'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, October 04, 2010

Political Science Fiction 

An on the scene report about the One Nation rally yesterday from Louis Proyect:

To start with, I have to confess that I didn’t attend the entire rally. At around 2:30 I decided that I had heard enough blather for one day and took off. As might have been expected, the speakers were handpicked in order to satisfy the main organizer’s One Nation theme, which has largely left them helpless before the unrelenting bared fangs approach of the Republican Party.

Yes, yes, yes, believe it or not, American unions and civil rights organizations spent substantial resources upon a rally for jobs, justice and education for all that did not place responsibility upon the Obama admininstration and the Democratic Congress for the failure to take meaningful action in these areas. In effect, the event was a form of political science fiction that served the purpose of diverting public attention from the failure of the Democratic Party to assist anyone other than capital interests by scapegoating the Republicans. It was one of the most cynical, most dishonest political events in recent memory.

On Democracy Now! this morning, Amy Goodman aired three of the speeches at the event for her audience, speeches by Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children's Defense Fund, Colin Whited, a student at Gallaudet Universty and Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. They were worse than worthless, they were deliberate obfuscations of why so many are demoralized in a social system that treats them as disposable. To encourage people to put their time and energy into participating in an event like this is contemptible, and can only result in further alienating them from activism and the political process.

In January 2009, Barack Obama took office with the largest Democratic majorities in the Congress since LBJ. The Democratic Party had the opportunity, through elimination of the filibuster and use of the reconciliation process, to implement the most progressive agenda since the Great Society. Instead, it relied upon Republicans, moderate Democrats and their covert allies, the Tea Party movement, to implement corporate friendly policies reminiscent of Reagan, with plans already in place to cut Social Security and Medicare after the election. Meanwhile, Obama has intensified the war in Afghanistan and expanded the conflict into Pakistan. Outside the rally, the reality based community is well aware, which may partially explain why attendance was spotty.

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