Paul Krugman, for example, got his liberal conscience so rattled that he broke with New York Times protocol and wrote the verboten word "shit" in a blog-post about the looming specter of our first openly fascist presidential nominee. The ravening right-wing base is hellbent on electing somebody willing to "bomb the shit out of Muslims" and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, Krugman wrote.
Trump is doing what establishment Dems have had little stomach for or interest in: he is destroying the Republican Party. I can hardly wait for the convention -- if, in fact the GOP elders don't decide to broker it or cancel it altogether in the interest of their own survival. Maybe they'll dream up a new outside terrorist threat in order to maintain their own reign of terror.
Meanwhile, polls show Bernie Sanders beating Trump at wider margins than would Hillary Clinton -- who, unsurprisingly enough, is tacking further to the right now that she's again been declared inevitable. Can't you just imagine a debate between the two of them, with Trump bragging that his daughter and Chelsea are BFFs, and that he gave so generously to the Clinton family slush fund? That will be sure to bring out Democratic voters in droves.
|Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton|
Meanwhile, Trump and the Republicans don't need to red-bait Bernie on single payer healthcare when they have Hillary to do it for them. She is now ridiculously claiming that government-run health care would be a burden on the middle class, when it actually would be a savings boon to everybody. She's essentially saying that it's better to pay private insurance predators for their profit than to pay Uncle Sam in the interests of the common good.
The good news is that younger voters are backing Bernie over both Hillary and Trump. Although it might not happen this cycle, change is inevitable. Out with the old neoliberal order, in with the new New Deal.
Naturally, Krugman and the rest of the Gray Lady claque dare not mention inconvenient polls reflecting actual popular opinion and sentiment. Patrick Healy. for instance, broke away from his He Who Must Not Be Named or Taken Seriously political theater beat long enough to write a front-page piece insisting that liberal voters are upset mainly with the "lingering" optics -- not the actual substance -- of Hillary Clinton's sordid ties to Wall Street:
Healy fails to mention the polls showing that Bernie would beat Trump, possibly in a landslide. He also parrots the talking point of her operatives who claim that just because she takes Wall Street money doesn't mean she will do Wall Street's bidding. Say what?At a time when liberals are ascendant in the party, many Democrats believe her merely having “represented Wall Street as a senator from New York,” as Mrs. Clinton reminded viewers in an October debate, is bad enough.It is an image problem that she cannot seem to shake.Her advisers say most Democrats like her economic policies and believe she would fight for middle-class and low-income Americans. Most opinion polls put Mrs. Clinton well ahead of Mr. Sanders nationally and in Iowa, and they are running even in New Hampshire, but she fares worse than him on questions about taking on Wall Street and special interests. And even if Mrs. Clinton sews up the nomination quickly, subdued enthusiasm among the party’s liberal base could complicate efforts to energize Democratic turnout for the general election.
My published comment:
Corruption in the 21st century is more nuanced than in the olden days, when crooked politicians would accept bags full of cash in the dead of night in return for a specific favor. No longer does this rule of the quid pro quo apply. So, for Hillary's surrogates to claim that her millions from Wall Street doesn't translate into rewards for oligarchs is disingenuous at best.Nearly 900 other readers weighed in. The people have spoken, and they are not taking kindly to Hillary Clinton's shit-bombs. The top-rated commenter, "Harry 1213," had this to say:
As Gilens and Page established in their studies of "affluence and influence," huge donations from the wealthy ensure that, over time, they will get most of what they want. And what they want is privatization of public spaces, corporate coups disguised as "free trade," and fewer social services for the poor and the working class.
Her surrogates claim that the Clintons' "third way" neoliberal crusade of 90s deregulation is a thing of the past. But up until a year ago, they were working closely with Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt" astroturf campaign to cut Social Security and Medicare. As Secretary of State, Hillary traveled to Greece to urge more pain for suffering people. She grotesquely called banker-dictated austerity "chemotherapy to get rid of the cancer," stating that cuts in social programs "will make Greece more competitive, will make Greece more business-friendly. We think that is essential for the kind of growth and recovery that is expected in the 21st century when businesses can go anywhere in the world and capital can follow."
I know exactly who Hillary is fighting for. And it ain't us.
Three weeks ago I sat next to a retired Vermont school teacher at a library benefit dinner in rural Vermont. When I asked the teacher what he thought about Bernie Sanders, he related the following: in 1975 he and Sanders were each manning tables at a bookseller's convention. The bookselling business was slow and for three days they talked about the world. According to the retired teacher, Bernie said "the same things in 1975 that he's saying now about income inequality and Wall Street." The undemocratic dominance of our economy and opportunities by the big banks, mortgage lenders, Wall Street, and all the corporate lobbyists didn't just happen during one administration, it goes back a long time, involving both Republican and Democratic politicians. Wouldn't it be great for our country's economic and democratic future if we could elect someone who appears to have been consistently and honestly on the side of the working people?From "Martin" of New York:
If Clinton is elected, I know exactly what will happen. She will move to the "center," the Republicans will declare that she's a socialist or a communist who must be stopped at all cost, and she will compromise with them in an effort to be or appear effective. Been there and done that too many times. If Sanders were elected, I have no idea what would happen, except that he will continue trying in word and deed to address the fact that our political system is a fraud.And from "Tudor Bornwell," my imaginary friend:
Leave poor Hillary alo-o-o-ne! Don't be, as President Obama chided us when he extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, a bunch of "sanctimonious purists" who keep insisting on reducing the worst wealth inequality in American history. Do your jobs as citizen/consumer-frogs in a slowly simmering centrist Democratic pot instead of in a GOP cauldron immediately set at a high, thrombling boil.Read 'em all. They might make you feel slightly less pessimistic about humanity in general.
We dare not speak ill of Hill. Doing so will lead directly to the election of Donald Trump.* So knock it off, everybody. As the late Sheldon Wolin rightly observed, we live now under a system of inverted totalitarianism, or managed democracy. Our job as citizens is to shut up about our pre-vetted corrupt candidates and pull the lever for the Lesser Evil every four years in the faint hope that our demise as a country might therefore be slightly delayed, and maybe even a tad less painful.
That this article by Patrick Healy again stresses style and image over facts, history, character and ethics is no surprise, seeing as how he comes to the political beat directly from the theater beat. All the world's a stage, and all of us are merely being played.
* The New York Times does not mention some polls showing that in a general election match-up, Bernie Sanders would beat Donald Trump in a landslide. The truth might hurt Hillary's chances, as would more Democratic debates on nights when people would actually be watching.
But wait! I think I spoke too soon. To make you feel twice as pessimistic about humanity, as if that were even possible, you will be grimly happy to learn that resident conservative Times pundit David Brooks is a huge Hillary fan, because among her many other right-wing credentials, she wants to bomb the shit out of various countries. Brooks had absolute wargasms over her hawkish speech last week before the Council on Foreign Relations, veering as she did far to the right even of Drone President Barack Obama. Of course, Brooks's own staid definition of bombing the shit out of countries is prettified into killing people with "mature resolve." Hillary's hawkish approach to dealing with the Middle East, he enthused, is "multilayered and coherent" and "supple and sophisticated," as opposed to, say, the stupid shit-bombs of Donald Trump. Her shit not only doesn't stink; according to Brooks, it is formed like a brain encased in solid gold.
My published response:
If corporatism and corruption had not destroyed democracy in this country, Hillary Clinton would be running as the true Republican she is. Wall Street is for her, the generals are for her, the multinationals laundering money through her family foundation are for her, and David Brooks is for her.
And in a general election, Bernie Sanders (or any true liberal for that matter) would probably beat her. Because like Bernie says, we are sick and tired of getting screwed by a de facto oligarchy, which is only good at expelling people once it has extracted every last minute of underpaid labor from them. We're tired of being ground into human mulch before being tossed in the refuse dump of disposable people.
Many of us are too busy or tired to care that a multimillionaire politician has a smarter, wonkier plan for waging war and shedding blood. And if we actually are paying attention, we are thoroughly disgusted that this is what electoral politics has come to. We have no choice about whether we want war or not. We are only invited to pick which corrupt politician we'd prefer to do the killing (euphemized as surgical drone strikes and the like.)
Hillary Clinton, appearing before an elite think tank run by corporations, generals and bankers and the media shills who serve them, hilariously declared that the aftermath of the Paris attacks "is no time to be scoring political points." And then she cynically proceeded to score political points.
It's disgusting, and it's horrifying.