As I remind people with hypnotic regularity, I voted for Ralph Nader in 2008 as I did in the previous three presidential elections. I'm actually in that tiny minority of people who wrote Ralph in back in 1996, following four years of Bill Clinton kicking labor and the environmental movement sharply in the nutsack (fast-track NAFTA for starters), bombing a variety of countries to no coherent end, denying Iraqi children too young to know what an "Iraq" is chemotherapy, ramping up military spending and, just in case you were still wondering whether or not he's a decent fellow, electrocuting the lobotomized.
Those of us who have been paying a modicum of attention over the past 30 years and ditched the two big corporate parties have the Mother of All I Told You So's owed us, so allow me that much. It's the consolation prize for my society taking the greased shitslide to Hell.
I voted for the Arkansas Dressstainer in '92, swept away in the precursor idiocy to Obamamania that was Clinton/Gore. Almost immediately I knew I wasted my first-ever presidential vote, and unlike nearly all voting Americans I felt my share of personal responsibility for getting suckered by what in retrospect was such an obvious matched pair of narcissist social climbers and sociopaths, the Bilary Clinton. Should've gone with Ross Perot. Weird dude, but at least he understood that sending decent jobs out of the country was eventually suicidal, and for all his billions he seems to retain some sense of noblesse oblige toward working folk. Since the first Reagan term that's more than you get out of the vast majority of Democrats, and the less said about the same count on the Republican side of our political River Styx the better.
Ever since Barack Obama made a stomach-churning war prayer of a keynote speech as an opening act for militarist, homophobe demi-billionaire John Kerry in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention - essentially a sort of demented coming out debutante ball to run him by the war industry and Wall Street for approval - it was evident to me that Obama was a similar form of Clintonesque social climbing cutthroat with the soulless reptilian eyes and meaningless, dead language of the Ivy League arriviste.
Four years of taking the el from a lower middle class Philadelphia rowhome to the University of Pennsylvania every day - a journey more of class than distance - was more than enough to help me spot the species from a football field away for the rest of my life. There exists a particular breed of Ivy Leaguer who is smart enough to sound philosophic but not actually an intellectual. This is actually the majority of students. Within that category are the cunning bastards who have risen from middle class backgrounds with the awareness that they can make great strides in escaping the middle classes and catapult themselves to nouveau riche status by prostrating themselves to power and molding their minds as tools of empire. The process begins at a frighteningly young age. The Bilary Clinton and Barack Obama are this type of pseudo-intellectual power elite, its most venomous subspecies.
Thus I can never say I am disappointed by Obama as many liberals do. Disappointment requires expectation. What I can say is that even I have been stunned by the level of the Obama Administration's general depravity.In order to climb higher and faster in the ranks of America's elite in one lifetime - and these are the people who started at home plate or on first base as opposed to most of our elite, who were born rounding third - it is vital that the middle class elite-aspirant display a cartoonish servitude to the powerful and partake in acts beyond the usual bounds of cruelty to those in the middle and lower tiers of the social pyramid. The Baracks and Bilarys climb to the top on the mounds of dead and bleeding poor. (Those who think I exaggerate have clearly never had too many discussions of length with Wharton sophomores in the Penn Commuter Lounge.)
The elite doesn't want anyone who's going to shake things up and make life easier for the serfs should they be allowed to play with government, so any kid from a working family who wants to get a shot at running the CIA or Goldman Sachs or the World Bank, or even have some office just below that level like President of the United States, is pretty much going to have to do the moral equivalent of setting kittens on fire in order to prove loyalty to the top 1% of the human food chain.
For example, if George W. Bush - born and bred for the power elite - is going to fry white trash in Texas as governor and laugh about it, that really ups the ante for the children of the Lumpenproletariat. How does one follow that act? A working class kid from Arkansas is going to need to fly back to Little Rock during a campaign and make sure personal-like that a black near-vegetable got the life shocked out of him. Fry a brain damaged black man while the country watches, and the power elite begins to trust you. Take money from a weakened organized labor already on its knees for your campaign, then turn around and fuck them on an unprecedented scale, and you and your business partner/spouse are well on the road to being worth $100 million.
We had 8 years of George W. Bush, which was like a decade of Caligula minus the fun bits. If the power elite of this cursed, declining superpower was going to let a half-African, middle class psuedo-academic co-run the country with Wall Street and the Pentagon, they had to be damn sure he wasn't going to 'go rogue' on them like that class traitor FDR, and start treating the serfs like humans.
Thus far Obama has not disappointed the machinations of Empire on any count.
Crippled kids vs. landmine manufacturers? Obama sides with the latter.
The world's oceans vs. some more oil? Drill baby drill.
The telecom industry vs. your privacy? Bye bye privacy.
War criminals vs. the general public? Happy day for war criminals.
Your right to know? No.
Civilians vs. mercenaries? Fuck you, civilians!
21st century unions vs. 19th century management? Duh.
It's in this twisted psychological realm that I can find the only Occam's Razor-worthy explanation of Obama's decision to lift the moratorium on commercial whaling. It takes one sick fuck to advocate killing the oceans' remaining whales. It takes an even sicker fuck to advocate the same in his first term when it's so obvious that this is cartoonishly in opposition to everything that his voting base claims to give a flying crap about. Obama could have proposed pissing in every liberal family's refrigerator and this would have had the same effect on his approval rating with that demographic.
Whale killing? We're talking about the industry that started to decline in the US following the discovery of oil in Western Pennsylvania in 1859, and was down to one operable commercial vessel in 1924? (This happens to be fresh in mind as American Experience had a two-hour show about the topic tonight, which is delicious irony.) We're talking about the caricature pet issue of the American liberal from 35 years ago? We're talking about an issue that was so dead that Rush Limbaugh and Fox News haven't even been advocating it.
Whaling. Whaling. For profit. In 2010 AD.
Is pedophilia being saved up for the 2012 campaign trail? "Barack NAMBLAma" would be just slightly less popular than whaling (it'd be close), but as there doesn't appear to be much money in it maybe that won't be the signature depredation of 2011. If Goldman Sachs figures out how to make a buck from cornholing toddlers, all bets are off.
B.O. isn't just advocating opening most of the American coast to offshore drilling, he's bringing back whaling. Finally caving to the big pro-whaling lobby in DC, are we? It's those millions of people in the whaling unions who don't want to lose their jobs, is it?
No, this doesn't make sense. Unlike being bought by the oil industry, this one doesn't pay large enough to justify the public backlash. There's something darker and deeper at work. There's something twisted when you have to rub your voters' noses in it on Earth Day.
Obama's not misguided from his true intentions nor is he misadvised, as many of the usual suspect "liberal" and "progressive" websites have clung to, the way beaten wives cling to the notion that really do fall down the steps and accidentally land on both eye sockets every Friday night. He's an ambitious, power-hungry sick bastard who does bad things that hurt innocent people and the planet, often both at once, usually so some obese plutocrat can make a nickel. He has internalized the priorities of the worst elements of the power elite, and in fact takes additional overcompensating steps that a psychologically secure rich kid like W. wouldn't bother with.
Once W. trashed the constitution, slaughtered civilians, gave billions to industry... what could Obama do as a second act? Sure, he's kept trashing the constitution, slaughtered cilvilians apace, gave a trillion to industry...
... but if you really want to be in the club, if you really want to be in the power elite and make Clinton-style money ...
... you have to take scads of $5 donations from liberal grandmas and get 23 year old minority kids to vote for you for the first time in their lives, then use the power they gave you to kill the fucking whales for a small temporary profit for white people who are already rich.
That makes sense. It's immoral and insane, but it has a working internal narrative. It has cause and effect.
If loyal Democrats had any spine, they'd be calling for the impeachment of this asshole and demanding their campaign contributions back. Of course at this point you could gut every loyal Dem from Boston to San Francisco like a... well, like a sperm whale in Barack's Magical Lagoon, and not find enough verterbrae material to build a decent baboon, thus as usual I fear I hope for too much. No? Prove me wrong.
For a final pathetic, tragicomic look at the degraded position of the Obama voter, check out Save the Whale Activists for Obama from the 2008 campaign. Says the webpage's designer: "Although I'm not sure if any candidate has spoken about the whale crisis, I'm sure Barack Obama would be the most caring toward whales." Indeed. Your son will be equally safe in his care doing some work for him in Afghanistan, so by all means swing by the Army recruitment office if Junior needs a job.
Interestingly I learned tonight that in Moby-Dick, Herman Melville intended the sinking Pequod as a metaphor for the Republic itself driven to destruction by the mad impetus of blind national ambition, personified by Capatin Ahab. Whaling. Yeah, makes sense for Obama.