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General News    H3'ed 5/27/12

A Little question of Corruption . . .

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In this passionate, no holds barred, balanced, well thought out and well-written treatise on contemporary American politics, this author, Roger D. Hodge, in this book "The Mendacity of Hope," concludes that Mr. Obama (BHO) made two sets of promises (and kept two sets of political books) during the 2008 election cycle and throughout his first term in office: one to his voter base, and the other to his money base. But as this author argues, cynically he had always intended to keep only one set of those promises: the ones made to his money base.

Viewed through the lens of the only objective and valid political metric we can trust, that of "political actions taken," this author reveals clearly that only BHO's "fat cat contributors" have made out like bandits. The rest of us, his mostly broke, liberal voter base, those who pulled him over the finish line against Hillary in 2008; and who like the rest of America, was desperately wishing to be released from the "Junior scourge," have now been left holding the bag, with nothing but his mendacity -- hanging perplexed, watching BHO fritter away his political capital on the vacuous altar of a non-extent bipartisanship with the remnants of Strom Thurmond's Dixicrat Party, better known as today's Republican party. All we have to fill our empty stomachs and hearts is BHO's mendacity and a hefty dose of humble pie.

Said in less graphic language, those of us who worked at the grassroots level in the trenches: answering the phones, canvassing, getting people to the polls, etc. to elect BHO, have now been ignored, mocked, and "dissed:" In short, "we have been had." And now in the run up to the 2012 election cycle, we are being asked to "ante up" and "go to the well" again in order to prevent the racist, Neanderthal and suicidal Republican Party from gaining the right to a repeat performance of the Bush Junior eight-year debacle?

Apparently the only payoff we get for our vote, our devotion, our loyalty and our hard work is a steady diet of election cycle progressively-laced rhetorical speeches -- in other words, strategically placed pabulum, and a few strategically placed crumbs on the margins of the hefty windfalls that all go to BHO's corporate paymasters. This scary tableau of duplicity, of America's corrupt political system gone awry, keeps being replayed over and over again each time with alternating and replaceable players sitting on the outhouse throne. It is BHO's time in the pit, and he has not disappointed his primary base, the fat cats with the money that made him "the Billion Dollar Man."

Using "actions taken" as the only true metric of political results, and a Madisonian political framework, this author concludes that only the wallpaper and furniture in the White house has really been changed since G.W. Bush left DC for Texas. His analysis of the current "ways of American politics" is simply brilliant and right on target: It is that there is "the myth" and there is "the reality" of American politics, and the twain shall never meet. The author is convinced that most of us are living in the mythical and delusional world of "we the people rule." When in fact, the reality is that we live in the new land of "corporate and politician rule." Between their "mutual predation" (on each other, and then together on us), "we the people," the voter, is left completely out in the cold -- to continue eating our humble pie.

Mr. Hodge tells us that it was Madison, the architect of the U.S. Constitution, who first warned us the no political system, including our own, is immune to corruption. Our number one job as citizens is to protect against this inherent defect. The author then goes on to prove here, using BHO as exhibit number one, that Madison's fears are still right on target, and that at least since the Civil War, our political system has been devolving steadily downwards towards Madison's idea of the ultimate and worse form of corruption: the marriage between government and corporate corruption. And in this regard, instead of being the redeemer of hope and faith in our cherished myth that the "people still rule," BHO has led us deeper and deeper into Madison's quagmire of the ultimate form of corruption: his own tight marriage between government thugs and corporate corruption. Hodge's analysis points us clearly to the fact that under BHO, America's myth of "people rule democracy," has crumbled right before our very own "lying eyes" into an orgy of "corporate and politician rule," just as Madison had predicted.

BHO came into office on a platform in which he solemnly pledged he would free us from the rampant corruption of the Bush years. Yet, he has proven to be weak, and calculating to the point of being Machiavellian -- one who has surrounded himself with a bunch of cheap politicos, and Wall Street hacks, referred to elsewhere as a bunch of New York and Chicago thugs -- proving that Madison's worse fears are finally coming true. BHO is only the titular head of (not the leader of) America's right-leaning Corporatocracy: Madison's ultimate marriage of government and corporate corruption.

As but one example of how corruption has metastasized and taken over the Obama economy as well as the American body politic, the reader should pay particular attention to chapter three (pages 55-80) entitled "Parables and Peaches." Here the reader will find a complete analysis of the cause and the primary players in the 2007-2008 financial meltdown. It is a stunning story within a story, and a catalogue of unelected rouges doing with impunity what they do best: screwing up the government and the country, and leaving the tab for "we the people" to pick up.

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Retired Foreign Service Officer and past Manager of Political and Military Affairs at the US Department of State. For a brief time an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver and the University of Washington at (more...)
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