[Marxism] Obama Gates

abu hartal abuhartal at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 30 10:46:43 MDT 2008


I am sure that the Malthusian Atlantic columnist Kaplan thinks that Obama should choose Gates to oversee an indefinite  occupation of Iraq, but that is not why he is being considered. He has been loyal to Bush but he probably can also be trusted to withdraw because he was opposed the occupation in the first place. And he'll know how to move things around. Also, Obama has strained ties to the DLC, contrary to what Louis Proyect writes. In terms of the DLC/DNC split Obama is obviously closer to the latter. I understand that some think that no possible reform is possible within electoral politics, so that it is best to cast a symbolic vote for the Greens and to consider the apparently progressive candidate only as a cover for the more reactionary program of finance capital that an open representative could not push through. But this is wrong (and paranoid): Obama has been financed to a greater extent than before by small donors (Nader probably relied more on that textile capitalist Millken to fight in Florida eight years ago than Obama depends on big bourgeois money--2/3rds of his contributions are from small donors, and Wall Street has contributed less than 1% of his total financing), so he can fight for some limited reforms without jeopardizing his re-electability or the finances of his party; reforms are possible especially in regards to the openness of the space for extra parliamentary politics; there is some chance of a negotiated settlement with the Iranians which makes removal of combat troops from Iraq many more times more likely; and most importantly the whole process is helping people clarify for themselves what they want politically. I really do think the LBO and marxmail snark is juvenile. 
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