International Writers Magazine:US Politics
Shape of Things To Come
am not going to play dummy and pretend I dont know whats
going on, just so I can fit in with mediocre conformity. What we
are witnessing here is an epic Republican meltdown of historic proportions,
just like I pictured it. This beats 1974, 1932 or anything else
you can name.
Bush is not a lame
duck, hes a dead duck. He is soooo unlucky, every one of his foul-ups
has returned to hit him in the face while he is still in office. If
I ever saw a fit candidate for tar-and-feathering and run out of town
on a rail, its little Bushy.
McCain is refusing to get on stage and have Obama blast him with everything
except the kitchen sink, sticking the whole mess on him like a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.
The Republicans have got this beating coming to them for all their nasty
destructiveness and criminality. There is only one more ugly surprise
to look out for, and it may well happen, which is where Bush would try
to declare a national emergency and suspend the election. Dont
laugh. He already pulled one power grab in 2000, which landed us in
this mess, and he has always shown that he is not above desperate measures.
Almost half the country would support a coup, particularly with Obama
poised to become president, but the armed forces are all the way around
the world in Asia, so he may not have the logistical capability to contain
the population centers.
So, lets say the election is held and Obama sweeps in with a crushing
Democratic majority in congress. What he will inherit, thanks to the
Republicans, is an economy on life support. He also will not have the
party united behind him. Obama is the luckiest guy I ever saw. He has
never had to fight a contested election. Even now the opposition has
done him the honor of bending over for him. It remains to be seen whether
he is any more suited for prolonged work, as opposed to sitting behind
a desk and taking decisions, than Bush was.
This election is not being decided on any personal qualities that either
of the candidates may or may not possess, but strictly on the basis
of historical determinism. Given the current events, the Democrats could
have put up Clifford the Big Red Dog and won, which was their determination
when they put Obama ahead of Clinton, having handicapped the odds down
to the minutest consideration. The Democrats decided that the Clintons
were overqualified and that they could win without them, and have an
easier time managing Obama (a lot of people already own a piece of Obama,
or think they do).
This is the same kind of calculation that led the French political establishment
to hand De Gaulle his walking papers after World War II, on the basis
that as long as he was on the scene there would be nothing left for
anybody else. He went to his country house in Colombey Deux-Eglises
and fumed. Years later, when the French economy and government
collapsed, they went back to De Gaulle on their knees and pleaded with
him to restore order. He agreed, but only on the condition that they
completely rewrite the French constitution to put all authority in him
Now that the Republicans are dead letter, all the fighting will take
entirely within the Democratic Party. Remember, when Lenin took power
in Russia in 1917, he didnt have to defeat the czar. The czar
was already defeated. He had to defeat Kerensky and the Social Democrats.
Unfortunately for Obama Its impossible to tell how much he can
get done without the active participation of the Clintons, but in the
multi-polar environment that will shape up in Washington, the Clintons
are going to be a prominent polarity of power. If I were them, I just
wait to see how he does before particularly pitching in to help out.
I would not accept any work assignments from him just yet. The Clintons
would do well to establish a salon in Georgetown and consolidate Hillarys
growing power in the Senate. Let Obama demonstrate what kind of power
he can bring to bear on his own.
If it develops that the crushing responsibility of redressing the country
is more than Obama is able to accomplish without the Clintons and that
he needs them, then they, like De Gaulle, may be in a position to set
the terms according to their needs.
© Dean Borok
Sept 26th 2008
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