2009 is only in its fourth month and already drowning us in a sea of complete and utter absurdity. Oscar Wilde’s infamous words that once decorated this blog’s header  – “if you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you” – have been slightly derided to become a motto closer to the real zeitgeist, something along the lines of “if you want to make people laugh, tell them the truth, because lies have already become facts and there is only room left for jokes.” Sad times indeed, fortunately enough the world is set to come to an end in 2012.

Some of this stupidity comes from the general division between your average “liberal”, as in, technically passive, actively non-plussed, and generally regular voter who would support any Democrat candidate out of habit, reads the New York Times every other day out of habit, and feels a monthly surge of anger at the rampant injustice in Africa out of habit. We all know those people, we all went to school with them, and after several unfruitful weeks/months/years, check what applies to your patience level, we have come to stop trying to transform them into a supposedly better and bigger breed of liberals: us, the “angry liberals”, the ones who burn their pancake calories by marching down the street at every anti-war protest, the ones writing endless blogs about the decline of social commitment within the Democratic party, those losing their hair over voting for Ralph Nader, in short, half-assed activists who could really use a little reality check before getting their word in. Angry liberals have never made decent activists for the simple reason they’re angry out of habit, yell at each other out of habit, and kick the indifferent ass of the aforementioned regular liberal out of habit. This is all severely lacking in ideology to the point it has become pointless to the political scene.

Rahm Emanuel: hell shut you up. oh yes he will.

Rahm Emanuel: he'll shut you up. oh yes he will.

However, real activists, those who gave the Bush Administration nightmares and have been severely targeted by the Texan’s restriction on civil liberties – people from MoveOn, CAP, etc. – are now being the White House’ publicists, an experienced and overeager tool for public relations towards the little remaining skeptics of the Obama Administration. The Huffington Post’s Jeremy Scahill is unambiguous in his point: for him, if war was unacceptable and a constant threat to the american people under Bush, it is now perfectly fine to push for escalation in Afghanistan, because Barack Hussein Obama said so.  Scahill details: “CAP [Center for American Progress, NdlR] has been actively pounding the pavement in support of the escalation in Afghanistan, the rebranding of the Iraq occupation and, more recently, Obama’s bloated military budget, which the group said was “on target.”

Ouch.

Has the Obama-mania gone so far into every liberal’s head we are now selling our hard-earned beliefs for the price of a cheese plate? Or has ideologies shifted towards a “better than worst” political attitude that finds justification in the name of a long lost dream – that of a trusted leadership? Scahill is not having any of it, and believes MoveOn is simply just another bunch of White House staffers with an agenda, a schedule, and a project to sell. Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI) was one of the new born organizations who spent without counting in order to push Iraq against the Republicans during the campaign, but refused at the same time to pressure and lobby the Democratic Congress – as they should – to cut off funding for the war. Playing on both sides is proof that Karl Rove did not just appeal to the neo-con side of the table, but indeed gave lessons to everyone in matters of hypocrisy, lies and deceit. But what if MoveOn had simply watered down its plan and rationalized Obama’s military strategy and taken it for what it was –  a decision that has to be made? Justifications for the war in Iraq have quickly fade within the year following Desert Storm, but I can bet you the remains of my right leg it won’t be too hard to find a decent rationale behind Afghanistan and the need for a stronger American presence, reinforced and backed up by European contingents (as Obama requested during his rock-star tour of Western Europe last week). The question remains asked as to whether MoveOn and CAP’s former anti-war pamphlets can still be associated and sold along their current pro-Afghanistan rhetoric without sounding like weathervanes in tornadoes.

Here Sustainable Security walks in. This new theory, implemented by your brand new administration, is upholding the values of peace-building and Soldier’s Creed – values, honors, ethics, protection, and the supremacy of the rule of law, walking hand in hand with the protection of national interest and world security. This is the War on Terror with a more trendy vocabulary, fashionable colors and flags, popular support, and even the approval of human rights leagues. Sustainable security means reminding Israel of Annapolis, being firmly convinced that Iraq will one day able to become self-determined, and re-affirming one’s commitment to non-proliferation. It’s a solar system away from Bush’s hardcore and obscene speeches on the necessity to draw blood to fight evil, his Crusade-themed parties at the Pentagon and regular occurances of torture scandals. Barack Obama brought modernity to the White House, but no matter how you sugarcoat it, war is still what it is: a killing machine, with civilian victims on the sidelines. We’re still happy to award points for respecting the Geneva Convention, but truth of the matter is, not having to remind anyone of the silent disaster a war brings on the involved countries and their respective population would be the best policy ever implemented.

Yes, we had relied on those think-tankers to push forward the agenda we were a little bit too fragile and too shocked to announce by ourselves. Yes, we have trusted them to be the anti-war voice for whatever it takes – but are we ready to keep on fighting someone we elected so as to not fight anymore? The answer should be a tough, unambiguous, block-lettered yes. There is no democracy without fight, and there is certainly no legitimacy without a proper opposition. Jeremy Scahill may be raining on everyone’s Obamaparade,  but he is doing so with the help of Politico’s Ben Smith, who recently reported on the very down-and-dirty relationship between those organizations and Rahm Emanuel, all regrouped in the same Common Purpose Project bed: “The Common Purpose meeting every Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol Hilton brings together the top officials from a range of left-leaning organizations, from labor groups like Change to Win to activists like MoveOn.org, all in support of the White House’s agenda. The group has an overlapping membership with a daily 8:45 a.m. call run by the Center for American Progress’ and Media Matters’ political arms; with the new field-oriented coalition Unity ’09; and with the groups that allied to back the budget as the Campaign to Rebuild and Renew America Now.”

Smith insists that Common Purpose is meant to enforce a “message discipline”, which is a coalition of words slightly too close to propaganda for comfort. “Angry liberals” trying to call more traditional liberals ones on their bullshit, like it happened before, like we described in the first paragraphs, are kept on a tight leash in order to make sure no big names are caught in the midst of the battle. Recently, a liberaliest-than-thou association asked to “Dog the Blue Dog” as a campaign against conservative Democrats, supposedly hindering the Change We Can Believe In in a desperate attempt to make change a little less… changing. In what could have been an interesting inner challenge prompting debate and progress, the White House interfered – Smith explains: “[The White House] was in the midst of discussions with members of the congressional Blue Dog caucus, and objected to the slogan, which was promptly changed, and the page describing the drive is gone from CAF [Campaign for America’s Future, a participant in the Common Purposes calls]’s website.”

It’s one thing to vote, but now that you’ve won, please sit down, boy, we don’t need any more of that violent and vehement vaucus. It’s all in good fun when your candidate is thrown out to the Republican dogs to eat and destroy, but it is less enthralling when you are actually trying to push your own agenda in the hands of those you helped get there in the first place. So, is MoveOn eating from Rahm Emanuel’s hand like there’s a cookie in it? Hamsher concludes: “There’s a big problem right now with the traditional liberal interest groups sitting on the sidelines around major issues because they don’t want to buck the White House for fear of getting cut out of the dialogue, or having their funding slashed. Someone picks up a phone, calls a big donor, and the next thing you know…the money is gone. It’s already happened. Because that’s the way Rahm plays.”

The only choice left is to become even angrier.

Advertisements