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Forum Post: The Duopoly Debates Itself

Posted 7 years ago on Oct. 17, 2012, 7:36 p.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
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By Glen Ford

The two titans of America’s finance capitalist duopoly clashed – leaving behind a dull fart. It was as if the town hall at Long Island’s Hofstra University was hermetically sealed against the raging realities of a world and nation in systemic crisis. For 90 minutes, not one useful fact or thought was allowed to enter or escape.

This is what happens when the terminal decline of the old order is not met by effective resistance from those who suffer under its dead weight. What to do about a jobs crisis that has left millions permanently unemployed from effects of the last two recessions? Apply additional corporate “incentives” to boost investment (Obama) or a thicker layer of laissez fair (Romney). And, by all means, extract more energy (Obama and Romney) from the exhausted environment, as if lack of fuel is what has stalled the engines of late capitalism. But do not, under any circumstances, question the inherent right of bankers (a.k.a. “markets”) to dominate every aspect of economic and political life.

Banks were mentioned only three times: once, by Romney, in connection with (of course) cutting taxes, and twice by Obama. The president is proud that his mother was the vice president of a small bank, and he took credit (deservedly) for denying banks their $60 billion cut of college student loans. But the funneling of $16 trillion in guarantees, grants and virtually “free” money to financial corporations over the last four years – a profound restructuring of the relationship between the State and Wall Street – has been unmentioned in all three debates to date, because it is a policy consensus within the duopoly.

Romney owned the word “poverty,” just as did the Republican nominating convention in Tampa, while Obama uttered the term not once. Corporate media pundits and even many “progressives” accept the Democrat’s avoidance of the subject as understandable, since he is an incumbent. Yet, the fight against poverty was Franklin Roosevelt’s rallying cry during capitalism’s previous great crisis, and Lyndon Johnson initiated a War on Poverty. Today’s poverty rate hovers only a fraction of a percent below the level of 1965, but the standard-bearer of the party most identified with the poor has nothing to say on the matter. Instead, there is consensus within the duopoly that austerity must be the watchword – clear evidence that the Occupy Movement is no longer a felt threat.

Romney is more “liberal” in the use of the term “poverty” only because his vision of laissez fair trickle-down to the poor is more fantastical (12 million jobs, just you watch!). Just as in the summer of 2011, all that separates the Obama and Republican wings of the Wall Street duopoly is the question of “modest” tax increases for the very rich. But both factions are intent on cuts of around $4 trillion dollars, mainly on non-military programs. Why should Americans whose vital governmental support is targeted for chopping be concerned whether or not some millionaires are also discomforted in the process? Are the poor and struggling classes supposed to accept the loss of the necessities of a dignified life, on condition that some rich people pay a modest financial tariff?

The consensus on imperial war is near absolute. What passes for argument is merely a matter of style and posture. Romney attacks Obama for failing to grasp or reveal the “terrorist” nature of the fatal attack on the U.S. ambassador in Libya. But both candidates are wedded to an alliance with Muslim fundamentalist jihadis against Middle East governments targeted for destabilization or regime change: Syria and Iran. Obama’s obfuscations on Benghazi were an attempt to continue masking the nature of the Libyan legions armed by the U.S. as proxies against Gaddafi, many of whom are now deployed in Syria – a mission with which Romney is in full accord. There is also no daylight between the contenders on drone warfare or the continued projection of U.S. power in the “Af-Pak” theater of war, or in Somalia and Yemen. The War Party wins in November, regardless of the Electoral College outcome.

Despite the profound, systemic crisis of the global capitalist financial order and its U.S. imperial gendarme, there exists no political crisis for the rulers, because there is no serious internal resistance. These theatrical productions may pass for debates, but it’s really just the passing of gas within a closed Wall Street consensus.




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[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23079) 7 years ago

This is what happens when you allow corporations to run your government.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

I think that this needs to be here : "Al Jazeera to Air Opposition Presidential Debate Amidst US Black-out", by Mark Wachtler : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32784.htm !!!

Next Tuesday, Oct.23rd !!

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 0 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 7 years ago

Good deal

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Thanx 'PK' and it'll be on RT too ~{:-)

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23079) 7 years ago

That was good! Thanks. "Who won? Who cares?" LOL.

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Best word to sum up the debate: Embarassing.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 7 years ago

This is an excellent piece!

Truth is tough to take for all the partisan hacks around here,. will we see a lame attempt at refutation of the above? I know that will not come, as the truth is hard to refute.

"The War Party wins in November, regardless of the Electoral College outcome." Voting is just not good enough,. . we need real change.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3269) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 7 years ago

"there is no serious internal resistance."

YEA. I lost 45 percent of my net worth after 25 years of slaving for the system, cause Wall Street and bankers like to have subsidized gambling. And I am a lucky one.


don't pick on the rich people. they create all the great jobs we enjoy!!!


[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 7 years ago

lol,. that is the point exactly,. the rich operate under the protection of the law, the rest of us under threat of it!

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

It's all about sound bytes.

Just like faux nooz.


[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 7 years ago

like i said yesterday it was two chickens fighting over bread last night

[-] 4 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

When a presidential candidate gets locked up for wanting to be a part of a presidential debate, all kinds of alarm bells should be ringing.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

Sadly, the debate organization is OWNED by the D & R parties
I see three options:

force an organization to spend its money contrary to its own interests

spend government money to host debates

restrict ALL political money to: donations from humans to candidates
( maybe $1000 each ) and restrict all political spending to be by the candidates

I would choose the last choice -
after we amend to get money ≠ speech and corporations ≠ people
this means parties cannot spend

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

A real debate has been organised, and all parties have been invited.

The only non-participants are the two on the payroll of the oligarchs.

[-] 0 points by DanielBarton (1345) 7 years ago


[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, was released from jail Wednesday after being arrested while protesting rules barring her from participating in presidential debates.

Stein and her running mate, Cheri Honkala, were arrested near the site of Tuesday's presidential debate, held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The Nassau County Policy Department said Stein and Honkala were charged with disorderly conduct, and subsequently released from jail Tuesday's evening. They will appear in court November 8 to face the disorderly conduct charge.


[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Some people just refuse to wake up to the hard truth that they are voting for their own destruction, actively participating in the downgrade of future generations.

Less so than the other guy, but still totally fucking the next generation.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

I'm not advocating a green president, but clearly there are alternatives to the two corrupted criminal puppets, and that is where occupy protesters need to be focussing their efforts, for mine.

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 7 years ago

well thats dumb. I think it would be interesting to actually throw some people into the mix of these debates. It would make them longer but honestly i dont care

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

'Some people' being the keywords.

The faux debate is so clearly avoiding any and all of the real issues, instead focussing on pitiful point-scoring, so that the faux media can play the "who won" game for the gullible sheeple.

It's such a waste of time, I don't believe we need to discuss it further, except to add that the real debates will be happening, but not on a regular network.