Keith Olbermann issued a withering Special Comment last night aimed at the debt deal. It’s a good comment in so far as it uses Olbermann’s eloquence to effectively voice the anger many of us are feeling at Obama and the Democrats’ latest capitulation (or as Matt Taibbi put it, they took a dive). But Olbermann the makes a half-assed rallying cry that progressives and the middle and working class take back the government. Olbermann makes vague appeals to the powers of social networking and calling back the attitudes of the late 60s and early 70s (remind me, who won the 1968 and 1972 elections? His name was Richard-something-or-other).
But ultimately such cries for change are in vein. Obama was the last time most of us will be fooled. So much was riding on his rhetoric and we hoped and prayed we were getting a once-in-a-generation figure. But it was actually image politics at its finest and so many were glad to be getting a guy who spoke in complete sentences because that’s where George W. Bush and Sarah Palin were setting the bar. We made a big deal about Obama being the first black President but he’s shown himself to be as yellow as any other.
And truly, there are no replacements. We won’t change campaign finance laws because people, no matter how well-intentioned, will almost always find their way to the money. They’ll do a stint in congress and then find their way to a high-priced lobbying firm and trade access for fat cash. And since there’s no profit in helping an ill-defined group of middle-class voters (we’ve already seen this year how unions can be destroyed), no organization on the behalf of the middle-class can ever raise enough money to compete with the Goldman Sachs and Koch Brothers of the world. Even if they could, there’s more money to be made helping the richer organizations.
We live in an oligarchy and who we choose as our leaders is about as important as who we choose as the next American Idol.
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