Monday, September 6, 2010

We're Sinking

Below are a few salient paragraphs from a piece I read a couple of days ago. The author is David Michael Green, a political science professor at Hostra University. He is progressive Democrat and he is pissed off. I mean really angry about what he sees, and what many of us who share his political outlook also see, as the utter, craven cowardice of Obama and his administration to stand up to the assorted thugs, liars, and political opportunists populating the Republican party, Fox News, and right wing talk radio. And it will be because of this cowardice and the stupidity of clutching the ghost of bipartisanship long after the Republicans had basically taken a shit on his head several times that control of the government will be handed over to the real subverters of democracy: the servants of the plutocrats and corporations who will complete the take over of the country. I seriously thought--and it seems like a million years ago now--that Barack Obama was going to turn this country around. What a fool I was to trust in a politician. I'll never, ever do it again, for all the difference that will make.

It took me about 5-10 minutes to read the entire article, but if you don't have that much time to spare, the following will give you the flavor and main points.
As Robert Reich noted in a recent New York Times op-ed, the richest one percent of Americans have gone from taking in nine percent of the total national income right before the Reagan era began, to nearly one-fourth of it today. As Reich also reminds us, the last time this happened was in 1928. I would rush to say, "Hey, remember how that one turned out?", but it's pretty unnecessary to crack the history books for that reference, since we're now living it. As just about the stupidest society that ever was, we've decided to get together to explore the fun and exciting question, "What would happen if America had a devastating economic downturn once again, boys and girls?!?!"
There is one big difference between today and the 1930s, however. Once there was a political party in America - the one that did the New Deal and the Great Society - that stood up a bit for the middle class and the poor. But Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have led the Democrats down a different path. Now the party stands for a slightly weaker version of the GOP's plutocracy protection service. And, seemingly, for getting its face bitch-slapped bright red at every possible juncture. Both aspects of the New Democrats are a puzzle, but particularly the latter. What sort of psychology of the self-loathing explains how a Clinton or an Obama can be so passive, even when getting handed their heads by the most scurrilous of creeps on the political landscape, pieces of (allegedly) human garbage who could be destroyed with the slightest show of self-defense, let alone a wee assertion of political courage?
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The worst, though, is what is to come. Obama and the Democrats will get slaughtered in November. This will happen not so much because of the socialist crimes they are alleged by the right to have committed - which are of course utter nonsense - but simply because of what they have not done, which is to solve the country's problems. Yet, because of the socialist, big-spending, freedom-crushing narrative that regressives have successfully fomented and that the administration has been completely inept about countering, and because the other post-election option of actually getting it right would appear to be (and would be vociferously made to appear to be, by Republicans) an act of spiteful spitting in the public's eye, the administration will have no option after the election but to tack yet further to the right in the ensuing two years.
That will be disastrous for Obama, for Democrats and for the country. (I could care less about the first two, who deserve it, and frankly I'm leaning that same way for number three on the list as well.) Like Clinton before him, Obama will try to placate voters and Republican monsters with their sponsoring oligarchy by moving to the right. Of course, there is absolutely nothing there except tax cuts for the wealthy (he is already proposing tax cuts for the bottom 98 percent). The Republicans have no other solutions for the economy (or anything else, for that matter), though these dam-busting boondoggles for the fiscally obese are, of course, no solution either. And, like Clinton before him, Obama will be relentlessly hounded by congressional investigations into every manner of bogus scandal that the fevered minds of the closeted perverts on the right can dream up to keep the administration reeling.
Unlike Clinton, however, there will be one big difference. I often said, back in the day, that the only thing that kept the American public from immolating Wild Bill, and the only thing that kept the Senate from convicting him in his impeachment trial, was that the economy was jumping at the time and Americans were therefore fat, dumb and happy. Today, however, they're merely fat and dumb, and even the fat part isn't a good thing in this case. The public could not possibly be more surly - apart that is, from how surly they'll be in a year or two. Obama has been as idiotic a president as could be created if you sat down with the intention of making one, and they will be happy to watch him get savaged him when they have a chance. By bringing timidity and compromise with criminals to bear against multiple severe crises, and by refusing to fight for anything, he has launched a vicious cycle that is sucking him inexorably down, and us with him: He fails to solve the problems, the public gets angry and frustrated, his party loses elections, the right accuses him of everything from being a socialist to a fascist, he says nothing in response, the public gets angrier and more frustrated, his party loses more elections, they are then even more unable to govern than before, the public is about to explode in anger and frustration, he moves to the right and thereby offers even less of a solution to these crises than the non-solutions already on display, and ... so on. And so on, again. Rinse and repeat.
Obama and the rest of the cowardly and corrupt members of his party have guaranteed their own destruction, that's for sure, but that is likely the least unkind thing that history will say about them. If we think about where this all goes next, it becomes clear what these shallow punks are trading away for their pathetic self-interest and unwillingness to fight against treasonous criminals. Democrats will be smashed in the next two elections, and the right will gain full control of the government and full responsibility for the state of the country. At that point, Republicans will have to put up or shut up. Since they will have no remotely viable way to solve the problems people face - since, indeed, their real mission is to make those problems worse, because that is necessary to further enrich their sponsors - they will reach for ever greater means of distraction to keep the public's attention elsewhere. All I can say is, "Watch out, third world countries everywhere".
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