Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Obama is different

Over at Tom Dispatch, David Swanson matches up the first seven months of the Obama administration with what we could have expected if George W. Bush had been reelected to a third term.

As Blog Simple has also opined in the past, there just isn't much difference between the two. Wherever you look, the same policies and people continue without a break.

But, as he points out, some things have changed:
Which doesn't mean there aren't differences in the two moments. For one thing, Democrats have now joined Republicans in approving expanded presidential powers and even -- in the case of wars, military strikes, lawless detention and rendition, warrantless spying, and the obstruction of justice -- presidential crimes. In addition, in the new Democratic era of goodwill, peace and justice movements have been strikingly defunded and, in some cases, even shut down. Many progressive groups now, in fact, take their signals from the president and his team, rather than bringing the public's demands to his doorstep.

If we really were in Bush's third term, people would be far more active and outraged. There would already be a major push to really end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan. Undoubtedly, the Democrats still wouldn't impeach Bush, especially since they'd be able to vote him out before his fourth term, and surely four more years of him wouldn't make all that much difference.
So, the net result of Obama's election is a de-politicization of the anti-war/social justice movements, and the declawing of those few Democrats with claws. But wasn't that really the plan? Face it, we've been taken, suckers!


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