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"What all of these events had in common was that they were links in a chain designed to replace one set of power elite (members of the old moneyed "peace promoting" Eastern Yankee Establishment) with another (the Nuevo Riche and newly arrived, "progress through war" Western Cowboys). Thus it is argued here that the events connecting Dallas, Memphis, Watergate and the demise of the Hughes empire, are but threads in a common fabric, growing and evolving directly out of the systematic corruption of American politics and out of contemporary political realities.

"Altogether it is thus a seductive and believable theory that says as much about American political realities as it does about the events of Dallas, LA, Memphis and NY themselves. What Oglesby tries to do, and succeeds at it brilliantly, is expose the almost organic level of corruption in the structure of the political process""

Well that corruption has not gone away as we watch the health insurance industry buy Democrats and Republicans alike, as we watch the news machine turn into the fear machine while the bankers turn the bailout billions into bonuses to enrich their already rich coffers. A study by NY State Attorney General Cuomo found that big banks took more out in compensation than they took in. If you call this looting, you won't be wrong.

Calhoun calls it this way:

"" there is no free lunch even in a democracy. As in any other political system, in a democracy too the choice is between terror and tyranny, between Democracy and Fascism. These two poles of political existence cannot be finessed through laziness, exhaustion, or choosing to live in denial. Like all other political systems, democracy also exists on that tenuous sliver of ground that lies between these two poles; there are no angles left to be played. Those who somehow believe that benign tyranny "by their own favorite corrupt power elite" is the answer to terror, have failed to notice Oglesbys crowning point about the JFK assassination: that terror and tyranny are but opposite sides of the same corrupt coin: that tyranny is terror, just by another name, and by other more elaborate means."

So where does this leave us?

Unfortunately, it's back to where I came in, as a young activist who went "part of the way with LBJ" onto to agonize as he escalated the Vietnam war, as a prisoner of the cold war anti-commie consensus.

Today, war on terror thinking is the new conventional wisdom even though we know that Iraq and Afghanistan are disasters. So why doesn't he see it? The White House is just like Wall Street in that respect: when you are inside the bubble, you don't know it;s there. You believe your own hype.

Military commanders are always promising victory if only they get more troops and bigger budgets. That's the game they play again and again And even Stephen Colbert buys into the surge turned it all around myth.

Politicians also have to watch out for the long knives---from the bankers who want to scuttle financial reforms; the Arms manufacturers who don't like to see profitable weapons systems like the F22 scuttled; the Health insurers orchestrating the hysteria against all reform; the General Electrics of the world who just paid $50 million to settle an accounting fraud case.

The media remains tethered to more heat than light even as the crazed commandos of the revanchist right won't let any facts get in the way of their suicide mission. (I would like to see Beck's birth certificate; was he born or cloned?)

Like millions, I was impressed with Obama and hoped against hope and history that he was THE ONE, that he would be different. While it's too early to totally dismiss him out of hand after just six months in office, there is an all too familiar stench to what we are seeing. COA, not just COG!

The sad truth is, given what he has to deal with, and hard as it is to swallow, perhaps he can't be all that different. His only 'army" seems to be on Facebook and MSNBC.

The right is of course self destructive in banging that drum of polarization, while what's left of the left refuses to recognize that what we are dealing with, and have to deal with, is a "System thing," not just a case of another tarnished pol who said one thing and is doing another.

Could he have been elected if he hadn't played the game? Could any of the other Dems won? I doubt it. Is a half a loaf, make that a quarter of loaf, better than no loaf at all? You tell me. It's not as if the progressive movement was doing so great back in the Bush daze.

Nevertheless, continuity doesn't make it for me. We need change.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at See

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Carl Oglesby's "The Yankee and Cowby War" was one ... by Richard Lee on Wednesday, Aug 5, 2009 at 9:14:43 PM
by Russ Baker puts the final knot on the thread th... by WML on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 10:26:38 AM
You could be forgiven for assuming SAMO . The imm... by remo on Wednesday, Aug 5, 2009 at 9:34:50 PM
I wish that it was as easy as voting in the right ... by wagelaborer on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 1:05:23 AM
election cover-up stories..http://www.wanttoknow.i... by trail the dogs on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 1:27:45 AM
It is true that the electoral process has lost all... by wagelaborer on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 10:26:27 PM
hows this website, Mr Schecter? you are known as ... by trail the dogs on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 1:22:26 AM
Obama clearly promised no change when elected, man... by Stanimal on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 4:57:41 AM
What really scares me is that we have all these De... by Perry Logan on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 6:06:19 AM
Obama is not a flaming liberal, he is not going to... by PrMaine on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 8:14:11 AM
I could possibly agree with you but for two salien... by WML on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 11:44:29 AM
Two-Party Democarcy my *ss... by Dennis Kaiser on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 8:59:57 AM
This is a thoughtful and intelligent piece, and ma... by Federico Moramarco on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 2:06:25 PM
It is obvious that Mr. Obama has no real power, or... by John S. Hatch on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 2:13:31 PM
But Obama never was the 'power'. Just as George wa... by richard on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 5:34:29 PM
<   1. You actually believed that Obama was go... by Mr. Social Science on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 3:11:53 PM
You're joking, right?It is true that Obama is cont... by wagelaborer on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 10:37:10 PM
"It is true that Obama is continuing Bush's polici... by Mr. Social Science on Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009 at 10:13:34 AM
Groomed by Kissinger and Brzezinski. Inserted by t... by richard on Thursday, Aug 6, 2009 at 5:28:02 PM