The Liberal Reaction To Obama Giving The Thumbs Up To Corporate Bonuses

After spending the first year of his presidency vilifying corporations as monstrous agents of evil that are sacrificing the American economy on the altar of their savage capitalist God just to spite the poor, Barack Obama seems to have changed his mind. Coincidentally, it happened right after stories started to appear about Wall Street getting fed up with Obama and “throwing more money at Republicans.” That’s undoubtedly what led to this startling about-face from the Hopey Changey one:

President Barack Obama said he doesn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that some athletes take home more pay.

The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”

“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”

Listening to a diehard socialist who has fully embraced anti-business populism forced to again admit that he doesn’t “begrudge people success or wealth” is just exquisite, isn’t it? But of course, if it’s fun for conservatives, liberals have to hate it — right? Oh, indeed they do! Here are a few reactions to Obama’s comments from the netroots:

Perhaps it was nuance, but it comes off as trying to be something to everybody, and it’s a bit of a garbled mess, message-wise. For a while now, from the beginning of the administration really, the White House has tried to play this odd game of issuing vague messages that everyone can read something good into, regardless of what side of the argument they’re on. The mixed messaging doesn’t appear to be working. — AMERICAblog

Some of us are seeing our industries decimated and our friends’ careers irretrievably gone to Asia, our lives ruined by these insensitive, “What’s mine is mine; what’s yours is mine” bizspeaking, short sighted, greedy, testosterone poisoned adolescents posing as men (and it’s almost exclusively men) and Obama wants us to “cut’em a break”? Compare them to a talented ballplayer who sells his body parts to wealthy men for sport? At least major league ballplayers are ENTERTAINING! — The Confluence

Obama’s “one from column A and one from column B” approach has always frustrated me, but I think it’s really starting to take its toll. At this point, he just seems bipolar not bipartisan, ranting about wall street one day and saying that Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon are jolly good fellows who deserve their obscene bonuses the next. Do they think that nobody notices — or just feel in their bones — that he’s trying to be all things to all people? I don’t think it inspires confidence. — Digby

The White House has a major public relations disaster on its hands. — Simon Johnson

If the Bloomberg story is to be believed, Obama thinks his key to electoral success is to trumpet “the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies.”

We’re doomed. — Paul Krugman

So, the moneyed interests are playing presidential yo-yo, with Obama’s head on a string. Not surprisingly, Pres. Obama evidently doesn’t get the ricochet quotient of his quote today. The White House obviously believing these silly things are just a Washington game. Not if it comes back to bite, which anyone could have predicted. Except, of course, the Chicago mafia crew that’s drilling a hole for their boss. — Taylor Marsh

Jesus H. Christ. This is something I’d expect Bush to say. And yes, I mean that as the worst possible insult. — Sadly No

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