Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Plain and simple, some folks are drinking the Kool-aid today after Obama's speech last night.

He ruled out single-payer, he wobbled on his own earlier idea of "public option," and he began to prepare the public for the emergency's going to be called health insurance corporation "reform".

Translation: We are going to end up getting the Massachusetts plan where everyone will be required by law to purchase a health insurance policy....those who can't afford it will get a very limited and weak insurance policy subsidized by the taxpayers. In the end it will be more welfare for the wealthy insurance corporations.

This whole exercise of hearings, town hall meetings, debates, etc on health care has been a public relations campaign. They always intended to do this corporate plan but had to give the public the impression that the democratic process was working and that they were actually giving serious consideration to what the people think. It was a trick.

So it was no surprise tonight to see the following reported by the Reuters news agency:

Shares of U.S. health insurers [corporations stocks] climbed on Thursday after analysts saw no “game changers” from President Barack Obama’s highly anticipated speech on health reform. Following the speech, analysts predicted any changes to the system would be moderate, with Obama backing many initiatives put forth earlier this week by a leading Senate committee. The possibility a threatening public health plan would be enacted also now seemed doubtful, analysts said.

So there you have it...investors on Wall Street came away from the speech "reassured" that Obama will do as the corporate insurance industry wants and their profits are expected to dramatically grow as a result.

Any so-called "progressive" that wants to explain this corporate sell-out as something good is essentially waving the white flag in this fight. And they are trying to sugar coat another Obama corporate give-away. Many progressive groups know they have to applaud this slight-of-hand because if they publicly complain they will lose their funding from sources that are allied to the Democratic Party (sources of funding like foundations, unions, and/or wealthy Democrats).

A couple months ago I posted a story from the Washington Post about how the Obama team was calling funders on the phone and telling them to defund any progressive group getting out of line on issues like war, climate change, and health care.


Blogger Loring Wirbel said...

Absolutely. The Kucinich option is the only one free from insurance-company power.

But one thing bothers me about your observations, Bruce, the lack of addressing the fact that far-right populists are doing a far better job of organizing than independent progressives to the left of Obama. Part of the problem may be the imposed silence you discuss, and part may be the fact that a party (and independent people) out of power can raise a lot bigger hell than those with an inside game to play.

A lot of people want to make fun of the tea party as the "Million Moron March," and obviously Beck and Malkin get paid by the insurance companies, but they tap into widespread racist and extreme-right anger. It bothers me that there are enough really mixed-up people well to the right of the Republican Party to bring out 100,000 on Sept. 12. We ignore them at our peril.

9/12/09, 6:43 PM  
Blogger Bruce K. Gagnon said...

Yes you are certainly right Loring, the right is out organizing us on this issue and others right now....they do have the corporate big money behind them that surely helps but they also have inspiration.

Obama, by continually caving in to the corporate agenda, is defusing the energy on the left at the very time that it is so sorely needed. People on the left are confused, disheartened, angry, and sadly demobilized.

9/12/09, 9:13 PM  

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