They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
— Patrick Henry: delivered to the Virginia Convention in 1775
The number of articles written by contrite Obama supporters that have appeared over the last year is almost uncountable. Forgiveness, however, requires not only that penitents renounce their sins but that they make a sincere resolve not to sin in the same way again. Democrats will never make such a resolve. Regardless of the number of whining articles by “progressive” Democrats, Rahm Emanuel — Obama’s political twin — who called liberal activists “retarded,” knows very well that Democrats, especially the self-styled “progressives” will never vote for anyone other than a Democrat. Regardless of Obama’s atrocities, the Democrats will line up behind him in 2012.
There can be no absolution for the Obaminable Democrats; they can be no more forgiven for supporting Obama than they can be forgiven for supporting John Kerry or William Clinton. Clinton, you will recall, was the president who killed a million innocent Iraqi men, women and children with bombs and sanctions while domestically destroying the women’s movement with “welfare reform” and American jobs with “free trade agreements.
These are the people who followed the inane philosophy of ABB (“Anyone is Better than Bush”)! Imagine believing that Kerry would be better than Bush even though he promised that he would out-Bush Bush by sending 40,000 more troops to Iraq and declaring that, if he had been in charge, he would have burned Falluja to the ground. A few days later Bush granted his wish killing mostly women and children! Even the ever hawkish William Safire (d. 2009), columnist for the New York Times, was positively gloating after the September, 2004 Kerry-Bush presidential debate: “As the Democratic Whoopee Brigade hailed Senator John Kerry’s edge in debating technique, nobody noticed his foreign policy sea change. On both military tactics and grand strategy, the newest neoconservative announced doctrines more hawkish than President George W. Bush.”
Meantime, during this ABB farce, Michael Moore and Bill Maher assumed the typical Democrat position: kneeling and begging. No, they were not begging for the scraps from the corporate table, the traditional Democrat plea. This time they even more grievously disgraced themselves by begging the antiwar candidate, Ralph Nader, not to interfere with John Kerry’s plans to slaughter, more efficiently and effectively, the people in Iraq while continuing to outsource American jobs with so-called “free trade” agreements. These are the very same kind of bottom feeder who would have begged the Liberty Party to stop its opposition to slavery and let the lesser of two pro-slavery parties make things a little better for the slaves. These latter-day court jesters demonstrated that they lack even the dim flicker of sentience needed to qualify them as imbeciles. The Democrats are beyond redemption; they are to be condemned not forgiven. Their priority was to elect Kerry, not oppose the war.
The Democrats did not get a chance to whine about a Kerry presidency as they do about the Obama presidency. They did not even get a chance to continue maligning Ralph Nader for Kerry’s defeat. Now, since Barack Obama, the mocha messiah of the Democrats, has assumed the imperial mantle of George Bush, that dreadful sound can be heard once again rising up from the Democrats. Oh, the mind numbing din of whining Democrats!
Whether they thought Obama would end the wars instead of escalating them or stop the torture instead of outsourcing it to Jordan and Saudi Arabia or prosecute the torturers instead of giving them a pass or encourage the Congress to pass single-payer healthcare instead of cutting backroom deals with big Pharma and providing corporate welfare for the insurance companies or bail out homeowners instead of bankers, Democrats from Dave Lindorff to David Swanson can be heard wailing about the betrayal of Barack Obama who now gives every indication that he is more monstrous than George Bush.
To be sure, Bush was a war criminal who invaded Iraq to fulfill the mission of the Project for New American Century (PNAC) which was to secure a US-Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. That strategy was identical to the Democratic Party’s think tank the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI). Bush also invaded Afghanistan to secure a land area for a liquid natural gas pipeline. Obama plans to continue the occupation of Iraq, has escalated the war on Afghanistan (reinforcing the lies of the Bush administration) and rained down three times as many unmanned drones on Pakistan in one year than Bush did in his last three. Obama has also opened military hostilities against Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines. Obama recently proclaimed that he has the right to murder American citizens on the mere suspicion that they might be terrorists. This leaves us all vulnerable to murder at Obama’s whim. Those of us on the “watch list” must now say an extra prayer each night that our spouses and children are not slaughtered when Obama’s drone hits home. No wonder the Teabaggers are afraid of government and Obama in particular!
It must not be overlooked that Obama also plans to use Colombian insurgents to commit “false positive” border incidents blaming Venezuela as a pretext for a retaliatory attack, supported, of course, by Washington as a way to target and perhaps remove Hugo Chavez. He continues destabilization tactics for regime change in Iran and may, preemptively without cause, attack that nation’s nuclear facilities. He supports the worst of Israeli war crimes and oppression against Palestinians and keeps alive the long dead “terrorist organization” called Al Qaeda in order to suppress civil liberties at home, maintain the pretense of a flourishing economy through defense spending and ultimately secure corporate money for his re-election.
Democrat Talking Heads
To be fair, not all the Democrats are whining. Listening to “liberal” talk radio the Democratic Party talking heads can be heard spinning every one of Obama’s atrocities into an inspired strategy of golden fabric. According to the Democratic Party’s counterparts of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, Obama is a “master chess player” and all of his monstrous brutalities merely appear to be brutal. When the mist clears however, according to “big Ed” Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Bill Press and the other skull splitting defenders of Barack Obama AKA “Barry the Bomber”, we will see that a brighter day has dawned; that the atrocities committed against all the nations Obama is devastating and the American working people he is crushing are simply pawn sacrifices made by the master gamesman and in the end we will all be thankful to “Barry the Beneficent”.
In case anyone is wondering about the “change” promised by Obama, fear not. Democrat talking head Rachel Maddow explained to us earlier this week that Obama’s nuclear summit was the promised change! As it turned out, “change did not mean that everybody suddenly had a job or that the banking crisis was suddenly fixed or that our wars magically ended. But change, in part, has meant a return to diplomacy”. Of course, Israel, the greatest threat to world peace next to the United States, refused to participate and Iran was not even invited. Like all of the Democratic Party talking heads Maddow fails to mention the ever present threat from the Obama administration’s “diplomacy” when dealing with other nations: “all options remain on the table”. This is not a very diplomatic way to tell the world “you will do it our way or you will face the possibility of a US invasion or at the very least a carpeting of cluster bombs, white phosphorus and unmanned drone missiles”. This bogus nuclear summit is simply more advertising hype and does not represent any significant change from the second Bush administration.
The Incompetent Machiavellian
Machiavelli refused to be deflected by utopian dreams or romantic hopes and by questions of right and wrong or good and bad. He rejected the entire concept of moral philosophy. He is often considered to be the father of modern political realism, or what has been called “realpolitik”. It is one of the most seductive ideas of our time. The constant cry of the Democratic Party is: “be realistic… you’re living in the real world…. it’s good to have idealistic visions of a better world, but you’re living in the real world, so be practical.” Every time Ralph Nader tried to get Democrats to stand on their hind legs, party leaders quickly reminded them that they must be “practical” that they must be “realistic”. Like Machiavelli, the Democratic Party is not concerned with right and wrong or good and evil. It has rejected all moral philosophy by accepting the Machiavellian concept that “the ends justify the means”.
How many times have the ideas and positions of Ralph Nader been demeaned as foolish idealism impractical in a world where one must “win elections”?
Realism is seductive because once it has been accepted as a reasonable notion that actions should be based on “practical” reality people are too often led to accept, without questioning, someone else’s vision of what reality is. It is a crucial fact of independent thinking, typical of Ralph Nader, to be skeptical of someone else’s description of reality. Democrats never question the “reality” presented to them by the Democratic Party. For this reason the Democrats present an even more dangerous and violent threat than the tea party movement which it has engendered and which it continues to empower by its own lack of moral clarity.
The Democratic Party’s talking heads from the most articulate and erudite to the more brutish philistine serve the same purpose as the Republican Party talking heads. Their job is to secure the election of Democrats not to present an objective evaluation of their performance and recommend the appropriate action. Far from playing the role of chess master, Obama is an incompetent Machiavellian. Virtually nothing Obama and his representatives in the liberal media (the talk show hosts previously mentioned) have told us about this health care reform bill is true. The entire thrust of the legislation was to prevent campaign contributions from big Pharma and healthcare insurance companies from flowing into Republican coffers. By euphemistically calling this piece of corporate welfare “health care reform” Obama has sacrificed the needs of the American public in order to achieve his re-election and that of the Democratic Congress. For Obama, the ends justified the means. No moral philosopher in Eastern or Western civilization condones such a philosophy. Only Niccolo Machiavelli advanced such a thesis.
Usually, those who try to get away with “the ends justifying the means” at least have some noble end in mind. The re-election of the Democrats is anything but noble and the means was a purely cynical act on the part of the Democratic Party. Even a Machiavellian, however, would be embarrassed at the incompetent execution of Obama’s loutish strategy. A good Machiavellian would certainly have planned for the possible unintended consequences of such a strategy and hence have prevented their occurrence. A competent Machiavellian would have started his administration by ensuring that the Senate changed the filibuster rule from 41 to 49 votes. This rule only requires a simple majority vote in order to be changed. It is a Senate rule, not a law. Moreover, the incompetent Obama administration, while achieving its ends created such blowback from the ridiculous right that the United States is now as close to collapsing into a fascist regime as it has ever been in its history.
The attitudes of the people in the tea party movement are completely justified. Not only has there not been any increase in the standard of living over the last 30 years while productivity has increased by over 78%, real incomes of working Americans have actually declined. While Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton are to blame for the adoption of “neoliberal economics” the Obama administration with its continuing support of the banking industry was the straw that broke the political camel’s back.
Obama, more than any Republican, is linked to the bankers. They supported him over McCain. When Obama started to criticize the bankers, in true Machiavellian fashion, he did an about-face proclaiming: “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free market system.” Of course, Obama is completely in error. Americans actually do begrudge the $17 million bonus awarded to Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase and the $9 million issued to Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs. No one should be surprised that Goldman Sachs contributed $1 million to Obama’s presidential campaign.
Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans like to talk about class warfare but that is precisely what the incompetent, Machiavellian, cynical Obama administration has engendered. Unemployment is reaching near depression levels while Obama’s banking buddies bathe in bonuses beyond imagination and people are not happy about it. The job growth statistics quoted by the Democrat talking heads are mostly in non-tradable services area such as janitors, retail sales persons, waiters and waitresses, orderlies and attendants. These minimum wage paying jobs were created by corporations which have outsourced good paying American jobs in engineering, manufacturing and information technology.1 Such outsourcing continues under the “free trade” supporting Obama administration. Ironically, the highly trained workers in those well compensated fields are now used to account for the “new jobs” being created by the Obama administration. Such a clever way has the Obama administration devised for job creation; turning well paid information technology specialists into low paid retail clerks!
The working class has been marginalized as the costs of our economic collapse are socialized and profits are privatized. Frustration and outright rage is the natural and expected response to the callous Obama administration. Instead of getting answers from the left, however, they receive political placebos along with the puerile pabulum fed to them by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.
Chris Hedges warns us of “the Weimarization of the American working class”.2 Just as demagogues in post-World War I Germany were able to play upon the despair of the working class, the same type of forces are now in place in the United States. He suggests that even though the tea party movement, itself, may be tiny, it is a well-funded and well-organized group. Properly managed, Hedges suggests “this tiny group can count on the sympathy and support of perhaps as many as 100 million evangelicals”. It would only take a crisis to catapult the leaders of this movement into power.
Naomi Klein in her work The Shock Doctrine3 spells out precisely how such a crisis could produce a disastrous political, social and economic revolution. Another terrorist attack would be all that is necessary. Such an attack is not just probable but inevitable. The resulting fascist order would face no resistance. At a time when violent resistance from the left might be required, the left has been disorganized and distracted by the Democratic Party. As the left smokes Obama’s wacky tobacci and sings “Kum By Ya”, the forces which would destroy civil society as we know it are singing “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition”.
There is good reason to be afraid. We must not, however, confuse fear with cowardice. In the final analysis we either stand up for our convictions or we stand for nothing. The continued voting for the lesser evil has not, nor cannot, save this country; it can only hasten a total collapse. Those who are too afraid to voice their conscience and make it felt politically, by any means, are already slaves; they simply have not yet heard the rattling of their chains.
- Paul Craig Roberts, How the Economy Was Lost; (California: AK Press, 2010), 20-21. [↩]
- Chris Hedges, American Fascists (The Christian Right and the War on America) (New York: Free Press, 2006): 266. [↩]
- Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism; (New York: Metropolitan Books; Henry Holt & Co. 2007): 309. [↩]