Why Think Obama Different Than Bush?

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Naturally, Obama has emphasized his own pet schemes, but on the big matters having to do with the structure and reach of the state and empire, why would anyone have voted for Obama thinking that he’d institute serious change? I ask that after reading Glenn Greenwald’s article on Obama’s FBI chief appointment, which once again adds to the solidification of  Bush’s illegal behavior and the disappointment in certain quarters. Why? These people had the wrong models of Obama’s behavior, and so they predicted and expected outcomes that Obama has not supplied. Some thought that a Democrat would behave differently from a Republican on a range of “national security” and bill of rights issues. This was wrong. Others thought that Obama’s promises were ones he meant to keep. Not so. Others thought that a black man would behave differently in the White House. They were wrong. Some could not see that Obama was conning them, and so they were wrong. Some thought that Obama was strong enough to resist pressures from various quarters. This was wrong. Others thought that Obama would resist the lure of power. Fat chance. What actually has happened is that Obama was vetted as a candidate for emperor, became elected emperor, and has behaved as an emperor. What actually has happened is that he has sought to hold and enhance the powers of the imperial presidency. The best model was to view Obama as a “man of empire”. This is a man strongly committed to power and wielding power, on behalf of the American state and the American empire and on behalf of the interests behind it. Shrinkage of the emperor’s powers and the empire’s domain are not predicted by this model. Some thought that since Obama was a constitutional lawyer, he’d understand and respect the Constitution. Not so. Rights of U.S. citizens are distinctly secondary in his value scheme in the “man of empire” model, whereas stability and order within the Empire’s home territory are paramount.

9:10 am on June 1, 2013