Friday :: Dec 26, 2008

Will There Be Any Fight?

by paradox

Americans are scared. We see it in the record wrong track numbers, cliff-diving retail sales, peaking new unemployment claims and recovering savings rate, a nosedive of confidence and faith that will be very difficult to arrest. Dread the Reaper of Fear, for not only will America never go anywhere again until it’s significantly ameliorated, but simply obviating it is a massive leadership challenge. Posters and words won’t work on a populace trained by terror alerts, endless health care horror stories, and felon leadership to expect fear as a normal environment of action.

Krugman is precisely correct, a good government goal to prove Americans can quickly accomplish an element to getting out of our mother of all ditches is crucial to building consumer and voter confidence, but instead on being a change agent this very day for the Peace President, Energy President, Health Care President—what have you—we get a Nobel Laureate flicking darts about surfy Lanai elitism. Obama has my deepest sympathy in the matter, any former element singularly would usually be enough to usually consume a single term, but the fact remains a national unity goal has not been chosen or communicated.

Before we go any further it should be crystal clear that I am an extremely loyal liberal serving Democrat. Deeply skeptical, rebellious, irritating, obstreperous, all true, yes, but I am happiest when serving the little people, and if trusting of leadership enjoy—not just tolerate—following orders. Really. If I am often scathingly critical and arrogantly angry it does not diminish the reality that I am a very small person myself, much better aligned in a world with a mouth shut and working for good things under wise people.

I should be an extremely easy sell for the 2009 Obama agenda and a good resource for change, yet I restlessly pace for something where I can serve with certainty the lives of little people will improve. I’m truly sorry, but words and posters don’t equate with sacrifice for change for this voter, it can’t all be me.

Simply saying change is here is not going to stop the fiery, intense Republican and establishment opposition to single payer health care, zero dependence on foreign or totally leaving Iraq.1 Obama’s position is that a “new” alignment of majority Democrats can forge a fresh bipartisan path forward, yet I’ve always been in accord with Greenwald on this, genuflecting to any Republican principle isn’t “new”—har—it’s just a repeat of a failed past.

Real change means huge monied players in defense, oil, insurance or all three are going to be big losers. Irrespective of any purely political outlook from those actors, who in this country thinks those interests are going to give up power, interest and money without a fight?

Bipartisanship seems to me a delusional, irrational meander of those lost in a world they wish it to be, not as it exists. I’m more than willing to change on this, as soon as any reader can produce one empirical iota of evidence where bipartisanship has produced any positive results for any liberal cause in the last 30 years.

One path to real change is to make the federal minimum wage a real living wage to $12 an hour. Working people would finally get real purchasing power again, and the hidden costs of poverty labor would at last be exposed and adjusted to. But it’s divisive and difficult, creating instant fierce opposition, so the call of “new” bipartisanship instantly dampens any hope that it will be taken on.

Energy is my favorite change path, I so want an electric car, solar panels and a wind turbine. I’m extremely hopeful to implement most of this anyway soon, but how dreamy and driven I’d be if I knew I was following a fighting President on this.

I very well could be, nothing is written in stone yet in any sense, Obama has yet to serve even a day, geez. Yet there is an incredible amount of work to do, no day can be lost in any sense, but all there is still are words, posters, vacations and a tenuous faith for 2009. I’d be thrilled to be wrong about this, believe me, but the massive amount of change to be initiated next year has to mean a huge political fight somewhere next year, the sooner we know where it will be and what to do the better.

[1] Renowned Middle East blogger Juan Cole has written about intense Pentagon resistance to totally abandoning approximately $50 billion worth of military bases in Iraq in 2010 after the SOFA is implemented—assuming the SOFA is somehow putridly ratified without the Senate. Apparently this element is one to watch in judging how well Obama “gets along with the military.”

The whole story fills me with frantic disgust, it cannot be the Senate doesn’t ratify the SOFA and it cannot be that even if it doesn’t the Pentagon leadership would be so stupid and so dangerously rogue by ignoring it. It cannot be that an incoming President should be so obsequious to generals in the United States simply by dint of his Party.

It’s impossible to know the depth of reality in the story and futile to fret for an unknown future. But should it in fact come pass that in 2010 Obama allows US bases to operate in Iraq from an un-ratified SOFA treaty (I find this scenario hard to believe, frankly) the United States will not have changed from Bush, it’s that simple. Nor will it.

paradox :: 8:33 AM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!