FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Barack’s Bubble, Bubba’s Trouble

The United States is the inventor of the Bubble Gum. Not surprisingly, we also specialize in Bubbles. After the Internet Bubble, the Real Estate Bubble, followed by the Stock Market Bubble. Spreading our way of life to Iraq, we have now introduced the word to that country too–although the Arabic word for Bubble is S-u-r-g-e (or is it Rubble?). In the old days, what we now call a bubble was called a ‘Rush’ (your joke here).

The word bubble is described the Merriam Webster Dictionary among other things as

(a) a delusive scheme,

(b) something that lacks firmness, solidity, or reality,

(c) a state of booming economic activity (as in a stock market) that often ends in a sudden collapse.

Obamania has all the signs of qualifying. The latest bubble to enrapture America is the Barack Bubble. As they drooled over the booming stock market, the shock-and-awe fireworks of the Iraq invasion, and the real estate explosion, media chatterheads are now start-struck with the latest sensation, and firmly embedded with the Obama magic.

In last CNN debate/lovefest, Hillary Clinton was put on the defensive on Iraq, when Barack Obama made much of how he had spoken out against the war before it was launched. Unlike previously, this time Hillary did not seriously undermine Obama’s claim, perhaps being advised that Bill Clinton’s stridency on the subject during the South Carolina Primary had already ruined this particular pitch.

Still, Clinton’s charge that Barack Obama has not been given the usual scrutiny holds a lot of validity (Neither, has Hillary Clinton, but that’s another story.)

What is the main strike against Hillary Clinton? That she voted for the Iraq War. Let us take her at her word, even as of the above debate; that she had only voted for the introduction of UN inspectors and not for going to war. What then is the logical follow-up question? “In that case, did you protest as soon as the war was launched, when you knew the UN inspectors were never given a chance to do their job?” Wolf Blitzer never asked. Did Hillary protest? On the contrary, I am confident that like the most of her colleagues, she was effusive in her praise of the War and on the bandwagon in no time flat.

Similarly, what did Barack Obama do once the war began? Can we ask if he led any anti-war rallies? Speak at the periodic marches and protests in various parts of the country? It may be true that he was against starting the war. What about after it started? Did he go down to Crawford to stand with Cindy Sheehan? That would have shown courage and spine. Martin Luther King spoke out against the war, frequently and forcefully. Is there a perception of Sen. Obama as such a strident and inveterate opponent, say, as … .a Dennis Kucinich or a Robert Byrd?

What about the FISA bill? Both as lawyers and as proclaimed human rights enthusiasts, should Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton not boil with anger when government breaks the law? Did Barack Obama, after coming to the Senate, do anything to hold the administration to account? Did he speak up supporting Dennis Kucinich’s call to impeach Bush and Cheney?

If Hillary Clinton has different accents for different audiences, Barack Obama can hardly claim to be more innocent. I have always been troubled how Obama claims to be the African-American’ candidate. It is something he uses all the time. One would think anyone wishing to transcend race would specifically disavow such references, and go to great lengths to say that he is equally black and white. This is hardly the impression one gets hearing him talk. He is hardly averse to taking advantage of his black heritage (“there’s a woman in this race, there’s an African-American, and there’s John Edwards”), but never his white (even though his Kenyan father abandoned him, and it was his white mother and grandparents who raised him). But he bristles with indignation if anyone else refers to him as such.

Finally, on a matter of simple fairness and gallantry, it would have been impressive if Barack Obama, the champion of inclusion, had declared during the previous (MSNBC) debate that he would not participate unless Dennis Kucinich (who was first invited and later uninvited by MSNBC) was also included.

But Barack Obama appears too finely honed to hunt with the hounds and run with the hare.

It is no wonder that the master of maintaining viability within the system, Bill Clinton, is furious to see such breathtaking pirouettes of slipperiness being performed — by someone other than himself.

NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN lives on the West Coast. He can be reached at njn_2003@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

/>Niranjan Ramakrishnan is a writer living on the West Coast.  His book, “Reading Gandhi In the Twenty-First Century” was published last year by Palgrave.  He may be reached at njn_2003@yahoo.com.

July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
Kim Ives
Haiti’s Popular Uprising Calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s Removal
John Carroll Md
Dispatch From Haiti: Trump and Breastfeeding
Alycee Lane
On Heat Waves and Climate Resistance
Ed Meek
Dershowitz the Sophist
Howard Lisnoff
Liberal Massachusetts and Recreational Marijuana
Ike Nahem
Trump, Trade Wars, and the Class Struggle
Olivia Alperstein
Kavanaugh and the Supremes: It’s About Much More Than Abortion
Manuel E. Yepe
Korea After the Handshake
Robert Kosuth
Militarized Nationalism: Pernicious and Pervasive
Binoy Kampmark
Soft Brexits and Hard Realities: The Tory Revolt
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Localization: a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism
Kevin Zeese - Nils McCune
Correcting The Record: What Is Really Happening In Nicaragua?
Chris Wright
The American Oligarchy: A Review
Kweli Nzito
Imperial Gangster Nations: Peddling “Democracy” and Other Goodies to the Untutored
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail