"The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Obama's Brilliant Speech: A Right-Wing Triumph

Obama's Tucson speech achieved its purpose superbly, as has his Presidency so far. That purpose is to render the effects of the current corporate takeover of democracy acceptable to the American public. What made the speech so effective is that it appealed to our innate desire for reconciliation at such a time. But, like his entire "reach-across-the-aisle" strategy, it hides a more important agenda.

His first object was to minimize the right-wing role in providing the ideologically-based target for the gunman. The point was to absolve the right of any guilt for the effects of their violent rhetoric and anti-government conspiracy theories - clearly reflected in Loughner's internet postings. Just as he implicitly absolved Bush and Cheney for their crimes of torture and lying a nation into war, in this case, he absolved Beck, Palin and their frothing legions of the effects of their irresponsible rhetoric.

As the poster kivals pointed out "...it is absolutely essential for co-opting populist movements arising out of the growing anger and frustration of the little people" that such rhetoric continue. The right-wing hate campaign has been found to be a very effective way to divert anger from its real targets - the Wall Street bankers who looted the Treasury - to their preferred targets - those such as Gifford who might stand in the way of the new "austerity" measures that the corporate elite requires to safeguard their profit margins.

His second goal was to repudiate his liberal supporters, a technique he has nearly perfected. He implicitly denounced the sad, but experienced words of Sheriff Clarence Dupnik: "When the rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates, and to try to inflame the public on a daily business, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, has impact on people, especially who are unbalanced personalities to begin with." Progressive demands for less violent rhetoric on the right were implicitly equated with the very rhetoric they condemned. Chillingly, he also implicitly nullified Giffords' own fears. Once again, Obama achieved the targets set by his corporate masters.

It was a brilliant success, as attested by its near universal acclaim, from Charles Krauthammer to Peggy Noonan to E.J. Dionne. Such acclaim reveals a key performance indicator in the green for Mr. Obama. After this speech, it seems a pity that the violence must continue, that we must fear ideologically-motivated killings more than ever, but we are happy to pay the price for the delights of oligarchy.