Obama – Bill Clinton 2?

Since Barrack Obama was elected, it’s been almost criminal to be pessimistic or question whether he is going to make a radical change in America. The mainstream media is, as usual, largely responsible for this just as before the invasion of Iraq when it made it virtually insane to question whether the invasion was immoral or illegal. Added to Obama’s obvious talent as a speaker, his intelligence and the fact that he’s the USA’s first black president, it’s easy to understand why there’s a lot of hope and expectation.

Whether Obama will make a difference depends on how high your standards are. If you compare him to one of America’s most notable black heroes like Martin Luther King for example, then Obama will undoubtedly disappoint. King spoke out against the immorality of the war in Vietnam, and state terrorism in general, in a way that Obama wouldn’t even dare in Iraq. King demanded an immediate withdrawal of troops from Vietnam. In contrast, when questioned on Iraq, Obama will invariably be evasive saying that he will consult his Chief of Staff and Commanders on the front-line as he did on 60 minutes a few days ago. He would never even dream of saying that the invasion was illegal – which is a simple fact based on international law – let alone immoral. On Israel, he’s now silent on the Palestinian cause despite criticizing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land when he was a senator in Chicago.

If however you measure Obama against someone like Bill Clinton then you’ll probably be delighted with what’s in store. Just as George Bush filled his administration with leftover Republicans from the last Republican government (and even Reagan administration) it seems Obama is doing the same with his new government. Unbelievably, it’s rumoured that he’s going to offer the Secretary of State job to Hillary Clinton which surely shows a hugely disappointing lack of imagination and a worrying sign of what to expect from Obama. Whats more, he has confirmed that even Republicans will make it into his administration with candidates rumoured to be Colin Powell and yes, John McCain. Is this proof not, if proof need be, that the Democrats and Republicans are so ideologically similar, it’s a farce to call it a democratic election?

It has to be remembered that whoever Obama appoints, any kind of rollback to the Clinton years would not be a “step-forward” for America. It would be a modest improvement on the mess America is already in but it would take a lunatic not be able to achieve that. How successful you regard Obama will depend on where your standards lie.


7 thoughts on “Obama – Bill Clinton 2?

  1. Comparing a civil rights leader and a politician is never going to be a fair comparison. I think you might be right but he is not yet in post…so hold on a second. Also democracy of any kind gets in the way of good governance.

  2. jeesh – he doesn’t even start for two months. give him a chance.besides, there’s a far greater betrayal of democracy happening in the world which i’d hope you lot in the ‘blogosphere’ might not be afraid to take on, and that’s the news that john sargeant has ‘quit’ celebrity come dancing for being too popular. this wouldn’t have happened even under the worst excesses of stalin.

  3. “Democracy of any kind gets in the way of good governance”. It sounds like a Francoist slogan. Democracy of any kind also gets in the way of bad governance which is supposed to be the main reason Obama got elected.Soft Mick, I had no idea John Sargeant had done that. Maybe Obama should bear that in mind when he’s sworn in.

  4. oh Nick..what are you trying to say…that I am a facist…how cruel. I think you missed my point, which is my cynicism of the function of democracy. As you know I have experience of it in the work I have done.

  5. No I know you’re not a fascist mate. I think what you’re saying is the current structure of democracies in the West is highly flawed encouraging top down rule instead of bottom up? I’d agree with that.Soft Mick, regarding John Sargeant again, I think he’s a rare example of a reality TV star with dignity by pulling out. He knew the public were having a laugh by voting him in every week and he’s had the last laugh. It would be great to see him go back into political reporting now.

  6. I am also saying that long term solutions to the big problems that the world faces can never be achieved in a term of Government…thus Government shy away from them. Also so many of the big issues…development and the environment are not exactly top choice for the voter thus Government will avoid them. Case in point being the Climate Change Bill. If annual targets are not set..no Government will truely tackle a target for 2050. As to do so will prove very unpopular and cause a loss in the opinion polls. Simplistic I know but I could go on!!!

  7. That’s true. It would be better if there were certain policies – such as environmental policy – that were enshrined by law and continued to be followed despite the changes in government. I guess the point is, the democracy we live in is highly flawed. It needs rethinking and restructuring to adapt it to the huge global problems that we face today.

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