Cornel West has never been one to mince his words. The professor’s latest verbal attack focuses on President Obama’s policies. During an appearance on “Democracy Now with Amy Goodman,” West criticized Obama’s election campaign, specifically the billions spent to put him back in office. Cornel also claimed Obama avoided discussing key issues like poverty and the use of drones on innocent people.

Here’s an excerpt:

I think that it’s morally obscene and spiritually profane to spend $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion — poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people. So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems — ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it’s very sad. I mean, I’m glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies.

While some of his arguments are valid, West’s comment that Obama is a “Republican in blackface” didn’t sit well with most viewers.

What do you think about Cornel West’s comments and perspective, Clutchettes?

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  • paul

    Obama’s Broken Promises taken from

    Moral Low Ground

    Sign the Freedom of Choice Act: “The first thing I’d do as president,” candidate Obama said in 2008, “is sign the Freedom of Choice Act,” a congressional bill that affirms the “fundamental right” of women to choose to have abortions. Once elected, the president said he had other priorities and that he wanted to diffuse conservative outrage over the issue.

    Establish foreclosure prevention program for homeowners: Candidate Obama vowed to establish a $10 billion foreclosure prevention fund to assist troubled homeowners with refinancing or selling their homes. And while the president did create such a program as part of the TARP bailout, the number of homeowners helped has been pitifully small and the scheme has been roundly slammed as an abject failure.

    Treat drug use as a public health issue: “We have to think more about drugs as a public health problem,” and less of a criminal issue, candidate Obama asserted, pledging to “shift resources” from punishment to treatment and prevention. But Obama’s federal drug budget has maintained the Bush-era disparity allocating around 60 percent of funding for punitive measures and the failed War on Drugs and just 40 percent for treatment and prevention. ”The president sure does talk a good game about treating drugs as a health issue but so far it’s just that: talk,” lamented Neil Franklin, a former Baltimore narcotics cop and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

    Ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies Obama promised to sign legislation that will ban the practice of racial profiling. Such a bill never made it to his desk, and a key advocacy group says the White House didn’t take an active role to get it there. Meanwhile, we don’t see evidence of additional federal funding for agencies that adopted policies to prohibit the practice. read more

    Hold Wall Street accountable: Obama has repeatedly pledged to “hold Wall Street accountable” for its myriad crimes against the global economy and the American people. But from day one he has done quite the opposite, picking top Wall Street executives and government officials responsible for destroying the economy to run his economic transition team and failing to bring any of the ‘banksters’ who made billions by destroying the livelihoods of millions of Americans to justice.

    Public Option: The public health insurance option, in which a government-run health insurance agency would have competed with private health insurance companies to provide affordable health care to millions of Americans, was repeatedly touted by Obama as a necessary and essential part of any health care reform. Candidate Obama vowed that “any American will have the opportunity to enroll in [a] new public plan.” But the public option died an agonizing death, and while all the blame cannot be placed on the president, it was his willingness to compromise with Republicans, members of his own party and the insurance industry lobbyists who helped author the bill in order to get the watered-down measure passed into law that ultimately led to the public option being dead on arrival. The United States remains the only developed nation without single-payer, universal health care, and many thousands of Americans continue to die each year for lack of health insurance.

    Negotiate health care reform legislation in public: The president promised to hold health care reform legislation negotiations in public, “around a big table.” “We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies,” he said. But many of the most important negotiations occurred behind closed doors, and a leading health insurance industry figure actually wrote portions of the bill that became the Affordable Care Act.

  • paul

    Increase minimum wage to $9.50/hour: While campaigning, Obama pledged to ”raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing.” The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25/hour.

    Sign the Employee Free Choice Act: Candidate Obama promised to sign the Employment Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would make it easier for workers to unionize, into law. He has failed to deliver on that promise, betraying his Labor base by taking no meaningful action to push for the measure when it became stalled in Congress.

    Mandate that employers provide workers with 7 paid sick days: While campaigning in 2008, Obama said he would “require that employers provide seven paid sick days per year so that Americans with disabilities can take the time off they need without fear of losing their jobs or a paycheck.” Another broken promise.

    No indefinite military detention of Americans: In 2007, candidate Obama declared that “we are not a nation that locks people up without charging them.” Yet by quietly signing the National Defense Authorization Act on New Year’s Eve 2011 when hardly anyone was paying attention, President Obama authorized the indefinite military detention without charge or trial of American citizens suspected of being terrorists or terrorist supporters. No American has yet been indefinitely detained without charge or trial for such an alleged offense, and the president has vowed never to detain Americans in such a manner– although as this list attests, Obama’s promises too often turn out to be lies.

    These aren’t just broken promises, these are all broken promises that have to do with the economic and political rights of the relatively powerless – they were promised tangible stuff, and didn’t get it. Nothing to do wid free chicken (rolls eyes), free cadillac or free cell phone. Anyone who tries to portray people’s disillusionment with obama in such insulting terms is only showing their own lack of political sophistication – and that they’re a racist bastard.

    Now that’s we’ve added a little FACTUAL clarity to the discussion let us now deal with the “obstruction” defense thrown back by obama defenders.

    First of all if it’s admitted that obama has been prevented from fulfilling his promises then that is an admission that the man has FAILED to deliver. But is it true that obama’s hands were tied by republican obstructionism?

    No – it seems the democrats were dominant in both houses of congress during the latter part of bush’s second term and for the first two years of obama’s presidency, which means obama could have passed virtually any legislation he saw fit.

    All of which means the question I posed on page two remains UNANSWERED, no one has provided any FACTS that prove obama’s critics wrong, since we’re still waiting for someone to disprove the specific points above.

    They’ll all closed ranks around the irrelevant and mostly inaccurate submission by “RESEARCHER”, taken straight from a site called (not exactly the most unbiased source to get an appraisal of obama’s presidency from) and run around in ever decreasing circles with it, in another pitiful example of a fool leading the foolish.

    That just about sums up obama’s presidency.

  • I think they should look for another fight to pick other than one with President Barack Obama. We don’t have to forget about poverty and the other things that they accuse him of overlooking, but I agree they just like to know that they are saying something and always want to be controversial in some way!