Pippin: Is there any hope, Gandalf, for Frodo and Sam?
Gandalf: There never was much hope. Just a fool’s hope.
from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The above quotation has been banging around in my head for days now. It seems to capture so perfectly the despair I have been feeling since Obama was elected, and every single prediction I made about him has come true. But the truth I thought I knew is both more sinister than I ever could have believed, and far beyond the scope of my imagination.
I understood in 2007 that Obama had the same type of personality as Bush: narcissistic, swaggering, fundamentally incurious, far too attached to the religious right, and scornful of anyone or anything that would presume to stand in the way of his pursuit and retention of power. I wrote this comment on the post I linked above:
Ironically, Obama, while promising change, is really showing that he will deliver more of the same we’ve had for the past 7 years – happy talk and good propaganda, with no, or terrible, results. I’d take almost any of the other candidates over him.
I am not trying to toot my own horn here. Millions of Americans realized the same thing I did, after all, and I don’t think that my seeing Obama for who he was took a huge amount of intelligence or analytical ability. I merely used the same criteria I always use when choosing whom I want to be my President: will he or she do a good job? Clearly, the answer in Obama’s case was, “No, he won’t; in fact, he will do a terrible job.” What other criteria would a boss need when selecting an employee?
But for heaven’s sake, did anyone realize he’d be THIS bad? I ask this question often of PUMAs that I meet in person, or speak with on the blogs, and the answer is always, “No, I didn’t.” That’s my answer too. From his unwillingness to keep his promises to overturn the “conscience rule,” promote and sign FOCA, or end DADT; to his embrace of Reagan and Bush’s failed economic strategies (throwing taxpayer money at big corporations while the unemployment rate skyrockets and more and more Americans lose their homes); to keeping the cruel and pointless occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan going indefinitely (even “surging” in Afghanistan) and upping the ante in Pock-ee-ston; to his approval of mountaintop removal and promotion of poor environmental strategies like “clean coal” and corn ethanol; to his hard right turn into Dear Leader territory with his radical claims of executive privilege and attempts to keep Bush and Cheney (and possibly a key Dem or two) from being prosecuted for torture and warrantless wiretapping; to his recently-admitted desire to find “common ground” with Christian fundamentalists and his impending destruction of the separation of church and state; to his hostility towards universal health care, Medicare and Social Security and other “entitlement” programs near and dear to Democrats’ hearts; to his obvious elevation of unfriendly Arab countries over Israel: every day brings a fresh, 360-degree, head-rotating horror.
And yet, people wonder why I don’t give props to Obama for nominating Sonia Sotomayor, or pretty much for anything at all. Apart from the fact that I have very little time to write these days (two jobs, two radio shows and PUMA activism will do that to ya), are they smoking crack? Here’s a question for Obots and those who still think Obama is playing eleven-dimensional chess on Pluto: If Dubya nominated a woman to the Supreme Court, would you applaud him for advancing the cause of gender equity? Or would you think, “Well, Bush nominated her, so I don’t trust her to have my best interests at heart?”
I’m sure even Obots can answer that question without too much difficulty, and sadly, it looks like my concerns were once again well-founded. Sotomayor is a fence-straddler who has been mostly silent on the issue of reproductive rights. Do I think she’ll overturn Roe v. Wade? No, I don’t. No President, Democratic, Republican or Obamacratic, would go that far at this point. But do I think she will be friendly towards the “rights” of those fanatical lunatics who want to tell me when and where I can purchase birth control, even after being raped? Yes, I do: because Obama chose her. Our very own Dear Leader has opened the floodgates to the anti-choice evangelical community with his massive expansion of Bush’s faith-based initiatives and his team of (mostly rightwing) pastors which advises him on policy decisions.
If you will allow me a snarky diversion, I can’t help imagining those phone calls:
“Hello, you’ve reached Dial-a-Pastor! For advice on wars in the Middle East, press 1. For tips on how to institute a Christian theocracy in YOUR country, press 2. For a direct line to Jesus, press 3. Please make sure you are over 18 and have a credit card ready, as Dial-a-Pastor is not a free service. Have a blessed day!”
But I digress. The point is that the Froot Loops (h/t to our beloved Pat Johnson) are taking over the federal government, with the full blessing and active participation of a so-called Democrat. I said in 2008 that McCain was a neocon, but Obama was a theocon. I have no doubt whatsoever that our new President is a full-on fascist with the intentions of using the tools Bush left him to create an America that will be a cross between Stalinist Russia and The Handmaiden’s Tale.
No, to paraphrase Gandalf, I never had much hope that Obama would be a good President, but I did hope, foolishly, that he would in some way resemble a Democrat: would assemble a decent economic team, perhaps, or throw some bones to women and gays, or end the war in Iraq, or prosecute BushCheney for their war crimes, or work in good conscience on Middle East peace, or bring back habeas corpus and end the MCA and the Patriot Act.
Now I know for certain that Obama does not care about America at all – at least, not the America we all wanted back after Bush took it so far in the wrong direction. Now, I know he is an enemy of the American people in general, favoring the rich, well-connected and fundiegelical over the hundreds of millions of poor and middle-class who mistakenly believed he would be the second coming of Lincoln, JFK, FDR or even Jesus. Now I know that no matter what he does, there WILL be that ever-so-special Obaman middle finger towards anyone who doesn’t worship him unquestioningly…and even sometimes, towards those that do.
So please, don’t ask me to dance with Obama. Don’t ask me to give him credit for anything; he deserves nothing but scorn, hatred, and frankly, impeachment, for his violation of the Constitution he has sworn to uphold. Don’t ask me to be “tolerant” of people who come to my blog and tell me I’m crazy, or call me a “racist brownshirt Nazi fuck” because I dared to opine that Hillary would be a better President than Obama. Don’t ask me to believe Obama is just waiting for the “right time” to unveil the fact that he’s a liberal. How in the name of the Giant Green Lizard could anyone think that with Obama following the Worst (Republican) President Ever, enjoying a 65% approval rating, and a strong majority in both houses, it’s still “not the right time” to push through liberal policies? Again I ask, does Kool-Aid come in solid form, and are people melting it in spoons these days when drinking it is just not enough?
But PUMAs, I will happily dance with you. And those who are willing to find the courage to question Obama, even those who support him, I’ll dance with you too. And my feminist sisters and brothers, and my LGBT friends and family, I will joyfully dance with you.
For my true hope, one which I dare to dream is not foolish, is that in this crisis of democracy, we the people may discover the truth the oligarchy/patriarchy doesn’t want us to remember: that we are the boss, and Obama works for us. And if we don’t like the job he’s doing, we can fire him.
And wouldn’t that be the best outcome we could hope for?