Sunday, 29 July 2012

Mitt-muff highlights emptiness at the top

While it is entertaining to see the Mittster stumble his way through Europe displaying his androidally false cordiality, the fact that one of our major political assemblies could burp up this complete non-entity is a sorry sign, in neon, of a deeply paralyzing incompetence at the top. Worse, he is not alone, and the Obamanians ought to save their chortling.

On nearly every front of importance, we cast about in vain for signs that someone is in charge. We witness a demented attack in a suburban shopping mall, and despite the monomaniacal fixation on ‘security’ afflicting the land, Obama has to be shamed into distinguishing himself from the NRA party by a decimo-octi-billionaire mayor (Bloomberg). After a week, he limply suggested that lunatics should not have access to military assault rifles (wow!), but most everyone else shunned career suicide and dutifully kept mum.

The Greenland ice shelf turns into a snowball, and yet global warming remains off the permitted menu because no one dares sound the alarm over our species’ time on the planet.

Our banks continue to loot the nation’s productive wealth while Geithner intrigues furiously to protect them and Barack the Reasonable provides the needed cover. The Europeans do the same, only worse, allowing the entire Euro project to wobble dangerously toward an unpredictable denouement. Needless to say, the opposition’s attack is a program of even more rapid emptying of the people’s cupboards in favor of the hyper-rich.

Today’s spectacle is the most egregious example yet, with Romney abjectly offering Netanyahu his firstborn grandchildren in exchange for convincing Americans to make him president. (The NY Times dutifully headlined Romney’s statement as endorsing Israel’s ‘right to defend itself against Iran’ rather than an open invitation to start a war against a nearby state.) Meanwhile, the Obama team rapidly tried to undercut him with a fresh U.S.-Israel security pact.

How odd this display of pandering to the mob via foreigners would have looked to the emperors of Rome, who were guilty of pretty much everything imaginable, but did not mistake their provinces for the capital. Here, by contrast, the heads of the two major parties compete to find ways to encourage Israeli intransigence and to carry out the wars of choice selected by its distant suzerains, first Iraq, now Iran. Perhaps it’s not so much that we lack leaders, but that we have somehow chosen to locate them halfway around the world.

But while the pressing issues affecting us find no one to suggest or take action, the (utterly false) elite consensus that we need to slash future Social Security benefits awakens eager interest. Now there’s where leadership will flourish—taking away what little security the nation’s seniors have foolishly thought would be theirs. Obama will be the point man for that campaign, as outlined in the New Yorker recently and summarized by Matt Stoller here. Ironically, a Romney as president would be handicapped in carrying out this attack on the New Deal as the Democrats would joyfully score political points by rhetorically opposing it. The howling Tea Partiers don’t know how lucky they are to be setting up this coming Nixon-in-China (Obama-in-Utah) moment.

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