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Great post. Obama's election is complicated, because certainly, Bush showed us just how horrific a difference a Right president makes. On the other hand, as you imply, his election seems to have diverted the genuine anti-imperial and anti-corporate energies that circulated around, respectively, the Iraq war and the WTO in the 90s (I realize, of course, that both continue to produce protest and critique; they're just not as visible as before.) I still suspect, too, that Obama fits directly into the identity politics malaise that Jodi identifies in her first paragraph, and that his race made him seem more progressive than he actually is (I haven't necessarily given up on him yet, but I've been disappointed like everyone. I wonder, really, if the Tea Party is the problem or the solution to left apathy. As Alain points out, progressives have come alive again in the past few months, and in part that seems to result from antipathy towards the Tea Party. I sense that the Tea Party, in its excesses, has served to activate the very people they hate. And are the Tea Party the rapers in the Zizek analogy? They're racist, no doubt, and anti-poor, but the real raping seems to be occurring in the BP and Goldman Sachs boardrooms. And what will change megacapitalism? Hack, protest, strike, boycott, but it would all have to occur on such a broad level to create change outside of the framework of electoral politics which, I sulkily conclude, we're stuck with. Andrew
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May 19, 2010