And chump change is what he dishes out. Some of us knew this “bi-partisan” waving of the white-flag would happen eventually and happen continually, (known at least as early as the appointments of Rahm, Geithner, Bernanke, Clinton, Gates, and the others went down.) But others less skeptical have continued to “support” Obama without feeling the need to make any demands on him by accepting the realpolischtick of “compromise” and “pragmatism.”
And so, as we see these last few weeks, MoveOn.Org and the liberal-Obama machine go on summer break while the whacks on the right do some mobilizing of their own. And like deer stuck in headlights, Keith Olbermann, Eric Altman, Melissa Lacewell, and Rachel Maddow seemed to go through convulsions trying to explain what got billed as a popular uprising from some of Obama's most fierce opponents. The cable-news personalities complained like crybabies having just awoken from a bad dream. It was not a good sign. Even bloggers otherwise known for their “radical” politics succumbed to over-analyzing and kvetching about “rage on the right” while, at the same moment, Obama and the corporatists surrounding him were slyly looking to make deals. To say it again, while those of us who prefer single-payer were being told to be “practical” and “compromise” Obama was making deals behind the scenes with big Pharma. And this last weekend, we learned we may have to compromise again on the “public option” only promised by Obama as “a must” when campaigning last year??? Fuck nooo! Fuck him!
The Democrats have the Presidency, 61 Senators, and the House…and they want to be “bi-partisan”???
According to William Greider, “Barack Obama mainly did this to himself.” Here the virtue of “flexibility,” in Greider’s words, looks like a “real political challenge” in the making, i.e., “to string along the liberals with reassuring talk until they were stuck with lousy choices-- either go along with this popular president's pale version of reform or take him on and risk ruining his presidency.” If you want to know some more on how to keep “the public option” alive, check out “It’s Now or Never for a Public Option,” by Joshua Holland. Ari Berman also has a good piece, “Baucus & Grassley Hijack Obama’s Agenda,” where he writes, “So how, exactly, was Obama's landslide victory a mandate for Baucus and Grassley to hijack the president's agenda? When it comes to healthcare reform, trusting Baucus was the first mistake Obama made. Allowing Baucus to cede so much authority to Grassley is the second.”
The ugly truth is, unfortunately, the minute "the left" rears its head and makes demands "centrists" and "realists" scold us for being "impractical" and "unrealistic" because THEY refuse to fight and make demands. In this respect, "realism" is typically a term used to stifle the passion and creativity needed to fight; it stifles the “idealism” that fuels political activity and orders priorities; it also depoliticizes by making excuses and constricting people’s agendas, possibilities, and realities.
Truthfully, the much larger point to be made is that Obama and the Dems are not so much "spineless" or inept as knowingly complicit. They understand full well how the political process works and why they were elected. They know full well what they are doing, and have proven themselves to be enormously capable of fooling all the Obama-zombies who refuse to draw a line in the sand, and cling to the belief that Barack Obama, somewhere in his heart, really cares about fighting to bring real political reform to DC.... if only given a chance. What more of a chance does he need? It is not even a year and look at his record. So keep hoping fools! Keep compromising for your servitude! Keep listening to Coke debate Pepsi. When elected representatives are not greasing the wheels for corporatism and financial plutocrats they respond only when The People start shouting at each other. This does not forebode well. We need a Gorbachev of our own. Not a corporatist who cannot fight. Not a chump.