Dennis Loo

Sometimes asking for the impossible is the only realistic path

Dennis Loo

Dennis Loo
Location
Los Angeles, California,
Birthday
December 31
Title
Professor of Sociology
Company
Cal Poly Pomona
Bio
Author of Globalization and the Demolition of Society; Co-Editor/Author of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, World Can't Wait Steering Committee Member, co-author of "Crimes Are Crimes, No Matter Who Does Them" statement, dog and fruit tree lover. Published poet. Winner of the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award, Project Censored Award and the Nation Magazine's Most Valuable Campaign Award. Punahou and Harvard Honor Graduate. Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. An archive of close to 500 postings of mine can be found at my blogspot blog, Dennis Loo, link below. I publish regularly at dennisloo.com, worldcantwait.net (link below) and also at OpEd News and sometimes at Counterpunch.

NOVEMBER 8, 2012 10:32AM

What the 2012 Election Was ... and Wasn't

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Most of the commentary about Obama’s re-election and the defeat of some of the most reactionary GOP incumbents and candidates such as Rep. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock has been about how the GOP is demographically and ideologically far too right wing for the majority in the electorate.

And this much is true: the election returns do show a repudiation by the majority of the anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science and global warming, anti-marijuana, anti-union, anti-social safety net, anti-rationalist Republican Party.

The GOP is going to have an internal battle over what direction it’s going to take, with the realists among them (i.e., the ones who can count) saying that the party has to change its anti-immigrant, pro-rape stance if it wants to avoid becoming a fringe party unable to take the White House. I can hardly wait for the bloodletting to occur.

But what the election wasn’t is much more important than delighting in the internecine battles within the Party of Utmost Privilege.

The election isn’t going to lead to Obama halting his plan to privatize and reduce core elements of the New Deal, particularly Medicare and Social Security. It’s not going to lead to any less bellicose a foreign policy or a more civil-liberties-and-due-process friendly president: within hours of being re-elected, Obama celebrated with another drone attack on Yemen.

When it comes to New Deal programs, Obama has made it clear that his plan is to privatize and reduce the benefits of Medicare and Social Security, even if he has made sweeping statements fit for political campaigning that he believes that government should help people and that he stands against the Republicans’ aggressive attacks on the social safety net. Those Obama promises are really posturing for electoral effect by a master politician.

Glenn Greenwald predicted yesterday in the Guardian that this attack on the social safety net will come quite soon under Obama:

[T]he political leader in whose triumph liberals are today ecstatically basking is likely to target their most cherished government policies within a matter of weeks, even days. With their newly minted power, will they have any ability, or even will, to stop him? If history is any indication, this is how this "fight" will proceed:

STEP ONE: Liberals will declare that cutting social security and Medicare benefits – including raising the eligibility age or introducing "means-testing" – are absolutely unacceptable, that they will never support any bill that does so no matter what other provisions it contains, that they will wage war on Democrats if they try.

STEP TWO: As the deal gets negotiated and takes shape, progressive pundits in Washington, with Obama officials persuasively whispering in their ear, will begin to argue that the proposed cuts are really not that bad, that they are modest and acceptable, that they are even necessary to save the programs from greater cuts or even dismantlement.

STEP THREE: Many progressives – ones who are not persuaded that these cuts are less than draconian or defensible on the merits – will nonetheless begin to view them with resignation and acquiescence on pragmatic grounds. Obama has no real choice, they will insist, because he must reach a deal with the crazy, evil GOP to save the economy from crippling harm, and the only way he can do so is by agreeing to entitlement cuts. It is a pragmatic necessity, they will insist, and anyone who refuses to support it is being a purist, unreasonably blind to political realities, recklessly willing to blow up Obama's second term before it even begins.

STEP FOUR: The few liberal holdouts, who continue to vehemently oppose any bill that cuts social security and Medicare, will be isolated and marginalized, excluded from the key meetings where these matters are being negotiated, confined to a few MSNBC appearances where they explain their inconsequential opposition.

STEP FIVE: Once a deal is announced, and everyone from Obama to Harry Reid and the DNC are behind it, any progressives still vocally angry about it and insisting on its defeat will be castigated as ideologues and purists, compared to the Tea Party for their refusal to compromise, and scorned (by compliant progressives) as fringe Far Left malcontents.

STEP SIX: Once the deal is enacted with bipartisan support and Obama signs it in a ceremony, standing in front of his new Treasury Secretary, the supreme corporatist Erskine Bowles, where he touts the virtues of bipartisanship and making "tough choices", any progressives still complaining will be told that it is time to move on. Any who do not will be constantly reminded that there is an Extremely Important Election coming – the 2014 midterm – where it will be Absolutely Vital that Democrats hold onto the Senate and that they take over the House. Any progressive, still infuriated by cuts to social security and Medicare, who still refuses to get meekly in line behind the Party will be told that they are jeopardizing the Party's chances for winning that Vital Election and – as a result of their opposition - are helping Mitch McConnell take over control of the Senate and John Boehner retain control of the House.

On the foreign policy front I’m going to cite another Greenwald article that he wrote on October 23, 2012. In it he highlights what has happened to Democratic Party partisans and more broadly to those who still support the Democrats as a result of Obama’s leadership.

When host Joe Scarborough raised the criticism on his show Scarborough Country on October 23, 2012 that Obama’s drone attacks are killing a lot of innocents, including 4 year old children, guest Joe Klein, Time Magazine’s political columnist, an ardent Obama partisan, defended the drone attacks with these words:

“the bottom line in the end is - whose 4-year-old get killed? What we're doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror."

Whose 4-year-old gets killed? This stunningly naked xenophobic and reactionary statement by Joe Klein topped an earlier comment of his in this same show in which he described the virtue of drone warfare:

KLEIN: It has been remarkably successful" --

SCARBOROUGH: "at killing people" –

KLEIN: "At decimating bad people, taking out a lot of bad people - and saving Americans lives as well, because our troops don't have to do this . . . You don't need pilots any more because you do it with a joystick in California."

This is one of the most prominent political columnists in America speaking, an ardent Democratic supporter: “You don’t need pilots anymore because you do it with a joystick in California.”

This is what Obama has done. When he talks about the American family that sticks together he means that Americans should stick together - 4-year-olds, siblings and their parents, white, black, Latino, Asian, Native Americans - to kill 4-year-olds of other lands, murdered by Americans in sunny California wielding joysticks, raining death from above, aware only that the shadows they see falling under the drone attacks are not 4-year-old Americans. This is the harsh reality of this American president's soaring rhetoric. This is what happens when the Bush policies are not repudiated and electoral answers – i.e., electing Obama – instead of a people’s movement for impeachment movement are chosen.

This is what American leadership, whether Democratic or Republican, means. This is not the triumph of a center-left coalition. This is the sobering and deeply disturbing truth that we dare not ignore.

First published at DennisLoo.com

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Very clever, Dennis, but it does not alter my opinion that means-testing Social Security and (especially) Medicare is the right thing to do. Resources are limited - why should those wealthy who took advantage of the subsidies to high earners, a.k.a. cap on contributions, continue to benefit in perpetuity, when there are so many others who need the past government largess more than they do?
Dennis, there are millions of Amerikans who are ardently waiting for leadership from a cadre of social justice enthusiasts such as yourself to begin a nation wide movement of organizing General Assemblies, venues for democratic populist voices which first surfaced in the inchoate Occupy Movement, so that the unjust oppressive structure of the society can once and for all be overturned. Are you too tired to begin leading the country in the proper direction Professor Loo-loo?...wink
[r] Dennis, well said. I cited Greenwald's astute step-by-step Obama betrayal on my own blog. best, libby
[r] Dennis, well said. I cited Greenwald's astute step-by-step Obama betrayal on my own blog. best, libby
[r] Dennis, well said. I cited Greenwald's astute step-by-step Obama betrayal on my own blog. best, libby
As I said before, Obama's (aka Bob Dole) election is the death of the old Democratic party. Funny to see all the morons hooting and hollering because they see the GOP in trouble without taking a look at their own party.

Anyone taking the positions Obama has over the last 4 years would have been drummed out of the party twenty years ago. Now we celebrate endless war, the stripping of civil rights, benefiting the rich at the expense of the middle class and every other alleged Democratic staple go right down the tubes. It's shocking beyond words. Who are these monsters who applaud this?
Thank you for your good post. (r)

“You don’t need pilots anymore because you do it with a joystick in California.”

This is what Obama has done. When he talks about the American family that sticks together he means that Americans should stick together - 4-year-olds, siblings and their parents, white, black, Latino, Asian, Native Americans - to kill 4-year-olds of other lands, murdered by Americans in sunny California wielding joysticks..
---

I think that it is not because of Obama, it because of people behind him and Obama couldn't stop the even if he wanted. But of course Obama was elected, because he likes joystick killing.

And this technology is soon everywhere. Even small powers like Finland are now making similar weapons.

And nanotechnology will help engineers to make these new weapons small as bees; bees and flies, which you don't anymore recognize as weapons, but which can shoot you with small poison needles?

What could be done to stop engineers of making more and more sophisticated weapons?

I think that besides international negotiations concerning nuclear weapons we really needed international negotiations concerning All weapons.
Thank you for your good post. (r)

“You don’t need pilots anymore because you do it with a joystick in California.”

This is what Obama has done. When he talks about the American family that sticks together he means that Americans should stick together - 4-year-olds, siblings and their parents, white, black, Latino, Asian, Native Americans - to kill 4-year-olds of other lands, murdered by Americans in sunny California wielding joysticks..
---

I think that it is not because of Obama, it because of people behind him and Obama couldn't stop the even if he wanted. But of course Obama was elected, because he likes joystick killing.

And this technology is soon everywhere. Even small powers like Finland are now making similar weapons.

And nanotechnology will help engineers to make these new weapons small as bees; bees and flies, which you don't anymore recognize as weapons, but which can shoot you with small poison needles?

What could be done to stop engineers of making more and more sophisticated weapons?

I think that besides international negotiations concerning nuclear weapons we really needed international negotiations concerning All weapons.
Obama's joystick killings are so inhuman that there maybe should be an international boycott of all goods coming from America. And the whole place should really get isolated from the rest of the world?

I've written a small text about that war of terror earlier.

http://open.salon.com/blog/hannu_virtanen/2009/05/07/the_war_of_terror