Posts Tagged ‘obama’

Why Do Certain Ethno-Cultural Groups Have Bad Political Instincts?

July 29, 2019 14 comments

As regular readers know, in the past I have written more than a few posts about certain odd and self-damaging patterns of behavior exhibited by blacks in USA. To be very clear, these patterns are very different from those conjured up by racist white losers of all ideological persuasions. For example, it is my opinion that excessive religiosity among black community and a strong desire to attain respectability and “acceptance” from whites has greatly hurt their ability to attain real legal equality. Then there is the issue of the black leadership class who still enjoy considerable support among black people even though they haven’t done shit all to improve the lives of their most enthusiastic supporters. We also cannot forget that most black people (especially from the older generation) are indifferent to the murders of black men by police.

The question, then, is as follows: why have all of the post-WW2 civil rights movements achieved so little? Now, I am sure that some of you might counter that by pointing out that mob lynching has ceased to exist since the 1950s or that Barack Obama was elected president, twice. While I certainly don’t deny that there have been some improvements in the area of racial equality since the 1950s, most of them occurred in the 1960s and early 1970s. In other words, systemic racism in USA has not diminished much beyond 1974. Don’t believe me? Look at the massive increase in mass incarceration (predominantly of black men) since the early 1980s, but especially during the 1990s and 2000s. What about the continued and abject neglect of black-majority areas within large cities, often run by democrats.. many of whom are also black.

Policies such as ‘stop and frisk’ in NYC have always targeted black men, despite that city being a democratic party stronghold. Similar policies and much worse was implemented in LA during the 1980s and 1990s, which ultimately led to LA riots and the OJ Simpson verdict. Are you starting to see what I am getting at.. the democratic party has not delivered to the one group of voters who are its strongest supporters. To be clear, I am not suggesting a Blexit or some bullshit spouted by black CONservative puppets. To make matters worse, the democratic party and its leaders have done more than just ignoring the demands of their black supporters. As some might remember, most of the laws which caused the massive spike in mass incarceration during the 1990s were passed by a democratic president and co-written by democrats such as Joe Biden.

And things didn’t get much better after Obama was elected in late-2008. For starters, he was the literal embodiment of neoliberal black respectability politics. His administration went out its way to preferentially screw over black homeowners who were underwater on their mortgages. Though he lived in Chicago for many years prior to becoming president, Obama did not even bother to address issues such as police brutality towards black men until cheap smartphones and social media made it to impossible to ignore. He belittled concerns of predominantly black cities such as Flint, Michigan, but always had tons of time for carefully scripted photo-ops with rich black celebrities and a few token blacks. And even after leaving office, he can’t seem to stop being the political version of Bill Cosby. And yet, he allegedly still has extremely high approval ratings among blacks, especially the older ones. So, what is going on?

Why does a black president who did as much for blacks as Reagan did for gays dying of AIDS manage to still enjoy this degree of popularity among blacks? Do you think a closeted president who ignored gays in the 1980s like Reagan did, be similarly forgiven let alone be celebrated by the gay community? Even though the Indian community in USA is not known for high levels of self-respect, the names of people such as Nikki Haley and Booby Jindal are usually uttered with contempt, nor praise or forgiveness. Have you seen Arab Muslims celebrate co-ethnics who turn traitors against their community? And yet, Obama enjoys record high approval among the black community- especially those born before 1970. How exactly does a guy who did less than nothing for the community which he pretends to represent still be celebrated by that community.

His ex-VP, Joe Biden is the lead choice for black voters in the ongoing democratic primary in spite of being the driving force behind legislation such as the 1994 crime bill, 1996 welfare reform bill, 2005 bankruptcy bill and many others which have destroyed the lives of millions of black people. Do you think holocaust survivors would vote for a concentration camp commandant? Seriously.. what the fuck is going on? Do older black people have such low standards for their leaders that they would gladly vote for somebody promises to kick them less often than the other one? This attitude is even more remarkable once you realize that democratic party is incapable of winning a national election without their vote. What is stopping black people in USA from demanding their rightful share in the aftermath of an electoral victory by the democratic party?

What do you think? Comments?

Barack Obama is the Political Equivalent of Bill Cosby

March 3, 2019 9 comments

Let me start this post by making one seemingly outrageous prediction- a couple of decades from now, the legacy of Barack Obama will be widely seen as similar to that of Bill Cosby today. To be clear, I am not suggesting that Obama is going to be tried and sentenced in court for drugging and raping women as Bill Cosby was in 2018. Rather, Obama and his specific brand of neoliberal black respectability politics will elicit the same degree of revulsion and pity as the mention of Bill Cosby and his older brand of that same viewpoint do today. Some readers might remember my previous series on why the Obama presidency was a disaster for establishment democrats.

The parts relevant to this post are that Obama was, politically speaking, a Reagan-era republican whose policies either preferentially hurt the interests of black people (e.g during the foreclosure crisis after 2008) or did very little to help them (e.g. police brutality, drug decriminalization and criminal justice reform). But more importantly, he did all of this while claiming the mantle of black leadership- which is a fancy way of saying that he was a conman who advanced his career as the ‘great black hope’ while at the same time stepping over a large number of innocent black people. And he still received over 95% of votes by black people during his re-election in 2012.

But how does any of this make him similar to Bill Cosby? Well.. for beginners, Barack Obama and Bill Cosby, in addition to many currently serving black political leaders, are part of what is best defined as black respectability politics. In fact, the black backlash against Obama has already started to build as we can see in the NYT piece which correctly points out how Obama used the white fear of young black men to advance his career and make himself rich. I would go so far as to say that Obama is now seem more positively by white people than black people (except maybe older black women). But how does this make him the political equivalent of Bill Cosby?

To understand this, we have to go back to an era decades before most of us (including me) were born. Bill Cosby, you see, was one of the first black entertainers in USA who was both widely successful and considered respectable. His standup comic career started in the early 1960s, an era when many states in USA still had separate drinking fountains for white and black people and Jim Crow laws are still in vogue in the retarded.. I mean southern.. states. More relevantly, this was an era when every black person in showbusiness was either portrayed as either a slave, servant, stupid, subhuman or otherwise flawed. If you do not believe this, just check out any movie On YouTube with black characters from the pre-1960 era.

So how was Cosby able to succeed in that era? Well.. for two reasons. Firstly, he was able to put forth the image of an articulate, intelligent and harmless black man telling good but inoffensive jokes for his white audience. Secondly, his success with white audiences at a time when there were few universally famous black entertainers resulted in him receiving unconditional support from his black audience. Barack Obama was the first black politician with a national reach who successfully appealed to white voters tired of idiots such as Bush43. His popularity among the black community increased only after it became obvious he could beat HRC in 2008 primaries.

And this brings us to the question as to why Obama had a large white following before getting a similar black one. Well.. in case it is not obvious enough, the appeal of Obama to white voters was almost exclusively based in the fact that he portrayed himself as an articulate, intelligent and harmless black man who shared many of the beliefs about themselves and those ‘other undesirable’ people. Sure.. he changed his speaking style in front of predominantly black audiences and pretended to care about the issues affecting them- but let us face it, he never cared about them. While his pre-2004 political career in Chicago is rarely talked about nowadays, it is a well-known fact that he built it by colluding with all sorts of shady people and causes, including urban “gentrification”.

In other words, Obama was always willing to walk over multitudes of poor black people to further his own career. Ironically, he would then turn around and try to get them to vote for him because of his skin color. This is also why his rise in local Chicago politics was slow until a set of unusual circumstances allowed him to win a Senate seat in 2004, thereby giving him a national stage. Yes.. that is correct- if Jerri Ryan (of Star Trek fame) had not sued her then husband for divorce and revealed lurid details about their sex life, Barack Obama would not have been elected to the Senate in 2004. To make a long story short, he used his new-found visibility to position himself as a national-level black leader who just happened to more popular with whites.

But why did Obama’s popularity take off so quickly among white voters? Well.. for starters, he studiously avoided talking about the legacy of racial discrimination in USA- and when he did broach that topic, Obama tried to make it sound that most of it was in the past (at least when talking to whites). He was also clever enough to not support the Iraq War and generally take positions which looked good on paper but entailed no real sacrifice on his part. He portrayed himself as the political equivalent of Cliff Huxtable, and that does make Michelle Obama his Clair Huxtable. The LIEbral class in USA ate all that shit up because they could finally support a token black politician and tell themselves and others that they were not racist.

There is a reason why writers on SNL and rich white LIEbral actors still sing the praises of Barack Obama, in spite of the sheer mediocrity of his presidency- not unlike how Bill Cosby’s career took off in 1970s and 1980s, despite the mediocrity of his family friendly acts and shows. A lot of white people just wanted to make themselves and others around them believe that they were good people and not really racist. And there is one more major similarity between Barack Obama and Bill Cosby. Both were, and are, big proponents of the scam of black respectability politics. See.. according to proponents of black respectability politics, racial discrimination against blacks in USA was their own fault and could be totally corrected by embracing CONservative beliefs.

As it turns out, that bullshit does not work and racism against black people in USA is due to the perception of their skin color by white people- most of whom are incredibly mediocre. Sure.. black respectability politics can help a few black people (Bill Cosby, Barack Obama, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris etc) succeed, but they can do so only by screwing over many scores of people who look like them in order appease a few rich white people who might throw them some crumbs. Some might describe this behavior as treacherous, but that is what still passes for black misleadership (political and cultural) in USA. Hopefully this will change..

To summarize, both Barack Obama and Bill Cosby are street-smart, but mediocre, men who built their careers by pandering to white liberals while simultaneously screwing over tons of black people and then demanded fealty from the very people they abused to make their benjamins.

what do you think? Comments?

Western Attempts at ‘Regime Change’ in Venezuela Will Fail or Backfire

February 25, 2019 3 comments

While I try to focus on topics of more lasting relevance than the latest ravings of mobs on social media, some contemporary events are worthy of coverage because they fit into larger themes. As many of you know, USA and some of its west-european catamites.. I mean allies.. seem to have embarked on a tragically comic project to effect ‘regime change’ in Venezuela. Trump, led by Pompeo and Bolton (henceforth referred to as Guinea Dago and Bolt-on), seem to think that they can depose Maduro in Venezuela and set up a puppet regime in that country, without significant problems or negative consequences. Trump, in particular, seems to be stupid enough to believe people as incompetent and strategically stupid as Guinea Dago and Bolt-on. Then again, that orange buffoon also thinks that Sebastian Gorka (a Hugo Drax impersonator) is a genius.

In the rest of this post, I will tell you why this poorly thought brainfart will fail and backfire. But before we go there, let me ask you a simple question. Why didn’t Obama ever push things to this level- whether it was with Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia or China? Why did he instead prefer to either make some half-hearted effort, not do anything or try to cut a deal? The answer is that Obama being a neoliberal was a couple of notches smarter than a neocon. He looked at these conflicts carefully and came to the conclusion that they were either unwinnable or carried a very high risk of failure. He knew that being a mediocre non-failure was vastly superior to being seen as the second coming of Bush43. Furthermore, Obama’s post-presidency plans for making his millions via writing, speeches etc were highly dependent on being seen as a non-failure.

And let us clear about something else.. Obama has no qualms about extending the ‘war on terror’ BS in some poor African countries. Neither did he any issues with actively supporting the Saudi and gulf state funded effort to prop up ISIS and similar religious nutters in Iraq and Syria. To put this another way, Obama was no anti-imperialist or supporter of democracy and ‘human rights’. And yet, on certain issues, he chose to stop at strong words- rather than concrete action because of concerns related to self-preservation and not being seen as the loser. Trump, on the other hand, being less intelligent than Obama actually seems to trust the judgement of chronic failures such as Guinea Dago and Bolt-on. Perhaps the orange buffoon thinks that he will achieve some kind of “victory” which could translate into better prospects during the 2020 electoral season?

Now let us get back to the reasons why Trump’s attempts to effect ‘regime change’ in Venezuela will fail- regardless of whether he eventually approves an actual military invasion of that country. Yes.. you heard that right, the USA-led project of ‘regime change’ in Venezuela is doomed to failure regardless of the course of action taken by Guinea Dago and Bolt-on. To make it easier for readers to follow the rationale behind this prediction, the rest of this post is sub-divided into a couple of main points followed by an explanation for each one.

1] Military and non-military influence of USA has been in decline since end of WW2. The speed of this terminal decline has greatly accelerated since the late 2000s.

Ok.. many of you might have come across lists circulated by white academic leftists which show USA interfering in the governance and elections of many countries since 1945. While that list might look long, it reveals an important trend in the terminal decline of USA. For example, in the 1950s USA could successfully interfere in the governance of countries as distant as Italy, Greece, Iran and Japan. However, starting in the 1960s, that ability fell pretty sharply and soon the USA could succeed only in African countries and Latin America. The defeat in Vietnam and upset in Iran constricted this ability even further and by the late 1970s, they could do so only in smaller Central and South american countries (including the Caribbean). By the mid- 1980s, it had atrophied to the point where they were restricted to small countries with barely an army.

Some of the jingoists might counter by pointing out that USA was able to depose Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi in addition to helping Yeltsin win in 1996. Well.. let us for a minute ignore that Saddam was hated by over 2/3rds of his population for a number of reasons (religious and otherwise) and Libya was always an artificial entity stitched up from groups who hated each other- ask yourself, what was the lasting impact of these actions? In the case of Iraq, deposing Saddam and going after Sunnis made Iran the most important power in that region. Also, USA lost that war of occupation. Libya has not been a functionally unified country for years, is a major base for smuggling African refugees into Europe and its oil output has declined since then. Did I mention that the reaction to what USA tried to do in 1996 ended up giving us Putin.

In other words, USA as nation-state has been the loser in these recent attempts at ‘regime change’. Sure.. it made a few people in its military industrial complex much richer, however that wealth was taken away from the 99% in the country making them even poorer. Did I mention that USA is also the loser in its attempt to depose the government in Syria. They lost there too. Then again, this is how dying empires behave..

2] South and central american countries are not what they used to be, in more ways than one.

So understand what I am getting at, ask yourself another question- what is the defining common characteristic of south and central american countries? Hint: it is not their language or last names. Ok.. they are all racial hierarchies in which whiter people (irrespective of competence or ability) end up at the upper end of income and power while the less whiter ones end near the bottom regardless of how hard-working or competent they are. While racial hierarchy was never as rigid in those countries as USA, it has always been there and has had some rather negative consequences. Ever wonder why those countries still make most their money by selling raw and semi-processed natural resources to the outside world? Or why they have been always been so politically unstable and easy to manipulate from the outside?

The answer to that question requires us to appreciate something which is seldom mentioned nowadays- namely, that the elites and upper class in those countries have long obtained their legitimacy by virtue of their cultural and economic connections with the west. Even worse, for many decades, the less whiter members of those countries and societies used to believe in that crap. Which is a fancy way of saying that those countries were filled with white-worshiping losers. That is why they would rather import weapons from the west, send their kids to western universities and trade almost exclusively with the west. The flip side of this mindset is that they never funded their own educational system properly or developed institutions which were equivalent to those in the west. The world, however, changes irrespective of what people want.

The first of the two important changes which have occurred in those countries concerns their demographic makeup. To put it bluntly, fertility of the whiter members of their population has declined far faster than those of their less whiter members. There is a reason why the population of countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela look less whiter than they did in the 1950s and 1960s. There is a reason why countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil increasingly have had leaders who look like the majority of their population. Moreover, this change have also occurred in their civilian bureaucracy and armed forces. Also, whiter south-american countries such as Argentina have not done better than their less whiter neighbors.

And this brings us the second, and related, issue of money and trade. See.. for the longest time, the west was the largest market for south-american commodities. This is also why USA could influence events in that part of the world even after it lost the ability to so in Africa. But the world keeps on changing and the USA is no longer the top industrial producer in the world. Long story short.. it is Asia, especially China, whose trade with these countries has exploded over past two decades even as their older trade with the demographically stagnant west has well.. stagnated. However, unlike their white western counterparts, Asians have no special racial connection with the rapidly shrinking numbers of white elites in those countries.

Asian trade partners have no interest in supporting one racial group over the other beyond what is necessary to keep the wheels of commerce running. And all of this is occurring in the backdrop of USA losing wars of occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya etc. The present state of affairs in Venezuela has gone on for more than a few years and as I wrote in a previous post, things are likely nowhere as bad as they are portrayed in dying western white-imperialism funded media. The thing is.. less whiter south Americans no longer see the USA, its aging white population and decaying capabilities as something they cannot win against- specifically in a war of occupation. The Vietnamese realized they could defeat white nations in 1954 and that is why they persisted against USA and won in 1975.

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting YouTube Clips about how Democrats will Screw Up in 2018

May 5, 2018 1 comment

Here are two interesting and recent clips from the Jimmy Dore Show channel on YT. While each is about a seemingly different topic, both address the issue of how Democrats are likely to screw up and lose the 2018 election- inspite of the golden opportunity provided to them by Trump’s record unpopularity. Of course, this has been the case for at least a couple of decades. Also, check out some of the other recent video clips on his channel.

The first clip is about how disenchantment with Obama, in the black community, is now too strong for democrats to confidently expect the kind of voter turnout they enjoyed among that electoral group in 2008 and 2012. As some of you might remember, I wrote a three-part series on that very topic a few months ago. While democrats could certainly motivate potential voters by promising and implementing populist policies to help their most loyal voters, you can bet that they won’t do anything like that.

The second clip is part of a long interview with Glenn Greenwald, in which he talks about how establishment democrat obsession with “Russia” and “Putin” has attained the level of a sacrament within that party. He also talks about how this establishment obsession is blocking their ability to talk about issues which most voters actually care about, thus alienating them even further. As many of you might also recall, I have written more than a few posts on this topic (link 1, link 2, link 3 and link 4).

What do you think? Comments?

The Obama Presidency was a Disaster for Establishment Democrats: 2

September 9, 2017 19 comments

In the previous post of this series, I pointed out that Barack Obama’s two terms as president was one of major non-systemic reason for the repeated and sustained electoral losses suffered by the democratic party. While the general public disdain about decisions and policies during his term are often attributed to racism, it is also true that he won both the popular vote and electoral college in 2008 and 2012. So clearly, something else is at work. I mean.. he did win many mid-western states with a pretty high percentage of whites in both 2008 and 2012.

In my opinion, public disdain of Obama’s two terms was largely due to the fact that he turned out to be just another empty suit whose decisions and policies helped the rich and corporations at the expense of everybody else. In fact, he was reelected in 2012 only because Mitt Romney was a bigger corporate shill than him. Obama’s popular vote margin did decrease from 10 million in 2008 to 5 million in 2012, as did his margin in electoral college from 365-173 in 2008 to 332-206 in 2012. Having said that, he won fair and square on both occasions- which is what matters in the end.

But that still leaves us with the question as to how Obama got reelected in 2012, after the dismal performance of democrats in 2010 midterm. Also, why he remained somewhat “popular” even though the democratic party suffered further losses in 2012 and 2014. Part of his “popularity” might be due to the fact that few wanted to call out the first black president for being an empty suit shilling for corporations. But the other part of his “popularity” is largely due to the fact that he was not Bush43. As many of you know, Bush43’s second term was such an unmitigated disaster that Obama could look competent just by not repeating any of the large screw-ups of his predecessor.

Accordingly, he was able to restrain himself from overtly invading other countries in the middle-east and making extremely poor personel choices (remember “brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) and being generally free of serious scandals and charges of overt corruption. Now you might say that this is a very low bar for somebody elected to the office of president. Then again, just look at the guy before him (Bush43) and the one after him (Trump45). Obama remained somewhat popular by simply following the neoliberal script- which is to appear erudite and competent, not make too many big short-term mistakes and cultivate rich elites and lapdog media types who will sing his praises.

The generic neoliberal script did not, however, work for the democratic party for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is much easier for one nominally powerful person at the national level like the president to cultivate his public image and elites. Presidential elections are usually about who is the lesser and more presentable crook to assume the post of chief executive of USA. Most people do not expect the president to be involved in the day-to-day running of the city, town or state of residence. Therefore, public expectations about him (or her) are very different from those of lower level elected representatives.

Elections at the level of representatives for national or state legislatures, in contrast, are often driven by partisan voters who believe that their choice will validate their beliefs. Since the majority of people correctly assume that electing democrats or republicans will not make their lives any better, it comes down to people who vote to validate their beliefs. That is why elections in USA tend to be driven by bullshit issues such as access to abortion, war on drugs, war on crime, welfare for non-white etc. That is also why “culture issues” dominated american politics and elections from mid-1980s to 2008.

But what does any of this have to with neoliberalism not working for democrats? Weren’t they able to win in states like West Virginia a couple of decades ago? Well.. they were able to win such “red” states as late as the early 2000s, but not because of espousing neoliberal ideas. Democrats, you see, were able to win all those so-called “red” states as long as their candidates promoted populist causes- specifically of the economic variety. As many of you know, establishment democrats became republican-lite by the early-1990s and their candidates either stopped being economic populists or were replaced by more corporate friendly figureheads.

It is therefore not surprising that those who voted in many parts of the country most hurt by all those “free trade” agreements and other neoliberal policies were increasingly of the type driven by “cultural issues”. To make a long story short, democrats abandoned people in ‘flyover’ states and those people then stopped supporting that party. At the same time, ranks of establishment democrats were increasingly filled with credentialed professional types who could care less about people who were not like them.

But what does any of this have to do with why the Obama presidency was so disastrous to democrats?

The short answer is that it was similar to the captain of the Titanic not altering course or reducing speed in a known iceberg field. The somewhat longer answer is that the ability of Obama to get elected, and the reelected, convinced establishment democrats that identity-driven neoliberal politics was sufficient to win against republican candidates. The two terms of Obama convinced them that they could sell a neoliberal turd covered by a thin layer of social justice issues and identity politics.

It is therefore not surprising that a lot of the so-called rising stars of the democratic party (Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Joaquim Castro, Gavin Newsom etc) are poor clones of Obama. They are all “properly educated”, photogenic, “properly pedigreed”, “media-savvy” people with handlers who feed them the right sound and media bites and who can deliver empty carefully-lawyered speeches with lots of fake conviction. While that strategy sorta worked for Obama in 2008 and even 2012, it is doubtful if it would work today.

You see, until 2008 many people in USA believed that their economic situation would keep on getting better, regardless of occasional and temporary setbacks. A number of events and structural shifts within the previous 8-9 years have totally changed that, especially for people under the age of 40-45. Today, most people (especially young) in USA simply do not believe in the system and its various “credentialed experts”. That is why somebody like Bernie Sanders got so much support among younger voters. Obama and his poor clones belong to the pre-2008 era.

Now this does not mean that they cannot win election in any state. Indeed, Obama clones can (and do win) elections in certain coastal states like California, Massachusetts and New York. However, it is also clear that such creatures are incapable of winning elections against even mediocre republican candidates in non-coastal states. But why? Well.. it comes down to the fact that Obama clones are unable to motivate voters who sit out elections because they correctly believe that democrats are basically republican-lite. In contrast, republican candidates can motivate their core ideology-based voters by spouting nonsense about “cultural issues”.

But what does any of this have to do with Obama’s position on “illegal immigration” and “free trade”? As it turns out, a lot..

While establishment democrats are busy expressing outrage about Trump’s plans to deport millions of “illegal immigrants” and “build that wall” between Mexico and USA, they forget that the policies of the Obama administration were responsible for more deportations (often under pretty atrocious circumstances) than Trump has manged to in an equivalent period of time. That is correct, Barack Obama’s administration started the current mass deportation machine with its private prisons, arbitrary powers and flagrant abuses of power. Is it any wonder that many citizens of Hispanic descent were not particularly enthusiastic about voting for a third Obama term under HRC?

Some of you might wonder why ivy-league educated “policy wonks”, such as those employed by the HRC campaign, could not figure out that many “illegal immigrants” frequently had relatives in USA who had become citizens- through naturalization or birth. Did they not realize that pissing upon voter groups who might otherwise be very sympathetic to your cause was a bad idea. Did they not realize that Obama’s deportation crusades had already put the democratic party on pretty shaky ground with Hispanics in USA- most of whom are Mexicans. Here is what I think.. establishment democrats did not care about what Hispanic voters thought because they believed that they had no option. While it is true that most Hispanics who voted still voted for democrats- a large number who could have simply chose not to vote for either party.

Let us now turn our attention to how the Obama administration’s support for various “free trade” policies and treaties as well as increased levels of job outsourcing hurt the democratic party. While Obama was not the first american president to pimp “free trade” and outsourcing, it is notable that a majority of job losses in sectors of economy with previously well-paying and stable jobs occurred during the 2nd term of Bush43 and two terms of Obama44. While the events which started that process occurred in the 1990s and early-2000s, it is noteworthy that Obama was far more vocal about his support for “free trade” agreements and outsourcing. Perhaps more problematically, many democratic candidates for national and state legislatures kept on repeating official party positions about “free trade”, education, skills, retraining and other assorted neoliberal lies even after it was obvious that most voters could see their bullshit.

It is therefore not surprising that many working-class people did not bother voting for them- as evidenced by low turnout levels in the 2010 and 2014 (and to a lesser extent in 2012) elections. In 2016, more than a few of them voted for Trump. It is important to realize that the democratic establishment willfully ignored the needs of the working class just like it did for Black and Hispanic voters. I should also point out that most Black and Hispanic voters are part of the working class. To make a long story short, establishment democrats took the support of their core voter constituencies for granted and then proceeded to ignore and humiliate them. While this behavior has been part of establishment democrat behavior for over two decades now- the two terms of Obama in combination their hubris led them to greatly speed up the process of alienating their key voter constituencies.

In the upcoming part of this series, I will talk about how the rise of “identity politics”, “culture wars 2.0” and SJW-ism during the two terms of Obama44 further doomed electoral prospects of the democratic party.

What do you think? Comments?

The Obama Presidency was a Disaster for Establishment Democrats: 1

September 6, 2017 28 comments

One of the more peculiar fact about contemporary american politics is that approval numbers for the democratic party are still slightly worse than for Trump. Let me rephrase that.. one of the two main political parties in USA has lower approval ratings than a rich asshole turned reality star who has flipped on almost every single electoral promise he made to this supporters. To be fair, the other political party (aka the republicans) is not doing any better and we seem to living in a very partisan era. But that still does not help explain why the democratic party has not been able to capitalize on the insane levels of incompetence and corruption displayed by the Trump administration since it took office in late January 2017.

So, how can the main (and only) opposition party in USA not gain any extra public support at a time when the ruling party and its titular leader are busy screwing themselves in public? Why is widespread public disgust towards Trump and republicans not translating into increased support for the democratic party? Why are so many voters, especially those from non-white communities, just not that enthusiastic about the democratic party? And why is the only generally popular national level politician a 75-year-old Jewish guy from Vermont who joined the democratic party about two years ago?

I have explored some of the many interconnected reasons for this failure in a previous series of posts. The main points I made in that series were as follows: a] democratic party establishment has become too incestuous, sclerotic and generally resistant to any type of change. b] It is almost completely funded, controlled and run by neoliberal corporate interests who try to hide their economically regressive policies behind token identity politics. c] The party bureaucracy and primary system is almost completely dominated by a bunch of corrupt assholes and hyperpartisan idiots. Also, there is no accountability for repeated failures. d] The major financiers, supporters and top-level cadre of the democratic party is almost exclusively derived from the rich and professional class- two groups with little, if any, real connection to the rest of the population.

There are of course other related reasons for the shockingly low approval ratings of democrats. The desire of coastal elite within that party to push gun control has not helped its cause in non-coastal states. Similarly, ad nauseam repeating of the “russian interference in our elections” trope since Trump got elected in Nov 2016 has not helped their overall public credibility. The point I am trying to make the democratic party establishment has done an incredibly good job of sabotaging its own electoral prospects. It is almost as if they are intentionally and systematically trying to lose public relevance. Even their new crop of leaders are full of photogenic, insipid and obvious fakes such as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Joaquim Castro. I can go on about the many other structural reasons that the democratic party, in its current form, is doomed- but that is best left for future posts.

Instead I will focus of one of non-systematic reasons behind the failure of democrats as a party. I am certainly not the first to point out that Barack Obama’s two terms as president have seen a considerable diminution of the power of the democratic party on both the national and state level. His tenure as president has seen the democratic party lose control of the house, senate, over 1000 seats in state legislatures, multiple state governorships to the point where republican are the ruling party in almost 2/3rd of the states. The establishment democrat response to these massive electoral setbacks have mostly consisted of them saying that all those setbacks occurred happened because majority of the american electorate is irremediably racist. Of course, that does not explain how Obama got elected in 2008 and then re-elected in 2012.

I have a better theory to explain why the rise of Obama and his two terms as president have contributed to the ongoing collapse of the democratic party. My theory is largely based in how that rise shaped the democratic party- specifically its institutions and strategy. This is not to say that other factors such as increasing use of internet and social media by general public were without effect in that process. However, the more we look at all the facts over a longer time span, the more it becomes obvious that the rise of Obama and his style of politics was extremely damaging to the electoral prospects of the democratic party. But before we do that, we have to first understand Obama’s style of politics and its ideological underpinnings.

Barack Obama, for the lack of a better description, is a Reagan-era Republican. There.. I said it and you knew it too! The problem with his politics and its ideological underpinnings is that it is basically 1980-1990 era republican with a veneer of coolness and “inclusivity”. Also, since he is black, few people dare to say it aloud on any corporate mainstream media outlet- even Fox news. While he may not talk and act like a republican, almost every single policy decision (domestic and foreign) made by him is almost identical to what your average 1980s-1990s era republican would make. But don’t just believe my assertion without considering the evidence..

1] For a person who made his pre-political career as a “community organizer” in the black community of Chicago, it is remarkable how little Obama did to combat racism (overt or systemic) when he became president. As I pointed out in a previous post, it was smartphones with HD cameras and social media platforms which created public awareness about murders by police and other legalized atrocities against black people. Even the two biggest achievements of the Obama administration in that area (overview of some police departments and stopping police from getting military grade equipment) were insipid and in response to massive public outcry and demonstrations against murders by police and other flagrant violations of laws. To put it bluntly, Barack Obama did not care about black people.

We cannot also forget the harmful effect of deliberately rigged foreclosure assistance programs, created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, on the black community. While these banker-friendly programs hurt homeowners of many ethnicities, the black community was (as often is the case) disproportionately hurt by them. We can only imagine the effect that this had on the lives of many hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of black people who were the subject for sneaky and unfairly foreclosure on their homes. It is no wonder that HRC, running for the 3rd term of Obama, had such a lukewarm response among the younger members of the black community. Simply put, Obama’s two terms were quite disappointing for the black community and has affected their enthusiasm for the democratic party.

2] The supposedly most important legacy of the Obama administration, aka “Obamacare”, was a massive public disappointment. While it did provide some improvement over the previous patchwork of rules and laws, it has not been able to tackle the issue of rising costs or provide universal health coverage. We can spend hours discussing how Obama killed the ‘public option’ in Obamacare and basically rejected universal healthcare coverage for a frankenstein which appealed to all the corporate interest donating to his election and re-election campaigns. Obama’s greatest achievement, then, is pushing out a ‘healthcare’ program modeled on the beliefs of some conservative think tank from 1993. If you call that an achievement, well.. perhaps your standards are really low.

It also did not help that the rollout of “Obamacare” was an epic public relations disaster. While the law is popular enough for republicans to be unable to repeal it today, its appeal mainly lies in being not as shitty as the alternatives- which is a very low bar. The point I am trying to make is that “Obamacare” is a microcosm of what is unpopular with the Obama school of neoliberal policies and its ideological underpinnings. It contains, within it, an example of every problematic aspect of his policies- from supporting corporate oligopolies and monopolies over public interest, unnecessarily complicated regulations meant to confuse and rob its users, broken promises about something as important as health care coverage, “credentialed experts” and other assorted conmen (and conwomen) padding their already fat paychecks to neglecting public concerns about the system.

In the upcoming part of this series, I will talk about how the Obama administration policies of immigration and deportation dis not help democrats increase enthusiasm among Hispanics for their party. I will also talk about the enthusiastic promotion of various “free trade” agreements and other secret corporate backed “trade agreements” by Obama over his two terms hurt the democratic party.

What do you think? Comments?