Monday, August 09, 2010

Iraq is the missing element

THE MISSING element here has been a movement from below to pressure the Democrats to act on an agenda that responds to ordinary people, rather than to bankers and big business.
For much of Obama's term, leading liberal organizations--like the AFL-CIO, the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign--have played "good soldiers" in trying to carry out the White House's agenda. As a result, there has been no sustained national effort to give voice to the millions of people facing economic hardship today.

That's Lance Selfa from "The coming Democratic wipeout?" (US Socialist Worker), showing us what dumb looks like. I like Lance, I don't like stupidity. It's so very sad to see him embrace the Great Dumb. The missing element is Iraq -- and it's missing, Lance, from your lengthy and frequently ridiculous column.

Do young people vote in mid-terms? Traditionally not in high numbers. But Donna Brazile and other liars swore to us that Barack was changing the way politics were done and transforming the entire Democratic Party -- which, she insisted on CNN, no longer needed Latinos or low income workers. Good luck with that, Donna, I'm sure it will make for fascinating party chit-chat between you and your pal Karl Rove.

Any breakdown of the 2008 general election vote had to note the large number of young voters. But Lance forgets them and just refers to the "base" (apparently unaware that Donna Brazile swore Barack was creating a new base).

What's ticked off young voters? Like most people, the economy's hit them hard. Not much joy in graduation -- high school or college -- when you quickly discover there's no job for you. Or that the only job you can get doesn't pay you enough to have a life (translation, get several roommates or live at home with your parents).

The economy is hurting Barack with all voters. But with young voters there's that and the thing we were noting during the primaries: First time voters, first time believers, expect results. You can't vote Democratic for more than a couple of election cycles without becoming familiar with the soft shoe and the con job. If you're a Democrat (I am), you're used to it. (Though I think the last ten years have been the worst for them ever. They've repeatedly lied to the public and that's what's dragging them down.)

But a first time voter hears Barack thunder that he's against illegal, spying on American citizens, that he's going to close Guantanamo and that he's going to end the Iraq War and they believe those pretty lies. They're told Barack has repeatedly said since the 2002 vote (he wasn't in the Senate in 2002) that he would have voted for the authorization measure and they insist "Not true!" But then they see Barack in office and that's what tells on him.

Barack's done nothing. Excuse me, he's posed for magazine covers, taped commercials for George Lopez' TNT talk show, ran around topless, vacationed and fund raised. But other than that, he's done nothing.

"He makes promises he doesn't keep," as Diana Ross & the Supremes once sang ("Nothing But Heartaches"). While Lance avoids the Iraq War (something Socialist Worker's gotten very good at -- they've still yet to write up Barry's big speech from last Monday), most people remember it was the Iraq War that drove the primaries. For young people, that was the key issue. And Barack broke promises on it before he was ever sworn in. As a US Senator (campaigning for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party and then for the presidency), Barack joined other Senators and House Representatives in condemning the Status Of Forces Agreement. Congress must have a say in it, our 'Constitutional lawyer' insisted. (The Constitution does require that the Senate give "advise and consent" on all treaties.) Also on that list of Congress members objecting was Joe Biden. But no sooner was the election over than objection to the SOFA disappeared from Obama-Biden website. And it was never raised again.

It was a Constitutional issue when they were campaigning and, after they win, it's to be tossed aside. You'd be surprised how many college students bring that up. Health care reform? The bulk didn't give a damn about it. It was pie in the sky from candidate Barack on an issue that they are mainly immune to (due to age). But he was going to do right by Iraq.

And then he didn't. He wasted all that time on health care reform (which did nothing but enrich the insurance companies), over a year, but he didn't do a damn thing on Iraq.

He wasn't even sworn in when he dropped objection to the SOFA -- and failed to explain why he'd dropped his objection to it. It's too late for him to explain it now, but let's note that the press -- All Things Media Big and Small -- never pressed him on that as they rushed to sniff around and nuzzle his crotch.

What quickly followed was 'Uh, that promise about withdrawing one brigade a month . . . Uh, I'm not doing it.' So he "change"d the deadlines and then last Monday was the Big Speech, the thing that was supposed to trick and fool young America. That's who it was aimed at. It was supposed to catch their eyes as a scrawl across the screen, a photo op on the front page of a newspaper they glanced at while hurrying across campus. And it was supposed to say, "I delivered!" (In fact, he used words similar to that, or did no one notice?) Which was supposed to kick start the young voters who turned out in 2008.

But it didn't do a damn thing because he's a damn liar and his pretty lies have long been revealed as pretty lies.

The "combat" troops weasel words were said to reporters (such as Michael Gordon of the New York Times -- who immediately challenged the concept). They might be slipped into a debate. If so, there was no challenge and no explanation. So viewers rightly took away, "All troops come home!" In his tent revivals, he just hollered, "We want to end the war! And we want to end it now!" And there he was last Monday, lying yet again, and he didn't not inspire his young voters.

Lance wants to point a finger at others and forgets that leaves three fingers pointing back at himself. He doesn't tackle the Iraq issue, he doesn't even note it. Because US Socialist Worker whores it for Barack. Did Socialist Worker take a stand against ObamaCare? No, they didn't. They wrote some weak ass columns but mainly busied themselves with attacking Republicans. The issue wasn't Republicans, the issue was that every American adult was going to have to purchase health care. That's not what Barack promised. That's not what America needed. And instead of hissing at Republicans and trying to play con games on readers, Socialist Worker should have taken an ethical stand opposing ObamaCare and not doing the administration's legwork by villifying Republicans. They were never the issue. As Americans grapple with ObamaCare for years to come, they're not going to give a damn about the Republicans or some Tea Party movement. They're going to wonder why the hell Democrats weren't objecting and why the hell the media stayed silent while this crap was pushed through?

Lance embarrasses himself by insisting that although Republicans will call Barack a "socialist," he's not. Well, actually, Lance, Barack's embraced corporate socialism. If you're Big Business, Barack's got the money for you. And it might be a good idea for Lance to use this as an opportunity to explain what true Socialism is.

Lance asserts, "The Obama administration wasn't the originator of the massive bailouts of the Wall Street banks and the likes of AIG, but it assumed the chief role as defender of those programs." Actually, it was. At the very least, it was the co-originator. You might have to leave the White, White world of US Socialist Worker to know that. 21 members of the Black Caucus refused to vote for the bailout. How did that number get reduced? Barack Obama asked that they vote for it and promised that he would fix it as president. He never did fix it, did he?

But don't pretend that's Bush's plan only. Barack's the reason it passed the Congress. That's reality. And let's be honest, it wasn't Bush plan. Congress re-worked it. Congressional leadership re-worked it. Who was in charge of both Houses? Democrats.

And for the record, if you're going to name organization -- as Lance does winding down -- who failed, don't forget the Center for Constitutional Rights. I do not remember whether the ACLU was in that closed door meeting with Barack or not. Doesn't matter. I give money to the ACLU but I know they're a centrist organization that, historically, hasn't shown a great deal of bravery. By contrast, we expect a lot more from the Center and how dare it or any of its members meet with any US president and do so off the record. That's shameful and embarrassing and a sign of how they were so desperate to be 'cool' that their jobs, their calling, no longer mattered. The same CCR which insists upon open government was engaged in a closed-door meeting with a sitting president, that was shameful.

The Iraq War is not over. In the news cycle these days? The Beverly Hills Courier reports that the California Army National Guard's aviation battalion will be deploying over 300 Guard members for a 12 month tour of Iraq (they're at Fort Hood now and leave for Iraq in six weeks). Meanwhile Alexis Fernandez (Alaska's KTVA - CBS 11) reports that Alaska's Army National Guard was deploying 76 Guard members to Iraq for a 12 month deployment. And that's just two states. The war has not ended and the voters are aware of it -- even if US Socialist Worker, The Nation, In These Times, The Progressive, Flashpoints and a host of other outlets work and worked overtime to not call out Barack's speech last week.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Non-Combat Troops" went up last night.

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