Home > economics, General Comment, political-economy, politics > Less than meets the eye…

Less than meets the eye…

Huffington Post
Picture from the Huffington Post

We would note that Senator Obama’s speech accepting the nomination of the the Party of Washington – the Democrats – was of remarkable quality, and justly impressive to the throng of Washington sycophants, would-be inheritors of the machinery of State, and even representatives of the Party of Wall Street – the Republicans.

You too were probably well entertained by the pageantry and stagecraft of the event.

We would simply ask, if you are inclined to be overwhelmed by the emotional power of seeing this triumphant moment of American racial progress, that you download the text of the Senator Obama’s speech and read the substantive parts aloud in the voice, not of the first African American candidate of a major American party, but the less impressive voice of your congressperson, or town selectman.

You will immediately note, as David Broder has observed, far from the promise of, “fundamental systemic change,” this speech was little more than, “a checklist of traditional Democratic programs.”

Two promises, in particular, are of note:

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don’t have that chance. I’ll invest in early childhood education. I’ll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I’ll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American – if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don’t, you’ll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

In these two paragraphs are the heart of the program of the Party of Washington – that children will be educated, and the sick will be provided medical care.

We are reminded of Chris Rock’s joke about black men who brag self-righteously, “I take care of my kids.”

You know the worst thing about niggas? Niggas always want credit for some shit they supposed to do. A nigga will brag about some shit a normal man just does. A nigga will say some shit like, ‘I take care of my kids.’You’re supposed to, you dumb motherfucker! What kind of ignorant shit is that? ‘I ain’t never been to jail!’ What do you want, a cookie?! You’re not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having motherfucker!”

In the same sense we might judge the promises of Senator Obama, that children will be educated and the sick provided medical care, against the common practice of all civilized nations on this planet, to arrive at how little he actually offers in his platform of change.

Educating children and taking care of the sick is what modern civilized nations do, yet Senator Obama delivers this promise to the nation as if he were delivering the Emancipation Proclamation, not merely hoping to preside over its final realization.

How little he offers in the way of change is graphically framed by this small notice:

In the last two months, Bank of China cut its portfolio of the debt 29 percent, or about $3.14 billion, to $7.5 billion as of Monday, the Beijing-based bank said in an earnings report. Holdings of mortgage-backed bonds guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie were cut 22 percent, to $5.17 billion, the bank said.

Asian investors are retreating despite U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s pledge July 13 to provide government support to Fannie and Freddie should their financial conditions deteriorate further. The government-sponsored enterprises, which own or guarantee at least 42 percent of the $12 trillion in U.S. home loans, have posted $14.9 billion in net losses the last four quarters amid rising foreclosures rise and falling home prices.

From this notice we see that the People’s Republic of China has begun the long process of withdrawing its capital from American markets.  Perhaps, six decades ago this notice might not have been of the least importance to the average American. But, now, in the midst of collapsing credit and housing markets, this small withdrawal signals the most deadly of threats to your living standards, and that of your children.

We cannot emphasize this enough: You are on the edge of the most dire economic catastrophe humanity has ever witnessed – and, the leader of the Party of Washington delivers, as a promise, what is the minimal requirement for modern civilized society: that children should be educated and sick provided medical care!

Perhaps, the most significant line is his speech was this:

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land – enough! This moment – this election – is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: “Eight is enough.”

It was with these words, Senator Obama revealed his willingness to ignore of the depth of the problems he and the nation faces. We love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight?

No B, not the last eight, the last sixty!

The insignificant report of the Bank of China makes clear that the rest of the human family is gradually becoming nervous about underwriting the American Empire, and this, above everything else this election might involve, signals its end.

The litany of marginal policy proposals at this time, in that place, by that man, before a rapt nation – the largest ever to witness such an event – underscores the complete failure, complete incompetence, complete paralysis and lack of vision of both the Party of Washington and the Party of Wall Street.

Make no mistake, if you will not reach for your own survival against these two parties, and the empire they have spawned and managed these sixty years, the consequence for you and your family is unimaginable.

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