Monday, August 10, 2009

An Open Letter to Chip Bok

Dammit, man! A while back I admired your work (admittedly, in comparison with Chuck Asay and Glenn McCoy) but now, via Kos (h/t Attaturk), I see that you've coughed up this rancid hairball of a cartoon:

I realize that there's a proud tradition in the American corporate media of dedicated impoverishment of both intellect and imagination, and that one facet of this is the complacent assumption that any opinions even remotely to the left of corporate-friendly New Democrat centrism may simply be written off as "far left," but please: if any less thought had gone into this cartoon, I'd think that Jonah Goldberg had done it. I can guaran-damn-tee you that people who actually deserve to be called "far left" do not think of Barack Obama as a Messiah figure. On the contrary: the farther left you go, the more likely you are to find Barack Obama regarded as an untrustworthy corporatist sellout. And when you consider his thus-far resolutely corporate-friendly approaches to the economic crisis, to health care reform, etc., you might even think they're on to something. At any rate, I realize that the "must portray both extremes as equally wacky" command is deep in the corporate media's DNA, but the desire for a cheap dichotomy does not excuse the mutilation of the political spectrum.

It is pro-corporate centrists for whom Obama is a Messiah. The "far left" long since stopped thinking that one is ever likely to arise from the incestuous writhings of America's current media-political-business elite. You might at least have the decency not to tar as Obama-worshipers people for whom Obama is proving to be a huge, but not unexpected, disappointment.


Goddamn that is well said. I have been having a very difficult time dealing with this new administration, which, though it is marginally better than the previous one, is still far too corporate-centric and Beltway-driven to suit my taste. And I think you're absolutely right that a Messiah will not rise from anywhere in the current two-party political structure. We need to start seriously thinking about a viable third party if we're ever going to escape the grip corporate lobbyists and professional "centrists" have on America.
Yes indeed. If the Obama Administration keeps going in its current direction -- throwing any last vestige of a public option overboard, treating the citizenry as basically a big milling profit source for insurance companies, banks, etc. -- that'll probably be it for me. The change doesn't seem to be going in the right direction, and the hope is coughing up blood.

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