Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shadows Start To Fall

No guts, no glory -- at least no severance and accrued vacation pay, which is what the 200 workers who occupied the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago demanded, and apparently will receive, if news reports are accurate. Good for them. We may not be living in radical labor times, but that could change quickly if the Republic workers' example spreads, which I hope it does. Direct action usually puts the owners on the spot, and given this shitty economy, it may be the one real weapon workers have left.

For all the liberal squawking about holding Obama's feet to flames, these workers showed how it's done, action that libloggers and commentators would rarely if ever take. Obama made all the right noises about the factory occupation, once again trying to be something for everyone. But the man's not yet in office; let's see how President Change (sic) reacts should workers nationwide confront elite institutions, demanding economic justice, putting their bodies on the line. A single feel-good holiday sit-in is one thing, for just about everybody can relate to those workers' desperation. But two, three, many direct challenges to capital? Obama's good at PR, but a real uprising from below would force his hand. After all, he was Wall Street's choice in the election. I doubt he was financed to play Big Bill Haywood.

Thinking about Bank of America and other corporate welfare cheats, I return to the final moments from "Fight Club," where the glass tower vampires meet their dawn.

Speaking of vampires, I'm enjoying the liberal tussle over Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich who, in Bill Clinton fashion, refuses to go down quietly. Why should he? In a nation of political crooks, routine bribery, and fixed elections, Blagojevich is scarcely out of the mainstream. His real sin is being brazen about his corruption, letting his ego logjam business as usual. At first, some libs suggested that Blagojevich was being set-up by Bush's FBI, because, like, if Democrats cheat or bribe, it's a reaction to Republican blackmail or bullying, not part of their true nature. Maybe Blagojevich was targeted after calling out Bank of America over its withholding of funds to the Republic Windows workers. But like Eliot Spitzer, Blagojevich provided his adversaries plenty of rope to hang him with; and now, many liberals have abandoned the Illinois Gov, insisting that Obama had nothing to do with Blagojevich's inside game.

Liberals gotta have an idol to polish, and will move from pedestal to pedestal to find one. Joe Lieberman and Nancy Pelosi were former faves who libs conveniently rejected. Al Gore still resonates, as do the Clintons (always the fucking Clintons). Obama sits atop the marble staircase, countless polishers working 'round the clock. It'll take a full-scale depression or social meltdown to tarnish his rep. Then again, when you embrace someone like Joe Biden, your tolerance for corporate shills must remain high to overcome the cognitive dissonance. Either that, or you're a sucker for private power. Whatever carries you to the midterms.

I'm also amused by the so-called "distress" some progressive Dems have shown over Obama's cabinet appointments. Where are the antiwar voices? Where are the populist lefties? Hoo haw. This scenario's been played so many times that no script is required. Everyone knows their lines. The PDA-types wring their hands, while "pragmatists" like David Corn counsel patience and reserve. But in the end, it doesn't matter what worried liberals think or say, as the final scene is already written. Whining is the sound liberals make before they submit to their rulers. Obama understands this better than anyone. Just leave the pet door to the Party open.

They'll come crawling. Right on cue.