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Right Dithers, Left Withers

By       Message Robert S. Becker     Permalink
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Is it whack-a-mole -- or perfection? by

It's a curiosity, a singular spectacle, to say the least -- or a political farce, to say the most.  While weirder-than-thou Rethugs play whack-a-mole roulette -- anointing, then shredding favorites -- dispirited lefties dream up ways to press -- even displace -- a fallen incumbent.  Suckered by one media nutcase after another, the simpleminded, image-driven fringe pray for the perfect earthly redeemer for president.  Look, perfection rides in with the Rapture that will obliterate earthling voters and transcend an increasingly unchristian politics.   

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A far more reality-based left rejects a painfully can't-do, won't-do, non-liberal, non-reformer, whose perpetual warfare, corporate-friendly welfare, and joblessness promise to finish off remnant liberalism.  That prospect quickens were this president, having trading off big mandates for today's "absolute underdog" status," to get trashed by a synthesized, tarnished GOP non-entity. 

Even though Obama betrayed liberalism for corporatism, he's still tagged by extremists a loser socialist, squandering what polling a year ago presaged his likely re-election.  If this is calculated White House "pragmatism," against the low-likes of Boehner or Cantor, let's have plan B -- and shoot the moon for anything vaguely progressive before 2012.  Remember that sleazy W., though destined to be savaged by historians, got 90% of his agenda passed -- and cruised to a second term.  Why didn't failure after failure not similarly impede W.'s calamitous ideology?

Defined by Deviants

Even more shocking, the Great Obama-Democratic Party slide comes against stunted political foes -- cynical, greedy, sound-bitten, corporate bottom-dwellers.  With more vacant narcissism than presidential talents -- yes, you "Herb" Cain, but Perry, Gingrich, Paul, too -- notwithstanding Bachmann's outerspace orbit.   Didn't Arnold the Actor demonstrate that political craft has a real, multi-variant learning curve -- and amateurs can't learn it on the job?  Does Obama truly exhibit more in-depth mastery over economics or militarism, environmental planning or Constitutional rights, than two years ago?  Doesn't stubborn loyalty to bad advice present a classic case of not learning from experience, nor gaining from failure?

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The entire morass evokes twin quips from Ambrose Bierce's 19th C. Devil's Dictionary, as true today as then:  "Politics, noun: a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage."  "Vote, noun: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country."

No one better exemplifies this masquerade wreck than the Palin -- the arch-amateur who blurs election with winning prom queen -- still on FOX by refusing to learn anything political or historical, other than netting cash.  Doesn't she typify the modern malady of premature entry by inept hustlers?  Didn't W. precede her, utterly bereft without tyrannical Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.  Didn't another smiling neophyte follow Bush with more Bushism, not knowing enough to doubt his own hand-picked, entrenched Wall Streeters?   Whatever complex factors brought Obama down, the outcome today is undeniable -- the spectacle of an incredible vanishing president, the elected outlier mesmerized by Washington power politics.

Lassoed by Pygmies

What distinguishes Obama is not only how quickly he got corralled, but the inferior players doing the corralling.  What chance does this president have against next year's smarmy dwarfs when this season's bench managed to handcuff him?  I still don't get Obama's weak retorts, considering the treasure of Repug absurdity gifted him, to wit: 1) that rich tax scofflaws spur jobs, 2) that regulation kills growth, or 3) slashing budgets save us from depression and 4) make us skill-ready against Asian.  In no time, fiery Elizabeth Warren found her voice, articulating this truism -- never in history did one fat cat get rich all alone.  I posit Obama's bully pulpit falters because he's convinced fixing the wrecked status quo only demands extra doses of more status quo. Warren walks the walk, Obama just talks.

Not only do inspirational leaders feast on big problems, they rule by devouring lousy opponents.  Romney and Huntsman aside, that covers today's Repug mob -- along with Palin, Huckabee and that scandal-ridden NJ bully, Chris Christie.  No wonder pundits compare the GOP gang to inept pro wrestlers, reality TV players worth booting off, or clowns riddled with inflammatory baggage.  That must be why idiot Tea Partiers flitter from one callous Gradgrind to the next, as loyal as famished fleas in a crammed kennel.  

How will this melodrama end -- this grand Republican strategy intent on spoiling its own? Keep up this craziness and Tundra Barbie will just have resolve her philosophic conundrum -- how to stay pure rogue, the brash stirrer-upper, when shackled by office, power and "a title"?  Is this what FOX means when the GOP throws up on itself?

The Indecisive vs. the Disheartened

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Equally ironic, while the right shoots itself in both heads, lefties come together mainly against what they can't abide -- a failed, non-transformative presidency looking like one term.  For me, if Obama gets dinged by a divisive primary, he has only himself to blame.  Hey, stop bashing your erstwhile base -- and start blasting incredibly stupid ideologues who bushwhacked our national debt rating or hold the government ransom every month. 

The right isn't willing, nor smart enough to propose real solutions to real challenges, but it is shrewdly predatory against Obama weaknesses.  Purist primary voters will lose out with absurd GOP litmus tests, looking for ideological purity in all the wrong places.  But when voters flitter, establishment Repugs, Koch Bros. and FOX News will fill in the void.   More's the pity.

No wonder politics is giving itself a bad long-term name, aided by Democrats who failed monumentally to spur progressives, young people, and centrists into 2010 voting booths.  Who has any faith that 2012 will ever accomplish the first task of the 2008 victory -- to re-set the priorities behind the looming, ongoing, unending Bush-Cheney disasters?   No doubt, that makes Wall Street protests timely indeed, as anything beats a face-off between a deranged dinosaur vs. an entrenched Republicrat -- especially one who thinks cutting the deficit and social programs -- but not wars, drone attacks, subsidies, tax breaks, or bankrupting anti-terrorism -- earns re-election.  That way lie a Republican Senate and another rightwinger with attitude rampaging the future.


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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)

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