Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The New Center

Once upon a time the system of government we lived under was called a liberal democracy. Liberal democracy. Both words ring hollow these days, since our government has been bought and/or seized by the military industrial complex and other corporate entities. Can anyone remember when the last real liberal legislation was passed in Washington DC? You might have to go back to the 60’s to find it.

There may have been a few environmental measures passed in the 70’s, but there is nothing really liberal about conservation, is there? Oh, that’s right, conservatism hates conservation. It’s too much like that dirty word, environmentalism. And environmentalism is the enemy of conservative corporate interests; at least the short term interests. After all, short term bottom line profits are their primary interests.

Remember when the rule used to be that the pendulum would always swing back and forth between the left and the right? Anyone paying attention now would see that the pendulum swings to the far right and back to the moderate right. It does not go to the left anymore.

I can’t see it even going to the center. It’s broken. Democracy is broken. Every branch of the US government is now beholden to the Big Money corporate interests.

Congress is bought and paid for by Big Money.

The White House is in service to Big Money.

The Judiciary is now voicing the final word for Big Money.

And did I mention that Big Money is not liberal?

Politically speaking, the left is out of the picture in US politics. But where is the center?

This is the question that came to me when I was reading the New York Times today. I was in luck. I read a couple articles that cleared that up for me.

The first article was about Obama’s flip on the FISA bill. He has decided that Fourth Amendment protection does not apply to communications between an American at home and someone outside the US. He also believes that telecom corporations deserve immunity for their actions that violate those protections.

I learned that these Constitutional rights are no longer of interest to the right wing. The Fourth Amendment is now a leftist liberal concept.

Here is what I read in the “liberal” New York Times today.

Senator Barack Obama’s decision to support legislation granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants has led to an intense backlash among some of his most ardent supporters…. They are calling on Mr. Obama to reverse his decision to endorse legislation supported by President Bush to expand the government’s domestic spying powers while also providing legal protection to the telecommunication companies that worked with the National Security Agency’s domestic wiretapping program after the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Wiretapping without warrants” is illegal, you know. Well, it WAS illegal under the Constitution. But that was back when the Bill of Rights was not some wacko liberal document.

Now we learn that those quaint notions are leftist ideology.

Several activists and bloggers predicted that Mr. Obama’s move toward the center on some issues could sharply reduce the intensity of support he has enjoyed from liberal activists.

See. Now the Fourth Amendment is not even at the center anymore. The center now allows the president to tell Big Money telecoms to violate the Fourth Amendment, to spy on Americans without a warrant.

And that’s not all. Another New York Times article today explains the center even further to me. The center is now all about faith based government programs. Yup. Obama has now embraced the centrist idea of giving tax dollars to religious organizations.

Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday that if elected president he would expand the delivery of social services through churches and other religious organizations, vowing to achieve a goal he said President Bush had fallen short on during his two terms.

“The challenges we face today — from saving our planet to ending poverty — are simply too big for government to solve alone,” Mr. Obama said outside a community center here. “We need an all-hands-on-deck approach”.

Here is how Obama explains how our tax dollars go to the centrist churches.

“If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them — or against the people you hire — on the basis of their religion,” Mr. Obama said. “Federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples and mosques can only be used on secular programs.”

Well, there you go. Churches would never preach their views to the poor desperate souls seeking aid, would they?

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming!
Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of "Spiritus Mundi"
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

-- William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming"


Anonymous said...

My hopes in Obama are dwindling with each passing day. His pandering is evidence of 'politics as usual'. He has 'audacity' all right, unfortunately, it's not 'of hope'.

Have a good 4th, Dave.

jmsjoin said...

Glad I stopped in to wish you a happy 4th of July! We are not a Democracy as you expertly point out! This Government today goes to the highest bidder and this is no Democracy merely a facade!

Distributorcap said...

what govt? you mean the one that says one thing to get elected and does another thing to get their pocket lined

that one works well

i have to admit, obama has disappointed me very fast.... faster than i thought

Anonymous said...

I gave you kudos and a link for your 'Pearls of Wisdom' in my post today.:)

two crows said...

Mary Ellen of Divine Democrat is vindicated. Too bad she's not around to see it. She predicted that Obama would do exactly what he's doing. Said so over and over. And, she being from Illinois, I figured she knew what she was talking about.

But, now, Mary Ellen has hung up her veil and the rest of us are on our own.
Meanwhile, check out the Roman Empire to see the fate of republics that degenerate into dictatorships.
I'll bet it doesn't take US 500 years, as it did them, to collapse from within.

Anonymous said...

History shows that empires and imperialism are not sustainable. The Greek, Roman, Ottoman, and British Empires are but a few. The same can be said of fascist regimes. The neo-cons are trying a hybrid of the two, but will end up suffering the same fate.

America's woes have only just begun.

Dave Dubya said...

Nobody gets the key to the White House without proving they are an obedient company man.

Soon the Senate will be similarly "cleansed".

The presidency is only open to a corporatist and/or proto-fascist.

That's why the corporate media always works to destroy the candidacies of people like Edwards and Kucinich.

Mauigirl said...

Great post, sadly true. Once again our choice will not be for someone who is truly representing our beliefs. I had hoped Obama would stick harder to the left but not so far...I know he has to get himself elected but isn't there a happy medium in how far he needs to shift?