So if West needed to spend some quality time with his therapist before he gave his angry interview, he was still on to something important.

But let's push this all a little further, in two ways.

First, every president had better be a (phrased much more nicely) "puppet of Wall Street," for if they are not, the ruling class in this country will do even more what it is doing now: go on strike. American corporations on sitting on trillions of dollars in cash, and not investing. Why? To discipline the politicians and the general population, to let them know what will happen if the "business climate" is not what Wall Street likes. Until we have socialism—collective, democratic control of investment—the owners of the means of production can always trump liberal movements simply by not investing, thereby creating high unemployment, and then letting the people demand that politicians give investors anything they want so that the jobs will come back. (Sound familiar?) Until there is a serious mass movement for socialism, Obama and all those who follow him will have their hands tied by this fundamental economic fact.

Second, and even more frightening: many believe that there is in this country a shadow government of defense contractors, military, and national security types who would simply execute any political leader who threatened their interests. The Kennedys, King, other leaders who have had plane crashes, several Black Panthers—all died under mysterious circumstances. It may be that Obama knows that his own life is subject to similar threats. Stray too far off the reservation, and you won't come home that night.

The lessons in all this? Conversations will be a lot more productive if we admit our emotional connection to the subject matter and get real about our own mistakes, if we try to be respectful even as we tell the truth, and if we focus on the kernel of truth even if a lot of what's been said is you know what.