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Obama as Trojan Horse: Or Twenty Straight Years of Republican Rule

By       Message Mike Rivage-Seul     Permalink
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Obama as Trojan Horse

Or Twenty Straight Years of Republican Rule

                On "Democracy Now" Michael Hudson recently commented on the disastrous debt ceiling deal struck by the Obama administration and the Republican leadership. He said that it was the "Nixon to China" syndrome in reverse. He meant that politically speaking, only a Republican could have gotten away with taking steps towards normalizing relations with communist China.   Similarly, only a Democratic president, like Mr. Obama, could have persuaded Democrats in Congress to vote for a debt ceiling bill that promises to dismantle the "crown jewel" of the New Deal (Social Security) along with popular programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

                In the same vein, Glen Greenwald on these OEN pages has repeatedly remarked that only the extremely naïve could continue to believe that somehow Mr. Obama keeps "making mistakes" in his compromises with the Republicans. He was referring to perceptions of Obama's "caving in" on issues such as the Public Option, the end of the Bush Era tax cuts, jobs programs, the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, torture policy, escalating wars, and unwillingness to even make those Republican wars part of the debt debate. No, Greenwald insists, Obama actually believes in trickle-down theory. So he truly thinks that lower taxes on the rich will stimulate the economy.   He's genuinely opposed to government spending on social programs, and believes that what he continually refers to as "entitlement programs" are indeed the cause of the current Depression.

                Michael Hudson put it best. "Obama's a Wall Street Democrat," he said, -- "or what we used to call a "Republican'."

                All of this has made me rethink my belief that the coup d'e'tat of the year 2000 (facilitated by the Supreme Court) ended in 2008 with the election of a Democrat. Now I find myself wondering if the coup wasn't much more elaborate than I had imagined. By plan or by accident, Obama turns out to be a Trojan horse.   While campaigning he ran as a Democrat. Meanwhile his corporate contributors knew all along what horse they were backing. Apparently, they embraced what they saw as a cringing Uncle Tom who would do their bidding. While the rest of us were blinded by the rhetoric, they saw a timid closet Republican intent on reversing the New Deal -- an unattainable dream for card-carrying right-wingers.  

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                The current "debt crisis" has also made me think that we might have been better off had John McCain been elected in 2008. And perhaps we would be better off with someone like Mitt Romney in the White House in 2012. That would put Democrats in the opposition and make it possible for them to effectively oppose the type of Republican legislation the U.S. Congress has just approved. Remember, had a Democrat not been in the White House, Democratic congresspersons would have been free to join with Tea Party Republicans to block debt ceiling agreement. And the President would have been forced to avoid default by simply invoking the 14th Amendment (as Obama should have done).

                So my conscience is clear now. I can follow through on that threat I made to Obama and my congressional representative, Ben Chandler (KY). I swore that if they supported steps to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, I would not campaign for them; I would not vote for them.

                I used to think that carrying out my threat would mean simply boycotting the 2012 election. Now I'm thinking of actually voting Republican! If others like me did so, the present form of the DINO Party might crumble in a landslide defeat, and real Democrats might step up to the plate.  

                I might even campaign for Romney. It would be interesting to see him struggle to ignore the Tea Party base of his constituency. My guess is he might do every bit as well as Obama has done in resisting his own base. If so, with a Democratic opposition and a moderate Republican president we wouldn't be much worse off than with Obama.  

                Twenty straight years of Republican rule (12 with Bush-Obama, and 8 with Romney) might not be as bad as we think.        

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Mike Rivage-Seul is a liberation theologian and former Roman Catholic priest. Recently retired, he taught at Berea College in Kentucky for 36 years where he directed Berea's Peace and Social Justice Studies Program.Mike blogs (more...)

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