Monday, August 8, 2011
As The Cookie Crumbles: Sloppy Thirds
(WWH, 8/8/11) Amid all the sound and fury about who and/or what is the "real Obama," there is one intriguing possibility that hasn't been much discussed yet: "Is Obama, in fact, in addition to being the first "non-White" president, the first "Third Party" president?" And by that I mean, is he the first "Supra-Party" president, a "leader" who claims no allegiance to either Congressional party, but unabashedly serves the CorpoRat agenda? Aloof and above the fray, does he thereby ensure that the regimen of the powerful prevails? With him, have they finally abandoned the pretense of partisanship--perhaps as too expensive?
He was 'elected' as a "Democrat." But he sure doesn't govern like a Democrat (other than Bill Clinton who, by almost all accounts was the one of the most successful GOPhux presidents of the 20th Century). Shabama gives good speech, and so retains rhetorical appeal to his acolytes and Koolaid slurpers. But his record does not support claims that his is anything but a continuation of the Corporatist agenda that has held 'government" in a strangle-hold grip since the 1980s.
Still, he categorically rejects insinuations or out-right accusations that he should cast off the 'sheep's clothing,' and proudly take his place as the acknowledged head of the Party of Property. Tactically, that would be a mistake, of course, because if he called himself a "Republican," which does appear to be how he governs--with an easy hand on the reins of regulatory power and sympathy first for the claims of the CorpoRats--THAT would alienate that significant portion of the rabid Rightoid t-hadists which comprises probably more than HALF of the GOPhux constituency, and which rejects him on pigmentation issues.
So, if he was elected as a Democrat, yet he eschews in every significant case the principles of historic Democratic "commitments," and neither Prez. Shamwow himself nor the Republicans want/can to acknowledge their essential synonymies, could it be Barry, the Bomber, is, in fact, the first president of a new, anomalous, post-partisan politics. As all distinctions between the two nominal parties have begun to dissolve into an homogenous amalgam of generic, corpoRatist boilerplate, and spurious libertarianisms, St. Barry, the Compromiser, calmly, and evenly dials down, adjusts the expectations of the people to accept less: lower salary, less "public service," but higher prices, and less value.
ThePrez always claimed he admired Reagan because Reagan's was a "transformative" presidency. In a funny way, the O suffers from the same psychological malady that afflicted his predecessor, the Chimperor Bush: father issues. For both, the driving energy may derive from the (dare I call it Freudian?) desire to surpass Pop.
To the Shrub, it meant destroying Saddam, and thereby proving to his mother his disk was as big as his daddy's. For Obama, it means surpassing his surrogate, his political "Dad"/father-figure, Raygun, in "transforming" American political culture. And as with this propensity for compromise, it matters less to him what the result looks like--what has been transformed/compromised--than the process itself.
I think he'll try to notch the scalps of the teachers' unions, myself. That would beat Daddy Raygun's PATCO victory. And in doing so--a nominal Democrat attacking and undermingin a traditional Democratic ally like the teachers--that'll signal the arrival of the "Third Party!"
So be wary of that for which we wish...