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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/7/08

Obama: Trust, but verify

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Did America have a blessed occasion on Tuesday, November 4? Well, yes and no. It's cool to have any "free" election, period. It's cool to have one that's not stolen. I believe this was the first non-stolen election since 1996. It's cool to have people participating, and to get the first American President elected with African ancestry. It's cool to see the Bush years end in their own repudiation.

America should write a post-it note to itself: "No more Presidents selected by the Supreme Court." The Supreme Court justices ought to be investigated on the grounds that they voted for President twice. If you or I tried that, we'd be thrown in jail, so why should the SCOTUS justices be above the law?

Thus far, everything is well and good, and indeed we should be thankful that the election wasn't preceded by an attack on Iran, a false-flag terror event, or the declaration of martial law and the cancelling of the election. This time, the exit polls matched, rather than contradicted, the results. John McCain was gracious in his concession speech, and the Republicans are not crying foul nor accusing the other side of a "stolen election."

Further, it was a shock-and-awe event around the world - this time in the direction of an upturn rather than a downturn. America's shift was counter-intuitive to cynics, and restored some credibility to democracy. America's standing in the eyes of the world got a bump, indeed some thumbs up and some cheering. Rob Kall, the publisher of OpEd News, wrote that "America's light goes back on."

There is no way to diminish the historic nature of smashing a racial glass ceiling. I congratulate Barack Obama on his achievement, and I know that this occasion was heartwarming all the way around the world. Still, on this election day while the polls were still open, I booked an international flight, knowing that I am an Obama skeptic, if not dissident.

Will I join the "conservatives fleeing the country," as another wag at OpEd News (OEN) wrote about? Well, I'm not a conservative; I wasn't discredited by this election; and I'm not on the lam. However, I plan to take my business elsewhere. Gentlemen, I'm leaving.

I made some comments shortly before the election about OEN being "in the tank" for Obama. After the election, I posted my article, 'Barack Obama Confronts The Deep State.' My tone was matter-of-fact about information that's not disputed about the deep state. My commenters then expressed deep skepticism; that Obama is unlikely to touch those cases with a ten foot pole.

Rob Kall weighed in, but mostly to wag a finger at the commenters for being "grouchy old men." He can correct me if I'm misinterpreting him, but it looks to me like Rob is swept by optimism, euphoria, and high expectations of Barack Obama; perhaps to an extreme in which cynicism or skepticism is now frowned upon at OEN. In his words, "things have changed and it is disappointing to see that you sing the same song."

In fact, in another article, Kall coins a new term - PPPTSD (political partisan post traumatic stress disorder) to be a catch all term that explains the existence of people who "didn't drink the Kool Aid," as Kall clearly did. Writing about commenters to his own public-discourse web site, Kall said, "Their negativity is inappropriate and is really not longer tolerable, but they need help, not chastisement." This was said to be his comment AFTER finding more compassion and tolerance. In this self-disclosure, Kall shared his earlier / first reaction: "The world has changed, things are better, there is more hope-- get with the program."

Well, let's compare the world before and after Tuesday's blessed event. In the old world, Rob Kall was trying to get Congressman John Conyers, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to get off his duff and to take up proceedings of impeachment against Bush / Cheney. It should be fair to ask -- "Rob, have you gotten Conyers to get off his duff yet?" As I suspect that the answer is no, then how does this ancedote indicate that the world (apart from Barack Obama) has changed and things are better?.

Indeed, if impeachment is still "off the table," then the victims of injustice are still seeking justice.

Entirely too many things were swept under the rug in this election. How much damage did Barack Obama cause during his rise to power? --Right before our eyes during the campaign, we watched some genuine damage being wrought. Suppose that at the start of the campaign, you were a person who wanted civil liberties respected, and no "trickle up" economics. You may have become an Obama fan, but (if so) then you were hideously betrayed by two of his votes: in favor of telecom immunity in the FISA bill, and in favor of the $850 billion knee-jerk spending bill, the benefits of which went to the wealthy at the expense of Main Street.

Make no mistake, when there is an historic achievement, congratulations are in order. One of the points that Kall might raise is to say "hey, can't a man have a celebration and time to bask, before we get back to the nitty gritty?" Well, it's Thursday night as I write this. Champagne hour is over. Even when a football team wins a championship and when fans carry away the goal post, things settle down the next day. Nobody is still waving the goal post 48 hours later.

Certainly, the presidency may "mean the world" to you, but a clear minded thinker would note that the presidency has changed. To say "the world has changed" is to equate the world with the presidency. Let me think of these two statements: "The President is the world. The world is the President." Nope. Rob Kall should be called out for irrational exuberance. (And now I feel unclean because I borrowed a term from Alan Greenspan.)

The situation above is not, in and of itself, enough to push me into leaving America and becoming an expat. However, the above were not the only observable aspects of this election cycle. I look at Election 2008, and think, "the more things change, the more things stay the same."

The winner of this election was "the game," because it was played in its formulaic, predictable way. The networks got in one last election cycle in which they were able to report down to the American people, from on high, while ignoring any and all third party alternatives and challengers to the status quo. Obama ran as a status quo candidate within the two party system, and he can be credited with consummate gamesmanship.

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The author was once the 18-year-old candidate for U.S. President ('84) and later the founder of the China Support Network, post-Tiananmen Square.
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