FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama as the Bernie Madoff of the Democratic Party

For the next year and a half you will be subjected to the latest developments in the great contemporary American fairy tale: a presidential campaign.

True, we will get to pick who we want to be Goldilocks and who the big bad bears, but citizen participation in a fantasy doesn’t make it any more real.

There has been over the past few decades a steady deterioration of the political difference between national Democratic and Republican politics, most notably with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Today it is hard to define that difference given the strong bipartisan support for several illegal wars, the unconstitutional Patriot Act, and a bottomless desire to bail out Wall Street, and a stunning indifference to the financial problems of everyone else. On some days it seems like the only thing that stand between Obama and the Republican Party is his voter registration card. Even on his better days he is just ? to borrow a favorite term of his White House a “distraction from the real issues.”

In fact, the political metaphor hardly works anymore. It’s more sensible to regard the two major parties as Mafia mobs fighting for control of a region known as the United States.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t a difference between them. But it’s about survival, however, not politics. The Demos tend to do less damage to our lives than the Repubs. Both mobs may beat the shit out your father, but the Demos are less likely to harm your children or your grandmother.

The importance of this distinction between politics and survival is important because, for one thing, it spares us of the totally false myth that got Obama into office in the first place. Obama turned out to be the Bernie Madoff of the Democratic Party. He conned millions into giving him their hope and change and then ripped them off.

This doesn’t mean that one doesn’t vote for a Demo thug as president or some lower position, but it means that one does so recognizing that the selection of the least dangerous mob in town is a far different matter than backing a political cause.

Once one has made that important distinction the whole nature of politics changes. It is no longer about icons, but about issues. It’s not about elections but about what happens before and after elections. It is no longer about identifying with a party but with a movement.

We are in desperate need of an anti-war movement, an anti-Wall Street movement, an anti-foreclosure movement, and anti-corporate bribery movement, and a new labor movement just to name a few.

Yes, there are wonderful folk attempting to build such movements, but it doesn’t help when liberals and their media constantly lower their goals to Obama’s uncertain, misguided, misleading and unimaginative solutions or when public interest groups adopt the same narrow objectives and insider trading style typical of corporate lobbyists.

If America is to be saved, it will because of movements outside the mainstream political game. It’s always been like that and will continue to be so.

So enjoy the fairy tale that is bubbling up around us. Vote for the bastards who will be do us the least harm. But if you want to be part of the story ? and you are whether you desire it or not ? then that only thing that will really matter is what you do outside the voting booth.

For in the end, there’s nobody who can make a better difference but us.

Sam Smith edits the Progressive Review.

More articles by:

Sam Smith edits the Progressive Review.

August 21, 2018
Anthony DiMaggio
Fascist Nation: The “Alt-Right” Menace Persists, Despite Setbacks
Chris Floyd
Dial “N” for Mayhem: Wording Our Way to a New Level of Hell
Creston Davis
The Education Impasse in the USA
Jonathan Cook
In Detaining Peter Beinart, Israel Has Declared it No Longer Represents Millions of Jews Overseas
Kenneth Culton
Trump Supporters: the Joyous Cult Bound by Shared Story and Ritual
Andy Thayer
Why the Chicago ‘68 Convention Matters Today
Simone Chun
Sea of Tears: The Tragedy of Families Split by the Korean War
William Blum
The Russians Did It (cont.)
Manuel E. Yepe
How Capitalism Erodes Mental Health
Doug Noble
Thomas Mountain
Djibouti Faces Dark Days to Come; Eritrean Ports, Pipeline Threaten Ethiopian Trade Lifeline
Binoy Kampmark
Finding Fault and Faulty Infrastructure: Genoa’s Morandi Bridge Disaster
Kary Love
“Suffer Not the Little Children….”
Thomas Knapp
Omarosa Manigault Newman, Public Servant
August 20, 2018
Carl Boggs
The Road to Disaster?
James Munson
“Not With a Bomb, But a Whimper” … Then More Bombs.
Jonathan Cook
Corbyn’s Labour Party is Being Made to Fail –By Design
Robert Fisk
A US Trade War With Turkey Over a Pastor? Don’t Believe It
Howard Lisnoff
The Mass Media’s Outrage at Trump: Why the Surprise?
Faisal Khan
A British Muslim’s Perspective on the Burkha Debate
Andrew Kahn
Inhumanity Above the Clouds
Dan Glazebrook
Trump’s New Financial War on the Global South
George Wuerthner
Why the Gallatin Range Deserves Protection
Ted Rall
Is Trump a Brand-New Weird Existential Threat? No.
Sheldon Richman
For the Love of Reason
Susie Day
Why Pundits Scare Me
Dean Baker
Does France’s Economy Need to Be Renewed?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Mighty Voice for Peace Has Gone Silent: Uri Avnery, 1923-2018
Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail