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).

June 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Divest From the Business of Incarceration
W. T. Whitney
Angola in Louisiana: Proving Ground for Racialized Capitalism
Susan Babbitt
Assange and Truth: the Deeper (Harder) Issue
Kenn Orphan
Humanity vs. the Rule of Law
Mateo Pimentel
Why on Earth a Country of Laws and Borders?
Michael T. Klare
The Pentagon’s Provocative Encirclement of China
Howard Lisnoff
The Outrageous Level of Intolerance is Happening Everywhere!
Vijay Prashad
The People of India Stand With Palestine
RS Ahthion
Internment Camps for Child Migrants
Binoy Kampmark
Rocking the G7: Trump Stomps His Allies
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Lawrence Wittner
Getting Ready for Nuclear War
Patrick Cockburn
Kurdish Women Protest After Being Told by Turkish-Backed Militias to Wear the Hijab
Dean Baker
When Both Men and Women Drop Out of the Labor Force, Why Do Economists Only Ask About Men?
Bruce Lerro
Big Brother Facebook: Drawing Down the Iron Curtain on Yankeedom
June 20, 2018
Henry Giroux
Trump’s War on Children is an act of State Terrorism
Bill Hackwell
Unprecedented Cruelty Against Immigrants and Their Children
Paul Atwood
“What? You Think We’re So Innocent?”
Nicola Perugini
The Palestinian Tipping Point
K.J. Noh
Destiny and Daring: South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s Impossible Journey Towards Peace
Gary Leupp
Jeff Sessions and St. Paul’s Clear and Wise Commands
M. G. Piety
On Speaking Small Truths to Power
Dave Lindorff
Some Straight Talk for Younger People on Social Security (and Medicare too)
George Wuerthner
The Public Value of Forests as Carbon Reserves
CJ Hopkins
Confession of a Putin-Nazi Denialist
David Schultz
Less Than Fundamental:  the Myth of Voting Rights in America
Rohullah Naderi
The West’s Over-Publicized Development Achievements in Afghanistan 
Dan Bacher
California Lacks Real Marine Protection as Offshore Drilling Expands in State Waters
Lori Hanson – Miguel Gomez
The Students of Nicaragua’s April Uprising
Russell Mokhiber
Are Corporations Behind Frivolous Lawsuits Against Corporations?
Michael Welton
Infusing Civil Society With Hope for a Better World
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rubenstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail