Sunday, July 21, 2013

Truest statement of the week II

Obama’s “Hidden Hand” political strategy in his second term (Peter Baker, in NYT, July 16) merits notice for its utter phoniness (and NYT/Baker gullibility), as though a low profile, designed to convey the velvet glove of measured yet steady reform, has changed anything in his presidency, which from the start has raised sophisticated corporatism, with its full antiradical implications, policies, consequences, to a high art.  Obama’s legacy—it’s too late for him to worry about this now—will be defined by his treachery as a leader and putative tribune of the people.  In retrospect, Nixon and Bush 2 appear as mere choirboys in comparison, not because of Obama’s “smarts” (he has the brashness of a hustler, which passes in our day for intelligence), but because he can use liberalism as a backdrop for the pursuit of consistently reactionary policies, domestic as well as foreign.  Liberals and progressives, especially, have been taken in, the latest enormous crime being massive surveillance which, once revealed, is allowed to become yesterday’s news, attention shifting instead to Snowden’s apprehension—an example where the real criminal seeks to pin the label of “criminal” on the one who exposes the crime.  Liberals/ progressives sit on their hands (perhaps that’s where Obama’s team got the idea of the “hidden hand” as the latest selling point to cover up a record which hardly needs covering up, so far has radicals’ rigor mortis set in) while data mining, Espionage Act prosecutions, the whole range of civil liberties made mincemeat of, all constitute only one area of manifold and fundamental abuses: the liberalization of cynicism, to render it palatable to the groupies, while the haute crowd of bankers, militarists, defense contractors, national-security advisors, DOJ apologists for international war crimes, and, as they say in the Shakespeare plays, diverse and assorted other characters, laugh in their teeth.

--  Norman Pollack,  "Obama's Praetorian Guard of Capitalism" (CounterPunch).

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