“I think it’s an unfixable relationship,” one Democrat involved in planning the March 1 fund-raisers told me this spring. “They hate him. They really, really do. They hate all the Democrats.”The "him" is President Obama, whose sporadic populist rhetoric and modest Wall Street reform have many bankers seething. The quote is from a NY Times magazine article, which Monsieur Blades discussed here.
First, I'd like to point out the article's best nugget -- I mean, this is hilarious, one banker's suggestion that President Obama give a speech reminiscent of his speech on race, one calling for "an end to attacks on the rich."
One of the guests raised his hand; he knew how to solve the problem. The president had won plaudits for his speech on race during the last campaign, the guest noted. It was a soaring address that acknowledged white resentment and urged national unity. What if Obama gave a similarly healing speech about class and inequality? What if he urged an end to attacks on the rich?So according to this analogy,
white resentment = working class resentmentAs the article points out, President Obama used to be a fave among bankers. He out-raised McCain on the Street by $7 mill, and Goldman Sachs employees gave him more cash than employees of any other company. Some people have trouble reconciling the anti-Obama hatred on Wall Street with the claim (I'd call it a fact) that Obama has been soft on the banks. But there's really no contradiction:
people of color = rich people
President Obama is less soft on Wall Street than Republicans.
That's the primary issue, the overwhelming greed, arrogance, and self-love of bankers, who don't merely deny that they're villains: they see themselves as heroes.
the rage in the C-suites is driven not merely by greed but by a perceived affront to the plutocrats’ amour propre, a wounded incredulity that anyone could think of them as villains rather than heroes. Aren’t they, after all, the ones whose financial and technological innovations represent the future of the American economy? Aren’t they “doing God’s work”?Thus anyone who doesn't service their every need is, well, Hitler.
They can't abide any whiff of populism even if it's not backed up by policies. Consider this passage from the Times article.
But by the beginning of the year, it had also become obvious to many on Wall Street that Obama’s campaign was going to take a populist turn. Some bankers believed that the administration’s strategy was to talk tough in public and play damage control in private, and they were sick of playing along.Apparently, even assurances from the Obama team that he won't demonize Wall Street aren't enough to assuage the fattest of the cats.
The president’s hosts include Ralph Schlosstein, chief executive officer at Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR), and his wife, Jane Hartley, co-founder of the economic and political advisory firm Observatory Group LLC, who were assured last week by Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, that the president won’t demonize Wall Street in his re-election pursuit.President Obama, this marriage cannot be saved. Despite pro-Wall Street policies, despite a bank-friendly mortgage settlement, despite praising bankers and defending their bonuses, despite killing the effort to break up the big banks, despite Tim Geithner, bankers loathe you and your party. Unless Democrats go Ayn Rand and become every bit as pro-Wall Street as Republicans, they will loathe you.
So I have a crazy idea. Howzabout welcoming their hatred while embracing rhetoric and policies that most Americans will love?
@2:11 - We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.