[Marxism] Clinton's 3rd term

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Dec 19 12:21:54 MST 2008

Counterpunch Weekend Edition
December 19 - 21, 2008
Clinton III
Continuity We Can Believe In


This is part mea culpa, so please indulge my quoting myself. Back on 
November 5th much of the country celebrated the end of an error and the 
election of the first non-white president. (We’ll get to “male” and 
“Christian” later – much later, I suppose. "Ivy League?" Maybe never.) I 
wrote: “We’ll know soon enough how hard we’ll have to fight bad Obama 
policy. Even before Inauguration Day, we’ll know. Who Obama picks for 
his “team” will be all-telling…If President Obama fails to break 
completely with the narcissistic Baby Boomer politicians; we’ll know. If 
he keeps Gates at Defense or appoints Powell in his place; we’ll know.”

Well, that sure was quick.

I’m generally of the “we should be gracious and wait to criticize, at 
least until he’s sworn in” camp. However, with Bush spending his 
remaining time in office facilitating extinctions for his corporate 
masters by gutting Endangered Species protections; drawing up 
self-protective Pardon lists and making that ludicrous non-victory lap 
to Iraq – where the hero journalist Muntather al-Zaidi joined fed-up 
Americans in giving him the boot - Barack Obama is de facto, as well as, 

While the incredible shrinking war criminal plans his escape to his new 
digs in Houston now that there is no need for the pretend brush-cutting 
photo-ops on the “ranch,” Obama has his hands full already dealing with 
the fall-out that attaches to all things Bush; like that cloud of dust 
surrounding Charlie Brown’s buddy Pigpen. Analyzing how Obama is going 
about it is fair game.


Obama has chosen the rabid Zionist, deregulated hedge fund 
multi-millionaire Rahm Emanuel, a guy who makes even Snakehead Carville 
look human in comparison, as his Chief of Staff. Obama apparently 
surrendered foreign policy and the choice of his Senate replacement to 
him. Obama has begun by ceding the battered economy to the very same 
folks who drove it off the cliff. Obama has, indeed, left Gates in place 
while simultaneously backing off his end-the-occupation rhetoric. Obama 
has disrespected a large chunk of his supporters by choosing the 
anti-gay Christian Ayatollah Rick Warren to conduct prayers at his 
Inauguration. Obama has recycled hack Clinton neo-libs across the board.

It’s time to bring out the critiques.

The only question is “where to begin?” As it would require a book-length 
analysis (I’m sure there’s an entire library of them already in the 
works) given just how bad the overall Obama team actually is, I’ll begin 
with the policy area I’m most familiar with first and come back later 
for the others.


With even the Pentagon predicting “Climate Wars” and a billion 
environmental refugees by 2050, a complete break with the disastrous 
policies of the past would certainly be in order. Yet, Obama’s eco-team 
may represent the worst of all his recent Ivy League status quo re-treads.

While the spineless, foundation-dependent, career environmentalists have 
no problems with his awful pro-coal/pro-nuke/pro-logging choices to head 
up major environmental policy positions on his team, grassroots enviros 
– another major group that delivered votes for Obama – are livid.

The Napoleonic Director of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope, representative of 
the rest of the Dem-captive Big Greens, had this whopper to say about 
Obama’s Napoleonic Interior Secretary: "The Sierra Club is very pleased 
with the nomination of Ken Salazar to head the Interior Department. As a 
Westerner and a rancher, he understands the value of our public lands, 
parks, and wildlife and has been a vocal critic of the Bush 
Administration's reckless efforts to sell-off our public lands to Big 
Oil and other special interests.”

Pope’s take on Agriculture nominee Tom Vilsack is more tepid. But, 
again, the Genetically Modified (GMO) crops and food-as-fuel advocate 
gets a pass from the Club; “Governor Vilsack can play an important role 
in helping to bring about the clean energy economy in a way that 
benefits both farmers and rural communities and our environment.”

Compare Pope’s imprimatur with Counterpuncher and grassroots Colorado 
enviro Philip Doe's take on Salazar. And here’s Counterpuncher Ronnie 
Cummins’ take on the corporate shill Vilsack for comparison.

Carol Browner has been appointed the new White House Coordinator of 
Energy and Climate Policy. No matter that carbon-offsets magnate Al 
Gore’s protege Browner’s record as Clinton EPA head did little more than 
put progressive rhetoric (lipstick?) on Clinton’s many rollbacks of 
environmental protections; not to mention, the Clinton/Gore 
administration's malign neglect of serious ecological threats whenever 
seriously addressing said threats also endangered corporate profits. 
Apparently, Obama has also determined the latter threat to be paramount.

Nobel winning physicist Dr. Steven Chu as Energy Secretary means simply 
that Nuclear Power and “clean” coal will be hailed as the solution to 
Climate Change; something Obama, himself, said time and again during the 

The woeful picks wrap up with Browner’s former employees Lisa Jackson, 
who failed miserably as head of New Jersey’s Environmental Protection 
Agency, to head the national EPA and eco-neophyte Nancy Sutley to be the 
chair of the White House Council on Environment Quality. (Guess we 
should be thankful that Gore ghostwriter and Clinton's Ancient Forest 
liquidation apologist Katie McGinty wasn’t picked to reprise that last 

Clinton III

For many the election was defined as a choice between “change” and a 
third Bush term. As when Curly Howard would point away and shout “look 
at the bird” distracting Moe while Larry absconded with the goods, 
citizen stooges failed to notice or wishfully "hoped" otherwise (mea 
culpa) - the real alternative to Bush III was always Clinton III.

Across the board; from Hillary Clinton, herself, as Secretary of State, 
we see little evidence of “change” and beyond shadow of a doubt evidence 
that we’ve begun the third Clinton term. From the very same Clinton (and 
Bush and Reagan/Bush) deregulators who now head economic policy to the 
Israel-first “obliterate Iran” hawks on foreign policy to the “we can 
amp-up our resource extraction economy and still have a healthy 
environment” deluders to an intolerant cleric leading prayers…the die is 

Tellingly, Obama left the Labor Secretary position as the last major 
position to be nominated – an affront to another one of his major 
supporting constituencies. How could he possibly put in play an economic 
task force first, as he did, yet, leave out Labor?

As Dr. Chu noted, "What the world does in the coming decade will have 
enormous consequences that will last for centuries. It's imperative that 
we begin without further delay."

I know it’s imperative for me to delay no further, despite my sense of a 
grace period, in pointing out how “change” appears to simply mean a new 
face at the top. The factotums of other wing of the Imperial corporate 
party clearly remain the same.

MICHAEL DONNELLY will write more extensively on the Clinton III Foreign 
Policy and Economic teams later. He can be reached at pahtoo at aol.com

More information about the Marxism mailing list