Friday, November 11, 2016

All On the Same Fascist Team

The swiftness with which Barack Obama and the rest of the media-political complex are normalizing the Trump succession and welcoming this depraved man into their cozy inner circle is indicative of one inconvenient truth. This is already a fascist country, and it has been at least since the early 1950s, when the right wing started attacking the New Deal, the surveillance/war state became the fourth branch of government, and Richard Nixon's racist Southern Strategy paved the way for the reactionary New Democrat movement led by Bill Clinton.

The only difference is that Trump's brand of fascism doesn't have the traditional filter, which has enabled glib politicians from Reagan to Obama to put a friendly face on things for purposes of fooling some of the people most of the time, or most of the people some of the time. For too long, we've been conned into believing that this is a representative democracy.

If there is one positive thing to be said about the Trump presidency, it is that the con is dead. If the wool hasn't already been removed from 330 million pairs of American eyes, it will be soon enough.

Barack Obama was able to welcome Donald Trump so easily to the White House on Thursday because the nasty words spewed in this election had all been mainly for show. Obama even admitted that he and Donald are essentially on the same side, that governance is a sporting event, an "intramural scrimmage" between two cohesive factions of the same duopolistic team.

Grotesquely ignoring and insulting the thousands of protesters now marching in the streets, many of them Latinos and African-Americans and Muslims who are now more afraid than ever for their very lives, Obama launched into the same conciliatory pandering that's been his style ever since he won office in 2008 with a super-majority in both houses of Congress. He once again sickeningly caved in the service of the oligarchy by remarking that if Trump succeeds, America succeeds. "America," of course, is code for the ruling class.
And that's why I'm confident that this incredible journey that we're on as Americans will go on.  And I am looking forward to doing everything that I can to make sure that the next President is successful in that.  I have said before, I think of this job as being a relay runner -- you take the baton, you run your best race, and hopefully, by the time you hand it off you're a little further ahead, you've made a little progress.  And I can say that we've done that, and I want to make sure that handoff is well-executed, because ultimately we're all on the same team.
The New York Times, which only the other day was lashing out at Donald Trump's ugly rhetoric, has already done a near-180 since his victory. The paper of record, which also functions as the propaganda mouthpiece of whomever is in charge at any given time, enthused that Obama and Trump, if not exactly enveloped in an instant bromance, at least succeeded in breaking the ice on their first blind date. Their mutual, man-spreading admiration society spoke volumes.

  Everybody was ever so civil about the whole transition-of-power thing. Michelle and Melania had a dainty tea for two. Trump took in the view of the Washington Monument and unsurprisingly gushed out his admiration for the nation's great phallic symbol.

Barack Obama, of course, was well-prepared for the emergence of Donald Trump. That is because he personally helped orchestrate the emergence of Donald Trump.

He saw him coming more than a decade ago, and even then, he welcomed him with open arms. 

It would have benefited neither him nor the Citigroup bankers with whom he was collaborating to actually prevent Donald Trump. Why would they? They knew full well that the working class destruction caused by wage-suppressing global trade deals and the weaponized corporate coups known as CIA regime changes and all-out wars would give rise to social unrest and mass hardship on a global scale.

Back when Barack Obama was still the callow junior senator from Illinois, he was guest of honor at a new Wall Street-funded offshoot of the Brookings Institution, dubbed the Hamilton Project.  Effusively praising corporate globalization, offshoring, deregulation, profits for the few and austerity for the many, he casually remarked that millions of people would be victimized in the process.

In words that make Hillary Clinton's own paid speeches to Wall Street seem mild in comparison, Obama warned his enthusiastic plutocratic hosts of the inevitable populist backlash to their greed. He did not, however, warn them to cease and desist. He only suggested that they prepare themselves for looming social upheavals. And he assured them, in no uncertain terms, that he wanted to be an integral part, parcel and beneficiary of their neoliberal Hamilton Project and the continuing destruction of the working class. In the event of any populist backlash occurring or a strongman arising during his own hoped-for presidency, he would always have their backs.

It was Obama's de facto audition to star as the Democratic presidential nominee. His hosts simply wanted a guarantee that the politician with the golden voice who'd so inspired the nation at the 2004 party convention was still totally on board with their greed program.

Obama's appearance at the inauguration of the Hamilton Project took place two and a half years before the 2008 financial meltdown, and more than a decade before the election of Donald J. Trump. And he was nothing if not prescient, telling the bankers:
 Just remember, as we move forward, that there are real consequences to the work we are doing doing here. There are people in places like Decatur, Illinois and Galesburg, Illinois who have seen their jobs eliminated. They have lost their health care. They have lost their retirement security. They don't have a clear sense of how their children will succeed in the same way they succeeded. They believe that this may be the first generation in which their children will do worse than they do. Some of that, then, will end up manifesting itself in the sort of nativist sentiment, protectionism and anti-immigration sentiment that we are debating here in Washington. So there are real consequences to the work that is being done here. This is not a bloodless process.
People will get bloodied, people will lose their jobs, people will see their wages stagnate, people will suffer and die prematurely -- but as long as Wall Street keeps its avaricious eyes on the prize, the "real consequence" of what turned out to be right wing Trumpism will have been ultimately worth it, both to Barack and all his new buddies:
I think that as long as all of us retain the sense of passion about the ultimate outcome that we want, a stronger more prosperous America than we are passing on to our children, then I think we will do well in this process. I am glad to be a part of it.
That Obama ultimately kept his promise to the plutocracy is all the more grotesque, given the Wall Street meltdown and mass hardships and unemployment and foreclosures that "we" allegedly never saw coming. He kept his promise by refusing to prosecute the oligarchs who made the whole mess and rewarding them with a bailout --  because these were the psychopathic friends who'd rammed through deregulation and bankrolled his own rise to power.

In that now-infamous private Oval Office speech he gave to cowed and cowering banksters in 2009, Obama boasted that he was the only thing protecting them from the pitchfork-wielding rabble. Nobody would lose a bonus. Nobody would go to prison. He more than kept the promise he'd made to the Hamilton Project three years earlier as his own price of admission to the highest office in the land.

It was during the same inaugural Hamilton Project meeting at the Brookings  Institution that Obama had also promised to couple corporate global coups with the continued Democratic unraveling of the New Deal, begun by the Clintons during their administration. Obama euphemized the privatization of the Social Security long desired by Wall Street as "too many of us (Democrats) defending programs as they were written in 1938."

"People often ask me how I keep my idealism," he cynically bragged to his potential backers.

He vowed that working class jobs would be destroyed, and that the working class would then have to endure reduced retirement incomes and other punishments, all in the service of the plutonomy. If the oligarchs succeeded, then Barack Obama would succeed right along with them.

It was only the Monica Lewinsky scandal that had prevented Bill Clinton from at least partially privatizing Social Security in his second term. And it was only the Tea Party that prevented Obama from finalizing his own "Grand Bargain" of Medicare and Social Security cuts with House Speaker John Boehner during his first term. When that planned assault on the working class failed, Obama humorously groused that Boehner had "left him at the altar."

Ironically, Donald Trump's election is what could preclude any further "bipartisan" cuts to the safety net by deposed empress Hillary Clinton and Speaker Paul Ryan. Democrats are always more prone to raise a ruckus when the presidential cutter and slasher is not a member of their own party. And perhaps luckily for us, Trump is not as gifted at talking from both sides of his mouth as Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan before him. When and if Trump tries anything dodgy with Medicare and Social Security, he simply won't have the requisite verbal and intellectual skills to fool people into thinking that starvation is actually good for them.

Ultimately, even Obama's legendary glibness and personal popularity have not been enough to protect his legacy through a Clinton restoration. Try as he might, he couldn't delay the "not-bloodless process" until after he was safely out of office, long enough to start raking in the big bucks for his own family foundation slush fund and for the building of an obscene billion-dollar library shrine to himself in Chicago. He won't have the requisite political influence, because he won't have the Clintons as his White House partners. His personal neoliberal Hamilton project may be on the skids, if not a complete wreck. Potential donors, currently in a frenzy of swallowing their liberal pride for purposes of that smooth, successful transition to a more unfriendly fascism, might end up pragmatically deciding that it would behoove them to grovel before the new president instead. 

Maybe Obama can get a gig where he'll feel more at home.The Hamilton Project at Brookings might be an ideal, permanent and lucrative fit, especially since he plans to stay in Washington so that younger daughter Sasha can continue her pricey private high school career without being rudely upended like so many thousands of her evicted American peers.

After all, the Silicon Valley billionaire (Peter Thiel) reportedly heading Donald Trump's transition team also sits on the oligarchic advisory board of the Hamilton Project, as do former Obama Treasury Secretary and current vulture capitalist Timothy Geithner, Obama Catfood Commissioners Laura D'Andrea Tyson and Alice Rivlin, and billionaire Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg  and her Clintonoid mentors Larry Summers and Robert Rubin.

It's a small world in a small-minded intramural town. When they succeed, they all succeed.

So keep on marching, Citizens. But please don't restrict yourselves to Trump Tower. Be sure to include K Street, and the Brookings Institution, and Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup in your busy itineraries. Donald Trump is only the ruling establishment's latest, most hideous placeholder.

"I am upset with those who prefer to remain spectators until it may be too late. I am shocked by those who seem to believe - in Anne Morrow Lindbergh's words of 1940 - that 'there is no fighting the wave of the future' and all you can do is 'leap with it.' I am appalled by those who stiffly maintain that nothing can be done until things get worse or the system can be changed." -- Bertram Gross, Friendly Fascism.


Pearl said...

Fine article Karen. I have received many great ones as well from various organizations and people who pledge to continue fighting the system and they outnumber the ones who voted for Trump.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and when I saw her she was in a Canadian rage about the happenings in the U.S. I then asked her, since she was a medically educated person whether or not she thought as I have, that he is schizophrenic. She immediately agreed. Do people realize we have a president in office who is mentally ill, with full blown paranoia and delusions as well as senseless and possibly dangerous decisions to problems he must deal with?
Unhinged is the only public comment I have heard on this topic and wonder what others think and wonder to themselves how this can be handled correctly.

Erik Roth said...

Samuel Johnson said:

"Don't think about retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire.
I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl.
Let him come out as I do, and bark."

Actually, I think the time has come to bite.

Pearl said...

Veterans Against the War: 11 Perspectives on Ending US Imperialism
Friday, 11 November 2016 00:00

By Rory Fanning, Truthout | Op-Ed

This is a lengthy but very important and inspiring article from the veterans of wars that taught them something that we can learn from. An Issue that one cannot trust Trump with.

annenigma said...

I wouldn't worry about Trump's mental state. The Deep State takes care of those things.

The time between the election and the inauguration is when Presidents-Elect are vetted by the Deep State while receiving their scare briefings meant to overwhelm them into submission. The President-Elect must pass muster, and I'm certain they've got the psychological manipulation down to a science. Trump might be easier than Obama, who's quite the pussycat, so Trump might be their ideal. If that's the case, they'll protect him very well and I'm sure that's part of the deal, whether it's spoken or not. It's a deal rigged for them to always win. I wonder if the great deal maker will see through it or succumb to the lure of secret, unfettered power as President Peace Prize did.

President Peace Prize did a complete about-face immediately after he was elected. He got his briefings and he evidently signaled his willingness to go along with the program, and he went to the dark side. Trump is a special case though because he's an outsider and might not be controllable enough for them. That could make him dangerous to the 'national interest'.

So if (1) Trump doesn't signal that he's going to play nice with the MIC to continue engaging in and expanding wars for Empire (something he campaigned against), and if (2) Obama believes HIS OWN WORDS about Trump being dangerously unfit for the Presidency and should never have his finger on the nuclear trigger, (3) then Trump will be on The List based on national security risks.

The CIA no longer has to go rogue to get the work done as in the past. Obama reversed prior Executive Orders that prohibited assassinations so now there's precedence and it's all secret and 'legal'. Obama found his new drug in this power and it has become his modus operandi in his stealth wars. He selects his targets personally but outsources the wet work.

So here's how the Deep State handles it. They run a sting and recruit a mentally ill man and carefully wipe out all traces of him to them. The CIA and FBI are both experienced at this. They provide him with the means and set up the opportunity.

I don't know about Donald Trump's mental state, but I do know President Obama's moral and ethical state when he gave himself and ALL future Presidents unprecedented executive power to assassinate even American citizens AND to deploy the military on American soil against American citizens among other abuses of power. WHY did Obama do such things knowing that future Presidents would inherit those powers and he was setting precedent? Besides going to the dark side, he was also CERTAIN that Hillary Clinton would be the next President. What a comfort that must have been to him that she would take his place. No war crimes charges! After all, she was fully involved and complicit.

What a feat the voters pulled off by staying quiet about how they were intending to vote. I don't know about elsewhere, but I didn't see a single bumper sticker or yard sign for either Clinton or Trump. No one spoke openly about who they were going to vote for. They simply condemned them both. So we now have a situation where the Deep State was caught with their pants down. If they had known Trump would win, he could have faced some real serious 'challenges'.

Now it just so happens that violent anti-Trump demonstrators are providing a nice pool of candidates for possible CIA or FBI sting recruitments, if needed. I wonder why President Peace Prize isn't condemning or at least discouraging the violence - in the name of Peace.

FYI: 'The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama'

Michael Stivic said...


It was the big bullshitter Obama pretending to be a Messiah and solving all the world's problems that led to the election of the Fascist Trump the Chump. If Obama ran a McDonalds, it would lose money.

Just smoke some good weed all the time like I am for the next 4 years to get through it.

Jamie said...

I don't agree with this article. Obama armed Nazi groups in the Ukraine for the purpose of regime change two months before an election. This was overt fascism with no filter. Just because the news media didn't report this war crime, doesn't mean it wasn't a blatant expression of fascism.

Anonymous said...

Karen, you had a video of a black woman talking about Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, etc. earlier today. I would like to see that video again. Could you please give the URL?

Zee said...


My observations match yours. During the entire silly season, I saw perhaps one Trump-Pence bumper sticker, perhaps less than a handful of Clinton-Kaine stickers, NO Trump-Pence lawn signs, and only one for Clinton. There WERE quite a few bumper stickers and lawn signs for Gary Johnson though, and I even saw one for Jill Stein.

Never having had an opinion that I felt obligated to keep to myself, with some trepidation I put two bumper stickers on each of my two cars: "Hillary-4-Prison, 2016" and "Nobody for President, 2016."

To my amazement, nobody "keyed" my cars, nor gave me "the finger." Instead, I got lots of smiles, waves and "thumbs-up."

Yes, I think that people were doing a very good job of keeping their presidential preferences close to their vests.

It is, perhaps, significant that my little Honda Fit was totaled at the end of September when we were at a dead stop for a red light and were "rear-ended" at maybe 50 mph by a drug-impared driver: Mrs. Zee's theory is that she was just trying to get close enough to read our political statements.

Neil said...

Thanks Karen for this post.

In my view the United States has been a fascist state since before the signing of the slavery constitution on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia. Middle-class and working people who now long for the good old days likely grew up in the post-WWII prosperity of the 1950's and the 1960's. The post-WWII economic surge made it seem like the USA was a great democracy, even while our African-American brothers and sisters were subject to Jim Crow laws and other racist policies. The post-WWII prosperity was extended for awhile by various schemes, but it's over now unless you have a unique and valuable skill. Or are a political insider.

See this article on SOA watch, out-take below,

"Every nation has a creation myth, or origin myth, which is the story people are taught of how the nation came into being. Ours says the United States began with Columbus's so-called "discovery" of America, continued with settlement by brave Pilgrims, won its independence from England with the American Revolution, and then expanded westward until it became the enormous, rich country you see today."

"That is the origin myth. It omits three key facts about the birth and growth of the United States as a nation. Those facts demonstrate that White Supremacy is fundamental to the existence of this country."

The USA needs major truth and reconciliation.

voice-in-wilderness said...

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Fascism, sexism, racism, whitelash....unh-uh. It's the class war, stupid.

"I think Hillary lost because she was on the wrong side of the class war. From the beginning of their political careers, the Clintons have been on the side of the one-percent against the rest of us, regardless of gender or skin color. Her allegiance to Wall Street finally blew up in her face."

Anonymous said...

Fascism is a byproduct of hypercapitalism -- for modern American purposes it can be also described as extreme corporatism. Under previous administrations, it's operated as "friendly fascism" or "inverted totalitarianism" -- because the reign of capitalism is not under a dictatorial ruler or autocrat, but rather contained in a public-private consortium which runs national and state governments,(as in ALEC) with the allowance of occasional democratic elections to give it the proper aura.

Trump brings the added treats of bigotry and demagogy and greed that is not disguised at all, to what is still left of our democracy. Surprising that he is so late to the game, but then again we've had politicians like Reagan and Obama to put a folksy or intellectual veneer on the breakdown of democracy. Moreover, Hillary beat Trump by an amazing million or so in the popular vote. So he was very, very lucky to have had an opponent nearly as loathed as himself.

More on capitalism, the class war, and fascism from Noam Chomsky:

Pearl said...

An interesting comment to a NYTimes article about Trump.

Melbourne, Australia

My prediction is that Trump, used to total power, control, freedom and magalomania as a business mogul will discover to his horror that he has less freedom and power as the President. Perceived power but in reality for him less. Because he has no experience or skills as a politician he doesn't realize all the compromises, schmoozing and networking that needs to be navigated and juggled as well as constant scrutiny and criticism in addition to having to please the minions! He will discover that this is not what he signed up for. The negatives of the job for him will far outweigh the status positives. This should happen relatively quickly.

"Of service to the people" is in reality the opposite of what turns him on. He's had his ego stoked by being elected but pretty soon, after the 50th advisor says you can't do this because of these 1,000 reasons, he'll get jack of it and want to bail. It should drive him nuts. He's not used to being second-guessed, every decision debated ad nauseum and every decision criticised by the media and the minions.

A lifetime politician on the other hand would be grateful and appreciative of the bureaucratic power and know how to negotiate the power; Trump will see it as a horrific straitjacket strangling the life out of him.
He's going from being one man doing what he wants with impunity answering to no-one to a mammoth, ginormous bureaucracy!

Ste-vo said...

I don't care anymore. It is all about class, always has been. My wife used to take our dog, Hester, the Molester, for a walk/run in the afternoon. I always do the morning and will now be doing the afternoon. I also plan to increase my distance swimming from my current 72 - 84 laps, depending on how many people are waiting, to at least 100. Life gives you opportunities to make yourself a better person. 8 November 2016 was one of those opportunities. I was a zombie by 10:00 PM-ish that fateful night, and on Wednesday, nothing really happened, I kinda floated through the day. And then I said, enough of this BS - F..K AmeriKa. I don't care anymore.