Friday, September 16, 2011

"As I watch the Republican debates, I realize that we are on the brink of a crazy person running our nation."

James Carville

We can only hope.

We can only hope that America votes for change in November.

We can hope that Barak Obama doesn't have a lame duck, second term in which to go after Social Security and Medicare, to despoil the environment, to undermine the interests of working people.

The faux populist, election year rhetoric intended to cast himself as the defender of social programs against the Republicans has already begun. The last time we heard such talk from him was last time he was running for president. (Note, however, that in the clip the link leads to, he is careful not to rule anything out.)

In the interim, he has said several times that Social Security and Medicare need to be "reformed," offered reforms as bargaining chips, and packed his debt reduction commission with Republicans and Democrats who favor privatization of these programs

As I have noted here before, historically, working people, and the environment, are actually safer with a Republican in the White House, because opposition to any draconian changes a Republican president tries to sneak through is swift and massive. With a Democrat in the White House, opposition from Progressives and environmental groups is muted, and any opposition that does materialize is quickly co-opted. As I have noted before, Jim Messina, who is running Obama's re-election campaign and who The Nation magazine calls Obama's "Enforcer ," heads up a White House office created especially for that purpose and has used it to neuter major environmental groups and progressive fronts like

Recall that it was Democrat Bill Clinton who, in league with Republicans, ended welfare and muscled NAFTA and GATT through congress despite widespread opposition from the Left, and from unions, and despite most Democrats in congress opposing those moves. Recall that not once but twice now Obama has, despite the recommendations of the EPA and its scientists, forced his own EPA to degrade its environmental standards.

Obama, like Clinton, is a "New Democrat." Like Clinton he is a Neoliberal when it comes to economics. What is Neoliberalism? It's Reaganomics. Thatcherism. It's the scheme hatched in the late 1970s to redistribute wealth upwards. It's goal was to end up with the American working class, which at one point had achieved the highest standard of living in the history of the world, having a living standard closer to that of a third world country, and recent economic data indicate that we are headed that way at an increasing pace. The chronic high unemployment rate, which Obama has done nothing about and which allows Capital to have its way with workers, has helped speed the process. As can be expected, as the working class declines, those on its lower fringes decline, too, as indicated by Census Bureau data released just the other day showing that one in six Americans now lives in poverty, a record number.

Obama most recently offered Social Security and Medicare as bargaining chips in last month's debate over raising the debt ceiling limit. In the Jobs Bill he is pushing now, he proposes cutting Social Security funding and Medicare payouts, and as has been noted, these are only his opening positions. He invariably capitulates to most Republican demands. This is all besides the fact that he has doubled down on Bush era warmongering, continued the Bush surveillance state, continued torture, kept Guantanamo open, and is setting records for the prosecution of government whistleblowers.

Don't give Obama a chance to screw things up for us any further. Almost everything he has done has been done to assure himself a second term. He has put his own job above those of all working Americans. We must put an end to this craziness. Obama Must Go.

 note: For more information on Neoliberalism, and to better understand what is happening to our economy, now, with the attacks on unions, the decline in wages and living standards, the dismantling of social programs like welfare and social security, the looting of pension funds, how the Democratic Party went from nominally being a party of the people to adopting Neoliberal economic doctrine, I have included here several reviews of David Harvey's "A Brief History of Neoliberalism. In the Sasha Lilly interview he pretty much tells the whole story of how Neoliberalism was conceived of and hatched, how all the conservative think tanks that we have now were started up to intentionally provide talking points for it, and so forth.

A quick review by Thomm Hartmann 

Review in All Education Matters

Review in New Learning Online 

A serious analytical review in Dissent Magazine (pdf file or web page

Audio of Harvey, 8 1/2 minutes 

Sasha Lilly interview (transcript)


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