September 17, 2008

Deadly Star: If You Don't Vote for Me, You're a Racist Loser

This is funny:
Mr. Obama implored Democrats to “keep steady” in the face of intense criticism and fluctuating poll numbers in his contest with Senator John McCain. Before bidding farewell to his supporters, in what aides said would likely be his last visit here before the election, he declared: “Don’t spend time reading blogs, don’t watch cable news. Just remember what this campaign is about.”
Don't spend time reading blogs?! The ungrateful SOB. But Obama knows very well indeed that he could threaten to lock up every single liberal-progressive blogger and torture them for the rest of their lives, and they'd still support him, vote for him, and heap contempt on everyone who isn't as wise and sophisticated as they are. "Oh, he doesn't really mean any of that. The real Obama, the far-seeing, courageous progressive will be the one who governs, once he's safely elected." Self-deluded fools, and often far worse than fools.

But this, from the same NYT item, is not remotely funny:
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Senator Barack Obama stood beneath the stars – surrounded by the ones from Hollywood – and tried to soothe the concerns of worrying Democrats here on Tuesday as he held the biggest fund-raising night of his campaign.

“A lot of people have gotten nervous and concerned. Why is this as close as it is? And what’s going on?” Mr. Obama said, speaking to about 300 people over dinner at the Greystone Mansion. “We always knew this was going to be hard – this is a leap for the American people.”
"We always knew this was going to be hard..."

"[T]his is a leap for the American people."

Note the division. The two categories are irrevocably split: "we" versus "the American people," that is, those Americans who will not vote for Obama. "Us" versus "them." The enlightened versus the ignorant. The intelligent versus the stupid. And with the damnably evasive phrase, "this is a leap," a phrase that remains unequivocally clear in its meaning, the non-racist versus the racist. That last point would not be so horrifying were it not for the fact that, except for his pigmentation, Obama is not black in the smallest degree.

The division can be expressed another way -- the winners versus the losers (numerous internal links omitted, but you should follow them in the original):
Since Reagan, the Democratic leadership has wavered back and forth between those who want to bring the politics back to bread and butter issues, which means addressing working class needs and interests, and those who want to create a coalition that does not rely on white working class votes. We saw those two perspectives battle it out in the primaries this year. The latter group, not just party officials, but also the intelligentsia that formulates the political philosophy and the echo chamber that shouts its approval, is running a campaign on little more than class resentment against former Democratic constituencies. (White) Race is elided with (working) class to create the ultimate clash of culture – to make racist demons out of people asking to have their material interests defended.


The focus of the Unity Democrats is on the winners of the economic realignment, those who managed to win a place in the white collar upper-middle class. People like my family and my husband’s, who leveraged the affluence of the post-war era to vault from being immigrants and farmers to being professionals in various government bureaucracies, law, finance, and new, white collar industries like high tech and bio-tech. The other part is to minimize the damage the losers of that realignment can inflict, which mostly means refusing to commit to policies and plans that will defend their interests. Or even their lives. Obama’s campaign is not about social goods and resources, but about cultural markers of class inclusion, such as your level of education, where you shop, whether you live in urban or rural environments, etc. He has difficulty addressing the failures of an economic system contiguous with his own class and which is deeply invested in his candidacy, and I don’t just mean the campaign contributions. He is the exemplar of a mode of life that, while not as unreachable as that of Bush’s base, is still out of reach of those who do not have the education, acculturation and business contacts to climb up that economic ladder.

The ultimate shadow of Reagan is that you don’t win by defending losers, only by securing the interests of the winners. That is the dark heart beating in the chest of the Unity Democrats. They are done with the losers.
Recently, I have stated repeatedly that I will not vote for either McCain or Obama. The specific reasons in support of my position override every other consideration.

Yet as I was thinking about these issues today, I considered voting for McCain for several minutes. It was an emotional reaction, and in my view an eminently understandable one. I would like to vote for McCain just to stick two of my fat, racist, loser fingers right in Obama's vicious, lying eyes.

I won't do it, for the reasons in my earlier post, and now for one additional and very significant reason as well. Obama is deliberately exploiting profoundly lethal divisions here. It is bad enough, and it is sickeningly bad, that Obama and many of his supporters irresponsibly accuse most of those who don't support Obama of being racists, often in the absence of any evidence to support the charge and even when a great deal of contradictory evidence exists. This has happened to me, and I have written about it at length. I can tell you this: to be accused of being a racist because of your criticisms of Obama, even when you have written a multitude of essays about the great evil of racism and even when you have extensively documented the grounds for your opposition to Obama, is deeply enraging. It is grossly unjust, and it makes you furious.

On top of this is what I will call The Big Lie about the Obama candidacy. By virtue of the fact that he is a Black American -- and by virtue of that fact alone -- Obama presents himself as the champion of the oppressed, of those who have been and still are discriminated against, of, if you will, the "losers" in American society. Yet as I have shown in many essays, and as Anglachel similarly argues in the post excerpted above, the truth is precisely the opposite. Obama has fully adopted the positions and policies of the ruling class -- which is to say, of the white, male ruling class. Most of the liberal-progressive writers and bloggers adamantly refuse to acknowledge this fact, and they will not even approach the subject. But why should they? They have made themselves into a willingly enthusiastic adjunct of the same ruling class. (Even the few leading female progressive bloggers have functionally transformed themselves into men with regard to these issues.) Most of the progressive bloggers are "winners" culturally, economically, in terms of race and status, and in every other way. Obama's program is more than fine for them.

But Obama is engaged in a very dangerous game. He and many of his supporters are deliberately, repeatedly, and with full knowledge before the fact fanning the flames of all these resentments, those that actually exist along lines of race, culture and class, and those that they so criminally invent out of nothing. But because these divisions are genuine to such a significant degree and are endemic to the corporatist system as it now exists (Obama's lies and protestations to the contrary notwithstanding), what happens when the "losers" realize that, in fact, Obama is not on their side at all?

I do not like to think about the rage many people will justifiably feel at that point. With one or two exceptions, liberal and progressive commentators and bloggers won't feel it, and they will not say a word about any of this. They're "winners," after all. But what about those who are not so fortunate? When they understand that Obama is fully in the grip of not only his unfathomably wealthy and pampered Hollywood friends but, much more significantly, of his corporate paymasters, when they appreciate Obama's devotion to the interests of the ruling class, how angry will they be? And how will that anger find expression?

No matter what happens now, these resentments and this anger, all of which could exist at exceedingly threatening levels as the economy continues to deteriorate and as the American Empire slowly comes apart in other ways, now represent a very serious future danger. If Obama wins, and once his true allegiances become clear, the resentments and the anger could make themselves known in ways none of us would wish to contemplate. If Obama loses, it could be still worse.

So I will not vote for Obama or McCain. But for these reasons, I view Obama as one of the most profoundly dishonest and irresponsible candidates ever to run for president. He is playing with fire. It appears to me that he is well aware of what he is doing, and of what many of his supporters are doing.

These tactics may win him the White House. And these same tactics, in combination with the disintegrating, splintering American culture and economy, may turn his triumph into a notably ugly victory, a victory many Americans may come to mourn very, very deeply.

I confess that I am very fearful for the future of this country, even more fearful than I have been in the Bush years. And that, I also confess, is a development I would never have predicted. But there had been the possibility of opposition over the past seven years, although it finally became clear that all such opposition was a deadly illusion, and that the nominal opposition was in certain respects even guiltier than the Bush criminals.

An Obama victory will kill much of the possibility for meaningful political opposition for good -- that is, opposition that might significantly alter the existing system without destroying it (if that is at all possible, which I am almost entirely convinced it is not). But the resentments, the anger and possibly even the hatred will remain, and they may grow. What happens then?

It hardly bears thinking about.