Posts Tagged ‘election 2012’

“Obama is No Pro-Worker President” or: He’s Just Not Into You

“In response, hundreds of janitors in Houston walked off the job last Tuesday, and there have been solidarity strikes in Denver, Minneapolis and a number of other cites…. If Obama wanted to offer a textbook example of a major campaign theme — America’s widening income gap — that would also signal his commitment to helping workers, he could at least release a statement supporting the strikers, yet he and other Democrats seem content to let the janitors fight alone.”

Orthodox, unthinking Obama boosters invariably accuse critics-from-the-left of secretly rooting or working for Romney to win. This is silliness; you’d be hard pressed to find any critic from the left who thinks Romney actually deserves to be elected. 

Speaking for myself I’ll vote for any genuine, progressive-left, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobia, working-class oriented Democrats (or Leftist Independents, Greens, Reds, etc.) with a demonstrable, substantial track record of being exactly that. 

Vote for whomever you want, but while we’re playing the game of lesser-evilism in which corporate-owned Democratic Party bosses demand everyone from the center-left onward perpetually lower our sights for empty, ultimately meaningless electoral gain, let us at the rank-and-file at least have the dignity not to pretend that Obama actually deserves re-election either.

We can’t keep having a long, slow bleed in which every four years the decision boils down to who sinks the knife into the back of the working-class the deepest; of who sells us out for the lowest price. That’s not a real choice and if unthinking apologists keeps pretending that it is, we’ll all be subjects of the ultra-reactionary GOP free-market fantasyland sooner than they can possibly believe.

“”What is his real agenda here?” he said. “Is it to educate the public about the dangers of money and politics, and what’s going on? Or is it simply to marginalize the Republican Party? I think if I were a Republican candidate I would be concerned about that.

Todd concluded by saying that he “idolized” American politics and didn’t want to see people become more cynical about them.””

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WATCH: MSNBC Host Tears Into Stephen Colbert

I’d like to say something caustic and dismissively witty about these words spilling clumsily from the mouths of babes, but suffice it to say that, Chuck Todd is almost 40, and no serious journalist covering Washington has any business being so naive about the subject of his reportage.

I have no reason to think that Stephen Colbert has any designs on marginalizing the Republican Party directly. They are doing that quite well on their own by championing stunningly regressive and reactionary policies that make even the densest and most ignorant political dullard perform an incredulous spit-take.

The valuable service to humanity that Colbert performs is in his generous use of the power of comedy and ridicule to highlight the corruption and rottenness that infects and pervades and positively flourishes in our political system, particularly since January 2010. This is no mean task and should be commended at every available moment.

Regarding his on camera persona, this is obviously a powerful resource by which Colbert can exercise his trade. This performs two functions; 1) he can use this persona to channel the arguments of the enemies of the working class, and to humanity as a whole, to full comedic and ridiculous effect to make a point and, 2) embolden the effect he has when he drops character and speaks with all evident sincerity.

To be truthful, all who watch him can only guess when he enters the second mode of sincerity. That he set aside his persona briefly in his testimony to Congress about immigration, is nonetheless a sterling example of this and was one of the most poignant and heartfelt moments I’ve yet borne witness to in our nation’s capital.

For a man like Chuck Todd to criticize him for what he does for the reasons he does is akin to tossing aside a chocolate bar to munch on the wrapper it came from. We deserve better journalists than this and shouldn’t have to rely on the musings of people led into every night by, as Jon Stewart once put it, “puppets making crank phone calls.” That Chuck Todd is what passes for journalistic rigor in the United States, is but one of many reasons why we find ourselves so dependent.