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US ELECTION SEASON December 31, 2010

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
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The usual suspects are rounding up to run the race to be president of the uber power, an entity reduced to killing because it can. The CNN poll has bad news and good news.

CNN reports:

Washington (CNN) – As the start of the next presidential campaign nears, a new national poll suggests that President Barack Obama’s tax-cut compromise with congressional Republicans did not hurt his standing among Democrats, while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may be dropping in the eyes of Republicans.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday, 78 percent of Democrats questioned in the poll say they want to see Obama at the top of their party’s ticket in 2012, with only 19 percent saying they would prefer someone else as the Democratic presidential nominee. The 19 percent figure is the lowest figure since March, when the question was first asked.
Full results (pdf)

Many liberal Democrats opposed the tax rate compromise because it included provisions that helped the wealthy. Although previously released numbers indicate the president’s approval rating among self-described liberals dropped from 79 percent in November to 72 percent in December, the survey suggests that when it comes to the next presidential election, the tax deal may not be hurting him with the progressive wing of the party.
“Among liberal Democrats, 85 percent say they want to see the party re-nominate Obama in 2012,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Among moderate Democrats, his support is almost that high.”
In the battle for the GOP presidential nomination, the survey suggests Palin may have some work to do if she throws her hat in the ring. Only 49 percent of Republicans say that they are likely to support Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008 for the Republican nomination in 2012.
“That’s a huge 18-point drop since December of 2008, when two-thirds of GOPers said they were likely to support Palin. It also puts her well behind potential rivals Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, and a bit behind Newt Gingrich as well,” adds Holland.
Two-thirds of Republicans questioned say they would likely support Huckabee as their nominee in 2012. The former Arkansas governor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate is considering another bid for the White House. So is another candidate from the last election, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans say they would likely support Romney. That number drops to 54 percent for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who is also contemplating a run for the White House.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 17-19, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points

Change was a good marketing slogan, but structural change will take a little longer, if there is time. I suppose it takes time for a new agenda to cohere and take shape. Still the support for President Obama is extraordinary on their face. Perhaps it is just another evidence for the proposition that what does not get reported does not register. You have an assault on legal rights, the crimes of the Afghanistan War, the habitual use of torture, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and according to this poll, Obama is riding high.

The rhetoric of the American Republic has changed over the past 50 years. Paul Craig Roberts notes:

In a speech to the Newspaper Publishers Association in 1961, President Kennedy said:

“No president should fear public scrutiny of his program, for from that scrutiny comes understanding, and from that understanding comes support or opposition; and both are necessary. . . . Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed, and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian law makers once decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment.”

The press is not protected, Kennedy told the newspaper publishers, in order that it can amuse and entertain, emphasize the trivial, or simply tell the public what it wants to hear. The press is protected so that it can find and report facts and, thus, inform, arouse “and sometimes even anger public opinion.”

In a statement unlikely to be repeated by an American president, Kennedy told the newspaper publishers: “I’m not asking your newspapers to support an administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people, for I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.”

The America of Kennedy’s day and the America of today are two different worlds. In America today the media are expected to lie for the government in order to prevent the people from finding out what the government is up to. If polls can be believed, Americans brainwashed and programmed by O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh want Bradley Manning and Julian Assange torn limb from limb for informing Americans of the criminal acts of their government. Politicians and journalists are screeching for their execution.

President Kennedy told the Newspaper Publishers Association that “it is to the printing press, the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news, that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: Free and Independent.” Who can imagine a Bill Clinton, a George W. Bush, or a Barack Obama saying such a thing today?

Today the press is a propaganda ministry for the government. Any member who departs from his duty to lie and spin the news is expelled from the fraternity. A public increasingly unemployed, broke and homeless is told that they have vast enemies plotting to destroy them in the absence of annual trillion dollar expenditures for the military/security complex, wars lasting decades, no-fly lists, unlimited spying and collecting of dossiers on citizens supplemented by neighbors reporting on neighbors, full body scanners at airports, shopping centers, metro and train stations, traffic checks, and the equivalence of treason with the uttering of a truth.

Two years ago when he came into office President Obama admitted that no one knew what the military mission was in Afghanistan, including the president himself, but that he would find a mission and define it. On his recent trip to Afghanistan, Obama came up with the mission: to make the families of the troops safe in America, his version of Bush’s “we have to kill them over there before they kill us over here.”

No one snorted with derision or even mildly giggled. Neither the New York Times nor Fox News (sic) dared to wonder if perhaps, maybe, murdering and displacing large numbers of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen and US support for Israel’s similar treatment of Lebanese and Palestinians might be creating a hostile environment that could breed terrorists. If there still is such a thing as the Newspaper Publishers Association, its members are incapable of such an unpatriotic thought.

Today no one believes that our country’s success depends on an informed public and a free press. America’s success depends on its financial and military hegemony over the world. Any information inconsistent with the indispensable people’s god-given right to dominate the world must be suppressed and the messenger discredited and destroyed.

Now that the press has voluntarily shed its First Amendment rights, the government is working to redefine free speech as a privilege limited to the media, not a right of citizens. Thus, the insistence that WikiLeaks is not a media organization and Fox News (sic) turning in a citizen for exercising free speech. Washington’s assault on Assange and WikiLeaks is an assault on what remains of the US Constitution. When we cheer for WikiLeaks’ demise, we are cheering for our own.

War has played a significant role, particularly in the disregard for human rights and the rule of law. Osama bin Laden, person of the decade, if not the century (perish the thought) has won hands down, and if he is still alive, his still at liberty. Violence and authoritarian predispositions seem to walk hand in hand.

ELSEWHERE:

To give an example of what I mean consider Gareth Porter’s analysis of the unfolding strategy of the Afghanistan War as move is now on to extend the military incursions into Pakistan. Gareth Porter is in conversation with Scott Horton on Christmas Eve.

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