Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

So, gentle readers, one week has now passed since the glorious Blue Revolution swept aside Republican control of the US Congress, restoring the Democratic Party to power within both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time since Newt Gingrich's Contract On America [sic].

A time of celebration and renewal? Unfortunately, the celebration may be short-lived and the renewal stillborn if post-election comments by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, M.D. and incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) are in any way indicative of the shameful boondoggle to come. Dean, despite a growing public clamour, still refuses to countenance the idea of impeaching a criminal US President and his allies, despite their well-documented responsibility for electoral fraud and criminal negligence domestically and the deaths of over half a million human beings abroad in an illegal war of plunder. Meanwhile Pelosi, having once called George W. Bush "Oblivious, in denial, [and] dangerous," and, more recently, a "liar", now sits down for lunch and pledges bipartisan cooperation with the self-same dangerous, oblivious liar and his administration.

So what happened to the "revolution"? How about vowing to undo the damage of the past six years instead of serving up pledges of cooperation with fraudsters and international war criminals?

The problem faced by traditional Labour voters in the UK in the era of Blairism is the same one that many Democratic voters in the US have, at least in this author's lifetime, almost always had to confront. When all of the electorally-viable options on the ballot are separable mainly by their respective stances on fringe issues and not by more fundamental differences in either policy or world view, voters are left choosing between a scam on the one hand or a sham on the other. If anything, the Republican party is in many ways more honourable (if only by default) than the Democratic party because the Republicans don't even try to pretend to represent dissident opinions on the direction and manner in which the country is governed whereas the Democrats promise much and then immediately change their tune and bow down before the status quo as soon as the election is over.

In short, the US is a one-party state masquerading as a two-party state. It's a bit like that famous exchange in The Blues Brothers:

Elwood: "Tell me, ma'am: what kind of music do you usually have here?"

Hostess at Bob's Country Bunker: "Oh, we got both kinds. We got country and western."

Add to that pathetic charade a national media which varies its journalistic approach between amazingly compliant at one end of the spectrum and openly propagandizing at the other and one must ask: "Is the US merely the Soviet Union in disguise?" American capitalism seems to be more clever and resilient than Soviet communism proved to be but it is no less hollow an ideology for it.

One hoped against hope that the changing national mood might have driven the Democrats to show some genuine backbone for the first time since at least the Watergate affair. But from Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi's post-election pronouncements, it appears that ain't gonna happen. And unless there's some kind of spinal transplant in the immediate future, good luck building this great 50-state party for 2008 because a lot of people will be asking what exactly the point is of voting again.

He may be a fake Native American tribesman, but Ward Churchill's arguments about pacifism as a self-defeating pathology within the American left make a hell of a lot of sense sometimes. One must at least begin to contemplate revolt when the democratic choices on offer consistently fail to deliver for anyone or anything except the status quo, even in the face of endemic corruption within the government at home and mass murder on an industrial scale abroad.


Anonymous DrummerDave said...

Not sure where I read it, but there are whispers that Pelosi, etc are actually looking toward the 'I' word, but have just been hiding it in order to sail across the finish line cleanly.

Of course, time will tell.

14 November, 2006 23:35  

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