White House Dries Out Moral Collapse in Spin Cycle

December 18, 2010

By Norman Solomon

On December 5th, in a column about economic policy, Paul Krugman focused on “moral collapse” at the White House — “a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.” Meanwhile, President Obama flew to Afghanistan, where he put on a leather bomber jacket and told U.S. troops: “You’re achieving your objectives. You will succeed in your mission.” For the Obama presidency, moral collapse has taken on the appearance of craven clockwork, establishing a concentric pattern — doing immense damage to economic security at home while ratcheting up warfare overseas.

Unfavorable Comparisons to One-Term Johnson

By the end of that weekend, a deal was just about wrapped up between the president and Republican congressional leaders to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

On the spin-cycle agenda this month is yet more reframing of the president’s foggy doubletalk about Afghanistan. Strip away the carefully crafted verbiage and the picture is stark — with plans for a huge U.S. war effort in that country for many years to come.

At the end of a year with massive U.S. military escalation in Afghanistan, parallels with the Johnson administration’s unhinged Vietnam War are hard to miss. Conjectures about an inside-the-Democratic-Party challenge to Obama’s re-nomination are now moving from shadowy whispers to open discourse.

Some critics of the Vietnam War hesitated to confront it because of President Johnson’s laudable domestic record, which included the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the founding of Medicare and the launching of other Great Society programs. In sharp contrast, what most distinguishes President Obama’s domestic record is its series of major cave-ins to corporate power and income inequality.

White Flag Over the White House

Ostensibly battling for economic fairness, the president is flying a white flag high over the White House.

“The Obama administration seems to have very little concern about poor people and their social misery,” former Obama supporter Cornel West pointed out during an interview on Democracy Now last month. “Look at the policies vis-a-vis Wall Street downplaying Main Street. . . . Look at the policy, the dilapidated housing. We can go right across the board. Look at the policies of the New Jim Crow system: the Prison Industrial Complex. So, we’re talking not just about individual presidents, we’re talking about a system that is tilted against poor people, against working people, disproportionately black and brown and red.”

The tilt of that system continues to become more extreme under the shifting needs for corporate profits and an “austerity” agenda that the Obama administration has embraced under the rationale of deficit reduction. The White House plan to freeze federal workers’ pay, announced in late November, is another brick in the slanted wall.

In the process, the president is implying that civil service workers are expendable. Obama drew cheers on Friday night at Bagram Air Base when he told several thousand assembled troops: “You may have noticed that during these tough budget times, I took the step of freezing pay for our federal workforce. But because of the service that you rendered, all who wear the uniform of the United States of America are exempt from that action.”

Along the way, the wealthy get to keep their humongous tax cuts, and the military-industrial complex gets to keep its warfare state going full throttle.

Evidence of the Obama administration’s “moral collapse” is profuse; the pattern is clear, the consequences already terrible. During the weeks and months ahead, progressives will need to engage in fresh strategic discussions. Public candor may be insufficient, but it is necessary.  Φ

Norman Solomon is co-chair of the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign, launched by Progressive Democrats of America. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He is president of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

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6 Responses to “ White House Dries Out Moral Collapse in Spin Cycle ”

  1. Daily Guide Forecast on December 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm

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  2. […] By the end of this year, November at the latest Israel and or the U.S. will strike Iran militarily and from there we will probably be seeing the beginning of world war III! This “conflagration” will most certainly go “nuclear”! Essentially “all hell” is about to break loose! With these actions we will see the start of global economic collapse, civil disruption in “many” western nations ‘including” the U.S. and this will of course bring about a state of “martial law”! President Obama will not be “totally” to blame as his hand is only that of a puppet “so to speak”. The old money families “behind the scenes” actually “control” the U.S. government! Any president that is in office is basically constrained by the rule of these “money men” in most that they do, get out of line and they are taken out…..”assasinated”! Remember John F. Kennedy and the conspiracy theories behind his killing…….enough said! There are also many indications that most if not all of the old money families are least “influenced” by alien and or extra-terrestrial groups. For a fact it has been proven (to those that do the research) that American technology is many, many years ahead of what is “publicly” revealed! It has been said that we have Top Secret aircraft and other such things that would make George Lucas “drool”! Much of our technology is back engineered from alien technology that has been acquired through “various” means. The U.S. government for political and social-cultural reasons will not reveal such advancements…..”yet”! Many television shows are essentially based on top secret technology that the government is simply trying to slowly “aclimate” the overall population to the idea of, again so as not to topple our “entrenched” beliefs and creat some sort of “social upheavel”. After this “major” war we will see the creation of a one world government along with some dislosure regarding the alien question! For more detailed information check out Additionally you can check out this related post: http://peaceworker.org/2010/12/white-house-dries-out-moral-collapse-in-spin-cycle/ […]

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