How does Obama break the iron unity of the GOP opposition to assemble a governing majority in the US Congress? ...
Obama acts entirely within the tradition of mainstream African American political strategy and tactics. The epitome of that tradition was the non-violence of the Civil Rights Movement, but goes back much further in time. It recognizes the inequality of power between whites and blacks. Number one: maintain your dignity. Number two: call your adversaries to the highest principles they hold. Number three: Seize the moral high ground and Number four: Win by winning over your adversaries, by revealing the contradiction between their own ideals and their actions. It is one way that a oppressed people struggle.
Honestly, I have been reminded more than once in the last few months of those brave college students sitting in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter, back in the day. Obama sits at that table, like they did at the counter. Boehner and McConnell and Cantor clown around, mugging for the camera, competing to ritually humiliate Obama, to dump ketchup on his head.
I don’t think those students got their sandwiches the first day, but they won in the end.
If white progressives understood much about the politics of the African American struggle in the United States, we would see Obama in the context of that struggle and understand him better. And you don’t have to be African American to know something about the history of the African American struggle. The books and the testimony is there. It’s not all freedom songs. But you have to be convinced that it is something that can teach you something you don’t already know.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
The Second Coming of George W. Bush
I'll be shocked if Texas Governor Rick Perry is not the next Republican nominee for President. He's W. without having been born with a silver spoon. In fact, he used to be a Democrat. But now he's a hard-right Christianist anti-tax, crony capitalist ideologue with Reagan's hair but youth and Texas. The question is whether the U.S.A. electorate is ready to make the same disastrous mistake they made just 12 and 8 years ago with another hard-right Christianist anti-tax, crony capitalist ideologue, also a low-grade achiever at college, also with a killer political instinct, also chronically underestimated but great at winning elections.
It chills me to say this, because so many of my friends on the Left are cynical about President Barack Obama. At least it's not about corruption, but they're pissed that he's not acting more pissed, that he's not winning the tax battle and budget battle, which means the jobs battle -- since GOPconomics are proven to be disastrous in actual practice...hence the collapse of the system just in time for Obama to get elected on a high tide of idealism.
So I wish they'd consider this trenchant analysis of Obama operating in the context of the ongoing Civil Rights struggle by an Andrew Sullivan reader:
The Help is seeming timely, middlebrow as it might be, popularizing the Civil Rights reading of our recent and ongoing history.
If Perry wins the nomination and Romney accepts having been swooped on, joins as VP, it unites the GOP. It could be Pawlenty as Veep, quitting the race the day after he comes in third in the Ames Iowa Straw Poll, the day after Perry enters, never has to face him in a debate and embarrass himself further. I don't know if Mitt could accept the demotion -- maybe run Treasury? -- so my money is on Perry/Pawlenty vs. Obama/Biden.
It'll be much more racially charged than against Romney and even McCain, because it'll be a Perry, Texan, Tea Party/Bircher Party. Secessionist Party -- that's the whole Confederacy right there. Then the straight shot up from TX to ND, the Western Conservative reliables Utah, ID, AZ, etc. So if they can pick off FL, NC, even PA...
Every voter from Dwight Eisenhower all the way to the Left of Cornell West should be thinking hard about slagging on our current President, when they consider the relentless sales job that's coming like a storm:
Compelling stuff. Wonder if the truth with be able to get out, if it'll get beaten down, or if everyone will know:
And that's not the worst of it. A rising tide of evangelical voters as tool of the oligarchy. Being sold by a folksy swaggernaut from Texas who likes executions.