Barack Obama vs. The World

‘They’ used to say (incorrectly) the Wehrmacht never did winter offensives. ‘They’ now could say (correctly) Democrats can’t do offensives at all.

Facebook burps and random tweets send allegedly professional politicians and paid talking heads into hissy fits. Rightists play Democrats and much of their AgitProp infrastructure like a piano. Badly, of course.

Democrats seemingly learned nothing from 2001-2008. None of them, individually, their AgitProp allies or their (moribund) institutions demonstrate any understanding of ideological politics in today’s disassociated society of ambient social connections. It’s doubtful they will learn in time to forestall Revanchism. Such congenital failure suffocates aspirations and hopes of all non-Rightists. In retrospect 2008 was indeed a fluke, made possible by economic catastrophe, a failed presidency and timely story rather than anything inherently ‘Democratic’.

A feckless Administration addicted to expediency of course undermines meme cohesion and focus. Still, it’s no excuse for others purporting to be our Thought Leaders and Meme Givers to act like it’s still 2005 and the Movement controls all branches of government. Yet that’s exactly what they do every day, hyperventilating over a random Facebook burp or tweet airball. One insignificant flick and an entire news cycle is given to the Rightists on their terms on their issues. Over time, the cumulative impact is that what began as some trivial Rightist gesture dictates framing of our simulacra of consensus reality. The hysterical overreactions cascade like a signal chain in an amplifier until what emerges is nothing but distortion.

Democrats and their AgitProp allies truly don’t understand that the Movement could never have coalesced and reformed without their essential – and hapless – complicity.

Of course the economy is in ruins. A failed war is inescapable. We’re not unmindful of the political terrain. Faith in government competence and legitimacy at historic lows. Not all Democratic AgitProp allies are addicted to victimhood. Some focus on identifying new candidates and new funding for the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Until their time, we are presented a false choice. In the end, whether on the more gentle accomodationist curve of this current Democratic clique or with the spasmodic inchoate raging of the Rightists, we eventually arrive in essentially the same place. One just offers the scenic route.


  1. Tbilisi says

    @Jim H.
    Jim, your posts suffer from a fundamental illogic.

    Your premises are that, first, grand change necessarily happens incrementally; second, Obama is implementing incremental change; and, third, Obama’s incremental change is good. Therefore, following your logic, everything should be fine. But then you claim that the state of affairs is grim.

    The only logical possibilities are either that at least one of your premises is incorrect, or that the fringe, out-of-power Rightist movement is blocking Obama’s grand political change. But, given that, by definition, fringe and out-of-power movements are only able to impact grand political change at the margins, it must be the former that is true.

    In my estimation:
    – your first premise was incorrect on January 20, 2009, but is becoming more correct as time goes on
    – your second premise is correct
    – your third premise is incorrect, for the reasons given by Mr. Smithee

    If so, then it is the actions of those-in-power that are bringing the Rightist fringes in to the mainstream, and given that those-in-power are primarily Obama and the Democrats, it is therefore they who are primarily to blame.

  2. says

    I think I agree with what Mr. Smithee is trying to say here. Radical change is not happening. Dude, it’s never gonna’ happen. Things happen incrementally when massive institutions are involved. Process sucks, but that’s how shit gets done. Yea, I wish we could turn around the militarized political-economy yesterday. But I’m realistic. No one man, no party is going to completely revolutionize what’s taken several decades (since Reagan at least) to build up overnight. If you believed Obama could do that, then you were deluded. I never bought into those expectations—whoever was selling them. I did buy into a different direction and reform. And I believe, by observing what’s happening, that reform, haltingly and incrementally, is occurring. Follow the trending, spin it however you wish. What we’re arguing about is how fast/best to get out of Afghanistan and how completely out of Iraq, not whether to go into Iran and N. Korea and Yemen while those two require even further surges.
    Jim H. recently posted..Double Whammy

  3. says

    Rebranding the occupation of Iraq as a “draw down” : check. Ramping up the Afghan bloodbath with drone and terror attacks : check. Major health insurance company subsidy : check. Ditto corporate financial institutions : check. Neoliberal SCOTUS appointments : check. Bailing out corrupt corporations and re-defining down job loss: check. Promises made : none promises (attempted to be) kept : none. All in 20 months. Apparently that’s not good enough. Waaaaaa! Waaaaa! Hope for change!

  4. says

    Do you hold out the possibility that simple competence is not enough?

    Effectively (rhetorically and symbolically) closing down Iraq combat: check. Setting the table to close down the Afghan conflict: check. Major healthcare overhaul: check. Banking reform with some consumer protections: check. Competent, non-ideological S.Ct. appointments: check. Bring the economy out of the recession ditch and stem the hemorrhaging of job loss: check (albeit incomplete). Promises made; promises (attempted to be) kept. All in 20 months. Apparently that’s not good enough

    With that fairly impressive record—comparative to the previous 8 years’ laissez-faire looting and devastation—the question is how can the Ds possibly lose? Your post proposes a plausible answer. The appearance of fecklessness. Negotiating against themselves. Failing to play hardball. Lousy messaging. Incompetent framing. Forgetting who brung them to the dance.

    How, on the other hand, does the right—which is out of power—manage to stir up the passions of its tea-sucking fringe base while maintaining its aura of mainstream respectability; how does it pretend to have a coherent message when it doesn’t? Moreover, how is it that voters simply don’t see through the hypocrisy of their feigned populism—useful idiots in the service of CAPITAL.

    The Rs have no program other than demean, defeat, and humiliate Obama. If they take a majority in either house, they’ve announced it’ll be 2 years of investigations of the administration. What? After the rank criminality of the Bushians and the Ds abject failure in the majority to do anything about it…My blood boils just thinking about it.

    It’s a grim state of affairs.

    Any, enjoy your site.

    Jim H.
    Jim H. recently posted..Double Whammy

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