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Political Apathy

The Mayberry Lane's picture

Obama supports a shitty health-care bill, as well as offshore oil drilling. Fantastic.

The RNC has enough scandals to be a reality television show. Baby.

And the first third party movement in my memory to be given considerable media attention wears fucking tea bags on their heads. Well, Yee-freakin’-Ha!

Is it possible that with all the media coverage focused on the angry rhetoric of a few, that the leaders in both parties have left the majority of us full of “political apathy”?

Too often lately I’ve heard “What difference does it make who you vote for, they’re all just politicians.” Or better yet, too often lately have the people making such comments had valid points?

How do you ever win the game when your quarterback keeps throwin’ the ball the wrong fuckin’ way?

So… Now it seems both parties are stuck at some strange political crossroad.

On the Left, you have the Dems… split between those happy as a dead pig in sunshine, not knowing jack about the HCR, and those of us wishing Obama would stop playing to the Right. It’s as if he believes something he says or does will suddenly make the Republicans remember they were actually elected to serve the people… sure hope he’s not holdin’ his breath on that one…

On the Right, it’s beginning to look like a good old-fashioned three-ring circus. Well, perhaps an X-rated circus. Between the ridiculous expense at Voyeur and promoting a phone-sex line, it’s almost as if they’re trying to make a mockery of the term “family values”.

Sure makes all those “Impeach Clinton” folk seem a bit silly now, huh? Hell, Clinton may have gotten a blowjob, but at least he didn’t need simulated lesbian sex to get his rock soft!

All joking aside… what do we do now? How do we repair the political divide WITHIN our party and start moving forward, regardless of which party we’re in?

I, for one, always find myself back at the point of patriotism. We all love this great country. We all are willing to fight to make it the best it can be… okay, well most of us… Let’s just start from there.

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Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Once you start from that position, you no longer need to bash your head against the wall and ask "Why? Why?" I never fell for the idea that he was a progressive. One need only read Paul Street, Glenn Ford, Bruce Dixon, Kevin Alexander Gray, Adolph Reed, Jr, Ken Silverstein back in 2006 an 2007 to know that Obama had been selected by the elites of Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and the MIC to run. I also was at the 2004 convention and wasn't particularly impressed with his speech. It was just filled with puff patriotism. Al Sharpton's speech got the most applause of any speech at that convention.

What Obama is doing now is no different that what they called "triangulation" during the Clinton conservative neo liberal years. He just takes a Republican position like "drill baby drill" and shrugs his shoulders and calls it reaching out to the "other side" Meanwhile, like Clinton and Bush he continues to keep Jamie Dimon and the TBTF bankers in the drivers seat while throwing more and more middle class Americans under the bus.

Yes, of course, it is discouraging to see Americans get conned over and over. It is discouraging that Naomi Klein can write a book like "The Shock Doctrine" and it is barely discussed here. Then when the shock therapy is being applied right to our fingers and toes, we are still scratching our heads and wondering "Wha happened?"

Another mine disaster and another call for more regulations. But the "free market" means "f*ck the miners". So just more words. More phony compassion.

Best thing to do is go to the U.S. Social Forum and bond with people who are carving out pockets of democracy where they can. June 22-26 in Detroit, MI.

Submitted by jawbone on

and powerful business interests, at least politically. I had not listened or watched his Convention speech, but the PR flack about it was that is was the greatest thing since...the invention of speech. Now, the part most audio clipped is the purple states riff...which does fit with Big Corporations' interests and why they found him so compellling. Plus, his being black would neutralize left resistance to any rightward actions by Obama. Truly great strategy by our Corporatists.

Submitted by Anne on

and the longest review I have ever (mostly) read, which is so gushing that I think Joan Walsh, who did the review in Salon, must wish she had written herself.

Reading David Remnick's "The Bridge," it's astonishing all over again that we elected as president not just an African-American by the name of Barack Hussein Obama Jr., but a relative political newcomer we knew comparatively little about.

Throughout the book I found myself marveling at the blanks and partial stories about the president that Remnick fills in: about his parents, and whether "Kenya and Kansas" factored into the person he became. How was he shaped by Indonesia and Hawaii, Occidental College and Harvard Law School, idealism, left-wing theory and it-ain't-beanbag Chicago politics? When did Barry become Barack? Maybe most compelling: When did he become the Barack Obama, charismatic, charming, über-calm and confident; first among men; an inevitable future president?

Remnick ably answers all of those questions, though he qualifies the scope of his work by calling it "biographical journalism." (He also chases away all the insane conspiracy theories, not by confronting them directly, but with facts.) If you care about American politics, you have to read "The Bridge." One of its contributions is defining Obama as part of a demographic I hadn't thought much about: the post-civil rights movement do-gooder, leaving college and entering the workforce in the 1980s, under a depressing cloud of Reaganism (it happens to be my demographic as well). Watching the future president move through the dusty halls of well-intended but often ineffectual nonprofits, before (and even after) he finds his way to Harvard Law School, I had a new understanding of the way coming of political age in the '80s, caring about social justice but struggling to find a way to make change, shaped this particular historic change agent. Almost as much as being biracial, the pragmatic, incremental approach of post-movement left-liberal politics helps explain the cautious, conciliating president he's become.

And that's just the beginning...

Submitted by jawbone on

activist work much more than the community benefited from his efforts.

He also said it was Obama and the campaign which made his mother out to be a kind of vague, gauzy hippie dippies scholar and which also really tried to not talk abou her very much. He implied that Obama had problems dealing with his mother due to her leaving him along to pursue her education and anthropological work.

BTW, she did make what Remnick called an ill-fated trip to Cambridge, England, to try to save the marriage.

He said Obama's first book was based on lots of conlfation (which was pointed out on blogs), nonfacts, and was more "poem" than history. He mostly glancingly addressed problems with Obama's poitical actions and character.

Submitted by gmanedit on

about the president that Remnick fills in." Does he discuss Obama's illegitimate birth?

. . . Did you ever think a man who would legally be described at the time of his birth as "illegitimate" would become president? Or that if he did, the press wouldn't find that an interesting event? . . . [T]he president of the United States being "illegitimate" isn't a press topic? Has never been one? . . .

The press has refused to document the historic aspect of a child born out of wedlock occupying the White House. For those who insist Barack's parents were married, Barack Sr. married in Kenya before traveling to the US for college. He returned to his wife after he finished his education. In the US, bigamy is not recognized and all children were considered illegitimate. That's reality. And when the press can't cover reality, you create an atmosphere that breeds distrust. So it goes from "Barack's illegitimate" to "he wasn't even born in the US!" These things do not happen in a vacuum. . . .

Or his mother's work for the CIA-connected Ford Foundation?

By the way, Walsh calls Obama biracial, but apparently that's now inoperative. Cute: Not only weren't his people in slavery in the U.S., there was slave-owning on his mother's side and likely slave-trading on his father's.

Submitted by Anne on

going on over at TL about this, with some people arguing that what matters is what race Obama identifies with, not what his racial composition actually is. That the instruction to check one or more boxes that apply, means you only have to check one if you want to...

But then, absent Armando, TL has been a lot about what's on TV, the upcoming Oprah/Rielle Hunter interview, etc., so perhaps "silly" is about where things are meant to be til BTD gets back.

Submitted by Anne on

football the wrong way, it’s that he seems to be deliberately throwing to the other team, despite plenty of members of his own team being wide open and in or near the end zone…they have been frantically waving at him, but he’s either not seeing them, or he’s decided to reform the game so that instead of “teams,” there are just 22 people on the field and regardless of which end zone the player runs to, if there’s a score, he wins!

I don’t want to get mired down in sports analogies, so I think that’s as far as I want to go with football.

I think if one examines the five stages of grief - Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance – it’s pretty easy to see where we all fall on the spectrum. I’m not sure I was ever in denial, since there was really no point were I believed Obama was either progressive or liberal, I didn’t vote for him (I voted for no one for president), and while I hoped things would be better than they are, I didn’t anticipate them being as bad as they turned out to be.

No, I’ve been at a rolling boil of anger for a while, and since there is no bargain I could make that would be satisfactory, I am in Depression territory, headed to Acceptance that this is how things are going to be for the foreseeable future. The powers that be are not listening – it’s like we speak a different language that, since it isn’t accompanied by dollar signs – they are not being responsive to the electorate, and I will not keep voting for people who aren’t interested in representing me. When the mouse has died inside the wall and is stinking up the place, you don’t try to slow the decomposition, do you? That’s what continuing to support these people is doing – making sure it smells this bad for a lot longer.

I love my country – the ideals it was founded on, the principles that were supposed to guide it and support it – but those charged with maintaining the integrity of the democracy, who are supposed to be guardians of freedom? I think they have lost sight of those things, have sold them out for all the usual reasons: money, power, ego.

Elections and campaigns that are 100% publicly funded would change the dynamic; there are a lot of good people who will never get the chance to walk the halls of Congress because they can’t afford what it costs to get elected today. If we could change that, we might be able to change a lot more.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

to the realization of one's powerlessness.
Once you realize the game is rigged, what's the point of playing it?
What to do next is the question.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Elections and campaigns that are 100% publicly funded would change the dynamic; there are a lot of good people who will never get the chance to walk the halls of Congress because they can’t afford what it costs to get elected today. If we could change that, we might be able to change a lot more.

There it is , the chicken and the egg. Good people want no part of this rigged game, so they don't run. So how to get public financing when only the not so good run for office?
In a state with initiatives like here in Montana, we could try to get it on the ballot. Right now most of the activists I know are dog gone tired i.e. beaten down and almost catatonic.

Having said that I am interested in the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit June 22-26. Maybe hanging with people intent on action might be a good place to find some renewal. Didn't Gramsci say something about fighting the pessimism of the intellect with the optimism of the will. Action, not hope, is the opposite of despair.

I'm for forming the Pitchfork People's Party.