David Axelrod, who as we all know is the third greatest political genius of all time, right behind King Louis XVI and Pharaoh Phukitallup I, is going to be busy brainstorming campaign slogans for Obama’s rerun for the White House in 2012. I don’t know what he’ll come up with, but I know what the top three slogans would be if the truth mattered . . .
I Am the Way Into the City of Woe
I Am the Way Into Eternal Pain
I Am the Way To Go Among the Lost
Those words, engraved on the archway above the Gates of Hell in Dante’s Inferno, precede the final words, Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here. If Obama isn’t primary challenged, if the two-party system isn’t taken down, if corporate control over the White House isn’t broken, we can abandon all hope, because this country will keep descending from one level of Hell to the next, until we reach the last and deepest level.
Midway through their journey with Obama, Americans find themselves in a dark wood, for they have wandered from the straight and true. The relentless beast of corporate power comes against them, step by step, determined to drive them back to where the sun is silent evermore. So vicious is its nature, so ill-bent, it never stuffs its ravenous will enough, but after feeding hungers all the more. It knows what lies beyond that archway and through the gates, because that’s where it came from.
Dante found his way back to the bright world, he saw the stars again because he had the poet Virgil to guide him through Hell and lead him out.
Who do we have?
This guy . . .
From the saddle of his dying horse, Obama glances at the desolation of a wrecked economy, the carnage of endless wars, the howling of the Teabaggers as they burn another heretic at the stake, the stripping of travelers at the toll bridges, the bankers counting their gold, the teachers being shoved out of schoolhouse doors, and says this is what change looks like. This isn’t what change looks like. This is what Hell looks like.
I’ve heard the arguments against primary challenging Obama. Those who make them claim it isn’t realistic, they speak of party machinery control, of the consequences of an intra-party fight, of the damage it would inflict on the Democratic branch of the Corporate Party, of the dire consequences of splitting that branch, thus handing control of the government back to the Republican branch of the Corporate Party, which never lost control of the government in the first place.
That argument has more flaws in it than Palin has platitudes. Obama is further to the right than Nixon was, across the board, from foreign policy and national security to economic policy. He compliments Reagan, awards Poppy Bush the Medal of Freedom, fights Bush II’s wars, won’t investigate his crimes, won’t stop spying, won’t close Gitmo, won’t prosecute BP, Halliburton, AIG, Blackwater killers, or CIA torturers, he targets Social Security, rips up the Bill of Rights, throws his own base under the bus, and proclaims that Teabagger racists are “as American as apple pie.”
The “lesser evil” argument will be trotted out again and again, but it rings hollow in this realm of the damned, where lies fall like acid rain in a thunderstorm that never ends, where Obama says nothing while madness rages like an epidemic, does nothing while greed destroys everyone in its path, hears nothing as people plead for help from one end of this Centrist Hell to the other, sees nothing, even as the fortress walls of “free market capitalism” collapse all around him.
There are realistic realists among us, they have Reality ’R Us attitudes, self-fulfilling prophecy experience, cave-every-time credentials, and the same message–it’s not time to find our way out of Hell yet. Stay on the lesser evil path, they told us, maybe it'll start sloping upward somehow. So we endured the second level of Hell, and the third level of Hell, and the fourth level of Hell. Bush took us across the River Styx and into the City of Dis, but it wasn’t time to find our way out yet. Obama led us through all 12 dimensions of triangulation into the Malebolge, and the deepest level of Hell is dead ahead, but the refrain still echoes in the darkness–it’s not time to find our way out of Hell yet.
I think it is.
I think it’s long past time to find our way out.
We have to return to the bright world, we have to find our way out of this Hell, we must climb the primary challenge path, and if that doesn‘t lead us out, we must climb the third party path, all the way to the top, without care for having any rest, we must keep going, because if we keep going, we will begin to see the beautiful things that heaven bears, and that will sustain us, it will guide us the rest of the way, and we will come forth from this underworld of greed and corruption, to see the stars again.