Le Panoptique

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Bipartisanship, the Last Refuge of A Scoundrel

Publié le 30 novembre, 2010 | Pas de commentaires
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What was all that, anyway? An artful dodge, a handshake offered for show, concealing far more than anyone who thought Democrats and Republicans to be different breeds could imagine; the ruse of ‘bipartisanship’ has made the saying, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”, doubly true. (Now, the White House shows its audacity by attempting to rehabilitate GOP Sen. John Boehner as their most important potential ally: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/29/obama-boehner-gop-leadership-meeting_n_789483.html) The question is, what happens now? What are thinking people doing about this, as opposed to what the Tea Party is doing, or rather, being done by?

Meanwhile, back in the world of wikileaks, it is revealed that the U.S. policy in Pakistan is not worth the dirty napkin it was written on. Even the regular press has learned that British negotiations with Afghanistan have been conducted with a preposterous imposter for months, and the very word “Yemen” in the context of serious Bond-style international terrorism now provokes knowing laughter. The « news » is anything but.

How long is the world to be held in hostage to this farce? Commence diplomatic negotiations and solve these problems. Surely, in the 21st century, with issues at stake as serious as global climate change, increasingly unpredictable long-range effects of technology as a whole, migrating populations and the social upheaval the financial crises in many nations has caused, the world can move beyond primitive tribalistic concerns and unite to preserve the planet in a way that guarantees a sustainable future?

Rubbish. It’s entirely beyond governments, at this point, to find a way around the corporate and financial “giant vampire squid” – and that’s assuming they might want to. The Supreme Court has given corporations the keys to Congress and the Justice System. Around the globe, people who once looked to the U.S. for leadership in human rights are left staring across the ocean in confusion and despair. It is on this point that the American government is among the most culpable for the downturn in world relations.

When President Obama was elected, there was a huge upsurge in the percentage of people around the world who thought the United States had moved on from the backward Bush Administration and its omnidisastrous policies. The world’s opinion of the U.S. during Bush Jr. fell to unprecedented lows, but in some places, the Obama Administration has actually managed to exceed these nadirs by his persistent inability — or do I mean, unwillingness? — to mobilze power. Corporate billions have tied his hands, and his excuse for not using what Dubya didn’t hesitate to call his « mandate »? Reaching across the aisle in blessed bipartisanship; maybe Lindsey Graham or Mitch McConnell will work with the President…or maybe unicorns will fly out of his butt.

It’s partly because of expectation, of course: the child-raping priest is more disgusting than some pedo from an abusive orphanage. But from the high-minded Obama, nobody expected to have to deal in gutter-level subtleties. Health care? Obviously. Afghanistan? So 2005. But instead, what we got was the West Wing of Wall Street and the promise of unending wars. Aren’t you glad you voted?

Chains Macht Change

Now, there are people who have hope. Chris Hedges says if we will all be willing to chain ourselves to the fence around the White House, and go to jail for a night or two, day after day, in growing numbers, things may change. And he is right.

But the America that would do such a thing was done in long ago, by the same dreary forces your grandparents who can’t even send an email could name: advertising, consumerism, apathy, entitlement, blah and blah.

And yet, and yet.

So read the following article, if only for the W.H. Auden poems, but remember, it’s happening here. How bad it gets will depend on whether anyone still cares about freedom.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hope_in_the_21st_century_20101128/

(Also, Tom Tomorrow takes it on: http://www.salon.com/entertainment/comics/this_modern_world/2010/11/30/this_modern_world)

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