Mon May 14th, 2012 at 10:41:37 PM EST
To see just how weird the intersection of racism and economics can be in modern America, one need go no further than Yves Smith's influential "Naked Capitalism" blog and an article with the title:
Exclusive: How Obama's Early Career Success Was Built on Fronting for Chicago Real Estate and Finance
Smith belongs with Matt Taibbi, William Black and others to a group of indignant critics of President Obama's supposed failure to restore the rule of law" in finance. These people portray themselves as pro-capitalism and anti-corruption. They claim things used to be a lot better on Wall Street back in the good old days of strong regulation and vigilant law enforcement (whenever that was). They are big fans of Paul Volcker, cheer Paul Krugman when he is critical of the Obama administration, and put a great deal of emphasis on things like "market price". Smith is by far the most informative and sophisticated of this group, but she's caught up in the same dysfunctional anti-Obama nuttiness that they all inhabit. In this post, Smith is introducing and recommending what she calls a "prescient" speech given in 2008 by the late Robert Fitch. Fitch's speech begins by attacking Obama for saying there is a common national good that transcends class - a point disputed by both some Marxists and some right wingers. Fitch then goes on to situate Obama as either a stooge of or participant in a group of capitalists (rapacious and evil, of course) who have been redeveloping the south side of Chicago. The obvious question is what it is that Smith can find compelling in such a cliched Marxist critique. Is she unhappy that Obama is not a Marxist devotee of the class struggle or is it something else? The answer can be found in the third part, the comments section which features an open sewer of racist resentment and paranoid conspiracy theorizing.
Let's take look at some examples:
- I'd wager BarryO did not have the grades to clerk for the SCOTUS. I have long suspected that the reason no one wanted his grades released is b/c it would show that his editorial position @ HLS was given to him.
- The grades are of little interest in themselves: the interest is in his obsessive determination to hide so much about life.
- Rumors abound. Like the real reason Blago went down was because he peeved off Obama by trying to sell off his old Senate seat. It was supposed to go to Alexi Gianoulias. Gianoulias family owned the failed Broadway Bank. It was a big scandal right before the election. They supposedly made a lot of loans to mobsters. Anyhoo, the poor guy who landed Obama's old seat, Repub. Mark Kirk, recently had a stroke. He just left rehab yesterday the local news reported. Lots of coincidences...hmmm...
- There actually is a very good reason to see Obama's records, as explained by Jack Cashill: "None of this, of course, proves Ayers' authorship [of Obama's Dreams from my Father] conclusively, but the evidence makes him a much more likely candidate than Obama to have written the best parts of Dreams.
- In general, Obama's rise seems mysteriously easy. But then con men can do that, and aren't necessarily Manchurian candidates when they do. So I think Occam's razor applies. (from Lambert Strether!)
- This is were Ayers comes in. He probably was more of Obama's handler, or fellow agent, etc., than he was anything else. He probably had the writing skills, as my link demonstrates. He is the one that appears to have helped Obama lay down his cover.
- Wonder what Breitbart had on them...? Now Breitbarts coroner died under suspicious circumstances. Its all quite disturbing.
- broadly speaking of the left ... and I'm sure that there are plenty of exceptions ... their continued support of obama is tied to their vanity; they are so proud that THEY voted for a black man that obama has become a shining beacon of their moral superiority over all those that don't support him. His race was such a large part of why they voted for him ... the largest emotional reason why they voted for him, which for most people is the largest reason of all ... and they are so very conscious of his race that they also assume that if you don't like him it's becoz of his race.
- What you are saying about white leftys or Progressives voting for Obama because they wanted to congratulate themselves for helping to elect the first black man to be President, I think is also true of white Independents. It was about being part of a grand historical moment.
- The cops don't want to answer calls in the suburbs now.. Here is an example...my husband and I were in a local bar with friends when an african American decided to give the middle finger to our friend for no reason...A verbal altercation ensued..his African American friend joined the altercation and it was escalating so I called the cops. The dispatcher asked me if there were weapons involved..I said how would I know...? He tried to get out of sending help and at one point hung up on me. After my insistence this was going to get ugly... 5 cop cars eventually came. My point is the cops aren't so keen about going on these calls. I had to practically beg for them to show up.
- My local news reported Saul Alinsky's book Rules for Radicals is Obama's Bible.....Which promotes community organizing as a means of infiltration. It is Marxist/Leninism revised. Lots of secrets, lies and deceptions to commit a lot of fraud.
- Isn't the black community doing exactly the opposite of Martin Luther King Juniors dream? They are judging Obama based upon the color of his skin and NOT on the content of his character. If they judged him based upon the content of his character, they would be in the streets and angry in mass numbers over his policies whether it's on civil rights, the rule of law (especially letting financial fraud go unchecked), and too many other issues now to list in this comment.
- Oreobama was groomed from Day 1 (CIA, Harvard, Ford Foundation, + Chase +Rubin + Clinton for Tony Soprano-type HUD deals in Chi. Clinton is ever Magog's fixer. Obama is Stepinfetchit Glorified for C.21. How low can he get?
- Quite right. Obama has been a snake oil salesman from day one. Playing basketball while America burns...
- There are so many anomalies with respect to Barry Soetoro that the people who actually have done the research are left facing a shrill group who use every response in his defence except the use facts to state their case. I'm undecided about the man but I know he's a composite character with strong CIA connections to that composite. His mother's strong links to CIA fronts is not hard to confirm as is his first CIA fronted job.
- This is as ugly as it gets: murderous spoils politics via "Friendly FIRE" by Obama & Friends, ruining "his people" for profit behind their backs, as brazen as an organized crime Don in Chicago, brought to D.C. as their Trojan Horse. What has he done for his mob as the Black Don in the Office of President, our treacherous war-spoils Commander in Chief? Why would any citizen of color vote for Obama, the arch traitor for personal gain? Bring RICO.
- Obama is where he is because many many Liberals and sort-of-liberals wanted to vote for a Black man to prove to themselves that they were not prejudiced.
- Left/liberal/progressive support for Obama has always been mainly about the symbolism of the "first black President." It was a reversal of MLK's dream; Obama was judged not by the content of his character but by the color of his skin.
Jeremy Scahill traced the funding of candidates by the MIC during the run up to the 08 election. MIC donors shifted over from Clinton to Obama and Obama was suddenly anointed as the candidate!
Now we see one loser candidate arise after another on the part of Republicans. This serves to frighten Democrats. They keep up their donations to Obama, they scream loudly for the election of their war and financial criminal. To Obama's handlers, what's not to like!
Of course, Smith is not responsible for comments people submit to her blog and but she is responsible for neither deleting them nor disassociating herself from what they say or at least chiming in to support the brave souls who write in defense of sanity in her comments section. And worse, Smith's writing is, consciously or not, a source of encouragement for a racist nutball audience. She says the President was "fronting" for real-estate interests -"fronting" - a fascinating choice of expression. Maybe we could all benefit from more fake ghetto talk from white Wall Street consultants. She also directly feeds conspiracy theories - with a strikingly dishonest line of argument:
A central component of the seemingly impenetrable Obama mythology is his personal history: a black man, son of a broken home, who nevertheless got on the fast track to financial success by becoming editor of the Harvard Law Review, but turned instead to working with and later representing a particularly disadvantaged community, the South Side of Chicago.
Even so, this story does not quite add up. Why did Obama not follow the usual, well greased path of becoming a Supreme Court clerk, and seeking to exert influence through the Washington doors that would have opened up to him after that stint?
What exactly is it that "does not quite add up" ? Obama worked as a community organizer before law school and then went back to Chicago to take a job with Minor, Barnhill law firm, which Smith does not bother to explain was then and is now one of the most prominent law firms in the country involved in assisting victims of sex, and race discrimination (see these
. It's suspicious! Because he is suspicious. And why is he suspicious? Well one can guess that Smith's comment contributors have a good idea.
But the important part is his [Fitch's] description of the role that Obama played in the redevelopment of the near South Side of Chicago, and how he and other middle class blacks, including Valerie Jarrett and his wife Michelle, advanced at the expense of poor blacks by aligning themselves with what Fitch calls "friendly FIRE": powerful real estate players like the Pritzkers and the Crown family, major banks, the University of Chicago, as well as non-profit community developers and real estate reverends . [ bold added]
Unlike Fitch, Smith is pro-capitalism so she presumably is pro-making money. It makes sense for Fitch to assume that real-estate developers are evil bloodsuckers but why does it make sense for Smith? Is it wrong for people to make money developing section 8 housing in Chicago? Is the President morally tainted by knowing those people (because Fitch doesn't really show more than that)? Maybe the problem is that Obama is associated with people who make money while black (MMWB)? Those "real estate reverends" too - oooh! And in association with the Pritzkers and Crowns, both of whom MMWJ? How vulgar! I assume Smith finds the stuff in her comments section repellent, but if you scatter enough crap around, flies will come.
Note: Written as a response to this
and discussion that followed.