Brotherpeacemaker dropped an interesting post on President-elect Obama’s overtures to his former political foes entitled: “Forgiveness In The New Age Of Political Bipartisanship”.
His thought-provoking article inspired this comment from me:
There is no surprise on my part on the current policy positions and appointments of President-elect Obama. “There is none so blind as he who will not see”… and during Obama’s 2 year presidential campaign, most people… especially African-Americans… turned a “blind eye” and a “deaf ear” to whom President-elect Obama was truly courting and speaking to in his bid to become President. He spoke loudly and clearly to the political and economic establishment to reassure them that they had nothing to fear from him, regardless of all his beating the empty rhetorical drum about being a “candidate of change”. He made certain that they understood that he would be their “man friday” if elected to the White House and would do everything in his power to protect their interests (as we saw in his support for the bailout of the financial institutions and his current support of a bailout for the auto industry). I give him a lot of credit as a politicain… the “old school” political establishment, especially the Clintons… under-estimated his political savy, skills and strategy during the campaign. Once he won the demoncratic nomination though, there was no doubt that it was all over for the McCain and the republicans.
From his first appointment of Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, which wasn’t really a surprise if you ever listened/read his policy positions, it confirmed that he was going to rule from “right” of the political centre. So it is really no surprise that he has appointed former Clintonistas… centrists and right of centre policy honks to his cabinet and inner circle of advisers. There is no doubt about their qualifications (and more importantly, their commitment) to substantively maintain the current status quo.
So Obamas overtures to Clinton, whom he had refered to as “Bush-light” during the democratic campaign; to McCain, whom he had warned if elected would represent a third term of Bush policies; and to Joe Lieberman, the most right wing Democratic in the party, can be understood as not all that surprising if seen in the same vein. They all play and compete in the same sandbox like school children… so at the end of the day, regardless of what is done and/or said among them… all is forgiven and forgotten…. everyone shakes hands and are friends again the next day.
Except in the case of Rev. Wright. He refused to play “nice” in the sandbox with the others. He refused to jump on the train and get swept away on the “magical mystery tour”. He refused to sell his soul for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver and betray the truth. He refused to play by the rules of the sandbox… like Clinton, McCain, Lieberman, Obama and even Bush… so for Rev Wright there is no forgiveness in Obama’s new age of political enlightenment. In Obama’s world, Rev Wright is the “greatest political devil”.
There are excellent and insightful articles over at Black Agenda Report about the inner workings Obama and the political establishment for those interested in devlving a little deeper… or just being exposed to another point of view.
Yes, yes, yes!!!
It is so easy to be intoxicated by the spectacle of a man of color, a family of color entering the “White” House through the front door – and taking up residence. I was made a little drunk on it myself. But it is a spectacle that those who designed it knew would provide a compelling, brain numbing, high for those susceptible to the “symbolic lobotomy.”
As my brother Asa has pointed out from day one, we can’t afford to be fooled. Obama didn’t create some grassroots army to overturn capitalism, neo-liberalism, globalism. He hijacked the language of the movements against globalism, etc, suckered many in the Left, stole their energy and aspects of their analysis and put it in service of his agenda.
Obama’s Change is stylistic only and the real face of his change can be seen even more clearly by his appointees, as Asa also pointed out. How are you going to have the fox guarding the chicken coop? How can you have one of the architects of torture and rendition under Bush, advising this President????? What kind of change is that?
The magical thinking and intellectual backflipping required to justify what Obama is up to will leave most of his cultists in traction.
It is our job in the AfroSpear/Sphere to put down the Obama-aid and see this man for who and what he is. It is also our job to help foment real change, help a real movement rise up. The passivity, the “let’s wait to see what he does before we make any moves” mentality is a plantation mentality. It was that mindset that made Harriet Tubman stick a gun in the face of the “nervous nellies” who wanted to slink back to the big house when the going got tough. Its already tough and its going to get tougher.
All you heard during the campaign was “middleclassmiddleclassmiddleclassmiddle class” but nothing was said about the structurally impoverished and helping THEM. NOTHING! Its as if they don’t exist; just like it seems racism doesn’t exist except in the widest, most generic, “Crash” like terms. Or imperialism, or fascism. When you can’t or won’t speak the truth with the kind of platform HE had…somethin’ wrong.
And when you shunt to the side real truth tellers – because too much truth is bad for the health of the electorate – you are a traffic cop at the intersection of political expediency and moral cowardice. Backing up and going down the right road ain’t gonna happen. Only we with our opened minds can make it happen.
The real deal is that Obama won the election to preserve the status quo, even if the bloodsucking system has to make some concessions. Capitalism really wants the concessions to come from the masses, and senses that society has adopted a capitulationist mindset.
Barack Obama will test that theory. He will continue to see if pain can trickle down at the same rate it has over the last thirty years. If not, will he pull a few rabbits out of the ole hat and the economic crisis may ease up.
One must ask, why did the Imperialists trash the greatest economic boom in history? Because for them there never was no boom. There never was a period in capitalist history when there was no boom for somebody. Clinton kick started the subprime housing bubble by locking down one million Africans in prison. The banks were tied to the private prison industry in a big way. This permitted them — in part — to lower interest rates until they decided that was enuf, and time to lower the boom instead.
For a minute number of deep pocket investors to stampede the voluminous herd of homeowners, aka suckers, the Imperialists hope you don’t see them concentrating even greater wealth and power into their hands. In the end, they will have their own private fiefs guarded by private armies built from public assets auctioned off at firesale prices.
Consumer contracts already have begun eroding your rights by compelling people to sign agreements with so much fine print that nobody can help but to violate a legal condition, thereby justifying increased rates, charges, fees. This constitutes standard operating procedure for lenders, cell phone service providers, insurers, and any other monopoly sector business. This strategy also worked like a marketing survey to see how much pain Americans were willing to endure. Now the corporations will be raping people even moreso, with contracts for college education, public transportation, utilities, gasoline service contracts, and when you don’t pay you will be penalized heavily.
What will Obama have to say about that? No other president ever commented on these trends. The news media has been perfectly complicit with the direction corporate America has taken the country, and the unions also have tailed what is going on. When will people in this country wake up? When they have a neo-fascist prez with a corporate-driven political agenda worse than the current one, with the media in his pocket.
Hubert Jones said:
Great piece! Obama will break black people’s hearts. He is no King, nothing but another opportunist who will along with the rest of the neoliberals usher in an era of austerity and political oppression.
Whoa! Greatest political devil !!! That’s some heavy words.
Miriam… you need to read the Brotherpeacemaker post to understand the reference.
AND yes… it’s “some heavy words”… truthful words usually are.
Stephen C. Rose said:
I will get hammered a bit for saying this, but what else is new? I do not think Wright is/was Barack Obama’s greatest political devil. Conceding the substance of Wright’s critique, I would also see Barack as having moved beyond a point where that critique in itself was worth throwing into the political mix if a country already partway down the trail of a functioning fascism. In other words the critique was and is valid but so is the political environment in which someone like myself would not survive very long if my thought dreams could be heard.
I think Barack understands exactly what Wright was saying and where he was coming from and that at the same time Wright gave him the perfect opportunity, ultimately, to cast this in the mould he did.
Barack will be legitimately judged by how he navigates the Scylla and Charybdis of the actual political situation out there. We can judge all we wish and even be right but it has little relevance to his achieving some positive objectives in the minefield of our society.
Prophets speak truth. Rulers cut deals.
Hubert Jones said:
They got us again. Using a brother, Obama, to usher in the New World Order. The Obama administration will be nothing but an unmitigated disaster for America and the world as he will increase the body count in both wars. Sorry dudes, there will be no push back from Iraq