Barack Obama VS Those Craaaazy Republicans: Is He the Lesser Evil, or the More Effective Evil?
By Bruce A. Dixon / blackagendareport.com
Sep 23, 2011

The last refuge of Obamaphiles is that no matter how many times the First Black President double-crosses us by cutting Medicare and Medicaid, no matter how completely be betrays his voters by ignoring black unemployment, by deporting one million Latinos, by protecting the banksters responsible for the foreclosure crisis and by invading, bombing, occupying and subverting even more countries than the Cheney-Bush regime, his white supremacist tea party opponents are far worse. But what if Democrat Barack and the Republican tea partyers are just playing different positions on the same team?

“The corporate politician's job is to deliver those voters, those constituencies to their campaign contributors, so they can enact the policies their financiers desire.”

The corporate moguls who run the US empire and its political processes are not fools. So when the Republican party deliberately pushes forward certifiable clowns like Michelle Bachman, Richard Perry, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum as its presidential contenders, we can be certain that matters are not quite what they seem. These pandering lunatics are only inmates of the asylum, which is run by the corporate entities that fund the careers of Democratic and Republic politicians alike --- the energy and insurance industries, corporate media and real estate, military contractors, and of course, Wall Street.

In the words of economist and financial historian Michael Hudson, the job of corporate American politicians is not to enact the policies their voters want. The corporate politician's job is to deliver those voters, those constituencies to their campaign contributors, so they can enact the policies their financiers desire. The fact therefore, that Democrats compared to Republicans, and sometimes even Democrats compared to other Democrats appeal to varied groups of voters accounts for why they sound different from each other. But the fact that they all depend on the same class of wealthy corporations and individuals to finance their political careers means that no matter what they tell their voters, the policies they enact once in office are pretty much the same.

This accounts for the fact that although the Democratic presidential candidate won his nomination by telling voters he opposed the war in Iraq, by the time he sewed up that nomination, he was appearing on the Bill O'Reilly show to praise the war in Iraq and endorse the Cheney-Bush “surge”. It explains why candidate Obama, after promising (but mostly only before labor audiences) to renegotiate NAFTA, walk a picket line and pass legislation that would make more unionization possible, president Obama pushed to extend “free trade” agreements everywhere, cracked down on federal workers, demonized teacher unions and more. It explains why Obama literally claims to walk in Martin Luther King's footsteps when it suits him --- on the campaign trail he declared himself “Joshua” to Dr. King's “Moses” --- but manages to ignore black unemployment and mass incarceration, the wave of foreclosures which are inordinately concentrated among nonwhite households, and maintains the US position as in King's words “...the number one purveyor of violence in the world today.”

“Only the First Black President could have disbanded the peace movement and rolled into town promising to “cut entitlements” without provoking a firestorm of protest.”

The 2012 Republican presidential candidates are indeed different from most (but not all) Democrats. They are intolerant religious zealots and Dominionists. They are anti-Muslim and anti-gay bigots, and open white supremacists. Their debate audiences raucously cheer the prospect of more executions and the undeserving poor dying for lack of medical care. But these are all about cultural, not policy differences. What Republicans call “Obamacare” is the same insurance company boondoggle governor Mitt Romney imposed on Massachusetts in the 1990s, and the poor are indeed still dying for lack of care in Massachusetts. The rhetoric Republican candidates use to round up and corral their base voters should not be confused with Republican policy objectives.

Since the forces financing Republicans are the same as those financing Democrats the directors of US political theater have the power to play games with us. For them, Obama is the preferable alternative. Only the First Black President could have disbanded the peace movement and rolled into town promising to “cut entitlements” without provoking a firestorm of protest. Only the First Black President could have accepted a Nobel Peace Prize with a war speech, and invaded an African country without millions of protesters in the street worldwide. Only the First Black President with a strong Democratic majority in Congress could have resumed offshore drilling after the Gulf BP disaster, and blocked any new regulation on the oil industry. Only the First Black President could have given GM back to its managers after sticking the unions with its underfunded health care and pension load. Only candidate Obama could have come in off the campaign trail in September 2008 to whip Democratic votes in the Democrat-dominated congress for the $3 trillion Bush bailout, and only the First black President could have quintupled down on that bailout, giving the banksters $15 trillion more once in office.

From their standpoint, Obama needed, and continues to need two things. First, Obama needs running room to his right. In order for Obama to enact the neoliberal policies of his militarist and bankster sponsors, the policy demands of Republicans had to move further and still further rightward. In other words, he needs Republicans to play crazy and crazier, so that wherever he lands can credibly be claimed to be a little better than what might have been under a Republican regime, even when Obama's position is actually to the right of Bush or Reagan. Secondly, the bankster favorite Obama needs to distract the attention of his voter base with a loud and persistent clamor over cultural issues and sustained furor over instances of personal (but not institutional) racism among Republican candidates and supporters. Like in any production, every actor has a job to do, and everybody does their job.

“Having the same class of shot-calling big money contributors means that Republicans and Democrats alike tend to enact the same policies...”

With these elements in place, our Black Misleadership Class and others responsible for marshalling support for the president's re-election effort can, and are already claiming that no matter how bad Obama's policies have been for black people, that we still owe him our unquestioned support because he's running against a pack of fanatical white supremacists. Obama may not be much good, but opposing the right, they will tell us, is fighting the far greater evil. Americans, and especially black Americans, are long accustomed to choosing between greater and lesser political evils.

But does that choice apply in 2012? Probably not. Having the same class of shot-calling big money contributors means that Republicans and Democrats alike tend to enact the same policies, justifying them with different sorts of rhetoric. While we're looking for lesser and greater evils, the real choice is between the less effective and the more effective evil.

When Republicans invade new countries, global public opinion can put millions worldwide in protest demonstrations in the street. When Democrats invade, there are no demonstrations. When Republicans propose social security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts, and try to regulate unions out of existence, public outcries and near general-strike situations loom. When Democrats do the same, all is quiet. Republicans could not even pass their own bailout bills with a Republican in the White House. So between bigoted, bumbling tea party Republicans, and level-headed, competent corporate Democrats, which is the greater evil? And which is the more effective evil?

Bruce Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and based in Marietta GA, were he is one of the principals in an internet technology partnership and a state committee member in the Georgia Green Party. He can be reached at bruce.dixon@blackagendareport.com.

4.0 ·
1
Trending Today
What Happens When You Rebel Against the Herd
Sofo Archon · 9,816 views today · Are You Truly Living Your Life? You live, but are you living the way you want to live, or the way others want you to live? You choose, but are your choices based on...
The Coming War on China
John Pilger · 5,473 views today · A major US military build-up – including nuclear weapons – is under way in Asia and the Pacific with the purpose of confronting China. John Pilger raises the alarm on an...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 4,756 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Murdoch and Trump, Sitting at the Tee, S-C-H-E-M-I-N-G
Frankie Boyle · 3,771 views today · Say what you like about Donald Trump but he's already done things people said were impossible, like made Twitter worse. Looking back, the Harambe situation is the closest...
Thich Nhat Hanh: How We Can Learn to Love Our Enemies
5 min · 3,419 views today · This is a short excerpt from Peacemaking. I often think about this story when I think about the kind of activism I would like to bring into this world. I want to help build a...
Real Underground Kingdom That Has Existed for Millions of Years Went Unnoticed, Until Recently...
Kid Krunk · 3,248 views today · 28 Stunning Photos Of The World’s Largest Cave
I Am Not Your Negro (2017)
3 min · 2,841 views today · In his new film, director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished - a radical narration about race in America, using the writer's original words. He draws...
Simple Social Experiment Shows We Are More Than The Boxes People Put Us In
3 min · 2,404 views today · We live in a time where we are quick to put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think?
The Charter For Compassion
2 min · 1,356 views today · The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,303 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
What Would It Take to Stop the Raids?
CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective · 1,226 views today · Responding Effectively to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Attacks
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 1,220 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 1,053 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,026 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,019 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Surviving Capitalist Depression
Michael Emero · 818 views today · We live in a toxic society filled with toxic people. Even the ones with the best hearts- including ourselves- have been raised in ignorance, with disinformation. Our examples...
Hans Rosling Brilliantly Explains Complexity of Population and Resource Issues Using Simple Tools
3 min · 608 views today · Let me show you the world, says Swedish academic Han Rosling as he demonstrates the dynamics of population growth, child mortality and carbon dioxide emissions. The challenge...
"The Myth of Time" - Martin Luther King Jr.
3 min · 595 views today · Excerpt from MLK Jr.'s last sermon, "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution". Delivered at The National Cathedral on March 31, 1968 (4 days prior to his...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 502 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
Heather Plett · 416 views today · How to be there for the people who need you most
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Barack Obama VS Those Craaaazy Republicans: Is He the Lesser Evil, or the More Effective Evil?