I am somewhat bemused by the surprised being expressed by many people concerning Obama's rather poor performance in the presidential debates last night. Have people simply not been paying attention for the past four years? Let's face it, as much as I hate the Republicans and as much as I, like many, had great hopes for an Obama presidency, Barack Obama has been something of an ersatz president. He really has done so little in office that he has made Hoover look like a 'can-do' president. He never faced his Republican opponents head-on and he never used his early currency to push the envelope against the extreme corporate agenda of contemporary American politics.
The reason for Obama's failure as president is very similar to the reasons that the Liberal Party of Canada has failed so badly. The failure derives from the fact that Obama, like the LPC, is actually a proponent of the corporate agenda that is, ironically, killing Western Capitalism while making life increasingly difficult for average working people. And the democrats, like the LPC under steerage of Paul Martin as Finance Minister, embraced this agenda in the 1990s. The Liberal Party, like the upper-echelon of the Democratic Party, embraced a neo-conservative economic agenda under which the purpose of politics has become to increase the wealth and power of large corporations and systematically undermine the economic and social gains made by working people during the long post-war boom.
One need only look at Obama's total lack of serious action taken against Wall Street. Millionaires and Billionaires on Wall St. not only got away with their systematic rape of the economy, but under Obama they were more or less rewarded. And nothing significant has been done to stop the way powerful people can get away with almost anything at an economic level.
With all this in mind, it is entirely predictable that Obama would lose the debate. I mean, how does one oppose the agenda of the rich if you essentially agree with it? All you have at your disposal are platitudes. Now platitudes are much more effective when you are on the outside looking in. But when you been holding the reins of power and have failed to take any real action to change the increasing economic inequality, platitudes sound hallow. That is why the Liberal Party has failed so badly during the recent political cycle. If you have essentially been the architect of the economic inequalities and the corporate agenda, it is very difficult to argue against it.