SOAPBOX LISTENER REFLECTIONS FROM JEFF AND KAREN HAY
TWELVE STEP PROGRAM FOR THE TRIANGULATED
JEFF AND KAREN HAY
As with all 12 Step Programs aimed at releasing the hopelessly addicted and delusional the first step is ending denial.
In the case of being triangulated by Slick Willy Clinton in the '90's, Al Gore in 2000, and Barack Obama is 2008 the principle of triangulation has remained the same - those who call themselves liberals and progressives have nowhere to go and no one to vote for other than the Democratic candidate no matter how far to the right the candidate moves.
Those being triangulated protect themselves from despair and disillusionment by excuse making, apologetics, and denial. So when Presidential Candidate U.S. Senator Barack Obama said that he would filibuster any attempt to give the Telecoms retroactive immunity (by which he apparently meant he would silently filibuster to himself) and shortly thereafter not only did he not filibuster he voted for retroactive immunity, liberals and progressives made excuses.
After he was elected and threw the Union Card Check under the bus faster than you could say, "Reverend Wright;" liberals and progressives made excuses.
When President Obama escalated the unmanned drone attacks on Pakistan (Af-Pak became the cutesy brand name) and the accompanying slaughter of innocent human beings accelerated, liberals and progressives made excuses.
When he ramped up Bush's bailout for banksters and teamed up with Summers, Geithner and the rest of the Goldman Sachs' minions, when he gave the robo finger to those being foreclosed upon by his bankster campaign sponsors, when he showed that there were trillions of dollars available instantly for his Wall Street campaign buddies, when he threw Van Jones under the bus (after the trillions to Wall Street there was no money for Green jobs anyway), when he didn't close Guantanamo, continued kidnapping (extraordinary rendition) to countries that torture -thereby continuing the torture, when he took prosecution of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and every other war criminal from the Bush regime off the table, when he won the Nobel Peace Prize and celebrated by escalating the Afghanistan war and rebranding the Iraq war and moving on to more war in Yemen and Somalia and Libya, when he threw Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Protection Agency under the bus, when he let BP run the Gulf oil disaster cover-up (a.k.a. clean up), when he scuttled the Copenhagen climate talks, when he made it perfectly clear that his policy towards the Palestinians would be at least as bad as Bush's, when he pushed for more government subsidized nuclear power plants before Fukushima had even finished blowing up, when he okay'd new deep water oil wells in the Gulf, when entirely unprompted and unpressured by Republicans the POTUS set up his "Deficit Commission" whose task it was and is to rationalize cuts to Social Security and Medicare (if not to fulfill Clinton's wet dream of privatizing Social Security), when with his Republican buddies he held the nation hostage over his phony deadline to default, when he decided he had the power to command extrajudicial assassinations of American citizens, when he continued the Patriot Act, when he decided those unlawfully detained in Guantanamo can be unlawfully kept there forever, when he pronounced Bradley Manning, who he is torturing, guilty without a trial, when he came up with his "health care" plan of, by and for the benefit of his Insurance corporation and Pharmaceutical corporation campaign financiers - simultaneously throwing Quentin Young (Obama's one time personal physician) and all single payer advocates under the bus, when he had Michelle plant a tiny organic garden at the White House while putting Monsanto genetic engineering promoters in every position of power related to US Agriculture, when he deported more human beings than even Bush, when he prosecuted more whistle blowers than even Bush, and while he continues and escalates Bush's saber rattling and war mongering and contempt for all things Constitutional - the liberals and progressives who have been blatantly triangulated continue to believe rather than facing their illusions, hitting bottom and breaking free of denial--and of course will end up voting again for him despite vociferous righteous indignation over the same offenses committed by George W. Bush - as he "is still better than Michele Bachman, Rick Perry or Mitt Romney".
P.S. Lest we forget when Obama "nationalized the auto industry" he didn't use the opportunity to create a new mission for the industry making high speed trains (a job which he off-shored to Spain - contracting out billions of dollars of high speed trains that could have been built here) Obama used the opportunity to demand cuts from Labor. And speaking of Labor he also made damn sure the protestors in Wisconsin did not get any support from the Democratic Party hierarchy - a clear signal to Jerry Brown in California and Andrew Cuomo in New York to follow the same "austerity" measures so beloved by Scott Walker in Wisconsin.
P.S.S. Obama did, in all fairness, create or extend Bush's jobs program for people of color within the prison industrial complex.
Phyllis Benis often refers to Barack Obama as a "different type of President" (this especially concerning foreign policy - aka war). Barbara Lee and Barbara Ehrenreich proudly call him "calm", "thoughtfully deliberating" and of course he is - which a judge in a court of law could tell you differentiates him from his hot tempered reactionary predecessor who could be found not guilty by reason of insanity while Barack would have to be found to be a cold blooded premeditated murderer. Who knew when Barack said he wanted to "change the mindset that leads to war" that he meant he would blow their brains out.
So let's all remember that having the insipid criteria of "anybody but Bush" can lead us to have someone better, or in this case, someone worse.
Jeff and Karen Hays have been in Santa Cruz, Ca for the past few years and are trying to connect with the type of community building that Revolutionary Communities have been covering lately. Jeff and Karen became aware of Cindy and Casey Sheehan back when Casey's mom camped out in Crawford. They saw Cindy's courage galvanize the anti-war movement and then sadly watched as many within it distanced themselves from her (and people like the Hays) who felt that Democrats and Republicans and everyone else should be held to the same standard as Bush was held to.
Prior to 2004, the Hays were in New Zealand for five years and had a front row seat to see how neo-liberal economics and its accompanying "structural adjustment" destroys the many for the benefit of the few. Jeff and Karen fought against it there and being US citizens decided to come back to the belly of the beast and fight it here. It's crazy to watch the same movie play out here (i.e. "austerity") that brought such disparity to New Zealand.