Crown Obama: It’s Over


The most remarkable aspect of the now widely watched video of an “off-the-cuff” Romney, paradoxically enough, was just how unremarkable his recorded comments really were.

Sure, Romney managed to slur as parasitic all those who feel there is a human right to food, health care, and housing.  Sure, Romney revealed his intention as president would be to obstruct peace in the Middle East.  And sure, Romney even threw in a racist joke to boot.  But how is any of this particularly surprising?  How else does one think the elite speak of the working class, Palestinians, and minorities at their clandestine fundraisers?

Of course, all of this is not to say that Romney’s ill-advised candor won’t haunt him.  It assuredly will.  After all, in the U.S. two-party system—as Romney himself correctly noted—the political campaign is nothing more than a marketing campaign.  It is about crafting a marketable brand and then raising the necessary funds from the gatekeepers amongst the ruling elite to peddle it all to the American electorate.  It, like all branding, is about creating the most compelling illusion: whether that is the Obama illusion of “hope,” or the Romney illusion of “restoring America.”

But the truth—of which there is plenty to be found in the leaked Romney video—destroys illusions.  The self-deception necessary for one to embrace any illusion is thwarted by any insertion of reality.  And this was Romney’s greatest sin: to be caught speaking the sordid truth amid a campaign based on perfecting the art of deceit.

The latest self-implosion of the über-capitalist Romney, however, hardly signals a victory for all those below the upper echelons of the economic elite.  Lest we forget, the reason political campaigns are based on marketing (i.e., the practice of trying to get people to buy what they neither need nor really want) is because both parties share the same agenda.  They’re in essence selling the same defunct product, albeit adorned with slightly different colored glosses.

The true political battle in the two-party system, then, is fought out amongst the power elite over which candidate offers the most effective vehicle through which to enact their agenda.  And it is clear in this respect that the power elite are once again beginning to circle back around to Obama.  This process was well underway prior to the leaked Romney video, evidenced in that August saw Obama out raise Romney on the back of large contributors for the first time in four months. 

It ought, though, to be no surprise to see the elite come back home to Obama.  As Glen Ford has rightly argued, Obama is not so much the lesser evil, but the “more effective evil.”  That is, Obama has proven to be the best face for American capitalism—the most reliable curator for the interests of American capital.  The articulate, black, charming, and ostensibly liberal Obama has demonstrated in four years to be the best man to lead the coming frontal assault on Social Security, Medicare, and public education.  Just as Obama has proven over four years of indefinite detention and expanded drone warfare to be a most adept administrator of U.S. imperialism. 

Romney, on the other hand, has demonstrated time and again much the opposite.  A highly affluent man who belittles half the country as parasites and speaks on his joy of firing people, it ought to be clear, will struggle to sell “entitlement reform” to a public still cherishing the remnants of a social safety net.  Likewise, a man who alienates allied nations on trips abroad and bungles an international crisis (as was seen in Romney’s initial response to the Benghazi attack) is not likely to serve as an effective administrator of the American imperial project.  In short, Romney’s ineptitude has proven to be a potential liability for the power elite.  Hence, Mitt is toast.  

Crown Obama.  It’s over.

Ben Schreiner is a freelance writer based in Wisconsin.  He may be reached at bnschreiner@gmail.com or via his website.

Weekend Edition
October 2-4, 2015
Henry Giroux
Murder, USA: Why Politicians Have Blood on Their Hands
Jennifer Loewenstein
Heading Toward a Collision: Syria, Saudi Arabia and Regional Proxy Wars
John Pilger
Wikileaks vs. the Empire: the Revolutionary Act of Telling the Truth
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Lightning War in Syria
Gary Leupp
A Useful Prep-Sheet on Syria for Media Propagandists
Jeffrey St. Clair
Pesticides, Neoliberalism and the Politics of Acceptable Death
Joshua Frank
The Need to Oppose All Foreign Intervention in Syria
Lawrence Ware – Paul Buhle
Insurrectional Black Power: CLR James on Race and Class
Oliver Tickell
Jeremy Corbyn’s Heroic Refusal to be a Nuclear Mass Murderer
Helen Yaffe
Che’s Economist: Remembering Jorge Risquet
Mark Hand
‘Rape Rooms’: How West Virginia Women Paid Off Coal Company Debts
Yves Engler
War Crimes in the Dark: Inside Canada’s Special Forces
Arno J. Mayer
Israel: the Wages of Hubris and Violence
W. T. Whitney
Cuban Government Describes Devastating Effects of U. S. Economic Blockade
Brian Cloughley
The US-NATO Alliance Destroyed Libya, Where Next?
Karl Grossman
The Politics of Lyme Disease
Barry Lando
Syria: Obama’s Bay of Pigs?
Andre Vltchek
Southeast Asia “Forgets” About Western Terror
Jose Martinez
American Violence: Umpqua is “Routine”?
Vijay Prashad
Russian Gambit, Syrian Dilemma
Sam Smith
Why the Democrats are in Such a Mess
Uri Avnery
Nasser and Me
Andrew Levine
The Saints March In: The Donald and the Pope
Arun Gupta
The Refugee Crisis in America
Michael Welton
Junior Partner of Empire: Why Canada’s Foreign Policy Isn’t What You Think
Lara Santoro
Terror as Method: a Journalist’s Search for Truth in Rwanda
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Elections and Verbal Vomit
Dan Glazebrook
Refugees Don’t Cause Fascism, Mr. Timmermann – You Do
Victor Grossman
Blood Moon Over Germany
Patrick Bond
Can World’s Worst Case of Inequality be Fixed by Pikettian Posturing?
Pete Dolack
Earning a Profit from Global Warming
B. R. Gowani
Was Gandhi Averse to Climax? A Psycho-Sexual Assessment of the Mahatma
Tom H. Hastings
Another Mass Murder
Anne Petermann
Activists Arrested at ArborGen GE Trees World Headquarters
Ben Debney
Zombies on a Runaway Train
Franklin Lamb
Confronting ‘Looting to Order’ and ‘Cultural Racketeering’ in Syria
Carl Finamore
Coming to San Francisco? Cra$h at My Pad
Ron Jacobs
Standing Naked: Bob Dylan and Jesus
Missy Comley Beattie
What Might Does To Right
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi Jayanti, Gandhi’s Dream
Raouf Halaby
A Week of Juxtapositions
Louis Proyect
Scenes from the Class Struggle in Iran
Christopher Washburn
Skeptik’s Lexicon
Charles R. Larson
Indonesia: Robbed, Raped, Abused
David Yearsley
Death Songs