Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Glorious Two-Party System

I guess you have to be a natural-born American to appreciate the Charles-Atlas-style dynamic tension between the plutocrats of the Republican Party and the Commie-pinkos of the Democratic Party. Alexander Cockburn, poor limey that he is, sure doesn't get it:
Obama invokes change. Yet never has the dead hand of the past had a "reform" candidate so firmly by the windpipe. Is it possible to confront America's problems without talking about the arms budget? The Pentagon is spending more than at any point since the end of the Second World War. In "real dollars" – an optimistic concept these days – the $635bn (£400bn) appropriated in fiscal 2007 is 5 per cent above the previous all-time high, reached in 1952. Obama wants to enlarge the armed services by 90,000. He pledges to escalate the US war in Afghanistan; to attack Pakistan's territory if it obstructs any unilateral US mission to kill Osama bin Laden; and to wage a war against terror in a hundred countries, creating a new international intelligence and law enforcement "infrastructure" to take down terrorist networks. A fresh start? Where does this differ from Bush's commitment on 20 September 2001, to an ongoing "war on terror" against "every terrorist group of global reach" and "any nation that continues to harbour or support terrorism"?

Obama's liberal defenders comfort themselves with the thought that "he had to say that to get elected". He didn't. After eight years of Bush, Americans are receptive to reassessing America's imperial role. Obama has shunned this opportunity. If elected, he will be a prisoner of his promise that on his watch Afghanistan will not be lost, nor the white man's burden shirked.
And maybe I don't get it either. But I have been getting some chuckles out of watching each set of corporatist-fascists warn the great Amur'kan public about the profound evil and imminent disaster represented by the other (identical) crew.

Be sure to vote, now. Voting changes things.


Mimi said...

That's why I'm voting for Nader.

Dauvit Balfour said...

I think it might be more productive to play spades at the lunch table with my coworkers, same as I do every day, than to vote. Of course, they might all still be under the impression that voting is somehow worthwhile and skip out on our card games. Hmmm, we shall have to see what sort of mood I am in on Tuesday - the "screw this b.s." mood or the "oh, I should vote to show I actually care..." mood. Maybe I'll write in the Flying Spaghetti Monster - he might change things.

itsmecissy said...

Voting can change things, and yet it's hard to deny that it rarely does.

If 100% of the people would vote instead of 30%), we would actually elect people who represented our ideas and be better off for it.

The two-party system isn't keeping our votes from making a difference, apathy is keeping our votes from making a difference.

Kathryn Magendie said...

itsme makes sense - I just wrote that same word "Apathy" in an essay yesterday -- about the worst thing that can happen to a community is apathy...that "shrugging" that says "what can we do? nothing we do matters anyway..." scary!