Today’s New York Daily News headline says it all: “President Barack Obama Back to New York to Speak at Rev. Al Sharpton National Action Network Bash.” Welcome to the 125th Street-Wall Street Alliance and the Sharpton-Soros Axis.
The old cliche of American politics is that it was a fight between the Republican rich and the Democratic poor. Today, the poor are still Democrats, but the rich are Democrats, too. Barack Obama carried Beverly Hills and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. So who is left out? Middle America. Confronted with Democrats above them and Democrats below them, they are now Republicans. The Obama coalition is led by George Soros at the high-end of the income scale and Al Sharpton at the lower brackets.
As a candidate, Barack Obama spoke of bringing the country together and ending the partisan divide. However, the Obama campaign was based upon forging a coalition of the wealthy and the poor. The Obama strategy became a formula for middle class squeeze.
Obama is a friend to Soros’ America. Candidate Obama relied upon Soros-funded MoveOn.Org for campaign manpower, independent expenditures and a running critique of the Republican Party. Senator Obama voted for the bailout of Wall Street. The Obama Administration pushed for the release of $350 billion in TARP funds.
In the name of combating global warming, President Obama unsuccessfully backed a cap-and-trade scheme. Cap-and-trade would have rewarded the financial markets and punished Middle America. Among Cap-and-trade’s biggest supporters are Soros, California’s Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman, and Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts. Cap-and-trade faces its strongest opposition from, and would do its greatest damage in, the Midwest, the South and the Plains.
Obama has again made Reverend Sharpton of Tawana Brawley fame a national figure. Sharpton has met the President at least twice to discuss education and unemployment. Since Obama has been elected, Sharpton has emerged as “the lightning rod in moving Obama’s agenda forward,” according to Obama friend and Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree.
Ogletree also posited that Sharpton was a bridge between the “Suites and the Streets.” Almost 50 companies have sponsored Sharpton’s National Action Network, and now Obama is front and center.
In the Democratic Primaries and Caucuses, Obama consistently won the “wine track” and the African-American vote. In the general election, Obama overwhelmingly won minority voters. He garnered a clear majority of college graduates and voters earning over $200,000, traditional GOP constituencies. The Wall Street-125th Street Alliance is now the base of the Obama presidency. What Obama did not win was the White Middle Class. What Obama did lose by 18 points was the White Working Class (and in the 2010 elections, the Democrats lost the White Working Class by 29 percent).
At the same time that Obama was forging his coalition, John McCain built his own. Central to McCain’s fall strategy was his selection of Sarah Palin. Palin crystalized a sizeable segment of the current Republican Party — white, above average income and education, patriotic, resentful toward the elites and the poor, and with a view of family values that does not necessarily comport with its own personal reality – a segment of the country that embodies an American folk-ethic — the American Volk.
Folk-ethic America is skeptical of big government and big business, but sympathetic to rewarding a life of work. It approves of Social Security and Medicare, but is hostile to welfare and hand-outs. It is unhappy with Obama’s trillion-dollar-deficits. Folk-ethic America believes that the middle class is trapped in a pincer movement created by the paupers and the plutocrats.
Obama has done little to heal this rift. Obama’s signature piece of legislation was comprehensive healthcare. Its primary beneficiaries are at the low-end of the income scale and constitute one of the two critical components of Obama’s coalition. According to the recently released Newsweek poll, 56 percent of Americans oppose the healthcare law and 37 percent favor it. Among Folk America, opposition to Obamacare borders on hostile.
As for Obama and Wall Street, the most credible critique of Obama’s relationship with Wall Street comes from Neil Barofsky, the former Inspector General for TARP. Barofsky is a former federal prosecutor, a Democrat and a contributor to the 2008 Obama campaign.
In a 2009 report, Barofsky blasted Tim Geithner’s efforts in bailing out AIG and its trading partners. At the time of AIG’s near collapse, Geithner, who is now Treasury Secretary, was the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Barofsky has also criticized the lack of transparency surrounding TARP, and been branded as a “thorn in the side” of the administration. Obama’s Treasury Department anonymously accused Barofsky of being “been consistently wrong about a lot of big things.”
Fittingly, New York City’s 4 Train stops at Wall Street, the Upper East Side and 125th Street, Harlem. Who needs Jeremiah Wright when you can have Al Sharpton and Wall Street?
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