Elizabeth Warren has quickly demonstrated that it is still possible for officials of intelligence and integrity to publicly confront and investigate abuses of power and criminality with direct questions and demands.
For so long we have routinely been told that such methods would be impossible, impractical, imprudent, inadvisable and politically inept. We are told this repeatedly by both our representatives and their appointees and their supporters among us.
For these specious reasons have the actions and in-actions of the President, Geithner, Holder, Bruer and others been defended. And thus have four years of gross corruption and malfeasance been given full, unquestioned expression. Falsely serious willful coddling and collusion, facile incompetence, dereliction of duty, and deferral and denial of justice substitute truly serious investigations, public hearings, trials, convictions, sentences and reparations -- the rule of law -- such that criminals, their accomplices, and their criminal enterprises have been spared. Token settlements arranged. Voodoo, supply-side economics, the common crime of our age -- exposed and vulnerable in the barren wasteland of the vast misery it had once again been allowed to create -- was spared, resuscitated and reinstated, also in fake seriousness.
As if Henry Paulson's hysterical attempt at extortion had gained traction in subtler, more private yet still perceptible and no less egregious theft.
Also spared was the boundless, immoral, selfish greed of which voodoo economics and the insatiable vulture and vampire oligarchs are made. Spared as well were the passionately guarded, self-serving defenses of voodoo economics -- vice clumsily yet earnestly trotted out as virtue -- with which the workaday lemmings and gold-brickers protect it.
All spared as if all were innocent. Or as if the widespread participation was as good as innocence. Or too much to pursue. Or too dangerous to touch.
As if there would be no future consequence of little to no present consequences.
Almost as if none of it had happened except the damages, as evidenced by the victims.
All that is left are the excuses, the blatant corruption, and the ongoing devastation of the 90% who will NEVER be allowed to recover under an empire worshiping neoliberal make-the-rich-richer economics with no or little accountability.
"The best description of 2008 and its aftermath that I heard came from Thomas Frank. He said that our country came to a turning point, and didn't turn." - eightlivesleftThose who would tell you otherwise are being facile with the truth. And they are legion. And influential. And the relative health of the plutocrats, their willing adherents and corrupt servants and their wage and debt slaves expose them.
They will object and insist this is hyperbole and hysteria, though endless reams of dispassionate charts can and have been produced to demonstrate the simple, obvious truth they self-servingly refuse to acknowledge.
Our representatives and their defenders will also object to the analogy of Senator Warren's displays, asserting that she has accomplished nothing yet.
By simply asking the direct questions, putting responsible parties on the spot, and demanding the information necessary to investigate the institutions and individuals involved in the greatest financial collapse in eighty years -- which easily could and absolutely should have been done four years ago, by accepting responsibility and doing her duty in spite of the difficulty and danger she has accomplished more than all of our other elected officials combined.
" i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority " - joe shikspakSenator Warren has actually exposed the 800 pound elephant in the room by not only acknowledging but actually respecting the expectations and needs of the 99%.
Rather than trivializing them and the rule of law upon which they are based by calling them PONIES.
For she has immediately and forthrightly undertaken what the people expected of and needed from her, which the administration and her peers have so obtusely, spectacularly, intentionally and corruptly failed to do for so many years before her. And, as a consequence, she has exposed them all.
It is a political Danse Macabre, full of ominous symbolism that signifies a politics of nihilism. Failure is presumed. Failure is expected. So rather than fight for the good, all that is offered is the not-as-bad, and failure thus becomes the best case scenario. The cynicism of it bleeds. - Lawrence LewisAnd it's worse yet than that. Because it is largely the result of thinly veiled and sometimes naked corruption.
The administration and its defenders will also object by saying that Senator Warren is in a different and better position than the President or his appointees in the Executive branch. As if the President and his departments of Justice and the Treasury have no influence over these matters.
Now there are minor exceptions to all of these truths. That is the nature of truth in reality. And the President's devotees' minds will fill with these exceptions and they will flood out of their mouths. But the exceptions do not make the rule, and the rule is undeniable in the dominant arc, the trend line of the work and non-work of those with whom Senator Warren's actions so brightly contrast.
One can only guess how long the plutocrats and their legion of devoted servants in both parties will wait until they draw their knives, as if they aren't already in hand.
Those who have the slightest interest in preserving any chance for democracy best be on the ready to come to Senator Warren's defense.
But I succumb again to hyperbole. Because wealth is no longer accumulating, the integrity of elections and governance is safe, and the Bill of Rights has been restored...
The contrast between Elizabeth Warren's behavior and that of the administration and its cohorts on the Hill provides a perfect opportunity to conduct a reality check on recent election narratives.
In 2008 the President was swept into power by a public desperate for representation in the face of the abuses of a plutocracy which had willfully and for profit swept us into fraudulent wars, stripped us of vital rights and protections, created our environmental crisis, and robbed us with their predictably catastrophic financial perfidy.
Populist fervor borne of crisis was responsible for his electoral victory.
And yes, that fervor was blinded by desperation.
Rightly or wrongly, the public elected this President to pursue a re-balance of power and redress grievances associated with the aforementioned abuses of power. Rightly or wrongly, the public assumed he wanted that job.
And that is why he won.
But the public was wrong on both counts.
Beginning with his appointments of Rahm Emmanuel, Timothy Geithner, Lawrence Summers and others thoroughly compromised by their associations with the criminal class and complicity in the above corruption and malfeasance, within days of his election then President-elect Obama failed to pursue the public interest responsible for his victory -- in exactly the way Elizabeth Warren has not. Regardless of her ultimate "success," which is dependent upon overcoming vast oceans of corruption, the people will lionize her for having served them and not the criminal class.
What the administration's defenders have failed to recognize or accept is that the public does not want aspirin for the cancer of voodoo economics. They want surgery to remove the cancer. They want a chance at survival and a quality of life that three decades of medical malpractice caused and excused in corruption have made virtually impossible.
Instead they got aspirin. And the tumor grows. Income and wealth concentrate. The rule of law atrophies. Resplendent voodoo economics runs the world.
When the Left opposed the actions and inaction of the administration they were told that its expectations and the expectations of the voters who had swept the administration into office were inappropriate. They were impossible to meet. They were inconsistent with the President's style. They were ponies.
When the Left warned that the actions and inaction of the administration would have dire consequences for the election in 2010 it was was told repeatedly and unequivocally that its policy, political and campaign advice and support would not be needed.
"We got this," they insisted. And we have the graphics to prove it.
Despite the warnings, the administration and its admirers insisted on using their policies, political strategy, campaign tactics and campaign efforts.
And that and no other reason is why we lost the battle of 2010.
People know a lie when the see one.
The President called it a "shellacking."
Having insisted on using its policies, political strategy, campaign tactics and campaign efforts, the President's supporters turned to the Left and said "YOUR FAULT!"
Reality notwithstanding, they hid behind accusations of a Left that didn't vote and/or told others not to vote.
There was no recollection of nor regret for ignoring or abandoning the Left. No consideration that that might have been a mistake.
There was no awareness of the disconnect between the President's actions and inaction they had so blindly defended and the reasons for which he was elected. Rightly or wrongly, it was the disconnect. No consideration that that might have been a mistake.
For the Left and for the voters in general.
Even after the election the narrative remained that the voters' expectations were wrong, the President's agenda and performance were not. The President wouldn't embrace their expectations and needs and his supporters wouldn't think of asking him to. If there had been a misunderstanding, the voters would have to adjust.
Well, they did.
And that really pissed the President's supporters off.
Because it was easier to get angry and cast blame than accept the responsibility of defeat and honestly contemplate the very real, vast gulf in perception and motivation that could not otherwise be ignored.
"If he had had just one clip like (Sen. Warren's from Thursday's hearing, though hardly her only) where he held the bankers accountable, we wouldn't have lost the House in 2010." -think blue
Anyone with a clear mind knows this to be true.
And it was obvious.
Except to those who refused and still refuse to see it.
The President felt rebuffed by the election results.
But not for not serving those who had elected him in 2008. But for ignoring the tea partiers who had risen and swept numerous candidates into the vacuum.
So he chose, once more, accommodation not for his base but for those who would rather see him crucified in Kenya than participate in his success.
At least this is one narrative.
The record shows, however, that the President has little interest in the public's needs. He campaigned on re-directing forces to Afghanistan and providing universal healthcare. He wanted to change Washington, to show that the scorched earth Party could be reasoned and worked with. He wanted these things and pursued them unwaveringly, regardless of the behavior of the Republicans, results of his efforts (which presented an immediate, foreseeable pattern of total obstruction), economy, bail-out fund bonuses, bail-out dollar hoarding, rob-signings, rapacious foreclosures, job markets, unemployment, falling wages, unrest, Occupy, any of what was happening on the ground. The agenda was set and followed. And his devotees approved.
And that became clear to a now sizable number of voters, many of whom stayed home or switched Parties, rightly or wrongly, in 2010. A fact that would not be accepted. A fact that would be disputed beyond reason and ignored beyond learning. Because even if it were true, the narrative went, the voters were wrong to have done so. As if being "right" in their own minds was preferable to having anticipated and pursued the expectations of the voters.
The President's defenders argue that the voters must have approved of the President's tactics and performance because he won the 2012 election. In order for the President to have gotten the campaign support and the votes he needed to win, people must have been wildly enthusiastic about the serious, cooperative approach he had taken to governance, right?
(And oh, by the way, the electoral result also must have meant that the public accepted the Social Security cuts, since the President as candidate had acknowledged that he would consider them and still won the election.)
Well, a summary of factors affecting the 2012 election answers the question far better than the assumption of the President and his defenders.
- Republican primary season of batshit crazy
- Republican nomination of the king of the vulture capitalists
- Income Tax concerns
- Bill Clinton
- RNC convention under a hurricane shroud
- Constant barrage of insults in the War on Women
- 47% film
- Governor Christie's "support"
- GOTV from hell because everyone's absolutely freaked out that Thurston Howell III's evil twin might win with that bloodsucker, Eddie Munster!
With all this going for the President, it is astounding that Romney was even remotely in contention. But he was, up to the second debate. Astounding.
That in and of itself should have been a clue to those who still needed one.
And why was it that Romney was so competitive, with all those disadvantages?
It really wasn't even so much what the President did or didn't accomplish in a system that is so widely known to be rigged, or against such obstructionist adversaries, or such rampant corruption. But because of what he tried and didn't try to accomplish. He tried to get aspirin and he didn't try to do surgery. Predictably, the cancer grew.
(We are told that this is because the President was focused on ""the possible" (aspirin), not the impossible (surgery), neglecting once more to recognize, appreciate, or accept that "the possible" that the President pursued bore almost no resemblance to what the public wanted or needed. But really it was because the President had no interest in surgery, at least not on the plutocracy.)
Nevertheless, in spite of his willful disregard of the people's wishes and the blind, decidedly unhelpful faith and support of his admirers, with the aid of ALL the above factors working for him, he won the 2012 election.
And what was the electoral take-away for the President and his followers for winning the election?
That the public must want even more compromise. It wants less aspirin. It wants austerity.
As if 2008 and 2010 never happened. As if 2012 hadn't required a fistful of gifts for the President to win. As if the absolute revulsion over Romney's plutocratic credentials weren't clear enough. As if the public never wanted to see power re-balanced or its grievances redressed.
No. He won the election because the public wanted something, anything, even if meant more compromise and less of what it actually needed, even if it were the opposite of what it needed.
And that's why we are where we are with Social Security and Keystone XL. And how the President and his supporters defend their positions.
And so once again, we are forced to warn the President and his steadfast supporters of the import of his decisions and their support, both on their own merits as policy and with regard to the 2014 election. And once again we are being told our analysis and advice is both wrong and unwanted.
In spite of the clear and present example of Senator Warren.
I wonder what is going to happen.