The Obama administration is as dangerous as the Bush administration

Originally published at The Benfell Blog. You can comment here or there.

Dennis Loo was remarkably prescient when he wrote,

Even if somehow the Democrats miraculously win the next presidential election [in 2008], and even if, hypothetically, the Democratic president wishes to curb the radical-right’s agenda, the radical right has entrenched itself so thoroughly and strategically int he government, in the military, in business, and in the media that any moves to curb its power and its agenda will be met with the ferocity of a really pissed-off vampire. Look at how angry and vituperative its practitioners are right now, and they have power!1

There is, of course, more. Hacker and Pierson point to how the extremely wealthy organized and funded lobbyists to convert a republican system of government into oligarchy. Their solution is for progressives to respond in kind, which would mean at least matching the money and sustaining the level of organization of the extremely rich at the same time as the rich are sucking ever more money away from everybody else.2 Setting aside the practicalities of achieving media penetration to create a necessary sense of urgency among people who are exhausted from having to work longer hours just to get by,3 4 I don’t think it is even possible for the numbers to come out on that.

But apart from the suffering of the unemployed, particularly those who fail to find work quickly or those who are over 50,5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Loo points out

that as the New Deal-Keynesian Welfare State is systematically dismantled by the neoliberal state—the political expression of globalization—as privatization takes the place of social programs, as deindustrialization and downsizing and speedups and take-aways proceed, as insecurity of job and livelihood becomes the norm rather than the exception, as the positive incentives, in other words, for normative behavior (jobs and decent pay, and so forth) are increasingly shredded, the state and the corporate world have no choice but to rely more and more heavily upon coercion to ensure cooperation and to forestall rebellion and revolution. coercion itself must be used more, but even coercion doesn’t work in all instances, and sheer terror must be employed given their overweening ambitions for world domination.14

Rational people would, of course, realize that increasing pressure in this manner can only end in an explosion. Loo doesn’t refer to the apocalyptic end times eschatology of some evangelical Protestants but quotes Bruce Prescott’s belief that,

Many [reconstructionists] seem to be biding their time until public sentiment turns decisively against the kind of reforms they are seeking. When that happens, I believe that some, if given the opportunity, will be willing to take up arms and wage another civil war.15

Loo also points to a New York Times article in which an unidentified Bush administration advisor infamously said,

That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.16

In that article, Ron Suskind reveals a mindset of destiny. Not only, as Loo observes, did the Bush administration see itself as able to “make reality” but it saw itself as carrying out the will of the god of Abraham. And when we see the irrationality with which the Obama administration continues, extends, and expands Bush administration policy, we can only conclude that the phenomenon of a “faith-based presidency” has carried forward not just across administrations, but between parties.

Indeed, how else can we explain the callousness of Obama administration policy towards the unemployed, that accepts high unemployment as the “new normal,” that doesn’t just enable foreclosure fraud, but uses a phony loan modification program to expedite those foreclosures?17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 This is an administration, which like its predecessor, perceives itself as immune from the consequences of its policies.

This isn’t just reckless, it isn’t just criminally insane; it is a recipe for an extremely violent uprising.

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