A different sort of Third Way

Matt Stoller, again writing at Naked Capitalism, makes this observation about narratives from the left and right about President Obama:

There are two broad narratives about Barack Obama from American elites.  On the right, there’s a racist narrative about Obama’s socialist Kenyan origins, with offshoot dishonest arguments about his policies.  He’s anti-corporate!  He’s gone on a government spending frenzy!  He’s going to cut the size of the military!  These are not true.  On the Democratic side, there’s an equally dishonest set of arguments.  He’s not bold enough!  Congress is holding him back from his progressive instincts!  We haven’t made him do what we know he wants to do!  The real Obama is hidden behind a racist veneer on the right, that he’s a Kenyan socialist, and a fake narrative on the left, that he’s not bold enough.  The third narrative, which you can find on this blog, is that Barack Obama is a great deceiver, with a charming and cool demeanor that mask his ruthlessness and bank-friendly neoliberal ideology.  It’s hard to talk to this third narrative, because Democrats overwhelmingly approve of Obama, and Republicans simply cannot countenance the idea that their socialist enemy is as friendly or even more friendly to corporate power than they are.

The occasion for Stoller’s observation is the promotion of former TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky’s new book, Bailout, which is due out next month. The post cites Barofsky’s book, as well as Inside Job director Charles Ferguson’s new book, Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America, as key pieces getting at this largely rare narrative on Obama. I’ve yet to read either book, but given who the authors are I expect they should both be well argued and effective at raising up this narrative to the level of discussion in national circles.

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