Friday, April 17, 2009

two things well said 


The superficial similarities between Morales and Obama only serve to highlight the critical differences: Bolivia's president is a former union leader who draws directly on his experience to fight for his principles, whereas our erstwhile community-organizer president trades on his past to gain votes while actively betraying the principles he formerly espoused. To put it another way, Morales uses his power to further the goals of the popular movement that made him president, while Obama co-opts the power of the popular movement that made him president to undercut its goals.

Just for a moment, imagine what it would be like to have a president who actually possessed (positive) core, non-negotiable convictions, and for whom going on a hunger strike was well within the range of sacrifices they were willing to make to fight for those convictions. While you're at it, imagine what it would be like to have a populace that demanded this level of conviction in exchange for their support—and refused to settle for less. And finally, imagine how far short of those goals we could fall and still be light years beyond where we are today.


Whatever partisan chuckle you might get from re-invented posturing by conservatives, its main holding power is a distraction from noticing the way in which Democrats have taken a hold of the worst of the Bush agenda --corporate bailouts, abuse of executive powers, failed middle-east policy-- with insider ownership.

The other day an excited Obamite friend exclaimed gleefully about the relaxation of travel restrictions to Cuba, "This guy is just amazing! That's HUGE!". This in the middle of, always in the middle of, a hideous financial policy, renewed support for the IMF at the G20, and FuckWar 2009. The near-total co-optation of the Peace movement, such as it was, by the Democratic Party is particularly impressive, if entirely predictable. I believe some folks at this very blawg were astonished when I curmudgeoned about MoveOn being up the Party's ass, well the results are in, astonish no longer.

Pirates, teabaggers, Cuba travel restrictions...if I could slap my forehead any more, it would come out the back of my skull. That would be a mercy.


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