If you listen closely you can hear a sound in the distance like the sound of a piece of paper being torn in half. I read a very cogent article yesterday which accurately described all the failings of Barack Obama's administration. Not just its failings towards the electorate but its failings towards the constitution itself. The first comment listed under the article consisted of two words and I quote, "F*ck You!"
Apparently this person took offense to the author's description of the President. No counter arguments were offered to discredit the author's arguments. In another article, the Supreme Court upheld an Arizona program to allow contributions to church supported schools in lieu of paying state income taxes. The case was brought by the ACLU and the high court ruled by a five to four margin against the ACLU and a commenter said, "That's why we need to keep a dem in the White House." Except, the Obama administration sided with Arizona and against the ACLU. To this White House at least, public funds should be used to help religious schools.
There is a fog, a state of misperception. Despite the actions of the most corporate leaning president in American history there is a cadre of perhaps millions who will argue, "yeah but!" I've seen this before, they're a close your eyes and click your heels three times and say, "there's no place like home" crowd. Years ago when I lived in Montgomery Alabama there was a preacher who started this full gospel church. The music would begin low as the choir sang soft spirituals. Then the lights would come up and the band began to play with a driving beat as Reverend Coy burst through the doors. As he walked down the center aisle he preached, shouting of glory as a dozen robed choir members followed behind him dancing and singing and beating on their tambourines. Brother Coy shouted the gospel of God loving you and because God loved you, you should give thanks and money to God and then God's rewards would be showered down unto you.
God certainly loved Brother Coy in his Armani suits, his diamond rings and his Rolex watch. The church was growing; people were coming from miles around to see the show, er ah, the sermon. One day a question arose about some money that was to be applied to the mission's fund. Reverend Coy immediately asked the mission's director about the missing funds. The mission's director, Mrs. Reverend Coy suggested they ask the church's finance director Reverend Coy Jr. It developed into a milieu and in the confusion and investigation Brother Coy loaded up his twin engine private plane with Mrs. Coy disappeared one night into the hinterlands never to be seen again.
The congregation was divided into two camps, those who thought Brother Coy was a crook and those who believed that Brother Coy had been wronged and had fled town to avoid the shame of religious persecution. To them Reverend Coy was a righteous man; to them it was the Reverend's underlings that had caused the financial problems. They believed because they wanted to believe. They didn't want to admit even to themselves that they'd been made fools of and taken advantage of by a side show huckster. The church was broke and soon closed its doors but still has its defenders today.
In a fog of corporate money and corporate media American political parties have devolved down into Hollywood for ugly people. Professional political mud wrestling in the Neo- liberal arena, Michele Bachmann recently spoke to a Conservative conference in Iowa. Eager to woo the Hawkeye voters she wove a tale of her ancestral past. She too was an Iowan, she explained, except that it was all lies. Everything word out of her mouth after she said, "Hello, my name is Michele Bachmann" was pure fabrication. She pulled out every old saw except being born in a log cabin and walking five miles to school in a snowstorm uphill both ways.
The faithful believe because they want to believe and because they want to believe the hucksters are eager to give the faithful their good show. Good guys and bad guys, Tom Mix and the Rustlers or Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm. When White House press secretary Robert Gibbs exploded during a press conference he excoriated the "professional left" claiming that those who disagreed with the administration needed to be drug tested. His fury wasn't so much aimed at the disagreement as at a public that wasn't buying into his script. Gibb's and his staff had worked long and middling hard to create a plausible narrative in which, a fighting President did everything he could to battle Simon Legree to save the widow's farm and to get us the best health care deal he could.
Gibbs was like a Prima Dona actress and when the crowds don't cheer long enough is certain it must be because they are ignorant hayseeds that don't appreciate true art. Everything is carefully scripted and stage crafted. When Barack Obama made his recent comments about US actions in Libya he appeared before eight, count them eight, American flags. Each flag carefully laid out so that ripples in each flag matched perfectly. The President in a dark blue suit then proceeded to give American's a message that was in content ninety nine percent pure unadulterated horse pucky and stage craft and one percent truth. His message was no truer than Michele Bachman's but the stage crafting was much better.
What this administration can do to language could put Winston Smith out of work; Smith never would have anything to put down the memory hole, because this administration never says anything that doesn't have at least three meanings to it. Yesterday the President announced the beginning of his corporate reappointment tour.
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He's counting on supporters like me! Who are those supporters like me? Corporate executives? Wall Street traders? Hedge fund managers? We can't stop the torture at Guatonomo if we can't stop the torture of the language at home. An open ended sentence, a bandwagon approach that vacantly offers the mythical destination of forward. Where is this place forward? It doesn't say, is forward more jobs? It doesn't say, is forward a tighter control of corporate criminals? It doesn't say, it doesn't say anything but it sure sounds good, doesn't it? I'm going to go out and get me some of that forward!