Obama Worship? UPDATED

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

CROSS-POSTED @ ThomHartmann.com

@ Tom:

First, a compliment:  I really love the way y’all have the “Community” page organized.  You have one of the most convenient and easily-read systems for comments that I’ve seen:  We can go back to a previous blog; comment on it; and it appears at the top of a topics page.  Really nice.  And I was just listening to the Hr. 2 podcast of 8-25; a caller complimented you on the sane and rational way you handle the crazies.  I totally agree.  –Speaking of lunatics:  What happened to Peter Ferrara? I really loved that guy; he was the paradigm of Rightist Crazy, going so batsh*t that I could imagine foam flying out of his mouth as he blarged out incoherencies.  Instead the “ACRU” is now sending on people who, while no less insane, are at least better medicated…

Not trying to pick on you, but I have to revisit this topic: I simply cannot understand the treatment that Obama is getting on your show, in light of your evidence-based sanity and genuine caring for progressive values.

Here’s my take:  If you do not recognize who the enemy is, you can’t begin to defeat them.  This is not a struggle between “Republicans” and “Democrats”, or of Obama v. the Crazy-of-the-Week.  It’s the corporatist oligarchy v. We The People, pure and simple.  Obama is a corporatist.  He is no different in substance from Bush the Dimmer–and is worse in many ways.  To play into the Obama v. Republicans meme is to buy into precisely the scam that the corporatists want you to fall into; so long as you’re playing up this false dichotomy between two faces of corporatism, you are making it absolutely certain that a corporatist will win. Yet I keep hearing you make noises about how Obama can turn progressive–all he has to do is to start doing things for us, like stop the Gravestone (for the climate) XL pipeline; pivot away from neoliberalism and propose a genuine, meaningful jobs bill; and so on.  But there is no chance this is going to happen: the evidence is conclusive that Obama is one of “them”, a bought-and-paid-for tool of the banksters who put him into power precisely to defuse the democratic/progessive ferment that caused us to put a black ex-community organizer into power and give him strong majorities in both houses of Congress.  We gave him a royal flush, and he deliberately lost to a pair of deuces.  He put in the same Clintonites that many of us worked for him against Hillary precisely to prevent; and, I think deliberately, obstructed real filibuster reform–giving Joe Lie-berworm effective veto over any change. And, QED, things continue to get worse.

Obama is not on our side.  He isn’t “teetering”; he isn’t “subject to constituent pressure”, he doesn’t have an inner progressive yearning to be free.  He’s a tool, a 5th-columnist put in to block the Democrats from being a meaningful force against the corporatist corruption that is enslaving us.

Here’s what I think are an obvious couple of predictions: 1.) He WILL sign off on the Gravestone XL; and 2.) He WILL NOT propose any meaningful jobs bill.  And what “reforms” he claims to have accomplished are illusions.  I heard you make some glowing statement to the effect that the ACA will soon provide medical care for all. But this is nonsense; the ACA (and, for that matter, Dodd-Frank) are total frauds. Something with the names may stagger into law, but the substance is gone, and really was never there to begin with.  A law is only as good as its implementing regulations–the “fine print” that defines what it does–and, as you yourself have noted, these regulations are being drafted, with Obama’s encouragement, by lobbyists from the healthcare-denial “insurance” industry.  Similarly with Dodd-Frank: This law is being hollowed out and corrupted by banksters, and the final product will not discomfit Obama’s bankster-bosses a bit.

Let me give you a quite personal example, for instance, of the profound fraudulence of the ACA: I am 60 years old, with two prior cancers.  My wife is 54 years old, and has costly health problems. We make, together, about $50,000 per year, about $15,000 of which goes to pay the mortgage on our modest home.  We have no medical insurance. Obamacare will do nothing for us but cost us the tax penalty at the end of the year; we cannot afford private medical insurance, even if they’d sell it to us in the first place. America doesn’t offer competitive insurance rates like their private medical insurance counterparts in the UK. We will get no subsidy for private insurance, we make too much money.  And anyway:  When we did have insurance we found out that the copays ended up being about as much as the considerably-lower self-pay price which most doctors will give for uninsured patients. No, what we needed was the public option–which Obama obstructed in service to the criminals, despite making specific promises to the contrary.

And to make it worse:  My wife is 54.  Obama’s putting Social Security “on the table” and his boosterism of Catfood Commission II–which likely will preserve a reduced Social Security only for people 55 and up–will mean that my wife will not have the program available for her when the time comes.  How is this “change we can believe in”? Meet the new boss, a better-packaged version of the old boss.

And Obama is proving, literally on a daily basis, whom he serves:  Where did all the promises go about closing Gitmo? About getting out of Iraq in a year?  And what is going on with this illegal war in Libya–clearly motivated by oil, in echoes of Iraq? (And why would you not condemn this travesty of international law, instead of grousing that the Republicans aren’t “giving Obama credit” for the “successful” results of a criminal attack on a sovereign nation?) And where is the renunciation of the unconstitutional Unitary Executive?  Why is habeas corpus still dead?  Why did he not remove the corrupt Bush-era U.S. Attorneys? Why has Don Siegelman not been vindicated by Obama’s “Justice” Dept.?

How much evidence do you need that Obama is one of them, not of us? After these years since his election–and the non-stop service to the oligarchs at our expense, and the complete breach of practically every promise he’s ever made–how can anyone continue to go along with the fraud that there’s a difference, that somehow Obama and the Republicans are on different sides?

It seems clear to me that, if we don’t start calling the enemy out–regardless of who this enemy is–we cannot ever begin to convince the populace of the necessity of moving toward progressive policies.  The reason Obama’s support is falling, and that the option to him is seen by most as being the Teabaggers, is because of this conflation of Obama with progessivism; most people, logically enough, will conclude that, if Obama is a progressive, then they want none of it since  Obama has taken them down the same path of corporatist economic destruction as Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush.

So: Can you make a definitive, evidence-based statement as to why you are still boosting this guy? What justifies supporting someone who obstructs change in every way possible, both in substance and by paralysis of the Democratic Party? Style doesn’t cut it. Yes, he’s a much more literate, well-spoken, attractive person than Bush the Dimmer.  But his policies are substantively no better–and in many ways worse.

I really think that a primary challenge to Obama is our only chance of beginning an absolutely essential shift in public opinion.  If this means that Obama will be defeated–then at least we have the political framework for taking over the Democratic Party and posing a real alternative to the oligarchy in years to come.  On the other hand:  4 more years of Reagan/Greenspan economics and imperialist/militarist foreign policies may well wipe us out as the world’s preeminent economic power.

Can you coherently state a reason for supporting Obama now?  I haven’t heard one so far.

Or don’t you think it’s really past time to start calling for a primary challenger?


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  1. Strange?  Hardly


    Outside of lamestream normality I have found this.


    On perusing other subjects Les questions the veracity of popular alternative news sites such as the Alex Jones empire, Project Camelot and even Mike Adams, the rising star of http://www.naturalnews.com.  Quite alarmming to note that NOBODY has THE definitive avenue towards truth.  “Our” world is really an illusion as “we” have been lied to our entire lives.  Now it’s all falling apart.

  2. You practically had me cheering.

    One interesting throwaway comment I came across at Naked Capitalism yesterday asked what will we do if Obama chooses not to finish his run for reelection?

    Just think, he could bow out late in the game, perhaps in the middle of the primaries, using something like low ratings or a lost primary as an excuse, leaving Democrats high and dry. After all, he’s essentially done his job for his masters, and he might very well choose to cash out and cash in while raking in cash is still an option. A variation on Palin, I suppose.

    So, if we don’t primary Obama and don’t have a viable contender in the wings, we would be well and truly f*cked. Again. Given that possibilty, I’d say we have an obligation to primary Obama. Now the question is who could or would take him on?

    • banger on August 29, 2011 at 17:12

    Go to DKOS and make it a diary there. We need all the help we can get, those of us who still labor in that vineyard. There’s a real Civil War going on there.

    Having said that, perhaps you shouldn’t it gets pretty stupid over there. I’m almost ready to give up so I will argue both ways.

    What you say is obvious and that’s the tragedy. And we need to get to the heart of why progressives (or as Alex Cockburn has taught me “pwogwessives”) are still standing for Obama. One very good friend put it simply and said, yes of course he is an enemy but think of the Supreme Court. I have thought about it and it’s a tough argument to refute. On the other hand over the past few months as I’ve been focused on DKOS, I realized that the left, as a political force, may well be at the stage of death of a chicken running around after it’s head gets cut off (I’ve seen it and can never forget it). It seems vigorous and it gestures wildly but it will expire shortly. I think the way forward is, like I’ve suspected since I saw Obama was no progressive, may be even further left–so left that we arrive at the libertarian right. I’m not there yet but I see that Ron Paul libertarians are at least opposed to empire and the near-destruction of civil liberties. That movement could give us room to develop something new because the old progressive movement just doesn’t work and we need to find out why and how to fix it. My own remedies I’ve flogged in all kinds of places but no one seems interested in remedies–they think that complaining and gesturing and sermonizing are effective political tactics.  

    • mplo on August 30, 2011 at 06:50

    I couldn’t have said it more articulately myself, frankly.  You’re absolutely spot-on.  Obama has really screwed his base,  it’s going to come back to bite him in the ass, and it’ll serve him right.  I didn’t vote for him, because I saw all that shit coming from the get-go, when he voted for the FISA Bill and for continued funding for our war on Iraq,  promised to ante up our war on Afghanistan, which he certainly did, and when he also took the exact same positions as John McCain during the pre-2008 POTUS Elections Foreign policy debate.  I could go on, but you and everybody else gets the drift.  

    The fact that more people either didn’t see, or refused to see what was coming on the horizon with Obama is beyond belief.  Or is it really??

  3. That window, if it was ever open to begin with, closed last December.  There is no Democrat willing to risk political suicide to run against Obama in next year’s primaries.  It’s a pipe dream best laid to rest.

    What we need to be doing is building up a viable third party that can offer up a serious challenge to the oligarchs’ candidates next year.  The Progressive Party, or the Working Families, the Socialists, or even the Greens, but whichever party you go with start building it now.

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