Back From The Brink!

Harry Reid and John Boehner: Men in the Hot Seat

The nation narrowly avoided disaster last night when the House and Senate leaders finally hammered out a deal to prevent the shutdown of the federal government.  For impassioned ideologues on the left and right, the compromise they made to stave off the looming catastrophe at the eleventh hour is viewed as a sellout.  Predictably, the far right Tea Party faction in the Republican Party not only denounced the deal as a sellout, but has vowed to run an opponent against Speaker Boehner in his next primary election.  And Barack Obama will surely be cursed and denounced by the firebrands on the left, then burned in effigy and branded “The brown face of American imperialism by black “revolutionaries.”

But these are people who live in a fantasyland and thus cannot be taken seriously.  They are dreamers seeking a land of milk and honey where all their fantasies will come true and we will live happily ever after. Like religious people waiting for the return of the Messiah, these ideologues are serching for the “Promised Land.”  The problem is, they don’t quite know exactly where this Shangri La is located in the real world and they have no compass that can guide them on their misbegotten journey.  And in spite of their vitriolic mutual denunciations, the truth is that the impassioned ideologues on the left and right mirror each other.

Both are mindless bomb throwers who would impose their ideas on an electorate who are only concerned about achieving economic stability that will produce good jobs which pay a living wage.  They are totally uninterested in the ideological obsessions and grand visions of the “revolutionary” iconoclasts.  Most of the electorate is single mindedly fixated on how to pay their bills, keep food on the table, a roof over their heads, and have a few dollars left over to enjoy their common pleasures.  Bread and circuses!  And they will support anyone who can convince them they can provide those things.

In spite of all the hokum about the “wisdom of the people” that political operators of the left and right love to celebrate…I see no evidence of it.  In fact, the central message of the last congressional elections is that the masses of the American electorate are fairly clueless.  They voted by the millions against the things they said they wanted in opinion surveys.  I have written thoughtfully about this bizarre phenomenon. (See “On Our Dysfunctional Democracy” and “Triumph of the Untutored Mob!”)

The reality is that we are witnessing the fulfillment of Thomas Jefferson’s prescient warning that a participatory Democracy can’t work with an ignorant electorate because “they will elect and return the worst people to power.”  This explains why the Republicans were put back in charge of the House – from whence all revenue bills originate – only two years after they fucked the country up to the point that we were literally on the verge of economic collapse when Barack Obama took office.

However the leftist intellectuals who sit in the peanut gallery of American politics and throw ideological spitballs at the President seem oblivious to this fact.  They need to get their heads out of their asses long enough to recognize the political realities that President Obama and the Democrats are facing.  Everybody who wants to chime in with criticisms of the President’s politics should read the recent survey by Newsweek: “How Dumb Are We?”  The results of this scientifically sampled poll is shocking and disheartening, and should be a wake-up call to anyone who expects to win a majority of Americans over to some intellectually complicated Marxist based ideology…or anything that requires people to think beyond their most basic needs, ala satisfying their materialistic appetites.

For instance, the Newsweek survey showed that 29 percent of Americans couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar!  Need I say more?  This is the reality that President Obama is faced with. Aside from the persistent question of his race; which is a very big deal for millions of die hard white racists.   Let me remind you folks: Politics is the art of the possible!  Given the hand that the President was dealt, he has played the game of politics as well as a progressive politician can play it in America today.  Former Admiral and Congressman Joe Sestak is right when he says the reason a lot of the people in the Tea Party opposed the President’s health care program is because they just didn’t understand it!  It is certainly in their interests.

The fact that the Supreme Court ruled in the “Citizens United” case that corporations can give unlimited funds to the campaigns of their favorite politicians – who are nothing more than Republican shills for the plutocrats – which further complicates the President’s attempts to make the kind of progressive moves that he is committed to.  The arguments about money is no picayune matter; because the success or failure of political campaigns today have everything to do with a contender’s ability to get their message across to a mass audience.  Since most of the electorate has heads like empty blackboards upon which anything can be posted, whoever has the most access to them will win the day.  That’s why President Obama took the rare step of saying the Citizen’s United case was “wrongly decided” by the Supreme Court in his state Of the Union Address; prompting some justices to threaten a boycott against the President’s next speech.  It is also why he has set out to raise a billion dollars for his next campaign.

Added to the vast amount of political ads targeted at the untutored mostly white mob, many of whom joined the Tea Party – which was organized by corporate lobbyist and successfully passed off as a legitimate “grass roots movement – there are the verbal arsonists on WABC radio and the FOX Network: Limbaugh, Sanity, Beck and those lesser mugs who imitate them on local radio stations across the nation.  These talking who heads that stir up the racist untutored white mob and convinces them to vote against their own interests are a thorn in President Obama’s side; they have managed to convince the majority of Republicans that Barack Obama is not a true American because he was born in Africa.  And in spite of all efforts to show that this is untrue, you’ve got Donald Trump going around passionately arguing that the President’s birth records are fraudulent and leading all but one of the Republican Presidential contenders in the polls as a result.

Considering that the propaganda machine on the right has convinced millions of Americans that the President is some sort of Fascist/Communist/Islamic Arab who, as Trump has said, “pulled off the greatest con in history;” it is clear that they will support any opposition to President Obama’s efforts.  I think that some of them would love to see him assassinated!  And I have publicly accused Sean Hannity of trying to provoke it.  (See: “Playthell challenges White Racist Commentators” on YouTube) If I believed the shit Rush, and Glenn Beck say about him I’d want to off him myself.

Hence I believe all of the Obama bashing on the left gives aid and comfort to our enemies on the right and advance their causes.  The fact that the Left spends more time crying in their beer because “Barack The Magic Negro” can’t wave his wand and make all their dreams come true is an embarrassment at best and dangerous folly at worse.  Whenever they pull out their wish list they should remember the fact that there is an active and well funded opposition on the right who are out to destroy his presidency and thwart his agenda.  The challenge for the left, if they ever want to become something more than a hysterical debating society standing on the sideline talking shit, is to organize to Reelect the President, and to take the house back so that he will have a congress he can work with.  Put the brilliant and wildly effective Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair!!  The alternative is to give the entire government back to the Republicans.  We have already seen how that will work out.  This is the choice…all else is spurious fantasy and dangerous bullshit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The crisis we just averted was only the first skirmish…the real fight s are just ahead…The Ryan budget Proposal that calls for 6 trillion dollars in cuts to the federal budget, and the vote to raise the US government debt ceiling…which if not raised on time will be an even bigger disaster than the government shutdown.  The way President Obama handled the present flirtation with disaster is one of the finest examples of states craft I have ever seen…by arguably the most able and skillful politician in American history!  While the militants on the left, and assorted black nationalists, anarchists and other fringe groups would prefer that the President tell the Republicans to kiss his brilliant black ass and let the government come tumbling down, Barack finessed the best agreement he could get and came out of the fray looking like the wise father who has successfully negotiated a truce between squabbling children.

The Voice Of Reason

The most skillful politician in American history?

I’ll bet his ratings soar above those of either party in congress, and this will give him the political clout he will desperately need to take the Republicans on about the larger issues looming on the horizon.  He has successfully managed to come out of this donnybrook looking like the most reasonable man in the American government.  And that, my people, is a good thing: a very good thing indeed, because he has won the undecided voters and they, not the Tea Party fanatics, will make the difference in the next elections.  Bravo Barack…world class stuff!!  A jolly good show!!!

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem New York

April 9, 2011


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