Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Crown Obama: It’s Over

The most remarkable aspect of the now widely watched video of an “off-the-cuff” Romney, paradoxically enough, was just how unremarkable his recorded comments really were.

Sure, Romney managed to slur as parasitic all those who feel there is a human right to food, health care, and housing.  Sure, Romney revealed his intention as president would be to obstruct peace in the Middle East.  And sure, Romney even threw in a racist joke to boot.  But how is any of this particularly surprising?  How else does one think the elite speak of the working class, Palestinians, and minorities at their clandestine fundraisers?

Of course, all of this is not to say that Romney’s ill-advised candor won’t haunt him.  It assuredly will.  After all, in the U.S. two-party system—as Romney himself correctly noted—the political campaign is nothing more than a marketing campaign.  It is about crafting a marketable brand and then raising the necessary funds from the gatekeepers amongst the ruling elite to peddle it all to the American electorate.  It, like all branding, is about creating the most compelling illusion: whether that is the Obama illusion of “hope,” or the Romney illusion of “restoring America.”

But the truth—of which there is plenty to be found in the leaked Romney video—destroys illusions.  The self-deception necessary for one to embrace any illusion is thwarted by any insertion of reality.  And this was Romney’s greatest sin: to be caught speaking the sordid truth amid a campaign based on perfecting the art of deceit.

The latest self-implosion of the über-capitalist Romney, however, hardly signals a victory for all those below the upper echelons of the economic elite.  Lest we forget, the reason political campaigns are based on marketing (i.e., the practice of trying to get people to buy what they neither need nor really want) is because both parties share the same agenda.  They’re in essence selling the same defunct product, albeit adorned with slightly different colored glosses.

The true political battle in the two-party system, then, is fought out amongst the power elite over which candidate offers the most effective vehicle through which to enact their agenda.  And it is clear in this respect that the power elite are once again beginning to circle back around to Obama.  This process was well underway prior to the leaked Romney video, evidenced in that August saw Obama out raise Romney on the back of large contributors for the first time in four months.

It ought, though, to be no surprise to see the elite come back home to Obama.  As Glen Ford has rightly argued, Obama is not so much the lesser evil, but the “more effective evil.”  That is, Obama has proven to be the best face for American capitalism—the most reliable curator for the interests of American capital.  The articulate, black, charming, and ostensibly liberal Obama has demonstrated in four years to be the best man to lead the coming frontal assault on Social Security, Medicare, and public education.  Just as Obama has proven over four years of indefinite detention and expanded drone warfare to be a most adept administrator of U.S. imperialism.

Romney, on the other hand, has demonstrated time and again much the opposite.  A highly affluent man who belittles half the country as parasites and speaks on his joy of firing people, it ought to be clear, will struggle to sell “entitlement reform” to a public still cherishing the remnants of a social safety net.  Likewise, a man who alienates allied nations on trips abroad and bungles an international crisis (as was seen in Romney’s initial response to the Benghazi attack) is not likely to serve as an effective administrator of the American imperial project.  In short, Romney’s ineptitude has proven to be a potential liability for the power elite.  Hence, Mitt is toast.

Crown Obama.  It’s over.

Ben Schreiner is a freelance writer based in Wisconsin.  He may be reached at bnschreiner@gmail.com or via his website.

More articles by:

Ben Schreiner is the author of A People’s Dictionary to the ‘Exceptional Nation’.  He may be reached at bnschreiner@gmail.com or via his blog.

May 24, 2018
Gary Leupp
Art of the Dealbreaker: Trump’s Cancellation of the Summit with Kim
Jeff Warner – Victor Rothman
Why the Emerging Apartheid State in Israel-Palestine is Not Sustainable
Kenn Orphan
Life, the Sea and Big Oil
James Luchte
Europe Stares Into the Abyss, Confronting the American Occupant in the Room
Richard Hardigan
Palestinians’ Great March of Return: What You Need to Know
Howard Lisnoff
So Far: Fascism Lite
Matthew Vernon Whalan
Norman Finkelstein on Bernie Sanders, Gaza, and the Mainstream Treatment
Daniel Warner
J’accuse All Baby Boomers
Alfred W. McCoy
Beyond Golden Shower Diplomacy
Jonah Raskin
Rachel Kushner, Foe of Prisons, and Her New Novel, “The Mars Room”
George Wuerthner
Myths About Wildfires, Logging and Forests
Binoy Kampmark
Tom Wolfe the Parajournalist
Dean Baker
The Marx Ratio: Not Clear Karl Would be Happy
May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
Lawrence Davidson
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail