It’s becoming more obvious to people that our so-called, “two-party system” is really a just a one-party system. Last summer, I discussed how the Republi-cratic Corporatist Party is determined to steal the money American workers have paid into the Social Security program. While we’re on the subject, let’s take a look at an inconvenient law which the Beltway Vultures choose to ignore:
EXCLUSION OF SOCIAL SECURITY FROM ALL BUDGETS Pub. L. 101-508, title XIII, Sec. 13301(a), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388-623, provided that: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the receipts and disbursements of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund shall not be counted as new budget authority, outlays, receipts, or deficit or surplus for purposes of – (1) the budget of the United States Government as submitted by the President, (2) the congressional budget, or (3) the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
In a recent interview conducted by Anastasia Churkina of Russia Today, investigative reporter and author, Matt Taibbi described the American political system as a “reality show sponsored by Wall Street”. Taibbi pointed out that “… the problem is Wall Street heavily sponsors both the Republican and the Democratic Parties” so that whoever gets elected President “is going to be a creature of Wall Street”. After noting that Goldman Sachs was Obama’s number one source of private campaign contributions during the 2008 election cycle, Taibbi faced a question about the possibility that a third party could become a significant factor in American politics. His response was: “Seriously, I don’t see it.” Taibbi went on to express his belief that the “average American” is:
… seduced and mesmerized by this phony, media-created, division between blue and red – and left and right, Democrats and Republicans, and people are conditioned to believe that there are enormous, profound differences between these two parties. Whereas, the reality is: their differences are mostly superficial and on the important questions of how the economy is run and how to regulate the economy – they’re exactly the same – but I don’t think ordinary people know that.
At this point, the question is whether there can be any hope that “ordinary people” will ever realize that our “two-party system” is actually a farce.
The type of disappointment expressed by Matt Taibbi in his discussion of Barack Obama during the Russia Today interview, has become a familiar subject. I was motivated to characterize the new President as “Disappointer-In-Chief” during his third month in office. An increasing number of commentators have begun to admit that Hillary Clinton’s campaign-theme question, “Who is Barack Obama?” was never really answered until after the man took office. One person who got an answer “the hard way” was Professor Cornel West of Princeton University.
In a recent article for Truthdig, Chris Hedges discussed how Professor West made 65 appearances for Candidate Obama on the campaign trail. Nevertheless, Professor West never received an invitation to Obama’s Inaugural. Although he traveled to Washington for that historic occasion, Professor West ended up watching the event on a hotel room television with his family. As an adversary of Obama’s financial mentor, Larry Summers, Professor West quickly found himself thrown under the bus.
The following passage from Chris Hedges’ article presents an interesting narrative by Professor West about what I have previously described as Obama’s own “Tora Bora moment” (when the President “punted” on the economic stimulus bill). Professor West also lamented the failure of the Democrats to provide any alternative to the bipartisan tradition of crony corporatism:
“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.
When one considers the vast number of disillusioned Obama supporters along with the number of people expressing their disappointment with the Republican field of Presidential hopefuls, the idea that 2012 could be the year when a third-party candidate makes it to the White House doesn’t seem so far-fetched.