Although I am exceptionally appreciative of your greatly amusing verbal desiccations of good-old-fashioned futurological nonsense, you do seem to be, and this is something by which I tend to be greatly bemused, consistently soft on Obama and his continually amoral intransigence. For, as we have all surely noted and noticed, his foreign policy is merely a farcical continuation of Bush-era criminality, and as such, no amount of admittedly welcome socially liberal rhetoric or indeed legislation is likely or liable to mitigate such thoroughly dismaying truths. Although of course, with America being the way it unfortunately is, maybe you would consider the Democrats to be, as it were, the bloodied best of a blatantly bad bunch. Oppositionist gesturing, however well-intentioned, you might suppose is rarely productive (although one wouldn’t presume to know). Nevertheless, one must understand and accept that said party are just much as the Republicans the creatures of high finance, and as such, potentially devastating, both economically and ecologically speaking. Irrespective of the above however, I would really like to see your criticisms of trans-humanism and other allied spuriousness in book form one day. In conjunction with your lowdown and unapologetically dirty wit I’m sure it would prove a wondrous hit. Many thanks, William FrancisThanks for your kind comments, William, and for your honest and concisely-put criticisms. First off, I agree that if I were a patient self-editor I would make efforts to publish my anti-futurological arguments as a more conventional sort of book. Of course, my anti-futurology is a more philosophical sort of critique and isn't usually grappling with the painful compromises involved in realistic critique of organized politics with an eye to real world progressive reform.
I don't know that I am soft on Obama, since one hardly needs to think him perfect to think him manifestly better than the actually existing alternatives. This is of course exactly what you expected me to say -- but, hey, what can I say, it's true!
One either votes for Obama or one votes for Romney. To not vote for Obama through voting for some quixotic third-party candidate or through not voting at all is to empower somebody else's vote for Romney. And Romney is objectively awful and completely cravenly beholden to a GOP that is worse still. That's just how it is.
One can disdain the Executive Branch altogether as irrelevant to progressive outcomes -- I think this is supremely wrongheaded, but it is arguable -- but if you accept that the minimal effort required to vote for the actually most progressive candidate actually on offer is relevant to progressive outcomes in the real world then of course you would vote for Obama.
Like you, I strongly disapprove the continued amplification of the Unitary Executive under Obama, the ongoing militarism, the drone attacks and so on, among other things. I actually do call attention to these issues on this blog, although I personally think voting for more Democrats in congress is the only way to make progress on these issues, with this President in office. (I'm not averse, by the way, to the idea that Obama should face a tribunal for war crimes in the grand scheme of things, provided Bush and his gang go first.)
Nevertheless, President Obama is the most progressive President since FDR. This is, of course, more an indictment of America than a particularly marvelous comment on Obama. So, too, true though it is that plenty of Democrats are beholden to high finance and to extractive-petrochemical incumbent elites, it is also true that such consumer advocates, environmentalists, pro labor activists, and feminists as have any place in organized politics are all Democrats or caucus with Democrats and you might be surprised to find just how many of them there actually are in the Progressive Caucus and the Black Caucus, for example, when it comes to it. Drawing attention to these realities is absolutely and unambiguously productive in my opinion.
The present Republican Party is the single most dangerous organized force in the world in my opinion (not just because so many of its members are so very eeeeevil, so much as because they are evil and also happen to helm a formation with a leading role in the permanently institutionalized party duopoly governing one of most insulated, wasteful, resource rich, and militarily powerful nations in the history of the world) and there are few more useful things anybody can do than work to marginalize this force into harmlessness.
To lose focus on these realities is to lose your way -- which is not to deny the truth of the complaints you mention about which, as I have said, I share your disgust.
If third parties were viable in the United States (they are not, and the politics to change this are even harder than the politics to accomplish progressive outcomes where they are not -- another of those pesky fundamental facts you have to keep in mind at all times here) I would be a Democratic Socialist.
I sympathize strongly with American socialist Michael Harrington's embrace of "the left wing of the possible." Indeed, as you say, I am a strongly partisan Democrat, a big believer in the slogan More -- and Better -- Democrats as the cure for what ails ya and I do believe that the best in democratic party politics tends toward sustainable secular multicultural equity-in-diversity for which "democratic socialism" is a pithy last-ditch moniker (just as our enemies in the wingnutosphere say).