Spelunker in Chief

Will Obama cave? How deeply will Obama cave?  Why did Obama cave again?  Were you hoping Obama would change his caving ways?  President Barack Obama, one begins to understand, must be our spelunker in chief.

But look closely into the darkness of the executive cave and the act of “caving” vanishes.  Obama never did quite swear he wouldn’t keep the “Bush” tax cuts for people with $200,000 incomes.  Obama never exactly promised to protect Medicare or Social Security.  In fact, he went out of his way to make clear he’d be “forced” to cut them.  He looks upset by gun violence, when it’s not in Afghanistan or Pakistan or any of some 75 other countries where he sponsors it, but he speaks of “trying,” not of doing anything about it.  He has no interest in eliminating the filibuster rule, no desire to pass serious legislation, not on the climate, not on the budget, not on Pentagon pork, not on any of the things his followers hope against hope that he won’t “cave” on.

A caver is, by definition, someone who leaves the cave.  Obama never does.  He lives in the cave, night and day.  He sees his eager-eyed supporters only as shadows flickering behind a light, never comprehending that they are outside the cave or that the cave has an outside.

Will he sell out?  What will Obama sell out for?  How quickly will he sell out?  Did you know he was going to sell out again?  I saw this sell out coming a mile away.  President Obama, we come to discover, is quite the salesman.

But look closely into the presidential warehouse and you’ll discover that it’s completely out of stock.  The shelves are bare.  Santa’s moved every single child over to the Naughty column.  There’s no there there. And so, lacking any products to sell, the President is completely unaware of selling out.  He honestly denies he’s done so.  His despairing devotees appear bewildered until his sincerity wins them over for the umpteenth time.  Obama never intended to prevent climate catastrophe.  He never wanted to end the mindset that gets us into wars. He never imagined creating a non-profit universal health system.  His deepest vision of change is to pile as much cash as possible on the bankers’ and weapons makers’ desks and let everybody else scramble should there fall to the floor any change.

But why, oh why, is he caving and selling out and betraying our imaginary idol of himself?  We won.  Doesn’t he realize we won?

Who is this “we”?  Did you run for office?

Oh, no, but I funded him.  I and people just like me forked over 0.0003% of his campaign funding.  So we’re part of the movement.  We won the victory.  We’re in the land of milk and honey now, and he’s pissing in it for no reason.

Let’s back up a minute.  The role of citizens in a government of, by, and for the people is not to imagine that we are an elected representative.  This would make exercising the First Amendment a symptom of schizophrenia.  The role of citizens is to push elected officials to represent us.  Virtually all major decisions made by the U.S. government go against the views of the majority of the public and the majority of self-identified Democrats.  There is no “we” here.

No “we” can simply or easily encompass in the same identity both those living in the light and cave dwellers.

Let’s drop the cave-talk.  Obama is trying to keep the Obama tax cuts in place for as many rich people as he can.  To end them he need only do nothing.  They will automatically end if he does nothing.  This will enrich the government’s treasury, not push it off a cliff.  If he wants to lower taxes on actual working people, he can come back and work for that the next day.  Obama intends to leave gun laws just about exactly where they are right now.  If he does otherwise, it will be because we compel him to, because we drag him out of his cave by the scruff of his neck.

Let’s talk about enlightening our government, opening the curtains on the Congressional office buildings and shining some reality into those labyrinths of ignorance and delusion.  Let’s talk about “we the people” not “we the cheerleaders.”  Let’s examine whether we ourselves haven’t perhaps been selling something out or spending a bit of time beneath the ground.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and War Is a Crime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook. Read other articles by David.