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The Rec Report

Saturday, 09 January 2010


And Now a Word from the Netroots:
Will the Real Barack Obama Please… Sit Down?

As the betrayals by President Barack Obama and the Democrats mount, the Obamapologetics grow more desperate and contradictory by the day. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Harold Meyerson pointed to the lack of "left pressure from below" to account for Obama's failure to push his supposedly "progressive reforms." As if a majority of tens of millions weren't enough, Obama still needs more "aid" from his constituency to find the courage to deliver his promised "change."

On MSNBC, Chris Matthews took the very opposite tack. Growing apparently more impatient by the day, he suggested that these very people from below- the net-root "troublemakers who love to sit in the back seat and complain," i.e., his departing viewers-are to blame for Obama's failures. These "back-seat bitchers," as he called them, which surely include millions that donated to Obama's fabulous campaign, have the temerity to oppose his current policies simply because he denounced them in campaign speeches. Matthews's outrage at these low-life scumbags was palpable. MSNBC is a network of Obamapologists no matter how he betrays his and their own words in every conceivable way and at every turn.

Some will argue that Matthews has his counterparts in Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. Meyerson even called on them to lead the charge of the underground brigade. But they do for the Democrats in the media precisely what Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and John Conyers (D-MI) do for them in Congress-provide left cover and keep legions of troublemakers under the Democratic tent, no matter how angry and disaffected they become.

The Huffington Post's Richard (RJ) Eskow laments the Democrats' support of the nefarious "Cadillac Tax" on healthcare plans- "a policy," he writes, "that by 2016 will reduce coverage for one American in five with employer insurance.. .[a] figure would rise sharply each year." But he chalks up this corporate giveaway (the tax will cause companies to generously reduce their workers' health benefits so that they won't have to pay taxes on them) to an "'aha' moment, a flash of insight"-rather than to the obvious explanation. To wit, the Democrats serve these very companies and not the workers who will lose by this legislation. As for the pharmaceuticals and the insurance industries, these will benefit from coercion-threats of fines and/or imprisonment that will force more money into corporate coffers.

The New York Times holds out hope for "regulatory reforms" of the banking industry to avoid another meltdown and subsequent spate of corporate bailouts. They lament the effectual resignation of Chris Dodd (D-CT), and ask the real Dodd "to please stand up" to support meaningful legislation before he leaves the Senate (probably to become a lobbyist for the banking industry). He could, you know, "try to make a difference." We know that the real Chris Dodd is standing up-and walking out the door. He is leaving just as the proof gels in the pudding; banking reforms were never going to happen in the first place and he knows it. He also knows that he won't help Obama deliver on any promises. He will now leave the Senate to increase the size of the void left by his compeers as they do absolutely nothing for the people and everything for their corporate masters. The chilly void, felt by the majority, will be filled by the Republicans, who will at least bring an ingenuous face to the corporate oligarchy's complete control of the political process.

While the liberal media and the "real Democrats," as Matthews calls his like, wait for Godot, we "back-seat bitchers" continue to dictate directions from the rear. But when no one is listening, it is very frustrating to be right.

But we will repeat it. Obama was brought in for one reason and one reason only - to put a better, even subaltern face on imperialism, martial adventurism, and the economic decline of the vast majority. He was brought in for his astounding rhetorical ability - to package war escalation and economic rollbacks and to sell them as peace and reforms. He was brought in so that the Republican boosters could call him a socialist and thereby provide right cover for his government as it handed over the federal treasury in bailouts and war bucks. Obama was brought in precisely because his rhetoric was so far at odds with reality that it would take a little over four years for the front-row Democratic boosters to see events as they happened, rather than as they were narrated by him and his media mouthpieces.

Instead of asking, as netplants are doing, for the real Democrats to stand up, we netroots ask them, especially their leader Barrack Obama, to please sit down. Please sit down and stop pretending to be our allies. Please sit down and stop misleading millions with phony rhetoric and lies. Please sit down so that the millions can be disabused of your illusions at last. Please stop flying your false flags of progress and reform. Please sit down so that we can begin in earnest the work of building a real party in opposition to you and the masters whom you serve so well.


Dr. Rec, The Rec Report

Michael D. Rectenwald, Ph.D.

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