November 20, 2011

CHANGE SAME: Obama’s ’08 rhetoric backfires. “Barack Obama’s crusade against political apathy, which helped drive voters to the polls in 2008, is backfiring four years later as Americans grow increasingly frustrated with the sputtering economy and gridlock in Washington.. . . A growing number of Obama’s 2008 supporters now feel the president has failed them, analysts said. Americans’ trust in the political system has never been lower and more voters than ever feel their voices aren’t being heard in Washington. When the president once again admonished a predominantly black audience to ‘put on [their] marching shoes’ in September, members of the Congressional Black Caucus reacted angrily.”

Related: Nick Gillespie: Shepard Fairey’s Occupy Hope or, The Pseudo-Spectacle of Outsiderdom and OWS’s Critical Lack of Imagination.

In general, I find this sort of appeal to the Establishment depressing, but especially in this case. If the Occupy movement, like Fairey, sees Obama as a “potential ally” then what does it say about the way that the president has in fact governed? Like Sen. John McCain, Candidate Obama cast a vote in favor of bailing out the big banks and financial institutions while running for president. He then upped the ante and has shown absolutely zero ability to conjure up an economic recovery plan that does not rely on fixes that were rusted-out by the time Richard Nixon took that final flight to San Clemente back in the 1970s.

Obama’s record on civil liberties and foreign interventions is indistinguishable from George W. Bush’s, whose exit calendar from Iraq he is fulfilling. Except that Obama has managed to lower the bar when it comes to killing American citizens and committing American resources without even the fig leaf of congressional approval. Who wants to support the Solyndra-style crony capitalism, or bizarre gun-running operations such as Fast and Furious? What part of record numbers of deportations of poor Mexicans and raids of legal-under-state-law medical marijuana dispensaries in California does Fairey and Occupants not understand? . . . But for god’s sake, who the hell is Fairey kidding? Obama as Guy Fawkes, a minority Catholic plotting to blow up the government who is only remembered in contemporary America because of a graphic novel and rotten movie that was a stupid anti-Thatcher allegory? Obama isn’t the solution, in part or in whole. Every bit as much as George W. Bush, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, you name it, he’s the problem.

All of it.