Paid Addlers

fish on stilts Somewhere, Alexander Cockburn remarks that the unspoken role of mainstream journalists and pundits is to render plainly intelligible facts into nonsense.

A prime example is this absolute twaddle from Frank Rich in today’s edition of The New York Times:

Of all the president’s stated goals, none may be more sweeping than his desire to prove that government is not always a hapless and intrusive bureaucratic assault on taxpayers’ patience and pocketbooks, but a potential force for good.

OMFG.  It seems Rich may actually believe this preposterous double-talk!  (“Sweeping”?  Seriously, wtf does that word mean in this sentence?  Perhaps a Freudian slip showing Rich knows, at some level, that the claim under consideration is indeed a sweeping — a sweeping under the rug, into an ashcan, “off the table”…)

Let’s take the item that most Obama dupes would raise as proof of Rich’s typeset lobotomy: “health care.” If Rich’s story were true, would Obama have strangled single-payer medical insurance in favor of the corporate players and the Mercedes-driving, race-horse breeding doctors?  Of course not.

This president has no goals, other than to hold office and babysit the status quo on behalf of the overclass, before which he is an abject and eager lackey.  Adolph Reed had that fact nailed down and reported in 1996:

He’s a vacuous opportunist. I’ve never been an Obama supporter. I’ve known him since the very beginning of his political career, which was his campaign for the seat in my state senate district in Chicago. He struck me then as a vacuous opportunist, a good performer with an ear for how to make white liberals like him. I argued at the time that his fundamental political center of gravity, beneath an empty rhetoric of hope and change and new directions, is neoliberal.

Rich’s tall tale is powerful evidence that our system works in the sense Cockburn diagnoses. So is that fact that Reed’s repeatedly proven point remains buried in miles of mainstream and blog-meistering dogshit.