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Bandwagon Politics

by JAMES L. SECOR

I wonder. . .is anybody listening? Is anybody paying attention? Is anybody actually seeing anything? I feel like I’m calling Laurie Anderson’s home:

“Hello? Is anybody home?”

“Hi. I’m not home right now but if you wanna leave a message, just start talking at the sound of the tone.”

“Hello? This is your mother. Are you coming home?”

“Hello? Is anybody home? Well, you don’t know me but I know you. And I’ve got a message to give to you.”

Yes. That’s right. Nobody’s home. Because if they were, they’d not be jumping on the Obamarama Bandwagon. But somebody is giving them a message. Somebody they don’t know yet who knows about them.

The Left–a handy tag for people who write and who say they want change but, in fact, aren’t really into doing anything when it comes right down to it (and have probably never been on the streets in the first place)–and The Nation–a magazine of disillusioned upper middle class/upper class writers with neat ideas but still believe that you can fix a broken machine with recycled broken parts from that broken machine. Recycling with new grease? Even Robert Greenwald is supporting Obama via choosing to only bash McCain. Who really knows what the rest of the American US public is thinking, after all. . .they believe they “elected” George W. Bush–twice. In fact, they let him steal the elections; in fact, he was not elected the first time around but appointed. . .without any outrage from the plebs. It seems, though, that the Left, The Nation and the plebs are all ecstatically for Obama for President based on. . .based on speeches that say nothing, address nothing but are about hope, the last scourge left in Pandora’s box. This isn’t, however, surprising because no has no one bothered to look at Mr. Obama’s voting record.

If you look closely at Obama’s performance for “the people” you find that, well. . . he’s cynical, cynical and practical in his own interests (www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=9490). He plays it safe as, closer and closer to this year, he begins not voting for much of anything. That’s what “NV” stands for. That is as if to say that he’s never around. It is also of note that he whenever he votes for something, it is not passed: all of these bills are pro-people, service-oriented bills. None of them passed and so it looks like Obama is all for us but the Senate is all against us. Our hero!

But wait! There’s more! Whenever he voted “No” the bill was passed, bills that would have stripped us, “the people,” of things we’d like to have. Again, he comes out looking like our hero, for those evil Senators all voted to pass what was bad for us. . .that Obama voted “No” for.

What pops up like a cartoon Jack-in-the-box boxing glove that clobbers the clown who opens the box is that he knew what was going down; he knew what was going to pass and what was not and voted so that he’d come out looking like a wonder boy fighting for our rights. In a manner of speaking, he never loses–when he votes. And he don’t vote often (Cf. also www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=18967): 40% of the 570 votes were “No Vote” votes. This may not so too bad but. . .he voted “Yes” only 44% of the time. With only 16% “No” votes, Obama comes off looking like a fairly positive guy, what some people like to call a moderate. If you just look at these numbers, he does come off looking much like he’s practicing Aristotle’s Golden Mean. Until you look deeper and then you find that he votes for himself, for looks–and he’s an adept at it, for the vast majority of America has hopped on his bandwagon, a bandwagon run by the monied elite bankrolling his rise to fame and fortune–another fact people are choosing to ignore.

Of the 251 “Yes” votes, 127 were defeated. Calculated? Well. . .although 127 “Yes” votes were affirmed, one must consider that 27 of them were no more than accepting Conference Reports and seven were nomination affirmations, including all of the guys liberals/progressives/etc. do not like–that is, all of George Bush’s suggestions. That comes out to 93 affirmative “Yes” votes. But it is the 127 defeated “Yes” votes that are important in concluding that Mr. Obama is self-interested and cynical: all were soundly defeated. Bills supporting teen pregnancy issues and equal pay and health care for veterans and surveillance/telecom immunity and Medicare/prescription drug plans and military tax cuts and minimum wage and immigration policies and union protection–gosh! Just about everything that is meaningful and helpful to–and supportive of–the people. How good he looks because he voted against a sure thing. . .and lost. My hero! (O-ooooh! Swoon.) He’s not really for gun control or women’s rights but. . .he’s kind of not against it either? Y’know? Middle of the road. A man who can’t make up his mind? Oh, no, no. He knew which way the wind was blowing and voted accordingly so he’d come off looking good. “Hey! Hey! Look at me! I’m great! I’m your man! Hey!”

His “No” votes followed the same trend: if there was a possibility of the bill passing but it was bad for the people, he voted “No.”

Only one out of 570 votes was even-steven: 47-47. Obama was never what you might call a “swing” vote.

The New York Times picked up on this voting trend in 2007 when they did an article on his voting record in the Illinois Senate: just exactly the same method he’s used in the US Senate (“It’s Not Just ‘Ayes’ and ‘Nays’: Obama’s Votes in Illinois Echo“. For further confirmation of his self-interested voting, see “Obama’s Voting Record Belies Moderate Image“.

How our elected officials vote and their trends in voting are important to us, for they tell us about their fulfilling their responsibilities to us–they are representing us, yes? Well. . .we all know this is not true, yet we continue to elect them. Why is that, I wonder. . .why do we continually (continuously?) hurt ourselves?

Obama is a tad more slick than most, a tad more machine-like than his predecessors or, it seems, contemporaries; for he only talks about his “ayes” and “nays” and never about the majority of his voting: NO VOTE. “No vote” is like saying “I don’t care.” That’s right, Obama don’t care about you all, his constitiency. . .and you’s climbing aboard de Obamarama Bandwagon without thought, without looking at the evidence. And then, in the future when he disappoints you and your chosen blindness, your preferential ignorance, you will be broken hearted and bitch, bitch, bitch. As Frank Zappa sang, “Broken hearts are for assholes.” Obama’s not hidden anything but he has engaged in the magician’s stock in trade: misdirection. And everyone seems to have bought it.

Ambrose Bierce noted that a politician is “An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared”. But he also notes that a vote is “The instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country”. Highly applicable to the present situation–and many times in the past.

Casey Jones wasn’t paying attention at the controls and had a head-on collision. Killed alot more people than himself.

Obama = Hope?

And what did hope ever get you?

I am reminded of the old joke about the man sitting atop his house in a flood praying to God to save him. A log comes along and bumps up against the house but he doesn’t get on. A row boat comes by to pick him up but he turns it down because he’s praying to God and God will save him. A helicopter comes by: same result. When he dies, he goes up to heaven and shouts at God, “I believed in you! Why didn’t you save me?” And God says, “I sent you a log, a boat and a helicopter what more do you want?”

The Obamarama Bandwagon. . .just rolling along selling its snake oil to any and all–and everybody’s buying, hoping it’ll fix their ills.

Hope, the last scourge in Pandora’s box.

JAMES L. SECOR is a retired professor, a writer-playwright living out on the edge of the Gobi Desert where the skies are clear, the air fresh and the water possibly the only non-polluted water in the country: mountain run-off from the year-round snow-capped Qilian Range, which he can see from his front patio. He can be reached at znzfqlxskj@gmail.com any time night or day.

 

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