As Obama nears the middle of his first-term as president Paul Street assesses his performance against the expectations of his supporters. While mainstream journalists have noted discrepancies between Obama's original vision and reality, Paul Street uniquely measures Obama's record against the expectations of the truly progressive agenda many of his supporters expected him to follow. Taken together, the list of Obama's weakened policies is startling: his business-friendly measures with the economy, the lack of support for the growing mass of unemployed and poor, the dilution of his health reform agenda, the passage of a record-setting Pentagon budget, and escalation of US military violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Street's account reveals these and many other indications of how deeply beholden Obama is to existing dominant domestic and global hierarchies and doctrines.
“The Empire’s New Clothes is a hard-hitting, clear-eyed look at the reality of the Democrats in power and the Barack Obama presidency. Anyone who hoped for genuine change, and is disappointed that it has not come since 2008, should read this book and discuss how to rebuild a genuine social movement that can end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the tyranny of capital over our lives and the planet.”
—Anthony Arnove, author of Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal and coauthor, with Howard Zinn, of Voices of a People’s History of the United States