Monday, 7 January 2013

Torture-endorser passed over in 2009 will NOW become CIA Director.

Yes, that’s right, Obama couldn’t get away with Bush-era thug John Brennan four years ago, but now that we’ve got used to him throwing his base under the bus before breakfast, he doesn’t even have to explain himself.

Brennan is everything we thought made George Bush/Dick Cheney loathsome, but endorsing torture and illegal spying and making up things about drone warfare and assassination programs doesn’t bother Barack Obama. That’s because—face reality, gang—Barack Obama endorses these things, too.

Here’s the direct outcome of the short-sighted posture by many friends who all last year said, ‘Yes, but. . . .’ And followed with all the reasons objections to Obama were moot because the other team was SO MUCH WORSE.

It became quite annoying in those online fora and Facebook threads when one tried to inject criticism of the Great Guy from Illinois into the discussion. The answer was usually an indignant and self-righteous accusation that any suggestion of refusing to back the big O was nothing more nor less than paving the way for the Baddies. This was not only NOT DONE but also NOT DISCUSSED AMONG REASONABLE PEOPLE.

I cant count the number of patronizing comments along that line I received for reminding the Demo-acolytes that their guy had feet of clay. Well, now we have the result: things that were not important to Obama’s backers during the campaign are not important to HIM now. How about that?

Curiously, those groups who warned Obama’s campaign early on that they would not be pitching in to help his re-election unless they actually got something from him—Hispanics and gays—reaped substantial rewards. There was, in quick succession, the end to Don’t Ask, the miraculous ‘evolution’ on same-sex marriage, and the Dream Act.

But liberals refused to contemplate telling Obama’s campaigners that they were upset about Guantánamo, drone strike assassinations, renewal of the Constitution-shredding Patriot Act, the kill list, etc., etc. They got nothing.

As a 2008-participant in the Obama campaign, I started to receive funding pitch letters and even invitations to join the canvassing teams again that assembled in New York. I sent them back with messages like, ‘Stop torturing Bradley Manning’ and ‘Get the cash from your banker friends’. Eventually, they gave up. But when I sent back a reply-all answer to the canvasser group trying to recruit me that read, ‘Sorry, I won’t be working for Mr Kill List this time’, I got a puzzled reply from one young lady: ‘What do you mean, Mr Kill List?’

Go back to sleep, darling, don’t bother your head about it.

I recall that during the highly successful popular mobilization against the Vietnam War, one thing you almost never heard was this: Oh, you mustn’t denounce Lyndon Johnson for causing all this slaughter in Asia. He’s the liberal! Just think what kinds of bad guys could come next!

I have no doubt that the crimes and abuses underway will get bad enough so that many, many people blinded by Obama’s slickness or blackness or shamelessness (or that of his successors) will see that they have been had and will start to object. Until then, we’ll continue to get a ferociously right-wing program inserted gently up our collective recta with a careful dosing of olive oil because we didn’t object when we had the chance. And now it’s too late.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You make a great point here. Too many good people, who consider themselves "liberal" (whatever that terms means now that it has been co-opted by those supporting the "liberalization"* of trade) express a feeling of powerlessness when it comes to affecting the national agenda. As you point out, groups not satisfied with merely wringing their hands have gotten something for their efforts. Mainstream Democrats didn't make Obama particularly uncomfortable. That has given him carte blanche to ignore the few progressives who did.

*translate: all our clothes, etc. are made in sweatshops overseas