Obama's former Harvard prof seeks president's defeat

Prof Roberto Unger once taught Obama. However, Unger sought a back-seat role in Obama's first campaign out of concern that his own leftist leanings would hurt Obama's election chances.

Brazilian scholar and politician Roberto Mangabeira Unger, who once taught President Obama at Harvard University, is calling for President Obama's defeat in the November election. In a scathing video on YoutubeUnger accused the incumbent chief executive of abandoning American labor whilst pushing a policy of "food stamps."
 
The Brazilian intellectual indicted both of the major parties. However, Unger said that Obama must be defeated so that the Democratic Party may be restored "as the vehicle for the progressive alternative in the country." Obama, said Unger, has not promoted the progressive cause. "President Obama must be defeated in the coming election. He has failed to advance the progressive cause in the United States," Unger said in the eight-minute video,which is entitled "Beyond Obama." "He has spent trillions of dollars to rescue the moneyed interests and left workers and homeowners to their own devices," Unger said.
 
Obama attened two classes taught by Unger at Harvard -  Jurisprudence and Reinventing Democracy, according to David Remnick's book "The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama." Unger corresponded with Obama via BlackBerry going into the first presidential campaign, Remnick reported. However, Unger said he never became Obama's "friend" and kept his distance from the then-candidate out of concern that Unger's own "leftist" leanings might do "harm" to Obama.
 
In the video, Unger's accusations against Obama are strident. He claims, for example, that Obama sought health care reform even at the expense of economic recovery.  

"He has subordinated the broadening of economic and educational opportunity to the important but secondary issue of access to health care in the mistaken belief that he would be spared a fight," Unger said. "He has disguised his surrender with an empty appeal to tax justice."
 
Unger also said that  Obama "reduced justice to charity" that promoted a policy of "financial confidence and food stamps" and a "politics of hand-holding."
 
Nonetheless, Unger expressed no support for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Unger said that should Obama be defeated, "there will be a cost for his defeat in judicial and administrative appointments." In either a Romney or Obama administration, Unger said that "military adventurism" would be the same under either.



Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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