1. I worked for a House member in 2009-2010 elected on opposition to war. Early in his term my boss spoke up for getting out of Afghanistan. We got a lot of hostile email from Democrats saying "I used to agree with you but I trust Obama and he wants to surge into Afghanistan.'
2. The problem was systemic. I worked on the Financial Services Committee from 2009-2010, and while Geithner et al. were horrific, Barney Frank, the progressive nonprofit apparatus, and Dem voters were in lock step on bailing out the banks.
3. In 2008, before he was elected, Obama lobbied on behalf of the bailouts. He promised then-Rep. Donna Edwards that if she voted for it, he would work to write off mortgage debt by changing bankruptcy laws. He was lying, his policy team had already dismissed that option.
4. The Obama administration orchestrated a foreclosure crisis, and lied about their policy choice. To this day they will not admit it. Tim Geithner is the only honest one who did so, when he obliquely said their foreclosure mitigation programs were done to help banks.
5. In many ways, Obama himself isn't totally at fault. There was an intellectual choice going back decades in progressive politics to ignore private power. The Congressional Progressive Caucus, for instance, was the most supportive caucus in Congress for bailouts.
6. In virtually every area, with a few exceptions, policy shifted wealth and power upwards. To pick one at random, Cass Sunstein blocked this rule to help miners, because Sunstein is a sociopath. prospect.org/day-one-agenda…
7. But the point of focusing on Obama is not what he did or didn't do, but about what Democratic voters and progressives allowed him to do in their name. He is beloved. If he hadn't been, there would be no way for him to shift wealth and power upwards.
8. I wrote a book to describe this shift in our minds, in our conception of what liberty and America means. It's a pretty gruesome change, but I had to find an explanation for why we cheered offshoring and corporate crime. And by 'we' I mean progressives. simonandschuster.com/books/Goliath/…
9. Ultimately, defenses of the Obama era come down to 'well all Presidents are bad' or 'he did the best he could.' But the real defense is 'Well he was just doing what he was taught to do and what we were taught to let our leaders do in our names.' That's grim.
10. Obama represents an entire system by which Democrats and progressives give themselves social meaning, a secular saint. It's why it's so hard to recognize our own role, and why even critics look for answers in supposed revolutionary ideologies. bostonreview.net/forum/finding-…
11. It's why California, land of Democrats, is badly run and voted for Prop 22. It's why Buttigieg is going to be in the cabinet and Kamala is VP. It's Obama's Democratic Party. That may change. But first it's up to us to admit the reality of what we did. And it's not pretty.
12. Reed Hundt, an ultimate Dem insider who was FCC Chair under Clinton and helped broker key cabinet choices, wrote the definite book on how the Obama administration operated. He did a true service in writing it, but he is now persona non grata. simonandschuster.com/books/A-Crisis…
13. We don't however need the policy analysis to believe our lying eyes. Despite endless bromides on the wonder of Obamacare, we are all familiar with the Gofundme medical begging that is now a routine part of American life. That's the real legacy, not of Obama, but of all of us.
14. Trump campaigned on the closure of the Carrier plant after this video went viral. Obama's comment on Carrier was some jobs 'are just not going to come back.'
15. The distrust of Biden comes from the hangover from the Obama era, but until we fully admit that Obama harmed people systemically and we cheered him on, we as a political faction will remain trapped in a fantasyland of moral vanity.
16. Last point. Obama and Democrats weren't cautious, or conservative, nor did they leave the status quo in place. They pursued radical, unthinkable change through policy passivity during a crisis. America is a much weaker nation today, as those radicals shifted power upwards.

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More from @matthewstoller

21 Nov
I think it's important to acknowledge credit where credit is due, and that means it's time to recognize that under @ddayen, @TheProspect has become the most important political magazine of the last few years. It's not just that they keep scooping others on the transition.
By centering what had traditionally be a center-left magazine around business and power, @ddayen created relevance around governing in an important way. The Day One Agenda has become the most relevant policy reporting done in the 2020 cycle. prospect.org/day-one-agenda
It's time to start recognizing the work that the @TheProspect has put out. Or we can just read the prospect and watch other major media outlets report the same thing 10 days later without credit.
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov
Watching the Equitable Growth event on antitrust, and seeing how Heather Boushey is pointing out all the costs of lax antitrust enforcement, but this is a key problem with their new report on competition policy.
The report's recommendations for Congress are both much weaker and more vague than those of the Congressional Antitrust Subcommittee itself. equitablegrowth.org/research-paper…
I really respect @Michael_Kades, and I appreciate his point that it's important for people who served in government to recognize their mistakes. It's a good thing to learn!
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov
It’s the 2020 primary, the 22nd amendment has been repealed. You are a Democrat. The primary comes down to Biden and Obama. Who do you vote for?
It’s the 2020 primary, the 22nd amendment has been repealed. You are a Democrat. The primary comes down to Obama, Kamala and Mayor Pete. Who do you vote for?
It’s the 2020 primary, the 22nd amendment has been repealed. You are a Democrat. The primary comes down to Biden and Obama, but you know Obama is bringing back Rahn Emanuel as chief of staff and Geithner at Treasury. Who do you vote for?
Read 7 tweets
16 Nov
We do have a serious problem downplaying honor and masculinity in American culture. Boys will look for it and if no one teaches them they will invent their own ways to be manly, often destructive ways. Like listening to Ben Shapiro.
Read 4 tweets
14 Nov
1. Unless there's a vaccine very soon, I fear that Joe Biden will not handle the pandemic much better than Trump did. I really hope I'm wrong. It just seems to me that a lot of dealing with the pandemic means convincing people to sacrifice...
2. ... Americans aren't going to sacrifice very important cultural rituals and family time when they see their elites living by a separate set of rules. It just doesn't work that way. They have to see their leaders sacrificing first. Will even that work? I don't know. But...
3. That isn't how Dems think of themselves. One thing that's really clear about the boomer and up elite Dems is they really believe they are beloved and trusted. They don't understand you have to *earn* popular trust, Harvard doesn't grant it to you with your law degree.
Read 8 tweets
14 Nov
I'm increasingly furious at the complete disinterest in governing by supposed political analysts.
Governing matters. Democrats victories in 2006 and 2008 were about the war in Iraq and financial crisis, Trump's victory had a lot more to do with NAFTA and China PNTR than anything else.
Flip it around, Trump entirely defined the agenda in 2016, and he was the challenger. Nate's a smart guy, but he's completely lost because his polls didn't work and he doesn't realize the government exists.
Read 5 tweets

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