Tortured Pros

Primetime on Monday, May 18, we were faced with yet an example of the strange time-lapsed alternate universe that is the world of Mainstream Media, wherein CNN’s Anderson Cooper, though supposedly at the center of one of the largest, most important news gathering agencies on the planet, appears to be about four months behind the times, having at last discovered that Barack Obama, like Bush before him, is not afraid to abandon the support of those who voted for him to pursue his true agenda. As could be predicted, when confronted with the revelation Copper cocked an eyebrow and fired off a scowl.

In Bush’s case that base had been the millions of deluded mainstream, other-wise moderate, Christians who were shamed by their rabid evangelical brethren into voting for Bush because, no matter what else, the man kept saying he believed in the sanctity of life. W, of course, went on to prove this sentiment by blocking stem cell research and killing one point three million Iraqis.

In Obama’s case, it means, as it has since the Rev. Wright days, jettisoning any and all whose press begins to compete with his own. Lately gays have been making too much noise, somehow believing that as Americans they had a right to draw attention to injustices, but Obama has been steadily distancing himself from gays ever since he decided the demographic that follows Rick Warren looked sexier in a voting booth.

While the GOP supposed “big tent” turns out to barely big enough to be a bathing suit for Rush Limbaugh, the coalition that put Barack Obama in the Whitehouse was even a greater mix of elements than the man himself. Basically last fall Obama was supported by everyone who felt the GOP and Bushco had betrayed them, in other words the clear electoral majority of the American public. But bit by bit, Obama has tossed away the various special interests groups who gave their hopes to him. At the time it seemed like the man had won himself a mountain of hard-earned political capital. Nowadays it seems like he’s at a roulette wheel staking it all on the banks will come up in the black, but so far the only numbers we’re seeing are “00”.

Bush had once started out claiming to be a “uniter,” then quickly opted for the far easier “you’re either with us or against us” routine, narrowing his message till eventually even most Americans began to realize why the rest of the world detested him. Once upon a time we endured Obama’s tortured prose about how great everything would be if we would only put him in office. Now we’re expected to put up with it as that office stealthily prepares to exonerate all of the Bush era torture pros.

It seems to be a trend that won’t stop continuing until one day we’ll turn on our TVs to Obama awarding W himself a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here’s hoping Obama doesn’t feel the need to take it quite that far, but after his 1st hundred days of evolution who can tell where Obama will wind up. I heard Cheney is looking for a running mate.

Reversing himself on taxing the rich, on the environment, on ending the war quickly, on tightening the screws on executive compensations, on releasing info on Bush era prisoner abuses, now he’s even bringing back Bush-era military tribunals and again turning his back on gays. The man has changed sides more often than the serve at a tennis match. As each passing day of these second hundred days further defines him, it is beginning to look like the only kind of liberal Obama is really aiming to work for are the neo- kind.

Not that Congress, the Democratically controlled Congress that is, have helped him much. After making sure they forced the public to sacrifice to keep billionaire bankers in their cushy penthouse offices, they then turned their back on American homeowners, all the while taking care to make sure bank execs didn’t get their feathers ruffled by too much scrutiny of the bailout spending. Now this week Congress has watered down the credit card protections bill AND refused to close Guantanamo Bay, or technically, is refusing to fund the 80 million dollar plan to allow the inmates housed there to be imprisoned on US soil; so yet another Obama promise turns into a mouth full of dust.

Cowing to one of the most obscenely outrageous, “Not-In-My-Back-Yard” campaigns in recent memory, your government has decided our US prison system is not secure enough to jail criminals. While this begs the question, “well then what about the other 2.3 million some odd others already housed in US prisons.”

Of course Cooper is probably unaware of the conditions in US prisons. Cooper is just now finally learning that Nancy Pelosi knew and tacitly abided by Bush era torture policies. As could be predicted the revelation is causing Cooper to flex his patented scowl muscles. Of course judging by the content of a fistful of recent CNN primetime segments it appears Cooper just now discovered pot. Poor Anderson Cooper, who knows what sudden shockers tomorrow’s headlines will bring, or how long it will take Anderson Cooper to find out.

Mikel Weisser teaches social studies and poetry on the left coast of Arizona. He can be reached at Read other articles by Mikel.

3 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. lichen said on May 21st, 2009 at 1:39pm #

    Roughly 25% of eligible voters voted for Obama, so he did not have the support of a majority, actually.

    Furthermore, it is the Guantanomo staff and guards which should be imprisoned; the people who were illegally abducted, tortured, beaten, and wrongfully imprisoned for years should be released already!

  2. bozh said on May 22nd, 2009 at 6:52am #

    sorry to disappoint mikel, but it is clearly a conclusion that Obama switched sides many times.
    in any case, i`d like to see writers avoid obamanizing events or any other personaliation of any event and especially events like afpak, iraq…

    we do not know what O meant or how he felt when he made his `promises`. We can only guess.
    which is OK. However, it behooves a writer or any sayer to warn a reader or listener by stating that she is only guessing.

    i have noted that nearly all msm scribes often posit their conclusions or guesses as factual events and not product of their fancies and strong bias.
    so, please, let us not be like them! bozhidar balkas tnx

  3. Lloyd said on May 23rd, 2009 at 5:29am #

    I get your drift, Mikel. And it’s right on.

    And bozh. Thanks for “afpak”. I’ve been calling it The New Iraq, but clearly afpak is handier.