Obama 1

So we’ve got a Black President coming up next month. Wow. American Negroes have come a long way, fortunately.

I ignored political news for years, and now Barack Obama’s election has me monitoring the chatter online. Of course, it’s mostly blah-blah—commentary and guesswork. It’s news when anybody in media thinks of something new to say or, more often, thinks of a way to say the same old thing slightly differently. They fill the space-time with whatever they think will get our attention—movement, bright colors, and babes.

Obama’s popularity in my kitchen slipped recently when he started picking the Clinton gang and other conventional suits to work for him. It seems a counterintuitive way to achieve change. Those polled are hopeful that he’ll find somebody who actually thinks differently soon and have adopted a wait-and-see posture.

I don’t think Obama is the messiah, though he and Jesus of Nazareth are similar in that everything we think either of them ever said is chewed on endlessly and savored for meaning and intent and implication, the essence of blah-blah. That’s where the similarity ends. Jesus was a radical. Obama is not.

Obama’s election, among any number of other readings, is an indication of his non-threatening acceptability to the power elite. He also seems like a smart guy and a decent, thoughtful human being. He’s cool, too, and he may even be kind. Still, Obama and McCain were in the debates because they could be relied on to stick to the glossary and not make any unfortunate suggestions. They would talk about the usual subjects in conventional terms, based on the patriotic premises that more is better and war is necessary. No problem.

They could talk about tweaking something and even talk about redistributing some of the money, but no-drama Obama and the other guy would not be bringing up no wild-eyed shadow-government conspiracy shit or “let Wall Street go to hell” or “get out of Iraq by the equinox” or “the drug war is over” or “no government secrecy” or “Israel’s full of it” or any other hint of radical thought. Nothing like that. Progressivism is too far out to be taken seriously, so we’re stuck at liberalism, for which I’m grateful. He gets points for taking a train to the inauguration, because that’s cool.

I don’t expect Barack Obama to kill the Federal Reserve system or the CIA or to slash military spending or even revoke any corporate charters, but I think we’ve got a shot at universal health care and maybe sooner or later a Department of Peace or at least an innovative appointment or two. A constitutional convention would clear up a lot of things, but the thought of rethinking everything from the ground up scares some people and my guess is that’s the last thing Obama wants to do. That’s my blah-blah.

I’m glad Obama got over like a big dog. In your face. I like that, and yet I can’t quite get with the way some people get all dreamy-eyed and defensive about somebody they’ve never met. Get a grip. He’s still a Chicago politician.
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Posted Thursday, December 18th, 2008 under Chicago, liberal, Obama, politics, progressive, Uncategorized, Wall Street.

One comment so far

  1. Oliver Steinberg says:

    I am less than thrilled with the first “omens” and “portents” which Pres. Obama’s appointments are providing. Still, the reason I would say “wait and see” is because this man won the presidential race with an approach and a strategy which I felt sure would not succeed. Maybe it would not have succeeded, either, if the economy had not collapsed or if McCain had not picked Palin for V-P.

    But those “lucky breaks” DID go in Mr. Obama’s favor. His whole career so far has been unprecedentedly “lucky.”

    So much so, that when I was canvassing door-to-door to turn out votes on Election Day, and I was told by a young man that he wouldn’t vote for Obama because of the chance that Obama might be “the anti-Christ,” I didn’t know of any way to disprove it. How else could he be so lucky, after all?

    The new president knows how to speak in complete sentences. He seems to be smart enough to look a few moves ahead. In his position, and following his own cautious disposition, and operating intentionally in open imitation of Abraham Lincoln, the LAST thing we should expect is any real change.

    My guess is that he will try to play a Clintonian policy of administration, while concentrating on one key political goal–a workable reform of the health care system which must be in place if he is to win re-election (that last objective being always any politician’s highest strategic aim.)

    There ought to be some symbolic steps away from Bush/Cheney’s more counter-productive activities. I hope there will be!

    Like Lincoln, it will probably turn out that events will overturn any plan or strategy which Mr. Obama brings into the White House.

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