Democracy How!?

by MISSY BEATTIE

WidowRica emerged from her high-rise wearing a neon magenta scarf beneath her beautiful smile. Off we drove to the Baltimore Book Fair, a venue of tents, contents of good intentions and pretensions, multi-dimensions, and my personal tensions, not to mention food and music.

I’d arranged to meet peace pal Jon Gold around 7:00 p.m. to hear Democracy Now!’s courageous (in the line of fire) journalist Amy Goodman advance her latest book. Jon and I had a little email flurry about questioning Goodman on a couple of issues.

WidowRica and I arrived early afternoon to hear authors read from their creations. Soon, my mind was off-road.

The Junkyard Saints zydeco’d a few blocks away and soon WidowRica was late-afternoon magic, dancing with children and shaking her shake-ables. I swayed, aware my effort was just that, an effort. The truth is I have this big personality, but it seems my actions are like a performance, one someone is directing, while demanding, “Be more convincing.”

“You look so happy” was entered on my FaithBook page, after I’d uploaded a photograph WidowRica took.

“I don’t wear my insides outside,” I said later in a phone conversation. “You just can’t. Nobody wants to be with someone who’s always sad and vulnerable. Nobody but a predator.”

I don’t know how many times I looked at WidowRica and said, “I have to move along.” She’d tell me to be patient. I tried.

Then I saw Jon, walking towards the tent. And there we sat in the big shelter of the Bank of America Literary Salon, among Amy Goodman fans. I could focus here. Goodman’s good. Excellent, really. And, yes, the crowd booed that BOA sponsored the fair.

Ms. Goodman spent her time bashing both Republican and Democratic “leadership,” with heavier criticism of the former. When told she had seven minutes to wrap up her delivery, she went full-tilt boogey on the increased militarism of the police, with a call for dissent among news organizations, and an emotional tribute to Obama’s starring in the role of first black president. And my circuitry, so unfocused most of the day, sharpened, forming statements and questions. Amy Goodman closed her promo, and someone announced, “No questions.”

Jon was unable to say:

I want to make clear that the premise of this question is not based on buildings, missiles or any other theory. It’s based on the fact that a great wrong has taken place, and there needs to be real truth, justice and accountability. On 9/11/2006, 9/11 Family Members Donna Marsh O’Connor, Christina Kminek, and Michele Little got together at the National Press Club to call for a new investigation. In February 2008, the famous Jersey Girls called for a new investigation after allegations that Philip Zelikow took direction from Karl Rove. During the latter part of 2009, there was an initiative to get a new investigation into 9/11 on the ballots of NYC. Over 80,000 New Yorkers and 100+ family members supported this. Why didn’t Democracy Now! cover any of this? You’re supposed to be the Alternative media, Amy. When the media doesn’t work, those with a voice need to use it. Please start covering the multitude of cover-ups pertaining to 9/11, and please start providing coverage to the family members seeking justice.

Nor was I able to mention: Democracy Now!’s position on NATO’s intervention in Libya and Syria. That the plundering of Libya was unchallenged by Goodman. That when Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, condemned Russia and China’s nonparticipation to act against Syria, Goodman failed to dispute Rice’s suggestion that the US work outside of the United Nations to force democracy on Syria. Plus, all that Obama adoration.

During the event, I recalled the words of Glen Ford, executive director of BlackAgendaReport.com, “How dare you call him the lesser of two evils. Obama is awesomely evil.” Ford appeared on Democracy Now! to debate Professor/sermonizer Michael Eric Dyson on the Obama Presidency, asserting that Obama is the “more effective evil.”

I drove WidowRica home, watched her enter the door of her lovely building, and I repeated, “Right on Pratt, left to I-83,” lost as I am, most of the time.

I’ve been reasoning that we are faced again with the lesser of two evils, and my thinking has returned many times this week to Goodman, her Baltimore talk, the tribute to Barack Obama. And to Democracy Now!, purportedly an alternative to mainstream news. But how much of an alternative is this news if the reportage is just the lesser of two evils? There, I’ve said it. Goodman’s words in support of Barack Obama demand I say it.

And if you’ve hit that hyperlink up there to listen to Ford, you’ve heard him eventually answer Mr. Dyson’s question, “So, are you voting for Obama?”:

Well, we are certainly not encouraging people to vote for the more effective evil. But, however, members of my family and friends and people that we at Black Agenda Report deal with closely, politically, are going to vote for President Obama. All we ask of them is that they not tell any lies about his record in the process, to tell the truth.

Here’s the truth: Yes, Mr. Ford, Obama is “awesomely evil.” You said it. “Awesomely evil” as he drones carnage on mostly brown people. And as he continues the Wall St. assault on the working poor and middle class. But, hey, the only onus is to not tell any lies.

Something’s terribly wrong here.

Missy Beattie live in Baltimore. Email: missybeat@gmail.com

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 05, 2015
John Eskow
The Fake Courage of Caitlyn Jenner
Mike Whitney
 The Brookings Institute Plan to Liquidate Syria 
John K. White
Life on the Layaway Plan: We’re All Greek Now
Ted Rall
14 Years Ago, a Woman Vindicated Me Now
Thomas Mountain
A Letter From Africa to #BlackLivesMatter
Roger Annis
Well-Known Canadian Journalist Visits Ukraine and Praises neo-Nazi
August 04, 2015
Vincent J. Roscigno
University Bureaucracy as Organized Crime
Paul Street
Bernie Sanders’ Top Five Race Problems: the Whiteness of Nominal Socialism
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is White Supremacy a Mental Disorder?
Ramzy Baroud
The Palestinian Bubble and the Burning of Toddler, Ali Dawabsha
Pepe Escobar
Reshuffling Eurasia’s Energy Deck — Iran, China and Pipelineistan
L. Michael Hager
The Battle Over BDS
Eric Draitser
Puerto Rico: Troubled Commonwealth or Debt Colony?
Colin Todhunter
Hypnotic Trance in Delhi: Monsanto, GMOs and the Looting of India’s Agriculture
Benjamin Willis
The New Cubanologos: What’s in a Word?
Matt Peppe
60 Minutes Provides Platform for US Military
Binoy Kampmark
The Turkish Mission: Reining in the Kurds
Eoin Higgins
Teaching Lessons of White Supremacy in Prime-Time: Blackrifice in the Post-Apocalyptic World of the CW’s The 100
Gary Corseri
Gaza: Our Child’s Shattered Face in the Mirror
Robert Dodge
The Nuclear World at 70
Paula Bach
Exit the Euro? Polemic with Greek Economist Costas Lapavitsas
August 03, 2015
Jack Dresser
The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure
Nelson Valdes
An Internet Legend: the Pope, Fidel and the Black President
Robert Hunziker
The Perfectly Nasty Ocean Storm
Ahmad Moussa
Incinerating Palestinian Children
Greg Felton
Greece Succumbs to Imperialist Banksterism
Binoy Kampmark
Stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Failure of the Hawai’i Talks
Ted Rall
My Letter to Nick Goldberg of the LA Times
Mark Weisbrot
New Greek Bailout Increases the Possibility of Grexit
Jose Martinez
Black/Hispanic/Women: a Leadership Crisis
Victor Grossman
German Know-Nothings Today
Patrick Walker
We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon
Norman Pollack
Moral Consequences of War: America’s Hegemonic Thirst
Ralph Nader
Republicans Support Massive Tax Evasion by Starving IRS Budget
Alexander Reid Ross
Colonial Pride and the Killing of Cecil the Lion
Suhayb Ahmed
What’s Happening in Britain: Jeremy Corbyn and the Future of the Labour Party
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