So we had a night or two flushed with optimism and hope in early November. But what do we have now? We’ve got unjustified, unending wars, a wretched economic crisis, horrible new legislation being pushed through by a lame duck government of war criminals no one is impeaching or indicting, union busting and a whole world we have crippled. On top of all that, we have an extensive list of other annoying or painful developments. Here are the ones that are especially irritating me at the moment. You probably could add a few of your own.
Rick Warren: Obama was glad to have the support – financial and volunteer – of a whole raft of progressives, but he now awards to a fundamentalist lunatic the biggest platform in the history of media by inviting him to give the invocation at his inauguration. This creep Rick Warren not only fanatically supported California’s Proposition 8, removing rights from lesbians and gays, he compares homosexuality to pedophilia and incest and he bars membership in his church (!) to unrepentant gays. What the hell is Obama doing honoring this foul reactionary, who also opposes stem cell research and compares abortion to the Holocaust?! Warren doesn’t like non-believers very much, either. Obama was happy to change his mind about Reverend Wright. It’s time for him to disinvite this nasty man from the inaugural spotlight instead of throwing sexual freedom under the bus.
Bernie Madoff: Yet another rogue capitalist has taken down unknown lists of institutional, foundation, charity and personal fortunes through a Ponzi scam built on snobbery and high-class secret handshakes; and where is the man? Is Madoff in jail after his indictment? No, he is in one of his many million-dollar homes with a little ankle bracelet. He is enjoying the fruits of his crimes in the warmth of his ill-gotten gains. At the same time, there are apparently more black men in American prisons today (thanks to the “war on drugs”) than there were slaves back in the day. I’m fuming. Lock this crook up now or throw him to his victims.
Caroline Kennedy: This daughter-of and niece-of decides she wants Hillary Clinton’s senate seat – and everyone seems to be saying, Okay. What are Kennedy’s positions on the important questions of the day? Abortion? How to deal with New York’s economic crisis? Education policy? Queer marriage? Anything? The woman has been hiding for decades – perfectly her right – and has only even been voting in about half the elections, so what right does she have to get this plum? It is the decision of one man – Governor Paterson – and he’s already received calls from all sorts of important Democrats, including Obama’s boy, Rahm Emanuel. This is foul. This isn’t democracy; this is dynasty.
Kennedy = Palin: I wanted to write a whole blog about the similarities between Sarah Palin’s sudden entry onto the national stage and Kennedy’s. The latter has even copied Palin’s claim that one of her main qualifications for the job is that she raised a family! Yeah, that narrows it down. Kennedy is even now refusing to answer legitimate questions from the press, instead relying on expensive high-profile PR firms to handle her message. Sound familiar? I hate to say it, but at least Palin ran for and won elections before being catapulted into the big-time. Kennedy has studiously avoided politics. What’s similar is the complete lack of public record on national issues. Palin floated on a sea of fundamentalist support; Kennedy thinks DNA is sufficient.
Detroit Bailout: I’m not a big fan of Detroit automakers, especially having lived abroad for a couple of decades where people do perfectly well with efficient little cars that can move 4 or 5 people from here to there without pretending to be the butch vehicle of the apocalypse. However, this refusal of Congress to bail out these manufacturers without union-busting conditions is blatant exploitation of the economic crisis to promote the reactionary agenda. Reminds me of how Cheney and Bush used 9/11 to push through wars and legislation (like the Patriot Act) they had earlier decided they wanted. Not only were the bank and finance workers (or execs) put under no conditions, no one can find the hundreds of billions poured into those sectors that were supposed to turn into credit for actual citizens, but never did. Some report that the money is supplementing massive executive salaries, hot tub conferences and shareholders’ checks. Why aren’t Democratic congress-people going ape-shit and why aren’t we on the streets complaining about this rip-off?
So, as always, we’re back to questions of class. Rich criminals enjoy house arrest in posh surroundings. People with pedigrees trump those with qualifications when perks are being bestowed. White collar criminals are treated with handouts while workers are punished for their bosses’ incompetence and greed. And wealthy powerful Christian fundamentalists who build their base on self-righteous hatred are invited to shine in the name of “inclusiveness.” As one of the many, many commenters wrote to Obama on Change.gov, “This is a turd in the punchbowl.”