Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
How Harold Ford Blazed the Trail For Barack Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Poor Harold Ford. Having created the model of a right-wing, corporate Black Democratic politician in search of a national podium, he was eclipsed by the more talented Barack Obama. But the backing of a few billionaires changes all the odds in 21st century America, where the “corporate boardroom is the equivalent of Hollywood's casting couch.”

 

How Harold Ford Blazed the Trail For Barack Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“Congressman Harold Ford was kissing George Bush’s Republican behind long before Obama invited key Bush appointees into his new administration.”

The attempted reincarnation of former Tennessee congressman Harold Ford, Jr. as a senator from New York demonstrates that, in the United States, money is the only meaningful political constituency. Money chooses its representatives based on who can most reliably serve the interests of the moneyed classes, and it matters little which actual human constituency or geographic jurisdiction the chosen politician purports to represent. Memphis or Manhattan – what’s the difference, when the only audience that counts is Big Capital?

In the United States, the corporate boardroom is the equivalent of Hollywood’s casting couch. It is where the political actor auditions for a starring role as servant to the ruling class. In 21st century America, it is considered a great sign of progress that Black actors can now lie down on the corporate casting couch to vie for top billing in the multi-billion dollar theatrical venues of electoral politics. All that was required for Harold Ford to become an instantly viable candidate for a U.S. Senate seat from New York was the backing of three billionaires, including Michael Bloomberg, the seventh most wealthy man in the nation who bought his own job of mayor of New York City three times, and now wants to buy his very own senator.

“Ford was a Black Blue Dog Democrat years before Obama forged similar alliances on the national stage.”

By the corrupt rules of U.S. political theater, Harold Ford has earned the part. He was a trailblazer in right-wing Black Democratic politics, having paved the way for Barack Obama by aggressively wooing corporations and Republicans to the detriment of his poor and working class constituents in Memphis, Tennessee. Ford was a Black Blue Dog Democrat years before Obama forged similar alliances on the national stage. Congressman Harold Ford was kissing George Bush’s Republican behind long before Obama invited key Bush appointees into his new administration. Harold Ford joined with George Bush’s assault on Social Security years before Barack Obama put all federal “entitlements” on the chopping block. And although Ford was one of only four Black lawmakers to vote in favor of authorizing Bush to invade Iraq, while Obama was telling Illinois voters he opposed the war, Obama has since expanded America’s wars in ways that should make Bush, and Harold Ford, proud.

Harold Ford was an early Black recruit to the Democratic Leadership Council, the corporate headquarters in the Democratic Party, and now serves as the DLC’s chairman. Barack Obama always acted like a member of the DLC, and finally admitted he was their ideological soulmate two months into his presidency. So, although the Obama White House has been lobbying against Harold Ford's senatorial candidacy, it's not because of any political differences between the two right-wing, corporate Democrats. Maybe the problem is, they are too much alike, and Obama thinks there's only room for one of him on the national stage. But that may be too bad, because Harold Ford has his three billionaires, and that's all it takes to make a political comeback in the U.S. of A.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20100113_gf_HaroldFord.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 10:47pm EDT