It incorporates a trite Good Cop/Bad Cop gimmick so unoriginal that it should have lost its ability to fool people by the time Dragnet went off the air last century. But since this hackneyed device retains its uncanny ability to fool most of the people some of the time, or at least some of the people all of the time, the propaganda hacks will only give up their tried and true technique over your dead bodies.
Here's the newest version of the stale corporate plot:
President Obama and his boys and girls in blue (as in Dog) join forces with a group of out-of-control, sadistic, and eminently useful Republican renegades to sweep up a huge swath of the tired, the poor, and the massively huddled in an indiscriminate budgetary dragnet.
Obama and the Democrats then play Good Cop, pretending to want to help the same people they've just arrested, bringing them a rickety folding chair to sit on, a few liberal crumbs from the rusted-out vending machine down the hall, promises of a better tomorrow, tomorrow -- if they will only cooperate with the authorities, and give up Grandma and Grandpa as part of a Grand Plea Bargain. It seems the ultimate goal of Sequestration was always to forcibly wean people from their anti-capitalist addiction to Social Security and Medicare.
Obama lieutenant Gene Sperling admitted as much on the Sunday talk shows. The kids being kicked out of Head Start are the unfortunate but necessary decoys being used to entrap the real criminals: seniors greedily sucking up all that medical care, and daring to collect on the retirement insurance programs they've paid into all of their working lives. Regular people could be rendered so much more lucrative if only Wall Street could get its lunch-hooks onto the great social programs of the 30s and 60s.
The Republicans, meanwhile, perform their role of Bad Cop with abandon. They offer no deals. Instead, they flagrantly wield their whips, their chains, their brass knuckles, their vocal derision. They don't even bother pretending they're not under the direct control of the plutocrats. They don't attempt to hide the relish with which they will grind the poor, the tired, the huddled masses into one giant steaming puddle of bug-splat.
Obama and the good cops, of course, are not taking the humane course of simply letting their special victims go free without any punishment or further ado. For the foreseeable future, the collateral damage will remain sequestered in the holding cell of austerity.
As the New York Times reports, the Good Cop Democrats and the Bad Cop Republicans have agreed to extend funding for the federal government at the post-sequester level, i.e., minus $85 billion, until the end of the current fiscal year (Sept. 30) “most likely allow(ing) the across-the-board spending reductions to remain in place for months if not years.”
In other words, an open-ended jail sentence for those caught up in the indiscriminate dragnet, with only the faintest hope for parole. Meanwhile, the too-big-to-fail banks are not only immune from prosecution, they are still being gifted with billions of dollars in backdoor bailouts, paid for by the very same people who are being victimized all over again by Sequestration.
So, where is the outrage? Oh, I forgot. Good Cop Obama really, really feels for the victims. He calls their punishment "dumb" at press conferences far away from scene of the crime. He is not, he says, a dictator, so what can he do? But meanwhile, you can donate to his legacy-burnishing
Meanwhile, freeze! Put your hands in the air, legs wide apart, anything you say or do will be used against you, and if you don't have a lawyer or a lobbyist, tough shit. You're all under arrest.