With Apologies to MLK, Hatin’ on President Obama


I have a visceral hatred of President Obama; let me hasten to add it's an honest hatred.  Every time I have the misfortune to witness his flapping gums, it is only to hear him tell lies so extraordinarily obvious that it feels I'm the only one who notices.  That the US doesn't torture, for example.  Or that it doesn't spy on its citizens.  Obama went so far as to say just that shortly after the revelations of Edward Snowden came to light.  With all the sincerity his royal visage and halting quavering voice portend Obama didn't announce the obvious: that the Fourth Amendment has died a silent death. 
 
It's really not the man, Obama, if he is and not a robot, I hate.  It's not the image, although that is certainly hate-worthy.  I really can't put my finger on why.  I guess that's what makes it visceral.  I have to look that word up in the dictionary to get its exact meaning.  I have to presume at this moment it means to proceed from the emotions without any basis in reason or intellect.  I can as easily tick off as I could President Clinton, six or eight Obama policies that are contemptible and egregious.  Perhaps my hatred is a sign of my limitations as a human being. 
 
I can tell you parts of what my tongue tastes that engenders hatred of Obama.  If you knew the history of Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin, vis-a-vis Glass-Stegall, you too would hate Obama.  And if you do, please, let it be a non-violent hatred.  There's plenty of, already too much violence in our world.  At this late date in 2013, Obama's top pick to replace Ben Bernacke at the Fed is Lawrence Summers, almost single-handedly responsible for the trashing of Glass-Steagall, with perhaps at least one ally, Robert Rubin who went on after the law passed ex-post-facto, to rake in a cool $100 million for the very corporation, the new CitiGroup, whose sole function it was to trash Glass-Steagall.  When will His Royal Blackness ever learn?
 
As a recent Counterpunch writer put it, Obama is the best propaganda prop since Ronald Reagan.  I hate Obama's smug self-assurance while he tries to best his predecessor as worst president ever.  A virtual impossibility, yet there you have it.  Obama's cozying up to Wall Street is not only hate-worthy but contemptible.  That he has done thing zero for Black people, who adore him.  His having Margaret Flowers arrested for having the presumption to petition his tribal insurance forum in Baltimore antecedent to his hand out to the health insurance industry under the guise of the Affordable Care Act.  Obama was all for Single Payer when he was a state senator in Illinois; part of what made him so popular.  Now like Gore, he has the power of the office, and whereas Gore's first act as Vice-President was to renege on a promise to people in Ohio that if his team were elected there was no way a trash incinerator would be built in their neighborhood, Obama bows in the face of his masters, if not the same in person, then in character. 
 
When I can manage to shake my compatriots out of their daydreams to dialogue about Obama these are some of the most common things I've encountered.  Black people, not of the stature of Glen Ford or Bruce Dixon to be sure, adore him, although they won't tell you that.  That'd be betraying their self-interest.  But their silence screams.  Another common defense of Obama is that he has to clear up the catastrophic mess Bush the Stupider left behind.  But if that's the standard of value, then how about we give Bush a pass for the pigsty he inherited – if stealing from Al Gore counts – from Clinton?  Another common defense of Obama is that all the other politicians do it.  And that somehow makes it right for Obama?  Because he has black skin?  I realize the United States historical memory is five minutes, but have we so soon forgotten what Martin Luther King advised: that a man should be judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin? 
 
I've recently stooped to a monthly food pantry because it's silly, especially considering all the starvation in the world, for food to go to waste because it has the wrong date on it; and to mitigate strains on my budget.  And while it's been seamless for almost a year now, and even more sporadically before that, I neglected to observe what had been glaringly obvious from the first: Obama’s smiling and imperious mug superseded over his equally imperious family in two framed photos perched proudly on the shelf behind check-in, and some kind of dark medal that hovered imperiously besides.  And from instinct, not out of any conscious desire to have a debate with the charity master – black incidentally – I jabbered that Obama was even worse than Bush if that's possible and it's not but there you have it.  Not to him but to a fellow-destitute.  Mr. Charity took charge of the debate, interrupted before I could offer any evidence for my opinion and repeatedly interrupted me thereafter stating that I had my chance to talk now it was his, and denied the obvious over and over again. I couldn't really get into the substance of my lamentations of Obama, because Mr. Charity shared Mr. Obama's skin color.
 
Okay?  This isn't about the color of the skin but about a moron.  Teddy Roosevelt said, “I should welcome any war for this country needs one.”  He also led McKinley's prosecution of the White Man's Burden.  So maybe he’s not the best authority.  Still he’s authority enough for this encounter to note as he did that “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”  But with Mr. Moron, I couldn’t even arrive at dissent.  His trump card if you will, was when he said, in a voice unchanged but all the more adamant in its passionate intensity, that my shallow criticism of Obama was “treason.”
 
 I can see it now.  As Obama fades on his lackluster legacy, thinking of it in the kindest terms, I daresay he'll – like Gore – put on a Superhero cape and become the foremost spokes-idiot-savant for Single Payer Health; incidentally not only the only, but the best solution to our health care crisis.  The United States is the only Western democracy that does not have Single Payer health insurance.  Is this a great country or what?  What.
 
With apologies to Martin Luther King, a man whose shoes Obama isn't fit to tie, other than hatred, what is the appropriate reaction to Obama not holding the Bush regime accountable, just on the short most egregious list, of wars of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, signing statements, harboring a convicted felon, Eliot Abrams as number two at the State Department for eight years, and the regime's profound incompetence to respond to catastrophic Katrina.  That if my senses don't deceive me, was the primary reason the electorate settled on Obama: fed up to here with the corruption that is Bush, to hold the regime accountable for its crimes.  Obama's a lawyer, and notwithstanding the precedent, indeed, perhaps because of the precedent, Obama had the pusillanimity to mutter, Obama's trademark and enduring legacy, that we needed to “look forward not back.” 
 
Six years in, I'd have to say Obama's legacy, his trademark if you will – after all he won Advertising Age magazine's award for top advertising campaign in 2008 – is pusillanimity.  To put it in kinder, in Obamaesque terms, which is to say sincere flat out falsehoods, Obama's allowed himself to be bullied by Wall Street and the military-industrial-congressional monster.  Almost from day one, Obama has sought accommodation with the Republicans; with the likes of Lyndsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and John McCain.  You can't make this stuff up, but only witness it in its breathtaking imperial glory.  In 2011 almost without precedent Social Security announced there wouldn't be a cost-of-living raise for the year.  Obama, like Bush the Less Stupid with his announcement of a “peace dividend” now that the Iron Curtain had fallen in 1989, managed to mutter that “It is quite likely that seniors will see a stimulus payment like they did in 2008.” Both of these noble sentiments died as they fell from the Liars-in-Chief's mouth. 
 
It's a virtual impossibility for a president to be worse than Obama's predecessor, and yet behold the man.  Indistinguishable from Bush, he supported the 2008 bailout of Larry Summers and Wall Street to the tune of numbers I've seen reach to $17 trillion.  That's a “t” not a “b.”  As if the injury weren't enough, no sooner was the bailout a fait accompli, than Wall Street, not deterred in the slightest, rolling the same loaded dice after the bailout as before, even unto today, then they were again singing the song about free market capitalist enterprise system, the operative word being system.  Capitalists think an injury is worthless without the seasoning of an insult. 
 
The US military is operating on a current budget, when all costs are figured in, including about $60 billion annually to stock and maintain nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy, some $100 billion for intelligence, all weapons, salaries, R & D, interest on its financial borrowing, and, I believe, its bite out of veterans affairs, of $1 trillion.  I used to think $1 trillion was a lot of money.  And it is.  But it's put in a totally different perspective when compared to the bailout.  And from our glorious leaders the hymn we get, that they want us to sing for them, is austerity. 
 
There's plenty of money to be found when the rich are in need, but if it's the poor and destitute?  Forget it.  Indeed, our whole society is structured so that the rich gorge themselves on the poor.  And as long as the rich are gorging, they don't care of the commensurate and concomitant pains not only their compatriots here suffer, but too their brothers and sisters overseas.  I defy anyone to tell me where justice fits in with the severe disparities of wealth worldwide.  And what when the party ends?  And the finitude of resources is reached?  May justice provide that the same people the rich met on the way on up, they'll meet on the way back down?  Will justice still have a planet, a peoples, a biosphere upon which to prevail? 
 
The US government is reckless and the 95% of Mother Earth's other people would do well to isolate it economically and diplomatically.  I would also say militarily, but that's a non-starter.  I shout this overseas and to countries of the Bolivarian Revolution who are arduously striving if not for democracy then at least a facsimile there.  The ruling elite in the United States are determined to turn both Syria and Iran into vassal colonialist states, which is to say similar chaos, catastrophe and misery untold to Syria and Iran as it has done in Iraq; just as it did to Vietnam a generation ago and when beaten promised in a treaty to pay Vietnam reparations for its naked act of aggression.  Not only did the US not pay a single nickel in reparations, Jimmy Carter said a body count of 3 million Indochinese slaughtered compared to 58,000 US invaders indicated mutual and equal responsibility on both sides.  Nor has the United States ever said a single I'm sorry for its genocide on the Vietnamese – never mind that like a good Christian, I am contrite and won't do it again.
I have a visceral hatred of President Obama; let me hasten to add it's an honest hatred.  Every time I have the misfortune to witness his flapping gums, it is only to hear him tell lies so extraordinarily obvious that it feels I'm the only one who notices.  That the US doesn't torture, for example.  Or that it doesn't spy on its citizens.  Obama went so far as to say just that shortly after the revelations of Edward Snowden came to light.  With all the sincerity his royal visage and halting quavering voice portend Obama didn't announce the obvious.  That the Fourth Amendment has died a silent death. 
 
It's really not the man, Obama, if he is and not a robot, I hate.  It's not the image, although that is certainly hate-worthy.  I really can't put my finger on why.  I guess that's what makes it visceral.  I have to look that word up in the dictionary to get its exact meaning.  I have to presume at this moment it means to proceed from the emotions without any basis in reason or intellect.  I can as easily tick off as I could President Clinton, six or eight Obama policies that are contemptible and egregious.  Perhaps my hatred is a sign of my limitations as a human being. 
 
I can tell you parts of what my tongue can taste that engenders hatred about Obama.  If you knew the history of Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin, vis-a-vis Glass-Stegall, you too would hate Obama.  And if you do, please, let it be a non-violent hatred.  There's plenty of, already too much violence in our world.  At this late date in 2013, Obama's top pick to replace Ben Bernacke at the Fed is Lawrence Summers – almost single-handedly, well with at least one ally, who went on after the law was passed ex-post-facto, to rake in a cool $100 million for the very corporation whose sole function it was to trash Glass-Steagall – engendered the economic crisis of 2008-2009.  When will His Royal Blackness ever learn?
 
As a recent Counterpunch writer put it, Obama is the best propaganda prop since Ronald Reagan.  I hate Obama's smug self-assurance while he tries to best his predecessor as worst president ever.  A virtual impossibility, yet there you have it.  Obama's cozying up to Wall Street is not only hate-worthy but contemptible.  That he has done thing zero for Black people, who adore him.  His having Margaret Flowers locked up for having the presumption to petition his tribal insurance forum in Baltimore antecedent to his hand out to the health insurance industry under the guise of the Affordable Care Act.  Obama was all for Single Payer when he was a state senator in Illinois; part of what made him so popular.  Now like Gore, he has the power of the office, and whereas Gore's first act as Vice-President was to renege on a promise to people in Ohio that if his team were elected there was no way a trash incinerator would be built in their neighborhood, Obama bows in the face of his masters: PHARMA, weapons contractors, bankers, and Lawrence Summers's pals on Wall Street.
 
When I can manage to shake my compatriots out of their daydreams to dialogue about Obama these are some of the most common things I've encountered.  Black people, not of the stature of Glen Ford or Bruce Dixon to be sure, adore him, although they won't tell you that.  That'd be betraying their self-interest.  But their silence screams.  Another common defense of Obama is that he has to clear up the catastrophic mess Bush the Stupider left behind.  But if that's the standard of value, then how about we give Bush a pass for the pigsty he inherited – if stealing from Al Gore counts – from Clinton?  Another common defense of Obama is that all the other politicians do it.  And that somehow makes it right for Obama?  Because he has black skin?  I realize the United States historical memory is five minutes, but have we so soon forgotten what Martin Luther King advised: that a man should be judged by the content of his character and not the color of his skin? 
 
I've recently stooped to a monthly food pantry because it's silly, especially considering all the starvation in the world, for food to go to waste because it has the wrong date on it; and because it mitigates slightly the strain on my budget.  And while going there has been seamless for almost a year now, and even more sporadically before that, I neglected to observe what had been glaringly obvious from the first: Obama's smiling and imperious mug superseded over his equally imperious family in two photos and some kind of dark medal that hovered imperiously over the charitable proceedings.  And from instinct, not out of any conscious desire to have a debate with the charity master – black incidentally – I jabbered that Obama was even worse than Bush if that's possible and it's not but there you have it.  Not to him but to a fellow-destitute.  Mr. Charity took charge of the debate, interrupted before I could offer any evidence for my opinion and  repeatedly interrupted me thereafter stating that I had my chance to talk now it was his, denied the obvious over and over again, and literally called my shallow criticism of Obama “treason.”  I couldn't really get into the substance of my lamentations of Obama, because Mr. Charity shared Mr. Obama's skin color.
 
Okay?  This isn't about the color of the skin but about a moron.  I daresay Mr. Charity has never looked the word up in the dictionary; or in the Constitution for that matter.  Anyone who as POTUS would say that “I would welcome any war just now for this country needs one,” as Teddy Roosevelt said, in addition to leading McKinley's prosecution of the White Man's Burden is worthy of contempt, still it was Roosevelt who said that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.
 
I can see it now.  As Obama fades on his lackluster legacy, thinking of it in the kindest terms, I daresay he'll – like Gore – put on a Superhero cape and become the foremost spokes-idiot-savant for Single Payer Health; incidentally not only the only, but the best solution to our health care crisis.  The United States is the only Western democracy that does not have Single Payer health insurance.  Is this a great country or what?  What.
 
With apologies to Martin Luther King, a man whose shoes Obama isn't fit to tie, other than hatred, what is the appropriate reaction to Obama not holding the Bush regime accountable, just on the short most egregious list, of wars of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, signing statements, harboring a convicted felon, Eliot Abrams as number two at the State Department for eight years, and the regime's profound incompetence in responding to catastrophic Katrina.  That if my senses don't deceive me, was the primary reason the electorate settled on Obama: fed up to here with the corruption that is Bush, to hold the regime accountable for its crimes.  Obama's a lawyer, and not withstanding the precedent, indeed, perhaps because of the precedent, Obama had the pusillanimity to mutter, Obama's trademark and enduring legacy, that we needed to “look forward not back.” 
 
Six years in, I'd have to say Obama's legacy, his trademark if you will – after all he won Advertising Age magazine's award for top advertising campaign in 2008 – is pusillanimity.  To put it in kinder, in Obamaesque terms, which is to say sincere flat out falsehoods, Obama's allowed himself to be bullied by Wall Street and the military-industrial-congressional monster.  Almost from day one, Obama has sought accommodation with the Republicans; with the likes of Lyndsay Graham, Mitch McConnell, and John McCain.  You can't make this stuff up, but can only witness it in its breathtaking imperial glory.  And, speaking of muttering, remember in 2011 when almost without precedent Social Security announced there wouldn't be a cost-of-living raise for the year?  Obama, like Bush the Less Stupid with his announcement of a “peace dividend” now that the Iron Curtain had fallen in 1989, managed to mutter that “It is quite likely that seniors will see a stimulus payment like they did in 2008.” Both of these noble sentiments died as they fell from the Liars-in-Chief's mouth. 
 
It's a virtual impossibility for a president to be worse than Obama's predecessor, and yet behold the man.  Indistinguishable from Bush, he supported the 2008 bailout of Larry Summers and Wall Street to the tune of numbers I've seen reach to $17 trillion.  That's a “t” not a “b.”  As if the injury weren't enough, no sooner was the bailout a fait accompli, than Wall Street, not deterred in the slightest, rolling the same loaded dice after the bailout as before, even unto today, then they were again singing the song about free market capitalist enterprise system, the operative word being system.  Capitalists think an injury is worthless without the seasoning of an insult. 
 
The US military is operating on a current budget, when all costs are figured in, including about $60 billion annually to stock and maintain nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy, some $100 billion for intelligence, all weapons, salaries, R & D, interest on its financial borrowing, and, I believe, its bite out of veterans affairs, of $1 trillion.  I used to think $1 trillion was a lot of money.  And it is.  But it's put in a totally different perspective when it is compared to the bailout.  And from our glorious leaders the hymn we get, that they want us to sing for them, is austerity. 
 
There's plenty of money to be found when the rich are in need.  But if it's the poor and destitute?  Forget it.  Indeed, our whole society is structured so that the rich gorge themselves on the poor.  And as long as the rich are gorging, they don't care of the commensurate and concomitant pains not only their compatriots here suffer, but too their brothers and sisters overseas.  I defy anyone to tell me where justice fits in with the severe disparities of wealth worldwide.  And what when the party ends?  And the finititude of resources is reached?  May justice provide that the same people the rich met on the way on up, they'll meet on the way back down?  Will justice still have a planet, a peoples, a biosphere upon which to prevail? 
 
The US government is reckless and the 95% of Mother Earth's other people would do well to isolate it economically and diplomatically.  I would also say militarily, but that's a non-starter.  I shout this overseas and to the countries of the Bolivarian Revolution who are arduously striving if not for democracy then at least a facsimile there.  The ruling elite in the United States are determined to turn both Syria and Iran into vassal colonialist states, which is to say similar chaos, catastrophe and misery untold to Syria and Iran as it has created in Iraq; just as it did to Vietnam a generation ago and when beaten promised in a treaty to pay Vietnam reparations for its naked act of aggression.  Not only did the US not pay a single nickel in reparations – a treaty wouldn't be a treaty if the United States didn't violate it – but Jimmy Carter said a body count of 3 million Indochinese slaughtered compared to 58,000 US invaders indicated mutual and equal responsibility on both sides.  Seriously.  And he's easily the best president since Eisenhower, and probably the best ex-president ever.  Nor has the United States ever said a single I'm sorry for its genocide on the Vietnamese – never mind that like a good Christian, I am contrite and won't do it again.

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