Everyone talks about the first one hundred days of a president’s term as being prophetic. What the president accomplishes in the first one hundred days will give a fairly accurate prediction of how the rest of the term will go. The first one hundred days of the Obama administration, however, he was given a free-pass by most democrats. I spent three months having my criticism greeted by apologism. “So much went wrong under Bush.” “What can you expect of Obama? He’s only one man.” “He’s already done so much. What are you complaining about? Change is a process.”
Now, almost a year later, I expect that we’re beyond partisan partiality. Maybe I’m being naive, but let’s hope we’re beyond the favoritism and living, once again, in the reality of a corporatist state and rigged political system.
How can we not call Obama a carbon copy of Dubya? More charming? Sure. Nicer rhetoric? Definitely. More intelligent? Absolutely. Further left? Absolutely not.
Obama has managed to simultaneously continue and extend Bush-era policies while convincing the public that he has not. His moves to end torture and shut down Guantanamo Bay have been little more than face-value politicking that does little to address the issues. Torture continues under this administration as well as extraordinary rendition (captivation without a fair and proper trial). His health care reform was hashed out with corporate insurance and drug lobbyists. It’s no wonder that the health care reform has become a funnel for corporations since nurses and doctors (majority single payer activists) were granted no voice while K-Street folk got an EZ-Pass into the White House. Raids on Pakistan and Yemen (forgiven thanks to the concept of the “War On Terror” which allows us to stick our grubby fingers into whatever country whenever we please) and the surge in Afghanistan are exhibitions of Obama’s loyalty to the militarism and interventionism of Bush. A pledge to end nuclear proliferation in the midst of saber rattling against Iran and North Korea while turning a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear arms (and even ours) signal a disconnect between rhetoric and reality. Massive bank bailouts, his handling of the auto-industry crisis, the basic neglect of the hundreds of thousands of struggling American families displaced from their homes, and staffing the economic wing of his administration with ex-bankers are signs of Obama’s commitment to market-based exploitation and general disregard for the public. His maintenance of the Merida Initiative (aka Mexico Plan) with the Calderon administration, south of the border, in addition to his treatment of widespread popular belief in decriminalization are demonstrations of his disregard of the public, as well. This doesn’t include popular resistance to the surge, popular support of public health care or popular resistance to the bank bailouts, either.
Does anyone want to call him a socialist, now? Looks like a bonafide, rightwing capitalist to me.
So, Peep The Strategy:
Quit voting. Or, at least, quit voting Democrat. Quit blaming the individual and start blaming the system that grooms politicians to be the pets of corporate America. Quit expecting a corrupt state that benefits from our misery to solve our problems. Start organizing and solving your own problems. More than anything, though- stop bearing the cross. Individuals have borne the cross for far too long. We must solve global warming by changing our lightbulbs. If we have a shitty president, more people have to vote. If our economy sucks, we have to spend. We have to get second jobs. We have to cut back. If we’re being exploited at work, we have to find a new job. If we’re being sexually or racially harassed, we should know better than to dress a certain way, talk to certain people or play the “race card”. What a paradox. We bear the responsibility and the government bears the glory. Well, let’s take both. Ditch the state and start building our world from the remains.