Hey, Sierra Club: There’s a giant flaming ball of oil being pushed straight for the coasts of Alabama and Mississippi. Might be the worst environmental event in decades. I know it makes the President’s recent decision to allow offshore drilling look. . . well, awkwardly timed, but this is, sort of, you know, your issue, and there’s no mention of it on your landing page. Was it not on the agenda at the Tuesday afternoon veal pen meeting?
Shortly after Obama took office, the White House tried to cut Social Security benefits, but they had to back off, fearful that they would lose the support of liberal interest groups who joined together en masse behind the scenes to oppose it. The administration subsequently herded them all into a room, threatened their funding, and captivated them in an effort to pass a health care bill written by the Heritage Foundation and the insurance industry. And the progressive groups went along with it, proving that there is absolutely no limit to what they’ll accept.
Of course, the White House is going to go after Social Security again. It’s the pot of gold at the end of Wall Street’s rainbow, and they desperately want that injection of cash which could keep their giant ponzi scheme from exploding. . . for a little while.
Lucky for them, Obama has successfully dismantled the opposition that kept George Bush from privatizing Social Security at Wall Street’s behest only a few years ago. Did anybody fail to get that message when majority whip Dick Durbin yesterday told “bleeding heart liberals” that they need to be willing to accept cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits for the economic well-being of the nation?
And there will be zero pushback. Right now liberal interest groups are afraid to oppose Elana Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court because they fear Obama will triangluate against them and they’ll look impotent to their donors. Just as the choice groups sat on their hands for the Nelson amendment in the health care bill, just like the Sierra Club remains mute in the wake of an oil spill the size of Delaware, there will be nothing more than progressive window-dressing in opposition to cutting Social Security benefits this time around. Any of these groups utter so much as a whimper in response to Durbin’s very alarming statement yesterday? Nada. Zip. Zero.
The idea that the right is more “authoritarian” and top-down than the left is absurd. Conservatives successfully organized to keep Harriet Miers off the bench for having an insufficient record, they kicked Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist out, and they’re getting ready to expel Bob Bennett — very much against the will of the party. The GOP had to get on board or lose the support of their base. Meanwhile, Democratic leadership still celebrates Joe Lieberman every day, rubbing our noses in it for ever having had the audacity to challenge him in the first place.
John Pilger presciently predicted this liberal capitulation to corporate America in May of 2008:
An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US antiwar and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent.
And, as Paul Street noted last fall:
[I]n the absence of meaningful anger and protest on the left, the dodgy Republican right wing and its still-potent “noise machine” is absurdly left to soak up and express much of the legitimate “populist rage” that ordinary Americans quite naturally feel over Washington’s continuing captivity to concentrated wealth, corporate-direction, and the military-industrial complex in the Age of Obama. Resentment abhors a vacuum.
Congratulations progressives, our already weakened institutions have finally tumbled. BP, this year’s Exxon-Mobil, is spared the PR nightmare of their own Exxon-Valdez-sized disaster this time around. As we watch that flaming ball of oil make its way to the coasts of Alabama and Mississippi our corrupt environmental groups do nothing about their signature issue that might make the White House uncomfortable.
I think it’s safe to say that the progressive movement’s resistance to the agenda of corporate America is officially dead.
Update: Jim White notes that the Sierra Club now has the oil spill on its front page. Because it’s been what, 11 days since it started? I mean, what’s the hurry.