[Marxism] Clinton's 3rd term
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Dec 19 12:21:54 MST 2008
Counterpunch Weekend Edition
December 19 - 21, 2008
Continuity We Can Believe In
By MICHAEL DONNELLY
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
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