Many progressives continue onward, stubbornly blind to President Barack Obama's duplicity because he holds a few seemingly leftish positions.
Some people believe that he is making concessions to the Republicans, but in actuality Obama is firmly on the right. His main goal is to make money for corporate conglomerates. When this is not possible, he plays progressive.
The Nobel Peace laureate allows the elimination of "Don't ask don't tell," but no one was making money out of it anyway. At the same time there isn't a drone attack or a resource war he wouldn't promote or start.
He gives public funds for green-energy initiatives, while at the same time eliminating the ban on off-shore drilling. It seems like an ideological contradiction, except that both are good for business. That is where his heart really lies. The professor of constitutional law supports women's rights, which is inexpensive, while at the same time authorizing spying shamelessly on phone records and digital media, which may render very valuable information.
The reason progressives are still confused about Obama is that they missed something important in recent history. Most progressives realize that during the 2000 election we endured a coup d'état, where the constitutional order was disrupted and a tyrant got into the Oval Office. But there are two things most progressives missed.
First, the tyrant that took office in the 2000 election was not George W. Bush, it was corporate America. Second, tyrants do not step down after elections; they need to be toppled by the people.
This explains why when Obama took office there was no change in the military, international affairs, treasury or anything that affects the control that the ruling elites have on the state. Obama seems progressive exclusively in things that do not conflict with the tyrant's profits.
On a visit to New Mexico, Obama said, "I want the oil industry to do well." Doing well means that they sell their product for more while spending less. Oil companies spend money paying employees, paying taxes and complying with environmental and safety regulations.
So when they do well it means we are paying more at the pump. They are laying off workers, paying them less money, dodging taxes and skimping on regulations and safety. Is that what the champion of the left wants?
Well, Obama meant what he said. There are more oil rigs in the U.S. than ever before and the oil industry breaks record after record of quarterly profit.
In the immigration arena, we have another example that Obama's main interest is maximizing profits. He supports a guest-worker program. Incidentally this is exactly the same program Bush supported, and for a good reason: the immigrant's cheap labor is great for business. A guest-worker program simply means that it is OK to pay less money to some workers because they are brown. Is that really the position of the left?
The most conclusive evidence that both parties answer to the same puppeteer was evident with the bombing of Libya. The Republicans had been rabidly arguing that Obama could not be president because he was a Muslim or foreigner, and coming up with any excuse to argue for his removal. Then the golden opportunity was presented to them: Obama started hostilities against a country without congressional approval.
It was a clear constitutional violation, with ample grounds to impeach him and have him removed from office. Obama would have been a sitting duck with no defense.
Yet Republicans went suddenly quiet and looked intently the other way. Clearly, Libya's vast oil reserves gave plenty of profit for Big Oil and corporate America. In this issue, all masks came off and it became clear that both parties serve the same master.
The differences between the parties are intended to distract the crowd, dealing only with superficial issues. The alternation in parties only serves to create the illusion that something may change and deters people from seeking true change.
Jesus Rivas of Somerset, a former Herald-Leader contributing columnist, blogs at www.leftangle.org.