It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Left/Right Paradigm

The left wing, right wing split in American politics appears to be an illusion. People are waking up to the realisation that regardless of whom occupies the big office on Pennsylvania Avenue, it has been business as usual for Wall Street.

Legislation coming out of Congress in the last decade has uniformly served the interests of financiers by dismantling the safeguards built into the system after The Great Depression. Bill Clinton's administration was a runaway train of change. Signing the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, and keeping Alan Greenspan at the Fed, was arguably the root cause for much of the economic destruction today.

George Bush will be remembered as a warmaker, so consumed with Al Queda, that the kids in Treasury and the Fed declared a free-for-all of consumption paid for by cheap debt. By the time Bush had packed his bags for Texas, the collapse had begun and it was "Good Luck" and a hug for Obama on the steps of the White House.

Obama entered the White House with the third highest approval ratings since Gallup began keeping track. And now, after 200 days in office, his ratings have dropped to the third lowest level since tracking began in 1930. Campaign promises to engineer change have not manifested. War has been expanded in Afghanistan, lobbyists still roam the halls of Congress and White House. Bankers emerged from last year's financial collapse intact; their losses socialised and "moral hazard" a forgotten threat.

Strangely, George W Bush achieved the highest approval rating ever - at 98%, following 9/11, with the traditional support given to a President at war. But efforts to shore up Obama's ratings seem destined to follow the Market, this October. This administration is poised to oversee financial collapse in America. The 5-year bond auction failed last week and the 7-year auction that followed was heralded as a success - until it was revealed as a fraud. It's just a question of time. Read here

Everything is hedged on his passing the Health Reform Bill, H.R.3200, to provide health insurance to the more than 30 million Americans who don't have any. The Democrats have the numbers to get the Bill passed, but voters on both sides are showing increased hostility. They realize that nothing in the legislation will reduce the skyrocketing cost of health care. The current recess, a time when congressman and senators return to their districts and feel the pulse of the people, is not going well for those politicians seeking re-election next year. At town hall meetings all across America the party faithful are turning on legistators now seen as puppets.

A grassroots movement has begun in Los Angeles that is puzzling analysts. Posters began appearing in Los Angeles and spread to San Francisco and beyond. The Joker posters are blamed on the American right but there is nothing to support this claim; Rupublicans and Libertarians are just as puzzled by the origin of the posters. Indeed, Democrats are now putting up their own version with the word "Fascist" dubbed in place of "Socialist". People are downloading the image from the internet and paying for the printing themselves. Kinkos reports people coming in with memory keys and getting a hundred, or so, at their own expense.

This may be the groundswell of a second American Revolution. Republican voters are embracing Libertarian candidates in local districts. Rand Paul is running for Congress in Kentucky and Peter Schiff is putting together a team to challenge Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. It seems likely that a third party will emerge from the ashes to contest the next presidential election.

But it may be too late for Obama to recover the "Hope" that used to emblazon his posters. Facing a Carter-like, one-term presidency, Obama needs listen to the people instead of the retreaded syncophants he began with in January.

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