" Obama placates angry Asians: How politics works | Madam Miaow Says

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Obama placates angry Asians: How politics works


President-elect Barack Obama’s appointment of pugnacious banker Rahm Emanuel as his Chief-of-Staff couldn’t have been more controversial, what with Rahmbo’s volunteer service in the Israel Defence Forces, his support of Bush’s Iraq war, and advocacy of compulsory “universal sevice” for all young Americans.

But then Obama nominated New Mexico governor Bill Richardson for commerce secretary, an appointment which pitched Latinos and Asian-Americans against each other. Richardson displayed none of the racial sensitivity he reserves for his Hispanic constituency when he helped prosecute Taiwanese-American Wen Ho Lee, a former nuclear scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, for spying ten years ago.

"This was the major Chinese-American civil rights case in the last 30 years,'' said Albert Wang, a Fremont physician. "And there was a feeling among many Chinese-Americans, particularly in Silicon Valley, that Bill Richardson did a lot to promote the notion that all Chinese-Americans are potential spies.''

"Wen Ho Lee bore the brunt of Richardson's actions, but there were many Chinese-American scientists who felt great fear,'' said Der, who once headed Chinese for Affirmative Action in San Francisco. "Even I got a visit from the FBI, and I'm not a scientist.''

Gee, how was Obama gonna get all the US Asians on board?

Hmmm, how to mollify a substantial minority with financial clout and an eye on political power?

Meanwhile, and entirely unconnected, Obama’s cabinet gets an Asian. It looks like science super-egghead and Nobel Laureate Dr Stephen Chu will be Head of the Department of Energy where his remit is biofuels, a poisoned chalice if ever there was one.

Hated by the big coal producers AND loathed by environmentalists, I don’t fancy Chu's chances.

Madam Miaow says ... Hey, Steve, the vessel with the pestle has the pellet with the poison. The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true. Doh! No, the flagon with the dragon holds the brew that is true ... Don't trust the gweilo!

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7 comments:

ModernityBlog said...

Great stuff on SU blog, you should cross post some of it

Madam Miaow said...

Cheers, Mod.

What exactly do you mean by cross-posting? You mean post it here at MM? I'm in two minds about it. The whole episode was such a horrible experience that I'd prefer to keep it at a distance and off my lovely blog.

And who cares, anyway? You've seen how no-one engages with me on the subject over there. In fact I'm a little shocked (pleasantly) that you noticed. Think I'll pour myself an eensy-weensy sherry to celebrate. Hic! L'chaim.

ModernityBlog said...

was thinking that you might do a really short post linking to your previous writings in the Next Journal on the subject which are a good read, and say something like "didn't I tell yer so!"

nothing too big, just a reminder of

"If the Left wants to grow it has to decide whether it genuinely wants fresh socialist talent in the movement as it claims it does, or whether it stagnates. The choice is clear – use it or lose it. Everything else is just ice-picks at dawn."


how very apt now?

PS: I follow SU blog avidly and your post stood out, you write with a great force of arguments and lucidly

also the humour gave it away, that's scarce nowadays amongst the British Left :)

Madam Miaow said...

Aw, shucks, Mod. Ta very much.

I'll think about it and maybe catch the moment when the blood's up.

Where's that sherry ...?

BTW, remember when the "comrades" did their usual power-trip and betrayed their long-standing Manchester members, ending up with that BNP pair high in the ranks? It's a microcosm of everything else that's gone on. You'd have thought that was serious enough to start some sort of an enquiry.

ModernityBlog said...

you would think that, but a LOT of the Left either seem to live in a bubble, are treated like un-thinking ants or have become so de-politicised that they can't ponder why so many of the British Left's endevours end in failure

many of the problem facing the Left are similar to any organisation, decide what you're trying to put over, use various methods to reach your target audience (I hope you like the PR speak!), expand, build up structures and increase influence in chosen areas, etc

but without a degree of reflection and the willingness to listen and think, nothing comes of all these negative experiences as another generation of socialists are shoved thru the mill, until the next Fresher's Faire

you'll notice one aspect of that bubble existence, how posters at SU blog are unfamiliar with the idea of ENGAGING with the point's of others, rather they descend into slanging matches, even over simple things

until those poor habits are un-learnt not much will change, and the REAL danger of the BNP growing won't diminish

Madam Miaow said...

Hi Mod,

Yes, yes, yes and yes. Still watching the non-debate at SU and gawping in shock (no awe) at the lack of interaction, the dishonesty, etc.

Nothing has been learnt. Leaders will change and the problems will remain the same.

Anyhow, signs are that when things get really bad, people will resort to the unions (numbers steadily increasing now) completely bypassing the far left. Of course, that brings with it a whole other set of problems, but at least you know the union bosses shaft you.

ModernityBlog said...

scary, the low level of debate on SU blog

I think British Leninism is a busted flush, at its peak the CP had 50K, compared to millions in Europe.

I don't think that the "we know best" leadership really works in the 21st century any more than it did in the latter half of the 20th.

organisations that come out of union activities seem less prone to the head banging and triumphalism that is so common on the British Left.

if parts of the British Left didn't look down at Trade Unions as some LOWER form of consciousness they'd have more luck convincing people of their arguments, but so many times the Left almost sneers at unions

I reckon that the New Left of 1968 will have to die off and be replaced by others not so set in 1920/30s political thinking.

not a good time, attacks on the welfare state, destruction of social housing, etc and then the prospect of a Tory govt.

oh my....

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