It’s the "smoking gun" that links Barack Obama with Bob Rubin-Goldman Sachs, free trade and cuts in entitlements. It’s the young Senator Barack Obama’s little commented on and little-known speech to the Hamilton Project in April, 2006, well before he became president.
Senator Barack Obama ran a stealth campaign for the presidency in which he took positions on issues that he obviously didn’t believe which explains why he jettisoned them early on (FISA; NAFTA renegotiation; DADT; DOMA etc.). But the REAL, unvarnished Obama was unveiled in a speech he gave as a Senator from Illinois in 2006. He spoke at the request of "my friend" Bob Rubin whose Goldman Sachs had just funded the Hamilton Project, a free trade think tank embedded in the Brookings Institution./>
I. Background: Why the Hamilton Project is Important.
Obama’s Hamilton Project speech is vital to understanding the man since:
1) it shows the real Obama before his p.r./propaganda team repackaged him;
2) it shows his links, at an early age, to Bob Rubin and Goldman Sachs; he’s been owned by Goldman ever since;
3) it shows Obama has long been a free trader and lied to get votes when he promised to renegotiate NAFTA. He had no such intention and is philosophically opposed to such a renegotiation. He made that promise (and flip-flopped on it) to pander for union votes in Ohio while fighting Hillary for the nomination;
4) it shows Obama is in the bag for what Goldman really wants: free trade AND cuts to entitlements (including social security and medicare).
Before we examine Obama’s Hamilton Project speech, let’s pay tribute to a much earlier diary right here at Firedoglake which exposed this years ago. Hats off to Kirk James Murphy, M.D., whose diary, "The Hamilton Project: Same Corporatist Whine in New DLC Vessels" spelled this out back in February 13th, 2008. Dr. Murphy wrote in his diary this about the opening of the Hamilton Project:
Oh – the Senator who made time for the christening of the new corporatist think tank… the love child of the Clintons’ BFF Robert Rubin?
Sen Barack Obama.
The Hamilton Project was also written about even earlier by David Sirota (but he missed the Obama speech). Back in April, 2006, Sirota noted:
Wall Street Dems Unveil Plan to Undermine Progressives
Here’s a big shocker – the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party today announced it would be beginning its new war in earnest on the grassroots elements of the party that are demanding serious public policy changes. As the Financial Times reports, Citigroup Chairman Bob Rubin held a press conference at the Brookings Institution to announce the formation of the so-called "Hamilton Project." After paying lip service to various economic problems afflicting the country, Rubin and his former Treasury colleague Roger Altman quickly let it be known exactly what they are up to.
Here’s the key excerpt:
"At a time when Democrats have become more aggressive in voicing concerns about the foreign ownership of US assets, Roger Altman, former deputy Treasury secretary under Mr Clinton, added that more inclusive economic growth could also ‘blunt the political demands for protectionism’…[The group] said it was willing to take on entrenched Democratic interests, such as teaching unions. Policy papers unveiled on Wednesday proposed vouchers for summer schools…"
There it all is. First there’s the dishonest name-calling aimed at those courageous Democrats who are challenging the free trade orthodoxy that is destroying the lives of millions of American and foreign workers. Then there is the promise of an ensuing attack on the labor movement – a reflexive move, of course, for a bunch of corporate executives. And finally, the nod to efforts to defund public education through "vouchers."
None of this is surprising, of course. As head of Citigroup, Rubin has a financial interest in the agenda he’s pushing. And he’s made no apologies for the brazenness with which he pushes his corporatism. Remember, it was Rubin during the debate over the Central American Free Trade Agreement who demanded that congressional Democrats back off their efforts to include labor, human rights and environmental protections in the pact. He and his pals are the same people who rammed trade deals like NAFTA, WTO and China PNTR down the throats of Americans, and then left government service for the high life of the corporate boardroom. There, they reaped the rich financial rewards of the very sell-out policies they used public office to push, while millions of Americans saw their jobs outsourced, their wages frozen and their benefits slashed.
Oh sure, the group claims it is going to look at critical issues like income inequality – but you can be sure they will look at that issue without looking at issues like "free" trade that are fueling that inequality. Because make no mistake about it – this move today is nothing more than the beginning of a frontal attack by Corporate America on the progressive movement, using the Democratic Party as an all-too-transparent cloak of legitimacy.
I added emphasis to that last section because it is so important and has been proven to be what happened under Obama:
>"this move today (the founding of the Hamilton Project) is nothing more than the beginning of a frontal attack by Corporate America on the progressive movement, using the Democratic Party as an all-too-transparent cloak of legitimacy."
(to be continued)