POLITICAL COMMENTARY: President Barack Obama, 2008
In Greek mythology, when Pandora opened her jar, she loosed all the evils into the world. Hope was at the bottom of the jar, and she closed the lid before Hope got out. The story is misinterpreted as Hope being blocked from combating all the other evils, when in fact, Hope was at the bottom of the jar because it was the greatest evil. Hope is a wraith. Hope is unrealized fantasy. Hope is pain until it is resolved or surrendered.
President Barack Obama is selling Hope like a mad prophet. How much do we buy? Especially in THIS economy.
(Republicans, I'm gonna be back on your christmas card list after this one... maybe...)
"... the spirit of the times will always change, and the hope of the hour may one day be difficult to recall."
- attributed to Thomas Jefferson, by Jon Meacham, NEWSWEEK Nov 2008.
"In the age of the Permanent Campaign, government becomes an offshoot of campaigning rather than the other way around."
- Scott McClellan, WHAT HAPPENED, 2008.
"What do we do now?"
Robert Redford, after election win in THE CANDIDATE (1972).
artin Luther King had a dream.
Barack Obama has a mandate.
That doesn't just mean a romantic stroll through the Rose Garden with President Bush on November 10. Wielding congressional power like Neptune's trident, Obama knows the sea-change is real, so talked big to the small man he is replacing. During the Oval Egg man-date, Obama spoke to Number 43 (presumably using small words) about solidifying a stimulus package for the economy, aiding the auto industry, and - before he arrived at the White House that morning - released a press statement on closing Guantanamo: "You can't keep people in a dungeon forever without processing them." The clear message: "Here's my boot, Dubya - present unto me thou pasty yellow buttocks to bury it in!"
Grand opening chess moves! "If you want to know about my leadership style, look at the way I run my campaign." No Drama Obama has always embraced the purest of principles: stay focused, stay calm, stay organized. The well-oiled Obama Political Machine seems poised to roar on steel wheels onto two terms of prosperity.
But we would be naive to think all our problems are solved with the election of a new president - as messianic as that president may seem.
Selling "change" is good. Change is tangible, quantifiable. But Hope? Hope is just a gooey feeling. To paraphrase a thousand curmudgeons (including BAD SANTA, 2003), "Hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first."
Barack Obama has pushed the RESET button and brought America back up to zero. That's not an insult; that's achieving the insurmountable task of dragging America from the subterranean pit where the Ku Bush Klan abandoned her, with rape-semen dripping from her bloodied anus. Because with two dictator lunatics at the helm, America was not even operating under any Constitution; bereft of any form of written governance. Will Obama relinquish some of those imperial powers accrued during the Ku Bush terms and reinstate the rights of the American people? Or will he sensuously rub those extended powers into his naked self while dancing with Ellen to distract us?
BBC News: "Many experts take the view that little will change in the substance of ties with Europe during an Obama presidency; the main difference will be in the tone and the approach."
You know that health care that you can't afford right now? Probably still won't be able to afford it. Big pharm still strangleholds American government. Doctors will still have to call bloodless, inhumane Morlocks to ask permission to operate or prescribe an MRI for you. You'll still probably die waiting for a medication to be approved by the Morlocks as "necessary"...
Those taxes that are too high? They'll still be too high next year. Got nothing to do with Obama's "over $250,000" plan. The Federal Reserve - responsible for a large crunch of income tax - is still not part of the federal government; still exists in a limbo of unratified criminality. So even though Obama can see through walls and walk on water, the Fed is kryptonite.
Obama speechifies on shipping less jobs overseas; of rewarding domestic businesses for hiring American workers. American Workers, meet the H-1B Visa: allowing non-Americans to work in the U.S.; allowing employers to pay these barely legal workers less than an American worker in the same job; so even if jobs are staying HERE, they are being given to people from OVER THERE. But I thought we were fighting them OVER THERE so we wouldn't have to fight them OVER HERE.... Oh Dubya, you have such profoundification...
As for Republicans accusing Obama of Socialism... it's already here. Not by his hand; by the Republican party in power. What else would you call a 700-billion-dollar bailout to corporations who don't need or deserve it - capitalism? When you invest in a house, land, stocks, a business - and it fails - you EAT IT. That's capitalism. "Sharing the wealth" - as we've been warned ad nauseam by the Republicans pertaining to Obama - is Socialism. And is scary and stuff.
Americans, meet the high-level socialist scum at AIG and Lehman Brothers who could care less than a mosquito fart whether you live or die, but will gladly take your money to save their Armani pig-bellies, and make the government tell you to feel good about it. And you will. You socialist swine.
Obama fix? No. Obama play the game. No other game in town.
And that fake Homeland Security department that the Ku Bush Klan created to pretend they were fighting terrorism and illegal immigration? Obama probably can't cut that cancer out after its metastasis into the fear-fogged American culture-- Hang on! I've figured why Obama is meeting McCain. Remember, McCain has that wonderful plan to catch bin Laden! And of course he's going to whisper it in Obama's ear, like an albino child sharing a secret with the popular kid; like Grima Wormtongue hissing into the ear of King Theoden. End of Terrorism... No wonder Obama's closing Gitmo.
After basing his anti-Bush campaign on NOT supporting the Iraq War, now Obama wants to go mini-Iraq by sending more troops to Afghanistan. To capture bin Laden, he says. (--What about the albino's foolproof plan?) In doing so, Obama simply follows the Bush Playbook: can't terrorize enough people into giving up bin Laden? Send More Troops. But this is not a war with a COUNTRY - this is an unwinnable war against the amorphous tactic of "terrorism." Sending More Troops is the same mistake W made! Obama should follow the advice of Ron Paul: Marque and Reprisal - Boba Fett bounty hunters covertly weeding out the enemy, not mass gunfire and checkpoints and family raids and unnecessary war films about killing children accidentally but nobly. As Sarkozy reminds us, to be a respected international leader, always ask yourself, "What Would Bush Do?" - and then do the opposite. Sending More Troops is Obama's redneck political palliation to win over hawks who might've thought he was a peacenik. Okay, the rhetoric worked. Now make like a politician and break your promise. This is one promise that works better broken.
At Obama's first press conference as President-Elect (Nov 7, 2008) when CNN's Candy Crowley asked him whether any secret information he is now privy to has given him pause, he refused to comment - which means something gave him pause - then gave her a big smile and the sun came out. But reading between the lines, it means Obama is now being drawn into that hellish Faustian circle where his innocence is being eroded by Things He Cannot Unsee.
"...like a circle in a spiral,
Like a wheel within a wheel,
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning reel..."
- Windmills of Your Mind, by
Bergman, Legrand, Bergman.
Meanwhile, the never-ending Permanent Campaign spirals on; offices within the office of the presidency, ever-spinning toward "the next election," sating the modern 24/7 filth news cycle with psychological strokes and rabid politicking. You thought two years was a long campaign. It hasn't been two years. It's been much longer. And it hasn't ended yet. Nor will it ever. Can any president, let alone young magical Obie, get his job done while a majority of his job is to actually work towards keeping his job another four years? A long way from Agrarian Age politics, where a few wealthy land-owners came together, proposed their policies and were expediently elected by their compatriots, the lower classes exempted from the voting process yet governed by the elected officials nonetheless.
Kinda like it is today. Without the expediency.
That rent you're behind on, that car you can't fix, that credit card you can't balance, the undiagnosed pain in your lower chest, your asshole neighbor, your prostate problem, the children you can't buy shoes for... all these tribulations will still burden you tomorrow. And General Motors will go out of business or stay in business with or without Obie-Wan and his bucket of hope. "Yes We Can heal this nation."
The King is Dead! Long Live the King's Dream! If Obama addresses all these issues and resolves them, or at least tries to - egg on my face. Gladly so. We - as the Agrarian herds living in the shadow of the elected elite - must hold him to his promise of "I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face."
But whatever will we do if he reneges? Vote him into office again, of course! Look what happened to Dubya...
Americans must accept that America is mired too deep in the complicated snakepit of politics to extricate itself cleanly. Goop will cling to the most sincere of leaders. And for you and me and Poffy the Cucumber, nothing will change.
But as a nation, America will wince no longer in embarrassment when its figurehead meets with foreign dignitaries; will cringe no more in humiliation at the rash decisions its uneducated leader makes, will be implicated no further in the abrogation of the Constitution and the murdering of children. "Yes We Can repair this world."
Obama will change the world and the world's perception of America. But he won't/can't change American Government. We will end up railing at "the gubmint" for the usual governmental misdeeds, as opposed to the last eight years' railing at mind-boggling, unbelievable, ultra-amoral crimes.
"We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope."
So don't let Hope become false. Follow through. Obama's election was a great step in crushing under heel the serpent of stupidity and ignorance. Follow through with action. Don't let me be - and don't you be - one of the "chorus of cynics." (It didn't help that Prop 8 - dealing with freedom from oppression - was crushed under heel on the same day Barack intoned "Yes We Can to justice and equality"; on the same night Black America cried, "Free at last! Free at last!")
One step forward, one step sideways. America, got a-ways to go... at least there's a steady hand on the tiller...
Forty years after Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968, "Change has come to America." The mountaintop, the Promised Land - if you stretch real hard, your fingertips can almost... almost...