Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Agenda Except to Win

In the last week, I've heard a lot of depressing things about Golden Boy Barry:
  • His backers in the Culinary Union in Vegas are threatening and intimidating union members to pre-pledge for Obama or else not be allowed to go to the caucuses.
  • He has campaign organizers handing out flyers telling Republicans to change their party registration for a single day in order to vote against HRC. This evidently started last April in Florida, back when there was going to be a contested primary, and has surfaced again in Nevada. Where else has he been pamphleting?
  • He had to admit in the debate on Tuesday that, yes, his campaign was deliberately stoking racial tensions by falsely accusing the Clinton campaign of using racist appeals and was deliberately misinforming the press and public.
  • He also had to admit that the claims of "Bradley Effect" in New Hampshire (that racists told pollsters they would vote for Obama, then switched their votes to Clinton) never existed.
  • He repeatedly dismisses and insults long-standing Democratic constituencies, such as womens groups and unions, who do not endorse him and reinforce his cult of personality.
  • He thinks the preznit's job is to inspire people and have his hirelings do the tough job of bureaucratin'.
  • He is eagerly and proudly praising one of the nastiest bastards ever in politics, Ronald Reagan, as someone who changed America for the better and who campaigned on wonderfully positive messages.

I spent my young life in Berkely, CA, in the 60s. I was tear gassed three times by the age of 6 because of Reagan's orders to gas residential neighborhoods in Berkely. Ronald Reagan was one of the primary agents of violence and uproar in California. Does Obama really not know of Reagan's infamous declaration? "If there has to be a bloodbath, then let's get it over with." He was referring to turning tear gas, truncheons and guns on non-violent protesters. If there was turmoil in the nation at that time, it was due in no small part to people like Reagan who seized it as an opportunity to do harm to political and cultural enemies.

All this ego, all this fanaticism to win and be named "#1", all this ruthless bludgeoning of the people who did the hard work through the long years of the conservative ascendency, all the pandering to precisely the elements and attitudes that have kept the conservatives in power and able to wreak their violence upon the world built by liberals, and for what?

What is it that Barack Obama, self-annointed next-president of the US, what is it precisely that he thinks to do with this position? He has no interest in the detailed wonk stuff, he doesn't think he should get deeply involved in anything, he has yet to articulate a single, true objective or goal or achievement for his tenure in office.

Hillary has two huge objectives - to implement national health insurance and to restore the national economy - and a list as long as her arm of things like raising minuimum wage, expanding citizen privacy rights, reversing the unconscionable expansion of executive power, and so forth. Edwards talks about restructuring power relationships. Biden spoke of resolving crisis in the middle-east and restoring American stature in the world. Dodd talked about fighting against the encroachments of state power on privacy. Even Kucinich has a list of to-do items, including promoting peace and turning back global warming.

Golden Boy Barry has nothing but his own awesomeness and a vague platform of feel good about being hopeful for, umm, something. His policy proposals, as Krugman has relentlessly documented, amount to little except watered down and incomplete versions of what he stole from Clinton and Edwards. He makes people feel dreamy, but he has no dream to articulate, except becoming the first black president. He is so determined to become that, he will crawl on his knees and beg Republicans, the party dedicated to disenfranchising minorities, degrading women and exploiting immigrants, to vote for him in order to get the margins in the primaries.

For me, I keep coming back to the demographics of who doesn't vote for him - Democrats. He is not very popular with the party he wants to lead because he is not promoting the interests of people who need the government to be squarely on their side. It is all about him, his desires, and a one-item agenda - vote for me because I say you should. It speaks volumes that his supporters are behind him more because they want somone to beat HRC than because he represents anything they actually support. People who don't actually need Social Security or FHA loans or health insurance have the luxury of voting Obama.

The rest of us are Democrats.



Fran said...

...The nausea I feel over this lately has no bounds. Over seven horrible, horrible years of King Narcissist, and it seems many people STILL can't recognize a narcissist when they see one? Where have their heads been all this time? How much more of an education about life and people do they need?

Keep up the continued good work here,


Anglachel said...

Hi Fran,

It does make you wonder just what the big name bloggers and their worshipful fans have learned about the world.