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.
Would you like to combine your dismay with our national news media with our nation’s outdated and alarmist approach to gender roles? Then you’ll love the misery provided by last night’s opening segment of The Daily Show:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Toemageddon 2011 – This Little Piggy Went to Hell|
While I usually find Bill Maher too obnoxious, his “New Rule” on shows like Secret Millionaire and Undercover Boss is worth watching:
On a talk show, there needs to be a respect between a guest and a host. It’s the same respect a guest and a host would show each other in a home. A host implicitly agrees to be cordial and inviting and in turn the guest implicitly agrees not to be a total dickbag.
I will not be inviting former House Majority Leader-cum-lobbyist Dick Armey to my home any time soon. Armey appeared on last night’s The Daily Show and obviously there were going to be disagreements between him and Jon Stewart. However, Stewart has shown that he is perfectly happy to have on guests who disagree with him. Bill Kristol, Mike Huckabee, and (before he sold-out every belief he had), John McCain have all been repeat guests on the show. The problem comes if there’s a guest who doesn’t respect the forum or Stewart. The brilliant and gifted comedian does not abide rudeness.
This is a strong special comment except for two things:
1) The rhetorical shortcut of using Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous quote.
2) Not criticizing Obama for his back-peddling on the issue. Obama first came out and made a strong stance supporting the cultural center. Then, realizing he had made a strong stance, instantly retreated to a middling position and questioned the wisdom of building the center “near” Ground Zero. And I would take the Obama Administration’s advice on wisdom like I would take driving tips from Stevie Wonder.
This is one of Olbermann’s best to date.