Saturday, December 12, 2009

Decline And Fall - For No Reason at All

Pretty much the whole sad story of Obama, War President of the Nobel Peace Prize is wrapped up by Glenn Greenwald, so no need to expend extra thought there.  This Greenwald is required reading on the foreign policy portion of the current rapid Democrat slide into Republican policy hell - all for basically no political reason, since the Repubs are widely despised. (See also David Cortright here.)

Same goes for Obama's Republican economic policy - Matt Taibbi this time on the" economic team made up exclusively of callous millionaire-assholes an economic team made up exclusively of callous millionaire-assholes [that] has absolutely zero interest in reforming the gamed system that made them rich in the first place."  Thank you.  Taibbi links the names, a simple way of showing the painful marginalization of any critical thought - finally as insidious and life-sapping a trend in modern America as the pervasive, half-veiled faith in violence. The sorry outcome is that all those Dems from Obama to Frank et al can't move ahead unless, as they were in Fall 2008, they are prodded by simple fear.  With the visible threat past for the immediate Finance Family, it's back to their laissez-faire.

The result with the Obama admin is, as one person puts it, ""Rather than having a team of rivals, they've got a team of Rubins."  How much clearer could it be that Obama is finished as an indepenedent force in US politics?  Rolled like that, you never recover.  At least he won't.

Amidst all the enforcing of progressive timidity by Rahm Emmanuel et al is the sheer timidity of the conventional wisdom here.
Why would leading congressional Democrats, working closely with the Obama administration, agree to leave one of the riskiest of all financial instruments unregulated, even before the issue could be debated by the House? "There was concern that a broad grant to ban abusive swaps would be unsettling," Frank explained.
On this point, Obama foreign policy is even worse than Obamanomics.  Greenwald wraps up the Nobel speech like this:
Indeed, Obama insisted upon what he called the "right" to wage wars "unilaterally"; articulated a wide array of circumstances in which war is supposedly "just" far beyond being attacked or facing imminent attack by another country; explicitly rejected the non-violence espoused by King and Gandhi as too narrow and insufficiently pragmatic for a Commander-in-Chief like Obama to embrace; endowed us with the mission to use war as a means of combating "evil"; and hailed the U.S. for underwriting global security for the last six decades (without mentioning how our heroic efforts affected, say, the people of Vietnam, or Iraq, or Central America, or Gaza, and so many other places where "security" is not exactly what our wars "underwrote").  So it's not difficult to see why Rovian conservatives are embracing his speech; so much of it was devoted to an affirmation of their core beliefs.

The more difficult question to answer is why -- given what Drum described -- so many liberals found the speech so inspiring and agreeable?
 And then the 64 dollar observation: "Yesterday's speech and the odd, extremely bipartisan reaction to it underscored one of the real dangers of the Obama presidency:  taking what had been ideas previously discredited as Republican or right-wing dogma and transforming them into bipartisan consensus."

Dissociation, fear, mindless nationalism, avoidance of solutions to economic problems that would require change, mindless nostalgia, cultural stupidity so deep that it endangers the country: what is it ?

Fr. Frank's Sunday sermon points out that our "particular darkness" is "the disconnect between the corporate culture that is dictating the firing and the rest of us."  And there is the total immunity from the "consequences of their actions."

There's some kind of death knell here for even the illusion of the Dims as a second and oppositional party. There's the Dead Zone politics to come, followed inevitably by far more unrest than we've seen in the US in quite some time.  See the U blog for the local versions unrest - or this poll report for majority desire for the New Deal now abandoned -  as the pseudo-recovery continues to squash the little people and their chldren.

With this in mind, we have to start facing the fact that Obama, who rapidly moved from "change we can believe in" to disappointment to sell-out (to Wall Street), may be entering the territory of "worst thing to happen to the Democrats in decades."

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