in search of the American
dream By Pepe Escobar
NEW YORK - Don't … stop … thinking
about tomorrow. Fleetwood Mac is back. The
roaring 1990s are back. Bubba is in da house. The
American dream is back with a bang. The nightmare
Or is it?
How can any
living politician anywhere in the world even
pretend to rival former US president Bill
Clinton's charisma, delivery (with substance) and
authority? His Awesomeness gave it all for US
President Barack Obama at the Democratic Party
convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. He may
well have sealed Obama's reelection all by
Professor Bubba managed to sell
the most flimsy of all hopes; an
transmogrified as Obama as the only possible
conduit to that long lost fuzzy happiness of the
And all of it based on fiscal
rectitude and humanitarian sweep; a balanced
budget; higher taxes for the exceedingly wealthy;
protection for a battered middle class; profound
concern for the plight of the poor and the
And all of this accomplished via
a smack down - a meticulous taking apart and
tearing to bits of every single Republican
"issue", in almost excruciating detail.
Compare it to an empty chair last week
winning the shootout against an aging Hollywood
icon - not to mention a hapless Republican
And all this after
First Lady Michelle Obama had knocked it out of
the park the day before, or - to subscribe to a
Latino soccer metaphor - hit un golazo!.
Michelle Obama for president? Certainly
Michelle Obama for her president. Clinton was all
about urgence and exigence. Michelle was all about
what kind of man lives and breathes behind complex
policy decisions. Compare it to the Romney couple.
While it's hard to escape the explosive racial
subtext, it's more a case of rich white American
royalty sure of its divine entitlement versus "the
usurpers" - a struggling black couple who reached
the American dream from the bottom up based on
their talent and drive.
To quote the empty
chair's interlocutor, you gotta ask yourself one
question; Who you're gonna trust?
in fact pulled a Bubba - by directly linking her
Barack's biography to President Obama's policy
decisions. Can't ask for a more powerful political
pitch. Example: "We were so young, so in love, and
so in debt" - because of a student loan which was
higher than their mortgage. The punch line:
"That's why Barack has fought so hard to increase
forget Still the key question trespassing
all these extremely polished, sometimes fiery
speeches at the Democratic convention - from
Massachusetts governor Duval Patrick to San
Antonio mayor and new Latino sensation Julian
Castro - has been whether the US is better off now
than four years ago. There's no possible positive
evaluation if one sticks to this straitjacket.
So the timeline was duly stretched. From
Michelle to Bubba, a case was made that the real
Obama as ultimate champion of the (restored)
middle class American dream will only be able to
fulfill, or at least start to fulfill, all the
promises if he's granted a second term.
What's certain is that Michelle and most
of all Bubba were transcendental enough to make
one forget, for instance, each and every aspect of
Obama's troubling (to say the least) foreign
policy - from the broken promise to close
Guantanamo to the drone-based shadow war frenzy.
Take a look at the Democratic political
A confrontation with China
as a possible peer competitor is more than visible
under all the platitudes. The Middle East is
essentially a matter of "an unshakable commitment"
to "Israel's security" and "robust security
cooperation" with those paragons of democracy, the
petro-monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC). Iran is nothing else than an aggressive
purveyor of "destabilizing activities".
And all this while US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton hit Beijing to once again lecture
the Chinese. As the Global Times  mercilessly
"As secretary of state, Clinton
fails to present Americans with this simple
logic: In the long run, the US can only compete
and cooperate with China on an equal footing,
and it will have fewer and fewer resources to
dominate and curb China."
mention that Michelle and Bubba also made possible
to forget Bubba's mantra - "it's the economy,
stupid" - in ways certainly unforeseen by the
First Lady and the former President.
collapse of Lehman Brothers - the US's fourth
largest investment bank - will be four years old
next week. That was the straw that broke the
financial camel's back - unleashing a global
disaster that still lingers. To quote Rimbaud,
this financial Drunken Boat is what actually
swallowed what would have been a global epiphany;
Obama's 2008 victory.
were so immense he could not possibly meet them,
even though he appeared, and positioned himself,
as the ultimate personification of Hope.
Eventually, Obama seems to have been reduced to
the role of just a cog in the infernal machine.
The bottom line - despite all the soaring
heights reached by Michelle and Bubba; Obama won't
be the new Roosevelt. There won't be any New Deal
- among other reasons because Republicans have
done the impossible to sabotage it.
Michelle and Bubba were brilliant enough to make
legions forget that Obama didn't crack down on
Wall Street; the Justice Department, for instance,
won't prosecute Goldman Sachs. That income
inequality in the US keeps getting worse. That
some of the US's most profitable corporations paid
less than zero taxes between 2008 and 2010. 
That only five too-big-to-fail mega-banks control
56% of the US economy. That the absolute majority
of jobs created during the Obama administration
are only low-wage.
gone…yesterday's gone. Michelle and Bubba, at
least rhetorically, have relieved the American
dream. But how equipped is Obama - the man and the
leader, not the myth - to deliver the real deal?