In the introduction to what is, on many levels, one of the worst pieces of journalism I’ve ever encountered, Matt Taibbi observes,
Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich…. Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it’s not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
Here is a picture of Obama on the campaign trail literally flanked by a banker from Citigroup, Robert Rubin. The other person flanking him in the picture is Laura Tyson, a member of the board of directors at Morgan Stanley.
Here is a list of the top contributors to Barack Obama’s campaign:
University of California $1,591,395
Goldman Sachs $994,795
Harvard University $854,747
Microsoft Corp $833,617
Google Inc $803,436
Citigroup Inc $701,290
So Taibbi chose the 2nd and 6th largest Obama donors as examples of people who were not Obama backers.
Now that you have a general sense of the quality of the piece (if you still aren’t sure, let me mention that it doesn’t improve after that first paragraph), I can disclose what it’s about. The reason he sets the bankers in opposition to Obama in the introduction, however monstrously erroneously, is the better to shock the reader when he reveals that Obama is actually a huge ally of…wait for it… big business.
The piece is entitled “Obama’s Big Sellout.” It purports to demonstrate how the improbable (to Taibbi) alliance of Obama and Big Finance came about, through a narrative casting arch-villain Robert Rubin and vampire squid Goldman Sachs as the only bad guys that is truly too convoluted and half-baked to critique here, except to say that that Taibbi better have been high when he wrote it.
But the reason it’s worth mentioning at all is to show how even the most naive liberal observer — Taibbi’s understanding of American government would elicit a derisive laugh from the average 3rd grader — is or should be starting to notice the Democratic Party’s cozy relationship with big business. Taibbi concludes his 6,400 word disaster:
What’s most troubling is that we don’t know if Obama has changed, or if the influence of Wall Street is simply a fundamental and ineradicable element of our electoral system. What we do know is that Barack Obama pulled a bait-and-switch on us. If it were any other politician, we wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe it’s our fault, for thinking he was different.
It is your fault.
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