The Great Undoing

ow is the time of the great undoing.

Under the guise of a manufactured debt crisis that has little to do with reality, the ideological intransigence of Republican Tea Party extremists, aided and abetted by a centrist-right Democratic Party and a Democratic president obsessed with bipartisanship and compromise, working people are being sacrificed upon the altar of greed and bound over in indentured servitude to the corporate masters of America and their wholly-owned subsidiary, the US government.

Political theater trumps reality.

Let’s understand that for all the posturing and all the hawking of compromise as the magic elixir for everything, Obama is going to get what he wanted from the very beginning. There will be cuts, and there will be a Super 12 Commission with special powers to force Congress to attack the “sacred cows” of “entitlement” programs like Social Security and Medicare and Veterans’ care and any program that helps people. This is the “shared” sacrifice that Obama preaches while preserving the status quo of the wealthy and corporate ruling class.

We need to stop complaining that Obama is a “weak” negotiator and wake up to the reality that he is a right-of-center politician and a supporter of Wall Street and the mythical powers of the free market. As I heard someone say the other day, Obama “talks left but he walks right.”

America is under assault. Regressive voter ID laws are being enacted across the country with the specific aim of suppressing the vote. Collective bargaining and unions are being outlawed from one state to another. Women’s rights are being set ablaze everywhere. The GOP chants “smaller government, smaller government” – but what they mean by smaller government is government big enough fill a boardroom and small enough to fit in your bedroom – or ideally, between a woman’s legs. 2011 brought to you by 1950. Are we winning the future yet?

To quote Jackson Browne: “The high ideals and promises you once dressed the future in are dancing in the embers with the wind.”

Who benefits from this crisis charade?

The Democratic Party can safely denigrate its liberal base with a smug self-assured confidence that we have no other choice. Who else are we going to vote for?

Obama wins the short term by appearing reasonable and above the fray, without getting his hands dirty with partisan politics and looking out for the good of the country. And that will get him through the coming election cycle.

The Republicans lose the short run by appearing unreasonable and madly reckless. But they win in the long term because they championed no tax increases, and they will be able to run political ads pointing at the Democrats as the force that is cutting and reducing your Medicare benefits and Social Security.

And the mendacious media will dutifully report it all without ever pointing out the GOP hypocrisy. This is the tool that Republicans hope to use to drive Democrats into the wilderness for a very long time. And it might just work.

And of course Wall Street wins all the way around. Standard and Poor’s threatens to downgrade the US credit rating unless there are big cuts to social programs and discretionary spending This is the same agency that rated the trash investments of Wall Street as AAA even as they caused the financial crash.

And by the way, while all the economic-hostage shenanigans filled the airwaves and newspapers, and all the talk centered on how nothing can get done in Congress, did you know that the House Judiciary Committee approved HR 1981? Legislation that requires ISP providers to collect and maintain users’ activity records for 12 months. Go read what law and order is about to have the power to do.

A century of progressive protection of the poor and sick, of safety and regulations for the middle class, of equality and opportunity, is now on the chopping block in the name of compromise. We must burn the village to save the village.

We are become, undone.


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