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It's a Set Up - It's not about Obama or Romney

I don't watch the Sunday morning political talk shows. Haven't for a couple years now. The only one I allow myself to watch sometimes is "Up" with Chris Hayes since ever once in awhile some actual alternative voice pops up like the wonderful Occupy the SEC woman whose name I can't remember.

This morning during a discussion of how the elections are being micro managed (which was pretty creepy in itself), there was a very interesting idea that didn't pop up so much as ooze out. The Republicans have had a huge amount of rich guy money flooding into the campaigns and on to the air waves. Well, and so have the Democrats. Why do rich guys do it? Katrina Vandel Heuvel thinks it's to get their taxes lowered and deregulate the financial system. Josh Barrow, the Bloomberg guy, disagreed and said it was to change the discussion to what they want to discuss; their vanity projects. It is to keep the discussion away from issues of climate change or poverty and keep it firmly on the debt and deficit, said Chris Hayes. Ah Hah!

The "UP" yups speculated that rich people and upper middle class types are far more prone to ideology than regular people. They have the luxury of having money and not worrying so much about bread and butter issues. Money allows them to have magazines that supports their views but don't make any money, said the Bloomberg guy. (Did he not realize he might have made a faux pas with Katrina Vanden Heuvel sitting right across from him?) And whether they are on the left or on the right, the rich do think they are better and smarter than the rest of us. They may prefer different kinds of cars and different kinds of charities, but they like the system we've got.

So it's not really about getting one or the other figurehead presidential contenders elected. It is to prepare everybody for "the grand bargain" or as Bill Black calls it, "the grand betrayal" of the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare. Either candidates will suffice for the needs of the top 10% of the top 1%. As Chris Hayes pointed out "Both [parties]play the game within a certain segment of society."

As I was switching channels, I caught Cokie Roberts drolly (is there any other way she talks?) remark that she sees some bi-partisanship happening after the election since everybody has to get serious about, you know, serious things. Wink, wink. Nod, nod. The Grand Bargain, I assumed, because I couldn't stand to stay on the channel long enough to hear what serious people are seriously being serious about.

So this election seems to me to be about dismantling our social safety nets. Even the students at the local high school listed the OH MY GOD NATIONAL DEBT as the second most important issue after the economy. They also talked about reforming tax codes and cutting taxes for everybody including corporations. I think they need to talk to somebody other than their parents who must be the source of this malarkey.

No, it's not really an election to pick a leader. It's to inundate us for 18 months about the insidious meme that we are in grave danger, not from Al Qaeda or drastic weather, but from entitlements and public service employees. And the discussions by the compliant media have made it all about the fiscal cliff we are headed towards whether it be in our Hummers or in our Priuses.

How can we change the discussion? All I can do is try to do it one person at a time. Yesterday I talked to the high school government teacher at our annual Christmas Bazaar and suggested she read David Graeber's "Debt: The First 5000 Years." Discussing debt and money from an anthropological point of view might work in this conservative county. Worth a try.

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Submitted by MontanaMaven on

"Another Obama Apologist Shows His Colors". Awful, but dittoes what the elites were talking about this morning.

Then Dean Baker has the gall to end with:

There is a simple explanation for Obama’s refusal to defend Social Security. In elite Washington circles the willingness to cut Social Security is taken as evidence of courage. These people do not depend on Social Security. In fact, as Governor Romney demonstrated at his famous fundraiser speech, they actually have contempt for the people who do depend on Social Security.

If Obama were to take a strong stand defending Social Security he could expect to be attacked harshly by these elites. In news stories and editorial columns, outlets like the Washington Post and National Public Radio would denounce President Obama in harsh terms. Needless to say, his wealthy funders might also have second thoughts.

This fear is likely the reason that President Obama will not defend Social Security. If he loses the election, this fear of the wrath of the elite will clearly be the villain.

"Jeeeeeeeezzzzz", she says. Ditto that.

malagodi's picture
Submitted by malagodi on

Yea, nice posts and nice quote from Groucho. I'm stealing it.

Like I've been saying, it's not the President, it's the Presidency (and all that goes with it).

As long as we keep talking about the political struggle in these comic-book hero and villan ways, we're doing more harm than good.

I'm voting for the devil, 'cause Jesus ain't in the game.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

views validated, and I'm no exception. :)

For the most part, I didn't even hear the shows this week--I didn't think that I could stomach it. (And from the approximately 10 minutes I did hear of Stephanopoulos' "panel," I'd say that I was right.)

As you said, it does take quite a bit of gall to refer to lawmakers, who are willing to plunge millions of seniors into poverty, as "courageous." Talk about surreal . . .

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Personally, I don't believe for a New York second that it will matter which candidate wins.

Bowles-Simpson is the "agenda." Anytime a right-winger like Jim DeMint is running around "conceding" to tax increases a month or two before the election, you've got to figure that "the fix is in."

And you're right. We can't give up. We have got to educate folks, and change the discussion. Thanks for the post.

nomad2's picture
Submitted by nomad2 on

Remember, remember
The fifth of November,
The two party treason plot.
I see no reason
The two party treason
Ever should be forgot.