I wish I was as good at rationalizing as I used to be

I hate to be a spoilsport, but I have to agree with Chris Hedges Floyd. Not to mention the bait-and-switch done with this rally, which was originally stated as meant to “demand the change we voted for” instead of a GOTV rally meant to “show support for Obama”:

A Saturday rally in Washington by unions and other groups did turn out several thousand people, calling for more jobs, tax hikes on the rich, immigration reform and defending public services. This, as they say, is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, although it falls far short of the angry, obstreperous crowds in Europe, who are not wanly supplicating their leaders for a few crumbs but demanding action to preserve their quality of life.

However, one’s heart sinks to see the event’s organizers, and some of the participants, describing it as a get-out-the-vote effort for the Democrats, and a show of support for Obama. Given the horrendous record of the president and his party in prosecuting savage and wasteful wars, overt and covert, all over the world; setting up unaccountable, “extrajudicial” death squads and hit lists; continuing and expanding Bush’s assault on civil liberties; aiding and abetting the ever-widening disparity in wealth and opportunity between the sliverous elite and the collapsing middle class and the already poor — not to mention the president’s clear intent, with his stacked-deck “Catfood Commission,” to gut Social Security, one of the last remaining shreds of America’s never-robust or extensive “safety net,” just as soon as the election is over — what in God’s name do they think the Democrats will actually do to advance the organizers’ stated “core principles” of “jobs, justice and education,” should the party  manage to cling  to Congressional power in November? There will be no money to support these principles, for one thing; it will all go to the wars, to the burgeoning security apparatus, and to the sacred goal of “deficit reduction.” And Obama and the Democrats have already demonstrated, amply, that they have no will or desire to advance these principles or put them into action in any event.

I don’t want to belittle the efforts and hopes of thousands of poor and working people who showed up at the rally to fight for a better life. In that, I wish them every success. And I’m glad to see some counterblast in the public square to the violent fantasies of the proto-fascists. But I believe that if your ultimate goal is simply to perpetuate the status quo of rule by two scarcely indistinguishable political factions, both deeply dedicated to militarist empire and the crushing dominance of financial elites, then you will not stop the accelerating degradation of American society or light a path to a genuinely new direction. Instead, the war, murder, chaos and decay will go on, breeding more blowback from abroad and instability at home, and thus giving more fuel to the proto-fascists and their paymasters.

9 thoughts on “I wish I was as good at rationalizing as I used to be

  1. Link goes to Chris Floyd …whom you quoted…..not Chris Hedges, though I’m sure he would have said (or did say?) much the same thing

  2. since i’m on a lot of union email lists my impression is that the “bait and switch” was really a just a reaction to a changing situation. it’s been slow in coming but i have seen the gradual realization over the past two months that the democrats were going to lose big at the upcoming election. faced with a bigger threat (i.e. the tea baggers and the much-discussed “enthusiasm gap”), the organizers shifted the focus from trying to push the administration to act differently to trying to rally its supporters to staunch the GOP wave that they see coming.

    frankly, i don’t see it as an irrational move.

  3. Matt Taibbi covered this recently, didn’t he? Something about how the populist anger of both the tea partiers and professional left would be co-opted by our corporate owners and portrayed as support for business as usual (i.e., fuck the people).

  4. I wasn’t at the rally: Did speakers at least make the demands which were the initial reason for asking people to turn out?

  5. The best way to mobilize the base is by delivering on the change they voted for. Seems simple enough that maybe even the out-of-touch ‘leaders’ of the Democratic Party could figure it out.

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