Thursday, October 20, 2011

When Success is Failure

Khadafi is dead. President Obama’s decision to help oust him from power is a success. Republicans who criticized him for getting involved in Libya in the first place, and who said “he wasn’t up to the job,” and that it was an effort doomed to fail, have been proven wrong. Now that Khadafi is no more, and Libya will at least have a chance to become a better country, and most of the world will rejoice, what do Republicans have to say? First, they say nothing if they can help it, preferring to simply ignore Obama’s part in this success. Second, if they say anything they criticize him on the grounds that it took too long, could have been accomplished sooner, and was not carried out as it should have been, in other words, no credit for Obama at all. Third, there is a Republican talking point they all have been instructed to repeat, it was really the French and the English that should get the credit. In addition to being an apparently agreed upon talking point, one might say this is also petty to the point of childishness. Republicans were a bit more fair when Osama bin Laden was killed, but not much more and Obama’s accomplishment was not praised by them as it should have been. Obama also successfully managed to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who allied himself with terrorists. Obama again has received faint praise, if any, for this success. Republicans who have been consistently hard on immigration and immigration policy, and insisted that something be done about it, have ignored the fact that under the Obama administration more illegal immigrants have been deported by far than previously, and again give him little or no credit. In fact, as you are probably aware, according to Republicans, nothing Obama has done deserves any credit, not the health care they want to reverse, not the stimulus they keep lying about, not any of the many accomplishments of his administration, not even the bus he is touring in, nothing. They announced they would vote “no” on anything he wanted and they have done so, and having thus kept him from doing much of anything to solve our national problems, they attempt to blame him for the failure. How they think this strategy is going to help them win back the White House in 2012 I do not know, it seems politically suicidal to me. But, then, this is the American electorate where virtually anything might happen (they did, after all, elect Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, probably two of the worst Presidents ever).

I fear those who might expect Republicans to give Obama some credit do not understand the underlying dynamics of the situation. Obama is not to be allowed any success, so anything that appears to be a success must be converted into a failure, even though it might have been something they themselves once favored. I fear Obama himself does not understand this and still, even now, clings to his view that somewhere, somehow, someway, he will be able to find common ground with Republicans. I believe not only will they never give him credit for any success, his successes only make them hate him all the more. Obviously they do not want a Democratic President to succeed, but in the case of Obama there is more to it than that. This can be seen in the fact that he is not only denied credit due him, he has been and is treated with a kind of disrespect that has never before been so publicly displayed towards the office of the Presidency. The only conceivable reason I can see for this is that not only is he a Democrat, he’s also Black, and being Black he is not supposed to have the innate ability to succeed. I have no doubt they would deny this vociferously, and perhaps they are themselves not completely aware of it, but I personally do not doubt it for a moment and I think you can easily find evidence for it, especially in the Tea Party. But, you may argue, what about Herman Cain who is currently leading in the polls? Herman Cain is basically a clown, a kind of modern Stepin Fetchit, who says thoughtless, absurd things to get attention and is probably more surprised by his position in the polls than anyone else on earth. He has ties to the Koch brothers who probably support him at least minimally and manages to disrupt the candidacy of others the brothers probably don’t want to succeed. Of course they wouldn’t care if he did get elected President, they wouldn’t care who got elected, male, female, Gay, polka-dotted, whatever, as long as he/she/it did what they were told.

If there are intelligent beings in the universe (there certainly don’t appear to be many here on earth), what do you suppose they would think of the American political system that now runs endlessly like a long-running soap opera, no longer has any connection with the well-being of the vast majority of the people, has officials at all levels of government who are merely paid lackeys of gigantic corporations considered to be persons who can secretly give any amount of money they wish to put their choices in office, and who promote a military/industrial/political complex that siphons off most of the taxpayers money virtually without accountability, a system that puts profit above all other values including life itself? Power to the protestors!!!

What is genuine is proved in the fire, what is false we shall not miss in our ranks. The opponents must grant us that youth has never before flocked to our colours in such numbers, ... in the end, one will be found among us who will prove that the sword of enthusiasm is just as good as the sword of genius.

Friedrich Engels

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