Mr. Obama’s and the Democrats’ problems are of their own making in that they let the Republicans set the frames of discussion of particular issues and politics in general. Obama has the world’s “bulliest” pulpit and could get air time anytime and every time he wants on all the networks but he chooses not to, and has chosen not to for two years on almost every important issue, thereby forfeiting control of the terms of political debate to the “A Team” for the corporations (keeping in mind that almost all of the Democrats comprise the “B Team” for the corporations.) All out of hope for “bi-partisanship”, which exists only in regard to (1) initiating and continuing military actions, and (2) not challenging the core of the corporate agenda that governs all our lives.
Besides that, he’s been quite mendacious about many things from health care “reform” to foreign and military policy to so-called support for democracy and ending torture. To take but one example: several human rights organizations have said that the detention of Pfc. Manning in complete isolation, naked, etc., is tantamount to torture, and replicates the procedures put in place under the Bush regime and used in torture sites like Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo – which is still open, despite the Grand Orator’s promise to close it.
The Democrats are really unconscionable – when they had control of the House and Senate they could have done so many things to change the current near-depression situation we’re in but essentially frittered away their bona fides with the public by accepting even then the terms of discussion set by the even more unconscionable Republicans. But now they are suddenly so very concerned about all of these things they could have protected during the four years they had to do the people’s will! They’re certainly great at flappin’ their jaws (especially Mr. Obama), and wringing their hands, and shedding their crocodile tears. Did they even offer to take only a short hiatus in being paid? After all, almost half of the members of Congress are millionaires…
You have to wonder sometimes if what’s going on here, on a grand scale, is a national version of the classic “Good Cop – Bad Cop” routine. Keep in mind that both cops are after the same object – control of the prisoner…and we the public are the prisoner, held in place of the real criminals who reside in board rooms across this country, the people who brought about the situation that’s resulted in all the joblessness, foreclosures, catastrophic drops in state, local and federal revenues with the consequent deficits.
Yet did the Democrats – especially Mr. Obama – move to investigate a la the Pecora Committee in the early 1930s? No – and despite some really knowledgeable people – namely Brooksley Born and William Black – saying there had to have been massive fraud on the part of the banks and other investment houses involved in the collapse of the financial markets. And just why wouldn’t the Congress or the Administration have an in-depth investigation? Because any thorough and honest investigation would have shown the involvement of our whole political class – Democrats and Republicans at the federal, state and local levels – as tools and levers for the corporatists to use, in order to bring about their own enrichment with the citizenry’s having to pay for it for decades to come… In effect, kleptocracy…
Sorry for going on a mini-rant, but I’m convinced we all have finally to learn that almost all of these people (and I’m being generous calling them that – they’re more like marionettes) DO NOT REPRESENT our interests.
In Egypt and Libya and Tunisia and many other places, there are or have been dictatorships (mostly supported by the U.S. and the U.S. government’s European allies) – “dictaduras” in Spanish (“hard rule”.) In this country (and most of Europe), there are “dictablandas” (“soft rule” but rule nevertheless) of corporatist-minded “statesmen” – in our case, a two-party system (really one party with two wings – The Good Cops and The Bad Cops…)
We have to take up the example of the Tunisians and the Egyptians and the Libyans and the others demonstrating, fighting for true democracy, an end to the dictatorship (or, in our case, the “dictablanda”) of the Rule of the Corporatists.
The struggle in Wisconsin may be a start. I hope it goes farther than that. But I don’t have much hope left that it will… I squandered a lot of hope on Mr. Obama and his uplifting but essentially worthless speechifying – great, though, for those studying what used to be called Rhetoric. I think the more modern terms are propaganda, advertising, public relations and marketing…
As the saying goes, there’s no fool like an old fool… And wow, was I a fool!
~ Greg Driscoll