"Saturday may well be the day," caustically wrote Nevada journalist Jon Ralston, "that altered the course of the Democratic presidential race, when Hillary Clinton blunted Bernie Sanders’ campaign, when she was forced to work as hard as she ever has for a week (with a little help from a lot of friends) and slingshotted her with new momentum into South Carolina and then Super Tuesday. Nevada may indeed prove to be the day that saved Hillary Clinton’s campaign."
Like Roman slaves let out for a brief Saturday airing, in full view of their masters, Nevada gambling and hospitality workers were herded into the caucuses. They cast their votes, not behind the usual private curtains, but in the full view of their employers and union bosses and blinding TV lights. It was a true Circus Maximus vibe, complete with hordes of salivating media predators pawing for release behind their cages as the mobs entered and exited through carefully placed vomitoria.
|America's Voting Booth|
Even unabashed Hillary supporter, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, wondered aloud whether the caucus-goers were feeling any pressure to vote a certain way. TV correspondents, who seemed to outnumber actual citizens in some locales, complained that attendees were loathe to discuss whom they might be voting for. Some workers appeared fearful about backing a candidate not acceptable to their bosses.
Elsewhere in the state, though, wage slaves were not given an extended lunch break to do Reid's bidding. Only an estimated 17% of registered Democrats turned out to caucus. Many people, as reader E. O'Meara noted in a post from Reno last week, could not get the time off from work to vote. They only were granted a one or two hour window of opportunity to make their voices heard. That seems to have been a feature of the process, not a bug.
That the Empress in Waiting barely squeaked out a "victory" by five percentage points over an underdog Democratic Socialist behind by double digits only a few weeks ago is testament to the emptiness of her campaign message of "Same Old Shit".
She is so imperious, so tone-deaf, that she couldn't even resist dinging the younger voters she will need to win the general election should she machinate and lie and triangulate and pander her way to the Democratic nomination. Echoing the loathsome Tweeting Clinton bundler I profiled in my previous post, Hillary went into full hectoring mode.
If you've been evicted, poisoned by filthy water, can't afford your medicine and get beaten by cops because of the color of your skin, don't expect any single payer health care or free public college tuition or a break-up of those really yuge casinos known as Wall Street banks. Hillary will give you just what Obama and Bill and Bush and Reagan have always given you: imaginary ladders of opportunity by which to hoist yourself up by your own bootstraps.
There will be no FDR-style Works Progress Administration or Job Corps. There will, however, be more trickle-down austerity -- or as Hillary put it in her neoliberal pep talk, "unleashing the innovation of our entrepreneurs and small businesses." Translated into plain English, this means more feeding at the public trough by private corporations, and tax breaks for such small business enterprises as yacht and luxury vacation home rentals.
And she had a very special tough-love message for America's lost generation, whose members now overwhelmingly identify as socialist:
But, I want you to think about this.
It can't be just about what we're going to give to you, it has to be what we're going to build together. Your generation is the most tolerant, and connected our country has ever seen. In the days ahead we will propose new ways for more Americans to get involved in national service and give back to our communities because everyone of us has a role to play in building the future we want.I can't wait to hear her new proposals. They will probably involve no actual salary. Because unlike humanist Bernie Sanders, Clinton does not even pay her own young campaign workers. So I imagine that a Hillary Youth Movement would be modeled after Obama's Organizing for Action astroturf machine, which largely involves enlisting volunteers to propagandize for such job-destroying corporate initiatives as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And given Hillary's own hawkishness, she'll no doubt want to continue Michelle Obama's militaristic Joining Forces campaign, the brainchild of the Center for a New American Security think tank founded and staffed by "interventionist" Clinton Democrats, Wall Street investors, and defense contractors.
Give back and give often. Give again and again for the good of the plutocracy, and Hillary will make you feel like you're really part of something as you struggle to survive.
Do I even need to tell you that after her very marginal victory in Nevada, her Editorial Enforcers are out in full force today, once again declaring that their candidate is Inevitable? In a break from tradition and a slap in the face to democracy, the New York Times is already running Bernie's obituary on the front page. Even though, last I checked, he is not only still breathing, he's tied with her in (elected) delegates and is still ahead in some national polls.
Hillary kind of reminds me of Caesar Augustus's influential wife, Livia Drusilla. If you've ever read Robert Graves' I, Claudius or seen the BBC version, you know exactly who I'm talking about. In case you missed it, the series is still running on Hulu.
The big difference is that in Roman times, scheming political wives would poison or otherwise destroy their rivals in order to ensure the succession of their own sons. Livia, though, broke the glass ceiling of Caesar's Palace and became empress in her own right. Who needs sons, when you yourself can become the sun around which the planets of the corrupt ruling class and the sycophantic press can mindlessly revolve?
It's the 21st American century, thank goodness. So who needs to kill one's rivals, when you have the New York Times to do your character assassination for you?
Of course, you still need heirs. And it's always a yuge campaign selling point to tell the masses how much you love being a Grandma. Livia was a doting Grandma, too. Her grandson was named Caligula.