Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Great Predicament Facing Obama - by Jan Frel and Lawrence Goodwyn

This is a must-read for Democrats, democrats, and progressives of whatever stripe.

The article, "The Great Predicament Facing Obama," by Jan Frel and Lawrence Goodwyn, is a superb summary of what democracy in America means, what the GOP stands for, criminal bankers, the corporate threat to our well-being and the potential of President Obama.

Goodwyn, a noted historian, takes the "long view":  "In my opinion, the energy among the democratic faithful to make the journey is still there.  While ordinary folks have been put through a lot, do not underestimate the resolve that remains for the long haul.  Unanticipated poverty is an enormous energizer -- and most of all for people who understand their fate to be utterly undeserved.  In due course they will see through the sleight of hand and empty content embedded in corporate sound bites."

It appears Goodwyn is basing this "long view" on the notion that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.   Thus, " will become increasing transparent in the coming year that the politics of the GOP is absolutely incoherent.  Much of the Republican tent is simply flapping in the breeze behind a cascade of public lies."

To the Democrats, Goodwyn says "buck up!"  "[...] long-term despair is unwarranted for Democrats.  They need to harness their poise and undertake to be politically creative not just right now but for the next six years."

Goodwyn takes on the bankers and their industry.  He underestimated, he says, "the capacity for sheer greed that drives American banking."  In the banking industry there is no sense "of the cornerstone of [the] American democratic experience itself: the sense that a majority of us have had -- have always had -- that we are in this together.

"Bankers are not with the rest of us on this.  Perhaps they have never been.  All exceptions freely conceded, but the general reality still holds: they are killing the promise of this republic."

Obama has the very difficult task of trying to deal with the residue of the GOP's massive corruption resulting from their betrothal to their corporate masters.  Those people Goodwn calls the "movers and shakers" want it all and believe "that they and they alone shall brandish the keys" to running the country.  But, there's a problem.  They "have way too much blood on their hands.  The GOP can't be specific about it, of course, because it is their blood, too.  So we have a national campaign that is now fully in place and fully operational.  It is also fully fraudulent."

The blood on the hands of the GOP derives most recently from the years of Bush II - the destruction of a "balanced budget" to give the rich a trillion-dollar tax cut; the phony war in Iraq based upon Cheney's lies which cost another trillion; the prescription drug benefit (which benefited the drug companies) costing "more trillions"; and financial deregulation which fed the greed and avarice of the financial/banking industry.

And now "The entire country is ... experiencing the GOP's nationwide cover-up in the form of a suffocating blanket of television commercials that warps recent history ... "

Goodwyn reminds us of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, "the most radical single judicial decision in American history."  This decision ushers in "a new form of American political propaganda, anonymous in origin, corporate-financed, and delivered with blanketing determination to every corner of the nation.  In size and substance it is a campaign of deception that is without comparison since the creation of the republic."

The good news, says Goodwyn, is that "it probably dooms the Republican Party by yoking the GOP to a permanent defense of financial deregulation and the liberation of central banks from a connecting relationship to the surrounding national economy.  It says goodbye to the unemployed millions.  It says goodbye to 'we're in this thing together.'"

But Goodwyn sees light at the end of the tunnel.  He offers a way out by walking us through some American history, by providing fascinating insights on our great American personages such as Thomas Jefferson,
Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and by helping us understand the promise and potential of Barack Obama's presidency.

You can read it all here.

For more on Mr. Goodwyn, click here.

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