"Clinching" is the new winning in corporate journalism-speak. You don't beat, crush, obliterate or trounce your opponent any more. That sounds as tacky as selling tickets to a Lincoln Bedroom sleepover. You delicately clinch whatever you think is owed to you. You substitute merit for meretriciousness. You fake it till you make it. You even do it before all the votes are counted, with a little help from your friends in the press.
Somebody just pinch me. Or punch me.
News reports in the wake of "The Clinch Who Stole Populist Christmas" are painting Bernie Sanders as even more of a stubborn old grouch than usual. The New York Times sounded particularly aggrieved that he was not yet groveling at the feet of the Empress-in-Waiting, begging for mercy:
And so, despite the crushing California results that rolled in for him on Tuesday night, despite the insurmountable delegate math and the growing pleas that he end his quest for the White House, Senator Bernie Sanders took to the stage in Santa Monica and basked, bragged and vowed to fight on.
In a speech of striking stubbornness, he ignored the history-making achievement of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, who became the first woman in American history to clinch the presidential nomination of a major political party.Oh, how dare he keep clenching and denying the fact that Hillary is History Personified as she rides to the White House, bravely clinging to the moldy coattails of her husband.
Figurative jaw clenched in elite indignation, the Gray Lady huffs on:
Mr. Sanders waited until 15 minutes into his speech to utter Mrs. Clinton’s name. He referred, almost in passing, to a telephone conversation in which he had congratulated her on her victories. At that, the crowd of more than 3,000 inside an aging airport hangar booed loudly. Mr. Sanders did little to discourage them.
Jeeze, here I am a woman and I slept right through the historical milestone. I woke up this morning and the magic that will change my life forever still hasn't quite hit me. Maybe it was because as a New Yorker, I was denied the right to vote in the closed Democratic primary due to my failure to affiliate myself with the big tent corporate party by last year's deadline.Tuesday was, undeniably, Mrs. Clinton’s night, a milestone for women in politics and civic life 95 years after the 19th Amendment guaranteed their right to vote.
At almost every turn, he was grudging toward Mrs. Clinton, passing up a chance to issue the kind of lengthy salute that many, in and out of the Democratic Party, had expected and craved.
David Gergen, who is the same age as Bernie, is a very relaxed and mellow old man because he rakes in some very serious bucks as a Very Serious Person on CNN.“It’s a blown opportunity to build bridges that are going to be extremely important in the fall,” said David Gergen, an adviser to four presidents, both Democratic and Republican. He worried that Mr. Sanders was becoming “a grumpy old man".
The Times went on to gratuitously castigate the "Bernie Bros", many of whom it predicts will spitefully and mindlessly gravitate to the next best thing: Donald Trump.
Are these clinchers sore winners, or what?
Meanwhile, Bernie will meet with Barack at the White House on Thursday. We'll know the jig is up when the next scene will be that of Bernie and Barry mounting the steps of Air Force One together for one of those famous Kucinich-ish mystery rides. Let's hope that movie never gets made.
Obama is expected to make an official endorsement of The Clincher as early as tomorrow. In the interim, the White House has put out an official statement:
Her historic campaign inspired millions and is an extension of her lifelong fight for middle-class families and children.”Ouch. That's as good as saying she hasn't and won't fight at all for poor and working class families and children, whose extreme poverty rate has actually doubled since the Clintons did away with direct cash aid to the indigent two decades ago. That's as good as saying that Hillary will limit her charm offensive to the ever-dwindling, but still comfortable, middle class. It does not bode well for the jobless, the evicted, the pinched, and the marginalized.
So it's still all about the struggle and continuing to make history with the extension of a lifelong and bottom-up fight for affordable housing, good jobs with good wages, universal health care, public education and a secure retirement.
If enough of us make a noise, maybe we can turn Clinching Clinton into Flinching Clinton. No politician, not even FDR, ever improved life for millions of people without a good swift kick or two or hundred from the Left, inspiring them to do the right thing.