by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash
The midterm elections have come and gone as blip-quick as the adult mayfly — which gets to live, fly, mate and die in 24 hours (there's some consolation: the males fly around with two penises, the females with two vaginas).
Obama campaigned and campaigned but the pitiful Democrats got thumped and shellacked and shat upon from a dizzy height like a gaggle of virgins sodomized in a fancy castle by the Marquis de Sade's massively endowed manservant Latour. They gave up 64 seats in the House: a GOP takeover.
Had it not been for the good fortune of some idiot candidates nominated by the Tea Party, they would've lost the Senate, too. In a state where Senate Leader Harry Reid was universally despised, the GOP managed to dig up a crazy-as-a-rattler-on-crystal-meth candidate that the people of Nevada feared more than they hated Harry Reid. Amazing. Bonk me with a blowdryer.
However, this was but a screwup in a teacup compared to what the Dems did, which was wreck their chances for making any more “reforms” for the next two years or more. And a silent fart in a huge cathedral compared to what our President has wrought, which was wreck his chances for re-election. Just like the Republicans have successfully obstructed anything that can do the country any good over the last two years so they can blame everything wrong on the Democrats, they are now going to make damn sure nothing good happens at all so they can blame everything wrong on the president, and replace him with Mitt Romney (maybe even Sarah Palin). Simple election strategy, and amazingly effective.
Pity poor Obama. That hopey-changey thing didn't work out so well for him at all. He got only two short years to be an effective President. He came from nowhere real fast, and he's going back there real fast: the Mayfly of Presidents.
So reluctantly, I feel it my patriotic duty to climb down Obama's throat in no uncertain fashion. It's not just a thankless quest to find his guts, somewhere south of his balls, which I have it on authority have not yet descended. No, I want to nail what he is about, once and for all, in order to finally bury my hopes in him as a progressive agent for change, and move on to marveling at how the greatest country on earth is imploding around us like a mighty Zeppelin torched by a careless flapper's stray cigarette butt.
So, while a breathless nation patiently waits for the presidential testicles to drop into view, I'd like to start with this question for context:
There's been this Great Rape of the American Nation that got even worse under Obama … when did it actually begin? When I say Great Rape, I don't mean the Rape of the Sabine Women so beloved of male Renaissance artists, or what happened to German women when the Russian soldiers penetrated into Germany at the end of WW2 … no, I mean what the American elite has done to the American people.
Maybe it should be called the Great Theft instead, because basically they've been stealing our money. In the past 30 years, the top 1% have enjoyed 36% of all the income growth generated by us workers in the U.S. economy. Today the bottom 80% of us are scrabbling among ourselves for the final 15% of the shrinking American pie that our elites haven't yet gotten their hands on. Our land of middle-class equal opportunity — a brief post-WW2 phenomenon under Eisenhower and LBJ — has Jekyll-and-Hyded into the land of absolute privilege for the rich and downward mobility for everyone else.
Most liberals would say our downfall started under Ronald Reagan. A new book says it started under President Carter. This is the must-read book of the season, Hacker and Pierson's “Winner-Take-All Politics,” about how our political system has been rigged to favor the rich and grind the rest of us into a fine powder cross-bred with a pliant Roman slavegirl.
However, for a true historical perspective, we need to go back to our original elitists — our Founding Fathers. A more earnest and pompous lot you cannot imagine. As wealthy property owners, they lived in great fear of the hoi polloi, so they made sure that the government would be there to serve the propertied overlords, with the unwashed getting a chance to say something but once in a blue moon, say every four years. Otherwise it was the job of the plebs to STFU and let their natural-born leaders take care of business.
There was a slight rollback in 1913 when the election of senators was taken from state legislatures and given to the people, but, over all, this has been a country where the rhetoric of “government of the people for the people and by the people” has masked the reality of “government of the privileged for the privileged by the privileged.”
Today, these privileged folks are not the noblesse-oblige propertied aristocracy of learned men, whose intellectualism gave them some sense of social responsibility (hey, they did give us the chance to vote every four years), but the money-grubbing managers of finance. To wit, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve. Their social responsibility is lodged equidistantly between the conscience of a flatworm and the accountability felt by a snake towards a mouse after he's pooped out what's left of the tasty rodent.
The actual we-the-people, i.e. you and me, did get a little bolshie when the Industrial Revolution enslaved us and our children so much, it dawned on us that we'd better fight back and organize ourselves into unions — before we found ourselves stranded in a Fritz Lang Metropolis dystopia.
Undoubtedly, the labor union movement has been the greatest movement in world history, the single most effective voice of the down-trodden ever (the only other movement that threatens to be as profoundly world-changing is the feminist movement). It's the one movement that managed to scare the elite with a semblance of countervailing power. In fact, it spooked the elite to the point that they granted regular folks an enslavement that was not so harsh. Instead of us having to work all the time for next-to-nothing, they freed our children and gave us two days a week off.
We fell for it. In Europe they went a little further and established “social democracies” with solid social welfare safety nets, but that's all we Americans got out of our elite.
Then that bastard Henry Ford actually paid his workers enough so they could afford to buy the cars they made for him to drive around on their free weekends. Treacherous bastard, spreading the wealth around like that. Turned us all into hapless commodity freaks.
Then there was a bit of an overreach by the privileged when their predatory natures got the better of them and they sucked the people so dry we had a Great Depression.
So one of their kind turned against them: that Benedict Arnold of the elite, FDR. It took a traitor of the privileged class to beat back our elite — and thus we got a law that hogtied the banks, and a somewhat carefree old age with the invention of Social Security, in which today's workers pay for today's retirees to live out their lives with some dignity. It's the idea of children growing up to take care of their parents writ large. Bloody brilliant. And it's a measure of the rapaciousness of our elite that they're trying to get at that money to maximize their gambling stakes on the stock market. Getting hold of that big pile of loot has always been their Holy Grail. They'd like to do the same thing with it that they did with our virgin pile of home loans. Loot it at will in order to extract million-dollar bonuses from its collapse.
Anyway, what with the banks hogtied and Social Security in place, America was set to be a great country, and a grateful nation voted for FDR again and again.
1. WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGED FOREVER
But the privileged never liked that crap. A war intervened, a middle class got established in its wake, and the privileged watched with dismay as the country seemed to get away from them. Remember, those were the days when a family could afford a car and a house and a decent retirement and send a couple of kids to college — all on one salary that the husband earned in a blue-collar job at the local plant. Yes, children, once upon a time that really happened in America. With actual Americans, just like the folks you see around you now.
But the elite weren't happy with this post-war ongoing New Deal munificence. Christ, soldiers of dubious background got a free pass to go to college, which until then had been a social-network-cum-training-ground enclave reserved for the elite. Heck, the privileged were paying a marginal tax rate of 90% to keep America solvent after the war. That was under Eisenhower. Then LBJ gave us Medicare and finally freed our black slaves with the Civil Rights Act. Horror upon horror. What next — free healthcare for everyone? So the privileged started fighting back. They managed to beat down the marginal tax rate to 60% under Carter, and then, in 1981, the privileged got their first outright lackey poodle in as president — Ronald Reagan, who'd been shilling for them as GE's corporate spokesman for years.
At that point, everything changed forever. The marginal tax rate of the rich plummeted to 28%, and the troubles for the rest of us began — as president after president pulled the noose that the privileged have around the necks of we-the-people tighter and tighter.
From Reagan to Bush One to Clinton to Bush Two to Obama, we've had a succession of lackeys and shills and poodles and brown-nosed butthole surfers working hard for the privileged against we-the-people.
Never no more a Teddy Roosevelt or an FDR or an LBJ. Fawgeddaboudit.
Today, America is a class-fractured society. It has the worst social mobility of all the industrialized nations. You can count working class people who get themselves into the American elite by dint of hard work on your nosehairs. Many of them are working three jobs just to get nowhere. We're stuck with our totally unequal class structure. There's black America, totally fucked for all time, at the bottom, where they will always be. The white working class, totally fucked for all time, at the bottom, where they will keep losing jobs to China. The middle class, totally fucked for all time, sinking to the bottom, where they will all end up for all time. And the elite, totally fucking everyone else for all time, at the top, where they will always be. The top 1% own 50% of all non-home wealth (36% if you include homes). And the rich are not investing in America anymore — they're investing their money everywhere else, and putting their factories everywhere else. A more un-American lot you can't imagine. They're trying to get in cahoots with the Chinese (potentially a much bigger market for them than America), from whom we have to borrow the money we need to buy Chinese products. That's all we are now, a market for other people's products who lend us the money to buy their products because we don't make enough money ourselves to buy them.
2. THE ONLY INVESTMENT THAT OUR ELITE STILL MAKES IN AMERICA
There is only one investment opportunity left in America that still interests our elite. This is investing in the care and feeding of our legislators. No other investment opportunity is more rewarding.
Or as cheap. Our last presidential election cost the privileged a mere $5 billion, which is peanuts to them. Wall Street pays its employees $144 billion a year. That still leaves plenty over for healthy profits. Wall Street's Goldman Sachs paid no taxes in 2007, and an effective tax rate of 0.6% in 2008. In 2009 they paid $14 million in taxes, less than a 1% rate, on earnings of $13.4 billion and employee compensation of $16.2 billion (an average of $498,000 per employee).
So buying the government for $5 billion a year is a bargain of bargains for our plutocrats. It gets them out of having to pay taxes. Large corporations basically don't pay taxes like the rest of us do. Hedge fund managers, our current get-rich-real-quick people, pay 15% taxes.
Also, for the paltry sum of $5 billion, our privileged corporations get to physically sit down with our legislators and write the laws that enrich our privileged and make the Great American Rape legal.
Those other lackeys of the privileged, the esteemed judges of our supremely crappy Supreme Court, have now made it legal for corporations to spend as much money on elections as they like without even revealing who they are. The Supreme Court has become a cornerstone institution in the Great Rape of the American people. That one should live to see things like this happen in the land of the free. Oy. Fellate me with a lawnmower, then bury my broken boner at Wounded Knee.
As Greg Palast points out, we've got the best democracy that money can buy. Imagine, buying America for a measly $5 billion. You'd think we'd cost a little more than a sliver of corporate profits.
God knows why the privileged want to dominate us with their political contributions from behind a veil of secrecy. It's because they know they're doing something wrong, that's why. For example, the Nazis were all very vocal about exterminating the Jews, but they still tried to destroy the evidence of the death camps when they knew they were losing the war. (Sorry about mentioning this, but it's best to get one's inevitable Nazi blog reference out of the way early.)
We call this democracy.
It's plutocracy plain and simple.
You don't have to be Karl Marx to know that there's been a class war in America, and that it's been won by the privileged.
The only countries that are truly democratic on this planet are the Nordic ones, which is why they're not just the only places on earth to be a real human, and live like one, but also why they outcompete the world economically. Between Nokia and Ikea and Abba, they know how to get rich and stay rich. You run a country with a semblance of decency, and they'll beat the world at the game of making money, too.
We're different. In America, we-the-people have our butts in the air, while the privileged unzip their flies.
3. AMERICA, THE PERFECT 21st CENTURY PLANTATION
So how does Obama fit into this ongoing game of America the Great Nation of Suckers Bent Over Bottoms-Up For Their Daily Dose of Sodomy?
Like a glove, darling, like a glove.
Here on our plantation, we've got things so hunky-dory-dinkum-dandy arranged, we've put our smart House Negro in charge. You may remember that before Obama discovered Reagan as a role model of a “transformative” president, he had a very different hero in his youth, one Malcolm X. This black man, who used to scare the melanin out of white people, had an interesting analogy to make about House Negroes and Field Negroes. I quote his analogy not only for its perception, but for its rage — a holy rage sadly missing in our progressive left these days. The quote is from Malcolm X's “Message to the Grassroots” of October 10, 1963. In a mere 850 words, Malcolm X says more about life in America than anyone else ever has. While you read it, bear this in mind: you are a Field Negro and our rulers in Washington are House Negroes. See if you can guess who the master is.
“There was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes — they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good ’cause they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master’s house quicker than the master would. The house Negro, if the master said, 'We got a good house here,' the house Negro would say, 'Yeah, we got a good house here.' Whenever the master said 'we,' he said 'we.' That’s how you can tell a house Negro.
If the master’s house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, 'What’s the matter, boss, we sick?' We sick! He identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said, 'Let’s run away, let’s escape, let’s separate,' the house Negro would look at you and say, 'Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?' That was that house Negro. In those days he was called a 'house nigger.' And that’s what we call him today, because we’ve still got some house niggers running around here.
This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He’ll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about 'I’m the only Negro out here.' 'I’m the only one on my job.' 'I’m the only one in this school.' You’re nothing but a house Negro. And if someone comes to you right now and says, 'Let’s separate,' you say the same thing that the house Negro said on the plantation. 'What you mean, separate? From America? This good white man? Where you going to get a better job than you get here?' I mean, this is what you say. 'I ain’t left nothing in Africa,' that’s what you say. Why, you left your mind in Africa.
On that same plantation, there was the field Negro. The field Negro — those were the masses. There were always more Negroes in the field than there was Negroes in the house. The Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house they ate high up on the hog. The Negro in the field didn’t get nothing but what was left of the insides of the hog. They call ’em chitt’lin’ nowadays. In those days they called them what they were: guts. That’s what you were — a gut-eater. And some of you all still gut-eaters.
“The field Negro was beaten from morning to night. He lived in a shack, in a hut; he wore old, castoff clothes. He hated his master. I say he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master. But that field Negro — remember, they were in the majority, and they hated the master. When the house caught on fire, he didn’t try and put it out; that field Negro prayed for a wind, for a breeze. When the master got sick, the field Negro prayed that he’d die. If someone come to the field Negro and said, 'Let’s separate, let’s run,' he didn’t say 'Where we going?' He’d say, 'Any place is better than here.' You’ve got field Negroes in America today. I’m a field Negro. The masses are the field Negroes. When they see this man’s house on fire, you don’t hear these little Negroes talking about 'our government is in trouble.' They say, 'Thegovernment is in trouble.' Imagine a Negro: 'Our government'! I even heard one say 'our astronauts.' They won’t even let him near the plant — and 'our astronauts'! 'Our Navy' — that’s a Negro that’s out of his mind. That’s a Negro that’s out of his mind.
Just as the slavemaster of that day used Tom, the house Negro, to keep the field Negroes in check, the same old slavemaster today has Negroes who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms, 20th century Uncle Toms, to keep you and me in check, keep us under control, keep us passive and peaceful and nonviolent. That’s Tom making you nonviolent. It’s like when you go to the dentist, and the man’s going to take your tooth. You’re going to fight him when he starts pulling. So he squirts some stuff in your jaw called novocaine, to make you think they’re not doing anything to you. So you sit there and ’cause you’ve got all of that novocaine in your jaw, you suffer peacefully. Blood running all down your jaw, and you don’t know what’s happening. ’Cause someone has taught you to suffer — peacefully.”
Dear reader, felch me with a Hoovermatic. Those be fighting words, from a real fighter. Not the kind of rhetoric you hear today. Even our left has gone soft. Nobody talks like that anymore. Like fire from the heart of a volcano, and in language a cracker could follow. Nobody thinks like that anymore. In depths worthy of Wittgenstein.
4. YOU AND ME, WE ARE THE FIELD NEGROES
Anyway, let's face it: today, you and me and everyone else in America are the Field Negroes. America is one big fat plantation.
In the house sits the master — Wall Street and Big Oil and Big Pharma and Big Agribusiness and the big Military-Industrial Complex.
In the same house, in the attic and the basement, live the House Negroes. They are the Washington politicians and lobbyists and the media people — journalists and Beltway pundits and Faux News — who serve the master. The creepiest-cringiest circus of all is the downstairs squabbles between the Republican and the Democratic Party that the House Negroes keep orchestrating among themselves, when no matter who is currently the Master's favorite, they all serve the Master anyway. These House Negro squabbles are there for entertainment value: they distract the Field Negroes. (Among these Field Negroes are found the bizarro Tea Party Field Negroes, who are really sore because they think they should be House Negroes.)
Chief among the House Negroes is the President. The best House Negro of all was Ronald Reagan. The second best was Bill Clinton. The two Bushes didn't have to be House Negroes, because they were from the Master Class themselves. The third best House Negro is Barack Obama, who might turn out to be the best House Negro of all, because he's the one who's got the most Field Negroes fooled.
The master has Obama on a very short leash. They've got him surrounded by other House Negroes — like Tim Geithner and Hillary Clinton, and Summers and Rahm Emanuel, who are now being replaced by other House Negroes. They've got that whole White House packed full of white House Negroes slaving away for them.
One can hear the masters talking among themselves.
5. WHAT THE MASTERS SAY AMONG THEMSELVES
Man, we've got that House Negro Obama jumping to do our bidding. Much more fun than we had when our Fellow Master Bush Two went downstairs to run the show for us. We bought that smart House Negro Obama a long time ago, and groomed him in our elite institutions along with our own kids, and now it's such fun to see a guy who's smarter than most of us, follow our orders so blindly. Tell him to make sure Wall Street is flooded with gambling cash, and on the advice of Summers and Geithner and Bernanke, he just lets it happen. He's even more perfect than Reagan, because he's black, so he has all the blacks fooled, the ones who should be our natural enemies. He's got them totally neutralized. When they defend him, they're actually defending us. Pretty damn funny, isn't it?
Of course we give him a little wriggle room so the people stay fooled. We'll let him talk public option for people who need healthcare, for example. But there's no way we'll let him actually do it. He's there to make sure it's the law that everyone in America is forced to pay us health insurers a premium. How's that for corporate welfare? It's now every American's legal obligation to make us rich. All we had to do is promise not to cheat them outright by disqualifying them for a “pre-existing condition” or automatically dumping them when they get sick. Yessirree, we made sure healthcare reform didn't reform us at all. No anti-trust rule. No re-importation of cheap drugs from Canada or bargaining by Medicare to drive drug prices down. No damn public option. By us, it's OK to make money off people getting sick. They get sick, we get rich off it. That's the American way. We believe in preying on suffering.
And how about that myth of an American Dream that's been sold to we-the-people? Every American deserves to own their own home, we tell them. So 66% of Americans do, whether they can afford it or not (in the more cautious home-loan environment of Germany it's only 43%). Handy that. Because we've managed to turn the great American Dream into the great American Scam. At the mortgage end, our corrupt agents went out of their way — even to 7-11s — to find people to buy homes who could not even afford them, just to generate as many home loans as possible, most of them sub-prime or fraudulent … so at the other end, us corrupt Wall Street banks could package those loans into derivatives with AAA-ratings slapped on them by corrupt ratings agencies … so we could finally sell this snake oil to innocent pension funds and other suckers all over the world. When our scam blew up, as all scams must, after we pocketed our bonuses of course, and when millions lost their homes and their jobs, we got these very same taxpayers to bail us out with their taxes. A double Ponzi scheme: first we ripped off their homes, then we ripped off their taxes. That's where our House Negroes — the US government — came in so handy. For a start, we now control them so totally, they didn't dare to prosecute us this time, like they did with the amateur Savings-and-Loans fraudsters back in Reagan's day. We let them fine one or two of us a small percentage of our fraudulent earnings for show. Secondly, we got them to save our asses by giving us billions of the tax-payers' money. Thirdly, we've got the Federal Reserve printing money for us whenever we need it: so far $13 trillion. We made sure nobody helped our victims; the only ones who got helped was us.
Then, when they got around to making a law to “regulate” us, we loopholed that silly Volcker rule that would've separated our banking from our gambling, and we loopholed the actual gambling of derivatives trading itself — our secret and dangerous-to-everyone-but-us casino of $1200 trillion, whose notional value is twenty times the size of the world economy (world GDP is between $50 and $60 trillion). We've created more gambling money out of thin air than the world makes with real products and services. We're goddam geniuses, aren't we?
As pleased as we are with our smart House Negro, it doesn't stop us from smacking him from the right with the Tea Party we funded and whose organizers we trained, and whom we promote on Fox News, just in case the little bugger is tempted to talk a tad uppity about us, which he sometimes does to impress the Field Negroes. That's OK, he needs to talk big every now and then, what with the big title we've given him. But our House Negro Obama works just as diligently for us as did our first House Negro Ronnie Reagan, who started cutting taxes for we-the-rich and deregulating industry, and our House Negro Clinton, who helped us send the jobs of the American people overseas with NAFTA, and deregulated the banks and allowed derivatives to proliferate without oversight, and our Fellow Master Bush Two, who cut taxes for we-the-rich, and got maybe a little too eager-beaver when he started two wars that made us even richer but gave his party a bit of a bad name. Still, who cares about a few hundred thousand dead Ahabs, and unless your kid died a pathetic soldier's death over there, the rest of America could give a damn. What matters is that we-the-rich run the country so exclusively for ourselves that from now on, “we-the-people” will never threaten us again.
Yep, we've got the plebs screwed good and solid for all time now. Those jobs they lost will never come back. Our corporations have learned how to make out with the minimum of American workers, and the workers we have are so thankful for their jobs we can make them work themselves to the bone just to keep their jobs. We're making more money than ever while they're making less than ever; it's not in our interest to bring those jobs back from India and China to give to Americans.
Those poor suckers who call themselves middle class: little do they know that the official jobless rate of 9.6% is a statistical lie — it's more like 22%, which is why most Americans know someone who is out of a job or woefully underemployed. 22% is good — that's enough suffering people to keep the others so scared they'll do nothing to help themselves or their screwed brothers and sisters.
Isn't America a great country? How about another glass of champagne? This one's Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam, $40,000 a bottle. Over a grand a sip. Paid for by the American people.
Something said by Count Tolstoy springs to mind: “The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens.”
6. WE AMERICANS ARE 300 MILLION CONTENTED SUFFERERS FROM STOCKHOLM SYNDROME
So, folks, we'd better get used to our 20% plus unemployment rate, because that's the fate of us Field Negroes. As long as we don't take to the streets, the privileged will be happy to keep the number that high. They will be happy to let it go to whatever percentage it needs to go to — probably 50% — before we-the-people begin to think of picking up pitchforks and marching on Washington. Which won't happen. We-the-people are not like the French people, who will march when the privileged do something as minimal as step up their retirement age from 60 to 62. In France, if the CEO gives the workers too much crap, they lock him up in his office until he stops his crap. They've got real men in France who stand up for themselves. Real women, too. We-the-people are too elite-whipped and Fox News-deluded to wake up and smell our world being burned right out from under us.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the American people suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, which is what happens to hostage victims: they start feeling sympathy and compassion and even adulation for their captors, sometimes to the point that, like Patty Hearst, they end up sleeping with them.
The syndrome is named after a robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage in a bank vault from August 23 to August 28, 1973. Very weirdly, these victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and defended them after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. Criminologist-psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, coined the term “Stockholm Syndrome” in a news broadcast.
This bizarre psychological shift occurs in captives when they are threatened gravely but are shown acts of kindness by their captors. Often this act of kindness can simply be an absence of abuse — as basic as not getting killed, for example. Just because they're not getting killed, the victims feel grateful to their captors (the way American workers feel grateful that they're not getting fired). They will submerge the anger they feel in response to their terror, and concentrate on the captors’ “good side” to protect themselves. (Like Obama commenting on the $17 million bonus for Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase and the $9 million bonus for Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs after they melted down our economy: “I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen. I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free-market system.”)
In a situation where the captors have stripped their victims of nearly all forms of independence, and supply them with their basic needs for survival, in other words, control their very lives, the victims end up thinking the captors actually gave them life. (Most Americans feel defined by the life-giving jobs their elites give them; after all, that's what they spend their lives doing.) Psychiatrist Frank Ochberg, widely credited with Stockholm Syndrome's psychiatric definition, describes it as “a primitive gratitude for the gift of life,” not unlike that felt by an infant. Of course it helps thatthe hostage is isolated from other people and has only the captor’s perspective available (like habitual viewers of Fox News).
The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 27% of hostage victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome. In the case of the American people, so thankful to have a job, any job, we might imagine that the percentage of grateful victimhood is 100%.
You can be sure that, like us Field Negroes, our Chief House Negro Obama is thankful to have his job, too, because he's given our elite no great aggravation on behalf of we-the-people. In fact, he's done all he can to help them screw us, and to make excuses for them screwing us.
7. INSTEAD OF FIGHTING HIS ENEMIES, PATHETIC OBAMA WANTS TO REACH OUT TO THEM
Obama is the 21st century reincarnation of Ronald Reagan, because just like Reagan, he talks pretty while he does nasty. Reagan gave us “morning in America” and Obama gave us “hope and change.” But what we have is misery.
And it's pathetic how Obama talks now after his “shellacking.” Compare his words to the words of his rivals, the GOP. 's what the GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said just before the midterm elections:
MCCONNELL: We need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government. We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”
NATIONAL JOURNAL: What’s the job?
MCCONNELL: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.
Here's Obama on 60 Minutes, in his first post-midterm election interview with Steve Kroft:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna reach out to Republicans and I'm gonna say, “What can we work on together?” There are gonna be some things that we can't agree on. You know? Philosophically. And so, we will have those battles. And we'll save those decisions till after the next election. But in the meantime, there must be some things we can agree on.
KROFT: Haven't you tried that?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well I have, but I'm gonna keep on trying.
That's a House Negro talking. That's Obama's Stockholm Syndrome talking. Mitch McConnell talks like a guy who is doing his level best to win. Obama talks like a guy who is doing his level best to get used to losing. Mitch McConnell is a man. Obama is a wimp.
8. OBAMA DOESN'T GET WHAT POLITICS IS ABOUT, BUT THE GOP DOES
This reaction from a disgusted Firedoglake commenter, chhatt24 on November 18th, about sums it up:
“Oh dear god. He’s in a bubble within a bubble. He’s trying to live this grandiose fantasy of bipartisan harmony that exists only in his head, all while listening to DC hacks who consider a hard-right stance as the 'center'. It’s going to take a HELL of a lot to push through all that delusion and detachment. God help us all.”
Obama just doesn't get it. He doesn't get it that the GOP is his enemy. He doesn't get it that the GOP is the enemy of the American people. They took us all down under Bush-Cheney. They're ruthless. They fight with everything they have. They fight dirty. They fight with lies and deceit and any made-up crap they can fling. Obama doesn't get it that when you have an enemy this implacable, you have to fight back tooth and nail. There's no room for bipartisanship.
Obama doesn't get even this truth about the American electorate: that we are “symbolic conservatives” but “operational liberals.” In other words, despite our love of conservative rhetoric, if you go through the issues one by one, most Americans come out liberal. They don't like the label, but they like the policies. They hate the idea of big government, but they lap up all the goodies big government gives them, from Social Security to Medicare to the satisfaction of seeing our troops whack foreigners. Obama is just another Dem who keeps turning a winning hand into a losing one.
9. OBAMA FLUBBED EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO BE A TRANSFORMATIONAL PRESIDENT
Obama doesn't get it that he had four big opportunities to remake the country, to become in the current pundit speak, the “transformational” president that he thought he could be, instead of the “transactional” president that he turned out to be.
In fact, he's been the most fortunate president ever, in that he was given the most opportunities to be a transformational president than any president ever.
But he's also been the least ambitious president ever, in that he's walked away from all those opportunities.
Opportunity one: the Wall Street meltdown. Here was Obama's opportunity to nationalize the banks, fire their fraudulent CEOs, cut them down to size, resell the parts back to private enterprise, hogtie them again with a new Glass-Steagall Act, and prevent Wall Street from ever screwing Main Street again. The country was ready for it. They hated Wall Street. It would've been dead easy for Obama to do. But then Obama made Summers and Geithner his economic team, instead of say, Stiglitz and Krugman, and they blew this opportunity for him, with his total blessing.
Opportunity two: the terrible loss of jobs. Here was the opportunity to start a massive public works program and directly employ the unemployed to repair and build out our infrastructure — a smart grid, high-speed rail, etc — but Obama blew it. Instead of paying out unemployment benefits, he could have used that same money to actually employ people (FDR directly employed 3 million WPA workers to rebuild America). The country was ready for it, and it would've been easy for Obama to do. But he blew this opportunity, and so we still have terrible unemployment and a terrible infrastructure.
Opportunity three: the BP oil spill. Here was Obama's opportunity to overhaul our energy system and force the oil industry to pump billions into green energy along with the government, and he blew it. He could have seized all BP's assets in America, and remodeled it into an American green energy company. The country hated BP with a great passion, and we were ready to do anything to screw them back, and it would've been dead easy for Obama to do, but he blew it.
Opportunity four: a public option to compete with the healthcare industry, which would've led to them being eventually outcompeted in the marketplace by Medicare for all, and we would've ended up with sensible healthcare delivery, just like the other industrialized nations. The country wanted the public option by an overwhelming majority, but the healthcare industry didn't, so Obama listened to the industry instead of we-the-people.
Don't tell me Obama couldn't have done these things. Look at the one amazingly ballsy and daring thing that he did do. What, Obama did something ballsy? Pray tell, what exactly could that possibly be? Listen, dear cynical reader, he bloody well did. That big fat government takeover of Detroit. Rampant socialism. Remember? Spent $70 billion. Fired their top people. Screwed their debt-holders. Stood by their workers. Forced GM to get serious about making an electric car that doesn't run on gas. Now GM is making a profit and has started selling itself to private investors. The tax-payers have gotten half their money back already. If Obama did that one ballsy and daring thing successfully, he could have done any and all of the other things he should have but didn't. He did it one time; he could have done it four other times, too. And he would've been the most beloved president in American history by now, after only two years in office, and one of the three greats along with Lincoln and FDR.
You don't become a great president by incremental pragmatism, or steady transactionalism, or putting meaningless legislative “points on the board.” (Mister Points-On-The-Board himself, Rahm Emanuel, once said: “I don't care what's in the health reform bill; I want just a bill that says health reform.” Heckuva logic, Rahmie.)
Jeez, if FDR were running our country today, we'd see really bold action, and change we can believe in, not this pussy-footing incremental maidenly-toe-in-the-water crap. Imagine an Obama with the balls to say what FDR said about his enemies (who are still our enemies):
“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.
I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it, the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it, these forces met their master.”
Obama could have done that. He was blessed with four fabulous FDR moments, but he blew them. Never did a president with so much political capital, waste it so tragically. He had the country behind him, with a 68% approval rating when he stepped into the job. He had majorities in the House and the Senate. The polls told him we-the-people wanted Wall Street hogtied, they wanted a healthcare public option, they wanted to go from fossil to green energy, they wanted a public works program. He could have transformed America, and made it a country for we-the-people, but he didn't, because he was the House Negro of the plantation owners, and now we still have what we have, what we will always have, a country of the privileged run by the privileged for the privileged.
10. ARE YOU ONE OF THE ENABLERS WHO KEEP BELIEVING IN OBAMA?
Weirdly enough, there are still folks out there who are so charmed by Obama's rhetoric and smile and family, that they think he might come through for us like Prince Carlos of Spain. Carlos was the prince who was personally tutored by the Caudillo himself, the dictator Franco, to be his successor. Carlos sat eagerly at Franco's feet, learning how to be the next dictator. He never disagreed with Franco about anything, in private or public. Everyone thought he was Franco's toady. Franco totally trusted Carlos to carry on his ultra-conservative regime. Then, when Franco died, in 1969, the Prince came out of the closet as a secret liberal all along, fooling Franco and everyone else. The Prince promptly set about changing Spain into an actual democracy. Totally freaked by this turnabout, the conservatives finally made their move to bring back a Franco-like military regime in Spain. On February 23, 1981, two hundred soldiers from the Guardia Civil entered the Spanish Parliament under their Coup Leader Tejero, and placed the government under arrest. Other military leaders got their tanks ready to enforce the coup. The next day on television, Prince Carlos appeared for the first time in his official uniform as the Chief of the Army, telling the military coup leaders that he was their goddam official commander and as their goddam official commander he ordered them to stand down in favor of democracy pronto. They did.
Now that was a man with major balls, and a liberal at that. Yes, some liberals have bigger balls than even the military, although you won't find them in America. If you think Obama has the balls to pull a Prince Carlos on his masters, forget about it. He's no secret progressive who in a second term will lead us all to the promised land. He's a born-and-raised House Negro.
11. WE AMERICANS, THE PEOPLE WHO WALK ON OUR KNEES
Obama is never going to fight for the people. Instead, he's the best stoolie for the privileged, because he gave the impression that he would fight for us, and we enthusiastically voted for him, because we believed he was an alternative to Bush-Cheney. Yeah, sure. Guantanamo is still open, our soldiers are still dying, we still rendition people out to be tortured, and nobody is allowed to see what's happening in America's Bagram prison in Afghanistan, our sequel to Abu Graib.
Just look at the current squabble over the extension of the Bush tax cuts. The Republicans want the tax cut for the rich to continue, a tax break that'll saddle us with having to borrow $700 billion from the Chinese to give to our rich over the next decade. Obama says he doesn't want this. He and the Democrats want only the tax cut for the middleclass to continue.
What is Obama going to do? Here's what one New York Times reader, Brix from Westford Massachusetts, thinks in a November 13 comment:
“Obama will cave. That's what he does.
Republicans know it. That's why they don't bend even when they're holding a hand as bad as the Bush tax cuts. They'll get their way, their rich friends will get their tax give-away on our kids' credit, and a few more Democrats will give up on Obama in disgust.
He's so bad at it, I'm beginning to wonder what he really even wants. This same game of pretense up until the inevitable capitulation. And then not only doing exactly what the monied interests want, but also taking ownership of the failing for Democrats to bear politically.
“His weakness in the face of Republican political sabotage has set us back a generation, and wasted the unified spirit of the country to correct the excesses of the Bush administration. I have no faith left, and I'm not looking forward to the bitter choices of 2012.”
Obama makes me think of the promotional slogan for the movie Gladiator: “A hero will rise.” For Obama, the slogan should be: “A hero will bend over.”
Obama is the man who walks on his knees. He's perfect for us Americans, because we are the people who walk on our knees.
You and me, we are Field Negroes, led by a House Negro in the master's house, all of us pathetically grateful for the lives given to us by our elite, as we shuffle along on our knees. What a degrading position for both of us. What dupes and suckers we are.
Sodomize me with an empty magnum of champers.
Which is, come to think of it, exactly what the American elite is doing to the American people on a daily basis. Now and forever, unless we develop the brains to see it and the balls to change it.
What do you think, my fellow American Field Negroes? Any chance of that happening in your lifetime?