Green Means \”Impeach\”

Obama the Red Queen

It’s been a long time since I composed the previous (anti-Obama) posts. And let me say that Obama has not only completely vindicated the scorn I previously expressed, he has gone way beyond my wildest fears. I need to say something about Obama that might strike you as incredible. It certainly strikes me as incredible. But…


Let that statement sink in for a moment. Bush was the worst (as well as the most powerful) U.S. president in history up to that point in time. He murdered, in cold blood, hundreds of thousands of people and directly and indirectly helped impoverish perhaps millions more (including me). He lied so brazenly and so often that the only times you could safely say he was not lying were those rare, blessed moments when his mouth was shut.

Yet Obama has trumped him for sheer awfulness. Bush angrily tore the Constitution to pieces. Obama, the Constitutional scholar, has taken the pieces, shredded them and recycled them. His “Yes We Can” (originally, the left motto “Si se puede”) brand has now been re-worded as the motto of the cartoon villain Megamind: “No You Can’t.” As far as warmongering (he actually expanded our wars to include Pakistan and now Libya), destruction of civil liberties (particularly in Guantanamo, which he had once vowed to shut down), persecution of whistleblowers (his treatment of the as-yet untried Bradley Manning will live in infamy), sucking up to Wall Street and general nasty hypocrisy are concerned, he at least equals and even surpasses his appalling predecessor.

If I had to pick one incident that for me summarizes the Obama White House, it’s the Osama Death Photo Incident. After executing lynch mob justice on Osama bin Laden (and please, don’t give me that “Osama didn’t deserve a trial” crap: after WWII, the Allies tried HERMANN GOERING for Chrissake, and they would have tried Hitler himself if he had been captured alive), there was intense internal debate within the White House whether to release the pictures of the al-Qaeda “mastermind” with a bullet hole in his head.

This was a real dilemma for Obama: he could withhold the pictures and have part of the world say that his claim of having whacked Obama was a lie, or he could release them and risk driving Islamic fundamentalists violently berserk. He chose the former course purely out of cynical realpolitik, knowing that some people would challenge his proud claim of cold-blooded murder even if the photos were published for all the world to see.

But of course, Obama being Obama, he needs to recast this decision as High Idealism. In an upcoming 60 Minutes interview partially leaked to the press, Obama blandly pontificated:

It is very important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence — as a propaganda tool. That’s not who we are. You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies. We don’t need to spike the football.

(Nixon loved football, too, and liked to speak in metaphors derived from that sport.)

As an activist Facebook friend of mine commented: “I see: it is not the shooting in the head, but the image of the bloody head that would constitute a problem.” And if brandishing your enemy’s head like a barbarian chieftain is “not what we’re about,” why was there such intense internal debate about the decision within the White House in the first place?

Idiots can chant “USA! USA!” outside the White House, but I think all sensitive and knowledgeable people should be sickened by this hypocrisy. (And don’t get me started on the illegal attempted hit on Gaddafi, which killed innocent children without so much as a whisper of an apology from the UN or the US.) But of course, that will not stop good Democrats from voting for Obama next year. Democratic politicians can act even more like gangsters than Republicans, but turning to a progressive third party like the Greens is “off the table” for these handwringing innocents.

Perhaps Geoffrey Robertson, one of Julian Assange’s defense lawyers, put it best, as quoted here: “Mr. Obama’s assertion that justice was done was ‘a total misuse of language,’ Mr. Robertson said. ‘This is the justice of the Red Queen: sentence first, trial later.'” Actually, Robertson is a tad confused: it was Louis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts, not The Red Queen, who said that. But on second thought, it sounds right: to be the Queen (or King) of Hearts, you first have to have one.


Death of the Obama Myth

You’ve heard this spiel before. Obama, during the campaign, was just playing possum to get elected. Hiding his true Progressive nature. Pitching himself as a “centrist” to big business and scared whites while cunningly concealing his real agenda. Crawling until he could fly. And then, once he was elected, he would show his true colors and the left-wing Millennium would begin.

So now Obama has won the Presidency. By a landslide. His “honeymoon” period has already begun. During his term of office, he will never have more freedom to do what he wants than in the next few months. So what is his first act as President-elect? He appoints RAHM EMANUEL as chief of staff.

Who is Rahm  Emanuel? He is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Leader Steny Hoyer, and Whip Jim Clyburn. His mentor is Bill Clinton. He has strong ties to the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the organization that, in the late 1980s and in the 1990s, under Clinton, shredded the Democratic Party’s few remaining links to its populist New Deal traditions. He is a member in good standing of the New Democrat Coalition, described by Wikipedia as a group of Democratic Senators and Congresspersons “who claim moderate and pro-business stances.” In 2002, he supported Bush’s plan to invade Iraq, but lamented that Bush had not found the right message to sell the war to the American people.

Most importantly, he was the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair for the 2006 elections. In this devastating 2007 Truthout exposé, Matt Renner reported how Emanuel, while claiming neutrality, strongly supported, with contributions and other forms of pressure, pro-war, pro-business Democratic House candidates, like Tammy Duckworth in Illinois (who was backed by Barack Obama), while deep-freezing all antiwar Democrats, like Christine Cegelis (running in the same Illinois district as Duckworth). By the way, Duckworth lost, whereas the charismatic Cegelis would probably have won, but that did not seem to phase Emanuel.  In other words, he is probably more responsible than anybody in the House (except Pelosi) for keeping the Democratic Party a pro-war, pro-corporate party.

Obama might well be considering keeping on Robert Gates as Defense Secretary. He is also considering appointing his economic advisor Austan Goolsbee, who is consistently described as a “centrist” (read: Republican-lite), as Treasury Secretary.

The myth of “Obama the Closet Progressive” is dead. Can we bury it now?