So President Hoover wants another term. I ask, why? None of the major banksters has gone to jail. The too-big-to-fail banks are even bigger and back to risky business. Nearly 14 million are unemployed, millions more underemployed or have given up looking for work. A record number of Americans are on food stamps. We have not merely two wars but three. Gitmo is still open and corporate lawyer Eric Holder made a cowardly about-face from trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the criminal he is in New York. BP committed the worst environmental disaster in our history, but deepwater drilling is back. Income inequality is at record highs. I could go on, and will shortly.
Most progressives are either defending the president, still hoping he's "playing chess" and all will work out, or will hold their noses and support him for fear of a worse Republican alternative. Perhaps anticipating my antipathy, commenter Koreyel made a post a few weeks ago that deserves to be quoted at length:
You go into the future with the population you have and not the population you wish you had. Look at the population we have. We don't know much about anything. Do we? So much so, I've thought of starting a blog to capture every news item that begins "half of all Americans don't know." Steve Allen saw it coming years ago. He gave it a name. He called it Dumbth. It's now here in the flesh and running for president in 2012. And you too can become a fan of it on Facebook.
Which also prompts me to ask: What do Americans know?
Well we have been watching Gunsmoke and its various incarnations since infancy. We've seen 1000s of hours of shows of this sort. So much so, that in our American minds violence is the universal hammer that works on every ilk of nail. The bad guys always get the bullet. The white hats win. We know how all our dramas end; yet still we applaud when the good guy pumps the bearded bankster (sic) full of lead. Catharsis! Happiness is a warm gun...
Now given all that...And given that I think that reelecting President Hoover with his Spock ears is absolute vital — and here I see you demurring, so let me explain why:
President Hoover and his administration believes in Science with a big S. And with 7 billion humans and with global warming drawing nigh, all desirable solutions to saving humanity going forward are totally dependent on science. Full double stop. The alternative is a Republican president who believes in talking snakes, thinks science is for pinkos, believes in the efficacy of prayer, and doubts global warming, the germ theory, and evolution. The only future with that sort of president is one that is hand-made with dirty nails and whooping coughs. Where we squat in our yurts and feed carefully husbanded cow pies into the heirloom brazier and mumble antique prayers for the return of the sun...
Please. We are too far along to go back. Get over your romantic ideas of the past. The bottom line is that Science will either save us or it won't. But nothing else will... So Science is the ticket going forward. Lots of it...And that's why President Hoover with the Spock ears must win in 2012...
Indeed, Mr. Obama's Energy Secretary is a Nobel laureate physicist, Steven Chu. What has that gotten us? No progress on addressing climate change. No mention of the looming water crises across the West, including the depletion of the priceless Ogallala Aquifer. And a Bushian speech on oil that was fully deserving of the merciless takedown it received from Jim Kunstler:
Blame Steven Chu, then, because when it comes to America's energy predicament, the president has been woefully misinformed. Mr. Obama pawned off a roster of notions and proposals already product-tested in the public meme-o-sphere. Almost everyone of these ideas is inconsistent with reality, based on faulty premises, or represents some kind of magical thinking. What they have in common is that they're ideas the public wants to hear, whether they are truthful or not, because we don't want to change the way we live.
So much for science. Politics is equally lacking. The president wasted a year on health-care "reform" that produced a windfall for insurance companies and extremist politicians, is incomprehensible to most Americans, and we still can't insure every citizen or control the runaway costs of profit-driven medicine. His stimulus was too small and too wasted on tax cuts. Indeed, at nearly every turn he has been co-opted by the assumptions of the corporatist/reactionary opposition. Thus, taxes must always be cut, never raised. Being steamrolled to preserve the Bush tax cuts, which are not only shameful but don't produce jobs or productive investment, is just the start. Now he's trying to restrain the GOP, but he doesn't dispute its central premise: That the deficit is the biggest issue facing the country and it must be addressed by draconian budget cuts. In the richest country the world has ever known, we must be firing teachers, police officers and firefighters, closing parks and libraries, and failing to invest in critical infrastructure, research and universities? To give more tax cuts to the rich in the great redistribution of wealth upward? To further coddle anti-American corporations that pay little if any taxes already, even as they use up the commons? Bullshit! Where is the leader who will call it that, and speak the truth to the American people, fight for us.
Often, he's not even around, as if the shattering of the social compact and the implementation of right-wing policies that have either been shown to be toxic or are completely theoritical and risky — as if fighting these battles is somehow beneath his dignity. Rep. Paul Ryan has put out a budget that would roll back the Great Society, including Medicare, to respectful treatment from the mainstream media. Where is the president? This is only the first step in repealing the New Deal, reneging on Social Security and reprising the Gilded Age. These Republicans shame the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. Robert Taft, "Mr. Conservative," would be shocked. Today's corporatist/white-right GOP has rarely even seen a poor person, much less walked in his shoes. The theocrats among them justify their cruel policies by invoking Jesus, "The poor you will always have with you..." As usual, it's out of context, for Jesus was trying to make the disciples understand that he would not always be with them in the flesh — and his ministry was heavily focused on the poor. Indeed, the book of Acts tells us of Christians living pretty much as communists.
So, four more years of this? And afterwards, likely a Republican president who will make George W. Bush look like a moderate. Here, I am with Lenin: The worse, the better. The old white-right already has their Social Security and Medicare ("keep your government hands off"). They have no qualms about sticking it to the Baby Boomers and younger. They are terrified of the changing demographics of the country outside of Utah. But there's no guarantee that the growing numbers of minorities will vote Democratic, or vote at all. The 50-plus-one Rove doctrine can rule for a long, long time, particularly with a subservient, ideologically driven Supreme Court and compromised corporate media. Obama has broken nearly every campaign promise. Forsaking "the fierce urgency of now," he seems content to mediate the Republican future: The rule of the strong . The rule of the jungle. What's worse is that the Democrats have failed to show how progressive governance, or even the governance of an Eisenhower or even Nixon, could work. Too many have abrogated the role as protector of the middle class and the poor. Too many have betrayed the public trust. So they deserve years in the wilderness, if not to go the way of the Whigs.
Four more years? No.