Wednesday, September 23, 2009

response to comments 

@ JHD:

fwiw, and I know it's totally unfair, but "you" isn't you in particular, JHD. You've become something of a stand-in in my fevered imagination for the reigning liberal meliorism and quietism that has become so unbelievably maddening. Straw man indeed. This is the only forum in which I get to vent, and sadly you get the brunt of these insomniacal rantings.

As someone who is tangibly suffering the effects of this depression, I've totally lost patience with the political system, the commentariat, and mainstream liberal groups. Not that I really had any before. But this is particularly nauseating. Things people would have been freaking out about if Bush had done them are now unfortunate but necessary now that Obama is doing them. People who managed incisive criticism a year ago are now bending over backwards to pen the most ludicrous apologia. We are throat deep in shit and all we get is hypocritical fumes and mind-bending naivete.

Obama has actually had plenty of options to do things differently, especially on the economy, as well as the healthcare bill, the expanded executive powers, etc. He could have begun a program of re-regulating finance. He could have crafted a decent healthcare bill and aggressively twisted arms in congress and used his bully pulpit to motivate the citizenry. He could have actually refused to preemptively compromise on the bill and staked out a position knowing it would get whittled down. But all we get is dithering, posturing, finger-wagging and sanctimony. Maybe it would have mobilized capital against him. Maybe it would have cost him the next election. So what? It would have galvanized the majority of the populace that wants these things. And if he was taken down for it, it would only further reveal the actual dynamics at play and pull the scales from more eyes. And really who gives a shit if it costs him an election if he's not gonna do anything with the power?

SC has previously attempted to characterize BO as self-sacrificing. Forestalling the apocalypse by throwing his being on the gears of the machine. I'd believe it more if he actually sacrificed his position and privilege to take a stand on something. I'd happily take some mouthbreathing cracker with Bushian level of rhetorical skills if it meant he'd be a knee-capping pit-fighter for our side. There are ways. As a former San Francisco mayor said about the tobacco lobby, "If you can't take people's money and turn around and screw them, you don't deserve to be in the business."

All we get from liberals is fear of the right, counsels of patience and faith in the man, or people pointing out the structural factors inhibiting his actions. But the thing is that liberals only seems to see the structural picture when their man is in need of apologia. It doesn't inform their vision for society or their political strategies and tactics AT ALL. They have no vision, no ambition, no principles, no moral courage. Worse, they mask this severe lack of humanity behind some fake-ass imaginary version of intellectual integrity. They are content to be in the driver's seat of the sinking ship for a few more years until their do-nothingness moves them back to first mate status. What the fuck do they care really? They're not the ones in the breadlines.

You are absolutely right that what we are being shown is that Obama's brand of liberalism has an inexorable logic. The fucked up part is that we've been shown this plenty of times before. We don't need to see it in action again to predict how it will play out. It's a been a known behavior of capitalist republics since the 19th century, but we've seen it enough even in our lifetimes with Clintonism.

Being a head of state, and especially one in nominal control of the largest death machine in history automatically makes you a psychopathic, lying, mass-murdering fuckhead who is primarily concerned with his own power and privilege. Full stop. If you find yourself in that position and you want people to think you're a swell guy, you have to get some results. The burden of proof is on Obama to prove that he's actually interested in doing something for someone that isn't a member of a ruling faction. The burden of proof is NOT on his critics to prove that he's secretly self-interested and disingenuous. People in positions of power should not get the benefit of the doubt about their goodness and noble intentions. They should have to earn it with tangible substantive results. Until then, they are presumed guilty.


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