• Peterr commented on the blog post Words, Deeds, Droughts, and Decisions on Climate Change

    2013-01-26 19:16:47View | Delete

    I’m open to facts, but didn’t see many at Counterpunch.

    Here’s the most direct general statement they made about these protests: “Tar Sands Action was a sophisticated, extremely well-funded model for creating the illusion of movement building, complete with mass civil disobedience, but the real goal, mirroring its cousin, “The 99 Spring,” was (and is) to hammer Republicans and fire up grassroots enthusiasm for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.”

    Hammer Republicans? Sure, insofar as they were the ones overtly pushing for the pipeline to be built.

    Fire up grassroots enthusiasm for Obama’s reelection? Sorry, but “the insider” lost me on that one. The only way this would have boosted grassroots enthusiasm Obama’s reelection is if he saw the protests and said “OK, I hereby refuse to allow this pipeline to be built.” How does refusing to agree to what the protesters want build up the enthusiasm of the progressive base?

    Or are you suggesting this is some eleventy-dimensional chess move, where the Obama administration’s arresting and jailing 65 prominent progressive activists gets the base angry at the GOP? “If the GOP wasn’t so intransigent on this, then the protesters wouldn’t have had to protest and Obama simply would have killed the pipeline, so instead of being upset with Obama we’ll get upset with the GOP.”

    The basic premise of the piece is not plausible. Not in the least.

    And if you think Jane was somehow bought off and put in the veal pen . . . well, you don’t know Jane. She’s pissed off the WH and the veal pen operations plenty, and the notion that she’d either join or be duped into joining a veal pen operation is laughable. Read this and then tell me that Jane was part of a “sophisticated, extremely well-funded model for creating the illusion of movement building.”

    Try looking at this or this or this.

    From that last link:

    I have no doubt Obama wants to give the oil companies what they want and approve the pipeline. Why wouldn’t he? The guy who took his daughter down to play in the gulf and has done nothing to hold BP responsible for the Deepwater Horizon spill is not going to stand up to the oil companies at collection election time.

    But there’s also another election component to factor in. As Neil Munro notes this morning, “Obama has maintained high support among some important groups that respond to liberal arguments, including gays and environmentalists.”

    Obama wants and needs the support of liberal environmentalists in 2012, but he doesn’t intend to do anything substantial for them, like blocking construction of the pipeline. If he did, he’d certainly say so before two weeks of protests began at the White House. So just as Bradley Manning was stripped naked and forced to stand in front of guards for inspection after people began protesting about his conditions, the leaders of the Tar Sands protest were held in DC jail for two days in another moment of authoritarian overreaction.

    Does that sound like someone who is fired up about Obama’s reelection? Does it sound like someone who has bought into a sophisticated model that promotes the illusion of a grass-roots movement? Not to me.

    And if you think otherwise, you’d best not mention it to Jane. Especially face to face.