One Hundred Days

By David Glenn Cox

I’ve been advised by the true believers that the cup

is half full that the sun also rises. “Give him (Obama) a chance; it’s

only been a hundred days!” True enough, it’s only been a hundred days.

In that hundred days we’ve learned that the Iraq war will continue

until at least 2011; that fifty thousand troops will remain there

indefinitely. The war in Afghanistan will be expanded and will go on

indefinitely. The goals of the war are unknown; we fight spooks and

phantoms. Today a farmer or peasant family, tomorrow a terrorist

organization. How will we know when that war is won? When there’s a

McDonalds on every corner?

Senator Richard Durbin proposed serious mortgage assistance for

struggling Americans and the White House never even looked up to

comment on it. Instead it rubber-stamped a token program that leaves

all decisions in the laps of the lenders. The job stimulus program

promised to save or create three and a half million jobs in two years.

But a question, how do you document a job saved when we’ve lost more

than three million jobs in that short period of just one hundred days?

The President signed legislation to rein in predatory credit card

lenders, but rather than belling the cat it was more of a grooming. It

redefined, with time limits, how they are now allowed to fleece the

public. They must reduce your predatory interest rate if you make the

minimum payment for six months. But how many unable to make payments on

time at a lower interest rate will be able to pay on time at the new,

higher rate? It is like telling chemotherapy patients, “Anyone who can

do twenty pull ups after treatment doesn’t have to pay.” Or telling

Tony Soprano that they must now break your legs with wooden baseball

bats only. But hey, it’s only been a hundred days.

The President, who once claimed that closing Guantanamo would be

easy, instead plans now only on relocating it while still denying legal

protection to the inmates. While proclaiming justice on one hand, the

President creates the new theory of prolonged detention out of thin

air, assuming that some of these men cannot be tried and cannot be

released, especially after never being charged in the first place. The

Bush style tribunals will return with a lighter caseload. But it would

appear that there is a trend forming.

There is much ballyhoo and proclamations being made with little, if

any, actual change. But it’s only been a hundred days; I’m sure we’re

going to win one soon. The Senate held hearings on health care reform

with over one hundred healthcare, insurance executives and lobbyists

given a microphone to voice their opinions. But when single payer

advocates rose to demand a seat at the table they were removed from the

Senate chamber by the cops. As the advocates for single payer were lead

from the chamber they shouted, “We demand a place at the table!”

Chairman Max Baucus laughed and answered, “We need more police!”

Is Baucus a right wing fanatic? A leftover vestige of Karl Rove’s

Republican juggernaut? No, Baucus is a Democrat. Well, he calls himself

a Democrat, but he is no more a Democrat than Dick Cheney or George

Bush. Baucus promised his legislation will include cuts to medicare

providors. The hearings were no more than a WWF pro wrestling match,

the winners decided in advance. And just in case you’re curious, the

winner won’t be the American people. The winner, by unanimous decision,

is the American insurance industry. But hey, it’s only been a hundred

days.

In the run up to the election, American labor pushed hard for the

card check legislation and candidate Obama announced that if it crossed

his desk he would sign it into law. The bill would simply allow labor

to organize without the influence of the employer. At a time of falling

wages and struggling families it would seem a tiny ray of hope for

workers that somehow they could turn the tide. Just the threat of

employees being able to organize would prompt employers to treat their

workers better or face the consequences. But in one hundred days that

hope is as dead as the turkeys at a Sarah Palin photo op.

Democratic Senators Blanch Lincoln and Mark Pryor have defected from

positions they held before the election, now they favor the Republican

position along with the US Chamber of Congress. The same position

favored by the Christian Coalition, Fox News and the Weekly Standard,

and President Obama won’t have to worry about signing anything because

it’s not coming. Card check is dead in the first one hundred days.

Funny isn’t it, the Democrats control the House, the Senate and the

White House; the Republican Party lies broken into shards on the

sidewalk, and yet they still win all the fights.

But there is a pattern; Congressman Dennis Kucinich on Friday was

outraged over the behavior of the President’s auto task force. On April

30th the President said the following:

“So, today, I am pleased to announce that Chrysler and Fiat have

formed a partnership that has a strong chance of success. It’s a

partnership that will save more than thirty thousand jobs at Chrysler

and tens of thousands of jobs at suppliers, dealers, and other

businesses that rely on this company. It’s a partnership that the

federal government will support by making additional loans that are

consistent with what I outlined last month.”

The problem being that Chrysler has thirty-nine thousand American

workers and forty-seven thousand worldwide. Ohio Congressman Steven

LaTourette’s office called the White House to question Obama’s thirty

thousand remark and was told it was just a round number that the

President had used at random. Based on assurances from the White House,

on April 28 & 29th Chrysler workers approved a new contract

accepting wage and benefit concessions.

On May the first (May Day), Chrysler announced plans to close eight

plants affecting nine thousand workers, but Obama’s thirty thousand

number was just a coincidence. This despite the fact that the new

contract calls on Chrysler to bring more work to plants it now intends

to shutter permanently.

The bankruptcy plan also calls for cutting seven hundred eighty-nine

dealers. Dealers who were being notified even as new cars were being

delivered, dealers that had been asked by Chrysler to take on

additional inventory to “Save Chrysler.” Those dealers now have until

June 9th to sell that inventory. The dealers do not cost Chrysler

anything, they pay into Chrysler for signage and services.

Dennis Kucinich sees it this way, “We have upwards of seventy

billion dollars of US tax payers’ resources being used to close dozens

of US car manufacturing plants and thousands of dealerships having the

affect of putting perhaps millions of Americans out of work. All this

being done to open up a market for China, so China can sell their cheap

imports here in the United States along with other companies who are

making these imports while we destroy our auto manufacturing and sales

and distribution infrastructure.

Bankruptcy is not an industrial policy; it is the opposite of it.

America has long needed an industrial policy where we maintain

vigorously that steel, automotive, aerospace and shipping is vital to

our national security. We’re impairing our ability to defend ourselves

by taking apart our manufacturing base.”

Kucinich is the last of the green shoots growing among the

Democratic weeds in Congress. The President made private and public

assurances to the Chrysler workers and within twenty-four hours they

were thrown on the scrap heap of free trade.

Here are the President’s own words:

“Because of the fact that the UAW and many of the banks, the biggest

stakeholders in this whole process have already aligned, have already

agreed, this process will be quick, it will be efficient. It’s designed

to deal with those last few holdouts, and it will be controlled.


It will not disrupt the lives of the people who work at Chrysler or live in communities that depend on it. And it will not affect the ability of American consumers to buy a Chrysler or to get it serviced and repaired.”

The nine thousand auto workers, the forty-seven thousand dealership

employees and countless communities have been betrayed by the

administration. The GM employees and dealers are next in line to ascend

to the block on tower hill. Their numbers dwarf those of Chrysler by

tenfold. What have they learned in the last one hundred days?

I know what I’ve learned, I’ve learned that there is no such thing

as a Democrat. I once called myself a liberal Democrat, then I called

myself a Democratic Socialist. Now I am a Socialist revolutionary

seeking an end to the so-called two party system by any means necessary

because it is, in fact, a one party cabal with two names. It has no

interest in the wellbeing of the average American whatsoever and that,

by itself, delegitimizes it as a lawful government.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.