Thursday, November 04, 2010

Stumble, Fumble, Mumble, and Fall

Drunken 47 year-old Maryland
man in diaper, arrested for shouting
obscenities and asking for candy.

Stumble, fumble, mumble, and fall, is that not a perfect chronology of the Obama administration? They certainly stumbled coming out of the election of Barack Obama, certainly when it came to the situation in Afghanistan. They could have used the election to get us out of that absolutely ridiculous and useless “war,” but instead they apparently let the Generals and the military convince us to continue a totally lost cause (the military exists only as long as there is a “war” somewhere or other). Also, in my opinion at least, they stumbled when it came to not investigating the Bush/Cheney administration war crimes. When Bush/Cheney actually admitted their war crimes, and when both U.S. and International law specifies such crimes must be investigated, they failed to do what was required. Obama and Holder took the position that we should “let bygones be bygones.” That is, don’t look back, only forward. In the eyes of the international community this made us look like the greatest hypocrites in the world, rightly so. Of course when Pelosi took impeachment “off the table,” the die was already cast as far as accountability was concerned. Does no one find it ironic that Obama refused to investigate the obvious and serious crimes of the Bush/Cheney band of criminals, whereas now the Republicans are talking of subpoenas and investigations of the Obama administration (for what I cannot even imagine)? I think they also stumbled when they failed to appoint new people to important positions such as Secretary of Defense and those in charge of financial matters.

When it comes to fumbling the record is even worse. They totally fumbled the stimulus bill when they caved in to Republicans on including 300 billion in tax breaks that reduced the stimulus so drastically it just did not do the job it was intended to do. They also completely fumbled the health care bill when they capitulated to the pharmaceutical industry and didn’t even try for a single payer system (that they claimed they favored and would have been immeasurably superior to what they produced). And of course they have fumbled Guantanamo and DADT. More importantly, they have fumbled the issue of peace in the Middle East as there is no way they can now be seen as a disinterested, fair-minded peacemaker, having supported Israeli genocide and war crimes without fail and given in to Netanyahu without even blushing. In every case when they could have taken some decisive action they caved in to the Republican minority or the corporate interests. I think it is not completely unfair to say that Obama has fumbled away virtually every opportunity to improve the lives of the Middle Class because of his apparent (totally unrewarded) obsession with bipartisanship. Even now he is about to fumble away the issue of tax cuts for the filthy rich, an issue so obviously a winner for Democrats as to be obvious even to the more demented (but apparently not for Obama).

When it comes to mumbling, never has there been an administration more inept. Although the Democrats, in spite of the never-ending opposition of Republicans, have managed to accomplish a great deal, the stimulus bill, health care, tax breaks for the middle class, student loans, banking and credit card regulations, and others, a record far better than almost any previous administration, it appears that most voters remain totally uninformed of these accomplishments. While I admire modesty, modesty has no place in American politics.

Of course the inevitable result of all this stumbling, fumbling, and mumbling has been the fall from grace we have just witnessed. It was probably deserved, however, it should not be forgotten than much of the failure of the Obama administration can be traced specifically to the Republican scorched earth policy of just say “no” to everything. It takes an unprecedented amount of “gall” to block every positive thing proposed by one administration and then criticize that administration for failing to do enough of anything. If we do not realize by now that Republicans have no shame (I personally doubt they even have any sense of shame), and will do everything and anything to regain power, even at the risk of seriously damaging our country, we are not likely to achieve much going forward. President Obama seems to be an incredibly slow learner. Republicans are not going to cooperate with him, period. Their stated goal is to embarrass him and bring him down, make him a one-term President. If he gives in to their demands for further tax breaks for the richest 2% of the population we will know that responsible government for the people, by the people, is over, the Corporate/Republican Fascists have won.

Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.
Benito Mussolini

Some mango trees still fruit after 300 years.

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