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Sunday, November 23, 2008

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LOL! I thought the exact same thing!! After initially feeing relieved that L. Summers was not the choice , (I knew next to nothing about Geithner)I heard, and saw, Wall St's reaction. People were saying "Wall St went up because of Obama's choice!!". I was saying, "Well, then it is probably BAD for the "rest of us". I looked him up...

Sh**..and Summers is head of the Natl Economic Council..

Some people from NYC have pointed out some further things about Hillary to me that I was unaware of. She actually does seem to be worse than many other choices Obama could have made. I stil say , what did people expect, but...this is shaping up alot worse than , even, I had, expected..

But, I really did not think he would choose anyone I would really care for...

What do we have a "right" to expect from PE Obama? According to the press (NOW! NOt before the election!) , he never promised a damn progressive idea...(thanks for the link "our agenda").Well, many bloggers comments prove otherwise. There wil be hell to pay, but, if the level of rationalization is any indicaton, it wil not be paid by Obama.

I hope you don't mind my repeating a comment I made to a Glenn Greenwald column at Salon today; a brief addendum follows:
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Of course, I didn't vote for Obama, and in the run-up to the Erection continually struggled with an abiding intuitive repulsion for him.

I wanted to sip the half-full cup and savor the astringent virtues of a shiny new President Of Color washing away the monstrous criminal corruption that had transmogrified the White House into the Augean stables, and rehabilitating the reputation of Amerika to an appropriately outraged and disgusted world.

But my Crap Detectors kept tripping like a gag reflex, even though I tried to shut them off by manual override.

I'll risk what intellectual cred I have by offering an opinion out of an imaginary book called "Everything I Need to Know About Politics I Learned from 'Star Trek'". (FWIW, I believe that one of the reasons "Star Trek" endured in popular culture is because the main characters, however broadly and melodramatically written, connected with its audience on a profound and enduring level-- the hallmark of a "classic".)

So: unlike those who fooled themselves into projecting progressive values onto Obama, an illusion that was partly encouraged by the style of his campaign (see previous cross-post) I saw-- or felt-- all along that Obama is a Vulcan.

I'm not referring to the sobriquet "The Vulcans" used to refer to President Unitard's 2000 foreign policy advisory team. I'm using it here as a deliberate caricature of homo technocratus, the 21st-Century archetype of the politician as Professional Expert Political Business Manager.

I accept that I am in the minority of those who are anything but cheered by the prospect of a Really Good Program Manager in charge. I guess that makes me the perpetually exasperated, fulminating Dr. "Bones" McCoy, delivering lines like, "Damn your logic and observation, Spock! There are six hundred and twelve human beings on that planet!"

Ironically, contrary to "real life", I tend to root for the level-headed Spock in such encounters. But, like Spock in times of crisis, I see Obama, true to the technocratic ethos, so bloodlessly analyzing and calculating options that he is effectively amoral.

To give one example before ceasing this ramble, I believe that for all of his background as a constitutional scholar, Obama disdains or eschews politically troublesome questions of social justice, e.g. rigorously investigating and prosecuting the maladministration's departing criminals and monsters, because such pursuits require political risk and use of resources that is... illogical.

I remain captivated by "losers" like Ralph Nader (despite his Vulcanesque persona, which belies his obsolescent belief in principle and traditional American political values) and Cindy Sheehan because I perceive them as human politicians rather than specimens of the new super-race of hyper-ambitious Expert Professional Alpha Controllers. In fact, I see the ascension of homo technocratus as a triumph of the Corporate State; it's no accident that the technocratic elite on the corporate/business and para-corporate federal political institutions so readily make common cause at the expense of We the People.

Can fifty million Frenchmen be wrong? Am I remiss in failing to acknowledge the positive signs of so many ordinary citizens, and especially persons of color, feeling triumphant and vindicated at Obama's accession to the Oval Office Throne? Maybe. It's something with which I struggle.

But I also think that, expert that he is, Obama seized the masses when they really had no one else to support, and sold himself as a man of the people as deftly as Spock renders persons unconscious with the Vulcan neck-pinch.
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Afterwards, I felt embarrassed that I laid an egg-- that my long-winded screed was a goofy nostalgic plea from a 53 year old adolescent distrustful of the zeitgeist unequivocally extolling "pragmatism" and "competence" as virtues, and wishing that Earthlings would rescue government from Vulcan technocrats. Such idiosyncratic cri de coeurs don't exactly advance the discussion, I suppose.

I don't know why I feel compelled to chime in on blogs frequented by "inside-politics", pragmatism aficionados, a perspective to which I simply cannot adjust, or credit-- at times in such crowds I feel like, say, Homer Simpson blundering into a group of automotive engineers speaking sagely of kinematics, thermodynamics, mathematical models, etc. and blurting out, "What about a supersized beverage holder, and a car that doesn't feel like it's pulling to the right all the time?"

Hey, Little Btother, dont be so hard on yourself..I have spent alot of time in some of those blogs. It is mostly smoke and mirrors....

AS a "Licensed Clinical Social Worker",(la-de-frickin'-da---you stay broke all the time) I can tell you--most people are not "wrapped nearly as tight" as they would like us to believe..

My dad was a pHD in Human Engineering. He always seemed like the smartest man alive to me. He was ASKED to join MENSA, when I was young--you know, the "high IQ club". He went, out of curiosity. When he got home, I was eager to hear of the "smart people". He said, "It was dumb. All they did was sit around and talk about how smart they are".

My family is full of PhDs (no, not me!). But , my dad and sister used to sit around and tell PhD jokes--that is where I got them!

My dad was the expert witness in the Ford Pinto case, but hardly anyone knew it. Most people who are really intelliigent and accomplished, dont talk about it all the time, and feel no need to wax poetic about themselves, like i have seen on some sites. If they were secure, they wouldnt be such a mutual admiration society.Why do you think that they cant stand to hear anyone disagree with them? Because, somewhere inside, they know that they are full of it--not necessarily intentionally. But they are.They believe what they want.

My dad said another thing, "If you cant impress them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit".

That is what alot of them do...I liked your post!!

Uto--youre not a PhD are you? Just kidding....

Little Brother: Thanks for re-posting that. I had a similar reaction to Obama, which I wrote up recently here.

As far as chiming in at places like Salon, I occasionally do the turd-in-the-punchbowl routine myself. But I think it's worthwhile; I'm often surprised how many people end up agreeing with me. I think there's a lot of pent up dissent out there, and a lot of people thinking that nobody else feels the disquiet they do, and when they see someone saying otherwise it makes them feel freer to do it themselves. So I think it's to your credit that you're willing to spend time on that.

KDelphi: Yeah, I'd never heard of Geithner, but "Wall St. Cheers" told me everything I needed to know.

wishing that Earthlings would rescue government from Vulcan technocrats

I, for one, would happily welcome our new Vulcan overlords if they'd come and take the place over. It's pretty clear we have no ability to run this operation ourselves.

Today's Times has an article reassuring us that, although Obama has packed his cabinet full of Rubinites (Rubinists? Rubinians?) they won't be following Rubin's favored policies of balanced budgets, "free trade" and deregulation. It seems the times are different than in '92, so massive deficits and re-regulation are now all the rage. I'm willing to bet they'll achieve the massive deficits, but re-regulation, not so much.

And Obama's going to let the Bush tax cuts die a natural death -- in 2011. Seems like 2011 is the year we've been waiting for: higher taxes on the rich, all of our troops out of Iraq, why, it will be a virtual progressive paradise, I tell you!

And why don't right wingers have to wait three years after the election to see their agenda enacted?

This is from Salon:

But so far, the Obama administration is shaping up to be more or less exactly what Obama always said he was, in between the "hope" and "change" rhetoric: pragmatic, consensus-oriented and interested in getting things done.

The same article quotes Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future:

"Many of the appointments strike me as terrific, in the sense of serious people who will try to get things done."

See, the most important thing for us to recognize is that there are certain (unspecified) "things", and these "things" must be "done." So quit your whining and get out of the way. We've got thing-doing goin' on here!

Sure, the sticklers might note that Bush certainly "got things done", and that it might therefore behoove us to pay attention to which things are done, and not merely be satified that some things are done, but who listens to them, anyway? Now shut up and jump into that forklift so you can load those bales of shrink-wrapped Benjamins into that truck with the CitiBank logo on the side.

LOL! You guys are killing me! Maybe Scientiology is true, and Tom Cruise will save us?? Like in "Talladegga Nights"? "Help me god! Help me Tom Cruise!"

Center for Am Progress, Campaign for Ams. Future, Prog. Dems of Am.--great. These are mostly ust neo-liberal version of theroject for the New Am Century...

Seems like 2011 is the year we've been waiting for: higher taxes on the rich, all of our troops out of Iraq, why, it will be a virtual progressive paradise, I tell you!

I'm sure it's only a coincidence that Paradise will arrive just in time for the 2012 campaign!

And all of this heightened infatuation from Obama supporters and self-identified progressives for "pragmatism" and "serious people getting things done" is, IMO, a pathetic indicator of how clueless opponents of the moribund criminal maladministration remain. Far too many people bought into the idea that the people in charge for the past eight years were stupid, hapless, incompetent boobs who couldn't find their collective butt with both hands-- they made a mess of everything!

That's true enough, but what these shallow observers can't or won't see is that proponents of the Hollow State work to make government fail. They set out to undermine and sabotage the process of government, and especially social and support services benefitting ordinary citizens, the better to achieve Grover Norquist's ideal of shrinking government down to a size small enough to drown in a bathtub.

So all of a sudden we have this confused adulation for "pragmatism" (good) versus "ideology" (bad). This is just as wrong-headed and simpleminded as concepts like "government bad-capitalism good". Sigh.

proponents of the Hollow State work to make government fail.

That's true, but I'm still trying to figure out why they wanted to make the Iraqi government fail. Were they trying to discredit imperialism? If so, mission accomplished!

SteveB: ...it might therefore behoove us to pay attention to which things are done, and not merely be satisfied that some things are done...

Absolutely. That's part of why I find it amusing when people cite a third party candidate's lack of experience as a reason not to vote for them—as though the experience that someone like Obama or Kerry has gained in servicing corporate needs, selling out the public interest, wholeheartedly adopting US exceptionalism, etc, etc is something we need more of. Their experience makes them amply qualified to continue doing what they've been doing for years (which is what got us here in the first place), but not to do the things that the majority of the population would actually like to see done.

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