Don’t Follow the Money
Wearily ingesting the analyses of our “neoliberal” President after the State of the Union—it doesn’t really matter what neoliberal means as long as it’s crystal clear it’s not liberal—I drearily came to the conclusion reached by Hullabaloo last week: to truly understand why Obama is a neoliberal who gave away everything for an unemployment extension, as always, follow the money.
After Citizen’s United from our awful Supreme Court the figure $1 billion as cost for the 2012 election is often so casually tossed about, everything is wide open and unless Obama vigilantly toes the corporate line (such a nice way of putting it), Corporate USA will swamp his campaign with deluges of cash that will take his big blue plane away.
That’s why we get a spending freeze, a war still on, tort reform, race to the top, tax cuts as stimulus, job growth as free trade agreements. No, Mr. President, none of this is liberal in any sense, what a fine, fine job you did of that. My problem is that none of it is going to work for jobs, wage growth, income equality, peace or even the economy, you know, that bedrock for your 2012 campaign that socialist unionist peacenik liberals couldn’t possibly know anything about.
“You’re very smart, aren’t you?” A graduate international business professor said to me once, one of the rare times that description was directed my way (I have average intelligence, trust me). I had simply made the common observation that the hellish economic sector that had so painfully dragged the economy down is often the precise one delivering such joy and jobs as the recovery begins, like housing could this year.
Except it won’t, the foreclosure crisis rages on with the banks in some kind of horrible fixed game, to fix it would require the liberal solution of prosecuting and regulating big banking. Horrors of full employment to that, neoliberals hire Wall Street toadies to protect Bank of America, so our economy horribly sputters on while housing still does not recover, construction jobs still do not come back and hardly anybody buys a F-150.
A liberal Democrat would have fixed the foreclosure crisis a year ago (the world still spins with felon financiers in minimum security prisons), strengthened unions for better wages and done everything he could to stop New York and California from slashing their own budgets, let alone the federal. Just for starters, but neoliberals never do anything to offend big money for their big money campaigns.
That’s what we’re going to get in 2012, a classically corrupted American presidential campaign of political marketing-of-the-moment sucking in huge hoary amounts of cash to keep broadcasting to the masses. Politics of telegenic sound bites, themes of empty slogans that sound vaguely pleasing but don’t really accomplish or change our corporate oligarchy.
The internet has vast political organizing, fundraising and communication potential, all us junkies fervently know that, but it’s only now becoming clear what tectonic broadcasting potential exists in packet switching. Why spend all that fortune of cash to traditional broadcasters when great video can be distributed in the tubes? It’s not free or cheap, of course not, but a Presidential campaign easily has the resources to do it.
Interestingly one politician did dimly sense this in 2010, one Gavin Newsom of California, who fervently tried social media internet politics but still lost to that fossilized retread, Austerity Jerry. Dude, use more video emphasis next time but holy Jesus on his electric scooter use the new medium for real political messaging that delivers real liberal solutions for the little people: rising wages, single payer health care, peace.
Jamming traditional rank lame TV marketing into the internet doesn’t work, who wants another form of awful American television politics? But ahhhh, carry a message of functional liberalism completely outside of the chokehold of corporate broadcasting? Please think about it and try again, Mr. Newsom.
Out of all the disappointments in Obama’s first 24 months the complete abandonment of the little people internet organizing for any kind of political action or pressure since has got to hurt the most. They saw half the solution, used the little people, took our money and then became badass neoliberals.
Don’t follow the money, follow the internet. Politics for the little people works, we don’t need ABC or Comcast anymore, broadcast liberalism without fear. Until that day comes the nothing of neoliberalism is what the little people will get, manifestly to all our great pain and diminishment.