FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Political Capital is Gone, Now What About Political Will?

It’s not surprising that people are fed up with politics.

When money determines who gets elected, when campaign promises are as easily tossed out as garbage and when most elected officials knowingly support policy that puts the special interests ahead of the people’s interests, why bother with a rigged game?

The Senate is firmly under the control of a Republican minority of 41, the House is stalled and thinking about re-election, the Supreme Court has decided that political office should be for sale to the special interest that is willing to spend the most on behalf of their chosen candidate and the President continues to “play nice” instead of pushing a progressive agenda.

Just a year ago there was a great sense of hope, not seen since the end of WWII.

A president whose idea of peace might not mean more “boots on the ground”.

A President who supported health care for all.

A President who believed in fair trade, not free trade.

A President who felt banks should help people better their lives, not gamble away their money.

Boy did we take the bait, the drift to the right continues with President Obama still thinking he can work with a Republican party whose game plan is blocking legislation.

Just as people used to hide those they were ashamed of away from public view, the Republicans have successfully hidden George Bush and the failures of his administration away.

The ills of the nation are now Obama’s problem, Obama’s fault and still he panders to those who vilify him; to those who want less oversight, more war, more for the rich and less for everyone else.

The militarism, the Wall Street free for all, the bankruptcies, the mortgage foreclosures, the top down bail out at the expense of the bottom; all the legacies of the Bush Administration are dumped on Obama and for solutions he turns to those who created the problems and offer more of the same as a solution.

In his State of the Union Address the President stated that “jobs must be our number one focus in 2010”, yet he intends to push for more free trade agreements, policies Presidents Clinton and Bush championed, policies that shipped jobs overseas and crushed the workers, the farmers, the labor unions and the families of America. Policies that have caused pain, policies that Obama seems reluctant to stop.

He barely mentioned Afghanistan and the nearly one hundred thousand American troops there, what could he say? It’s good? It’s working? How about the truth, that it’s bad policy with no end in sight.

The President said he was open to better ideas on how to remake the nation’s health care system, but he offered no ideas of his own, nothing he was willing to push forward.

What might the late Howard Zinn have said about President Obama’s speech? I doubt he would have criticized the President as a failure, but I do think he would have criticized him because he was afraid to try, because he was afraid to formulate his own policy and to push it relentlessly.

JIM GOODMAN is a dairy farmer from Wonewoc WI and a 2008-2009 IATP Food and Society Policy Fellow.

 

More articles by:

Jim Goodman is a dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin.

Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Implementation with Integrity and Will to Resolve
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Homophobia in the Service of Anti-Trumpism is Still Homophobic (Even When it’s the New York Times)
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
David Yearsley
The Glories of the Grammophone
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail