FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

In the Ground

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

In 2009, my son went to Washington, DC. He was among hundreds of thousands swept to excitement by an unprecedented moment. I discouraged—didn’t want him on the road. Probably, had I been his age, 22, I’d have driven all night, too. It was one hell of a party.

On election night, 2008, a weeping Jesse Jackson was captured on film, his tears reflecting history’s sadness and future’s possibilities.

Festivities were heard around the world.

The party’s long been over for all but the uber-wealthy.

I am remembering Michelle Obama on the campaign trail, her admission and the criticism she took when she said, “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” She prefaced this with, “People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics.

So many were expecting the change of which she spoke to be an improvement for the middle class and working poor.

So many were expecting a departure from the Bush/Cheney economic tyranny, militarism, imperialism, contempt for The Other, torture, and environmental devastation.

And then the excuses:

“He inherited a mess.”

“He needs more time.”

These tired justifications must be put to sleep.

Because we have seen the circus of the absurd, the standup tragedians, much emoting about entitlement programs, a president offering more to the shredder than was asked, and little mention of the costs of war, the number of countries with which we’re at war, and the trillions in stimulus money distributed to the personhoods responsible for toxins in the bundles.

The entitlement program needing the most excision is Bailing out the Banksters, corporate welfare, not safety nets that protect the most vulnerable.

Still left to manipulate is extension of Bush-era tax cuts (set to expire at the end of 2012) that hugely benefit those who hold black American Express cards. Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats are concerned that Obama may entice with hope and change, something from his pre-oath, transformational phase, to salvage his reputation, galvanize a progressive base, and use as leverage for less slicing and dicing of liberal priorities.

Don’t count on this.

The middle class is dying. Inequality is thriving. Obama is owned by Wall Street. Congress is owned by Wall Street. The system is working exactly as big capital dictates.

This is the New World Order.

The opportunists have erased all that early revelry, planned by the people, to celebrate the land of opportunity. Never again should young and old alike feel that inexorable rush of anticipation, compelling them to go, to travel to Washington, DC, in honor of someone whose pre-presidency promises seem trustworthy.

The “different kind of politics” about which Michelle Obama swooned is nada, zip. And the tear that rolled down Jesse Jackson’s face is a symbol of what could have been and isn’t. Hope has been laid to rest—the American dream lowered in the ground.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Reach her at missybeat@gmail.com.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail