|CBS Election Night Coverage Dan Rather: The proof
of the soundness of our democratic institutions and America's uniqueness
in the world is the smoothness of the change of power which takes place in
our electoral process. [Quadrennially repeated comment in the 80's and
Ironical Chronicle Alternate Interpretation: Maybe it's because there's no change of power at all as in, say, a capitalist dictatorship operating behind a facade of democracy.
December 26, 2008
I've been asked to comment on what to expect from the Obama presidency. Here is my response:
I think that the main features of the Obama regime will be a continuation of the Bush regime which, itself, is and was guided by the perceived needs of the American ruling elite. The "style" of the presidency will change. It has to appear that there is "change" because the Bush regime is a PR disaster. Obama will supply the raw material for "change" and the media will run with it. If Bush's approval rating is 15%, say, Obama will come in with an approval rating of 80%. His end point rating, i.e., his approval rating after 8 years will depend on how his image is managed as he implements the ruling elite's policies.
It's plausible that Bush, the brain damaged, inarticulate, morally corrupt, economically failed son of a rich family was selected to be the president in an era which the ruling elite knew would require unprecedented mendacity from the presidency. For example, no intelligent person would have acceded to the lie which was fabricated, and doomed to be exposed by events, to justify the invasion of Iraq. I think it's no accident that the Svengali-like figure of Cheney was kept close at hand to monitor Bush.
The American political system is decidedly not incorruptible. Its winner-take-all structure leads to a two-party system, which itself is easily corruptible. If you add in the power of the corporate-controlled mass media in attitude formation, the political system is corrupted into a class dictatorship with the appearance of democracy.
It is this class dictatorship, within which the US financial elite exercises overweening influence, that guarantees continuity in the broad outlines of US policy.
The president is their CEO, but the representatives of the largest accumulations of wealth in the country are the Board of Directors.
CEO's come and go, but the Board remains — until it is replaced in a hostile take-over.