Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Falcon's cry - American hope for reform becomes desperate

Yet hope remains.......

I have only this to say about Obama and the defeat of health care reform. He ran as a beacon of hope for real change in America. I felt that we were approaching a real rising of the people demanding change and an agenda that included the interests of the people not just the wealthy. I believe this change is urgently needed to oppose corporate control of our lives. I opposed him in the election because I felt he was a false messiah. He seemed to have co-opted much if not all of the progressive, left wing fervor for change and funneled it into a corrupt Chicago style campaign slogan. Once elected, he put hope for change to bed when he chose Rohm Emmanuel as chief of staff.

Now, a year later, his agenda is in shambles and no change is obvious. We are still kowtowing to Saudi Arabia, still redentioning people overseas to be tortured. Still blowing the tops off 500 mountains so far in the Appalachians and filling the valleys with filth so corporations can fill their pockets with money that they use to buy congress. Health care ceased to be about reform and became yet another subsidy for the corporations. The list goes on and on. No – by any measure, change has not gone well this year. We and Obama have clearly been handed a year of basically zero accomplishments while corporate power grew at a rate that would stretch the plotline of an apocalypse novel.

So the left feels betrayed. The right is now being maneuvered to place its hope for reform in the likes of Sarah Palin and I mean to throw no more stones at her - but really.

Then comes the Supreme Court ruling that corporate power cannot be bound or restricted. In a stroke they undid a century of campaign reform. They confirmed the obscenity that corporations are people and have the rights of a citizen. Combine the civil rights of an American citizen with the power and greed of the corporation and you have exceeded any fevered nightmare that Mary Shelley could ever produce.

At the risk of being a conspiracy nut, it seems that the uber moneyed of America have once again derailed any hope of loosening their strangle hold on power and the tax coffers. Both wings of American politics have been clipped by the corporate purchase of a few congressmen. Corporations send a few million dollars to fund a campaign and voila – they are rewarded with billions in bailouts and corporate welfare. It is an old system that is reaching such perfection of evil absurdity that it seems like a lost act of Faust.

“Yet hope remains” the middle earth of Tolkien heard that as prospects dwindled to the lonely efforts of the most humble and unlikely of heroes. Now, humble is not a word I would associate with Obama and I would not have chosen him to be my hero. But with the recent cave in of the Supreme Court, we must cling to whatever hope remains. That one glimmer of optimism remaining is that perhaps Obama, bereft of his Emmanuel agenda will be driven to find a real role to play. I do not take him for a man who enjoys being ignored. If for no other reason that the need to be remembered by history, I think there is a real chance that Obama will reinvent himself. If he earnestly and vigorously pursues an agenda to retake the republic from the power of money, he will face a dire challenge. That struggle will be every bit as unsure as that which led up to Sammoth Naur, the cracks of doom where the dominion of evil was unmade.

If he can use his brilliant oratory to revive real hope - we may yet take back America from the few and return it to the people. His brisk pushback against banks and the Supreme Court bodes well. If only he can turn his rhetoric into action at last - I will eat an enormous amount of crow and support him whole heartedly.

Having shoved enough literary allusions into this to make me cringe- I will add one last. For though I earnestly pray for reform and hope for hope -I fear ---

“ Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

WB Yeats


  1. I agree that it seems all hope is gone. I feel the sting all the more because I heavely supported Obama and voted for him. The dissapointment I have felt over the last year has been crushing. I have lost more or less all faith in the political system as a hole and feel like I could never get behind someone like I did Obama from fear of being dissapointed all over again. But alas there is the one ray of hope that he will make it up to us in the next 3 years.

  2. Allan, that is exactly my point. He took all our hope and people believed in him. He needs to grow some and take action, he owes us. Keep hoping is all we can do right now.

  3. Penny, you left out the best part, when we find out how it's all going to end....

    "Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at laSt,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"


  4. are you saying barak is the anti christ??
    or does the ruff beast just refer to helen thomas on a middle east junket?


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