Friday, January 9, 2009

Opportunities Keep Coming/Democrats Keep Quashing Them

The Cheney/Bush “vision” (neo-conservatism, untrammeled free marketeering, disrespect for the rule of law, wanton environmental destruction, and so on) and the rank incompetence with which Cheney/Bush policies were implemented created a rare historical opportunity for progressive policy departures and perhaps even for social, political and economic structural transformations. However it has been clear for nearly a year, since even before so-called Super Tuesday, that the Democratic leadership and their media allies were intent on quashing that opportunity – that their standard-bearer would stand far to the right of their base. Thus throughout the spring we had an epoch struggle between two figures with almost identical center-right political views: one the vehicle for an outright Clinton Restoration, the other a Rorschach candidate representing indeterminate “change.”

The Rorschach man won. That was a relief – on the better the devil you don’t know principle. But once his victory was secure, he capitulated. The first sign was the selection of Joe Biden for Vice President. Then, throughout November and December, the indications kept on coming. Clintonism would be restored; even Hillary Clinton would be back – as Secretary of State no less . For anyone not willfully blind, it had always been clear that Obama’s “change” would be, at best, largely cosmetic. It has turned out not even to be that.

But Cheney/Bush and the rest of them are gifts that keep on giving. Once it became clear that the economy was in ruins – that a new Great Depression was a distinct possibility – nearly the entire political class fell in behind a reversal of the anti-affirmative state policies of the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush years. As leaders, Obama and his Clintonite-Wall Street crew could hardly not follow. But will they take full advantage of this new opportunity? There’s little sign of it.

In much the way that Obama empowered the Clintonites he defeated, he and they are now dead set on empowering the Republicans they defeated. They call it “bipartisanship” and the only good thing that could come out of it is that that awful word – and what it represents – will, in time, attract the opprobrium that is now turned against the likes of Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan. Thus Obama proposes what seems to be far too flimsy a recovery package, one loaded down with all but useless tax cuts – because he wants to lure Republicans into voting with him, and all Republicans want is tax cuts for their corporate benefactors. Making nice with Republicans makes even less sense than making nice with Clintonites, since Republicans are nasty to the core and will turn on you whenever they get the chance. It’s also dead wrong from a policy point of view – unless, of course, the point just is to quash another historic opportunity.

Cheney and Bush et. al. have presented the Democrats with three opportunities, two of which the Democrats have already quashed – one a year ago when they narrowed the race down to Obama v. Clinton, another in the fall when the defeated Clinton camp was handed every consolation prize at Obama’s disposal. The third is about to be quashed by Obama’s vaunted bipartisanship. There won’t be others – soon, to everyone’s relief, Cheney and Bush will be gone!

Meanwhile, outside our borders, there are others hard at work presenting Democrats with yet more historical opportunities. The current, on-going Israeli atrocities in Gaza are a case in point. They offer another chance, perhaps the best ever, for the United States finally to insist that Israel accede to the peace terms upon which there is near universal agreement. The war on Gaza, like Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon, is largely the doing of the Israeli political class. But Cheney and Bush have played an important role too. Indeed, their culpability is on-going. [How sickening it is to watch Condoleezza Rice operate in the United Nations. If only Stanford had let her kill! She might have gotten some of that bloodthirstiness out of her system before she could do so much harm.] Needless to say, the Democratic Party, essentially a political arm of AIPAC, will quash this opportunity as well.

Still, it will be wonderful to see Obama on Inauguration Day, and not just because it spells the end of the dreadful reign of Cheney and Bush. January 20 promises another Grant Park moment. But soon, very soon, Obama will have to shed his Rorschach carapace and the Obamamaniacs , the more lucid ones at least, will have to shed their illusions. By then, though, it may be too late for them to come to their senses enough to make a difference. By the time it becomes impossible to deny that “change we can believe in” has very little to do with democracy (popular empowerment, doing the people’s will) and a great deal to do with forging a center-right/right alliance dedicated to keeping everything pretty much as it is, the Clinton 2.0 agenda will be well underway – with or without “bipartisan” support.

1 comment:

MC Shalom said...

Recession or Depression?

A Credit Free, Free Market Economy Is Possible.

Both Dynamic on the Short Run & Stable on the Long Run.


The Numbered Account.

The Credit Free Money: The Dinar-Shekel (AKA The DaSh).

Asset Transfer: The Right Grant Operation.

A Specific Application of Employment Interest and Money [For Economists].

Hence, We Shall Cancel All Interest Bearing Debt

In This Age of Turbulence People Want an Exit Strategy Out of Credit
An Adventure in a New World Economic Order.

The alternative would be to wait till, on the long run, most of our productive assets get physically destroyed either by war or by rust.
It will be either awfully deadly or dramatically long.

Press release of my open letter to Chairman Ben S. Bernanke:

Sorry, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, But Quantitative Easing Won't Work.

Shalom P. Hamou AKA 'MC Shalom'
Chief Economist - Master Conductor
1776 - Annuit Cœptis.