by Bernard Jenkins
Karl Marx, expanding on Hegel's philosophy of history, remarked that history happens twice, once as tragedy, once as farce. Barack Obama, definitely no Marxist, has gone him one better. It is now clear and obvious that the Obama Presidency is both tragedy and farce.
The tragedy is that the country, desperate to be rid of the Bush-Cheney criminal enterprise that was shredding the Constitution, looting the Treasury, war mongering, stealing elections, thoroughly corrupting Justice and poisoning Democracy, elected a fantasy - Barack Obama.
The farce is Barack Obama's slapstick performance as the President.
In fact, for the nearly three years, since the election, we have been watching Obama performing a dispiriting striptease as he sheds his disguise as a progressive Democrat to reveal in full Monty the true reactionary corporatist Republican underneath.
His excessive Rodney (Can't we all get along?) King gene seems more likely at every turn to be a limitless narcissism. Like a vaudeville magician he continually pulls alibis out of his hat. Mr. YesWeCan has become Mr. It'sTheOtherGuy'sFault. His melifluous baritone oozes out silver-tongued false comparisons and equivalencies, distortions of history and factoids. His delusional desire is to be a "transformational" President. Like his idol Ronald Reagan. But transforming America into what? Thanks to Reagan and his gang of villains, we are already speeding helter-skelter toward corporate fascism.
The fake debt ceiling debacle is only the most recent example of the Obama tragedy/farce.
He has betrayed every Democratic principle he pretended to believe in in order to be elected. At every opportunity he has dissed and dumped on the believers who elected him. He is not the un-Bush but double-trouble: Bush in two-face and blackface. He recites Republican talking points as naturally as if he has written them himself and believes every word of them. As a negotiator with Congress he is totally hapless. Every merchant in the bazaar would just love to sell him a flying carpet. Even now he is practically begging the GOP Teabaglicans to help him destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as part of a debt ceiling "grand bargain" sell-out' (!!) Lucky for us, those goofballs are so completely outhouse rat crazy, they have refused his offer. So far. Perhaps they are just holding out for his impeachment or resignation.
That desired outcome could still happen.
In the meantime, Obama is focusing like a laser on a 2nd term for his tragedy/farce Presidency. Given America's current state of insane up-is-downism, full financial catastrophe, military magical thinking, homeland insecurity, fear mongering and paranoia, rampant corruption, obesity and stupidity, Obama's re-election is a pretty good bet if not a foregone conclusion.
Now is the time for the well-meaning folks who elected him the first time to awaken from their stupor and acknowledge that they fooled themselves then and won’t be fooled again. Obama is not playing some high-minded game of 11-sided chess on their behalf, but is playing them for suckers.
Having bamboozled and betrayed the Democratic Party and its long held principles (albeit with the aid of Washington's own unprincipled Democrats), and with GOP Teabaglicans being a rabble of yowling, mendacious, toxic, fat ass drunks, ignoramuses, bigots, chinless wonders, hypocrites and fools for Christ, Barack Obama can run in his new disguise as "the grown-up" in the room, rather than the tool and knave, corporate toadie and economic "Shock Doctrine" enabler, shine-on artist and trickerator he really is.
If, as Shakespeare wrote in "The Tempest" (in a slightly different context) “what’s past is prologue”, then the continuation of this farce for another term would indeed be a tragedy.