You there, on the left...
You look like you could use a stiff shot of reality. Adolph Reed serves it up over at Black Agenda Report. And it isn't pretty.
The point is that we need to approach this presidential election stuff, and not just this time around, with no illusions about the trade-offs involved and recognize that it's not even as simple a matter as Obama being better than McCain in the here-and-now on a select menu of issues. I could understand the impulse to rally the troops to produce the outcome that's better on immediate tactical grounds, if we had some troops to rally. If we had such a base, it might even make sense to consider an organized boycott of the election, which may be the only way to keep from being treated like a 2 am booty-call for triangulating Dems.Professor Reed's unvarnished examination of Obamaism and the state of party politics in the US should be mandatory reading for anyone "left." As usual, his analysis is relentless and dead on.
Excellent points made by mozella in comments to this piece at Black Agenda Report:
Correct me if I'm wrong
written by mozella , July 16, 2008
It seems to me that the biggest problem we face today is the myth of the two-party system.
As long as we all pretend that there is any difference whatsoever between the major political parties in this country, we will continue to be vulnerable to manipulation by those global corporate entities who are really in charge.
A wet-behind-the-ears, newly elected junior senator does not have the wherewithall to mount a successful, dragon-slaying campaign without some powerful mojo from outside interests.
Nearly one hundred million dollars on hand before he was barely introduced to the millions of small donors who supposedly funded his campaign?
A manipulative, Rovian primary strategy that gamed the process in a style mastered in a ridiculously short political career, one spent almost entirely running for office and winning not on merit, but on technicality?
This is not the campaign of a committed politician, this is a carefully orchestrated puppet show.
The man behind the podium is a self-admitted blank screen, a chameleon, a shape-shifter.
To black Americans, he is redemption, validation, the culmination of the struggle, fulfillment of the dream.
For white Americans he is vindication, exoneration, absolution.
To young America he is hope, the promise of the future, the sign of the times, the prospect of things to come.
He's a liberal, he's a conservative, he's a hawk, he's anti-war, he's progressive, he's right-wing, he's black, he's white.
You name it, he is it.
What could be better?
Yet that is who he is only because that is who he is scripted to be.
In reality he is none of those things.
He's a two-bit political hack who can't seem to form a coherent sentence without a TelePrompter, let alone formulate or even explain a comprehensive, complex position on any government policy.
He simply looks the part for which he was cast.
In the minds of the string pullers he's the preferred winner, his opponent an equally scripted and cast, acceptable alternative.
What's so sad for black people is that to be so emotionally invested in what amounts to little more than an elaborately produced made-for-tv-movie is a sure-fire prescription for heartbreak.
The tragedy of buying the hype is there is no return policy, no money back guarantee, no recourse whatsoever.
What happens after the heartbreak is what worries many of us older folks, can our people endure such large-scale disillusionment?
Because the bottom line is whether he succeeds or fails those who look to him to be the reality of a common destiny realized are bound to be devastated when they realize it ain't about you.
And it never was.