Sunday, December 12, 2010

Banishing the demons of the Bush years

I've been shifted by Obama's stance on the tax cuts. I've lost some faith that I still had in him. There are those who have told me it was irrational, like my sweetie! (hi hon, sorry!) but dang it, I thought hope was something. That we could clean up some of the Bush mess. That we could get things heading in the right direction. More FDR than JFK...

With that in mind, a killer essay on Al Jazeera by Jamal Elshayyal about the British student rioting, as the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats triple tuition. Nick Clegg is the head of the Lib-Dems for this election; a young well spoken telegenic fellow. He's now in coalition government with the Tories.

During New Labour's time in office, Blair's government also increased university fees - the man who had set out "Education, Education, Education" as his election campaign heading - tripled the cost of those who wanted to continue in higher education.

Back then, students also marched against the proposals. Their demonstrations were also largely peaceful. Blair was consistent in his governing of Britain - he ignored them too.

Those two decisions (invading Iraq and trebling tuition fees) are arguably the single most important issues which brought about the collapse of New Labour.

Fast forward a few years and it's 2010. You have a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. The Lib Dems brought into power to prop up a Tory government without whom it wouldn't posses a working parliamentary majority.

As with New Labour, the Lib Dems are lead by a "young and dynamic leader" - Mr Nick Clegg. He too used the right to education prominently in his election campaign.

In fact, in the run up to last May's parliamentary elections, the Liberal Democrats categorically stated that they would oppose ANY increase in university tuition fees. Furthermore they cosied up to the National Union of Students, and canvassed across university campuses. There is no doubting that the student vote won the Lib Dems several seats in parliament.

But power is a dirty, dirty thing. It gets to the mind and eats at the soul. No sooner had Mr Clegg, champion of the students, the man who would "keep the Tories in check" become deputy prime minister, than he forgot his most important campaign pledge.

That last paragraph's opening lines... "Power is a dirty, dirty thing. It gets to the mind and eats at the soul." Got me to thinking about President Obama.

I think Obama did think he could make more change than he has. But I think that mesmerizing corruption and power play of the Bush years has left an actual evil residue in the White House. Dick Cheney's subterranean sojurns - as he met in the underworld of NORAD with nuclear djinns, making dark pacts to destroy the Constitution and spill blood for his oily overlords.

So - how has the Obama administration gotten to this point? Did they fall for the blandishments of power - the secret power that Bush and Cheney built? (For that matter, did all of that secret power transfer? Are there agents still taking Dick's orders?) I can see Barrack falling for the Faust thing - making a deal with the devil for a shot at something he thinks he sees, but his ambition blinds him, and he falls deeper into the thrall of these underworldly Princes of the Dark.

No comments: