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Thursday, October 23 2014 @ 07:23 AM CDT

Barack Obama: The Empire’s New Clothes

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Barack Obama and his followers continue to revise the history of his ascendance, pretending his campaign was rooted among the "outsiders." The public line is a fiction, as even the most rudimentary research reveals. In fact, Obama's own words document his intense courtship of the rich and powerful. Unfortunately, "few if any of" Obama's staunchest supporters "have bothered to read a single solitary word of Obama's blatantly imperial, nationalist, and militarist foreign policy speeches and writings," says the author. "And my sense is they never will."

Barack Obama: The Empire’s New Clothes

by Paul Street
Black Agenda Report

"Obama is an act of system-legitimizing brilliance."

"This is bigger than life itself. When I was coming up, I always thought they put in who they wanted to put in. I didn't think my vote mattered. But I don't think that anymore."

The speaker of these words is Deddrick Battle, a black janitor who grew up in St. Louis's notorious Pruitt-Igoe housing projects during the 1950s and 1960s.

Battle was speaking about the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. He was quoted on the front page of last Sunday's New York Times in a story about the pride many African Americans are naturally feeling in Obama's candidacy. The story contained numerous examples of American blacks who have been encouraged by the Obama phenomenon to think for the first time that "politics is for them, too" [1].

But, as The New York Times' editors certainly know, "they" still "put in who they want to put in" to no small extent. The predominantly white U.S. business and political establishment still makes sure that nobody who questions dominant domestic and imperial hierarchies and doctrines can make a serious ("viable") run for higher office - the presidency, above all. It does this by denying adequate campaign funding (absolutely essential to success in an age of super-expensive, media-driven campaigns) and favorable media treatment (without which a successful campaign is unimaginable at the current stage of corporate media consolidation and power) to candidates who step beyond the narrow boundaries of elite opinion. Thanks to these critical electoral filters and to the legally mandated U.S. winner-take-all "two party" system [2], a candidate who even remotely questions corporate and imperial power is not permitted to make a strong bid for the presidency.

Barack Obama is no exception to the rule. Anyone who thinks he could have risen to power without prior and ongoing ruling class approval is living in a dream world.

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