Just so we're perfectly clear: in the upcoming Neoliberal Death Match the choice will be which dynastic brand we proles would prefer to serve the uber-wealthy. Because while the rich and the well-connected have their personal servers, both internet and human, the public itself is not being served at all. Widespread poverty and racial/social injustice in the richest country on earth, underemployment, the creeping military/spy/police state, "trade" deals -- they're all being conveniently ignored in favor of the personal corruption of emperors and empresses in waiting. As Bernie Sanders notes, Hillary's emails are not being widely discussed in the town square. People have too much else on their (empty) plates.
What else is new in the New Abnormal?
Our post-Citizens United political system is so dirty that the elites of the two big business legacy parties no longer even pretend there's much difference between them. As a matter of fact, they gleefully rub our noses in their perfidy.They brag about how chummy they all are, slithering as they do within the same exclusive exalted circles.
Vote Democrat lest the Koch Brothers take over the place? You have got to be kidding me. The Clintons and the Kochs are buddies. They hang out at the same places and toast each other at galas. They brag about their philanthropies, which in brave neoliberal world aim to replace taxation of the rich and government-mandated social safety nets. Money trumps ideology and the common good in what Gore Vidal called one political party with two right wings.
This incestuous corruption is hiding in plain sight in the New York Times Style section:
In a cocktail area in the front of the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, guests primped and posed in floor-length gowns. Hair was sprayed to perfection, and many of the faces did not appear to move. A young crowd this was not.
But perhaps the most surprising thing about the evening was that while David H. Koch and his wife, Julia, held court in one area of the lobby, Chelsea Clinton was in another.Ballet apparently makes for strange bedfellows. Mr. Koch, the conservative billionaire who oversees a well-funded political network, said he has met the Clintons before, including at a benefit last year for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
And then they all dined on caviar and boogied together on the dance floor amidst their fluttering $1 million checks. I am sure that whether it's D or whether it's R, there's a seat waiting at the White House table for Julia Koch for some greed-washing public-private "initiative."
“Toward the end, this U.N. ambassador asked if I wanted to meet the Clintons,” said Mr. Koch, who on this night wore a blue velvet tuxedo jacket and bow tie. “I said ‘sure.’ So I walked over to the next table, and Bill Clinton was there with Hillary and Chelsea. I started talking to them, and within three or four minutes, there must have been 30 people gathered around the table trying to hear my conversation with three Clintons.”Moments later, Ms. Clinton returned the compliment. “I have tremendous respect for the Kochs’ support of the arts,” said Ms. Clinton, who was wearing a black dress from Chanel and arrived with her husband, Marc Mezvinsky. “We’re standing in the Koch Theater, and I’m thrilled Julia Koch is a fellow board member. She joined the board a couple of years ago, so I’ve had the privilege of getting to know her.”
If Hillary wins, I think it's a safe bet that Bill Clinton as First Dude will not be relegated to an office in the East Wing. It's very possible that Chelsea Clinton will be the de facto First Lady, just as Julie Eisenhower filled that role for her parent in the corrupt final days of the Nixon Administration.
If you still don't believe that Democrats and Republicans aren't joined at the hip, there was last night's incestuous Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington. This annual affair is restricted to the most insidery media-political complex insiders. Journalists whose job description used to be affliction of the comfortable had to pledge a solemn oath not to write about the coziness that transpired. But according to controlled leaks, Barack Obama yucked it up big time with his frenemy, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and they all guffawed uproariously over the very serious national trauma that is the Clinton email scandal.
From the Washington Post's account:
The dinner is a love letter to a Washington that never really existed — a romanticized place where politicians, despite all the squabbling, share an abiding respect for each other, the press and the political process. If it was ever true, it’s certainly not now — but it must be nice to pretend for a few hours....It's all an act, folks. The press conferences, the Sunday shows, the corporate newspaper op-eds. Acting in the private interest disguised as the public interest is such a hard job, but somebody's got to do it. I'm sure the liberals cackled as much as the conservatives over a misogynistic skit ridiculing Latin American sex workers.
With a guest list of 650 — a fraction the size of the much-hyped White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — Gridiron is arguably a far more coveted ticket within Beltway circles. Gridiron is also the most insular of the city’s press dinners. None of the speakers have to play to C-SPAN or CNN cameras, so they keep it for Washington, by Washington, with insider jokes designed for VIP political junkies who breathlessly parse every off-hand aside for hidden meaning....
The skits are a mixture of hokey and slick, the journalists dressed in elaborate costumes but often bolstered by strong-voiced ringers for the song parodies. There were male reporters playing Colombian prostitutes in a Secret Service skit. There were puns and bad jokes but nothing damning: The same reporters who appear on Sunday morning talk shows decrying the letter GOP senators sent to Iran had nothing to say about it on stage.
No word whether the Koch Brothers were in attendance, or whether they hobnobbed with Obama. But there was a ditty (sung to the tune of an old Coke commercial) about them, composed and performed just for the special occasion. It's exploding into the public domain like a bottle of sugary soda left in the freezer too long:
“We’d like to buy the world for KochAs Ken Vogel has revealed, the top 100 political donors gave as much money as nearly five million small donors in the last election cycle. This doesn't even take into account all the anonymous dark money being channeled through Pacs and SuperPacs and 501(c)s. Not only do our votes not count, our combined dollars don't count for much either.
There’s a billion we will spend
We pay to play in the USA
So freedom doesn’t end.”
Welcome to the American oligarchy.