Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Yes We Can!" Is Harder Than Obama Realizes

Welcome back to the Big Apple Mr. President. I hope your flight up the coast was a quick and uneventful one, for the reason you came might just be as unnoticed at the end of this fiscal reform we are being promised. Heaven knows this country needs help in saving ourselves from the vicious corporatists that currently run things on Wall Street and it's appendage within the Beltway.

Now in the moment, on this day, many people are making a big deal about the President's speech at the storied Cooper Union. However, if the President actually believes that Wall Street is going to work with him and Congress to reform the system, then this speech will amount to nothing for the great majority of us that want to take back power from the titans of the financial services industry.

Here's a few snippets from the speech via Huff Post:

"Ultimately, there is no dividing line between Main Street and Wall Street. We rise or we fall together as one nation. So I urge you to join me -- to join those who are seeking to pass these commonsense reforms," according to Obama's prepared remarks for a speech in New York City. "And I urge you to do so not only because it is in the interests of your industry, but because it is in the interests of our country."
See Mr. President, the people you are trying to address do not care about their country, nor do they care about their industry. The only concern the majority of elites on Wall Street is to get as rich as possible at all costs. Perhaps you forgot about what happened at Lehman Brothers? Or maybe you didn't learn your lesson on bipartisanship and conciliation during the prolonged battle over health care reform?

The Huffington Post article linked above draws the perfect contrast in this situation. Looking at what F.D.R. did in the 1930s is above and beyond Obama's shtick in 2010. Franklin Delano Roosevelt by and large did what it took to rein in the financial abuses that brought about the Great Depression. Obama's effectiveness at cleaning up the abuses seen in the last thirty years starting with Reagan is yet to be seen.

Now I agreed with Obama in 2008 that we needed change, and that "Yes We Can" make it happen. Yet, no matter how good your slogans are, it takes political will, strength and fortitude to make things happen in Washington and on Wall Street. The best reforms possible are going to be pushed back upon with the greatest ferocity by those that it seeks to place limits on. However, if Obama seeks to work with Citibanks, Wells Fargos and Bank of Americas then not only will the President look foolish when he either passes a tempered and weak reform bill or fails to pass a bill entirely.

So Mr. President, I hope you enjoy the great media hoopla surrounding you here in the city today. Just remember that it won't amount to a hill of beans if the big bankers running things now continue their pillaging of our country, even after a cooperative "reform" bill is passed.