11 comments on “And The Rustbelt’s Truth-Teller Of The Year Award Goes To…

  1. Re: “does Street have anything to propose or is it just one long rant?”

    Street ended a “rant” he gave at an anti-war rally recently held in Iowa City with the following “proposals.”

    “What do we want? We want the troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. We want a major slashing of the war budget and a new level of investment in jobs, health care, environmental healing, healthy food, education, social justice. We want a politics and policy that gets behind people and justice for the many, not profit for the Few and war and poverty for the rest. We want a peace dividend. We want an end to spiritual death. We want a democratic revolution that puts people and the common
    good first, over profit and war. Fight the rich, not their wars.”

    While Street calls for a “democratic” instead of a socialist revolution, it would appear to me that advocating “put(ting) people and the common good first, over profit and war” means pretty much the same thing.


    • A rant is the least Obama deserves these days. I would submit that Street’s reason in going after the “progressive” charlatans with such vigour is to lay the basis for a genuine alternative to bourgeois politics. It’s hard to read it in any other way.


  2. Re: “If folks who voted for Obama aren’t let down and disappointed by him then why did they vote for him?”

    There are probably thousands, if not, millions, of workers, especially Black workers, who indeed feel “let down and disappointed,” starting with those who used to have “good jobs” in the auto industry. There are also, probably, thousands of young activists, many new to what passes for “politics” in this country who feel the same way, even if they’re not feeling it the same way in their pocketbooks. Those are the people who the real left needs to reach before they become so disillusioned that they either move to the phony “populism” of the right or lose interest in politics altogether. Hopefully, we can do so within the struggles that will arise against the Obama regime and its wars overseas and austerity attacks at home the more they intensify in the next few years.

    Then there are the professional rad-libs and “progressives” who have made a career out of supporting any and every Democrat and who use their influence within the various “movements” to get their audience to follow them into the Democratic party Roach Motel. Activists go in as radicals and they come out as “progressives.”

    A good deal of these burned-out baby boomers and New Left leftovers long ago not only made their peace with capitalism but made a nice living within it as well. Now have a piece of the pie, no matter how small, to protect. In the case of, say, the editors of “The Nation,” it’s not such a small piece either. So it’s only natural that they would identify with a smug yuppie like Obama, whose flowery phrases makes seeing the USA as it is today appear the “best of all possible worlds” much easier than a Bush or a McCain would. Which is why they chose to call themselves “progressives” rather than “radicals” or “socialists” they way would have done in the sixties.


  3. Street reminds me that I am not completely fucking insane. It’s funny cause my last post related to Paul Street as well.

    The sad thing is that there are some reasonably intelligent people who were ardent Obama supporters, and yet they continue to get pissed when I forward them one of Street’s articles even now, after everything he’s written has come to pass….and then some.

    “Paul can accept History’s Vindication at a time of his convenience.”

    I am not religious, but I can only reply with a hearty “Amen”!


    • Remember Robert Jensen and Ward Churchill writing after 9/11 when the whole country seemed to be insane? I felt the same way when I first read their stuff in the wake of that event that I did when I first read Street’s critique of Obama when the show was starting. “OK, let’s get on top of this thing, I’m not alone.” We had no illusions in the guy so we can’t feel disappointed. If folks who voted for Obama aren’t let down and disappointed by him then why did they vote for him?


  4. While I have also found Paul Street’s astute commentary to have been (and still be) a breath of fresh air when it comes to the Obama-mania that took in almost all of the petty-bourgeois “progressive” milleau lock, stock and barrel, Street was not alone.

    Honrorable mention should go to Glenn Ford (not the star of “The Big Heat”), Mike Davis, Doug Henwood, Alexander Cockburn and Louis Proyect. Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney not only talked the talk, but took the lonely walk as well, by running against Obama.

    And don’t forget to include yourself on that list. Of course, being Trots gave people like us a head-start. As for the “Progressives for Obama,” the biggest “I Told You So” won’t stop them from supporting the pro-war, pro-Wall Street and anti-national health care Democrats in the upcoming congressional elections…as the “lesser evil” to “fight the right.”


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