Thursday, April 17, 2008

All Hail Obama


Robert Koehler, Huffpo: The Done Deal

If politics is the art of saying nothing, then Barack Obama is sure blowing it, isn't he?

His latest "gaffe," to proclaim at a private fundraiser in San Francisco (of all places) that small-town Americans are bitter and cling to guns and God in lieu of financial security -- these words purveyed to the American public by way of a scratchy, Osama-quality recording -- triggered such heartfelt hypocrisy from his opponents.

"It is hard to imagine," said John McCain, "someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."

I almost agree with this. Obama is definitely out of touch with something. However, it isn't "average Americans" -- who, it turns out, really are bitter in large numbers -- so much as what I would call "the tacit covenant of presidential politics."

Serious presidential candidates aren't supposed to go there, see. That's what makes them "serious" -- their understanding that American politics is settled, a done deal. The deal is this: While real Republicans can drift, unchecked, to the dark side of empire and neofascism, Democrats are supposed to campaign and govern as moderate, "responsible" Republicans.

We live, in other words, in a corporate state, the basic terms of which are no longer open to debate. The "class struggle" is over. What about this do you not understand, Candidate Obama?

All hail the (invisible) corporate state and its sacred fetishes: God, guns, flag.
All hail the cliche that is America, with its hard-working little people who get the job done. All hail the McWorkers of the new economy, who roll up their sleeves and vote for one smiling liar or another on their way to their second job. All hail the dearth of health care, the children left behind, the endless billions for war and most of all the fact that these matters are not -- I repeat, NOT -- open for discussion in this presidential election year or, God willing, the next one or the next.

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