John V. Walsh
December 3, 2012.
I feel I owe you a reply after the considerable attention you lavished on me with emails at election time. But I must say that some of them made me worry about you, Mike. So I feel I really ought to say something.
Most disturbing were three emails, one pre-election one post-election and one on Thanksgiving Day itself. Before the recent presidential contest, I received a missive from you urging me to vote for Barack Obama, even though you said you disagreed with him about virtually everything of importance that he had done in his first term. Right away that had me concerned, because, you see, those two things are contradictory. As the Car Talk guys would say, your letter seemed to be unencumbered by the thought process – and that is scary. The cognitive malady, whatever it is, seemed to be rampant at the time. Daniel Ellsberg sent out an excruciatingly long letter with the same talking points arguments. (No wonder the Pentagon Papers were so long.) And there were not a few others.
One cynic suggested that Obama operatives recruited you guys to bring back an alienated base for the election. What a scurrilous charge! And worse, she suggested that by disagreeing on issues but urging a vote for Obama you were preserving your progressive cred while working the other side of the street to remain in the good graces of the Dem establishment. Even more scurrilous Mike. Men and women of principle do not behave in that way _ and so once again I wonder about your mental processes. For the same reason I wonder about Dan.
It worries me that you apparently did not seek the counsel of Ralph Nader on this point, a man of integrity who helped you so much early on in your career. Ralph points out that one backs a candidate based on demands to which the candidate agrees – before the election. Of course said candidate should have shown himself to be a person of principle and integrity so you can trust him – like Ralph. You must remember that even though it was a long time ago long. To act in politics on the basis of blind trust is to end up a chronic loser. And who wants that?
You seem to believe that Obomba will be different in his second term from his first. But this echoed the same arguments that many pwogwessive Democrats made in 2008. Then many pointed out that Obomba was “just saying” the awful things he was proposing – simply “to win the election.” The pwog Dems assured us that once in office he would change. Well that did not happen as you noted at length to in your pre-election email. Now you tell us that his second term will be different! Mike, remember what Bush tried to get straight: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you.”
As if that were not enough, after election day and Obomba’s win, you sent out another letter listing all the areas where we must oppose him. So we should vote for him even though we disagree with him and then fight him once he is elected. Do you see a possible lapse of logic there, Mike? And Mike, the only action most of us can take is a vote. I find it very hard to understand how you can suggest throwing that scrap of real power away by voting for a man who has done the same as George W. Bush – and worse.
Finally, I got a Thanksgiving letter from you, rejoicing that we are on the right track now that the election is over. Mike, have you taken note of a place called Gaza, the site of a slaughter jointly engineered and timed by Barack and Bibi for mutual electoral benefit. It was very intense with a lot of killing just before our Day of Thanks. A letter of optimism in the light of such slaughter by your man, Obomba, defies good sense. So again I worry about you.
But I commend you for one feature of your letters. Unlike Ellsberg’s, they were mercifully brief. You certainly are a master editor and know how to discard items you regard as non-essential. You were at your best in Fahrenheit 911, which eliminated any mention of the role of the Israeli lobby in ginning up the war on Iraq. The Saudis were alone in getting pilloried. Maybe there you had assistance from your producers and distributors.
Finally, I apologize for the delay in this response. The Gaza slaughter stopped me in my tracks. And now I am overwhelmed by Obomba’s first moves to take the wrecking ball to Medicare – and Social Security and Medicaid. In the words of Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report, your guy Obama is not the lesser evil but “the more effective evil,” because he can carry out the worst atrocities and regressive policies while the Dem “progressives” hardly bleat a word of protest. In that light Romney, who governed in the same way in Massachusetts that your man Obama has done in Washington, might be regarded as the less effective evil; and by your logic, not mine, perhaps you should have urged a vote for him.
Well, thanks for reading this. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and did not eat too much. I am sure it was better fare than the Gazans were able to scrape together as the bombs with “Made in America” came raining down.
All the best,