In keeping with his cynical bid to restyle himself as some kind of leftist, Barack Obama made a speech yesterday in Osawatomie, Kansas that invoked the legacy of Roosevelt. No, comrades and friends, it was not that Roosevelt—the New Dealer that the soft left hoped he would become—but his fifth cousinTheodore. It didn't matter that much. That was all people like Salon.com's Steve Kornacki needed to hear:
His embrace of defiant, populist messaging also represents a final, definitive break with the bipartisan-friendly political style that defined Obama's rise to power and the first two-and-a-half years of his presidency.
The Nation Magazine's Ari Berman wrote:
You're likely to hear elements of this speech over and over as the campaign heats up, as the Obama campaign attempts to stand with the 99 percent and paint Gingrich or Romney as core defenders of the 1 percent. None other than Chuck Schumer, one of the senators who represents Wall Street, told Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent that Democrats would focus on income inequality "like a laser" in 2012.
This is the same Chuck Schumer that the NY Times described as embracing the financial industry's "free-market, deregulatory agenda more than almost any other Democrat in Congress, even backing some measures now blamed for contributing to the financial crisis." The December 13, 2008 article added:
He succeeded in limiting efforts to regulate credit-rating agencies, for example, sponsored legislation that cut fees paid by Wall Street firms to finance government oversight, pushed to allow banks to have lower capital reserves and called for the revision of regulations to make corporations' balance sheets more transparent.
None of this matters to liberals who tend to have a short memory. As long as you toss them a bone, stroke them on the chin, all is forgiven.