FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Hollywood and Obama

Although “Let’s go on with the show” is a lyric from the Broadway show “Annie Get Your Gun” (1946), in “Obama’s New Courting of Hollywood Pays Off,” (The New York Times, May 9, 2012) readers don’t have to be anywhere near The Great White Way in New York City to know that President Obama’s Hollywood supporters don’t need any encouragement to take up the faux banner of “hope and change” in 2012 and go on with the show.

It seems that for the better part of 4 years President Obama has been missing in action from Hollywood, but with Super Pacs weighing in for Mitt Romney, Obama is back in town.

Indeed, what a show the US political and economic systems are! Just as the “hope and change” marketing scheme of 2008 paid off for Obama, so can Hollywood deftly inject fear into the hearts of movie buffs with voracious man-eating sharks; place the comfortably seated in the heat of battle in war; or immerse viewers in the ecstasy and loss of love and life. The dream-making machine in Hollywood is as effective as the political machine in the U.S. In the case of the political system, however, there’s no need to materially reward faithful constituencies as Obama quickly learned following his 2008 election to the Presidency.

Recently, Hollywood made a striking turnaround after being shunned by Obama. Obama was able to raise over $6 million at a fund-raiser at the home of George Clooney where there was no room at the dinner table after $40,000 tickets to the event sold out.

Another Hollywood legend, Rob Reiner states: “I felt that he tried to accommodate the other side too much,” but Reiner concluded, “that it’s virtually impossible,” speaking of the President’s failed attempts to accommodate Republicans in Congress.

After criticisms by talk show host Bill Maher about Obama’s record on defense spending and lack of tax policy that would tax the wealthy, Maher muted his criticisms and wrote a one million dollar check to a Super pac for the President when he realized that “You just run back into his arms,” when a possible Romney presidency is considered. In “Democracy in the Streets” (CounterPunch, April 23, 2012), I make the point that the Democratic Party has foisted the banner of being the only show in town (and many voters are driven to conclude that Democrats are the lesser of two evils every four years), with the result of bringing progressives, liberals, and union members into the fold where those groups have been most often rewarded with absolutely nothing in return for their allegiance to Democrats over the past 35 years.

Now with Hollywood’s dream factory cheering Obama on, many voters may forget the $8.2 trillion that has been lost in home equity since the housing bubble burst in 2007. That’s more than a 60 percent loss in home equity noted in a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“Home Equity Declines More than 60% During Great Recession,” Reverse Mortgage Daily, February 13, 2011). Much of the money from the President’s stimulus package of $787 billion could have gone to homeowners who were most damaged by the housing bust. Instead, that money went to Wall Street where banks like JP Morgan Chase are still playing fast and loose with derivatives while hindering any attempts to regulate investment banks.

And war, which seems to be on no one’s mind (along with the decaying environment), has cost taxpayers $3.7 trillion according to the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University (“Cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting,” Reuters, June 29, 2011). The cost of war may reach a whopping  $4.4 trillion soon according to the same study.

Both Hollywood and the political system are good at entertaining both movie buffs and voters alike. The political system, war, and big business, are often the stuff of an ugly reality that can shock, just as the moviegoer is shocked back into reality when the theater or room lights come back on.

Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He can be reached at howielisnoff@gmail.com

More articles by:

Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).

December 13, 2018
John Davis
What World Do We Seek?
Subhankar Banerjee
Biological Annihilation: a Planet in Loss Mode
Lawrence Davidson
What the Attack on Marc Lamont Hill Tells Us
James McEnteer
Breathless
Ramzy Baroud
The Real Face of Justin Trudeau: Are Palestinians Canada’s new Jews?
Dean Baker
Pelosi Would Sabotage the Progressive Agenda With a Pay-Go Rule
Elliot Sperber
Understanding the Yellow Vests Movement Through Basic Color Theory 
Rivera Sun
The End of the NRA? Business Magazines Tell Activists: The Strategy is Working
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Historic Opportunity to Transform Trade
December 12, 2018
Arshad Khan
War, Anniversaries and Lessons Never Learned
Paul Street
Blacking Out the Yellow Vests on Cable News: Corporate Media Doing its Job
Kenneth Surin
The Brexit Shambles Rambles On
David Schultz
Stacking the Deck Against Democracy in Wisconsin
Steve Early
The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It
George Ochenski
Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
Rob Seimetz
Bringing a Life Into a Dying World: A Letter From a Father to His Unborn Son
Michael Howard
PETA and the ‘S’-Word
John Kendall Hawkins
Good Panopt, Bad Panopt: Does It Make A Difference?
Kim C. Domenico
Redeeming Utopia: a Meditation On An Essay by Ursula LeGuin
Binoy Kampmark
Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Immemorial Divisions
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Democratizing Money
Laura Finley
Congress Must Reauthorize VAWA
December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail