Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers “at the expense of hardworking Americans.” Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it’s not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.
Then he got elected.
From “Obama’s Big Sellout,” by Matt Taibbi, at Rolling Stone. Taibbi goes into great detail on the insider shenanigans that have characterized Obama’s economic brain-trust (or rather, his greed-head no-brain-trust), but the most illuminating bit may be near the end of the article, where he describes an encounter with an ignorant teabagger.