Political Naivete

Simulposted at Daily Kos

I can’t pretend to know how the people who got involved in, or only got more deeply involved in politics because of Obama think, so I wont try.

All I can really honestly tell you about is me and the people like me. The people who have been involved or at least have closely observed American politics for decades now.

But I can tell you this, anyone who thinks that Obama is going to charm the Powers That Be in DC the way they themselves have been (legitimately I might add) charmed enough to put all of their hope in him to “change the way Washington works”…is naive.

The stakes are just too high for the folks (and their nepotistic descendants) who have been running DC since the Cold War days to allow themselves to be charmed. This is not about anything ….ANYTHING…. besides money and power to them. And as they have proved again and again, the will NOT let anyone between them and their money and power. Obama has incredible assets, the best set to come along in a politician in a long time. I like him, you like him, just about everybody likes him.

But. Charm, intelligence, calm, rational thinking, pragmatism and a willingness to compromise, good ideas…and good intentions….mean absolutely nothing to them.

As long as he stands between them and their money, they will work to destroy him. As long as he stands between them and their money, they have to. It is not personal, it is politics. They will use everything in their extensive, 60 year old bag of tricks to do so….and it will “work.” They WILL “corrupt” him. Just as they “corrupted” Clinton.

Now of course the people who see things in two dimensions are going to consider this an attack on Obama by a “known Obama Hater.” It is not. But nothing I say will convince them so, shrug. This is about American politics. Not Obama the Man, that so many seem to think needs defending after he chose to play in this arena.

Though I cannot truly know how they think, I can tell you one thing for sure. They think pressuring Obama from the Left is about his personality, about the Man, about Barack and Michelle, about the guy that they have every right to be in love with, because he IS truly an exceptional guy.

They think, or I should say they feel, that every criticism is an attack, that every bit of political pressure is hate, that everyone who say anything bad about Obama is out to destroy him. (And as I have increasingly seen lately, in some of their minds, this is still about the primary! “You supported X in the primary, so of course you hate Obama and want him to fail!!!) This is simply NOT true. And it is, I regret to say, politically naive to the point of destructiveness.

Because …literally, nothing that is going on in DC has anything to do with Obama, the Man.

It has to do with someone standing between the Powers That Be in DC, and their money.


Of course things are different ‘out in the sticks, where it is all about Culture Wars and racism and ignorance.

But in DC, that carries VERY little weight. In DC, one thing and one thing only carries weight. Money.

And of course the systems used to MAKE money. The Status Quo, The Establishment, the series of gentleman’s agreements about how things are done….done to make those gentleman ….money.

Barack Obama’s support for the Public Option threatens all of that to. the. bone.

The Public Option changes everything.

It changes the status quo, it challenges the hegemony of the establishment, it is a direct threat to the Powers That Be. In THEIR minds, (and they will tell you this straight up under the right circumstances) the American Government exist for one purpose and one purpose only….to make it easier for them to make money.


The Public Option is….rightly…seen as the first radical change to their version of what the American Government is for since the Great Society.

They will do everything they can, no matter how slimy (remember these are the murder by spreadsheet guys, they are in the business to a certain extent, of “killing” people for money already) to keep the Public Option from being implemented.

But their IS a fly in the ointment for them, for their version of America.

The same fly that has been semi-ineffectively buzzing around for all this time, annoying them to no end. The ONLY force that opposes them, since America in the 50’s bought into the notion/lie that “What is good for GM (Big Business) is Good For America.

The Left.

The Extreme Left, the Loony Left, the Fringe Left…the UnAmerican Left, the PURITY Left.

The people who brought you environmental protection, consumer protection, workplace protections, financial and banking regulations, anti-trust legislation, the Glass Steagal, collective bargaining and every other protection that YOU have against the ravages that an unfettered “Free Market” (HA!) would impose on YOU if they were left unchecked….by the Left.

And the Left did NOT accomplish these things by trusting ANY politician, EVER.

They did it by constantly pressuring the politicians both on the Left and on the Right.

To do the right thing.

Because anyone who HAS closely observed and participated in politics for decades HAS SEEN the corrupting influence, the pervasive pressure, the wearing down of good intentions and integrity like water wears down a rock. We have watched it time and time again, this inexorable force of people who will literally do ANYTHING to get their money.

The entire DC system has been set up for generations to wear down and gradually corrupt ANYBODY who stands between them and their money. And it works.

Which is exactly why we are where we are today, having to fight for what should be a basic human right, Health Care. Basic Human Rights (as we see with torture) mean NOTHING to these people. If they stand between their money and power.

And neither do charm, intelligence, calm, rational thinking, pragmatism and a willingness to compromise, good ideas…and good intentions. None of that matters to them.

There IS only one thing that can keep even the best man in the world (and to me, Obama is up there in the current crop of humans) for being worn down by this relentless and completely ruthless power.

There is only one way, one thing, that can counter the unimaginably tremendous corrupting influence of the pressure for the money men.

Counter pressure.

Pressure from the Left.

Pressure that both forces….and allows… Obama to resist that pressure. their pressure.

The only way to help Obama live up to his very great potential and transform the nation, the world, and heh, DC….

is to pressure him.


And of course, he has said, again and again, the very same thing.

So, if you think that defending Obama against big meanies on a blog who are “trying to destroy him” or “want him to fail” or “supported X in the primaries” is somehow helping him….

You are politically naive.

The way to help him resist the corrupting influences….that are currently wearing away the Public Option like water wears away rock….the best way to help him, the best way to save him and his presidency and the agenda we ALL want to see him pass….

….is to Pressure Him From The Left.


Don’t stop loving him, just stop protecting him as if he were a child. He is not, and he doesn’t need your love, he needs your support, support in the form of….”Making Him Do It.”


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  1. Photobucket

    • ANKOSS on September 3, 2009 at 20:42

    Focusing on the supreme evil of the cancer men is just another form of Obama apologetics. JFK had Obama’s charm, but he was a LEADER. His leadership probably cost him his life. FDR faced down a coup attempt, and TR busted the trusts.

    What has Obama shown himself to be? He has been timid and weak, squandering a huge amount of public support and betraying his most devoted supporters. Barak Obama is a weak President and a bad leader. Face it and deal with it.

    Progressives need to organize to be effective in a post-Obama era because the hope inspired by Obama is dead, killed by the failure of Obama to display the character and strength we all hoped he would bring to the White House.

    • Joy B. on September 3, 2009 at 20:54

    …and not entirely outrageous suspicion that we are being sold out on health care just as we’ve been sold out on DADT, on DoM, on torture and rendition, on illegal wars and mercenary deficit spending, on Wall Street bailouts and regulation… on everything.

    He and the rest of the party and my own personal reps have heard from me regularly. I have exerted as much pressure as I am able to exert. I have been roundly ignored, although I do get a dozen emails a day asking for money I haven’t got. If it really is all about money (and it likely is), I have already lost.

    So I’m now thinking seriously about changing my voter registration to Independent. I’ll still be able to vote in the primaries (whichever I want to vote in), but they won’t have me on their extortion list. Plus I’ll be one of the people they have to play to in order to win elections, instead of one of the people they can safely ignore or screw with impunity.

    They won’t notice when I leave the party. They would notice if progressives en mass left the party. Suddenly we’d become a desirable demographic instead of the black sheep.

  2. Right on a-rooney!  Obama asked us, implored us repeatedly, to get behind him and Make Him Do It.

    In criticizing him, yelling at him, pushing him to follow through on what he said in his campaign, we are fulfilling what he asked us to do.  We are not hating him.  We are giving him the support for which he asked.

    Because he cannot do it without us.


    the American Government exist[s] for one purpose and one purpose only….to make it easier for them to make money.

    Or, even more true: …to make it easier for them to keep the money they have and make more money.  To these people there is never enough.


    …they are in the business … of “killing” people for money already

    The other day, someone commented in buhdy’s essay (I think it was Shaharazade) that we shouldn’t criticize him yet, that we should give him at least a year in office before we start criticizing.  But perhaps it is wrong to think of our comments as criticism.  I think that our comments in support of Single Payer &/or Public Option are fulfilling what he asked us to do — to push him, to make him do it.  

    Since Barack spoke our forcefully for Single Payer when he was an Illinois state senator, I feel that Single Payer is where his true sentiments lie.  It is up to us to push him in this direction so that his true sentiments may be realized.

    Thanks for this buhdy.  It is essential to examine and understand this terrain.

  3. Something during Obama’s campaign changed him. I think the corporatists finally got to him, vetted him, and gave them their okay. Sen. Obama is not the same man as Pres. Obama. He’s changed. But, hey he ran on change, so it’s all good, right?

  4. is primarily a product of Obama’s charismatic campaign. His force of personality energized a lot of well-meaning political neophytes who don’t yet realize how the game is really played.

    In many ways the current ‘debate’ at big orange between the Dem rebels vs the establishmentarians reminds me a lot of the back and forth of 2004 Dean primary.  Same arguments, same lame justifications for our corporatist sellout leadership:

    Same old, same old… (6+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:

       slinkerwink, Miles, munky, Hannibal, Badabing, artemtima


    So now progressives are helpfully furthering the right-wing meme that __ is a wimp????

    How many thousands of comments Dem establishment apologists over the years have made the same lame argument on this blog?

    Take out Obama and insert Gephardt or Daschel or Reid or Kerry or any other phony Dem ‘leader’ who has made a living pretended to fight for the Progressive agenda only to cave at the first whiff of corporate hush money.

    ‘Wimpy Dem’ is a game that’s been played since long before Bill Clinton made it official party policy, and it will continue until we Democrats finally make it crystal clear to those in authority that we are wise to their act and will support this duplicity no longer.

    The Wimpy Dem is not a right wing meme, it is an entrenched way of doing business that needs to stop.  And I for one am not going to quit saying so because of your or anyone else’s misguided naivete about what is really going on here.

    “The Owl that Calls upon the Night, Speaks the Unbeliever’s Fright.” – William Blake

    by Night Owl on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 11:57:26 PM UTC

    After Kerry’s ignominious campaign and predictable defeat in 2004, the scales fell off a lot of people’s eyes, but with Obama’s ascension we have a whole crop of new of cheerleader wannabes we need to educate about the realities of 21st century Dem party politics.

    Still, sooner or later most of them will figure out they’ve been conned, and thanks to Obama’s epic cravenness over the last eight months, a lot faster than Rahm thinks.

  5. or his intentions or even his political ideology. In fact it  infuriates me more then the physcho damaged cheerleader and sadist he replaced. He’s smart he’s a master of politics and he got elected in a wave of revulsion at the corruption and lawlessness and brutality of the Bushies and there coalition and from hell. He is continuing with the same agenda and tries to sell it as reform or necessary with the same insane fear/greed based illogical rationale.      

    He is not my boyfriend he’s the guy who won, the guy who we elected to stop this shit! I can only conclude that he is just another puppet, but this one isn’t delusional. This latest PR front guy for the real power knows right from wrong knows the Law and knows politics, and yet tries to bamboozle we the people into believing that this shit is all we can  get, and that once again day is night. The only change I see is he’s articulate.

    We can’t make him do it. Our only ‘hope’ is that people, all the ones who got him power will get over thinking that he’s anything other then what he is the latest pol they have sent out to sell ‘we the people’ that were powerless and that this is change. My hope lies with the fact that those who supported him are not as stupid as those who either blindly protect him or the right wing nutso’s who are rapidly melting down in front of our eyes. It hard for people to admit they have been bamboozled, but it’s even harder to try and live in a country where all you get is crisis and fear and then they steal you blind, and mandate you pay their vig.      


  6. The bottom-line is very clear – MORE PROFIT for the CORPORATE BORG or humane, affordable, universal Health Care for the PEOPLE!

    Does America serve the CORPORATE BORG or WE THE PEOPLE?

    THAT is THE question!!!!!!!!

    Will President Obama be assimilated by the CORPORATE BORG or “resist” & be a champion, a fighter, a leader for THE PEOPLE?

    THAT is THE question!!!!!!!!

    • TMC on September 4, 2009 at 00:48

    You have said what I was saying all along during the primaries. They all say they are going to do great things, change the system, ignore the inside the belt-way gang, rock the boat. Then when they get elected it the same old crap, status quo.

     Obama needs to realize he will lose us if there is no Public Option in this bill. A PO without strings attached, without profit margins and bean counters, with medical care controlled by you doctor and open to everyone. If he doesn’t demand that from Congress, he’s lost.

  7. “I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.


    Thom Hartmann played this FDR speech on his program today:

    In his Madison Square Garden Speech on October 31, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt showed the spirit that President Obama needs today. Obama is facing the results of a Republican depression like Roosevelt, not a revolution like Lincoln. [TH’s intro statement]

    We have not come this far without a struggle and I assure you we cannot go further without a struggle.

    “For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.

    “For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

    “We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

    “They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

    “Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred.

    “I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.”

    The point: Obama needs to be less conciliatory, and more confrontational, like FDR.


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