November 8, 2010

the takeaway 2010: the coming disaster of the Obama Presidency and the triumph of New Feudalism

Expectantly the Democrats lost big last Tuesday. And the purging of the Blue Dogs should demonstrate to even the most fashionably clueless among us of the political failure of Democratic “centrism.” Looking on the bright side, we could be tempted to say that the midterms have at least crystallized the liberal and progressive platform, even if Pelosi gets demoted in the process. As Ari Berman anticipated about a month before Nov. 2, “Democrats would be in better shape, and would accomplish more, with a smaller and more ideologically cohesive caucus.” True, less blue-dogs in Congress would be a benefit insofar Democrats are able to shape and control their narrative without party bickering. And though I would love for this to be the takeaway of the 2010 midterms, I also detect some stupid here not getting the scrutiny it deserves. First of all, the remaining 24 Blue Dogs in the House, true to form, are already calling for Pelosi to quit. More obviously, if less numbers overall ostracize the Democrats as an ineffectual incumbency it will only require from Brand Obama and members of the party brass more leadership, more heavy-lifting. And given the statements already being made by Obama it is clear the White House intends to remain at odds with the party’s liberal base, and do its best by clinging to the diminishing “center.” 

So why would Obama once again reaffirm his willingness to “compromise” rather than try to fire up his own troops in his own party – especially when the signals sent by the GOP tell us that it has no intentions of compromising whatsoever? You know, there was a time not all that long ago when Obama was considered not just a great orator but some new kind of inspirational leader. You know, he had charisma in a good er, "progressive" way. He was even a "community organizer" guys!!! So how can the President continue to foolishly reach across the aisle only to be taken for another ride? Can it be he is just another inside-man for the corporate plutonomy? (Hey everybody! look at Mika!)

One sure lesson to be learned from 2010 it is that even without enough votes to get its policies enacted the gains made by the GOP enables it to simply watch “gridlock” take its toll and dismantle what’s left of the age of Obama.  

Energized by the Theo-Cons of the religious right, as well as Tea Party antics and rhetoric, the GOP has been able to rise from the dead in just two years to effectively denounce and repudiate Obama and the Democrats. How did they do it? Sensing weakness in the Dems, they fought and fought continuously. Republicans knew nothing could be gained for their party if they simply went along with the policies of a majority party: Obama and the Dems would get the credit if their policies succeeded and were popular, just as they would surely get blamed if their policies stalled, needed cover, or downright failed. Thus the Republicans became known on MSNBC as The Party of No. 

In reinventing themselves the Republicans were also able to distance themselves from the Democrats in a very clear way. What they did was take a feudal turn to the right, and got a huge push from "outsiders" otherwise known as The Tea Party. This New Feudalism is evident not only in the House of Representatives but also in the Senate where old white men parody 1950s middle-class America by evoking the spirit of Balance-the-Budget hardhead Calvin Coolidge and the coming specter of A Socialist Takeover. These New Feudalists speak everyday of America’s ennobled place in history as it  soldiers on against infidels, libertines, and the shiftless. They plunder the serfs back home. They make others fight their wars. They spread the gospel of wealth while speaking in tongues. They steal from the poor to give to the rich. Some of their additional accomplishments? Presiding over economic and financial collapse through financial deregulation and disregard; dilapidated and starved social institutions; unprecedented expansions of executive power and surveillance; two losing wars; a bloated military budget which – when paired with rising health care expenses – is bankrupting the country; xenophobia; a plutocratic “austerity” agenda which professes to cut state spending “across the board” by privatizing social security, Medicaid, and Medicare, while making the Bush tax-cuts permanent; and, of course, extolling of private wealth growing disparities in income and wealth inequality. Republicans have also gotten older. But perhaps the most telling sign of the coming of a New Feudalist establishment is the redistricting of congressional seats it is about to redraw. 

Surely it isn't new to say that the GOP is radically at odds with the demos. For no matter how much talk there is today of a “populist” Tea Party take over of government don’t expect the Marco Rubios of the world to rock the boat of the Republican establishment. We'll see how much of that Defense budget Rand Paul wants to cut. We'll see how much executive power Dick Armey or that guy in Wisconsin who beat Feingold wants to cut back. Can't wait for Sarah Palin to fight for the unemployed and uninsured. Yeah, both parties are
joined at the hip in profound ways which make meaningful distinctions between them utterly specious: thoroughly corporatist, militaristic, neo-liberal, anti-democratic, and dispassionately fascist just poised at the edge waiting to wage a jingoistic boot stomping of all opposition into oblivion perchance the opportunity ever presented itself. How totally awesome is that? Yet unlike the Democrats who are plagued by caution and "thoughtfulness," (as any good latte drinking feminist sympathizer is,) Republicans can dress themselves up in callous, go it alone, cowboy regalia and rhetoric to give them the semblance and reputation of inherent autonomy, of a Going Rogue toughness and independence, which many, many Americans find appealing. And so by STAYING ON MESSAGE they can position themselves to pull this whole fucking mess of a country continually to the right. You see, Rush and Hannity know stuff. They and their propogandist blowhards know how to create reality so liberals can report it. 

1 comment:

ideologue reggie said...

I sense a new Tag coming. Please, be my guest. Elections are so 2000.