By Manifesto Joe
This isn't going to be a popular post among many on the "left," or what's left of it. Politics, for those who have studied the subject for a while, clearly emerges as the art of compromise. It's certainly necessary to have the activists outside on the streets, but perhaps even more important to have those nasty insiders who actually make the "sausage" laws that we have to live with for generations.
I'm happy in one sense to see lots of people on the streets in the "Occupy Wall Street" protest movement. It's high time that a lot of Americans understood that the system has long been rigged against them. Not that this is anything new -- it's just gotten worse over the past 30 or so years.
A sad thing that I'm seeing in this movement is the Mainstream Media spin on it, and how many people in the rank and file of it are playing into its hands. It's being depicted as a protest against "bad economic conditions" rather than against the fundamentals of a capitalist system that has reverted to its primitive and brutal roots, with few mitigating forces to shield ordinary people from its ill effects.
One laid-off worker in New York was interviewed by the MSM, and he said that he saw no real difference between Bush and Obama. The middle class in America, he "reasoned," is actually worse off after nearly 3 years of Obama than it was after 8 years of Il Doofus.
I would have to say to such a person that he was missing the salient point. If a Bush surrogate had been elected president instead of Obama, such people would INDEED be able to see the difference, quite starkly. Obama clearly hasn't been everything that the remaining progressives in America might have wanted. But they fail to see that the Il Doofus "kleptocracy" was given an almost totally free hand for nearly seven years before the meltdown got fully under way, and that Obama's policies, while not all we wanted, have served to keep things from getting much worse than they might have been.
I'm one person who was very unhappy and railing against the "kleptocracy" that we were seeing all through the '80s during the Reagan years, but I didn't notice many people raising any cain back then. It was, in fact, hard to get anyone to even listen to the alternative viewpoint. Now, we have political neophytes taking to the streets and railing against things that have been happening for decades, not just for a few years. Come to the party, folks. Some of us were telling you all this shit back in the days when you were dutifully casting your first votes for Republicans.
Again, Obama hasn't been all I would have liked, but in the current climate, it's unlikely that anyone electable could have been. He was forced to work with a Congress that wouldn't give him what he wanted. In November 2008, we elected a president, not a dictator. As an example, the public option narrowly passed in a heavily Democratic House of Representatives. In the Senate, it had a majority, but fell short of the 60-vote "supermajority" that our system requires to enact damn near anything. DINOs like Ben Nelson and "independents" like Joe Lieberman wouldn't put it over. For politically savvy people, this wasn't a surprise. Our system is awash in corporate money, and people like that know that they can't stay in office without that largess.
So, the public option fell short. And then, what was the reaction of the voters? Over 30% of the people who voted for Obama in 2008 didn't show up at the polls in 2010. The Republicans, fueled by the faux populism of the Tea Party and Koch brothers' money, won the House back in a near landslide. People like me told you what was going to happen after that. And you were surprised?
Get real, folks. Some of us out here were fighting this battle even before some of you were born. And it's been damned thankless.
Don't let the MSM distort this into something else. Even Newt Gingrich is trying to make this out into some faux right-wing populist BS. Don't let it happen!
Obama isn't what I wanted, and probably even less what you wanted. Would you prefer Rick Perry, who calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme? Or Mitt Romney, who wants to increase the military budget and add 100,000 troops to our fighting force, and yet still presumes to balance the federal budget?
Well, it's looking more and more like you're going to get one of those right-wing demagogues. Then perhaps you will see, the hard way, what the difference is between a hard-right-wing fool and a centrist compromiser. I'll take the latter, thank you.
Compromise is hard. Dealing with moronic ideologues is harder. You're about to find that out.
I'm reminded of lines from The Second Coming, a poem by William Butler Yeats.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Don't let it happen, protesters. Another presidency like that of Il Doofus could really, really do this country in.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.