FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Year of Our Discontent

You know, the year 2009 started out kind of nicely. We watched Barack Obama take the oath of office, serenaded by the awesome Aretha Franklin (wearing her awesome hat), after first hearing Pete Seeger sing the real Woody Guthrie verses to “This Land Is Your Land” on the steps of the Lincoln Monument.

And we saw Congress pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to correct a scum-sucking decision by the US Supreme Court’s conservative woman-hating, corporation-loving majority that said women (and minorities and the elderly) couldn’t sue for pay discrimination unless they acted within six months of the initiation of the violation, even if they didn’t learn about it until years later.

Great stuff.

But basically, that was it. The promise of an Obama Presidency, and of the huge new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, came and went like the puff of dust from a dessiccated puffball, leaving behind nothing but a leathery dry little husk of fungus–an apt description of Democrats in Washington today.

Since then we had the pathetic stimulus package that hasn’t stimulated, and the continuation of the Bush/Paulson bank bailout–the gift that keeps on giving to Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, B of A, Wells Fargo and the other greedhead banks that created the current financial disaster that has thrown a fifth of the American workforce out of their jobs and that has put a quarter of all homeowners underwater, with mortgage balances larger than the value of their shrivelled homes. We’ve got a whole new war–actually the old mini-war in Afghanistan now ramped up by Obama and his Democratic backers into a major war–and the old war in Iraq sill chugging along, and maybe even a new one in Yemen or a bigger one in Iran. And of course we’ve got no health care reform, though they’re calling the crappy legislation working its way through Senate and House “health care reform.”

What a sorry joke.

You can’t wish anyone a Happy New Year tonight with a straight face. How can it be happy if we’re blowing up innocent people, our own young soldiers, and a couple hundred billion dollars of taxpayer money in the coming year for nothing except to allow Obama to prove how tough he is? How can it be happy if the criminal banking syndicates are having their best year ever, and if their executives are raking in obscene bonuses, while homeowners cannot even refinance their crooked mortgages while rates are being kept low? How can it be happy if what Congress and the President are calling a health reform bill is going to leave tens of millions of Americans uninsured, while it extorts hundreds of billions from the rest of us in order to subsidize crummy insurance for poor people–insurance that they too will have to pay for with money they don’t have, or face heavy fines from the IRS? This is health reform? Please.

No. Let’s face it: 2010 is going to be a terrible year. Count on it.

The only hope is that maybe we somnolent Americans will fianlly be shaken from our television-induced torpor by a further economic crash, by the complete takeover of our government by corporate interests, and by the increasing death toll of American military personnel in Afghanistan, and will finally rise up and reject it all.

Imagine millions marching on Washington to demand a public jobs program, and Medicare for All! Imagine millions of people sitting down and blocking the main entrance to the Pentagon. Imagine President Obama being shouted down when he tries to give a public address–not by one lone House representative shouting out “liar!” but by the assembled masses. Imagine the needy public and young idealistic physicians taking over hospitals and dispensing free care. Imagine voters simply turning out of office every member of Congress who voted for war funding, the health care bill or the bank bailout. That would virtually mean a clean sweep of Congress, which is what we need right now.

And that’s what we need in 2010. Not a Happy New Year, but a radical and explosive one.

So that’s my wish to one and all. Get pissed. Take action. Let’s make 2010 a year we can cheer about!

DAVE LINDORFF  is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). He can be reached at dlindorff@mindspring.com

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
November 20, 2019
Vijay Prashad
The Coup in Bolivia Has Everything to Do With the Screen You’re Using to Read This
Kenneth Surin
Labor and the UK General Election
Ron Jacobs
The Trumpists’ Attempts at Snark Define Their Day: Impeachment Day Three
George Ochenski
The Walls are Closing in on Donald Trump
Timothy M. Gill
Towards a Democratic Socialist Foreign Policy
Robert Hunziker
Neoliberalism Backfires
Thomas S. Harrington
Let’s Give Three Cheers for Those “Western Ears” 
Michelle Renee Matisons
Freedom, Valor, Love: On Snowden’s Permanent Record
James C. Nelson
How Trump is Warping the Federal Courts: the Case Against Lawrence VanDyke
Rev. William Alberts
Whistleblowing Religion
Chandra Muzaffar
The Coup That Ousted Morales
Mike Garrity
Trump Administration Ignores Court Order Stopping 85,000 Acre Payette Forest Logging and Burning Project, Conservation Groups Sue
Andrew Moss
Raising the Stakes in the Struggle Over Immigration Detention
Dean Baker
Making Andrew Yang Smarter
Lawrence Wittner
The People of the World
November 19, 2019
Ramzy Baroud
How Western Media Bias Allows Israel to Getaway with Murder in Gaza
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan’s Ethnic Cleansing of the Kurds is Still Happening
Dave Lindorff
Student Protesters are Walking a Tightrope in Hong Kong
Richard Greeman
French Yellow Vests Celebrate First Birthday, Converge With Planned Labor Strikes
Dean Baker
Impeachment is a Kitchen Table Issue
Walden Bello
Is China an “Imperial Power” in the Image of the West?
Jim Britell
Modern Biology and Ecology: the Roots Of America’s Assertive Illiteracy
Sabri Öncü
Non-Financial Private Debt Overhang
John Steppling
Baby Shark Coup
Binoy Kampmark
Open Guidelines: The Foreign Interference Problem in Australian Universities
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Greece and the Struggle for Freedom
Colin Todhunter
Lab Rats for Corporate Profit: Pesticide Industry’s Poisoned Platter
James Graham
Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn on the Eve of the Debate
Elliot Sperber
Scrutiny – From Scruta
November 18, 2019
Olivia Arigho-Stiles
Protestors Massacred in Post-Coup Bolivia
Ashley Smith
The Eighteenth Brumaire of Macho Camacho: Jeffery R. Webber and Forrest Hylton on the Coup in Bolivia
Robert Fisk
Michael Lynk’s UN Report on Israeli Settlements Speaks the Truth, But the World Refuses to Listen
Ron Jacobs
Stefanik Stands By Her Man and Roger Stone Gets Convicted on All Counts: Impeachment Day Two
John Feffer
The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Shock Therapy and the Rise of Trump
Stephen Cooper
Another Death Penalty Horror: Stark Disparities in Media and Activist Attention
Bill Hatch
A New Silence
Gary Macfarlane
The Future of Wilderness Under Trump: Recreation or Wreckreation?
Laura Flanders
#SayHerName, Impeachment, and a Hawk
Ralph Nader
The Most Impeachable President vs. The Most Hesitant Congress. What Are The Democrats Waiting For?
Robert Koehler
Celebrating Peace: A Work in Progress
Walter Clemens
American Oblivion
Weekend Edition
November 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Meet Ukraine: America’s Newest “Strategic Ally”
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Frankenstein Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Ukraine in the Membrane
Jonathan Steele
The OPCW and Douma: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail