Wednesday 11 March 2009

He Must Be Doing Something Right!

I don't usually like commenting on current affairs.

And nor do I particularly like actually standing up in support of a politician. Kind of goes against the grain.

But I have to say that a hundred days into Obama's Presidency I'm completely bewildered by the mud being thrown by his critics.

In my view it's too early to tell whether he'll actually achieve anything, but I have to say, judging by the noises of horror being made from some quarters, he must be doing something right.
He obviously scares the crap out of those frightened of a mould being broken.

To start with, I have to say I roll my eyes when I say blog after blog getting all excited about his birth certificate. The technicality of whether in fact he is a US citizen and therefore technically qualified to be US President.

I realise that many in the MSM and many bloggers too get quite smug about this topic, thinking they have a real stick to beat him with, should it transpire that technically, he isn't entitled to hold office.

Interesting. Interesting that they think that if proved true it would be something to celebrate.

Firstly, I actually don't think it legally matters now- I think their chance to raise it was at the inauguration. I think if they'd been able to produce evidence before then, then they could have prevented the inauguration. I'm not sure, once he HAS been inaugurated they could remove him. That would make sense. In this country there are a number of things debarring a person from election to the commons, but which don't apply once a person has actually taken the oath, though of course they can still be unseated on petition. The age at which a member can sit in the commons is 21, but certainly in the past, before the glare of media spotlight, many members took the oath at a younger age, William Pitt being one of them. Everyone knew he wasn't old enough to legally sit in the commons and had anyone objected when he took the oath, he would have had to leave, but no one did.

The rile existed then, because if the 19 year old seemed too young, his age could be used to bar him, but in Pitt's case, he seemed mature enough.

One might argue the same is true with the US rule stating the President must be born a US citizen. It provides a rare set of grounds for which someone could object to the democratically elected choice of the American people to proceed to inauguration, but it is hard to see how it could cancel out his oaths of office, once those oaths have been taken.

So in my view, the issue is clear. Obama's opponents cannot dispute he won the election. Now they're telling the American people that they had no right to vote the way they did. It is an attempt to cancel out democracy by the back door, in short, it is the response of sore losers.

Myself, I would argue that the rule that a US President has to be BORN a US citizen is fairly archaic in this day and age anyway. He has certainly lived all his life there, so frankly- who cares about his birth certificate?

It is the sort of argument that might appeal to Shylock in the Merchant of Venice. But no one else in their right mind. It is scurrilous, and in a sense, shows the lack of real candour and integrity on behalf of Obama's opponents. These are the same sorts of people who dig around for juicy gossip about politician's student days. Only they can make this one look grandiose and 'defending the constitution'.

But let's see it for what it is. Motivated by sour grapes.

I've read a lot about how Obama is already, allegedly, damaging the economy.

Actually, reading about what he's doing, I'm reserving judgement. This is a major depression we're entering. And it's largely been caused by the greed and exploitation of banks. and governments acting as the tools of banks. Let's face it, I don't think the Capitalist system is going to survive. Certainly, the National debts that exist in the world today are never going to be repaid. Ever. None of this money is. So let's be honest, any money the government of a major world power 'borrows', is never going to be repaid. But the banks got us into this mess and their directors are sitting high, dry- and fat. Whilst hundreds of millions of people face uncertain futures. Time was when one might look at vast expenditure programmes and think 'We're paying for this'. But now, chances are, we'll never have to. If Obama feels like looting the fat cats to at least keep the wheels going as the world sinks into collapse- therefore at least going down as a leader who took some of the pain out of the death throes of Capitalism- let him.

I was watching 'a River Runs Through it' the other night (Sissy Spacek manages to look so cute in that film...) and thinking, we're back to those times of course, that's going to be the way it is for many people in the US now.

Being blunt, the world economy is NEVER going to back to the way it was. We can never again to trust banks to run our global economy. Or have an interest based economy, period. So a leader who loots them while he can, is doing the right thing. We might as well use the token system to deliver what we can before it all goes kaput. At least prevent people starving.

Time was when being a responsible leader meant thinking about finance, long term. Now, being a responsible leader involves saying 'Fuck finance'.

The world has bbeen run for the benefits of banks for too long. And it might make sense to have leaders who are going to run things to keep bankers happy, if we think there is a time in the future when a world run by bankers and an interest economy is viable. But since it isn't, since we will never need anything from them again, yes, 'borrow' the lot, borrow everything they have, because it's no use to anyone otherwise. They will never again do anything good with it. Ordinary people need it.

It's the criticism of his foreign policy I find most eyebrow raising.

I've seen him criticised for making peaceful overtures to Iran. Criticised for being prepared to talk to Hezbollah. And criticised for talking about lifting the forty year long trade embargo with Cuba. Criticised for making moves to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Are these people SERIOUS?

Are there actually people who DON'T want these things to happen?

We have a President in America who seemingly is prepared to say 'We don't want war'. A President prepared to move away from Unilateralism, prepared to at least consider moving towards some sort of collective global decision making- and that's a bad thing?

It's actually his foreign policy I've been most impressed with. I don't know if he'll be able to keep it up, but in my view, it shows amazing determination to come back from the brink before the whole world ends up in a nuclear war.

The people who criticise Obama don't seem to realise the position he's inherited and what will make his term of office a success.

The world economy is going into the biggest recession it's ever had, it will probably be more drastic than the thirties. The challenge of any government is to going to be to keep people fed, to keep people employed, to keep resources flowing, by whatever means. Governments are going to have choices; use dictatorial methods to keep people down, or use dictatorial methods to take from the takers and give some of the loot back. Obama's term of office will be a success if there aren't riots on the street and people being gunned down. It will NOT be a success if the Dow Jones picks up.
His term of office will be a success if he responds to the democratic will of the people, which is increasingly going to turn against the corporations. His term of office will be a success if he takes the side of the people.

And his term of office will be a success if, instead of 'winning the war on terror', he decides that America is going to set an example, be proactive not reactive. America doesn't want to 'win a war on terror', it wants to make it so there is no war.

I may be wrong, but I'm starting to see signs that maybe the powers that be really have taken their eye off the ball, that we actually might just have a US President who is prepared to turn round to the Corporations and other vested instruments, the Powers that be and say 'OK, you paid for the guns, but I've got them. You control the TV networks. But people don't trust them any more, they communicate freely on the internet. If I stand up for the people against you, you won't be able to hoodwink them'.

We may just have a world leader who got there as an aberration, carried up on a tide of charisma; they had to let him win because they couldn't stop him. And he may just break rank and take our side.

And it could just be that Obama holds a place in history as the Gorbachev of global Capitalism. As the man who made it possible for the revolution to be a truly peaceful transition, and not the Third Global Civil War.

It's early days yet.

And when and if I think he really is leading us to disaster, I'll say so.

But right now, I still think he's easily the best man for the job. I think he'll make the next four years easier- for all six billion of us- than if anyone else had won.


Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Crushed, You can bleat all you like about money. The fact is it is a system to convert the value of a persons work and property and ideas into a common thing, to allow easy exchange of those things with others.It is something useful.

I figure much of the recent problem is with how you value it.

Lots of bankers got it wrong. They valued debt as worth much more than it was actually worth, a bit like valuing a 7 year old car like a two year old car.

You buy a showroom full of them at that price you loose your shirt when you try to sell. That's what they did. Everything else follows on from that.

That is not a problem with the essential idea of the free (as in unhindered) exchange of goods and labour.

Just a problem with people not knowing what they were doing and maybe being dishonest, or at least not looking as close at a free lunch as they should have.

Anonymous said...

Well...I believe in 'wait and see'.

I want our troops home. And as controversial as it is, I'm glad he is going forward on stem cell research.

As I didn't like either presidential candidate...I wasn't upset with the election results.

Patience is a virtue. He will show himself a success, or fail with every president.