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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/23/13

Obama's Real Legacy: Savior of Corporate Fascism

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It's downright weird to watch America's right wingnuts react to Obama. Sometimes you just have to admire how their racism goes so deep it overcomes their native love for fascism. In that case, it must simply gall them to watch a black man serve the cause of "job creators" and creeping fascism far better than Dubya, Cheney, and Rumsfeld themselves. Or maybe they just like their Mussolini-style, corporate-government fascism more open, red-blooded, bloodthirsty, and jingoistic. Real men don't p*ssy-foot.

But they fail to give Obama deeply deserved credit. Bush and his boys had so thrown in-your-face, warmongering, 1%-serving fascism into disrepute that saving it required a subtler, more devious hand. A deeper-pigmented hand, for one thing, one that could credibly--at least way-back-when in 2008--invoke the long heritage of black struggles against oppression and the legacy of Martin Luther King. Yet in so many ways FAR better, more presidential than King--lighter skinned, Harvard-educated, with much more the air of a slick corporate lawyer than a soulful Southern Baptist preacher. But who could convincingly preach "Hope" and "Change" in his own content-desiccated fashion. America's milk-chocolate savior. Float like a butterfly, strike like a drone. Corporate fascism's stealth Messiah.

And so for a long time, Obama's had to make a wholehearted, sincere pretense of serving his progressive base. Like his half-hearted stimulus package, to be starkly contrasted with his full-blooded consequence-free bailout of Wall Street. Or his radical-sounding one-off "storm the barricades" speech at Osawatomie, Kansas in December 2011--reading at the moment like an early Christmas present or even early Valentine to Occupy Wall Street--except that we now know the whole Homeland Security apparatus, in close collaboration with private corporations and local authorities and police, was concurrently spying on and infiltrating Occupy, all under Obama's benevolent Il Duce gaze. Obama just couldn't yet openly join the chorus of right-wing voices urging those terrorist-suspect losers to get a job.

But the "redneckier" side of American fascism may soon get its good red meat. They should really pay attention, as Obama's masterfully starting to show his masterful fascist hand. Or perhaps better, jackbooted foot. See, every good fascist knows you can't p*ssy-foot forever. Silently eroding civil rights only goes so far. A point comes when you really have to show your manly willingness to clamp down on their exercise. And believe me, Obama's getting there. You just have to read the signals without prejudice.

Of course, Obama has had a pretty good record all along of "manning up" and showing his iron fist where whistleblowers, leakers, and suchlike folks were concerned. But here he's had the cover of the war on terror, where the xenophobic nightmare fears of even liberals' brains are brought into play (see my earlier OpEdNews piece "The Dangers of Liberals' Repressed Reptilian Brains"). Bill Maher's attribution of almost all our terrorism problem to the crusading bloodlust of a primitive, medieval Islam is a case in point; I here obviously agree with Glenn Greenwald in thinking our own crusading, imperialistic foreign policy might play a substantial role. But beyond the war on terror, a man like Obama--with so much to hide (like the extent of his Uncle-Tomming for the white 1%)--must have a deep hair-trigger personal aversion to secret-revealers and whistleblowers. I personally would consider it the highest honor--and an almost certainly unattainable measure of success--to be placed on his drone kill list. But one can always try.

But I digress. If I may mix seemingly incompatible things in a bizarre but appropriate way--for only such ideas fit our "bizarro" world--as a manning-up corporate fascist, Obama's really coming out of the closet. Probably his reelection to a second and final term (final, that is, unless he goes supernova fascist--which is highly improbable) has a lot to do with it. For example, his willingness to appoint billionaire patroness Penny Pritzker--who as a predatory lender to blacks and union buster is a clear "smoking gun" for his Uncle-Tomming--is a real advance in Obama brazenness. And his willingness to target even the mainstream Associated Press in his attacks on a free press is another. But a deep instinct tells me that Obama's increasing brazenness is a matter of clever timing, so "straight, no chaser" fascism will have nearly become the new normal by the time it's needed most--after Obama, fascistically trampling science and sanity, approves the XL pipeline. This is when our gun-toting right-wing crazies will really get their red meat. They probably still won't stomach good-old-boy fascism in blackface, but it won't be because Obama didn't try.

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by Michael Fleshman

See, the pipeline itself is a watershed moment for fascism--an utterly unjustifiable, wildly environmentally irresponsible gift to big fossil fuel corporations--that many of our best, brightest, and most heroic citizens will inevitably put their bodies on the line to resist. It's clearly been supported by lying propaganda--this is how things go down in fascist regimes--touting wildly exaggerated numbers of jobs and energy-independence benefits and pooh-poohing its truly frightful environmental effects. A clear mark of the propaganda--and fascistic intent to shove it down our throats--is that no one in government is breathing a word about nationally televised public debates pitting staunch climatologist opponents like James Hansen and informed activist opponents like Bill McKibben against the best pipeline proponents can bring. The reasons for this "oversight" should be obvious. But in this case, a well-organized, highly motivated opposition to the pipeline vowed to civil disobedience is in place--so the NEED for some fascist skull-cracking is also obvious. Obama's been foot-dragging on the pipeline simply to prepare the ground for this. And possibly, the internment camps.

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Patrick Walker is co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy (RAP) and the Bernie or Bust movement it spawned. Before that, he cut his activist teeth with the anti-fracking and Occupy Scranton PA movements. No longer with RAP, he wields his pen (more...)

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