Barack Obama has been called everything from a gun-hating, closet-Muslim hiding socialist to a big-government loving, deficit exploding, tax increasing, class-warfare waging liberal elitist. He's been compared to Hitler and denounced for wanting to destroy capitalism and/or America. He pals around with terrorists. They say he wasn't born in America and secretly hates white people.
For partisan Democrats, the Right's deluge of attacks on Obama over the years might be seen as a great gift, as it has understandably painted conservatives who echo these sentiments as laughably crazy (or brilliant propagandists adept at appealing to the fears of their base). But for those that get their news from outside the right-wing echo chamber, the truth of these smears is well understood. Criticism from MSNBC or the mainstream left on the other hand has been largely shallow or non-existent (although I confess I rarely watch any mainstream TV to keep score).
But from what I have seen, I've observed a great tragedy, as this partisan jockeying has given the mainstream debate about Obama's successes and failures a false illusion of depth. On one hand you have all the lies and myths of the Republicans representing Obama's fiercest critique, and on the other hand you have all the defenders of Obama singing his accomplishments and virtues while debunking all the myths constructed by the Right.
What this left/right positioning of the debate has accomplished is to shut out and marginalize legitimate, reality-based, deeply meaningful and truly damning critiques of the Obama presidency and his administration.
So in the spirit of illustrating exactly what I mean, here are 5 articles and two videos that challenge this falsely constructed spectrum of opinion, offering a true (reality-based) critique of Obama.
Just imagine if these perspectives were allowed to enter the mainstream debate.
One Response to Daniel Ellsberg's call for swing-state lefties to vote for Obama
1. Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy (2011) (Documentary)
Lifting the Veil is a significant achievement - offering a definitive critique of the Obama administration from a reality-based perspective (Ie, a critique not based on propaganda and spin). It thoroughly deconstructs the hypocrisy of U.S. politics, democracy, capitalism and other aspects of the American brand. This film promotes no illusions, examining our present state of affairs under Obama with eyes wide open.
At once disillusioning, the film inspires and offers a great message of hope in it's evocative finale and excellent choice of music. It also points to the most immediate alternative for building a new, directly democratic and liberated world within the shell of the old (workplace democracy). For OWS, the film exemplifies the movement's bi-partisan critique of the status quo, its deep rejection of surface-level reforms or solutions, and the deep insight that comes from waking up to the way the world really is.
Did I miss something really good? Post your suggestions and/or comments below.