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Obama Lacks Class…Consciousness

October 29th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Obama, Politics, The Big Top

The burlesque that is the Democratic Party is in full view when one follows the manner in which Democrats are reforming healthcare. It’s a combination barn dance and song-and-dance. On the one hand, Democrats have to dance to their master’s tune- that is, corporate donors. That tune is invariably inimical to the interests of the country and anyone who can’t send his lobbyist to Washington to fix his problems or cut himself a sweet heart deal of some kind.  On the other, Democrats have to sing the voters a song and give them a little shuffle that will bring them back to the polls and create the illusion that Congress is really and seriously addressing the problems of the 300 million Americans who actually have to work for a living and face the vicissitudes of the free market. It won’t work. The everyday evidence is too overwhelming; peoples’ everyday experiences aren’t connected to the dissembling words and deeds coming from Washington. Problems mount, situations worsen, and the Democrats are not addressing in any meaningful manner the systemic and fundamental problems they were elected to address.

Obama, as leader of the Democratic Party and as President, must be recognized as a failure. He simply will not accept the reality that huge changes are necessary to America’s political and economic framework. Evidence of this can be seen by his Cabinet appointments. Keeping Bush functionaries and appointing Clinton-era DLC retreads was the first nail in the coffin of Obama’s intent to act pragmatically in addressing serious problems. Obama needs to publicly acknowledge that all serious solutions to America’s problems are going to come from the political left-the ostensible ideological coordinate of the Democratic Party. Imagine if Obama had appointed Dennis Kucinich Secretary of Defense, Cynthia McKinney Secretary of Labor, or Ralph Nader Attorney General. These appointments would have very seriously signaled to Americans and Washington political players that Obama was his own man and committed to truthful change. Obama can’t be the constant conciliator. He must choose to be either a class warrior or a class traitor, and once the decision is made he’ll act boldly. Here are two things Obama can champion as class warrior/class traitor.

EFCA/Medicare For-All-Obama has to face facts about the economic situation that confronts the bottom 90 percent of Americans. These people won’t get government bailouts to help them survive economically and they can no longer borrow money for car payments, medical bills, and groceries. Americans have to earn their way to basic financial security. For this to happen, Obama has to fight to increase wages for all paycheck Americans. Raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour and fight like hell for passage of EFCA; and not a diluted EFCA, but one that will make organizing easy and effective. In other words, unions must be genuinely empowered politically and legally to fight the good fight. See to it that unions can act as self-determining agents in the fight for economic self-interest.  Unionized wages will stimulate our consumer economy because remember, consumer spending accounts for 70% of all economic activity. To spend money one must make money and feel confident about future earnings. Acting in conjunction with this to stimulate the economy is Medicare-for-all. If the economy is stagnating from lack of consumer spending because low wages across the board leave the majority of American families living on the edge of poverty, how are these same Americans going to afford a universal-health-insurance-mandate that comes with penalties for non-compliance?  That will only take more money from the consumer economy and flush it upwards to insurance monopolies. In addition, medical emergencies ruin millions of American families because health insurance companies take premiums but deny coverage when needed leaving the financially crippling costs to the policy holder.

The answer comes from the political left: increase wages by strengthening unions and provide Americans with single-payer-government health insurance. An added bonus to providing single-payer government health insurance to workers is that it will eliminate a very big workplace tyranny: employer provided healthcare.

Social security state vs. national security state Recognize that there is a huge difference between these two governmental functions. The social security state is the one that provides social security checks to seniors, unemployment to laid-off workers, affordable housing to the elderly and handicapped, healthcare to children and the handicapped, money to schools, parks, clinics and a whole host of other things that help people and create a just and compassionate society. Contrast that with the national security state that appropriates unto itself $1.2 trillion dollars a year to wage illegal wars, build and maintain close to 800 military bases in over 130 countries, engages in extra-Constitutional activities against its citizens such as wiretapping, eavesdropping, and interception and monitoring of letters and e-mails, seizes and imprisons people without trial or charge, condones torture, militarizes the police forces in American communities, and does so using your tax dollars. The national security state must no longer be funded to this extent. Obama needs to fight a battle royal against the military/industrial complex, Republicans, Democrats, and NASCAR rubes who equate a massive military with a great country. Slash the Pentagon budget to $200 billion and freeze it. That frees up a trillion dollars a year for social investment. Conceivably, every problem in America could be fundamentally and systemically fixed with that money whether it is making America the most competitive economy in the global economy, providing health-care for all, transforming America’s public schools into the most elite educational system in the world, addressing climate change and environmental deterioration in timely and serious fashion, or refitting America into a completely green economy and training tens of millions of Americans to work in this economy. The possibilities are endless if Obama fights to bring and end to the massive national security state budget that starves the social security state.

Apologists for Obama will tell you he’s been in office less than a year, give him time. No, this misses the point completely: time is essential in solving this nation’s problems and not a moment can be wasted. Obama, however, and the Democratic Party, are playing for time by playing politics.  It’s time we all faced the facts: Obama and the Democratic Party are not serious about serious change for America’s host of serious problems. You just can’t take the Democrats seriously anymore. And that’s a serious problem.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • rusty

    where did you find that big of a hammer??? Nailed it on the head, hard, strong, and RIGHT on the money !! You need to be on the front page of every paper, every day !!!

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