MLG Rewind: Seeing the Republicrats for What They Really Are (October 3, 2008)
Originally published as “Seeing the Republicrats for What They Really Are” on October 3, 2008.
With the U.S. presidential election now just a month away I thought it was time that I started weighing in with my two cents. Everyone’s calling this the most important election of our lives and hailing this Obama guy as some sort of savior who’ll return our nation to sanity after the debacle of the last eight years. Everyone’s drinking the Obama Kool-Aid. I cannot believe how the entire nation– dare I say the entire world– has been bamboozled by this guy. I thought it would be appropriate to make a list of the issues and examine just how Obama’s stances differ from those of John McCain’s. Before I begin, let me just say that I support neither Barack Obama nor John McCain. The Republicrat stranglehold on our country, backed by Big Business, has ran our great nation into the ground while enriching a tiny elite beyond belief, all the while hoodwinking the American people into believing that they have a choice of who leads them. But back to the issues…
*WALL STREET BAILOUT- What happened days ago when Congress rejected the $700,000,000,000 (I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many zeros after a dollar sign before) represented a glimmer of hope; a rare moment in which the people rumbled rather than just grumbled and Congress was more afraid of the electorate than they were of Big Business. But it won’t last; the bailout will be bailed out, Wall Street will get its lifeline while millions of everyday Americans will lose their life savings. BOTH BARACK OBAMA AND JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORT THE $700,000,000,000 BAILOUT.
*UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE- You can argue the pros and cons of “socialized medicine” until you’re blue in the face and cannot afford to pay the bill when you pass out and get carted off to hospital. But the fact remains that the United States of America is the only country in the industrialized world (and I’ve been to some developing countries that have it too) that does not have a national health service. It is a sad reflection on our society that the government is handing out $40 checks for people who can’t afford to convert their televisions to digital but it can’t take care of the basic needs of its people. Some would say that it’s not the role of government to provide such services. Many of those same people are licking their chops at the prospect of that $700,000,000,000 Wall Street bailout. Wake up, people, health care is a basic human right! Barack Obama’s plan stops far short of being universal and it forces people to purchase insurance. What about people who cannot afford it? NEITHER BARACK OBAMA NOR JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORTS UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE.
*ENDING THE INSANE DRUG WAR- The “War on Drugs” has been an abject failure by any measure. Since it began in 1970 there are more drugs than ever in this country, the quality of those drugs is much higher, the price much lower, and the United States has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world, far higher than second-place China. The majority of these millions of imprisoned are non-violent drug offenders, often caught with ridiculously small amounts of banned substances. Blacks and Latinos are targeted and incarcerated disproportionately and sentences are often grossly unfair and racist– witness the 100-1 sentencing disparity between rock and powder cocaine… one gram of rock cocaine is punishable by the same sentence as 100 grams of powder cocaine. Same drug, but who uses rock cocaine and who uses powdered cocaine? This insane waste of resources– financial, legal, and most of all human– must end. NEITHER BARACK OBAMA NOR JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORTS ENDING THE DRUG WAR.
*DEATH PENALTY- Again, I know many Americans don’t give a hoot what the rest of the world thinks or does, but Obama supporters fancy themselves a more urbane bunch, so let me just say that the United States is the only country in the Western world that retains the barbaric practice of state-sanctioned murder. Capital punishment is applied disproportionately to the poor and black. Legal representation for these underprivileged defendants is often abysmal and the majority of convictions are so flawed that they are actually overturned. The system tragically murders dozens of innocent people yet its appeals process rejects even the strongest proof of a condemned man’s innocence. The barbaric methods employed in the execution itself are often rendered even more grotesque by horrific errors. In Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois, former governor George Ryan heroically stopped all executions in his state in 2000 after learning that 12 men had been executed but 13 had been freed. NEITHER BARACK OBAMA NOR JOHN MCCAIN OPPOSE THE DEATH PENALTY.
*SAME-SEX MARRIAGE- This is a basic civil rights issue here, folks. You simply cannot apply one set of rules to one group of people and another set of rules to others just because you don’t like who they sleep with. Obama says he is for full rights and freedom for gay couples but he won’t let the word “marriage” be used. Sounds a lot like the “separate but equal” doctrine of the Jim Crow south. Just as we look back now at that shameful epoch of our history, so will we one day shake our heads and wonder how we could be so bigoted. NEITHER BARACK OBAMA NOR JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.
*$10 MINIMUM WAGE- The gulf between the rich and poor in this nation is widening at an alarming rate. While corporations and the people that run them rake in windfall profits (this current hiccup aside– you know it’ll be business as usual in a little while), the lower and middle classes struggle just to keep their heads above water (and in the case of people in New Orleans I mean that literally). When companies fail and stocks plummet, CEOs are saved by multi-million dollar “golden parachutes” while ordinary shareholders and employees lose their life savings. While the government bails out Wall Street to the tune of $700,000,000,000, nobody’s bailing out that family down the street who was lured into a risky mortgage by unscrupulous lenders and now’s out on the street courtesy of foreclosure. The CEO of Yahoo made $71,000,000 last year. A janitor at Yahoo probably makes about $7.10 an hour. That means the CEO makes about 4,000 times as much annually. Indeed, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the average CEO made $10.8 million last year– 364 times what the average worker made. While Congress voted itself raise after raise, it fought tooth and nail against raising the minimum wage. The city of San Francisco, among others, has legislated a minimum wage that is pegged to inflation so that it rises along with the cost of living. It’s currently in the $9/hour range. The rest of the nation desperately needs to follow suit. It’s more than a matter of fairness, it is often a matter of life or death. While Barack Obama’s work as a community organizer for the poor is to be applauded, he is a millionaire and he has given no indication that he would make any significant move to substantially address the issue of income disparity in our great nation. NEITHER BARACK OBAMA NOR JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORTS A $10 MINIMUM WAGE.
*BRINGING ALL TROOPS AND MERCENARIES HOME FROM IRAQ- Barack Obama has made much of the fact that he was against the Iraq war from the beginning. Good for him. But he has said that he is only against this war, not war in general. He would send more troops into Afghanistan. Obama is an imperialist just like every other U.S. president. Afghanistan is far from the barren wasteland that the American media make it out to be. The country is brimming with energy resources and the eagle was trying to get its imperialistic talons (forgive my choice of words, but let’s call a spade a shovel here) on these resources even before 9/11. A high-level Taliban delegation visited the U.S. in 2001 for exactly that reason. We talk of rebuilding Afghanistan and spreading democracy, yet the country is more lawless and dangerous than ever, heroin production which virtually ceased under the Taliban is at an all-time high, and a U.S. crony– who was an executive at the oil giant Unocal before– runs the show. What a disaster.
But back to Iraq. Yes, Obama was against the war in Iraq and promised a quick withdrawal. But he now says that it might take longer to get out than he anticipated and that he would take his cue from the commanders on the ground– exactly the same thing that President Bush says. The U.S. has just constructed the largest embassy in the world in Baghdad. The “security agreement” we are trying to ram down Iraq’s throat– despite the rabid opposition of the Iraqi people– is a bald grab at the nation’s oil and establishes a permanent U.S. military presence there. Obama knows this. And Obama says nothing of the mercenaries that run roughshod in Iraq, beyond the reach of any law, committing horrific atrocities. NEITHER BARACK OBAMA NOR JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORT BRINGING ALL TROOPS AND MERCENARIES HOME FROM IRAQ.
*A VIABLE TWO-STATE SOLUTION FOR THE ISRAEL/PALESTINE CONFLICT- Barack Obama, progressive that he is, said “Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people” (3/15/07). Bravo. Israel ought to be ashamed of itself, coming out of the horrors of the Holocaust and then inflicting crushing misery, a slow-motion Holocaust, on the Palestinian people. Yes, Israel has a right to exist. But it has no right to destroy the lives of millions of Palestinians. Countless U.N. resolutions over the decades have condemned Israel’s actions but the United States always vetoes them. Today, Israel’s expansive ambitions are coming to full fruition as the Jewish state encroaches further and further into Palestinian lands with its insidious settlements, defying even their American masters who offer up the weakest of objection. A wall– since when did OUR side build walls?– provides security for Israelis but it dashes any hope of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state. So when Barack Obama made that comment about Palestinian suffering, I was pleasantly surprised. Alas, it was not to be. A shitstorm ensued and Obama backpedaled as fast as he could. At the AIPAC (the disproportionately powerful pro-Israel lobby) conference this year Obama went out of his way to kowtow to Israel, shocking and disappointing an Arab world that really believed in the whole “change you can believe in” spiel. NEITHER BARACK OBAMA NOR JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORT A VIABLE TWO-STATE SOLUTION FOR THE ISRAEL/PALESTINE CONFLICT.
*CIVILIAN SPYING PROGRAMS AND THE PATRIOT ACT- FISA and the Patriot Act have eroded our civil liberties, the very foundation and the core of our democratic values. Did you know that authorities can now seize any of your possessions without any probable cause, can demand your local library provide a list of every book you’ve checked out, and can demand to know your religious and political views upon entry into the United States? Benjamin Frankin once said: “He who would give up a little liberty for a little security deserves neither and gets none.” Barack Obama voted for both FISA and the new and improved Patriot Act. BOTH BARACK OBAMA AND JOHN MCCAIN SUPPORT THE EROSION OF OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES.
*IRAN- Iran is a sovereign nation. All sovereign nations have the right to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes. The United States accuses Iran of enrichment for military purposes, although even a secret C.I.A. assessment of Iran’s nuclear program says they’re not developing weapons. The United States says Iran is a threat. Let me ask you a simple question. When was the last time Iran attacked another country? It was before Iran existed, back when it was the Persian Empire. In the last 50 years the United States has attacked– initiated offensive warfare against– the following countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq again. Furthermore, the U.S. has got Iran aggressively surrounded with its hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and a military presence in EVERY country surrounding Iran… that’s Turkey, Iraq, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan as well as the Persian Gulf and all the countries on the opposite side of it from Iran. Ask the whole world and they’ll tell you– it is the United States of America that is the threat to peace. Yes, Iran’s president is a blustery buffoon who talks shit for the edification of a domestic audience. Sounds familiar, though, no? While Obama says he’ll sit down and talk with Ahmadinejad, he also uses threatening, imperialistic language and wishes to isolate Iran’s leader. Isolation of a country never works, it pushes them into corners and adversely affects regional stability. We need a president who will work with Iran (especially since it borders both Iraq and Afghanistan), respect Iran as a sovereign nation and a rising power, And we need to take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves who’s really the dangerous, aggressive country. NEITHER BARACK OBAMA NOR JOHN MCCAIN OPPOSE MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAN.
So, you see, there really isn’t much difference at all between the two candidates in this election. I could name more topics… from Cuba, to offshore drilling, towards lessening the grip of the military-industrial complex, where the two candidates have exactly the same position. America, don’t be fooled by subtle nuances in approach. These two men are, for all intents and purposes, one and the same, the product of an omnipotent political machine that perpetuates its own power and goes to great length to marginalize any third-party challengers.
Tagged Barack Obama, Democrats, illusion of democracy, john mccain, obama bailout, obama civil liberties, obama death penalty, obama iran, obama iraq war, obama israel, obama mccain, obama minimum wage, obama palestine, obama same-sex marriage, obama universal health care, obama war on drugs, Republicans, republicrats