August 07, 2011

The Impotence of the "Intellectual" Elite

For a few minutes, I considered writing a detailed takedown of this piece of piss-poor analysis. Then I thought: Oh, Christ. I've been through all these issues countless times. Those who want to see the truth have far more evidence than anyone could require to reach the correct conclusions. And those who are driven by their preconceptions and self-sustaining illusions refuse to change their minds on the issues that matter, so why bother? Instead, I'll offer just a few brief notes.

Drew Westen tells us that, "over the last several years," he has worked "as a messaging consultant to nonprofit groups and Democratic leaders." In that work, he has "studied the way voters think and feel, talking to them in plain language."

"A messaging consultant." Huh. Translation: Westen helps those intent on wealth and power achieve their aims. That is, he sells himself to bloodthirsty, criminal motherfuckers so that they can sell shit to people while pretending it's prime rib. Some call it "war," some more accurately describe it as "criminal, aggressive war in service of American global hegemony"; a "messaging consultant" calls it "kinetic military action." Some call it a deliberate scheme to enrich already hugely wealthy insurance companies; a "messaging consultant" calls it "health care reform," when health care is the one element notably omitted from the plan. And so on. (Also: "Arbeit macht frei," another phrase provided by a "messaging consultant.")

Westen additionally tells us that he is "a practicing psychologist with more than 25 years of experience." The little bio at the head of the article states that Westen is a professor of psychology at Emory University.

Then, in the midst of his burblings and on the basis of all these impressive credentials, Westen writes:
Like most Americans, at this point, I have no idea what Barack Obama — and by extension the party he leads — believes on virtually any issue.
It makes you want to scream, doesn't it?


Ah, better. As I said: Christ. I cannot go through it all again, or even a substantial part of it. I'll simply quote the end of a Pam Martens article that I first quoted in May 2008. Get that, Westen? May 2008. Here's Martens:
The Wall Street plan for the Obama-bubble presidency is that of the cleanup crew for the housing bubble: sweep all the corruption and losses, would-be indictments, perp walks and prosecutions under the rug and get on with an unprecedented taxpayer bailout of Wall Street. ... Who better to sell this agenda to the millions of duped mortgage holders and foreclosed homeowners in minority communities across America than our first, beloved, black president of hope and change?

Why do Wall Street and the corporate law firms think they will find a President Obama to be accommodating? As the Black Agenda Report notes, "Evidently, the giant insurance companies, the airlines, oil companies, Wall Street, military contractors and others had closely examined and vetted Barack Obama and found him pleasing."
The article in which I provided extensive excerpts from Martens' analysis was titled, "The Fatal Illusion of Opposition." Get it, Westen? The fatal illusion of opposition. You may as well try to reason with a rock. A rock that has chosen to blind itself, pierce its eardrums, and remove its brain.

The title of Westen's article is, "What Happened to Obama?" Nothing happened to Obama, Westen. He did exactly what he said he was going to do, if you actually listened to what he said and understood it. And, I have to add, were willing to acknowledge what it meant.

This is the state of political analysis and, in very significant part, of psychology today. Even though it doesn't surprise me in the least, I have to admit that to see someone proudly announce in the pages of The New York Times that he is "a practicing psychologist with more than 25 years of experience" in conjunction with this kind of article takes my breath away. It also makes me grieve for anyone who is unfortunate enough to see Westen professionally (and pay him for the privilege) or to be taught by him.

Westen would be better advised to set aside the pathetically misleading question in the title of his article (which I grant Westen himself might not have chosen, although it accurately reflects his perspective), and consider these questions instead:

What the hell is wrong with me, and with all those other people who made the same terrible error I did?

Why was I so willingly enthusiastic to believe all the lies?

And why am I still so resistant to admitting the truth?

In a radically different culture, I might suggest that Westen seek professional help in trying to find the answers, perhaps from a...psychologist. But -- oh, well. In any case, I'm sure Westen would prefer not to do that, especially if it promised to help him arrive at accurate answers.

But I'm confident he would be very happy to talk with a "messaging consultant." In that way, he can continue to find illusory comfort from the lies he so desperately requires. And, as I said at the very end of "The Fatal Illusion of Opposition": "The killing of truth and hope continues unimpeded."

For many more essays about Obama written in the summer of 2008, consult "Silenced: Barack Obama and the End of Struggle toward Truth and Freedom" and the links provided toward the beginning of that piece.