from Empire Burlesque - by Chris Floyd
“Where should we go now?” he asked. “Death faces us everywhere.”And so the great historical presidential campaign of 2008 is finally at an end. By every reasonable and legitimate measure, Barack Obama will be the winner. But of course "reasonable and legitimate measures" mean little when dealing with deliberately fomented chaos and chicanery of the American electoral process, the laughingstock of the rest of the world, whose people stand in slackjawed amazement as they watch and wait -- in dreadful impotence -- to see which hegemon will emerge from the stormcloud of filth, lies, ambition and money that howls around the campaign trail.
It has been, as usual, a bizarre, even lunatic experience, completely untethered from reality, obsessed with trivia, gossip and spin, and emptied, again deliberately, of anything resembling substance. Vague hope is offered by one side, vague, wiggly fear by the other. "Change" is the universal mantra, but both sides have fully and unashamedly embraced all the fundamental tenets and practices of the current power structure: militarism, corporatism, authoritarianism. Both candidates enthusiastically support the so-called War on Terror and the so-called War on Drugs, with all of their horrendous violence and corruption. Both champion unrestricted surveillance on ordinary citizens, and draconian punishments for the millions incarcerated in cramped and increasingly privatized prisons, where the poor and luckless are abandoned to the depradations of gangs and the brutality of ill-paid, ill-trained guards. Both back the inexorable growth of the death penalty to cover an ever-wider array of offenses, even non-lethal crimes. Both support the so-called "bailout," the gargantuan redistribution of wealth from working people to the fraudulent rich. Keep reading here.