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The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic

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Posted on May 16, 2011
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Obama shakes hands with Princeton University professor Cornel West after speaking at the National Urban League’s 100th Anniversary Convention in Washington in July 2010.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 3)

“Can you imagine if Barack Obama had taken office and deliberately educated and taught the American people about the nature of the financial catastrophe and what greed was really taking place?” West asks. “If he had told us what kind of mechanisms of accountability needed to be in place, if he had focused on homeowners rather than investment banks for bailouts and engaged in massive job creation he could have nipped in the bud the right-wing populism of the tea party folk. The tea party folk are right when they say the government is corrupt. It is corrupt. Big business and banks have taken over government and corrupted it in deep ways.

“We have got to attempt to tell the truth, and that truth is painful,” he says. “It is a truth that is against the thick lies of the mainstream. In telling that truth we become so maladjusted to the prevailing injustice that the Democratic Party, more and more, is not just milquetoast and spineless, as it was before, but thoroughly complicitous with some of the worst things in the American empire. I don’t think in good conscience I could tell anybody to vote for Obama. If it turns out in the end that we have a crypto-fascist movement and the only thing standing between us and fascism is Barack Obama, then we have to put our foot on the brake. But we’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties.

“Our last hope is to generate a democratic awakening among our fellow citizens. This means raising our voices, very loud and strong, bearing witness, individually and collectively. Tavis [Smiley] and I have talked about ways of civil disobedience, beginning with ways for both of us to get arrested, to galvanize attention to the plight of those in prisons, in the hoods, in poor white communities. We must never give up. We must never allow hope to be eliminated or suffocated.”

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By mc.murphy, May 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Cornel West v. Barack Obama
Melissa Harris-Perry http://www.thenation.com/blog/160725/cornel-west-v-
barack-obama

This is Rachel Maddow’s favorite guest, I believe, putting into perspective the
Left’s demise. Democratic Party’s gatekeepers are out in force fighting to institute
conservative wet dreams by pissing on progressives with unchecked abandon.

Truthdig, unfortunately is also such a gatekeeper of a Party brand which no longer
stands for anything other than class war under another name.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_obama_deception_why_cornel_west_we
nt_ballistic_20110516/

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By katsteevns, May 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

@ DavidByron

You have to admit, having a black president in this country is a momentous achievement to much of the black community, and for good reason. But don’t look for an apology. If there is one thing that Black America does not owe to the Whites, it’s an apology.

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By Bill Baker, May 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Aside from the racist anti-white/jew rant on the second page and the constant referrig to Obama as “brother” by Wrst just ebcause they both happen to have tghe same skin tone and the talk of black culture and white culture{as if whites or b…lacks or any other race are a monolithic culture; why is it that people who claim to be anti0racist are so bloody focused onr ace and make so many racist comments and attitudes? lol!} anyways, aside from that this a good and valid article. Hopenosis is losing it’s grip!

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By Lex, May 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s pretty funny reading Dr West coming out with the same trash that Newt and others use on Obama. Obama’s was never going to be a radical Presidency. Get it? He would not have been elected if people thought he was a radical. Get it?

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By solerso, May 17, 2011 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

@DAVIDBYRON


“when will progessives learn to listen to the people who were right”....

yes when, will progessives acknowlege that David B is never wrong, WHEN? o Lord, When?....BTW if you havent yet picked up your $100.00 prize for “being right about Obama when you voted for Nader” your SOL…we gave out all the money in 2009

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By blackplates, May 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@DavidByron:

“when will progessives listen to people who got it right the first time”

..when, o when, will they acknowlege that David B is always right,o Lord,when..BTW if you havent yet picked up your $100.00 prize for ” being right about Obama from the start”, your out of luck. We gave out all the money in 2009.

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By Night-Gaunt, May 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

Once the two official parties made it their’s alone it was inevitable that some powerful group would take over them so that they will give us only two choices and it is their choices they give us. Just like the last time. Hillary Clinton would have been no better than Pres. Obama we have now. Take your pick GE or Chase Bank. Not like that choice? Well there are others but they are so far below the two well publicized and covered only real choices. It is in fact just an illusion of choice. Now you are getting it!

Such is how in part inverted totalitarianism works.

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By racetoinfinity, May 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Cornel West is absolutely right, of course. The day he appointed Geithner and Summers just after his election revealed to me that (in my opinion) he had been a stealth candidate, two faced, a semi-progressive on the campaign trail and a staunch pro-Wall St. (to hell with Main St.) corporatist neoliberal, economically, and supporter of the military-industrial war (corrupt honeypot) regime. I am appalled, but not surprised in the least, to hear of his disgraceful attitude toward Mr. West since being elected. One area not mentioned is Obama’s disgraceful continuation and expansion of the national security state and appalling abrogation of our constitutional civil rights and international human rights and agreements. (See Glenn Greenwald’s columns at salon for more on this.)

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By drbhelthi, May 17, 2011 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

“And deserting Obama today means deserting the have nots at a time when
the outcome of that struggle literally hangs in the balance.” 
jmsc1965, May 17 at 6:54 am

Perhaps, if you put on your glasses, and look again, you might be able
to read the hand-writing on the wall - ?  Hanging in the balance is the last phase of the plan.  Instead of Jewish folk in NAZI extermination stalags in Germany, this time it is American Patriots in certain NAZI-FEMA installations in the United States of America.

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By DavidByron, May 17, 2011 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Not even.  Hedges wrote this piece *about* West.

Amirir,
“If Cornel West is serious he needs to put Obama on full public blast. He spent years sucking up to this abhorrent piece of sh*t… Meanwhile, Cornel West has access to the editorial pages of any newspaper he likes, but he sits on truthdig criticizing Obama?”

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By DavidByron, May 17, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Quite frankly my impression is that Cornel West can’t be much of a progressive either to have slummed up with Obama for even so long.  Did he really not see this being so close to the man?  Or did he turn a blind eye because he knew (or thought he knew) that Obama would pay off personally?  These so-called progressives blame Obama but the real blame is with them.  A politician saying one thing and doing another?  Not exactly hard to see that one coming is it?

His veal-pen supporters signed up with him despite this.  They helped elect one of the most dangerous right wing ideologues in recent decades to the White House.  They fucked us over as much as Obama did.

And they need to come clean and fucking apologize for it.  They need to do penance.  Instead we get this self-serving shit—oh I was “fooled”.  Yeah right.

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By DavidByron, May 17, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Actually Chris Hedges is wrong.  Some people *do* understand Obama better than the people who got Obama wrong.  The people who got Obama right the first time.  The people who always knew and didn’t have to wait two or four years to figure it out.  The people who were NOT surprised.

quote:
‘No one grasps this tragic descent better than West, who did 65 campaign events for Obama, believed in the potential for change and was encouraged by the populist rhetoric of the Obama campaign. He now nurses, like many others who placed their faith in Obama, the anguish of the deceived, manipulated and betrayed. He bitterly describes Obama as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”

Frankly if you campaigned for Obama you were a fool, and taken in by an easy to spot con-man.  That you now know you were taken in doesn’t make you wise.  You’re still a fool and still likely to be taken in by the next huckster.

When will progressives commit to listen to the people who get it right first time?

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By katsteevns, May 17, 2011 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

By Charles Few

“Here’s a clue bub: Obama’s going to win again because
he’s serving the people, and well. He’s doing
*exactly* what I, a liberal, voted for him to do.”
——————————————-

You are one of the lucky ones who’s vote was not coerced.

Just because the majority of liberals have tunnel vision and spend their days patting one another on the back, doesn’t mean they do not subscribe to a dead end ideology. It just means they like the Kool-Aid Obama has been serving up…..and the blood he has been spilling.

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By Rodin, May 17, 2011 at 10:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Perhaps to the liberal and the anarchist the pontifications of Dr.West are refreshing and insightful but to an African American that is neither on the Obama bandwagon or on the West bandwagon, (although I admire them both)this is disappointing.West appears more like a woman scorned that his phone calls were not returned rather than an objective critic of the Obama administration. Many Black “leaders” for lack of a better word, have felt slighted by Obama, believing they would have the spare key to the White House to come and go as they please. The fact that Tavis Smiley of all people, an egomaniac is in his own right, was mentionned completely undermines the point West is trying to make. Smiley had aspirations to be president himself one day and is simply jealous of Obama and scorned the president didn’t attend his McDonalds (of all sponsors, considering the obesity rate in the ghetto) sponsored hot air conventions. Cornel West wants Obama to be an educator to the Black community and to be the Crispus Attucks of a system that is bigger than he is, although he can enter it the Trojan horse way and make some subtle changes. West and the like would prefer someone to make loud statements and get himself killed in the process so he can be venerated by the Black community, who are always quick to admire but never quick to follow. When the tea party, he says are right were putting Obama’s face on the body of a chimp and birthers were calling for his head, no black leader stood up. No black persons stood up and still have yet to. At this point Obama wants Obama to do something for the ghetto when many of us here won’t do for ourselves. This is just classic damn if you do damn if you dont. I wouldnt be surprised if his innuendo about a third party leads to us finding out he’s endorsing perennial saboteur ralph nader or space cadet ron paul. This is similar to the Rev Wright saga, who appeared the Black militant but ended up revealed as the Clinton affiliated saboteur.Furthermore the fact he and Tavis Frowney are sitting back talking about ways to get arrested show attention hungry (underscored by this article)men who stuck wit archaic ways of civil disobedience looking to get arrested when men of his race are struggling to stay out of prisons. Im disappointed in Dr West but he falls into the category of Black intellectuals who want victory only if they get to hold the trophy, who understand but won’t explain and rather, despite obvious logic, hide the ideological and the romantic when they know the better. Because he disagrees Obama is no longer Black? If he isnt’ then what do you care? I heard recently a debate on Kiss FM in New York where people were saying that Obama was not african american, not because his mother was white, but because his father was african, showing the true disdain African Americans have for Africans and other Blacks around the world. THat would actually make Obama a true African (father)- American (mother) while the rest of us struggle with identity. Dr West is better off putting the James Baldwin books down and talking to the youth who have a better grip and understanding of the Obama phenomenon than his generation still looking for the Black Messiah J Edgar Hoover was hunting lifetimes ago.

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By Ratiocinator, May 17, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

I feel betrayed too. What happened to incentivising manufacturers to make their
products in the U.S.?  Not a thing. What happened to taking our government
back from the powerful lobbyists? Not a thing. He promised a change from
government as it had been run from the beginning, by those who can buy the
votes, but one of his first actions was to appoint Larry Summers. Summers, the
architect of the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act.  An oligarch if there ever was
one. From that moment on Obama became just another lying politician to me.
No better than Bush, because all he is is a spineless puppet for the oligarchs
just like W. The oligarchs orchestrated one of their best deceptions ever when
they got Obama elected. Usually they work off the radar but this was right in
front of our eyes. It does not matter, Democrat or Republican, the oligarchs will
have their puppet in the White House. Only this next election, because of the
anger, they will probably will be able to swing control farther to the right than
they have ever been able to. We are all such fools.

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By Jason, May 17, 2011 at 10:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

JL Jones—

Class of ‘43—That’s not when West graduated.  The class of ‘43 created that
particular position—the position West now holds—at Princeton.

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By Gregory Kruse, May 17, 2011 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is the most talented politician to come along since FDR. He is no liberal, and niether was FDR. I don’t ascribe supernatural powers to him, but I expected him to try a little harder to appear true to his word. I sympathize with West for his hurt feelings over the harsh treatment of progressives by Obama and his minions. It seemed so unnecessary to insult little old me for hoping too much. I don’t know what I will do in the next election, but I know I’m not going to vote for my own impoverishment. In that I’m afraid I will be in the minority.

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By Michael Shaw, May 17, 2011 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Well I must be an F’ing retard too, or at the very least a whining ingrate as far as Rahm Emmanuel and probably Obama himself are concerned because like the good professor, I too have felt betrayed, the first time coming when Obama as a senator voted to take the telecoms off the hook for illegal domestic spying. After that came the corporate bailouts. Then came his taking single payer off the table and shutting out his entire base. Enhancing the patriot act, privatizing public education out of existence, extending the Bush tax cuts while appointing major opponents to Social Security and Medicare on his farcical deficit committee. Also the only thing I was ever invited to do by the president was to visit his nonsensical website or send money. And here we are again, trapped in the same good-cop bad cop scenario, failing to realize that both cops are on the same corporate sponsored team and we are left with two choices, either slow mercury poisoning or being thrown directly under the bus.

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By BlaqMod, May 17, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So Dr. West takes his family to the inauguration
without knowing for sure if he had tickets and this is
Obama’s fault?
Seriously Dr. West your rantings are petty

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By sallysense, May 17, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

it’s not about how well we’ve been told who to vote for…
(that top priority for years now has gotten us nowhere!)...
it’s how we go extra steps to make ourselves better voters…
and turn this country around for the sake of our own care!... smile

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By JL Jones, May 17, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

West graduated college in 1943????? What does that make him - in his 90’s right?  What a satire this story is (campaigning 65 times for Obama? Yeah, sure).
Comeon people this story is on the same lines as “The Onion”.

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By Amiri, May 17, 2011 at 8:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Cornel West is serious he needs to put Obama on full public blast. He spent years sucking up to this abhorrent piece of sh*t… Meanwhile, Cornel West has access to the editorial pages of any newspaper he likes, but he sits on truthdig criticizing Obama? How about the New York Times? Go on the attack like the folks at Black Agenda Report. You owe us that, after your ridiculous fawning over this right-wing imperialist pig.

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By Martha Duenas Baum, May 17, 2011 at 8:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is this “third party?” There are the Republicans and the Democrats. Libertarians, Green, et.al., all become “third party.”
How about “multiple party” or “plural government?”
“Third Party” tells me very clearly there are only two parties.

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By Will, May 17, 2011 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are a few things that bother me about this post.

First, he’s going back to the old argument that Obama’s cabinet appointments are a “betrayal” as the chicken littles have been telling us since before Obama was inaugurated. Anyone who has paid attention knows that Obama can use moderates and conservatives to help achieve progressive goals. For example, his Republican Defense Secretary kept over from Bush has helped to advocate for cuts in defense spending, withdrawal from Iraq, and repeal of DADT. So no, the political leanings of a cabinet appointment do not dictate policy.

The part about not getting enough phone calls or multiple inauguration tickets is ego. It says that West hoped to buy access and influence just like the big corporate donors and lobbyists do. That’s just sad and it has nothing to do with how progressive Obama is.

What I notice about this post is that it doesn’t name any specific policy action Obama has taken that West disagrees with. Not one. It’s all about vague accusations, personal slights, and what he thinks Obama should be saying in public. That’s not policy. I have a lot of respect for West so I expect more from him than ego and these kind of intellectually weak arguments. I think he gives himself away at the end. West is being influenced by his friends who want a third party movement more than they want progressive change.

Greens, socialists and others on the Marxist left have been eager to paint Obama as the next Clinton all along. They were saying it before he was sworn in. They will continue to see him that way no matter what he does. They need to believe it in order to justify their orthodoxy that no good can come from any Democratic President.

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By Charles Few, May 17, 2011 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I love how the Professional Left deigns to tell us,
the voters, how wrong we are and how their morals and
ethics are the appropriate ones.

Here’s a clue bub: Obama’s going to win again because
he’s serving the people, and well. He’s doing
*exactly* what I, a liberal, voted for him to do.

You can try to “No True Scottsman” me and those like
me away. But we will continue voting, telling you
that you are your buddies are wrong, and you’ll never
understand why America doesn’t embrace your ivory-
tower heroes.

Seriously? Krugman? Go check the number of times he’s
been *wrong* on the economy before you get your
liberal wood up. We’re running a country here, not a
graduate class.

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By David J. Cyr, May 17, 2011 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

Liberals have a most peculiar affliction. They can’t vote for any candidate they won’t have to urgently beg to not be what he/she was when they voted for them.

Since Democrats don’t do any of the good that they could when they can, it’s quite obvious that those who keep voting for Democrats don’t want any good done.

The liberal voters vote Democrat because they fear the fascism of Republicans. The conservative voters vote Republican because they fear the National Socialism of Democrats. They both accurately fear the very same thing that their corporate party solidarity together provides, with their regular 99% popular mandates to continue the continuum of neoliberal policies. It doesn’t matter whether the mask is red or blue, when the policies are always MovingOn in the Right’s direction only.

Sensible natural person voters don’t ever vote for any corporate (R) & (D) party candidates; none of those above. Elections (the only polls that matter) indicate that sense is uncommon.

Republican and Democrat voters are people who have been acquired out of their natural personhood and incorporated into the corporate state, which by acquisition is now just a wholly owned subsidiary of the stateless global Market-State. Those who vote for Republicans or Democrats are people who (much like those who prefer to become an avatar than to remain a human being) have chosen to electorally identify themselves with and become part of the inhuman Corporate Person. The evidence of elections provides ample proof that conservative and liberal voters are incapable of voting for anyone who would represent human beings, rather than alien corporate entities.

If liberals actually wanted the good government they say they do, then they wouldn’t ever vote for any Money supported candidates, like they ever reliably do. Anyone wanting elections to possibly serve a good purpose would never vote for any candidate who has TV advertisements.

A POTUS election in which even just 10% of the voters voted against war could change the world. Another POTUS election with yet another 99% popular (R) & (D) mandate to again continue waging wars of aggression won’t change anything… either foreign or domestic.

Republican voters don’t deserve any respect, and Democrat voters deserve every disrespect.

Good people don’t choose between fascists. That’s what conservatives and liberals are for.

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By christo, May 17, 2011 at 7:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Say what you will about Cornel West, but he’s always entertaining, although I don’t think he’s attempting to be. He really is the Donald Trump of the left: Big hair, big ego, big car, big watch, fancy suits, brash, outspoken, always claiming to speak the truth, always wanting to be in the limelight, wannabe gangsta who makes crappy hiphop music to show his street bonafides, preaches from the pulpit but is not ordained, always critical, but never critical enough or upfront about all that money he makes on the speaking circuit as a Socratic raconteur of harsh and powerful truths in front of university audiences feasting on his nuggets of wisdom to the tune of about 2 million a year. Obama is far too clever and intelligent to get himself mixed up with the likes of Cornel West who has the distinct odour of a street hustler who spouts Foucault.

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By darwinstar65, May 17, 2011 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

There is much truth in this essay, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Brother Cornel needs to do some serious self-examination.  For one thing, someone firmly ensconsed in the Ivy League certainly lacks cred when it comes to critiquing power.  Why, Brother Cornel, aren’t you teaching at an HBCU, for example?  Second, your tantrum at Harvard, because of Lawrence Summers’ criticism of your work, suggests that you are equally as enamored with being recognized by POWER (which, by the way, led you to, you got it, Princeton). Therefore, while I hear his hurt and understand it, what would have been far more compelling is a painful self- examination that illustrates something I’m becoming increasingly of:  that I have met the enemy, and he is me!

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By nyn, May 17, 2011 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So who are we going to primary against Obama.  We must first do that, if we can not get him out then we must run our guy as an independent.  I vote for Bernie Sanders or someone of his integrity.  It is also sad to say, that if we don’t unseat Obama and I was given the choice between Obama and Ron Paul, I would hold my nose and chose Ron Paul.  What a sad commentary that is.

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By jmsc1965, May 17, 2011 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

There is a single, overarching message here—this is about Cornel West and
his desire to be recognized, in the spotlight.  Everyone who worked to elect
Barack Obama president should have recognized it was for the country and not
for themselves and that the day he was elected he was lost to all of us in a
personal way.  Most of us did recognize that.  I would hope virtually all of us. 
But the point is that we are not engaged in a morality play or an allegory or any
other kind of entertainment.  As I am sure Professor West well recognizes, we
are in a war and anyone who thinks we would be better off with another leader
—be he/she Republican or Democrat—needs to reconsider.  Anyone who
thinks we have not made liberal progress in the face of enormous opposition
these past two years hasn’t been conscious of public events.  Are there
changes we devoutly would have wished to occur that didn’t?  Absolutely!! 
But if anyone thinks louder or more eloquent baying at the moon would have
changed those results, they are dreaming.  And if anyone thinks the next two
years will be anything but a battle to begin to turn the tide for the children, the
poor, the middle class, the people of color and other minorities and, last but
certainly not least, the women of this country, they need to have their heads
examined.  I am glad folks are feeling morally clean and virtuous, but this is
about winning a war in which the other side has no moral compunction
whatever.  It’s all about votes and elections—by fair means or foul—and the
biggest prize of all is taking down President Obama.  So, the choice is clear for
Progressives.  You can complain about what hasn’t been done and you can
complain about how you have been duped or deceived OR you can get back in
the army and fight the battle of our lives to make sure that we have a President
who knows what we’re up against and who has the wit, wisdom, savvy and
political wherewithal to lead us to victory in the battles we cannot afford to lose and to
avoid those that we cannot win today.

If you look at the great progressive leaders in American history, you will find they all had a political savvy that let them make compromises and win progress where moral purity would have suggested a more black and white approach.  President Obama is one of those leaders, and he will need the political muscle progressives can provide if he is to finish what he has started.  Lincoln didn’t win the election in 1864 because folks wanted to see the 14th and 15th amendments enacted.  He won because Grant demonstrated that summer the Union was on the verge of winning the war.  Today we have a different sort of social divide—simply put, between the haves and the have nots.  And deserting Obama today means deserting the have nots at a time when the outcome of that struggle literally hangs in the balance.

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By Melba N., May 17, 2011 at 6:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I am a leftist, a liberal, and proud (rightfully) of that part of my identity.”

Shouldn’t you be proud leftfully?

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By katsteevns, May 17, 2011 at 5:59 am Link to this comment

For Obama to disrespect West, he might as well have slapped MLK, Jr. or Malcolm X or any other civil rights leader or victim all the way back to day one.

Wake up, people, Obama doesn’t have a clue and never has! If you are waiting for him to take the reigns or emerge from his cocoon, wait no longer because that day will never come.

If we fail, this next time, to put a 3rd Party team in the White House, namely Nader/McKinney, then you can safely bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.

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By onedroprule, May 17, 2011 at 4:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can’t play if you’re not in the game.

Obama has had to make concessions to the right and to the plutacracy so that he could win elections and get them to participate in society.

Many of us complain that Obama has conceded too much, but what is the alternative? To scream from the sidelines like Nader and West?

Look at the response to Obama from the right as he is now. They call him a marxist, say he wasn’t born here, and on and on. If he were more populist he would not be able to accomplish anything at all including winning election.

You can’t play if you’re not in the game.

We saw the tea party protests, the mid-term election tilting Congress further to the right. Things are not so simple as to just stand up and say “I’m going to destroy the plutacracy and save the poor.” If there was a stronger left electorate then maybe that would be feasible.

This is reality and in reality you have to make concessions to hold the reins of power. To keep the right-wing scream machine at bay, there are compromises that must be made.

You can take the moral high-ground and have no power and no say in how the government works, or you can compromise, give them their pound of flesh, and actually have a chance to do something instead of just being a cheerleader for the poor with no way to actually help them.

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By madisolation, May 17, 2011 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Betty1950, you write:
“But, IMO, the alternative would be so much worse I will vote again for Obama.  4 more years with him would be better than 4 years of some Republican.  A Republican that would open up the White house to the Baggers.”

Then why bother to read this column? If your devotion to Obama and the Democratic Party is so unwavering, you no longer need to inform yourself. You’re going to vote out of fear of the Republicans. The Democrats love that. It means their propaganda worked on you. No need to think critically, to weigh issues or think outside the box. I’m sure if Barack Obama had an ounce of gratitude or loyalty, he’d thank you.

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By surfnow, May 17, 2011 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

We knew what we were getting with Bush. Obama is worse because he gave hope to many, especially the young. For that he deserves nothing but disdain. And I’m tired of the ” well he’s better than anything from the other side” argument- he is the other side. I’ll vote for Sarah Palin before I throw mine away on him again.

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By joell, May 17, 2011 at 4:14 am Link to this comment

Voters   had the opportunity of a life time to vote for a candidate with the stature and integrity of Ralph Nader; and they blew it.

They   cheered when democrats spent $10 million in 2004 knocking Nader off many state   ballots and draining his   limited   resources with frivolous lawsuits. The progressive   media and voters vilified him again in 2008.

Now his critics are   repeating what Nader has been saying since 2000. Its probably too late now; the oligarchs who   run this country won’t even allow a credible 3rd party   challenge to the status quo.

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By drbhelthi, May 17, 2011 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

“We all were deceived by Barack Obama, `the Great Deceiver`. - -  But, after all, we should have known early-on as he relied on such people as Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Rasputin, Larry Summers, War Secretary Gates, and on and on.”  Jim Michie

WRONG-O, with your underlying premise; and “after all” was still too late.
Perhaps, you speak for “all of us” who mistakenly voted for Obama, who were not aware of (1) the questions raised about him when he was running for Senate, (2) the machine that slid the man without a birth certificate into candidacy for the USPresidency, one mentor of which machine resides in Texas.  You do not speak for the millions, the former insiders, insiders and other Americans who were not deceived, who voted for another candidate.
Professor Cornel West?  Reading the books stacked in his library will not help him.

And, LetIdB ?  “So, even if Obama might want to be Black and as humanitarian as Prof. West would encourage him to be, he can’t.  Remember Colin Powell, the obsequious token who regurgitated all that bovine feces before the United Nations?  He, too, was given the ‘come to Jesus’ catechism.” 
Good point. Also, Powell was given the choice a few years back at Aspen, by Wm. Clinton, of either becoming the chief of F.B.I. DIV V, or else; a mild case of food poisoning convinced him – against the wisdom of his Mrs.

LetIdB & Mark E. Smith - How dare you present accurate information?  Who are you, some kind of intelligent, well-informed Americans who are not shills of the USGOV?  Like a few others who blog on Truthdig?  Or are you shills, perhaps, preparing Americans for the next puppet-president to be pulled out of C.I.A. dregs, similar to Obama ?

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By screamingpalm, May 17, 2011 at 2:12 am Link to this comment

screamingpalm:  Why spread it around?  The spirit that works for freedom and justice never gets tired, is reborn every day, does what it can, and then a little bit more.

Hi gerard! Good to see you’re still around! Sorry to spread my pessimism. I wish I had the optimism (such as Nader) but I don’t. I feel the only peace of mind I can bring myself is to distance myself from the system as much as I can. I don’t feel like I can rely on others to do the right thing, or inform themselves about anything.

I feel more and more that TAO Walker has been showing the only real way to take action. I’ll never fully be able to adopt that lifestyle, some addictions and trappings of society are too hard to break (at least in my situation) but I am happy to take it as far as I possibly can.

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By screamingpalm, May 17, 2011 at 2:00 am Link to this comment

You are naive to think any human being, given the above circumstance, was going to pull Americans out of the Economic Shit that they are largely responsible for having fallen into (by binging on Cheap Credit).

You are fools to think, with a Pounding Hangover, that it is the fault of the bartender.

Grow up!!!!!!!!

Pretty much a given considering he nominated to positions the very clowns that created the mess in the first place under Clinton. Herp Derp.

Of course, anyone paying attention knew it was coming even before he was elected. So I agree that noone can complain about getting bent over the barrel by the bartender after ordering the screwdriver in the first place.

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By Lafayette, May 17, 2011 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

THE BARTENDER

cripe: To all those bemoaning how “we” were all fooled by the Obama Hope Hype: no, YOU were fooled and many of us tried for months, for years, TO TELL YOU

And bollocks to this notion as well.

We were NOT fools - we just hoped in an exaggerated fashion.

We became fools when we thought that One Man, however street-smart he was, could change LaLaLand on the Potomac with just a wave of his Magic Wand.

Look at the situational givens:
* BO & Co were handed the worst economic mess in 8 decades on a platter with the keys to the Oval Office.
* Our democracy is constituted of three powers: The Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial Power. All we did was elect one of them, the PotUS.
* Recessions of the nature that began in 2009 take, normally, as much as 4 years to recover from. Even with Roosevelt and his New Deal, it took America ten long years to recover from the Great Depression.
* Like a bunch of selfish adolescents, we decided to give Obama a “lesson” - and shot ourselves in the foot by allowing political ignoramuses take over the HofR.

You are naive to think any human being, given the above circumstance, was going to pull Americans out of the Economic Shit that they are largely responsible for having fallen into (by binging on Cheap Credit).

You are fools to think, with a Pounding Hangover, that it is the fault of the bartender.

Grow up!!!!!!!!

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By Lafayette, May 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment

THE AMERICAN DREAM

gerard: What groups are already working on the chosen issue(s)?

The challenge of political action in America is that has become a rainbow patchwork. The number of “political classifications” is so vast that it seems everyone and his/her brother has a beef.

This is also a sign of the times, when older Americans begin to wonder whatever became of that seed of hope that we once called the Great Society. You know, the one first inspired by JFK’s Camelot and then LBJ?

Younger Americans have sold themselves lock, stock and barrel to materialism with there notion that history was five minutes ago and ancient history was yesterday. They are clueless and attach themselves with whatever fad because going with the crowd is far easier than not.

The country needs, I suggest, another Camelot. An idea, a notion, a hope that life must be better than worrying about one’s Net Worth of keeping up with Jones, who are trying to keep up with the Smiths, who are trying to keep up with the God knows who.

Ideas that become cultural attributes define aspirations. That is, the sort of society that we want to live in and hand over to our offspring. Each culture has them, some cultures have attributes that go back hundreds and hundreds of years.

And some countries are still looking around for their bearings.

MY POINT: A new compass heading

I suggest that the American Dream needs a total rewrite. Simply put, Good Enough for All Americans is far, far better than the Exaggerated Riches of one specific class of American.

Today’s factual result of Exaggerated Riches and warped Income Fairness is NOT what our founding fathers had in mind for this country - despite the fact that they were probably prime examples of Exaggerated Riches (being mostly Land Owners and Landlords during the Agricultural Age of our national history that generated wealth from farming.)

The one factor, I find, that distinguishes America most from the European cultures is its avid quest for personal gain and exaggerated riches. I suggest that should we focus on better Income Fairness, we would find that our lives are better than this constant need to be motivated always for more, more, more.

Good enough is really not a bad existence.

The mistake I see made in this forum is the moaning about a Power Structure in which we have no confidence. It’s too easy to complain uselessly of how we are the victims. The only way to change the Power Structure is at the grass-roots level - when at least 51% of the body politic feels “I have had enough and I am not going to take it anymore!”. It is at that point that they get off their duffs and vote. But for who?

For those, I maintain, with the personal courage to upset this house of cards we have created that serves only the Upper Classes. And such radical change in Income Fairness can only come about by means of reforming our Tax System. That is, altering a tax system that takes the illicit gains of the rich and creates programs that give All Americans the right to dream the American Dream.

To answer the above question, therefore, I submit that any profound change must come from below, from the grassroots of America.

POST SCRIPTUM: A framework for the American Dream

My own version of such an effort takes form in a Progressive Agenda of the kind that I have seen give Europe a level of well-being to which Americans can only aspire. What is it, well-being?

It’s nothing new. A psychologist gave a good graphic description of it in the early 1940s. It is called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Have a look here. How we interpret those needs to our socio-economic circumstance is, however, unique.

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By cripes, May 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

To all those bemoaning how “we” were all fooled by the Obama Hope Hype: no, YOU were fooled and many of us tried for months, for years, TO TELL YOU.

(see: Paul Street, Glenn Ford, Margaret Kimberely, et al)

I’m glad Dr. West, who is a silly, sentimental but sincere and pampered academic with a bad case of celebrity worship, has come to his senses. The more the merrier. But his belated encounter with reality hardly makes him an authority that we should emulate. Honestly, this might be a good occasion to show some humility.

Now that we see a general awakening—that Obama represents nothing more than an escalation of Imperial power abroad and economic oppression at home—let’s acknowledge the obvious:

Obama’s a careerist cipher, who cares for nothing more than joining the plutocrat club. Wall Street is driving this bus.

After the debacle of Bush II, Wall Street, Inc. put forth another costume in the Imperial seat with a black face and nice oratory, calling it change and proceeded to engineer the greatest ripoff in the history of this country

The fruits of fake “diversity” politics has brought you Clarence Thomas, Alberto Gonzalez, Condoleeza Rice, Eric Holder, etc. I think a smart person once told us to ‘Judge a wo/man by the content of their character (or policy), not the color of their skin.’ Try to remember this.

We are in a really f**ked up situation with turncoat demorats and lunatic rethuglicans, and anyone with any sense should be scared out of their wits flipping the lever for tweedledee/tweedledum.

Which brings me to my final point: the one-party system with two right wings is YOUR ENEMY.

Anything that organizes against this sham democracy is progress, third party, general strike, local mobilizing, unionizing; put your shoulder to the nearest wheel.

On that note, for the Ron Paul groupies who actually post on this site thinking they’re on our “side,” (hey, he’s against wall street and foreign military bases!) wake the hell up and learn this lunatic frauds actual politics—the only liberty he’s promoting is the unfettered right of corporations and the rich to control…everything. There isn’t space here to explain why his idols Ayn Rand, Ludwig Von Mises, Fredrich Hayek etc., are dangerous drugs. For God’s sake, do your reading

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By Rubiconski, May 16, 2011 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t worry Virginia 777, Obomba will be re(s)elected.

The first SO-CALLED “black” President of the United States put a new face on
IMPERIALlSM. Mission Accomplished!

After Obama Bombed AFRICA there is no more ILlLUSION left about this man.

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By John Israel, May 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Cornell West Has a Tantrum, and Christ Hedges Thinks It’s Political Analysis”.  Barry Graham, you’ve got it right.  I wish I could read your entire blog but I’m sitting here in Kunming behind the Great Chinese Firewall, where American blogs are deemed too dangerous to convey over the internet.

In the course of his tantrum, Professor West makes some valid points that others, like myself, who had hoped for something better from Obama, would be ready to endorse – perhaps in a more measured form.  He also throws in a bit of gratuitous anti-Semitic vitriol, to wit, that the President

“feels most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want,”

If I (or some other smart Jew) had written that “Professor West feels most comfortable with “Black men who think they have a natural sense of rhythm,” he would take that as a thoughtless, senseless, piece of racist rhetoric. I am sure that Professor West – smart man that he is – will understand the implications of what he has (I hope unwittingly) written.

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By Rubiconski, May 16, 2011 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is an Economic Hit Puppet….

He is continuing the job of former puppet Bush. All presidents are corrupt. Kennedy wanted to change that course, but was viciously murdered in front of the world for not taking orders.

I cherish the day when ALL the criminals in Washington are arrested and hanged for treason.

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By Virginia777, May 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt:

“Part of the problem is that we have a right winger again as president.”

Obama is not a right-winger. Duh. Put some friggen’ glasses on.

(one can ask)

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By Virginia777, May 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges, you are flaming here!

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By Night-Gaunt, May 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

Part of the problem is that we have a right winger again as president. The last DINO we had was a fellow named Clinton who gave us GATT, WTO, DADT, rendition etc.

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By Marshall, May 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

By John Poole, May 16 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

“I doubt there are any on this forum who weren’t elated that Obama won in
2008. I doubt there are any on this forum who don’t feel horrible about how
Obama has proven himself to be hollow at his core.”

Quite the contrary John; I did NOT vote for Obama but am more supportive of
him now because he’s dealt with some of the global realities (less so with
domestic ones) better than I anticipated.  From his reconsideration of the
release of Abu Ghraib pics to his increase in the Afghanistan commitment to his
realization that closing Guantanamo was futile to his increased use of drone
warfare, extraordinary rendition, enemy combatant status, military tribunals,
continued support of eavesdropping, the list goes on and on and as I
enumerate it, I’m impressed at how much he matured over time.  So much so
that, depending on who runs against him, I’d consider voting for him in a pinch
next time.

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By Virginia777, May 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Man.

*shakes head*

123 comments and mounting on the first day this article is posted.

Many of them whaling away on Obama. Its totally suspect, and I know Chris Hedges does not realize this, but it is. We have a Democrat as President. The right wing Republican party is as fierce, as unethical, as violent, and as troll-ridden, at it has ever been.

This fracturing of the Left, augmented by trolls, is sickening to watch here on Truthdig.

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By Howie Stier, May 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the aftermath of the killing of Amadou Dialo by New York City cops, I listened to West deliver a brilliant, moving speech. But first he lauded and embraced Al Sharpton-the exploiter of the divisive Tawanna Brawley hoax- as a visionary leader, and that’s good enough reason to get blown off for the inaugural and for Obama to distance himself from the professor. When West fails acknowledge the fragile, calculated image of a political figure, I have to question his reasoning.

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By sallysense, May 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

a politician who cons voters with false deeds and promises…
eventually lets truthfulness show how unworthy he is!...

and citizens who vote without checking these things…
see their own records indicate how duped they had been!...

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By LetIdB, May 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

I have a theory: the tainted Oreo theory.

Obama has in common with African Americans skin color.  That’s it, except
maybe basketball.  He did not grow up in a hood, eat soul food, have a black
parent or grandparent raise him, attend a ghetto school, have relatives who
experienced Jim Crow and, probably, get stopped for driving while Black, or
have the words “boy” or “n-” thrown in his face.  Barrack’s African Americaness
is strictly by osmosis: from his street-wise wife to the people who schooled
him on the streets of Chicago as an adult while he was doing
community/Obama development.  He is, in a word, an oreo.  But that does
make him bad, especially if you accept my theory:

Obama is living in fear of his life.  The coven of folk who pull the strings (even
cheney’s) have told Barrack to be a good token; if not, sump’n evil will happen
to him or his.  So, even if Obama might want to be Black and as humanitarian as
Prof. West would encourage him to be, he can’t.  Remember Colin Powell, the
obsequious token who regurgitated all that bovine feces before the United
Nations?  He, too, was given the ‘come to Jesus’ catechism. 

Wha’?  You really don’t believe that could happen in America!?  Okie Doke!

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By Divinepoet, May 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, dear friends,the question of morality can not go together with politics.Politics is power game. Politics is a kind of war. Logic is you must win.Moral philosopher Cornel west believed that Obama would be good prez. Now he feels deceived. Never lend your support for any person for his politics. Just preach your philosophy of morality and bring people on your path.Thats how you do something for the people.
Obama is a politician and his target is power by any means.In ancient days people used to fight with sword for power. Now they fight with words and AD campaign. Just deceive the common people by good words and grab the power. These days good and people of morality do not go for politics. By trusting Obama,dear cornel you have committed SIN.

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By katsteevns, May 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

By DSalter
“This president has done more for the country in two years than Bush did in 8”

That’s not saying much.

“and you damn well know that he has had to work against the damage caused by W”

Yeah, he worked SO HARD to close Gitmo, stop warrantless wiretapping, Prosecute Wall Street thugs,remove the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions act, restore habeas corpus, create jobs, protect free speech.  Corporate hack.

Good luck trying to discredit Cornell West. It can not be done.

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By logan1, May 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

I have no sympathy with these oh so ever None intellectual donkeys like Cornell,
Michael, and Norman.  When I criticize voting for the DP on the donkey sites like
Common Dreams, the donkey glibs kick us off.  Same in the DP pacifist ‘peace’
groups.  They kick you out and then keep all protest activities from ever taking
place when their donkey prez is in the WH.  They are fakes.

Until liberals get every bit as fed up with the Democratic Party as they are with the
Republicans, then this is a country going NO PLACE but fast.  Both of the
corporate parties suck!  We lost all American democracy eons ago…  Why are the
gliberal voters so dense as to not know that?

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By chip, May 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

This “fucking retard” is voting for Ron Paul

Screw Obama and his crooked wall street buddies.

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By igloo, May 16, 2011 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any American who thinks that the powers that be will allow a change in the status quo is seriously deluded. Look what happened to the Kennedy brothers, to Martin Luther King etc. No candidate in his right mind will truly buck the system. Some peripheral and superficial changes yes but true reform—you gotta be kidding. Not even the American Revolution changed the social strata in the U.S. The same old ruling class continued to rule under the guise of freedom and democracy and continues to rule proclaiming free trade, globalization and of course freedom while bankrupting the country, driving industry overseas, pursuing dangerous adventures abroad and proclaiming China as the new threat so they can continue to pursue their dreams of empire.  A docile, overworked and threatened workforce will continue to thank their corporate masters for screwing them and not laying them off…......

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By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., May 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

In fact one of my favorite quotes is from Frederick
Douglas;
“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to
and you have found out the exact measure of injustice
and wrong which will be imposed upon them,and these
will continue till they are resisted with either words
or blows,or with both”~Frederick Douglass

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By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., May 16, 2011 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Amon Drool, May 16 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment
solerso67…do you think free and independent black men
like frederick douglas and malcom x would have smiled
and shook his hand after being talked to like that?
=========================
Good question: Answer; not a chance in hell!

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By Rubiconski, May 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

SILLY Americans think they STILL have a say in who rules them….LOL!

Do you really think they’re gonna let the little people mess up their EMPIRE?

There’s too many trillions at stake.

Elections are nothing but Ponzi Schemes…..

It’s all a fundraising racket…..there is no real governance….just backroom deals..

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By John Poole, May 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I doubt there are any on this forum who weren’t elated that Obama won in 2008.
I doubt there are any on this forum who don’t feel horrible about how Obama has
proven himself to be hollow at his core. Yes, we were deceived but it WAS foolish
to think that he wasn’t well vetted and prepped to take the baton of empire from
Bush’s hand and run his leg for the plutarchy. He is a weak and failed male who
has failed the crucible of changing the course of militarism in this nation.
  It may be that Cornell West senses Obama’s historical win will end the myth
that “brothers” are more “real”, soulful and tuned into human suffering than
whitey. 
.

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By TDoff, May 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

Why all this second-guessing and self-flagellation re: President Obama? Sure, he’s not what he could have been, not what he should have been, not what he said he was gonna be. He probably did not fully appreciate what he was going to experience as President. How could he have anticipated the reality of becoming the US President?

So he disappointed us, and the US. But of one thing we can be certain, and not have a moment’s doubt about. Of the choice we had to make in ‘08, we made, BY FAR, not only the best, but the ONLY RATIONAL CHOICE for the Presidential ticket.

Think where we’d be now, had we faltered, had we F****D-UP! And chosen incorrectly.

OMG, we’d really be doomed!

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By Barry Graham, May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

I wrote this piece in response. (I posted it earlier, but for som reason the link
didn’t work.


Cornel West Has a Tantrum, and Chris Hedges Thinks It’s Political Analysis

http://is.gd/UDywax

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By ardee, May 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

Firstly I would welcome Alan MacDonald to this forum. I have read and enjoyed his efforts at Common Dreams for some time and look forward to reading his posts here as well.

My words are addressed to those posters who constantly criticize the Democratic Party and its leadership, and do so with accuracy as well as passion. But then these same seemingly astute folks declaim with equal passion that they will ,once again, vote for those of whom they just were so correctly critical.

They state, with such certitude, that voting third party is a useless waste of ones vote, or even worse, a vote for the GOP. Well, they are selling a self fulfilling prophesy as it is precisely those votes that keep third party politics “at the bottom of the mountain” to cite one well parsed descriptor.

If the criticism of the Democrats is accurate, and of course it is, then why continue to vote for those who refuse to fulfill their promises and our hopes? This is the same lack of spirit that keeps our streets free of demonstrations at a time when those streets should be filled with angry Americans demanding that our government work for us, demanding an end to trillions spent on slaughter, insisting that corporate welfare be discontinued immediately and dishonest and greedy CEO’s be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

I do not understand one who sees clearly the folly of his/her vote and then casts it anyway. I do not understand what has happened to the spirit of this nation to be so filled with ennui and passivity as to maintain the fraud of the current version of the Democratic Party and to refuse any attempt to make this nation better, whether through voting differently or expressing ones views publicly with all ones neighbors.

It would take only a handful of elected Greens in Congress to change a fractured and partisan mob rule. A progressive bloc of just a handful could use their leverage to mandate that a progressive agenda be kept alive. But refusing to vote Green or the third party of your choice simply continues the status quo and changes nothing.

Do you honestly expect changes from the very people (our legislators) who benefit most from the corporate money? Do you expect needed change in electioneering, in campaign financing, in lobbying practices that amount to retirement careers for the incumbents from those who flourish now? Only by threatening the stability of their world can we change that world.

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By auspiciousbunny, May 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

I think Cornel West has said some very moving, very true things about the desperate state of the psyche of the people of the United States today.  I have always admired him as being supremely able to articulate the aspirations many Americans feel toward their country.  Obama ran on the catch-word “hope.”  What do many Americans wish their country to become?  We want to see a more equally prosperous, more peaceful, more educated, more democratic, healthier nation where people can feel free to speak openly, can try to comprehend and respect differing human experiences, and learn more about each other.  Why does it make so many people so miserable that we have failed our own aspirations? Because in our hearts we have such aspirations. That fact is plain to me.  I think Cornel West is an important voice in asking us always to look at ourselves from this perspective. We need to above all, avoid being misdirected.

There is not a single person in this country that has not in some small way hoped America would offer them a better future. 

Where Obama failed Cornel West has succeeded.

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By auspiciousbunny, May 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

I think Cornel West has said some very moving, very true things about the desperate state of the psyche of the people of the United States today.  I have always admired him as being supremely able to articulate the aspirations many Americans feel toward their country.  Obama ran on the catch-word “hope.”  What do many Americans wish their country to become?  We want to see a more equally prosperous, more peaceful, more educated, more democratic, healthier nation where people can feel free to speak openly, can try to comprehend and respect differing human experiences, and learn more about each other.  Why does it make so many people so miserable that we have failed our own aspirations? Because in our hearts we have such aspirations. That fact is plain to me.  I think Cornel West is an important voice in asking us always to look at ourselves from this perspective. We need to above all, avoid being misdirected.

There is not a single person in this country that has not in some small way hoped America would offer them a better future.  For me, that means a future with real freedom and opportunity for everyone, and perhaps a feeling of participation in a truly great society.

Where Obama has failed, Cornel West has succeeded.

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By more voices, May 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

“Dear Brother” is a day late and a dollar short.  The damage was done when he let his ego get in the way of the common sense God and his momma gave him.

Only his active endorsement of an alternative choice against the corporatist wings of the Thug Party will be a worthy penance.  I suggest the Colbert campaign.  Might as well have fun making a further charade of the ongoing charade of national elections.

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By pundaint, May 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

Obama must be fired as a lesson to Democrats what we Democratic People will not accept.  There’s no need for two parties if he leads one.

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By FLetcher Kybo, May 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

This news is a crying shame but no surprise.
There is no way the nation could be stumbling along in this malaise if the leader
was clear and emphatic about where he wants to go. The way it is presently set
up, anything that happens can be glossed over or blamed on someone else.

Third party candidates are a difficult way to go but if a really powerful one does
not emerge, we are stuck with Democrats giving away progressive principles to the
Republicans who have to be jumping for joy. It is going better for them than if
McCain had been elected.

Read; “JFK and the Unspeakable” by James W. Douglass; it will explain exactly why
we are in this downward spiral and why we must act soon or it will truly be over
for the constitutional U.S.A. as we once knew it.

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By Dan Foresman, May 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I always wind up spending more time on the comments
section than the original article. Thanks everybody.
2007 was weird, it was pretty obvious that attacking
people’s hope at the time would have been like smashing
a pack of cigarettes in the prison yard.  Nope, wudn’t
gonna do it.

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By James, May 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sooooooo!  It would appear that Jesse Jackson was right about Obama after all.  Fancy that.

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By Bill, May 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Doctor West.  Needed to be said, and said by a notable progressive.

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By QuantumBubbler, May 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

I cry with you, my liberal brethren! Well, I sniffle. For I too have come to a conclusion concerning conservative leaders,  Rush and Glenn and Bill. In the end I think we will see they have only served the corporate demons. Of course, you don’t get tens of millions of dollars without corporate strings attached. When they say they want to ‘save’ America, it is becoming apparent they will probably only save the part where we owe trillions of dollars to corporate bankers worldwide.

The only consolation I get from it all is, our country will be reduced to a country full of poor hippies. Glenn, Bill and Rush do NOT like hippies! Bring it on!

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By JDmysticDJ, May 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Why blame Obama? Obama is only a successful man from a decadent society. The proof of this decadence is not in the recognition of the filth that is spewed upon us everyday by the News Media, the Entertainment Media, the Arts, our Educational Institutions, our Spiritual Leaders, our Political Leaders, pundits and critics of all sorts and varieties, the proof is that the only thing said, that can be perceived as being positive is, vile, negative, nihilistic, racially tinged, and quasi-regicidal.

Why would “crypto-fascism be any more harmful than unwitting fascism?

“If it turns out in the end that we have a crypto-fascist movement and the only thing standing between us and fascism is Barack Obama, then we have to put our foot on the brake. But we’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties.”

Well said, but we had better have that brake foot ready, should our serious thinking not produce anything serious.

The nihilists are engaged in a game of chicken, with no intention of ever putting a foot on the brake.

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By Textynn, May 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
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I see the Trolls are out in full force today to attack the truth of this article.  What could be more true than the fact that Obama campaigned as a man of the people and a promise to look into serious hardships thrust on them from the elite in power.  What we got was a man that has put Wall street elite in the White House and other elite masters who are running him like they ran W. However, this elite is running even more roughshod over us as they don’t care how ridiculous and scandalous Obama looks.  It has been their time to see just how far they can get away with continued abuses and robbery of the American people.

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By elkojohn, May 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
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Obama is now an upper-class millionaire,
therefore he believes in the corporate economic
system in which he rose up, and got his
education and wealth.
He is not a populist.
My father returned from WW-II, used his GI Bill
to become a union machinist, made good money,
and when he became upper middle-class, he switched
from being a FDR Democrat to a Republican.
Bottom Line:
When enough voters see hard times—like during the
Great Depression—we will again have the opportunity
for change.
Until then, trying to reform the Democratic Party is
a waste of time and energy.

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By gerard, May 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

screamingpalm:  Why spread it around?  The spirit that works for freedom and justice never gets tired, is reborn every day, does what it can, and then a little bit more.

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By Janet Lebo, May 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment
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what absolute utter nonsense.  Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are shameless haters.  I will now throw out all of their books.  They don’t have the decencey to be embarrassed for their ideas of yesteryear.  They are as antiquated and jealous as Newt, Trump and rest of those awful Fox folk.

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By PatrickHenry, May 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

We need more truth speaking to power and those who remind the emperors that they indeed have no clothes.

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By Textynn, May 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment
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I have been saying this same thing for a year now.  We must get our third party candidate out and talked about NOW.  We are already late and if we don’t, we are going to be stuck voting for the lesser of two evils which some will think is Obama. I don’t however.

Obama has strengthened the elite hold on this nation by taking an outpouring of this nations desire for real change and the need to stop corruption and throwing it back in our fucking retarded faces.  We were fooled pure and simple and all the effort that was gathered to elect him is squandered and hopelessness and “de-unification”  has replaced it. 

We must get a new guy out there and we must not further the spoils of the Obama Swindle by not fighting back.  Come November 2012, we must have an established third party candidate to vote for. 

Even if the candidate loses, we will have establish that we will not be lied to and stolen from like fucking retarded easy victims.  It is imperative that the working people stand their ground and that means a solid third party candidate NOW out there criticizing the greed and theft that we can rally behind.

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By Barry Graham, May 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

I wrote this piece in response:


Cornel West Has a Tantrum, and Chris Hedges Thinks It’s Political Analysis

http://dogobarrygraham.blogspot.com/2011/05/cornel-west-has-tantrum-and-
chris.html

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By Arouete, May 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

Please Mr. Hedges, don’t insult our intelligence. This is sound criticism coming from SOMEBODY else but give us a break. I’d never compare Obama to Hitler but it’s fair to compare West to Heidegger.  He can keep the crocodile tears. Pulease! This is the three-piece suit phoney who, by his own admission, parked his fancy Bimmer in a Manhattan parking lot to keep it safe and then bitched out-loud because he couldn’t find a cab driver willing to take him to a Harlem hood he would not drive his own car into. So give us a break!

This sycophant’s first question to Obama was, “Brother, where did you get the money?”  Now West knew perfectly well that Obama’s biggest donations came from Wall Street, from investment bankers in particular, from Google and FaceBook (Obama’s newest sycophant courtier puppy dog) who can control the propaganda stream, etc. What?  The socialist West actually thought Wall Street was going to support “brother Joseph Stiglitz and brother Paul Krugman” as head of the fed? Hey, Dr. West, immediately contact ‘brother’ Donald Trump for I’m am sure he has some underwater ocean frot property in Vegas he’d LOVE to sell you.

Chris,  Dr. West is one of the very “courtiers” you have been railing against!  If he’s a victim of his own gullibility then Dr. Heidegger can only blame himself and he owes an abject apology to every one of his own followers and colleagues whom he hustled.  He was “mislead”. What self-righteous rubbish!

He whines like a rebuffed lover, “I used to call my dear brother [Obama] every two weeks. I said a prayer on the phone for him, especially before a debate. And I never got a call back.” Gee ... I wonder why. I’d absolutely wretch.


And please, what is it with this phoney 1960’s “my brother, my dear brother,” bull? Brother? Hey, ‘brother’ West, I need a kidney transplant. Can you help your ‘brother’?  Hey ‘brother‘ West, my home is in foreclosure, can you help this ‘brother’ out?’ After all ain’t that what real ‘brothers’ do?

That said, Obama played the race card full-tilt (and West threw in his chips) and yet Obama has done nothing (let me repeat that) nothing, (let le spell that out) N.O.T.H.I.N.G for the poor, impoverished, uneducated, African-Americans who supported him in ‘good faith’ (he played that religion card too) who have gone from the auction block to the cell block. So it’s nice to FINALLY see a break in this stupid exploited-to-the-hilt tribalism as public figures and intellectuals like West and Harry Belafonte (see Democracy Now) finally begin to hold his feet to the fire

Don’t get me wrong, the Right has no viable candidate and no one on the Left can challenge Obama. Splitting Democratic vote with a third contender is tainted bait the hopeless Right can only dream of. But if guys like West and Belafonte actually think they can now pressure concessions and more [false] promises (what the law calls ‘fraud in fact’) out of Obama they only deserve more of what they now complain about.

That said this phoney huffing and puffing (propaganda is propaganda no matter who crams it down your throat) should fool no one. They play with fire to engineer their one final destruction if they take votes away from Obama only to hand a victory to the Right.  Surely they know that Obama (especially because of his race) had to be extra cautious in is first term but once in his second term he can pretty much tell the right to _*uck off and so he MUST have that second term in other to deliver at all.

Dr. Nathaniel Heidegger-West, stop crying ‘Wolf!’, keep the crocodile tears, and dispense with the phoney 1960’s ‘brother, brother, dear brother’ crap - it’s all enough to make a guy vomit. If West was mislead (too kind a word) then the was a very willing and gullible dupe.

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By Mark E. Smith, May 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Samson writes, “Egypt was a lovely recent example.  No one saw it coming a month in advance.”

I guess you haven’t been keeping up with events in Egypt. Yesterday the Egyptian Army shot at and wounded more than 300 peaceful Egyptian protesters at the Israeli consulate. At the same time the Egyptian Navy fired on a humanitarian aid boat in international waters that was trying to bring plastic sewer pipes to Gaza.

There has been no change in Egypt. When there is a revolution, the revolutionaries take power. There are no revolutionaries in Egypt’s current or proposed government. The army is still in control of Egypt and is still in the pay of the US. Tantawi, the head of the army, told Egyptians that there should be no foreign influence in their revolution, but he himself is in the pay of foreigners.

The Egyptian revolution was subverted in exactly the same way that our own original revolution against England was subverted: http://fubarandgrill.org/node/1085

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By Donna Fritz, May 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

When I saw the title of Chris’ new piece this morning, I said to myself “This is gonna be good!”, as I admire both of these brilliant gentlemen and consider them my brothers. And of course it was. 

With that said, I disagree with Dr. West’s suggestion that “we’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties.” That’s fine as long as you’re okay with handing Republicans free seats in Congress and the biggest seat of all in the oval office, not to mention one, possibly two seats on the Supreme Court—a tactic that many progressives see as the only way we’re ever going to be able to restore our representative democracy. Burn down the village to save the village. 

For those who believe that a progressive third party could actually win Congressional seats and even the presidency, you must first ask yourself which corporations are going to finance this new party whose central tenet, I assume, would be to strip those same corporations of their electoral and legislative power and hand it back to its rightful stewards, We The People. If you’ve accepted that labor unions and progressives would essentially be the sole financiers, then you must ask yourself if you plan to win by out-donating the powerful corporations and running expensive ad campaigns ad infinitum, or by having better ideas that Americans will latch on to without having to raise two billion dollars.

Personally, I think we delude ourselves if we believe that we could ever win that way. Quoting Chris, “the question, as the great philosopher Karl Popper wrote, is not how do we get good people to rule; the question is how do we make the powerful afraid of us.” This is the only strategy that has ever been successful in expanding our social contract. It would be a colossal waste of time and money—neither of which we have an abundance of—for us to naively wander down a path that has never led to any place but the wilderness.

Get active. Be creative. And whatever you do, do it because you believe it’s right, not because you believe it will bring about real change, because it probably won’t.

Peace.

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By more voices, May 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

West has a lot to make up for in the months ahead. 

A third party will need his voice to make any dent in the din from Obama symps (we know who you are, symps)who will come down like a load of bricks on third party progressives on the eve of the 2012 general election.

Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama.  When will the Left wake the eff up?

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By Lou, May 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cornel West for President.
and Obama for First Uncle Tom…

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By figs, May 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Cornell,

The country was desperate for hope, but instead we got Obama. I knew he wasn’t a true progressive, but I had no idea he was just another Clinton. I still have no health care.

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By thethirdman, May 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

Hedges’ articles really bring out the sycophants.  Since when is Cornel West a
towering figure?  Ever watch him talk?  Know why he talks in circles and figure
eights?  He’s has very little to add to any conversation.
Many of you have asked why Mr. West couldn’t see the charlatan from the very
beginning.  Maybe, just maybe, all this “beloved brother” talk is really
preventing us from sorting any of our shit out.  I get it, solidarity, peace, love
for all our brothers, but really, this silly backward thinking is no better than
your enemy repubs.
So much ego seeps out of Mr. West’s immature thoughts, it’s enough to make
one sick.  So your ego bubble was busted that Obama wouldn’t call you back, or
show you your proper gratitude, or wasn’t black enough for your standards? 
This is what happens when you constantly force color upon every situation, you
blind yourself from true human motivations.  West got so excited about making
history that he forgot to examine his rat fink “brother.”  Wonder why he would
give Obama the benefit of the doubt?
Rico was right, check out the picture; it says it all.  I expect better from Hedges.

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By JTHC75, May 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding Prof. West’s “personal” observations, it’s been mine that President Obama has a knack for counterintuitive behavior like this. 

His foreign policy has been replete with examples of “reward your enemies, hurt your friends.” 

I don’t think it’s some diabolical treason or anything, but he seems to think there’s some higher strategery in throwing your friends under the bus in order to impress your enemies.  Maybe that works in Chicago, but it tends to make everyone else confused or angry.

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By screamingpalm, May 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

And even now… even after what should have been painfully obvious before the election… people on here are encouraging others to vote GOP instead of a progressive third party candidate.

It just does not make sense to me. This is why I have given up the fight. All the effort I put volunteering for Nader and other independents is really futile when people are so easily manipulated by DLC propoganda.

I admire the optimism of people like Ralph Nader. Or that of Samson on here, and wish I could have some for myself. Sorry for my gloom and doom, but I am tired.

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By Jim Michie, May 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We all were deceived by Barack Obama, “the Great Deceiver.”  We wanted so much to believe in all of his promises that turned out to be largely empty.  But, after all, we should have known early-on as he relied on such people as Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Rasputin, Larry Summers, War Secretary Gates, and on and on.

All of us (we gullible “little people”) who pitched in with our time (on the phone) and money back in 2007 and 2008 know now that we were used, just as Dr. West was used by his “friend”, Barack Obama.  But now, after little more than two years “in office”, we can plainly see in full view that “the emperor has no clothes”!  We have a saying about people like Obama: “He ain’t got no couth”!

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By Amon Drool, May 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

solerso67…do you think free and independent black men
like frederick douglas and malcom x would have smiled
and shook his hand after being talked to like that?

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By Night-Gaunt, May 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Just remember the Dutch fought for 80 years before they were freed from the Spanish Empire. Eighty years and no hope but then they didn’t rely on hope just the mechanical need to fight on because they knew it was right for htem. Can we do that? Just a thought.

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By brianrouth, May 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

too many people just want to stay asleep and stick their heads up their asses…too
many people want carry on believing Obama will suddenly change and be a good
guy and stick their heads up their asses!

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By screamingpalm, May 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

We didn’t have much choice.  Hillary beating Bush’s war drums or Obama who had made one speech against the war and then once in the Senate, he hid the entire time.

THIS is why things will never improve. There were choices. There was the best choice… Nader. There was even a decent choice in the mainstream- Kucinich. Unfortunately, as intelligent and informed as I would hope my progressive brothers and sisters could be, they were easily duped by DLC propaganda with things such as blaming Nader for Bush and lesser of two evils scare tactics.

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By Samson, May 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

“The major job was getting people to understand that
they had something within their power that they could
use, and it could only be used if they understood what
was happening and how group action could counter
violence…” - Ella Jo Baker

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By Samson, May 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

And of course, a wonderful article like this draws
out the commenters who are all gloom and doom and
will try to do their best to convince that you can’t
really change anything. 

Of course, believing this and not trying to do
anything is the sure way to fail to create change.

Egypt was a lovely recent example.  No one saw it
coming a month in advance.  The same effect could
happen before an American election.  Popular mood and
action can change that fast.  We saw how America
responded to Obama’ fake offers of ‘change’.  The
response was real.  America wants change.

When America thinks it sees a way towards change, it
will move that way.  The role of the left is to
provide an option for the people to move left. 
Because, if that option isn’t there, then the change
the people will move towards will be the tea-party
right.  The people will move towards an option for
change.

Don’t listen to the gloom and doomers who tell you
that you can’t possibly win.  The American people
could coalesce around any candidate on the ballot
with the same speed we saw in the crowds in Egypt. 
Don’t let anyone convince not to try because its all
improbable.

Unless of course, you don’t want change.

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By Anna Nomad, May 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

As the late, lamented hillbilly high-school grad Joe Bageant wrote in 2008, “I always say that if Obama was delivered to the White House with Jesus Christ, a five-piece band and six gilded seraphims holding up his fucking balls he still won’t be able to do anything because the country’s broke and Congress is bought and sold.”

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By Samson, May 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

“I have really been misled at a very deep level”

Difficult words to say.  Every con man understands
that people don’t like to be conned.  Often, a con
man can walk away with the cash and the robbed won’t
even call the police.  Because calling the police
implies admitting to one’s self that they’d just been
conned.

So, thank you Dr. West for having the character to
recognize.  Of course, that’s no surprise to anyone
who’s listened even briefly to Dr. West.  But still
it sets a wonderful example.

Now, if only every other Obama voter who’s heart lies
to the left of Ronald Reagan would admit the same. 
Would it be therapeutic to have a national black
board writing session where everyone who voted for
Obama writes the following 500 times?

I was mis-led at a very deep level
I was mis-led at a very deep level
I was mis-led at a very deep level ...

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