I will vote for Barak Obama, Â but I have trouble these days calling myself a “supporter”. Â I explicitly deny that designation when it is suggested that I am. Â But I find it hard now because of the way he handled the banks, Â the way he has extended and built upon the “security” measures undertaken in the Patriot Act, Â and the way he has “held back” on a full-throated , tireless advocacy for a Works Program which is so obviously needed. Â I recognize that their are political barriers. Â I recognize that “reaching across the aisle” can (or should) Â build some common ground that will result in ,progress being made. Â But the outcomes and the politics of the great recesssion have made it disturbingly clear that the financial elites are calling the shots.
I read “Confidence Men”, Â Ron Suskind’s account of the economic team around Obama, Â and the numerous conversations with advisors with Obama and other members of the Â economic team, Â and it painted a not-so-impressive picture of the weakness of Obama’s economic policy moves and efforts, Â up to a point where it was widely known and expected that the bankers were expecting the hammer to fall on them when Obama called them to a meeting early on, just after the crisis hit. Â They were all in a state of “bracing for the hammer”. Â What they got instead was an assurance of support from Obama. Â I already had my doubts, Â given the lack of significant steps to hold the banks or SOME of them accountable. Â This account had the effect of sinking my remaining threads of confidence Â or hope that remained afloat.
And the GOP that is fighting anything and everything Obama does or tries to do (whether it be piecemeal or more substantive) , Â they have long ago crossed the line of any sign of integrity or showing any intent Â to actually serve the people. Â They have shown they are willing to go to any length to “defeat Obama” rather Â than to do anything which would help Obama improve the economy. Â It’s the politics of destruction , Â “our way or the highway”. Â But Obama has not been strong in the face of this. Â I keep hoping he would, Â in the very least, Â make us of the bully pulpit to lay out what he believes is needed. Â In the wake of what I learned about Obama and his economic team, Â and their refusal to lower the hammer Â on Â the banks when he had a clear mandate to do so, Â I am now doubtful of just what those desires really are; Â whether he really does desire to do what it takes to help us defeat the stranglehold the elite have over this economy. Â Or is he himself now IN that stranglehold?
This is not the Obama I voted for. Â The one who promised a severe challenge to the “way of Â Washington”; Â an end to the stranglehold of special interests, Â and even that Obama that seemed to be coming straight down a road of a social justice Christian tradition. Â I find it difficult if not impossible to see that Obama anymore. Â I’ve had some friends tell me that although they intend to vote for Obama this time (usually always because the alternative would be much worse, Â and bad things would come of it much quicker) Â , they will no longer support the Democratic party Â if the next term didn’t bring a very different Obama. Â It’ll be third Â party time. Â It’ll be serious challenges to the present system of Â representation, Â and the safeguards needed to protect it from being blown away by financial interests.
I’m thinking that’s where I am too. Â If nothing can get done in 8 years to make a dent in what has been wrought on our economy by the corporate take over of our politics, Â then its time for a new process. Â With Citizens United allowing unlimited propaganda to be dumped on the American psyche Â (and don’t be naive, people. Â Advertising WORKS, no matter how you may insist you;re not swayed by it, Â it Â works,else they wouldn’t be continuing to pour money into it. Â The Â effects are subtle, Â and largely imperceptible. And somehow the Supreme Court has overlooked this ; or, Â more accurately and/or likely, Â they HAVEN’T overlooked it; Â they are in cahoots with the aims of Citizens United), Â given all this, Â our “process” is truly screwed. Â It no longer sounds Â convincing to say “vote and make your voice heard”. Â It all comes off sounding like false piety.