Sunday, January 27, 2008

The score in the US Democratic primaries now stands at 2 and 2, with Clinton having won in New Hampshire and Nevada and Obama having won in Iowa and South Carolina. Personally I'm cheering for Obama. Not that anybody should expect the American Empire to cease being the American Empire, no matter who is in the White House. The policies will be very much the same no matter who occupies the Presidency, with the caveat that almost all of the present candidates, both Republican and Democratic, would lack the self-destructive talents of the present Administration, with their desire to sink the USA deeper and deeper into its imperial decline. Maybe that isn't such a bad thing, though Molly lacks the "lefty faith" that the powers that come to replace the USA in the rest of this century will be any more benign than the USA has been. They'll actually probably be far worse.
All that being said everything I know about Hillary Clinton leads me to a reactive and visceral dislike of someone who is far too obviously a crook and a shyster. Obama, on the other hand, reminds me of "Denis the Menace's father". I kid you not. He is rather cartoonish in his clean cut presentation, and though I have no doubt that he has many skeletons in his closet I am unaware of them. He comes across as "cute and sincere", and it is no wonder that so many youthful voters flock to him. Clinton, on the other hand looks very much like she should be President of the Feminist Caucus of the Used Car Dealers of America. What is much more important,however, is that-even if it leads to no perceptible policy change whatsoever on the part of the US government- Obama's election would have a very salutary effect on the American left. It would force them to finally grow up out of their obsession with ethnicity and to rethink all the politically correct cliches that they spout instead of proposing real solutions for America today. As the bard says, "that would be a consummation devoutly to be wished for".
Well back to Hillary. The pundits presume that she reversed the poll trends in New Hampshire by doing a weepy bit while meeting with a select group of voters in that state. Conventional wisdom says that this broke some sort of spell that had lead people to conclude that she had all the emotional resources of a block of concrete (not a bad assumption in Molly's view), and that, in particular, women voters in that state voted for her out of sympathy. Maybe out of stupidity, particularly as Hillary waited until the opportune moment to get misty eyed over how much she loved America- always a crowd pleaser in the USA.
But like all too many reports of weeping statues of the Virgin Mary there is more than slight room for doubt about the reality behind the carefully orchestrated moment. The old (almost paleolithic) feminist icon Germaine Greer has expressed her doubts in an article penned for the British newspaper 'The Guardian'. The article titled 'For Crying Out Loud' is an extended exploration on the use of crying as a technique of power. Her article is both entertaining and amusing, and Molly recommends it highly. It begins with the following words:
"Watching Hillary Clinton begin to get teary-eyed is enough to make me give up shedding tears altogether. The currency, you might say, has become devalued....Hillary's feeble display of emotion, while answering questions from voters in a cafe in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Monday, is supposed to have done her campaign a world of good. If it has, it's because people have wished a tear into her stony reptilian eye, not because there actually was one....Hillary's clipped diction did not falter; all she had to do was take the steel edge off her voice and our imaginations did the rest...."
Read the full article at the Guardian at,,2238249,00.html . A great read if Molly says so, and she does. So here is Molly's vote for Obama instead, not because he is so great, but because his election would finally force the American left (and all they influence in their own imperialist version of exporting Hollywood culture across the rest of the world) to become a real left and not a miasma of identity politics. Go Barack go !


Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

It seems like other country's politicians, no matter what country you are from, seem even more vile than one's own. The forceful subjectivity of nationalism is powerful stuff. Nixon's appraisal of Trudeau comes to mind.

The Hilary car dealer analogy could be neither more accurate nor more succinct. Today you were a Jolly Molly.

Richard S. said...

Forgive me if I find this post utterly confusing. Is Molly saying that if Obama gets elected, the disappointment of his presidency will convince the American "left" not to focus so much on identity politics anymore? If so, Molly overestimates the American "left" (and I say this as someone born and raised in New York City).

Obama praised Ronald Reagan, expressed life-long admiration for the military, and said he would bomb Pakistan. He also pushes some ridiculous dream about a feel-good unity between the wealthy and the poor (while many among the very wealthy generously fund his campaign, knowing whom he will fight for in the real class conflict that he doesn't talk about). If he succeeds because he looks cleaner than Hillary, there's another victory of empty image over substance - he's too slick a salesman to be mistaken for a used car dealer.

I'm glad I never re-registered with the Democratic Party or I might actually be tempted to vote for John Edwards. (Though I also would consider that against my principles - and I don't even call myself an anarchist.)

Richard S. said...

P.S. OK, just to be perfectly clear about where I "come from," I guess the last line above should read "...and I don't even call myself an anarchist ANYMORE"...though these elections always make the label tempting again.

Mollymew said...

Hi Guys,
Hard to say if I dislike US politicians more than Canadian ones. For sheer nastiness, untempered by the crookedness that oozes out of the Clintons, I would give Harper full martks. I would truly fear to become his personal enemy. He also sparks instant dislike from the moment you notice that he always chooses a very ugly shade of lipstick (I hope that isn't his natural colour) and has the beadiest eyes this side of a ferret. Both Hillary and her husband seem fully capable of stabbing anyone in the back for money. Harper seems likely to do it for fun. Their policies..well that's an entirely different matter. Like good politicians they have mastered the art of telling everybody what they want to hear and treating issues of honesty and consistancy like unwanted rodent infestations.

Ah policy ! Yes, I mean precisely that Obama's election WOULD convince the American left to not focus so much on identity politics- though it would never disappear because so many people's financial interests are involved in its perpetuation. He wouldn't even have to disappoint- just get elected.

Richard is obviusly more familar with what Obama has said in the past than I, as a Canadian, am. To me it is beside the point. I forget who said "you cannot reason someone out of a position who wasn't reasoned into it in the first place", some English writer I believe. The American left is NOT "reasoned into" its reliance on identity politics. What has happened is that "important issues" have been magnified into pretty well "dominant issues" by a subculture of emotional blackmail. The joy with which many Americans self-congradulate themselves for having both a woman and a black man running for a presidental nomination is NOT born of reasoning. It is emotional, just as the more extreme forms found in "the left" are emotional.

I have litle doubt that Obama would do EXACTLY what Richard says he would from his past record, with the caveat that I doubt that ANY of the candidates are insane enough to "bomb Pakistan" in the literal meaning of that phrase (as opposed to encouraging India to be nasty or having limited incursions across the border from Afghanistan). Maybe Richard's analogy is right. A mutual fund salesman often ends up doing far more damage than a seller of used cars, and they sure as hell look a lot cleaner on first glance.

My concern, however, is not that Obama will or will not act like any other politician. He probably WILL. My assertion is that the election of a black man to the Presidency would have a very salutory effect on the American LEFT and the assumptions (mostly emotional in origin) that it operates under today and that seal it tighter than a steel drum in irrelevancy. Maybe I do "overestimate" such potential, and maybe Richard, as an American, has a far more realistic view. I know that neither of us can PROVE such assertions, merely present arguments for one case or the other. Only the future would say who was right.

There may be something to say for calling yourself a "used-to-be anarchist". As Molly has repeated over and over on this board there are some forms of "anarchism" afoot in the world that are truly remarkably repellent.(Here comes the mother of all run-on sentences) But even for those anarchists on this side of the sensible/loony divide, for those who don't have a vision of "anarchism" as a debating society about how evil "civilization" is or how wonderful it is to do endless choreographed street ballets with the police as dancing partners to no purpose with demonstrations that by their very nature can have no real effect,yes even for those there are HUGE gaps in plans and proposals for what a truly relevant anarchism would look like. Not that those gaps aren't gradually being filled. Not that my little feline self has any overarching "master plan" either. My own view is that all that I can do is play John the Baptist and point out that there ARE such problems and that the way should be made straight. A triumphalist ignoring of these problems is one of the worst of the barriers to their solution. You can't correct a problem that you don't think exists. Critics of anarchism may be the best servants of its advancement.