Posts Tagged ‘gitmo’

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MAYBE HE CAN! OBAMA REVERSES CRIMINAL POLICIES, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CRIMINALS?

January 23, 2009

 dennis-trainor-headshotDennis Trainor, Jr • Operation Itch writer/ editor header
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Bye- Bye GITMO

Bye- Bye GITMO

Barack Obama went from becoming the first black president of the Harvard Law Review (1990) to becoming the first black president of the United States of America so quickly, that it is not a stretch to say that we have only known him as a candidate. His life, for the last eighteen years, has been one carefully modulated and expertly managed campaign. Even when he held such underachieving slacker status positions such as United States Senator, his votes, his appearances, his public statements- and even the shirtless beach photos – have all been part of the larger campaign. As a candidate, perhaps no one has ever been as good as Obama. He has been so good, in fact, expectations of his presidency are rivaled only by an Evangelical Christian’s expectation that Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Like Christ, Obama is now a myth. The man will never walk in step with what we think of him, because we have projected so much onto him. Yes, it does speak well of his campaign that it was able to leverage the desperation of so many who were so horrified of our own inaction these past eight years. We needed a savior to rescue us from the shame brought on because we had, collectively speaking, done nothing after George Bush stole the 2000 election save for prop up a cottage industry that fed us a steady stream of clever anti-Bush t-shirts and bumper stickers for us to brandish on the sidelines as our President proceeded to treat the constitution as a pesky little obstacle in his way as he waged his comic book battle of good vs. evil, now let loose from the safe confines of his little village idiot of a head and leaving a trail of blood soaked deserts and unknown blowback in its wake. 

There are some who will give Obama high grades for a longer than average honeymoon period simply because the man has replaced will be remembered by history as the worst president to ever hold the office. Alfred E. Newman would have been an improvement on Bush, the subliminal thinking will go, and Obama is surely better than Alfred E. Newman. But for many, the bar is set unreasonably high. Like Christ, many praise Obama as a revolutionary. I’m more inclined to agree with Ashley Sanders, former spokesperson for the Ralph Nader campaign, who described the change that Obama has sold us as

a hazy feeling that Obama (despite all evidence to the contrary) was the peace candidate, the environmental candidate, the Black candidate, the people’s candidate. The whole production borrowed ideas that were actually dangerous to Wall Street, gutted them of danger, and resold them as ideas that were dangerous to Wall Street. It used spectacle to create the illusion that an infinity of similar options was the same thing as a meaningful choice, as real change or authenticity. It was the triumph of ideology: getting people to vote against themselves in the name of themselves.

The whole thing smacked of buying punk clothes at Hot Topic. 

As Americans, we know not where to get punk clothes but at Hot Topic, and are so entrenched in ad culture that we would not know a revolution unless it was being sold to us. Here is what is being sold to us in the first week of the Obama presidency: Obama has swept into town and takes swift action in reversing the criminal culture of torture and rendition and secret prisons by issuing an executive order to shut GITMO. This much is true.
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