Why We Can’t Have ‘Change’

Simulposted at Daily Kos

I will make two statements to begin this piece.

One: Obama does want true Progressive change. He is not, as his critics on the Left suspect, a “stealth Corporate Imperialist.”

Two: There is plain and simple, just not much he can do to bring Change about.

There is not…yet…much he can do to bring Change about for one basic reason. One basic reason, which then blooms into a thousand flowers all smelling like DC bullshit in the spring.

The one card Obama has to play in the DC Realpolitik Poker Game is….us. The Power of the People. A steady 65% approval rating, and that is a HARD 65%. The People who support him REALLY support him. And his many and varied opponents know it. He has that, and the limited (even post-Bush) power of the Executive Branch.

He brings that to the table. But sitting across from him, arrayed around the table far outnumbering him….is the entire structure of the United States Government.

A government which has been bought.

From the bowels of the bureaucracy to the hallowed Halls of Congress, a government which was once hailed as being Of The People, Buy The People and most importantly For The People….no longer even bears a passing resemblance to that shining vision.

In the BEST case scenario….there is a battle for our government between the industries and Corporations, who represent America’s Ruling Class that benefit immensely from legislation or favorable regulation by the government…..and The People.

Guess who is winning that battle?

The Ruling Class owns the economy. They own the banks, they own the insurance/health care companies, they own the energy/pollution industries, they own the Military Industrial Complex. They have lobbyists that have intimate access to the Legislators and Regulators, hell in many case they used to BE the Legislators and Regulators. But most importantly, they have The Money. The Money that the Legislators and Regulators absolutely need to keep their jobs.

And make no mistake about it, though we may think of our Congress members as powerful individuals, most of them are not rich. They need these jobs to survive, to feed their families, to, haha, have health insurance. If they weren’t in Congress, they would be out here on the streets with the rest of us peons. They prefer K Street to the mean streets….who wouldn’t?

And they are painfully aware that 435 of them need millions of dollars every two years, and 100 of them even more millions of dollars every six years, to stay off of those mean streets.

Of the ones who are rich, most of them got rich by being in Congress.

Bottom line? They are rather easily and cheaply ‘influenced,’ ‘compromised,’ ‘bent,’ or outright bought, and corrupted to switch from being the representatives of The People….to representing The Ruling Class, the Corporations.

As I wrote a couple of days ago…


Over the last couple of days of watching Health Care get sold down the river, I have seen a couple of Senators shake their head and make the following statement…

“We just can’t pass Single Payer.”

Well……why not? What is stopping you? You are the most powerful legislative body in the world right? The People of the United States, your constituency, overwhelmingly wants Single Payer Health Care right? The Democrats have 59 votes, so all they have to do is turn ONE Republican right? So it is not that you “don’t have the votes” because of partisanship. Because it is not about partisanship, is it? All that talk by Democrats about how it was the Republicans who were stopping the Democrats from doing what the People want, what happened to that?

So……why? Why are Senators so convinced, so adamant, that it is simply impossible to give the American people, the people who voted you into office, the people who pay your salary, the people the Constitution SAYS you are there to represent, the people who are protesting….and suffering from…our current Health Care system, what they OVERWHELMINGLY want?

Why?

You have the power to do it, you have the public support to do it, you SHOULD have the votes to do it.

So what is stopping you?

What is stopping them is money. Period.

Not partisanship, this is not a battle between Noble Democrats and Evil Republicans. In this battle, many (not all) of the Democrats are on the wrong side of the battle lines as well. And many more are wavering in their allegiance.

This Battle is between Money and The People. And Money is winning. In the past, corruption usually amounted to passing laws and regulations that merely favored ‘Big Business’ over the interests of The people. But with the health care and other upcoming battles such as climate change Legislation, that has Changed.

The American Government is passing Legislation that is directly against the interests of The American People.

.

Which brings us back to President Obama and Change.

In this battle….Obama is almost inconsequential. Much to the coming disappointment of those hoping for a savior, in the battle between the Money of The Ruling Class and The People that Obama would LIKE to represent….Congress will choose the Money every time.

If Obama forces a showdown, if he gets out front and takes on the Corporate Money…and makes the CongDems pick between him and the Corporate money….

They will turn on him. They will choose the Money that they need to keep their jobs above the President and The People he is trying to represent. We see everyday the slow slide that has occurred under the influence of The Money….away from Single Payer….then away from the Public Option…then to the ridiculous ‘Trigger.’

When it had slid too far for Obama to tolerate, he took a big risk and used his ‘political capital’ to make a statement in support of the Public Option. Which we all know is the absolute minimum for true Change on health care.

That was, in the current climate, a huge risk.

The worst of the CongDems want to go with The Money. It is a risk for Obama to get between them and The Money and Obama deserves praise for taking that risk…. And revealing just how powerless he really is.

If he comes out and puts his ass political capital on the line for the Public option and loses….if Congress chooses The Money…

Then the Obama Spell is broken. His popularity is all that has prevented the CongDems from just blatantly, well more blatantly, ignoring him and The People and taking the side of The Money in the Battle for our government.

If they do that, then it is no longer a Battle, but open war for our government between the Ruling Class and The People.

Open Class War.

How would that War go?

A commenter recently asked the 64 trillion dollar question:

Obama has the bully pulpit.  

If the Congress went against him, and he spoke out against the Congress, wouldn’t the people believe him, and forgive him any failures until he got his own people elected to the Congress?

That is what he COULD do indeed.

But then ALL of his corporate money is not only cut off, but the Ruling Class and their minions in Congress (all of the Republicans and a goodly number of ‘bought’ Democrats) all of the industry lobbyists….

and the press would openly turn on him.

There would be no corporate money for ‘his’ candidates. There would be no favorable press coverage….and they would face Corporate candidates that had ALL of the Corporate money and the Corporate Press behind them. And the full measure of every political ‘dirty tricks’ ever invented.

And he would very much risk losing the election in ’12 too a corporate candidate with record funding. With record press support. And record sabotage and dirty tricks. And a public that is disappointed and disillusioned and thus easily convinced that their trust in Obama, and all other reformers, was once again misplaced. That would be the thrust of their efforts, to get The People to turn on Obama.

If it comes to open Class War, if Obama can’t finesse his way through, and he is VERY good at that, to get the Change that The People want him to deliver….Obama WILL lose.

UNLESS

There is NO way Obama can or will win without a real majority of The People really committed to having his back, to fighting for him. To being active, not passive, in their support….to Yelling Louder, lol.

And we cannot support him and fight for him by just saying how much we love him.

The KNOW we love him, and they don’t care. They can easily ignore that.

We have to….in the bizarro world of American politics that goes against evry form of common sense….support him and fight for him by DEMANDING that he gives us what we want. We have to put pressure on him, so that he can then point to that pressure and transfer it on to them.

Of course we also have to be putting massive pressure on Congress and the industries in question.

But Congress is MUCH harder to effectively ‘lobby’ that the President is. Only a relatively small number of The People  can lobby each congress member. We can ALL lobby the President. And with our power behind him, then HE can lobby Congress, then he has our power clearly behind him, (nut just our nebulous and amorphous ‘support’) and with that power he can twist arms and make deals in our favor.

President Obama is essentially The People’s Lobbyist.

To get back to the title of this piece, he simply cannot be an effective lobbyist for us unless he can point to us and say “Look! The People DEMAND that you do this.”

As Markos said yesterday…

There is certainly a distaste among many on the Left for the kind of tough politics our current political environment requires. Lucky for us, those types are in the minority.

And as I said recently…This is NOT a time for Moderation

Bush was powerful because he worked FOR the Corporations, for The Ruling Class, and thus everything he did was backed by them. Obama does NOT have the same power, because he is TRYING to work for The People.

Against a table full of armed villains and a stacked deck and the entire structure of what our government has become.

A Government Of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations….and The Ruling Class. A government that has been bought. Or in the Best Case Scenario…is fighting against being bought.

Make no mistake, just as we are fighting for our lives, “they” are fighting for theirs. And they fight dirty.

The ONLY weapon we have in The Class War that is raging and threatening to erupt into open battle is …our voices. Raised to take back OUR government.

Yell Louder.

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slinkerwink has provided us with the contact info for the key players here.

As she said in that diary…

PLEASE CALL the White House and let President Obama know that you don’t want him to consider the “7-year trigger” for the public option. Let him know that you’re ANGRY. Tell him it won’t be REAL health care reform without an immediately available, strong, robust Medicare-like public option.

   CALL the White House at: 202-456-1111 and E-MAIL them as well!

And please call and mail YOUR representatives as well.

And don’t worry about being TOO polite or…moderate…let them hear your anger, let them hear your dedication to fighting back.

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92 comments

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  1. Photobucket

  2. What is stopping them is money. Period.

    Why the blogosphere doesn’t take more of an active interest in campaign finance reform.  

    IMO, our current legalized bribery campaign finance regime is the single biggest structural impediment to passing a Progressive legislative agenda, yet very few people ever actually talk about changing it. I mean, it’s gotten so bad we now have politicians using the TARP to launder tax payer money through the banks and back into their own pockets.

    Surely we can do better.

    Bottom line: without serious campaign finance reform including low caps (like $200) on donations, elimination of bagmen lobbyists, and increased public airway access for campaigns, we are never going to see any significant change on any other issue.  

     

  3. why is Obama different?  If all the rest of them have been bought and paid for, why do we assume Obama has not been?  I remain unconvinced of this assumption.  Not that I ain’t willing (and very much wishing) to believe, but…

    He’s never advocated single payer, has he?

    Clean coal?  really?

    Bailout?  Geithner?

    As Agent Mulder’s poster proclaimed

    I WANT TO BELIEVE

    but…

  4. money flashing Pictures, Images and Photos

  5. I mean, he is just one guy.  Going against the biggest powers-that-be in this small world of ours. It’s time for all of us to fight back.

    Everyone.  We all need to start getting involved with our reps.  They need to know that we don’t appreciate our country being bought and sold to fill their wallets.  We need to let them know that we don’t appreciate them ignoring the voice of the people to appease their lord and masters.

    And we need to let them know that we are paying attention and want real change.  And that they have the power to make this change.  

    They did what they did because they didn’t think anyone was paying any attention.  It’s time for the people to take back what was taken from them.  Their government.  

  6. there are enough to attend conferences

    http://www.projectcamelot.org/

    enough to find humor in what we see as obviously evil mainstream media

    See Deek Jackson, see if you can search for his Fuknews “Here are the Headlies Tonight”  Even that mighty establishment search engine is revamping it’s entire return algorithms to specifically avoid “controversial” power challenging subjects.

    David Icke’s 2006 presentation, most excellent.

    http://video.google.com/videop

    • Casey on June 5, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    That’s one of the primary reasons why Obama can only affect so much change in the current political environment.  Until there is significant campaign finance reform then we will be witness to the same thing over and over again.  Money drives politics, but it can be done in such a fashion that it doesn’t drive policy.  That’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it.

  7. If you work for the good of the people in the case of

                    Money v The People

               Thou shalt be kuciniched.

                Thus spake Moneythustra!

    • TomP on June 5, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Hope you have a good weekend.

    • robodd on June 6, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Q:  When Obama talked about the holocaust today, was he really talking about u.s. torture in the last administration?  Shouldn’t he be?

    “To this day we know there are those who insist the Holocaust  never happened, a denial of a fact or truth that is baseless, ignorant and hateful,” Obama said in a brief address.

    “This place is the ultimate rebuke to such thoughts, a reminder of our duty to confront those who would tell lies about our history,” he added. “I will not forget what I have seen here today. These sights have not lost their horror over time.”

  8. but everything he does works directly against what he says he wants, then he doesn’t want what he says he wants.  If a politician knows that there are powerful, deep entrenched interests arrayed against something he wants, he doesn’t add to the problems of his co-supporters and say, not only to you have to overcome the barriers of all these powerful opponents, you have to force me to do anything to, then he is actually leading the resistance to that change.  When a politician knows what the right thing and the wrong thing for the people is, he does it without consideration for his own personal ambition.  When young mayor Dennis Kucinich was faced with greedy investor owned utilities seeking to gain control of Cleveland’s municipal power system, he knew their aim was plunder at the expense of the people, and he resisted, he refused.  He was destroyed politically as a result, and yet…the people, the businesses, the community of Cleveland have saved literally hundreds of millions of dollars on their electric bills since that time, because Dennis Kucinich put the good of the people ahead of his own personal careerist ambitions.  If you’re a smoother politician than Kucinich, perhaps you don’t have to pay the kind of price he did, after all, “Kucinich?  Ugh.”

    • Edger on June 6, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Obama does want true Progressive change

    How can you know this? What is there to show this, besides words?

  9. My take is Obama is a pragmatist, and he will do what he must to keep the country stable. Right now, that means backing the soft-fascist ruling class. It means bailouts and continuation of the mindset that got us into Iraq – even if we do get out of there.

    The thing is, we have to organise. It’ll be difficult, because there are many mechanisms in place to keep us from banding together. We must realise our common interest in ending this plutocracy.

    If/when we rise up and hold him to his promises of change, he will help us channel our energy in the right direction. If, as a country, we demand socialism, he is our best chance to transition to it peacefully.

    The Power Elite can only keep us down for so long.

  10. Did you see my comment, here, perchance?

  11. Come on. You can do better than this. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s chess, not an arm wrestle.

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