Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Glenn Greenwald: Great Minds Think Alike?

Previously I stated this:

Obama is carefully orchestrating all of the reasons why any healthcare reform will prove impossible. And despite whatever Obama or any other Democrat may say of it in the future - they are intentionally dropping the ball on this reform issue because they lack both the leadership and the courage to do the right thing. Cowards all!

And today I will go one step further: Obama is intentionally tanking everything. Every fucking thing a progressive might want is being deep-sixed. Obama is an owned man - a "house negro" as Malcolm X used to speak of them. Obama licks the hands of his corporate masters. If they feel bad, Obama feels bad too. Obama doesn't stand for hope unless it's false hope. Obama does not represent change anyone can believe in unless its change for the worse.

Here's the deal: The Dems think they can make people vote for them again in 2010 if they can keep people on the hook on the progressive issues of the day. As I said in early July:

Do you know how the GOP keeps promising the judgmental asshole bottom-feeders in the party that someday they really will outlaw abortion when everyone with any sense knows that they will never do that very thing because it is a) politically impossible and b) extremely useful as an issue to stir the support of their psychotically christian base?

I think healthcare reform and peace movements operate the exact same way in the Democratic party. The Democrats will never go against the monied interests of the health insurers nor big pharma. It just ain't gonna happen. And the Democrats are regularly greased by the military industrial complex too. No hope there either.

The Dems think we all have a big fucking "L" for loser imprinted on our foreheads and that they can keep riding our dashed political aspirations to victory each and every election. They mean for us to keep hoping with no payoff.

Quoting myself:

And again:

Now, the brilliant Glenn Greenwald is one long-winded motherfucker. His blog entries read almost like legal briefs in their determined attempt to refute all possible alternative viewpoints before Greenwald offers up his own opinion for examination. In his most recent blog he would seem to be on the exact same track I have been on for a while now:


Over the past decade, the Democratic Party has specialized in offering up one excuse after the next for its collective failures. During the early Bush years, the excuse was that they endorsed Bush policies because his popularity and post-9/11 hysteria made it politically unwise to oppose him. In later Bush years when his popularity plummeted, the excuse was that Democrats were in the minority and could do nothing. After 2006 when they won a Congressional majority, the excuse was that Bush still controlled the White House and had veto power. After 2008 when a Democrat won the White House, the excuse was that Republicans could filibuster.

Now that they have a filibuster-proof majority, a huge margin in the House and the White House, the excuses continue unabated, as Democrats are now on the verge of jettisoning one of the most significant attractions for progressives to the Obama campaign -- active government involvement in the health insurance market. The excuses for "compromising" are cascading more rapidly than ever: We need Republican support to ensure it's bipartisan. The Blue Dogs won't go along with what we want. Centrist Senators will filibuster. There are similar excuses being made to defend Obama from accusations that he deserves some of the blame for the failure of the "public option."

...I'm really surprised that there's anyone...who actually believes this -- that the Obama White House is merely an impotent, passive observer of what the Democrats in Congress do and can't be expected to do anything to secure votes for approval of the health care bill it favors. As the leader of his party, the President commands a vast infrastructure on which incumbent members of Congress rely for re-election. His popularity among Democrats vests him numerous options to punish non-compliant Democrats. And Rahm Emanuel built his career on controlling the machinations within Congress. The very idea that Obama, Emanuel and company are just sitting back, helplessly watching as Max Baucus, Kent Conrad and the Blue Dogs (Rahm's creation) destroy their health care legislation, is absurd on its face.

...The attempt to attract GOP support was the pretext which Democrats used to compromise continuously and water down the bill. But -- given the impossibility of achieving that goal -- isn't it fairly obvious that a desire for GOP support wasn't really the reason the Democrats were constantly watering down their own bill? Given the White House's central role in negotiating a secret deal with the pharmaceutical industry, its betrayal of Obama's clear promise to conduct negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN no less), Rahm's protection of Blue Dogs and accompanying attacks on progressives, and the complete lack of any pressure exerted on allegedly obstructionists "centrists," it seems rather clear that the bill has been watered down, and the "public option" jettisoned, because that's the bill they want -- this was the plan all along.

The Obama White House isn't sitting impotently by while Democratic Senators shove a bad bill down its throat. This is the bill because this is the bill which Democratic leaders are happy to have. It's the bill they believe in. As important, by giving the insurance and pharmaceutical industries most everything they want, it ensures that the GOP doesn't become the repository for the largesse of those industries (and, converesly, that the Democratic Party retains that status).

This is how things always work. The industry interests which own and control our government always get their way. When is the last time they didn't? The "public option" was something that was designed to excite and placate progressives (who gave up from the start on a single-payer approach) -- and the vast, vast majority of progressives (all but the most loyal Obama supporters) who are invested in this issue have been emphatic about how central a public option is to their support for health care reform. But it seems clear that the White House and key Democrats were always planning on negotiating it away in exchange for industry support. Isn't that how it always works in Washington? No matter how many Democrats are elected, no matter which party controls the levers of government, the same set of narrow monied interests and right-wing values dictate outcomes, even if it means running roughshod over the interests of ordinary citizens (securing lower costs and expanding coverage) and/or what large majorities want.


Given Obama's lackluster negotiating style it's hard to imagine any other result was intended. Obama has broken promises. He has given away the store for 2% with big pharma behind closed doors. Neither single-payer nor the "public option" was ever given serious play. It all seems so obvious now.

Greenwald goes on to say some "pie in the sky" shit as if things might still turn out alright, but you'll have to forgive me if I remain a cynical realist. The plan was to fail. If we pull success from defeat, I will NOT be crediting Obama for it. If success occurs it will be because torches and pitchforks were the next logical negotiating tactic.

It remains the assertion of this blog that the threat of violence is a transformative force and that's what Jefferson really intended by it all along. The fucker lived to the ripe age of 83, and that's obviously not because he was constantly spoiling for a fight. However, he did stand ready to take certain things all the way if he absolutely had to. There is a difference...

Cynic that I am, I observe that this protracted health care reform "dog and pony show" has also served the function of distracting all and sundry from the perhaps just as meaningful fleecing of the American Taxpayer when it comes to the bank bailouts - without meaningful oversight and a now broke FDIC - and the utter lack of Wall Street reform. The economic bubble just might get reinflated and all of these problems passed off to the next biggest fool after Obama.

Fantasy Sequence...

Interviewer to Obama: "Mr. President, what are your greatest accomplishments since you took office?

Prez Obama: "Well, first of all...wait, look over there!!!"