By Webster G. Tarpley
February 8, 2008
And A Prelude To The McCain-Lieberman Disaster
With David Swanson, Michael Moore, and David Lindorff (who should know better) all joining the swoon of the controlled corporate media for Obama, it is time to re-assert reality. The Super-Tuesday results show conclusively that Obama could never win the general election in November. He would be yet another losing Democratic candidate, acceptable to wealthy elitists but not to the voters from working families of the middle class and lower middle class, doomed to go the way of George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry. He appeals to two groups – well-off suburbanites and blacks, and these will never be enough to carry the general election.
Any Democratic candidate who cannot win California and New York should probably call it a day. That applies to Obama, but his situation is even worse. The voter pool for the Democratic primaries is notoriously not typical of the broader US population. The Democratic primaries have been skewed for decades by the presence of large numbers of upper-middle class elitists concerned about environmentalism, race and gender quotas, balanced budgets, good government, corruption, gridlock, excessive partisanship, and related issues. They are not interested in the minimum wage, trade union rights, stopping home foreclosures, and other kitchen table concerns of the less well off. In this year’s Super Tuesday, it was estimated that about 56% of the voters on the Democratic Party side had been to college – about twice the level for the population as a whole. Yet, even with this voter pool, Obama could not win a single Electoral College megastate vital for any Democratic candidate, with the sole exception of his own home base of Illinois.
Obama Trounced In The Mega-States
The list of states captured by Obama on Feb. 5 is largely a joke, except for Illinois and a couple of others. He proudly lists Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, and Utah. What do these states have in common? They are states which a Democrat could never win in a general election. Under the Electoral College system, Democratic votes in these states are worthless – they will be thrown away. How many people are there in the Alaska Democratic Party? The caucus turnout seems to have been below 1,000 people. Idaho is one of the most reactionary states – the Democratic Party there could meet in a phone booth. The same goes for Utah. Delaware is a perfect state for Obama – rich Volvodriving, chablis and brie elitists in the Philadelphia suburbs, but it does not look like America. Colorado is another Obama state where the well-off suburban voter can be decisive in a Democratic primary. True, Obama won Connecticut, which has some union voters, but it looks like Greenwich, Cos Cob, and Yale carried the day. Missouri might fall to Clinton on a recount; in any case, the race was very close. Minnesota is a special case because of the Democrat Farmer-Labor Party; this was in any case a state that went for Mondale, for various reasons – not a good bellwether.
To win an election, a Democrat must win the Electoral College megastates to get to the 270 plus electoral votes needed to eject the GOP from the White House. Mrs. Clinton carried these states convincingly, starting with California, where all of Obama’s money could not save him. California is so huge, so crucial, and so much a symbol of America’s future in the Pacific century, that the argument could well end here. A Democrat who cannot win California has no hope of entering the White House. But there is much more.
Rich Elitists For Obama
The Obama campaign looks very much like the past campaigns of Howard Dean, Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas, Bill Bradley, and other losers of the past. He appeals to wealthy elitists, and therefore has a fundraising base. He can turn out small numbers of dedicated liberal activists for caucuses, as we have seen in Iowa. He can use the Internet to get money in the same way that Howard Dean did. He enjoys the benefits of a collective media swoon, and the systematic fawning of the media elites. But none of this adds up to the ability to win a general election.
Obama lost Massachusetts, in spite of the effusions of the politically decadent Kennedy clan. Despite media hype, he lost New Jersey. He lost border states like Tennessee and Oklahoma that a Democrat might win. Mrs. Clinton had already won megastates Florida and Michigan. She is likely to win in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. What can we do with a Democratic candidate who cannot win California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida – cannot win even the skewed Democratic primary voters of these critical states? The question answers itself. As sociologist Fabio Rojas has noted: “The Obama campaign assumed that winning big states, aside from Illinois, was simply impossible. [Obama’s] strengths do not undermine Hillary’s single most powerful asset: rock solid support among the white women, retirees, and unionists who make up the majority of the Democratic base. There is nearly nothing that Obama can say to sway those voters….Obama can continue to win his kind of state (caucuses, low union, small to medium size, heavily Affirmative Action) and have the money to continue till the end, but he can’t deliver a knockout punch by winning in California, NY, NJ, Texas, Florida, Ohio or PA.” Obama’s campaign depends on creating the illusion of success. When there is no real success.
A Democratic Southwestern Strategy
Again, a Democratic candidate who cannot appeal to working women, retirees, and trade unionists is an exercise in futility. But Obama’s situation is even worse. While winning California, Arziona, New Mexico (already), and likely Texas, Mrs. Clinton has demonstrated a superiority among Latino voters, now the largest minority group in this country and the key to the future for any political party. Here she won by a 2:1 margin. She also carried the best educated group, Asian Americans, by a similar 2:1 margin. It might be argued that these Latino and Asian voters will simply go to a Democratic candidate in the general election, whoever that candidate might be. But the Latinos might just as easily go to McCain, who has carefully built a public record of being sympathetic to them, as Rush Limbaugh repeats every day.
Therefore, it seems fair to say that while Obama may have a strategy to win the Democratic nomination, he has no strategy at all for winning the general election in November. Mrs. Clinton’s results, by contrast, add up to something historically important in American and world history: this is the outline of a new national coalition in the United States, and a new geographical formula for carrying the Electoral College. During the four decades since Richard Nixon’s victory in 1968, the Electoral College has been dominated by the so-called Southern strategy of Kevin Phillips, as refined by Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. This has meant that the Republican nominee generally starts off with a solid Southern block of reactionary states, motivated initially by racist backlash against the civil rights laws, as well as resentments against the Vietnam and student protests of the 1960s. In sociological terms, the Southern strategy for Reagan coalition has meant that the Republicans could build a majority around such groups as the South, white men, affluent suburbanites, Christian evangelicals, and ideologized factions like the neocons. We are now in the throes of a party realignment, that is to say of a qualitative transformation of the structure and dynamics of American politics with the emergence of a new majority coalition. These events come rarely — generally only once in about four decades. We have seen party realignments in 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932, and 1968. The 1932 party realignment ushered in the great progressive Era of the Roosevelt new deal. The 1968 disaster brought us Nixon and 40 years of reactionary politics. It is now clear that the old Southern strategy and Reagan coalition have collapsed as of 2006. The recognition of this collapse has even become an issue in the Republican primaries, with the comments by Ed Rollins of the Huckabee campaign.
A Modern Equivalent Of The FDR Progressive Coalition
If we want to usher in a new progressive Era, we must find a new national coalition, somewhat similar to Roosevelt’s New Deal alliance, that will dominate American politics for the next four decades or so. We must also identify a formula for winning the Electoral College. Obama’s crazy quilt of states, heterogeneous congeries of supporters, and odd assortment of potential Electoral College votes can never do this.
The key to replacing the old reactionary Southern strategy of the Republicans may well be a Southwest strategy for progressive Democrats. We have already noted that Mrs. Clinton has carried the Latino vote by a margin of two to one, and has also carried the Asian vote by a similar two to one margin. Latino voters and Asian voters represent two of the most dynamic classes of voters in the United States today — they represent in many ways a wave of the future. If we add in women, trade union families, blue-collar workers, retired people, blacks, the lower middle class and the broad middle class, plus immigrant groups, we can see the outlines of a national coalition capable of dominating the American political scene for the foreseeable future. This national coalition will not be based on the wedge issues developed by Lee Atwater and Karl Rove over the last 40 years. It will be based on solid economic populist issues like a rising standard of living, the eradication of poverty, and expanded economic opportunity for all.
In terms of the Electoral College map, we must especially stress Mrs. Clinton’s ability to carry California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Because of her ascendancy among Latino voters, it may well prove possible to add Texas to this voting bloc If we can succeed in detaching Texas from the reactionary Republican solid South of the past 40 years, something that Latino votes will help to make possible, then the future path of virtually any Republican to the White House is permanently barred.
Hispanics distrust Obama. Asians also distrust Obama. As we will see, we all have good reason to distrust Obama. If Obama is the Democratic nominee, Latinos and Asians may be tempted to vote for McCain. A McCain Lieberman presidency would abort the ongoing party realignment, creating disastrous consequences which we would have to live with for the next 40 years — for many of us, for the rest of our lives. In addition, a McCain Lieberman presidency virtually guarantees war with Iran within six months.
The Party Realignment Must Succeed
It is therefore imperative that we take the historically long view of current events. The choices of 2008 will determine the political playing field from now to the middle of the 21st century. It is vital that people look beyond their resentments concerning Senator Clinton; some of these are valid, but many are absolutely irrational. But the argument here does not turn on any personal qualities Senator Clinton may have or not have. We should not focus our attention on the number worn on the player’s back, or on the color of the jersey being worn. We need to focus on the redesign of the entire playing field, since the players of today will in any case soon pass from the scene. The great task of 2008 is to prevent a catastrophic abortion of the party realignment now so clearly going on.
Obama A Puppet Of Brzezinski
If Senator Obama possessed truly exceptional qualities of leadership or morality, it would not be necessary to make this argument against him. But he possesses no such superiority. Quite the contrary. He has called very explicitly for the bombing of Pakistan, a country 2 1/2 times larger than Iran. Obama spoke against the Iraq war in 2003 when he was not required to vote on the issue, but he has also voted for every Iraq military appropriations bill in the Congress, until this year. Most important, he is a Manchurian candidate, reminiscent in many ways of the disastrous Jimmy Carter of 1976. Jimmy Carter had been chosen and groomed for the presidency by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski, the leaders of the Trilateral Commission. When Carter reached the White House, he turned US foreign policy over to Brzezinski. The results were the seizure of power by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the founding of Al Qaeda by the CIA as an Arab Legion to fight the Soviets in that country. Carter turned economic and financial affairs over to Paul Adolf Volcker of the Federal Reserve, who raised interest rates to 22%, thereby destroying the industrial potential of the United States, and contributing to a disastrous fall in the standard of living. The chilling image of Carter as a failed puppet president who set the stage for two decades of reaction, labor rout, and national decline should remind us that a candidate like Obama must be carefully scrutinized.
The overall image consultant for Obama is none other than Zbigniew Brzezinski, now joined by his son Mark Brzezinski — a veteran of the Clinton National Security Council — plus Mika Brzezinski, who is leading the charge for Obama at MS NBC. Zbig is also Obama’s foreign policy controller. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s entire life has been dominated by his consuming, fanatical hatred for Russia. As he approaches 80 years of age, Brzezinski feels that he has one last chance to dismember the Russian Federation and to partition European Russia. This will be the great foreign policy project of a future Obama administration. It is certain that Zbigniew Brzezinski will join Napoleon and Hitler in failure, but what will become of our country? The Bush neocons have been addicted to aggressive war, but they were at least cunning enough to pick countries which had no ability to strike against the continental United States. Brzezinski lacks this cunning. He proposes to court confrontation with Russia, the one country, which maintains the capacity to incinerate the United States several times over. The Brzezinski project to be carried out under an Obama regime is a project of incalculable folly, tailored to the obsessions of a clique of old central European revanchists left over from the 1930s, not to the needs of the United States in the twenty-first century.
Obama Would Privatize Social Security
In the area of economics, Obama’s handlers and advisers are a group of right-wing thinkers. The first is Austan Goolsbee, a 1991 member of Skull and Bones at Yale. Goolsbee is a member of the monetarist Chicago school founded by Milton Friedman; he is a free trade ideologue. Another Obama advisor in economics is Jeffrey Liebman of Harvard, who has proposed the partial privatization of the Social Security system, in addition to increasing the regressive payroll tax, while lowering and delaying Social Security benefits. This is not materially different from the proposals of George Bush in 2005. Then we have David Cutler, who thinks that high health care costs are a stimulus to the overall economy. He has proposed more financial incentives in the healthcare field, meaning that he wants to transfer more and more money into the hands of insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms. Is this the politics of hope?
In every area of economics, Obama has turned out to be far to the right of former candidate John Edwards, and substantially to the right of Senator Clinton. Obama rejects the concept of universal health coverage. Obama’s economics team has rejected the idea of a freeze on home foreclosures in the current crisis. Obama’s economic stimulus package, as Paul Krugman has correctly observed, is skewed to the right. In a year marked, above all, by a rebirth of powerful economic populism in the electorate, Obama offers nothing in this crucial department.
Instead, Obama offers fatuous and fuzzy platitudes of the utopian and messianic sort. He wants to end partisan struggle in politics. He seems to conjure up a golden age or earthly paradise. He seems to want to restore an oligarchical consensus, and give a face lift to US imperialism. It is no accident that left liberal activists who have signed on with Obama are dropping the impeachment issue like a hot potato. Impeachment is sure to be a very messy, very partisan, and very acrimonious process. It will be a short, political struggle, and struggle of any kind is simply not found in the Obama playbook. The senator is a weak and passive figure, a quietist. Many can remember the refusal of Bill Bradley to defend himself against the lies of Al Gore in 2000, or the stubborn impotence of John Kerry as he was swiftboated by the Bushies in 2004. Obama raises that kind of impotence and cowardice to the level of a theory. The Clintons, by contrast, know that counterpunch is imperative. They deal in War Rooms. Whatever else may be said about the Clintons, they fight. That is no small advantage in the country in which the petty bourgeoisie will always incline to whoever appears stronger. That will never be Obama.
Michigan And Florida: The People Have Already Decided
A controversy has now risen about the delegates of two critical mega-states, Michigan and Florida, at the Democratic National Convention. Once again, these are states that a Democratic candidate must win, so it would not make sense to offend voters there. However, Howard Dean, Donna Brazil, and a gaggle of elitists at the Democratic National Committee have decided that for some arcane reason, the delegates of Michigan and Florida should not be seated. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Senator Clinton has handily won both these big states. In Florida, she received 850,000 votes, and beat Obama going away. In Michigan, she received an absolute majority of voter support — not just a plurality. Obama’s hope of winning the Democratic nomination seems to come down to excluding Michigan and Florida in the same way that the Mississippi Freedom Democrats were excluded from the Democratic Convention in 1964. Now Howard Dean is saying that Michigan and Florida need to repeat their primaries, except now it must be in the form of caucuses. Anyone who says caucuses is saying Obama, since in caucuses small numbers of wealthy elitists and ideologues can exercise a political effect out of all proportion to their real numbers in the population. So Howard Dean is not an honest broker, but rather a partisan for Obama. Obama says he is the candidate of hope and reconciliation, but he seems quite ready to resort to some very dirty tactics to grab the Democratic presidential nomination that he can never hope to win in a fair fight. Any rational person would instead say, “Let the people decide!” And in this case, the people have already decided.
More broadly, Obama’s hopes of grabbing the nomination seem to revolve around the prospect of a palace coup in a smoke-free room Howard Dean is saying that if no clear front runner emerges in the next couple of months, he will convene a pow-wow and decide the nomination in connivance with a narrow oligarchy, while flaunting the will of the Democratic primary voters. It is superfluous to point out that Howard Dean comes from the wealthy elitist school of Democratic politics and not from the blue-collar or working-class branch. He also has a well-known grudge against the Clinton machine. So American voters can have no confidence in Howard Dean.
Dump Obama, And A Democratic Landslide Comes Into View
The perspective for November can only be the destruction and break up of the Republican Party as we have known it for the past four decades. The Republican Party has always been an uneasy alliance of four distinct, and even antithetical groups: the social conservatives or Christian evangelicals, the foreign policy conservatives or neocon warmongers, the fiscal conservatives or Wall Street plutocrats, and the anti-state Libertarians. Because of the onset of the Bush economic depression — including dollar hyperinflation, the death agony of the US dollar as the world reserve currency, and banking panics breaking out all over the world — the available pie has shrunk to such a degree that these competing interests can no longer all be satisfied. Life boat ethics have set in. Accordingly, they are now all at each other’s throats in a hilarious spectacle of factional warfare. Romney, a hedge fund operator and asset stripper, has now dropped out — which ought to remind David Swanson that money means very little in 2008. (Obama’s millions will never buy him a single Electoral College mega-state outside of Illinois.) Huckabee is the wedge issue social conservative, but his appeal is strictly limited to the Deep South. McCain is the warmonger, and he now seems to be on his way to seizing the nomination Ron Paul, of course, is the Libertarian, but can only appeal to a slender ideological minority since he has no elements of economic populist appeal. The traditional conservative leaders and spokespersons like Rush Limbaugh, Shawn Hannity, Ann Coulter, and James Dobson are all loudly denouncing McCain as a heretic and apostate to their strange reactionary doctrines. This indicates a party that is already severely fractured, and may be on the verge of an outright split.
The Next GOP: A Minor Regional Party Of The Deep South
If the Obama campaign subsides, the prospect for the Democratic Party is that of a colossal historical landslide victory on the scale of 1932 or 1964. The Republican Party may well emerge as a Southern regional party, limited to the deep South states of the old Confederacy, based primarily on racism and Mexophobia, and with little or no appeal in other parts of the country. It would be, in short, the party of Huckabee. There is every reason to believe that the Republican representation in the House and the Senate might be cut by as much as one third to one half. This would have the effect of sweeping away the alibis and excuses that have been used by the bankrupt Pelosi-Reid leadership to explain away and justify their own countless crimes and betrayals, from the failure to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to the failure to roll back the police state to the failure to impeach Bush and Cheney. The more the Republican Party collapses and disintegrates, the greater the potential for a split on the Democratic side between the reactionary neocon minority and the antiwar progressive majority. Any Democratic president will have to choose, and, if not a puppet, will likely choose the majority. This is the great promise of 2008. Obama’s rhetoric seems to assume that the Republican Party will be around indefinitely in its present form, and therefore a compromise with them will be unavoidable. The party realignment now taking place suggests that a more effective strategy will be to aim at a radical reduction in Republican power on the basis of aggressive economic populism, making preventive concessions to the GOP needless and counterproductive. The main threat to such an historic Democratic Party victory is the Obama candidacy itself.
The GOP: A Borderline Psychotic And A Foreign Agent
The Republican ticket right now looks like McCain and Lieberman. McCain is a borderline psychotic. Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi says, “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine.” McCain is known to be subject to transports of rage, which allow him to be cleverly manipulated by his unscrupulous handlers. Lieberman is one of the foremost warmongers in the Senate, and may well be a foreign agent. If this ticket were to take the White House, war with Iran would be guaranteed within six months. But because of McCain this immigration policies, he might be able to appeal to Latino voters and other recent immigrants — provided of course that the Democratic nominee were Obama.
A final consideration is the danger of a puppet president. After the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, the financier oligarchy in Wall Street swore that they would never again permit an American president to actually exercise the powers prescribed by the Constitution. They did this because they saw a strong president as a lethal threat to the oligarchical system, which they intended to perpetuate. Accordingly, since 1945 we have had a parade of puppet presidents who have tended to carry out the orders of the Wall Street group. Whenever a new presidential candidate comes on the scene, especially when they are relatively unknown, the first question we must ask ourselves regards whether or not they would function as puppets in some future White House. This is a critical question, because only a president who is not a puppet will be able to respond to the will of the people as expressed through the political process overall.
Of Puppets And Presidents
With a McCain Lieberman ticket, the judgment on puppet status is clear — a psychotic and a reputed foreign agent add up to guaranteed puppets. Obama also flunks this crucial test. Obama would be nobody without the investiture, financing, networking, media support, and other forms of assistance provided by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Trilateral Commission, Skull and Bones, and other members of the financier elite. He is a candidate who has been literally manufactured out of nothing in a very few years, through a carefully planned media campaign culminating in the hysterical media swoon of the past several weeks. Even so, he has proven unable to carry a single Electoral College megastate outside of his own home base in Illinois. But it is certain that Obama’s potential for escaping puppet status is very, very low.
Obama is also afflicted with certain egregious scandals, which the media have so far covered up. First, Obama is closely linked to a slum lord and organized crime figure named Tony Rezko, who was jailed at the end of January, just before Super Tuesday. This explosive sleeves has been totally covered up by the controlled media. Secondly, there are the Larry Sinclair allegations, contained in a U-tube video widely viewed online, and involving a cocaine orgy. Finally, some enterprising investigative journalist might make the connection between Zbigniew Brzezinski, the center of the entire Obama campaign, and Ilyas Achmadov, the current Washington ambassador for the Chechen terrorist organization. This ambassador of terrorism is currently living in the United States, at taxpayers’ expense, thanks to the lobbying of Zbigniew Brzezinski. The Clintons may not use this material against Obama, but we can be sure that Karl Rove will not hesitate. Here we have the making of a swiftboating campaign far beyond anything seen in 2004. Even if the Rezko and Larry Sinclair allegations are not brought up, they can be used to blackmail Obama and keep him obedient in the status of a puppet.
In short, our left liberal friends are demanding that we support a hand-picked Wall Street Manchurian candidate for another puppet presidency à la Carter, a man who probably cannot win the White House, whose economic profile is far to the right of his opponent, and who would probably provoke war with Russia if he ever did get elected. They are doing this to spite the obvious fact that the controlled corporate media are signaling every day that Obama is the preferred alternative of the financier elite and the banking establishment. And, although they may not know it, they are supporting the only Democrat left standing whose ineptitude, incompetence, and narrow appeal will almost certainly cause the ongoing party realignment to miscarry, generating catastrophic consequences that will be felt for decades, should this country last that long. Obama is manifestly the wrong choice. Under most circumstances, is doomed to lose. If he wins, our likely reward will be that Zbigniew Brzezinski will get the chance to live out his twilight of the gods in all-out thermonuclear confrontation with Russia. All in all, this is the worst of all possible alternatives. As usual, our left liberal friends are out of sync with the American people, and out of sync with the imperatives of world history.