On 4 November, and in the preceding weeks, in an election that was more a referendum on George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and Barack Obama than a contest between Obama and John McCain, Americans, awarding the boy-wonder freshman senator from Illinois at least a four-year-long stay at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, invested in their first (half-)African-American president, a chief executive exponentially more inspiring and articulate than George W. Bush, authority to save the nation and the world.
Notwithstanding a few exceptions, Republicans generally bear little affinity toward organized labor; Mr. Obama, uncomfortably closely aligned with many of his Congressional compeers, revealed himself to be too friendly. To the dismay of, inter alia, Democratic patriarch George McGovern, who opined against this bill in the Wall Street Journal, then-Senator Obama promised to sign into law the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), the name of which marks the epitome of doublespeak. Fervently championed by the AFL-CIO, EFCA will severely limit workers’ right to vote to unionize — or not to — secretly, compelling them to do so publicly, which, numerous observers have warned, easily permits pressure and harassment to be directed toward those hesitant to cast their lots collectively. Hardly advocating for “Joe Six-Pack” here, Mr. Obama has uncloaked his allegiance to the entrenched moneyed apparatchiki who masquerade as noble crusaders for blue-collar America.
Senator Obama, who, contrary to his promise to vote to repeal the USA PATRIOT Act, offered a “Yea” in support of renewing this heinous, totalitarian legislation, again, this summer, evinced his disinterest in protecting our Constitutionally guaranteed liberties, as well as his willingness to elevate political expedience above principle, by proffering his support for the FISA “compromise”, seriously consternating civil libertarians and his progressive base.
Having maintained seemingly consistent opposition to the American occupation of Iraq, the senator from Hyde Park presented himself as the antiwar alternative. Again, beyond the great chimera that is Obama the Exulted lies a harrowing truth: President Obama will not take employing military force to dispose of a particularly belligerent Iran “off of the table”. Had Senator Obama pledged this to another audience, one might rightly praise him for exercising the prudence required not to eliminate any option; addressed to AIPAC, an organization infamous for influencing heavily our pernicious, one-sided Middle East policy, this comment only further conveys that, behind the smokescreen, the Obama administration offers little change of which to speak, regardless of the cultish repetition of this refrain.
A critic of what has amounted to the violation of Iraqi sovereignty, Obama nevertheless proclaimed that, were the government in Islamabad not to cooperate adequately, he would authorize, as President Bush, in the inchoate post-Musharraf era, has, American troops to disregard Pakistani sovereignty to eradicate any al-Qaeda operatives dwelling in the wilds within that nation’s borders. Again, change this is not.
Excepting support for EFCA, John McCain espouses all of these detrimental positions. He does so more recklessly than does President-elect Obama; however, a Republican president, even one as inclined toward bipartisanship as Mr. McCain, would face intense opposition from a heavily Democratic Congress. Having catapulted Barack Obama from his entering the Illinois State Senate to the White House in just more than a decade, the Democratic Party risks much by dissenting from the Oval Office; President McCain’s imperialistic tendencies, thwarted by the legislature, may well become President Obama’s “successes”.
Prepare yourself, America: This time, the devil may snatch Faust before God can intervene.