The Political Capital is Gone, Now What About Political Will?

by JIM GOODMAN

It’s not surprising that people are fed up with politics.

When money determines who gets elected, when campaign promises are as easily tossed out as garbage and when most elected officials knowingly support policy that puts the special interests ahead of the people’s interests, why bother with a rigged game?

The Senate is firmly under the control of a Republican minority of 41, the House is stalled and thinking about re-election, the Supreme Court has decided that political office should be for sale to the special interest that is willing to spend the most on behalf of their chosen candidate and the President continues to “play nice” instead of pushing a progressive agenda.

Just a year ago there was a great sense of hope, not seen since the end of WWII.

A president whose idea of peace might not mean more “boots on the ground”.

A President who supported health care for all.

A President who believed in fair trade, not free trade.

A President who felt banks should help people better their lives, not gamble away their money.

Boy did we take the bait, the drift to the right continues with President Obama still thinking he can work with a Republican party whose game plan is blocking legislation.

Just as people used to hide those they were ashamed of away from public view, the Republicans have successfully hidden George Bush and the failures of his administration away.

The ills of the nation are now Obama’s problem, Obama’s fault and still he panders to those who vilify him; to those who want less oversight, more war, more for the rich and less for everyone else.

The militarism, the Wall Street free for all, the bankruptcies, the mortgage foreclosures, the top down bail out at the expense of the bottom; all the legacies of the Bush Administration are dumped on Obama and for solutions he turns to those who created the problems and offer more of the same as a solution.

In his State of the Union Address the President stated that “jobs must be our number one focus in 2010”, yet he intends to push for more free trade agreements, policies Presidents Clinton and Bush championed, policies that shipped jobs overseas and crushed the workers, the farmers, the labor unions and the families of America. Policies that have caused pain, policies that Obama seems reluctant to stop.

He barely mentioned Afghanistan and the nearly one hundred thousand American troops there, what could he say? It’s good? It’s working? How about the truth, that it’s bad policy with no end in sight.

The President said he was open to better ideas on how to remake the nation’s health care system, but he offered no ideas of his own, nothing he was willing to push forward.

What might the late Howard Zinn have said about President Obama’s speech? I doubt he would have criticized the President as a failure, but I do think he would have criticized him because he was afraid to try, because he was afraid to formulate his own policy and to push it relentlessly.

JIM GOODMAN is a dairy farmer from Wonewoc WI and a 2008-2009 IATP Food and Society Policy Fellow.

 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”