral...
 
Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can't bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn't believe in Darwinian evolution, and they'll nod along. Say that you'd never vote for a politician caught using the 'n'-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But...

 

 

I live in a purple part of the country (Virginia) and move in academic circles, so of course I know many, many people who will be voting for Obama. It is impossible to know, but if I sodomized the Easter Bunny in front of their children the look on my Obama-voter friends’ faces could scarcely be much different than the look they get when I say I am voting for Jill Stein.“But this is a...
 
The last refuge of Obamaphiles is that no matter how many times the First Black President double-crosses us by cutting Medicare and Medicaid, no matter how completely be betrays his voters by ignoring black unemployment, by deporting one million Latinos, by protecting the banksters responsible for the foreclosure crisis and by invading, bombing, occupying and subverting even more countries than...
 
Renowned author, journalist, and film maker John Pilger speaks at Socialism 2009. Filmed by Paul Hubbard at the Women's Building in San Francisco 7-4-09. Pilger offers a stinging critique of Obama and his administration's policies in his first six months of office, as well as the recent silence of the left and anti-war movement.

 

 

1. Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy (2011) (Documentary)

This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the "graveyard of social movements", the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the continuity and escalation of neocon policies under Obama, the insufficiency of mere voting as a path to reform, and differing conceptions of democracy itself. Original interview...

 

Lifting the Veil is a significant achievement - offering a definitive critique of the Obama administration from a reality-based perspective (Ie, a critique not based on propaganda and spin). It thoroughly deconstructs the hypocrisy of U.S. politics, democracy, capitalism and other aspects of the American brand. This film promotes no illusions, examining our present state of affairs under Obama with eyes wide open.

At once disillusioning, the film inspires and offers a great message of hope in it's evocative finale and excellent choice of music. It also points to the most immediate alternative for building a new, directly democratic and liberated world within the shell of the old (workplace democracy). For OWS, the film exemplifies the movement's bi-partisan critique of the status quo, its deep rejection of surface-level reforms or solutions, and the deep insight that comes from waking up to the way the world really is.

Did I miss something really good? Post your suggestions and/or comments below.

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