There’s a coalition of “progressive” unity-schtickers lamenting the sudden loss of support for the President and his policies. United we stand, divided we fall, they say, and all that crap we have been hearing since well before Democrats took Congress. These Democratic appeasers are united behind a person and party, not the issues, and therefore take issue with those who prefer the “principle” to the “man” or “tribe.” To them, people like myself are purity trolls, like Republican Tea-baggers, regardless of what the tribe stands for. Thus, they will tolerate any and every thing, as long as it’s served up on a plate.
This rapid loss in support for Obama has occurred for several reasons. First, this was a very important election after eight years of neoliberalism on acid. Second, due to a certain psychological pre-eminence of various crises at this particular time in history, we have been keenly aware of the importance of all this promise for hope and change, including the specific issues and policies that would indicate change. Third Barack Obama has signaled in all major areas of crisis, from warfare (Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and now, Yemen), the political crisis off giving welfare to deranged profit-takers ($12 trillion dollars and counting to casino gamblers), social welfare (this fucked health care bill), the Unitary Executive and civil rights (blocking judicial activity surrounding Bush era war crimes, torture, human rights, etc.), to environmental degradation (Copenhagen), and boy howdy that’s a lot of signals, that his promises of hope and change are full-on bullshit. If you want to call questions of war & peace, basic human rights, clear-cut questions of law, rampant and encroaching crony capitalism and fascism, and environmental crises “purity tests,” be my guest, you retarded fucking gink, but it shows zero intellectual honesty.
Unlike Barack Obama and many of his supporters, Cornel West displays intellectual honesty
McNally: Let’s talk a bit about Barack Obama. In Michael Moore’s movie Capitalism: A Love Story….
West: Powerful movie.
McNally: My fiancee said the saddest moment for her was watching how excited people were the night Barack Obama was elected. Share a little bit about your feelings that night and your feelings today.
West: I was ready because I draw a radical distinction between the symbolic and the substantial. As a critical supporter of Barack Obama, engaged in over 50 events for him from Iowa to Ohio, I knew that at a symbolic level something could happen that was unprecedented. And it did happen. At that symbolic level, I can understand the tears, I can understand the jubilation, I can understand the euphoria. But I always knew there was a sense in which he, now heading the American empire, was tied to the shadow government, tied to CIA, FBI, tied to the establishment waiting to embrace him. It was clear when he chose his economic team, when he chose his foreign policy team, he was choosing, of course, the recycled neo-liberals and recycled neo-Clintonites that substantially you’re going to end up with these technocratic policies that consider poor people and working people as afterthoughts. Beginning with bankers, beginning with elites.
Symbolically, black man breaks through makes you want to break dance. So, yes, we have to be able to relate to both of these. So I resonate with your dear fiancee, because the hopes that were generated and the call for change, and then we end up with this recycled neo-liberalism. There’s no fundamental change at all.
No fundamental change. Recycled neoliberalism, beginning with the bankers, the elites. You said it, brutha.
We have all known for some time that the forces of globalization have changed the rules of the game-how we work, how we prosper, how we compete with the rest of the world. We all know that the coming baby boomers’ retirement will only add to the challenges that we face in this new era. Unfortunately, while the world has changed around us, Washington has been remarkably slow to adapt twenty-first century solutions for a twenty-first century economy. As so many of us have seen, both sides of the political spectrum have tended to cling to outdated policies and tired ideologies instead of coalescing around what actually works.
For those on the left, and I include myself in that category, too many of us have been interested in defending programs the way they were written in 1938, believing that if we admit the need to modernize these programs to fit changing times, then the other side will use those acknowledgements to destroy them altogether. On the right, there is a tendency to push for massive tax cuts, as Peter indicated from my speech at Knox College, no matter what the cost or who the target is, a view that stems from the belief that there is no role for government whatsoever in the challenges we face. Of course, neither of these approaches really works.
I think that if you polled many of the people in this room, most of us are strong free traders and most of us believe in markets. Bob and I have had a running debate now for about a year about how do we, in fact, deal with the losers in a globalized economy. There has been a tendency in the past for us to say, well, look, we have got to grow the pie, and we will retrain those who need retraining. But, in fact, we have never taken that side of the equation as seriously as we need to take it.
…I think the American people know that neither of these approaches works. I think there is a broad consensus out there in the Country that we should be looking for common sense, practical solutions to the problems that we face. I think that there is a market. I think that there is a demand for solutions that are practical, that are based on facts, that are tested, and that require us to think in new ways.
Notice how Obama embraces globalization (which boils down to increasing the size of the Ponzi Pyramid so the top looters like Rubin have a greater base from which to siphon profits), while seeing social welfare as a “challenge.”
Specifically, what happened in 1938 legislatively that defies the New World Order of Globalization that Changed the Rules of the Game?
Judging from his remarks about the baby-boomer retirement problem, one has to wonder if Obama is imagining out loud whether to touch the third rail itself, Social Security, even though it was written several years earlier. Whether Obama had specific legislative reforms in mind or not, he seems to generally be hammering New Deal policies aimed at preventing social ills and encouraging social equities, because globalization, i.e., profit-taking, precludes it. This new technocrat is inimical to FDR. Worse yet, while he doesn’t want to completely destroy these programs, he is a believer in “the market,” “free trade,” and believes that there is both public “demand” and a “market,” i.e., a place to make profits where he and bankers think reforms are needed. Obama knows there will be “losers” and that “this is not a bloodless process,” but according to him, liberalism “doesn’t work,” even though it’s been working for 75 years.
The health care plan, such as it is, a mandate with no public option, is simply a further, pre-emptive neoliberal encroachment into the social safety net, a huge giveaway to profit-taking interests at taxpayer expense, with no plan about what to do with the “losers,” a continuing parade of mindless, and frequently anti-constitutional corporate usurpations, on the road to neo-feudalism.
Purity tests, my ass. This is not hair-splitting, you stupid fucking unity-at-all-costs-schtickers. Just because it’s served on a plate doesn’t mean it’s not shit.
Yggie really ought to go into politics fer rizzle, because he seems to have distinct coprophiliac tendencies. “Health reform.” What is that? To this imponderable the Donk answer is: anything and everything. Quite literally. So long as it comes out of a Donk congress. Now Yglesias is the sort of blurgher who’s fond of hectoring far lefties and libertarianische types for their habit of speaking in generalities and idealities, ignoring the ol’ salt-mine of practical politics. So one wonders how he can persist in being so blithely unconcerned with the actual content of the bill before him. Is it a cake, or is it a turd? Well, it’s on a plate, isn’t it? Are we gonna split hairs?