Pete Seeger, 94 years old, just died. He wrote:
“If I had a hammer I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening all over this land
I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out warning
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land”
Nietzsche said he was making philosophy with a hammer. Is Obama a hammer? Yes. But he does not hammer for the pecus vulgaris. Under Obama fundamental research got cut, although he bemoans it, but then Obama gives rich people $7,500 each time they buy a $100,000 car from Obama’s friend Elon Musk. Musk is another of these hyper wealthy white immigrants from South Africa Obama apparently likes to surround himself with. Obama is all about diversity, as long as it stays plutocratic.
Obama just gave his SOTU (State Of The Union) speech. That yearly obligation is part of the 200 year old, sketchy, obsolete, USA Constitution. Obama, chin up, reading left, reading right, celebrated his Trojan Horse presidency, charlatan outside, black Reagan inside, Wall Street heart beating at the core.
Periodically the elite of millionaires listening to the guy-in-chief stands up and applauds. “Corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher”, Obama hammers. Rarely? What a weird dissemblance!
Actually, under plutophile Obama, corporate profits, after tax, have never been higher in terms of GDP. And that’s very wrong, because median income has been going down. The latter never happened before for decades: maybe the Constitution never goes down, but the economy does. Both phenomena are related.
Pete Seeger and Hays wrote “If I had a hammer” in defense of the leaders of the American Communist Party who were on trial in 1949. Where is the American Communist Party now? It has been hammered into inexistence. No doubt disappearing the Communists is part of what Obama calls “democracy”.
No more American Communists, but we have is this ersatz of a parody of a brown Kenyan boy delivering the speech his (white) masters wrote for him. Talk about a guy without a hammer.
Not all Obama said was absurd, far from it. What was absurd is that everybody listens to him, as if he had any power. Verily, he has none. He had plenty five years ago, and did not use it. His masters had chosen well, a creature with no spine, nor ideas of its own, with just the will to navigate towards the top the Financial Times had defined for him.
One can safely say that Barack Obama’s presidency, barring the unforeseen, like a North Korean nuclear strike, will have presided over the most unremarkable American presidency since Charles Pierce. Of course, racist supporters will claim that this is, by itself, a success. Since I am not racist, i can’t approve that gutter style reasoning.
The State Of The Union (“SOTU”) speech has become the State Of Totally Uncomprehending.
Obama is talking off a carefully prepared text, with choreographed TV panning around on diverse, appropriate critters as he speaks. One learns that:
”This son of a factory worker is going to college this fall… The USA is the greatest nation on earth”. Wow, indeed, speak about equal opportunity. Obama calls his mom a “single mom”. Truth is what he decides it is. Actually she was married all the time, first to an uppity albeit flighty, Kenyan, then to an Indonesian millionaire, a front man for USA corporations (and probably the CIA: did Obama inherit his job?).
150 businesses and corporations and “non-profits” (Gates, the well known non-profiteers) are going to help with education, Barack Obama pontificates. He quoted by name some giant corporations (Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, Sprint, etc.) to explain they paid for 16.000 “public” schools “so it won’t cost a dime to the Federal government”. Alleluia. Is this corporate advertising guy for real? Ah, yes, the president also tells us that “Cosco is smart”.
No doubt preparing his future career as a humongously paid American corporate cheerleader. He may as well train in public.
“America is all about some people achieving incredible success, we don’t resent that.” What about achieving credible success instead? “No country in the world does what we do, on every issue. Every country looks up to us.” Why are politicians of the USA so dementedly nationalistic? Because only hyper nationalism holds the country together?
Several times, his wife looks distraught, on the verge of tears. Something she knows we don’t? As the camera pans on her, she sees the red light, and she beams a huge smile, and makes big round eyes, as she has been trained to do. One should make a sequence of such pictures.
Not everything Obama said was absurd, but then he quickly slip into infamy:
“We fight terrorism by sticking to constitution and being an example… That’s why I have put prudent limits on the use of drones. That’s why I will work with this Congress… The privacy of ORDINARY people is not been violated.”
Excuse me? Obama implies that: Extraordinary people, though, are fair game.”Here and abroad.” Meditate this, you, extraordinary people: your privacy is violated, the president guarantees it.
Extraordinary people are extra-constitutional, like these Communists Pete Seeger sang about in 1949.
The audience starts chanting USA USA USA USA. At least nationalism is strong. Encouraged, Obama says: “the world looks towards us…. our veterans need mental health care”
Real thunderous applause about that point. Indeed, the veterans need it: they have got to have been crazy to start with, to serve, body and soul, that corporate-plutocratic monster that devours the planet, and invade forsaken countries on the other side of the Earth, just because that’s where the profits are.
Even more thunderous ovation for a mangled soldier with shrapnel in his brain. For more than two minutes the audience of all-powerful millionaires stands up and applauds. What are they applauding? Their capacity at ordering shrapnel into people’s brains, worldwide? Michelle puts her hands on him… He was victim of a road side bomb in Afghanistan. It was his tenth deployment, helping to kill people overseas. Very moving, indeed.
Has a thought been given about why the USA went to war in Afghanistan in 1979, and in Iraq in the 1990s? The “extraordinary troops that kept us free” is all the analysis we get from Obama. More applause. Afghanistan is ambiguously credited as “America’s longest war”. All Americans know the war lasted 13 years, the lie that covers the fact it lasted 35 years. At least.
“Terrorist do not launch attacks against our country”. Just against other countries. Nobody in that chamber knows, or would want to know, that be it in Iran in 1953, or Afghanistan in the 1970s, and many other places that cannot even mention, lest my readership scream, it was the USA’s secret agencies that launched those terrorist wars.
So Obama is using his pluto-corporate bully pulpit.. That’s all the power he has left, to gain plutocratic good points. It’s not just pathetic. It’s the exact example for the rest of the world not to follow.
Indeed, the USA has strictly no effective elected leadership at this point: Obama will ride in the big plane, lead the big life, being escorted by an army everywhere he goes, and be celebrated as the “leader of the free world”. But he is no leader, and he is not free. He has no program, and no power. The generals were (sourly) watching the State Of The Union (strange democracy, under military watch!).
The generals are the power, as in the times of Jackson (feared chief of the army, great conqueror on his own volition, later president).
Does that mean there is no leadership in the USA at this point? Not at all. The “chief business of the American people is business”, said President Coolidge in 1925. However the sort of business the USA knew in 1925 has now grown in something incomparably more sinister, the Republic Of Offshore and its unelected, plutocracy of corporations and their masters.
And don’t worry about Obama’s succession. As Obama gave his SOTU, the camera panned over several young and cute Republican Senators, some of whom (say Rubio) do not hesitate to hold an extreme right wing discourse. Ever since Nixon, all presidents of the USA have been right wing, and it’s getting worse. Plutocratization marches on.