Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Pink Elephant in the Room

Mark my words, very soon we are going to be awash in commentary claiming that the Democrats have been "outmaneuvered", that the "populist Right" is on the rise, that America is a "center-Right nation".

Of course, if the Democrats are unpopular right now and anger toward Obama is on the rise, it's not because of the Republicans, the Tea-Baggers or Fox News Pundits. It's due entirely to the Democrats own actions.

Is it really that peculiar that working-class people in mining towns in West Virginia, who voted for Obama in droves, are now furious that his year in the White House has done nothing, literally nothing, to improve their condition?

Is it really that strange that Black Americans, who voted for Obama in record numbers, are disillusioned with a party and a President that escalates foreign wars while Black unemployment reaches the double digits?

Is it really surprising that a President whose entire message was "change we can believe in", having spent a year furiously trying to prevent things from changing, is now unpopular with a country that was uncharacteristcally excited to vote for him?

What we need to do right now is talk about means of organizing people independently of the Democratic Party.

Groups on the Democrat-friendly liberal left need to cut the umbilical cord and gear up for a fight. The disillusionment people are feeling is real, and should not be cast aside as cynicism. The political definition of cynicism right now is believing that progressives and leftists must perpetually subordinate themselves and their demands to the conservative Democratic Party apparatus. I, for one, staunchly refuse to forfeit my political energies to an institution that is hopelessly pro-Business, anti-Health Care reform, pro-war, and so on.

1 comment:

fwoan said...

I completely agree. I tried to express this sentiment in the context of the right's fears of Obama, trying to reassure them that he is strictly for the status quo:

"The truth is, conservatives' fears are mostly nonexistant. Obama is hardly a socialist/communist/fascist (the words are used interchangably by the right) and he's barely even a liberal. He is getting ready to recreate Johnson's disasterous decision to escalate the Vietnam war by sending more Americans to die in the Empire graveyard that is Afghanistan. While he campaigned for a public option in healthcare, all reports now say he has been doing everything in his power to destroy it in favor of a trigger. Reports are now indicating that Senator Schumer (D-NY) is now working with conservative Democrats to create just this so that the president can have something to sign and call it "healthcare reform" no matter how restrictive of women's rights it may be or how little reform is actually there. Actual liberals like Senator Sanders (I-VT) are vowing to filibuster any bill that doesn't include a public option (a stand with which I agree). Without the public option, this bill is nothing but a gift to insurance companies as we become mandated to buy their ever shittier products. Despite what conservative media pundits would have us believe, the white house is not interested in pursuing bans on guns. As Alexander Cockburn put it in this week's issue of The Nation, 'The past year has yielded one surrender by the administration after another - whether it be renditions, phone-tapping or an accelerated schedule in giving the finger to organized labor, whose troops had done the most to put Obama in the White House.' Obama is a member of one of the two parties of the status quo; so rest assured frightened conservatives, he isn't much interested in rocking the boat."