Monday, April 13, 2009

Still Drowning

I'm putting together a nice, light demolition of some paranoid racist's gibbering about the great "Clash of Civilizations" but it's a busy week, so it'll be a piece at a time and posted later.

In order to keep my 10 weekly visitors happy and to fulfill my obligations to post everyday, ... um, ... here's a link to Glenn Greenwald describing the outrage against Barack Obama's claims for executive branch powers.

Personally, I don't understand Obama. He doesn't look or act like a complete idiot. He doesn't strike you as somebody who would be the most detestable hypocrite imaginable.

But he's conniving with Wall Street losers to absolve them of any obligations in return for bailing them out of their own predicament caused by their total shit-headedness, A-N-D he's shitting all over his country's Constitution either to placate the amoral zombies in US "intelligence" agencies who tortured innocent people in good faith and are now afraid of legal action, or because Barack Obama really does believe that the best thing for the USA is to have a chain of torture sites where people can be held indefinitely, without charges and with absolutely no human rights.

Let me again say that I've long felt the US political system to be beyond help, but even I am, shall we say, disappointed with much of what Barack Obama is doing.

(There! That was six minutes well spent!)


Sir Francis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sir Francis said...

I am, shall we say, disappointed with much of what Barack Obama is doing. I've been much amused by people's messianic expectations of Obama. I understand the urge, but it misapprehends the deeply corrupt nature of the American élite. Essentially, there's no way to be president without behaving like an Ottoman caliph. That's what empire requires.

The most activist, revolutionary chief executives of the last century--Wilson, Roosevelt, LBJ, Carter, etc.--were able to change sweet fuck all about the way the nation operates, principally because they all bought into its founding and governing ideologies. Expect Obama to be different? Might as well expect an infant to solve a quadratic equation.

thwap said...

Yeah, but even within the limitations of that system, FDR was able to respond to a crisis, created by the capitalist elite, that regulated that capitalist elite and saved it from itself.

In Obama's case, wholesale bailing out of the financial sector, of the same Wall Street criminals who have almost brought the world economy to its knees, isn't the best that a US president could be expected to come up with.

And expanding the bush II levels of executive power and secrecy is totally unwarranted. Past presidents were able to "defend" their system without resorting to such constitution shredding.

I can't imagine what he's thinking.

And I said earlier on this blog that I want the first black president to go down in history as a success. Despite what that means for the perpetuation of the system.

Sir Francis said...

I want the first black president to go down in history as a success. That would be nice, I suppose. I can't help feeling, though, that being a successful president is a bit like being a "successful" Sicilian capo di tutti capi.

For the record, the early signs suggest that Obama has an excellent chance of being a two-termer and a fairly "successful" one. To me, he's reminiscent of Clinton, widely acknowledged as one of the best post-war presidents.

As to Obama's "blackness", some cultural context is required there. Obama was raised in a Caucasian household and enjoyed whatever socio-economic benefits accrued therefrom (and I think they were substantial).

Naturally, his own experience of oppression was very different from that of, say, Martin Luther King. I'm not sure Obama came into office with the kind of rage for change that might have driven a sharecropper's son.

I think the reformist flaccidity you and others have noted may flow, at least in part, from that reality.