Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I blame Obama

I'm expecting a GOP win tonight -- and before it happens, I'd like to place the blame right where it belongs: With President Barack Obama. Other, better Democrats are (unfairly) judged by his example. He is, like it or not, the face of the Democratic party.

A lot of people don't like that face. And no, that reaction has nothing to do with the President's race.

It has everything to do with with the useful adjectival phrase "liberal interventionist."

That self-contradictory term describes one wing of the party. A liberal interventionist is a neocon who considers it useful and cute to keep a (D) next to his name. By whatever descriptor, we are talking about a form of "liberalism" that may may seem attractive in some parts of DC and New York City, but which, in the rest of the country, makes true liberals want to vomit.

We are sick of Nuland-esque games in Ukraine.

We are sick of secret backing for Al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria.

We are sick of using the war against ISIS as a pretext for conducting a war on Assad.

We are sick of what's happening in Gitmo.

We are sick of allying with monsters in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

We are sick of reflexive support for Israeli atrocities.

We are sick of saber rattling in Iran.

We are sick of covert support for the forces of reaction in Latin America.

We are sick of constant surveillance and eavesdropping.

We are sick of drone warfare.

We are sick of Afghanistan.

We are sick of trying to rationalize the behavior of a "Democrat" whose foreign policy is every bit as manipulative and repellant as anything George H.W. Bush might have come up with.

We are sick of war.

That said... 

I do believe that Obama has not been fully on board with the "liberal interventionist" (or neoconservative) program. The insider accounts we have received so far indicate that Obama has had to be manipulated, directed, and even tricked into some of these positions.

Obama did not, for example, commit to war against Syria in 2013, despite the enormous pressures to do so. And the fact that Israel seems genuinely to despise Obama gives us one excellent reason to admire him.

In the end, though, it does not matter whether this president treads the neocon path with enthusiasm or trepidation. It does not matter whether the path was his choice or his misfortune. In the end, his path is his path. He's on it, and liberals -- real liberals -- don't like it.

Had he been a different president, with a different foreign policy, Democrats would be much more eager to vote and to donate. Democrats would feel that they have a cause worth fighting for. In this campaign season, I did not give one dime to the Democratic party, despite many emails begging for money. I suspect that many of my readers were similarly ungenerous.

Millions of Americans despised what Dubya did to this country, and we feel that Obama gave us a continuation of Dubya's foreign policy. We want a true alternative. We want something to vote for.

I said "something" not "someone": There are, in fact, many good (or at least acceptable) people running for public office. To electrify the electorate, we need an idea -- a program to counter the twin sins of neoconservatism and neoliberalism.


Anonymous said...

I myself blame lazy ignorant voters. They let themselves to be manipulated and to be lead like a herd of sheep behind Obama. They didn't bother to check and see if he indeed what they claimed to be. His record was out there it wasn't hard to find. We screamed at the top of our lungs but we only alienated our families and friends. Now they have t he audacity to feel betrayed. I suggest to them do the responsible thing for once own what u did in 2008. And save the party and the country. Don't jump ship now

Alessandro Machi said...

Joseph Cannon wrote..."a program to counter the twin sins of neoconservatism and neoliberalism."

That is where the Clintons live and thrive.

Anonymous said...

i imagine it getting worse with a republican win.. thanks for your posts - james

Joseph Cannon said...

Sandro, I would like to think so.

At any rate, the message from tonight's contest was first delivered by Shelly Duvall in "The Shining":

"The loser has to keep America clean."

(Don't you love that line?)

moshe said...

The NYT front page says something about a "wave of anger". But wasn't it a wave of apathy? I always get the impression that elections in the USA are decided by those who don't vote.

katiebird said...

And just who was I supposed to vote for? I voted .... but looking at that ballot, I could only force myself to vote in one race. One. All the other's were choices that I know absolutely were no choices at all. Basically the same person with different names.

(deleted rant about Dems forcing a Dem off the Senate ballot in favor of a totally crazy Independent who refused to reveal his caucus plans)

James said...

We have a corporate media that failed to identify the real reason our government has been so dysfunctional over the past six years: the GOP's unconstitutional requirement of a super-majority to pass any legislation through the Senate.

Obama was swept to power in 2008 after eight years of illegitimate rule by a GOP that seized power in a coup d'etat sanctioned by a corrupt Supreme Court. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the ruling junta's "hold the line" strategy involved rigging just enough Senate races during the intervening years to make sure Obama never had the power to make any changes.

All they needed to do was manipulate a handful of races to insure that the fascists maintained 41 seats in the senate, which is exactly what they had. Everybody expects vote rigging to always result in the complete capture of government power, but maybe it's more pernicious than that and it used to maintain the status quo and to consistently and continually thwart the will of the people to maintain the power of the ruling elite.

In short: we're fucked, and anytime anyone rises to power with an actual agenda that includes anything remotely resembling justice or truth, they'll be dealt with in the same way Paul Wellstone was dealt with.

Anonymous said...

moshe, the elections are decided not just by those who don't vote, but by those who don't even register to vote.

If a massive voter registration drive were ever conducted, everything could be completely different. Cynicism is too emotionally satisfying for too many people.

Gus said...

Well, you were right Joseph. For what it's worth, I ended up voting pretty much straight Dem, though I wasn't exactly happy about it. Didn't matter though, except for the governor, where my state (PA) showed surprisingly good sense by throwing out Corbet. Other than that though, it was a victory for the Repubs.

Anonymous said...

Amen brother!

Anonymous said...

The voters or electorate as a whole certainly shoulders a lot of responsibility for the currently awful political situation, but there have been other trends which have left the people alienated and powerless. Gerrymandered districts, for example, mean the favoured party could run a deceased horse and still win. Internal coups such as mastered by the DLC with Clinton neutered progressive policies while pretending to represent those interests. The Obama let-down ensured that "hope" and/or "change" is cynically rendered unrealistic and unattainable. Media consolidation means everything is filtered through a narrow right-biased loudspeake. Dems take over Senate in 2006, refuse to apply their new leverage and media explains why they shouldn't. Repubs take over Senate in 2014 and its WW3 here we come! Good luck everyone.

Anonymous said...

The next 2 years should be so such fun because it wasn't a bunch of moderate Republicans [if any exist] but a bunch a far-right wingers elected, Tea Party types who, in the words of Charles Pierce, were sent to charm school for behavior modification.

Like wearing shoes and eating with a fork.

Will shall see if POTUS has anything he truly stands for [can't seem to think of an example at the moment]. Or if he'll use the loss to bargain away the future. That Grand Bargain is still standing in the corner like an ugly orphan, a legacy-maker to shred whatever's left of the Democratic Party. Or quick passage of the Keystone Pipeline, something the GOP is already touting as a mega-job maker, a perfect start to a new era of 'getting something done.' The wish list of Republican leaders has just begun.

It should be so much fun!


GregoryP said...

Anonymous at 10:47, why are American's still required to register to vote? With today's technology and the fact that pretty much every American has some form of picture ID why isn't that good enough? Just take your driver's licence and go to the local precinct and vote. Has to be simple. Not sure why we still cling to the archaic.

jo6pac said...

I'm not sure why do I care who runs Amerika?

I would like to but

Anonymous said...

Obama is not a liberal. He is a Chicago Democrat which means he is a Reagan Democrat.
Life is all about expectations and we expected way too much from President Obama.