If David Sirota, writing in Salon newsletter on the 7th Feb, 2009, is to be believed the arrival of Obama I the White House has made very little difference to the way business is being conducted in Washington:
Washington is the same one-party town it always has been — controlled not by Democrats or Republicans, but by Kleptocrats (i.e., thieves). Their ties to money make them the undead zombies in the slash-and-burn horror flick that is American politics: No matter how many times their discredited theologies are stabbed, torched and shot down by verifiable failure, their careers cannot be killed. Somehow, these political immortals are allowed to mindlessly lunge forward, never answering to rivals — even if that rival is the president himself.
He points out that Obama’s national security team has not got a single Iraq war opponent in it:
The president has not only retained George W. Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates, but also 150 other Bush Pentagon appointees. The only “rivalry” is between those who back increasing the already bloated defense budget by an absurd amount and those who aim to boost it by a ludicrous amount.
The economic team, as he sees it, is “a squad of corporate lackeys disguised as public servants.”
That’s not an oversight. From former federal officials like Robert Reich and Brooksley Born, to Nobel Prize-winning economists like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, to business leaders like Leo Hindery, there’s no shortage of qualified experts who have challenged market fundamentalism. But they have been barred from an administration focused on ideological purity.
I think that it’s all too predictable that Obama was going to disappoint us in some way or other, but I doubt whether many of us predicted that the disappointment would come so soon.