United We Fail

One sign of the advanced illness of our democracy in the United States is not just the inordinate importance of “lobbying” (i.e. bribery), but the fact that the second most powerful lobby after business is the American Association of Retired Persons. No offense, but the elderly are both the most economically privileged age group, and people over 65 already have national health insurance (Medicare). Hence, the lobbying leadership of the AARP can’t help but be a generally harmful thing, whatever small achievements it may include for working class seniors.

Consider the AARP’s shockingly wrong-headed and ill-timed “Divided We Fail” advertising campaign. Coming at a moment when pressure for national single-payer health insurance could, with enough public pressure and genuine leadership, have a real effect on an incoming Democratic President and Democratically-dominated Congress, the AARP chooses instead to push for the preservation of “bipartisanship.”

When asked why she couldn’t possibly create single-payer health insurance if elected, the walking disease Hillary Clinton avows that “you have to include” the Republicans “in the process.” Why? If you are the President and have the votes, why not pass the needed legislation?

The real answer to why money-oriented “leaders” make such Orwellian statements is that, beneath their constant claims to the contrary, corporate shills like Clinton and the AARP are utterly hostile to universal health insurance. The only way to get that is single-payer, and the only way to get THAT is to flip the middle finger to its opponents.

The record is as clear as day: In Congress, “united” we fail. To stay “bipartisan” is to insist on the status quo of staggering unfairness, irrationality, and inhumanity in our medical system. To hell with the AARP for obscuring that blatant fact.

P.S. It’s also rather interesting to see that the Service Employees International Union is one of the “Divided We Fail” campaign’s major co-sponsors. This supposedly maverick AFL-CIO breakaway union is now, post “rebellion,” lobbying for bipartisanship! Orwell couldn’t make this shit up. Despite 50 years of worsening betrayals of labor, the shrinking AFL-CIO has been an increasingly subordinate wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party ever since the early Cold War purges of political unionists. Now, rightly complaining that the AFL-CIO is a dying parody of a union federation, the SEIU is stabbing boldly even farther to the right…

As MLK said, “this is a sick society.”

Olbermann Nails It

Not that it excuses Barack Obama’s disgusting, cleverly disguised “vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics” (spotted and described by Adolph Reed, in his book Class Notes, way back in 1996), but Keith Olbermann absolutely gets it right about the walking disease known as Hillary Clinton:

The video (with typically biased headline — this is not a rant; it’s a rare snippet of rather tame and long-overdue journalism).

A New Phase in Iraq War Marketing

“LeftI on the News” nails the latest reports, per The New York Times, that the “major” Democratic Party candidates are now “seeing the progress” in Iraq. Check out their post here.

bio of jkgAs I wrote in a comment over there, the real story is best clarified via the late, great John Kenneth Galbraith’s under-appreciated book, The Culture of Contentment, in which Galbraith explains the actual roles and methods of the two wings (Republicans and Democrats) of the Business Party that runs our state on behalf of corporate capital. As Galbraith argues, the Republicans are actually a far superior political party, judged in terms of honesty about stated goals and actual behavior.

Here’s what I wrote over at LeftI, with Galbraith in mind:

Excellent analysis [of the “seeing progress” news]! And it confirms something that the sea of confused liberals (for whom I have much sympathy) have spent 6 years missing: Our system works very well at achieving its clear #1 priority, which is serving the corporate overclass. Analyzed correctly, Cheney is one of history’s best politicians, a true hero for his constituents. He got elected behind the “compassionate conservative” Monkey-Man and then quickly proceeded to do what it took to stick a permanent U.S. military base in the ME, with (at least possibly) a new sweetheart deal providing special control over the largest untapped oil reserve in the region.

And, truth be told, the Democratic Party, having finished jettisoning popular constituencies under Killiam Klinton back in the 1990s, accepts and will preserve this huge victory for the corporate class, from which it draws its advertising budget in exchange for preserving the illusion that corporate capitalism is at all compatible with civilization and human decency.

Of course, Peak Oil and the final round of poker in our winners-took-all pseudo-economy may soon cause the Money Holders some grief in other ways, but Cheney has simply delivered the goods, and the mighty Dems are now ready to step in and drape it all in a show of reluctance and embattled principles…

The role of the “New Democrats” is, as it always has been, now (after the new increase in overclass power) to run a new kind of political marketing over the top of the new corporate victories. “We would love to leave Iraq completely, but how can we, since they continue to kill one another? We must uphold our humanitarian values!” Nobody seriously believes either Monkey-Man or Cheney knows what a non-financial value is, let alone cares.

a friend of the war criminalsBut Killary Klinton has just the right credentials to sell this soap for 4 or 8 years. Plus, she’s a girl, and we all know girls are born to care!

P.S. Note how Killary packages herself as a tough-ass Tomgirl — the boy’s dress-shirt, the lezzish hairdo! — when she visits the troops. This is only natural since both she and her “husband” Killiam are 100% given to the methods and principles of modern marketing, as handled by the “consultants” they have at elbow 24/7.

If you listen, you’ll be able to hear dear Killary’s “hearty laugh” as she reaps your vote next November.