The Obama National Anthem…
GLENN: Our new National Anthem and we bought it for a pair of Michelle Obama’s earrings which, you know, under $600. What are you going to do with it? Write a song or buy some earrings? Welcome to the program. You know, I was just talking to Stu when we first did this and we actually couldn’t get a professional singer in New York to record that. We couldn’t get one in Philadelphia to record that, either. No professional singer would do it because they said we’re not going to make fun of Obama; it’s just not right to make fun of Obama. This is when he was a candidate. And we thought, "Oh, boy, are we in trouble." And I remember saying to Stu — and Stu, do you remember this when we were kind of like, you know, hopefully he’s going to get in. But I mean, he’s got such spooky stuff, but — and we get calls: "Oh, he’s not a Marxist. This stuff is crazy. He’s not going to do…" can you believe how far we’ve come if four weeks?
STU: I don’t think we’ve ever said the sentence, hopefully he gets in and stopped there. There’s a little bit more to that, just clarify.
GLENN: I mean, hopefully he gets in and none of this is going to happen.
STU: We all hoped for change.
GLENN: Yeah, from his, like, from his past, not his stated policies. I’d take his stated policies at this point.
STU: Well, he’s one of the guys that if you listen to the words he says, they are not particularly horrible all the time.
STU: It’s the policies that he tries to implement that are that bad. Like he’s not saying these things overtly. He is trying to couch them —
GLENN: May I —
STU: What sounds like conservative values sometimes.
GLENN: You are such a hate monger and I don’t know why. May I, may I share, in the effort to be fair.
STU: In the spirit of hopity changism?
GLENN: In the spirit of the fairness act, let me present the other side, okay?
GLENN: Because not everybody hates him. Not everybody — and I don’t hate him. I just think he’s going to destroy us. I mean, I just — but not everybody — you know, hey, I’m crazy maybe. You know what I mean? I say he’s a Marxist. That’s crazy talk, right?
GLENN: So let me just, let me give the other side. You tell me who said this. This is from a speech. It happened just at the end of last month: I was standing on the Washington mall on inauguration day alongside nearly two million other people and proudly watched the first African-American take the oath of office in our nation’s history. That alone made the day deeply memorable and joyful and historic. But I couldn’t help but think — and I’m sure millions of others had the same thought — that the transfer of power from Bush to President Obama not only tore down a barrier that once was thought near impenetrable but also signified the fading away of one era and the beginning of another.
So far, yeah, I think so. Who said it. Any idea?
It was not hard to think that on this cold day in our nation’s capital that the worst of the past 30 years of right-wing extremist rule is behind us and that an era of progressive change is within reach, no longer an idle dream. Just look at the lay of the hand. A friend of labor and its allies sit in the White House. Larger Democratic majorities control congress. A feeling of renewal and hope is in the air. Public opinion polls show a high favorable rating among our new president and the labor and the people’s movement that was so instrumental in the election’s outcome after a short holiday pause is off and running. Meanwhile the Republican Party notwithstanding its efforts to distance himself from arguably the worst president in our history is on the defensive. Its grassroots constituency is dispirited and its governing philosophy of free markets and minimal government, fear and division and especially racist division has been discredited.
You know who it is yet? Any name? Know who it is, who might be saying that?
Given the situation, the Obama administration faces daunting challenges. Nevertheless the president in my view is off to a quick start. In less than two weeks he has issued an order to close Guantanamo and end torture, practices that stain our image, violate our Constitution and endangers our troops on the field. He signed the Lilly Ledbetter bill that would give much greater scope to workers’ discrimination claims as well as a bill that would extend healthcare to millions of children. Who likes discrimination? Nobody. How about children? Who wants to see them, you know, die of malaria or whatever disease they may have that they don’t have insurance for? Nobody.
He’s released funds to clinics that serve women’s healthcare needs in developing countries. He’s expressed support for higher fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles, something United Autoworkers union also supports. He opened up greatly needed dialogue with the Muslim and Arab world. He dispatched George Mitchell to the Middle East in hopes of mediating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a conflict that cannot be solved by military means. The president met with military generals to map out withdrawal plans for Iraq. Of course, the Obama administration’s immediate challenge will be to revive the economy and the overarching question is, from where will the economic recovery come from in the near term?
By the way, do you know who this is yet? Any idea who might be saying these words?
The only answer is through massive injections of money from the federal government into the economy, into the hands of people who will spend it. Lagging demand for goods and services is the problem. In this regard the president stimulus bill passed this week in the house should be welcomed and supported. Despite what Republicans say, it’s a good bill that will ease the pain of this crisis, create jobs, begin to reinflate the economy. Some economists like Paul Krugman say it isn’t enough, that a trillion dollars plus an additional infrastructure spending would be better. I’d agree with Krugman, but I’d also see the current bill as the first installment of the administration’s recovery plan. In fact, Krugman may have the economics right but the politics are wrong.
Any idea? Who do you think it is, Stu? Any idea yet?
STU: No, I have no idea.
GLENN: It could be anybody really on the, you know, the Democratic — could be Nancy Pelosi. Do you think?
STU: Yeah, could be.
GLENN: Could be?
Both economic stimulus and political economic restructuring are necessary if the U.S. economy is to have a chance of resuming developmental growth past that is robust sustainable, in a double sense, economically and environmentally.
Ah, got to be Nancy Pelosi. Now we’re getting into the environment.
STU: Seems like it could be in the mainstream party.
GLENN: It favors the working class and its allies. So let’s beat up on the rich a little bit. If this is the case the Obama coalition and the broad case that supports him will almost inevitably have to consider — and they already are considering — some of the following measures. So they are already — so it must be somebody in the know because they know they are already considering these. Public ownership of the financial system and the elimination of a shadow banking system. Okay, well, I mean, we know that because they’re talking about that. Public control of the Federal Reserve Bank. Countercrisis spending of a bigger size and scope to invigorate and sustain a full recovery and meet human needs, something that the new deal never accomplished. Strengthening of the union rights. Okay, they are doing all of these things. Trade agreements that will have at their core the protection and advancement of an international working class interest. Democratic public takeover of the energy complex. Well, they are kind of doing that, aren’t they? I mean, we’re talking about now the coal plants are going down, et cetera, et cetera? A readiness to consider the takeover of other basic industries whose future is problematic in private hands. We’re talking about that with GM and Chrysler now. Turning education, child care and healthcare into no-profit zones. Aren’t we really doing that? Aren’t we doing that now as we give more universal healthcare and we’re talking about free education, universal education all the way through college? Rerouting investment capital from unproductive investment, military, finance and so forth, to productive investment in a green economy and public infrastructure. We’re doing that, aren’t we? Changing the direction of our nation’s foreign policy towards cooperation, disarmament and diplomacy. We’re doing that. We’re talking about dismantling, you know, the idea of having some sort of a missile shield. We’re talking to everybody. Clinton was in Syria talking. A full scale assault on global warming — we’re doing that. And the last one is serious and sustained commitment to assisting the developing countries which are locked in poverty and misery. Well, that’s a good thing that Gordon Brown is in town speaking to congress today because that’s what he’d like to do as well.
We can disagree with the Obama administration without being disagreeable. Our tone should be respectful. We now not only have a friend but we have an advocate in the White House. Who’s saying this, Stu?
STU: This is impossible. I mean, it could be anybody in the Democratic Party.
GLENN: Could be.
STU: Could be anybody, any politician on the left. I have no idea.
GLENN: Staring us in the face are immediate challenges. Finally — this is what he says, we’ve got to do these things: We have to support the passage of the president’s stimulus bill in the Senate. It passed. Second, we have to block any Republican efforts to derail the nomination of Hilda Solis, the nominee for the secretary of labor. That’s already — she’s already been confirmed. This is the first round in the battle to pass the employee free choice act. So it’s got to be somebody very pro union. Which will dramatically expand the right to join a union in this country. Third, we have to join others in resisting evictions and foreclosure, not to mention cutbacks and layoffs at the state and city level. Fourth, the wars of occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan have got to be brought to a close. In any case we have our work cut out for us, but I think we can confidently say that change is coming and we will build a more perfect union. Yes, we can.
Could have been anybody, but unfortunately it was Samuel Webb, Sam Webb. He was speaking in Cleveland, Ohio January 31st, 2009. Who is Sam Webb? He is the national chairperson for the Communist Party of America. He may not be a Marxist. He may deny it. But you’ve got the Communist Party of America standing up. Go to communistpartyUSA.com or whatever it is. I bet it’s a nonprofit organization. I bet they found a way around those taxes. Go and search for the website. I mean, it’s the hammer, the sickle, it’s all of it, it’s all of it. And there’s even programs for your youth. And they are all behind President Barack Obama.