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"Shallow Throat": Has "The Revolution" Started?

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CrisisPapers Donating Member (271 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 12:02 PM
Original message
"Shallow Throat": Has "The Revolution" Started?
l Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers l

Over the past decade, I've met fairly regularly with "Shallow Throat,"** a mole high up in the former Bush Administration, currently a respected consultant in Washington, D.C. A well-connected insider, ST knows where the bodies are buried, and how the political game is played (and rigged) to benefit the powers-that-be behind the Republican and Democratic parties.

Given the momentous events in the news, a good share of which puzzle me, it seemed appropriate to contact Shallow Throat for some insights into what's really going on. We talked the other day in a quiet booth at a Bethesda tavern.

ST: I've missed our chats. Where you been? Aren't you and your liberal cohorts happy with the new, feisty Obama, willing to call out the Republicans by name, more eager to mix it up with his opposition?

BW: Yes, of course. However, Obama ran as a transformational president, but once in power he backed off making any consequential structural changes; he was content to nibble around the edges of power but not confront power, way too eager to compromise way too early. He lost nearly three years of possible movement forward before he looked at the electoral calendar and decided it as now time to alter his approach. So today we're presented once again with Obama in full campaign mode, with tough rhetoric and promises of action he would probably never take. He's certainly better than McCain would have been, and stands heads and shoulders above the current crowd of clownish numbskulls running for the Republican candidacy, but we expected, and Obama promised, much more.

ST: So you liberals woke up to how the game is played in Washington, and that Obama is a politician -- surprise! He's a centrist pragmatist and always has been; he has no desire to initiate truly radical change.

You do realize, don't you, that the Republican Party, decided early on that their sole mission is to destroy Obama and his initiatives. In their desire to retake the White House, they created conditions that would have stymied any Democratic president, let alone one presented with a Great Recession/Depression that is wrecking the economy and social structure of this country. Cut the man some slack!

BW: We did, for far too long; we're not in the political alterations business anymore -- no more cutting-of-slack. We need action, not just incremental nibbling away at the forces of power but really getting into a serious remake of the rotting and corrupted structures that underlie our economic, social and political lives. Yes, the Republicans are engaged in reprehensible tactics, willing to bring down the economy, for example, just to score electoral points. But we can't ignore how complicit Obama and the Democratic legislators in general have been in moving America to this awful point.

THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT

ST: Let me take a wild guess: You support the Occupy folks. If Obama is unable or unwilling to transform the system from the inside, you and your buddies will do it from the outside? Get real, Bernie. To crib from Stalin, how many troop divisions to you have behind you? Americans, you may have noticed, are not all that taken with actual revolution, though many throw that term around loosely. And yes I realize that what's in the works is a structural/social revolution, not a violent one.

BW: The Occupy movement and is allies may not be ready to storm the barricades with pitchforks, but as some in the Tea Party and now in the Occupy movement have demonstrated, the anger and frustration out there is immense and deep. Those in this movement are eager to search for ways to confront the power-wielders and get some significant changes made.

There is a potential tipping point if that rage and desire for real change can be channeled properly. Who knows? There might be some clever way to bring elements within the Tea Party faction together with their counterrparts in the Occupy movement, starting with their shared anger at the banks and bailout. Can you imagine the impact such a potential alliance might have on the body politic?

ST: Those are mighty big "ifs." The Occupy movement seems to have very little organization or clear sense of direction, and their fuzzy goals offer little outreach to Middle Americans -- which is the substrata of American society that can possibly lean on the power-wielders to change things.

Plus, the longer Occupy's actions continue as they are -- encampments, marches, demos, allowing their anarchist component to smash windows, not dealing with infiltrators and provocateurs and so on -- they open themselves to losing momentum and to being co-opted by traditional and more organized elements in society, including Democratic politicians. It happened during the revolutionary days in "The Sixties," and it's beginning to look familiar today.

BW: As much as I don't want to admit the possible truth of what you're saying, you may turn out to be correct. But it's equally possible that the situation is so desperate right now in the country -- one in 15 citizens below poverty level, nearly 20 millions out of work, the growing economic inequality, the disappearance of the American Dream, the growing strength of greed-obsessed individuals and corporations, etc. -- that this nascent "revolution" may actually generate a genuine, diverse and long-lasting Movement for radical systemic change.

ST: What you've got now is a roiling sense of anger and frustration. Whether that soup is marinating anything that will emerge later is still a question mark. As long as the powers-that-be can paint the Occupy folks as marginal "hippies" and youthful malcontents, your side is losing.

The situation might be different if it's clear that hundreds of thousands, nay millions, of ordinary Americans stand behind them, march with them, and if various affinity and actions groups can emerge from the Occupy movement, especially during this winter, when going out or encamping may not be so enticing. This is the way to a tipping point. Right now, it's mostly theatre. Important in laying the groundwork for changes in public opinion, but really mostly theatre.

KEEPING THE MOMENTUM BUILDING

BW: I think, I hope, you're wrong. As one deeply engaged in turning this country around in "The Sixties," I realize how things can go wrong: internal infighting, splintering around different issues, conflicting egos and ambitions, provocateurs and infiltrators causing havoc and giving the powers-that-be excuses for harsh police action, etc. etc.

But these moments in history don't come along often; if we want to keep today's revolutionary momentum building, we must support those who are leading the way -- however imperfectly and chaotically perhaps, but nevertheless stirring up the embers of determined citizen action.

--------

We both sat there in silence for awhile, sipping our beers and thinking what had been said (and left unsaid). Then I moved to another topic.

BW: I'm guessing that you would really like to get back into the inner circles of government rather than being a consultant on the outside. If the GOP were to take the White House next year, would you serve if asked?

THE GOP CANDIDATES

ST: Not a realistic scenario. I don't think the Republicans have a chance, given their current farm-league group of candidates. What a crop! Ignorants, scoundrels, ideological cretins. But if Obama, say, were to revert back to his spineless persona, it might be a different ballgame. For example, if he were to support hacking away at Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with no major tax increases, as the Gang of 12 commission is seriously considering. Or if he were to authorize the controversial Keystone sand-gas pipeline from Canada through the heartland in the Midwest, endangering the huge aquifer there. He's already backed away from enforcing key EPA regulations.

So, hand in hand with huge numbers of Democratic defections (seniors, students, activists, minorities, environmentalists, etc.), and with the suppress-and-steal-the-vote maneuvers currently being organized by the Republicans in 18 key states, a GOP victory in 2012 remains possible, if not likely.

BW: On the other hand, it's not outside the realm of possibility that Obama, beholden to the traditional power-and-money sources, might do all of those awful things. What would happen then?

ST: Having thoroughly alienated his base, Obama might then suddenly look even more vulnerable in electoral terms. It's not likely, but it's possible, that there could be a groundswell to support a Democratic challenger in the primary. (Hillary? Bernie Sanders? Russ Feingold?). Or that Chris Christie or Michael Bloomberg might change their minds and jump into the GOP race, who knows? I don't believe any of this will happen, but the political/economic situation is so fluid right now in the U.S., in Europe, in the Middle East, that nothing can be ruled out.

Sorry to call this to a close, but I've got to run. Feel free, per usual, to get these observations into the political conversation. Let's see what happens. And let's do this again in a few months.

And with that, Shallow Throat exited the tavern, leaving me energized but also weighed down by the enormity of the job ahead of us.#

-----------------

**To read earlier conversations with the Shallow Throat character, go to: http://www.crisispapers.org/weinerpubs.htm#shallow . --BW


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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. I love this part: "ST: Those are mighty big "ifs." The Occupy movement seems to have very little or
"ST: Those are mighty big "ifs." The Occupy movement seems to have very little organization or clear sense of direction, and their fuzzy goals offer little outreach to Middle Americans -- which is the substrata of American society that can possibly lean on the power-wielders to change things."

The peace hippie movement in the 60s, spread despite the strongest objections, constant attacks, etc., and attacks on their leaders.

This movement has no leaders to attack. This movement is growing exponentially. It cannot be stopped. ST is a fool, or engages in an awful lot of wishful thinking.

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Skip_In_Boulder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I didn't need to read any further than your post.
Edited on Mon Nov-07-11 12:23 PM by Skip_In_Boulder
There is just more strange shit on the net right now that what I have ever seen. And it just keeps on coming almost exponentially.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bet he left you with the bar tab, too.
That was a waste of time.
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russspeakeasy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. A spot on, enjoyable read.
Thanks.
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Rabblevox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. ST is clearly ignorant/delusional /nt
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. Please keep in mind....

the Tea Party movement has been taken over by the 1%. The only reason they want to transform government is to reduce taxes, period. The only realistic way for former tea party members to join the 99% is for them to realize the error of their ways and what fools they have been.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. The article was tolerable until I got to the part about Obama
being better than McCain - Obama is better than my mentally ill kitty whose on vet-approved tranqs - but so what?

I find almost anything Mr Autorank writes more worth my time than this "Shallow Throat" stuff.

It is all one big money party, and endless discussions of what is going to take to get this "theorized Obama" to help the Middle Class are just that - endless discussions.

I suggest Occupying something, rather than engaging in these diversions posing as options.

We know who Obama works for, and all you need to do is look at the people he has appointed, to understand that he works for the Big Corporations. And yes, if we implore, beg, set ourselves on fire with gasoline, I imagine he will step forward and say the things we want him to say - until he is re-elected. Then it will be Big Business as usual.

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mother earth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Someone else said at DU, I voted for a democratic president
and instead got the best republican president...I think that sums it up nicely. When there's no viable GOP candidate, you know TPTB are ok with the status quo.
Unfortunately, the moneychangers own this gov't & the country. It is clearly evident that everything is controlled, but finally the masses are awakening.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. The masses are what give me hope - I am done with politics.
Edited on Mon Nov-07-11 04:56 PM by truedelphi
The kabuki theater, summer of 2009, when the President kept telling the public on the Health Care reform issue that he "could not interfere with whatever legislative ideas Congress were formulating, as the Constitution strictly insists on separation of power," and meanwhile Rahm Emanuel is meeting with the Big Insurance and Big Pharma people and letting them write the legislation -that was the beginning of the end for me.

BP, the banking and the GM foods situations have simply furthered the notion that politics is not useful.

While some here were upset that Fox news was talking about "Occupy Your Couch" I was pleased. Ghandi said, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then you win!"

So if the networks are already trivializing the movement, we are making some headway.


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mother earth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. I am totally with you, but my aha moment was when he chose
not to make Bush/Cheney accountable for their crimes. You cannot look forward when crimes have gone unpunished, and now, not surprisingly it is a free for all with Wall St./banksters. As Al Gore said, "We are a nation of laws." Once you trivialize law, you are bound to the chaos....it all has to fall before we can rebuild. May we all be strong.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Indeed!
I had issues with Mr. Obama before he became 'our guy,' the sole contender for the Democratic vote. Then, I had issues with his adjuration that we must move forward, and stop dwelling in the past (what a trite justification for avoiding the prosecution of the myriad war criminals from the Bush cabal...). Then, Obama appointed a Confederacy of Dunces to key posts in his administration, including Arne "I play basketball" Duncan as SecEd.

Geezus H. Christ on a Cracker!

Now, I seldom get crap from the Obama sycophants because Obama's performance is so identifiably antithetical to the Democratic Party Platform. I guess it's difficult to nigh-on impossible for them to refute the concerns that a growing number of us have with this administration--nay, the entire corrupted, oppressive, undemocratic system.

TPTB--including Mr. Obama--had better understand that We the People will prevail.



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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Yes...
I think the author of this rather banal flight of fancy isn't looking at the bigger picture at all.
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
10. I think this demonstrates how out of touch this person must be
because the "middle class" has been decimated and those who would not get out in the street start to see things a little differently when they wonder if they, too, will be out in the street - or feel closer to that prospect than ever before in their lives.

this reality is reflected in choices by businesses to market to two ends - the poor and the extremely wealthy. if a strong middle class was part of the economic mix right now, this sort of marketing strategy decision would not have been made.

this reality is reflected in the knowledge that social/economic mobility and the loss of net worth that has been the result of 30 years of Reagonics has not stopped with any of the economic strategies politicians have enacted.

Congress needs to face the blame for a lack of legislation to deal with this crisis in America.

That Congress has spent months trying to deny women reproductive rights rather than accepting the level of economic crisis is a huge part of this moment in time. Send some of them to tent cities, to shelters for homeless families, look at the numbers of unemployed, the sorts of jobs that a two-tier economy has created. look at wage stagnation for decades.

honestly - the issue is that we need regulatory reform to level the economic playing field.

we do not have a legislature that is competent enough to respond to the real issues that exist today because political theater is more important than those whose interests the politicians are sworn to uphold by accepting their office.
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
11. Nothing is going to start to change till more people feel the pain.
As long as NASCAR, the NFL, MLB, etc. still sell tickets and fill the stands there is still too many with the attitude "I have mine. Fuck the rest of you." the going is still too good. A small part of me says let the repugs have 2012 so they can finish driving this car off the cliff cause we are not there yet. When more Teabaggers and R's lose their jobs, homes, have a medical bankruptcy we'll see tens of thousands out in the streets.
I have no hope. I see no future.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. If
you embrace Gandhi's adjuration to 'be the change you hope to see in this world,' and consistently use Satyagraha when conversing with ANY of the pitiable group of people variously and pejoratively labeled Teh Stoopid (conservatives, right-wingers, teapugs, repugs, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum); then the enlightenment made manifest by the Occupy movement will spread inexorably across the planet, and we can be sure that our species will evolve beyond that "I have mine; fuck the rest of you" mentality.
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