by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
As BAR predicted, gridlock – which has finished off the congressional SuperCommittee – was the last, best hope to prevent Barack Obama from consummating his marriage with the Republicans over the past year. In the interim, a new social movement has arisen. But it, too, is threatened by Obamite cooptation. Van Jones, says an organizer of Occupy Washington DC, “is doing the dirty work of a Democratic operative and while he and other Dem front groups pretend to support Occupiers, their real mission is to co-opt it.” Gridlock has bought time for the overarching mission: “The Sword of Damocles that hovers over the planet, is Wall Street’s $600 trillion-plus derivatives, financial nuclear bombs invented by Wall Street.”
Gridlock is a Blessing: To Hell With Obama and His Van Joneses
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Gridlock was all that stood in the way of Barack Obama finally consummating his long sought marriage with the GOP over the past year.”
Saved, once again, by gridlock! In the absence of any serious social democratic presence in the U.S. Congress – a Progressive Caucus that went poof! years ago, a Black Caucus rendered ridiculous by Obamaism – glorious gridlock was the only force that could derail the SuperCommittee, just as gridlock saved us from Obama’s $4 trillion “Grand Bargain” with House Speaker John Boehner, this past summer.
Gridlock is not a dependable ally. It’s what the condemned hope happens to traffic on their way to the execution site. But, with Occupy Wall Street only a very recent phenomenon, gridlock was all that stood in the way of Barack Obama finally consummating his long sought marriage with the GOP over the past year. Had the Republicans not repeatedly spurned The First Black President’s offers of matrimony – for their own narrow reasons – the disgusting union would have long ago been accomplished.
The Obama train, which was always headed in the same fatal direction as the GOP juggernaut, has been stopped in its tracks, despite the president’s vow to keep his hand on the throttle with a veto of any rollback of $1.2 trillion in automatic federal spending cuts. Having rejected a partnership with Obama, the Republicans will have great difficulty finishing off the last remnants of the New Deal and the Great Society in the coming election year. Instead, they will be consumed with keeping the military budget off the chopping block.
“Having rejected a partnership with Obama, the Republicans will have great difficulty finishing off the last remnants of the New Deal and the Great Society in the coming election year.”
In the course of over six years of intense scrutiny of candidate and President Obama, we at Black Agenda Report have learned to read him like a (comic) book. Last November 3, when Republicans won control of the House, we wrote:
“We can only hope that the Republicans are so consumed with destroy-Obama fervor that they reject his entreaties to bipartisan collaboration, and rush to gridlock…. The best outcome that could result from Tuesday’s Democratic debacle is that the Republicans overreach and, in their white nationalist triumphalism, make it impossible for President Obama and congressional Democrats to reach an accommodation with rampaging reaction and racism.”
The Republicans were stupid enough to grant our wish, twice spurning Obama’s shameless collaboration in catastrophic spending cuts, and finally leaving the matter to the doomed SuperCommittee.
BAR had Obama’s number on December 15 of last year, when he defected to the GOP on the Bush tax cuts with not even a pretense of a fight. Obama, we wrote, had entered his “comfort zone” now that House Democrats were about to become the minority. He saw the defeat of his own party as putting him one step closer to a “Grand Bargain” with the Republicans.
In the 12 months since the Democrat’s mid-term debacle, Obama has bared his naked corporatist butt for all to see. We predicted as much: “Obama is now in his element, where he can maneuver among fellow rightist Democrats and Republican Neanderthals, seeking the bipartisan nirvana he has craved his entire cynical, opportunistic career.”
But within months, gridlock would thwart his plans. Hallelujah!
However, gridlock merely delays the trip to the guillotine. Only a mass movement can defeat massed capital, the master of both political parties. The Occupy Wall Street phenomenon, which only emerged in September and is not yet fully formed, is at constant risk of entanglement with the phony “movement” conjured up almost four years earlier in the delusional minds of so-called Progressives for Obama and their ilk – a “shake-and-bake” concoction whose only mission was election of a flim-flam artist as president.
“In the 12 months since the Democrat’s mid-term debacle, Obama has bared his naked corporatist butt for all to see.”
The delusionists are at it, again, gearing up to award their brown-skinned Ronald Reagan acolyte another four years to rut with Republicans. At the point-position of this well-heeled cooptation brigade is Van Jones, the Obama staffer who was fired as White House “Green Jobs Czar” on the ridiculous charge of being a closeted radical. Occupy Washington DC activist Kevin Zeese has issued a “Memo to Democratic Operatives” like Jones to “back off the Occupy movement”:
“The former Obama administration official, who received a golden parachute at Princeton and the Democratic think tank Center for American Progress when he left the administration, is doing what Democrats always do—see the energy of an independent movement, race to the front, then lead it down a dead end and essentially destroy it. Jones is doing the dirty work of a Democratic operative and while he and other Dem front groups pretend to support Occupiers, their real mission is to co-opt it….”
“The Occupy Movement,” writes Zeese, “is not part of either corporate-dominated party and Van Jones is not our leader. It is corporate rule we oppose. The Obama administration and the Democrats as well as the Republicans maintain the rule of Wall Street. Occupiers have organized an independent movement that challenges the rule of the 1% and their Republican and Democratic lackeys. Bought and paid for with millions of dollars from Wall Street, the health insurance industry and big energy interests, Obama and the Democrats are part of the problem, not the solution.”
The “problem” menacing all humankind is the rule of finance capital, backed by the imperial armament of the United States and its allies, who together account for 70 percent of all the military spending on Earth. The Sword of Damocles that hovers over the planet, is Wall Street’s $600 trillion-plus derivatives, financial nuclear bombs invented to satisfy the capitalist system’s demand for ever-increasing rates of return on investment.
“Obama and the Democrats are part of the problem, not the solution.”
In May of 2008 – far too late to avert the impending catastrophe – a virtual Who’s Who of European social democratic leaders, including former heads of state and ministers of treasury, posted an Open Letter in the French newspaper Le Monde, proclaiming that “Mad Finance Must Not Rule Us.” They were speaking of the $750 trillion in derivatives at large at the time:
“Financial capital currently represents 15 times the gross domestic product (GDP) of all countries… The world of finance has accumulated a gigantic mass of fictitious capital that does very little to improve the human condition and the preservation of the environment.”
The nominally “socialist” politicians warned that, “when everything is for sale, social cohesion disintegrates and the system collapses.” They urged immediate action to control financial markets, which “are incapable of self-regulation.”
But of course, nothing of the kind occurred. The Meltdown followed a few months later, and today finance capital is eating Europe and the United States alive. Europe’s faux socialists made themselves irrelevant - and are now paying at the polls - through their own decades of collaboration with the rise of all-powerful “Wall Street” structures. The cold, hard fact is that finance capital, which has seized hegemonic control of all economic, political, communications and social mechanisms in the leading capitalist countries, is incapable of regulation. It must be overthrown, or it will destroy us all.
The current gridlock in the United States should be viewed as a temporary and fortunate respite, a chance to build the social movement that can save the people from the worst effects of the system’s inevitable collapse.
Humanity has no time for diversions – such as Democrats.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.