Thursday, October 07, 2010

(published at OpEdNews)


A few days ago, I was asked what I wanted to see President Obama do in the next two years.

Recently, so called Democrats voted with so called Republicans in the Senate to kill a bill that would stop providing tax incentives to corporations who send their jobs to countries whose people are all too happy to receive a wage upon which no one in any country could live above the line of subsistence, let alone comfortably; to countries whose leaders favor payments of money over protecting the environment.

In 1968, George Wallace, running as an independent, said, “There ain’t a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats.”

I abhorred many of the things Wallace did and said at that time. To stand in front of university doors so that he could stop people from entering merely because of the random color of their skin was unconscionable.

After he was shot, Wallace had a change of heart and went to his grave at least outwardly decent. He made amends with African Americans.

I remember the “dime’s worth of difference” phrase, though. He actually was right and it’s become even truer as time has passed. Almost all politicians were wealthy before they ran for office and were elected, remain wealthy during their terms and are wealthy when they’re either defeated or retire.

I had heard that Barack Obama spent $700 million to buy the presidency in 2008. This site says that he spent over $300 million. Either number is ridiculous.

The Supreme Court’s January, 2010 ruling in Citizens United v The FEC has allowed corporations to reach into their vast profit margins and pull out any amount of money that they deem “necessary” to get their candidates elected. The decision also states that there is no disclosure rule for corporations who do this. So, buying a job for $300 million is already obsolete in a black comedy sort of way.

Don’t forget, The Corporatocracy and China have made some sweet and sweaty deals. It’s in China’s interest to keep American jobs going to its nation. It’s so much in its interest that it may accidently drop a $1 billion dollar bill in the office of some corporate CEO who may decide to use it to buy a candidate or two.

Meg Whitman has spent, to date, over $140 million to buy the governorship of California. Jerry Brown has spent a modest $10 million.

The point is that Obama, Bush, Clinton, HW, Reagan and even some before that have/had little or no say in the governance of The Former United States of America.

What incentive can outweigh receiving millions and/or billions of dollars? What can Obama do? What could Bush have even done?

Prima facie, it looks as though the Democrats are for unions and working people and the Republicans are for the wealthy. You gotta be kiddin’ me.

Once again, I present you with the prescient oration Paddy Chayefsky wrote for the movie or book, Network, in 1976. I implore you to watch it and watch it and watch it until you not only hear the words, but until you actually begin to listen to the words.

I paraphrase: There are no Republicans, there are no Democrats, there are no nations, there are no borders. Am I getting through to you, people?

Now, having told the truth about how it is, I will tell you what I would like to see Obama do in the next two years, hoping against hope.

I would like a speech from the oval office. I would like the news media to refuse to allow the “other” party to give a rebuttal. Maybe some of you don’t know this, but this bullshit piece of political correctness is new. The rebuttals were given during the campaign and the winner won. He’s the president. He gives the State of the Union address. He addresses the American citizens. The president, not the presidential candidate, speaks after the politics is over and the governing begins. No rebuttal. No Democratic rebuttal to a Republican president and no Republican rebuttal to a Democratic president. That little move, whenever it started, was one of the silliest and most divisive contrivances to ever be allowed to see the light of day and it’s merely one of the divisive contrivances that makes us formerly united.

In his speech, I want to hear Obama say that he will work solely on election reform during the remaining two years of his term.

I want him to say that he won’t work on health care reform because there will be no health care reform without election reform.

I want him to say that he won’t work on financial reform because there will be no financial reform without election reform.

I want him to say that he, along with Bush, Clinton, HW, Reagan, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy and Truman all committed the impeachable offense of going to war without a Congressional declaration.

I want him to say that The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and The Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq were not even in the same zip code as a Declaration of War. I want him to say that any “OK” from Congress to a president to sort of kind of think about when it may sort of be OK to attack a nation that did nothing to America is not a Declaration of War, but a Congressional abdication of its responsibilities. I want him to admit to guilt, but I don’t want him to be impeached or to step down unless HW, Clinton and Dubya promise to go before The Hague for committing war crimes. I want him to say he’ll pursue all of the above who are still alive for unconstitutionally going to war.

I want him then to say that he will go before Congress and ask if it’s OK by them to end any and all wars that are in progress because he cannot constitutionally do it himself. If they choose not to end the war in Afghanistan and bring the troops home from Iraq and, basically, everywhere they don’t belong, I want him to resign because I want him to say he will no longer execute illegal wars.

I want him to bring before Congress legislation by which money will play no role in whether or not a candidate can even be a candidate, let alone be elected.

When debate begins, I want him to use the presidential bully pulpit to out, in no uncertain terms, anyone who wants our elections to remain commodities to be purchased by the wealthiest people. I want him to demand from that pulpit that anyone who wants elections to continue to be bought by the highest bidder debate that point of view in front of the entirety of the American public.

In fact, if his bill is voted down, I want him to use a signing statement to push it through anyway. This will show that maybe he’s grown a pair. We like presidents who use signing statements? Then he should use one to get money out of elections.

I want him to hammer home that elections are opportunities for those who wish to serve, to do the right thing, whatever they think it is, by the American people. I want him to ask whoever wants elections to remain commodities to explain to the American people how this helps them.

I want him to include that there will be a fine in his bill for Americans who refuse to exercise their right to vote. I want him to tell the American people that a democracy, republican or otherwise, cannot be sustained by a citizenry which bitches and moans, but doesn’t vote.

Then, possibly, when he steps down after his only term is up, the candidates that run for that office will actually be candidates who want to govern.

If he doesn’t work on election reform, I want him to step down and hand his position over to somebody who will.

But, I dream. There’s no incentive for anyone, from Jim DeMint to Dennis Kucinich, to work hard for election reform. Where they are and how they got there, along with what they do, is nothing more and nothing less than a racket. It’s theater, ladies and gentlemen.

The previous corporate front man couldn’t put a sentence together if it was made out of Legos. When he spoke, bullshit vomited from his mouth.

Barack Obama is articulate and when he speaks, bullshit vomits from his mouth.

Of course there are “third” parties, but, just in the way we refer to them - third parties - it’s obvious we think of them as we would think of a third eye on a human face.

It feels awful being a nihilist. It feels awful saying that those who appear to be in charge are not and those who are in charge don’t have the best interest of Americans at heart. In fact, I submit that many who are in charge aren’t even Americans.

So, let’s sit back and listen to the pabulum on the TV machine as the Chinese buy the 2010 elections.



To friendship,
Michael

“Sanity is a madness put to good use.” - George Santayana


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