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American Extremists: "National man of mystery"

vastleft's picture


Submitted by jm on

Greenwald hit this nail squarely on the head yesterday:

A mere three years ago, huge numbers of people invested substantial time, attention, energy, emotion and "hope" in fighting to put Barack Obama in the White House. The very human incentives not to reach this conclusion [that Obama is doing exactly what his corporate sponsors paid him to do] are both obvious and overwhelming.

Submitted by lambert on

.... "you drank the Kool-Aid," or "you were fooled by clever marketing." I'm not sure what it is, though. Maybe readers like Albrt, members of later classes than ours, can help out here.

I know that I invested a good deal of attention in the Ds 2003-2006, but policy was always my starting point, even when I was a partisan, and there was no personal betrayal, since I was never invested in a political figure.

We might, also, try putting ourselves in other people's shoes. Imagine Hillary had been nominated and had won, which she would have. Assume that the structural analysis of Obama's woes that I've bought into is correct -- that we've had a change in the Constitutional order, and that the rentiers are running the government, making electoral politics as we know it essentially kabuki. Even with all the good will in the world, and gawd knows I think Obama has no good will at all, would Hillary really have been able to change that, since the change is the result of a project extending over many years, and has complete official consensus in Washington? So, marginal differences, as I said throughout 2008. But given that scenario, how many Hillary supporters would be as harsh on Hillary over policy outcomes as Hillary supporters are harsh on Obama?

I don't think I can say that for myself; I still think Hillary's the best of 'em, despite her support for the empire. Granted, Hillary supporters had their eyes opened when Obama threw them under the bus, and it's doubtful that the Hillary campaign would have used the same tactics on Obama supporters ("got the little single payer advocates" is Obama's own voice. But would the policy outcome on HCR have been all that different? Probably not.)

So there we are.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Edwards. I still believe that solving poverty will solve most of the world's ills including wars, racism, water, food, etc. So flawed as he might have been personally (although I am still not ever comfortable judging other people's marriages and who did what to whom), the message was clear. But I didn't think he would make it all the way. Probably would have ended up like Bobby if they didn't have the goods on him. If he did make it, he might have gone the way of JFK. Interesting to see what Hilary would have done domestically. She was always a super hawk so our foreign policy wouldn't have changed. But I think she might have enjoyed invoking the 14th amendment. The Clintons enjoy the battle. Barack enjoys golf.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

putting aside the fact that Clinton is the only D I'll ever vote for, for these reasons, it's very hard to pull away from the fact that the marginal but significant differences you refer to are all that much more significant NOW when our circumstances are so intensely marginal and growing more marginal every minute.

Intellectually, I agree with the many commenters who feel that the slower, more drawn-out slide into a total crash and burn is worse than a quick crash (with some hope that something will rise from the ashes, presumably). But to actually experience the pain (my own, family, friends, acquaintances -- people out of work, worried about feeding themselves, losing their homes) is so excruciating that even the relatively small relief of "marginal but significant" is ever more compelling. Even a small delay may give some people a chance to take a breath, at least.

I think Clinton's domestic policy outcomes would have been better than Obama's (can't imagine how they'd be worse), and that she had the better chance at reversing the long-laid plans of the looting elites. There's a reason why Wall St backed Obama.

That's to say, better chances but probably not an actual chance. Bottom line, even if her outcomes were no better, she has always made the better arguments to "the people" about what our government's priorities should be with regard to supporting the welfare of all of us. Rhetoric alone would not be enough to reverse the big slide, but it affects people expectations, the way they think about government, and most importantly, offers an alternative "narrative" to the lockstep, single one we hear right now from both parties.

Were her policy outcomes just as bad, or nearly as bad, I would like to think I'd be nearly as critical as I am of Obama. I say nearly because really, as you point out, the whole getting thrown under the bus thing brings a certain astringency to the foreground.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

that would mean that he is doing all this because of his belief in conservative ideology.
I don't think he has an ideology.
His actions make much more sense to me if I see him as being completely motivated by crony bribes and back-scratching.

jjmtacoma's picture
Submitted by jjmtacoma on

I think Obama leans conservative from a world view perspective, where he seems to have an attitude of: "I got mine so go pull your own self up because that is what I did." As he lives in complete denial of all the help he received from grandparents, friends, his education opportunities (how did he pay for school?), governement programs and crooks.

People who don't realize how much help they actually get tend to think things are easy for everyone and everyone else is just lazy to not take advantage of opportunities.

Next, I'm starting to think he is over his head AND the crooks that put him in office are his prized advisors. They do have him as a "puppet" and he issues statements depending on who talked to him last. He seems inconsistent sometimes about how he approaches the message so that makes me think he is whipping back and forth between advisers.

He does seem to think that the message is the most important thing. People are hungry? They need a good message to feel better about that. Oh, and maybe they should pick thier own selves up, be responsible parents and eat less McDonalds...

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Bill Cosby always preaching to blacks about "personal responsibility" aka laziness. Obama was forever chastising people during the election about eating their vegetables instead of pop tarts. In fact, I used to call him the "future tsk tsker in chief". Never cottoned to his rhetorical style which always seemed to be preachy, haughty, small, and judgmental... tsk tsking all the time.