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

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
What's Next
Trending Today
Rap News Special Edition: Hillary Clinton Vs Donald Trump
7 min · 16,441 views today · Hello world. RAP NEWS is back for a special episode on the 2016 USA Election mayhem, feat. Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump + a touch of Jill Stein & Gary Johnson. This one's...
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 12,003 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
Daniel Quinn · 7,716 views today · In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 7,287 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Debt, Inequality and the Logic of Financial Violence
David Graeber · 4,559 views today · Five years after Occupy, organizer and anthropologist David Graeber speaks to ROAR about the power of finance, the history of inequality and the legacy of the movement.
Prince Ea Just Put The School System on Trial and Found it Guilty of Killing Free Thought
6 min · 3,982 views today · Albert Einstien once said "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid". Today Prince...
The Culture of Maximum Harm
Daniel Quinn · 3,691 views today · People have lived many different ways on this planet, but about ten thousand years ago there appeared one people who believed everyone in the world should live a single...
The Left Deserves Better Than Jill Stein
Kate Aronoff · 2,125 views today · Stein’s Green Party run doesn’t offer a plan to win, or to build power. The Left is capable of so much more.
Incredible Photographs and Witness Statements from Charlotte and Baton Rouge Protests
Mankaprr Conteh · 2,084 views today · On September 20, a black father named Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by an officer of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. It is not clear if he was armed...
How You Can Support Standing Rock
Thane Maxwell · 1,742 views today · This is your pipeline battle too. Whatever you have to offer, we need it. Wherever you are, take one step deeper. Find your voice. Find your own front lines.
Yemen's Forgotten War and Famine Fuelled by Weapons from The West
3 min · 1,640 views today · The world has forgotten the war in Yemen but you'll remember these shocking images of its starving children.
Kids Killed by Guns: America's Daily Nightmare
3 min · 1,139 views today · On an average day in America, seven children and teenagers will be shot dead.Gary Younge tells the stories of the lives lost on one random day - 23 November 2013. Ten children...
This Satirical Trump Vs. Bernie Debate Is Both Hilarious and Highly Disturbing
44 min · 1,117 views today · Comedians James Adomian (Bernie Sanders) and Anthony Atamanuik (Donald Trump) bring two of the most controversial candidates in history, head-to-head, or rather bald-to-toupee...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,036 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Olympian John Carlos on the Power of Protest
3 min · 1,031 views today · 1968 Olympic athlete John Carlos protested racial inequality by raising his fist in a Black Power salute on the medal stand. He has some advice for athletes like Colin...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 979 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 918 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 813 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...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 643 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 605 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Barack Obama VS Those Craaaazy Republicans: Is He the Lesser Evil, or the More Effective Evil?