Robert Parry from Consortium News VIA Alternet asks whether America has become totally dysfunctional but lays a good part of the blame on the left for not giving Obama and the Democrats a pass.
On the Left, the argument is almost the polar opposite, faulting Obama for applying timid solutions to grave problems (like agreeing to water down his stimulus plan with tax cuts to get a couple of GOP votes). He also is disparaged for bending over backwards to Republicans in the unrealistic hope that they would reciprocate with some measure of bipartisanship. These Left critics say Obama should have used his “bully pulpit” aggressively to fight for his positions, whether his larger stimulus plan or a “public option” in his health-care bill, and he should have held George W. Bush and his aides accountable for war-crimes, from torturing detainees in the “war on terror” to waging aggressive war against Iraq.
Facing this barrage of criticism from all sides, Obama’s shrinking army of defenders points to the unfairness of it all. America’s first black president inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and was burdened with a federal deficit of more than $1 trillion (while Bush started with a robust economy and a budget surplus).
Then goes on to list or rather give some lame excuses for the lack of leadership such as the bogus 60 vote majority, the loss of a couple of senate seats and the intransigence of the republicans. All of which could have been overcome, although with a good deal of effort. Then starts point his finger at the media, the population in general and back at the left again. Even bringing up the class war being waged by the uber-rich and cheered on by the tea party right.
The dysfunction is not simply the Republicans and the Democrats, as some centrist pundits like to pontificate. It is the entirety of the system, including the pundits themselves, the national news media and the think-tank structure. It is the Right’s splurging on what amounts to information warfare and the Left’s skimping when it comes to building a counter-media infrastructure.
It is also a population that is too lazy (or too distracted) to wade through all the half-truths and disinformation to find something approximating the truth on a wide variety of topics. Many Americans either believe falsehoods or are profoundly confused by all the noise.
Another remarkable part of the American dysfunction is that at a time when – as billionaire Warren Buffett says – the rich are winning the class war, the nation’s top “populist” movement is the Tea Party, which is fighting to give the rich more money and to grant their corporations more power.
Tea Party favorites, such as Rep. Michele Bachman, actually favor taxing the working class more (by making everyone pay some income taxes) so the top income tax rates on the rich can be lowered again.
Half truths at best. What he and so many others refuse to accept or even look at are those that are benefiting from the status quo. Those whose life is still good even while the rest of the country is slowly dying a torturous economic death. Those who were the actual beneficiaries of the bank bail outs. The ones who have been protected at all costs all along, while the middle class and those below have been thrown under the bus.
The country is dysfunctional as he points out. But he does not understand the dynamics of a dysfunctional family. Where those who are the most in delusion and denial are always protected from the truth by the others. They are coddled and their abuses hidden. Even from themselves at all costs.
Those who make over 90k a year working for Microsoft and Apple and DELL. Who work in defense plants as engineers and management and as doctors and lawyers and in the financial industry as accountants. Whose 401Ks and stock portfolios must be enshrined. Some who are part of the teabagging right or call themselves liberal – as long as their defense plants aren’t closed. Like the so called liberals of the past who supported blacks and minorities and civil rights just as long their kids did not have to got to school with them.
The ones who must not under any circumstances feel any of the pain the rest of us feel. The ones whose positions in the insurance industry were well taken care of by the so called health bill. Those who work nice cushy jobs in health care industry and whose salary has never been questioned.
There is a reason why those of us on the left go after the Democrats and Obama supporters who genuflect in their direction while holding onto their financial rosary beads.
The question though comes, why have we not risen up in numbers and yelled this from the roof tops ? Why has there not been some one person on the left to yells CHARGE !
I for one have a reason. A reason why I have not supported vigorously an uprising of this sort. It’s for the very reasons state above. It’s because these people whose lives are still pretty cushy, have not felt the pain. Because in order for any movement in this direction, these are the people that need to begin to feel the pain.
And I for one would be very OK in letting the system fail to the point that these people did begin to feel some pain. I would even be open to helping it along.
Because until they begin to feel the financial pain – until they begin to hit bottom, only then is there any chance of them seeing – what we see – that the system is broken and badly in need of changing. They have to hit bottom themselves in order to see how their behavior effects others. For they are both the abusers and enablers of the system.