Emails, Hugs, and the Coming Revision of the Obama Swan Song

by Danny Haiphong

It’s not a pretty picture: Michelle Obama hugging George Bush. But her husband has been politically intimate with Republicans all along – and now we learn that he knew about Hillary Clinton’s illegal email system, too. Lesson: the Repubs and Dems “are unified in their service to the ruling class.” The duopoly system is rotting from within, providing an “opportunity to build a movement based on principles rather than corporate party affiliations.”

Emails, Hugs, and the Coming Revision of the Obama Swan Song

by Danny Haiphong

“The revelation of Obama's involvement in Hillary Clinton's illegal email communications cannot be explained away.”

US Presidents are always backed by the vilest forces of exploitation. Ruling class support for Obama in particular has possessed a special quality. The corporate media has worked with every section of the "liberal" bourgeoisie for the last eight years to make Obama an untouchable figure in the public eye. However, in a period of insurgency, even well-backed machines eventually malfunction. Obama’s most recent political blunders open up an opportunity to factor his rule into the struggle against the two-party corporate duopoly.

Many liberal-minded Americans fawned over Obama's speech at the dedication ceremony for the new Smithsonian Museum for National African American History and Culture on September 24th. However, Obama’s speech was less informative than the now famous picture that went viral shortly after the ceremony. The picture was of Michelle Obama hugging George W. Bush closely for the camera. Bush signed the law that built the corporate-backed Museum in 2003. The image was heralded by the corporate media as an example of "American unity" toward a mythical greater good. But what it really shows is how the Republican and Democratic Parties are unified in their service to the ruling class.

This fact has become clear to millions of people observing the 2016 elections. Hillary Clinton has summoned the entire ruling class under her big, nasty tent. Trump has split the Republican Party establishment from its grassroots base. Clinton's email scandal and her party's successful war on the Sanders campaign have significantly damaged her image in the eyes of the electorate. No amount of Trump-bashing on the part of the corporate media can change the minds of millions of people who are convinced that the choices before them are not really choices at all.

“Clinton's email scandal and her party's successful war on the Sanders campaign have significantly damaged her image in the eyes of the electorate.”

It is now Obama's turn to throw mud at the Democratic Party's "lesser evil" identity. The friendly hug between Michelle Obama and George W. Bush provided a mere a snapshot image of what has been true since the Obama family entered the White House in 2009. Throughout its tenure, the Obama Administration has actively courted the Republican Party's favor. President Obama himself led the effort to strike a "Grand Bargain" with the GOP to cut all social entitlements, even Social Security and Medicare. And while the bargain failed to pass, Obama's imperialist leadership still managed to intensify and expand all of George W. Bush's most unpopular policies.

The ruling class has diverted attention away from the intimate policy relationship between the Obama and Bush Administrations by framing the Michelle Obama and Bush picture as an example of what it means to be an "American." However, the Obama Administration may not receive the same forgiveness regarding its involvement in the Hillary Clinton email scandal. A recent Freedom of Information Act request has revealed that Barack Obama used a pseudonym to communicate with Hillary Clinton on her private email server during her time as Secretary of State. This contradicts Obama's official position on the email scandal which presumed that the President found out about the controversy at the same time as the US public.

“The email controversy must be placed in the context of an imperialist state apparatus that is accountable to nothing but the interests of the ruling class.

Corporate media pundits have historically given Obama a "get out of jail" free card for each and every one his policy blunders. Those who voted for Obama were told to lower their expectations and blame the racist Republicans for his Administration's betrayal of the masses. Obama's very presence in the White House intoxicated the left, leaving it too drunk to muster any sort of challenge to imperial rule. But the revelation of Obama's involvement in Hillary Clinton's illegal email communications cannot be explained away. Obama's swan song just opened itself up for revision.

It is important not to squander such an opportunity. The email controversy must be placed in the context of an imperialist state apparatus that is accountable to nothing but the interests of the ruling class. President Obama's involvement in the email debacle is one lie of an administration built on a lie. Obama's entire legacy, as this author analyzed earlier this month, has been one shaped by total servitude to the ruling class. It is only fitting that Michelle Obama would hug George W. Bush in front of the entire world. Indeed, he has much to hug her for. The Obama Administration not only pardoned his crimes, but also expanded them for two more terms.

Of course, hugging George W. Bush and participating in Hillary Clinton's email scandal are not the worst crimes that Michelle and Barack Obama have committed. Nor should anyone be surprised that Barack Obama deceived the masses or that Michelle Obama is good friends with liberal America's most hated President. Team Obama has murdered thousands of people who were unlucky enough to make its Kill List by way of aerial drone strike. The world has been set aflame under the Obama Doctrine in places such as Libya, Ukraine, and Syria. And conditions are no better for oppressed people in the United States. The state under Obama has murdered a Black American each day and deported a record number of undocumented people.

“Young Black Americans are increasingly at odds with the Democratic Party's servitude to the racist state.”

These conditions, along with the miserable state of working class America generally, have aroused an insurgency that shows no sign of letting up. Young Black Americans are increasingly at odds with the Democratic Party's servitude to the racist state. Millennials have been the driving political force of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon and it remains to be seen whether they will hold their nose for Hillary Clinton just because Sanders betrayed them. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did not earn their unpopularity solely because of their enormous flaws. Thirty years of downward pressure on working class life and the intensification of racist state repression has reached its bubbling point during Obama's swan song. The majority of the unrest has been channeled into resentment toward the false choices available in the 2016 elections.

Obama's recent missteps can only aid in the development of the emerging movement against the two-party corporate duopoly system. The more the Obama Administration attaches itself to the reputations of figures such as Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush, the faster the duopoly system will rot from within. And the faster the rot, the greater the opportunity to build a movement based on principles rather than corporate party affiliations. The first debate between Clinton and Trump has prompted many questions from the corporate media as to which candidate is the lesser of two evils. The challenge now is to organize the millions of people who would answer "neither" into a mass movement for social transformation.

Danny Haiphong is an Asian activist and political analyst in the Boston area. He can be reached at [email protected]