Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Invasion of the Hillzabeth

(updated below)

I'd promised myself that I would limit my posts on Hillary to only one per week, lest I become as addicted to the effervescence as the mainstream press seems to be. With a full year and half to go before election day, I didn't want to suffer acute Clinton burnout on top of my chronic Clinton burnout. Even Hillary seems to be getting tired of herself. She is not so much running for president as she is sauntering for president.

But I couldn't resist her campaign's latest gimmick -- which is to claim that Elizabeth Warren is not really Elizabeth Warren, and that Hillary Clinton is not really Hillary Clinton. It's some kind of weird rip-off of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The plot is convoluted, so bear with me:

There never was an Elizabeth Warren, or at least not the Elizabeth Warren we think we know and love. The real Elizabeth Warren is Hillary Clinton. The fake Elizabeth, hogging attention in the Senate, crept right into Hillary's mind one night. She sucked out Hillary's passionate populism like a vampire sucks blood, claiming it as her own. What a bitch.

And all that's left of poor Hillary is a robotic wraith*. She wanders the plutocratic landscape, devoid of all emotion and humanity.

In case you're confused (I know that I am) I will let the New York Times explain it better. Amy Chozick, who has the enviable assignment of being the permanent Hillary beat reporter, headlines her story "Campaign Casts Hillary Clinton as the Populist It Insists She Has Always Been."

Like I said, this is shades of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. As that cult classic movie begins, a boy insists that his mother isn't his mother, and a woman thinks her husband isn't her husband. and so forth. It turns out the townsfolk are getting subsumed, while they sleep, by giant alien outer-space pods who morph into exact facsimiles of the person they replace.  At first, people who insist that their relatives aren't who they say they are get written off as nuts. Until the movie progresses, that is, and everybody turns into a progressive pod-zombie. The few remaining holdouts gradually succumb to sleep through sheer exhaustion. It's just a movie, though. Neoliberal Death Match 2016 is all too real.

The Futile Fight Against Hillary Fatigue

Back to the Times article:
But now, the former secretary of state must persuade voters that she is the right messenger for the cause of inequality, not simply seizing on it out of political expedience.
Nothing stings members of her inner circle more than the suggestion that their candidate is late to these issues. Mrs. Clinton was the original Elizabeth Warren, her advisers say, a populist fighter who for decades has been an advocate for families and children; only now have the party and primary voters caught up.
“I don’t know why we have this semicollective amnesia about her past positions,” said Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress and Mrs. Clinton’s policy director in 2008. “She’s following no one on these issues.”
Neera Tanden can gas-light we doubters all she wants, but there are some inconvenient truths about Humanish Hillary. Just like the pod people, she is both new and a con -- a Neocon. She is more hawkish than Obama. 

And although she speaks often about women and families, her words have not been followed by similar actions: quite the opposite, in fact. As a board member for Walmart while she was first lady of Arkansas, she remained silent as the Walton family fought unions and a minimum wage. And Alice Walton, who along with her fellow heirs owns as much wealth as the bottom 40 percent of Americans, has already given $25,000 to the Ready for Hillary PAC  -- relative chump change which nonetheless is more than the annual salary of the average  female Walmart employee.

Hillary was instrumental in Bill Clinton's collusion with Republicans that cut off direct cash aid to poor mothers and children. And she bragged about it in her  first memoir. "By the time Bill and I left the White House," she gushed, "welfare rolls had dropped 60 percent!"

Well, she did say she was dead broke when she left, so I assume that she wanted the still-poor welfare moms to achieve parity with her in order to show solidarity with their champion. Don't even get me started on her championship of NAFTA, which saw the exodus of millions of jobs, including the jobs held by working women.

There's so much more, which I will get to often in the next endless year and a half. But meanwhile, Team Clinton is trying to rewrite fact as fantasy, omitting the scary special effects. According to the revisionary history, Hillary was a left-wing firebrand in the White House, until the State Department gig forced her to act boring and conservative and hawkish and non-Warrenish. From the Times again:
This perception comes because she wasn’t involved in the discussion for so long,” Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist, said of Mrs. Clinton. Because, she added, in the White House “she had this reputation as being the very left-wing, liberal, Elizabeth Warren type.”
Anita Dunn must be living in a fog. According to DeSmogBlog, Dunn is a lobbyist who's gotten rich from, among other things, working for the tar sands and fracked oil industries as well as doing public relations for the railroads hosting those exploding oil bomb terror trains. She's spun through the Washington revolving doors so many times that she is no longer recognizable as a pod person. She's a blur.

A 16-page dossier called "Hillary Clinton: A Lifetime Champion of Income Opportunity" reads like a hokey Lifetime made-for-TV movie, the one where the filthy rich guy has the epiphany -- not to agree to pay more taxes, of course, but to marry the struggling single mom, and make us all feel vicariously good for about five minutes.

Elizabeth Warren, sniffed an aide, is only a "footnote" in the Book of Hillary. According to the Book, the too-big-to-fail banks do not even exist. They are replaced by commodities known as children -- who are too small to fail, assuming of course that they work hard and play by the rules. Then they can morph into investments like pork belly futures. Or pod-people. It is cute beyond words.

 I have no more words.

*Update, 4/23: Make that a radioactive robotic wraith. While some of us were sleeping, the New York Times published what would, in a sane world devoid of pod people, be the coup de grace for the Hillary campaign. Read the whole thing. The Clintons make Frank and Clare Underwood look like Ward and June Cleaver. Unfortunately, Democrats are viewing this meticulously researched and damning piece as just more one Hillary-hating attack by the Worse Evil Party. It has gotten so zombie-ish in the Land of the Free that you may now call yourself "pragmatic" for blindly accepting felonious behavior by your favorite candidates.

Of course, we've been governed by an organized crime ring for quite a while now. It's called the permanent ruling class.



Pearl said...

It's simple. She is really an reincarnation of Obama whom we didn't know who he really was and now neither does he.
And their mission is to make us believe we really are not who we think we are to a point where we cannot trust anyone which takes away our ability to organize together.
But don't tell this to anyone because you will then find yourself in a padded cell.
So why do I feel like I AM in a padded cell when in reality this is what the nation has REALLY become.
Must end: I see those people in white jackets coming my way with that emblem on it with the arrow pointing right.

annenigma said...

Thanks for the belly laughs, Karen and Pearl!

Meredith NYC said...

Karen.....Acute vs chronic HC burnout--you said it. But what is the best antidote? We have to save our mental health this campaign season, and take deliberate steps to focus on some healthy thoughts and activities.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers sums it up. Now I'll watch it if it's on TCM. But it's simply big money in our elections, snatching any honest body, transforming a former human into....

When I see Hillary on TV she looks like a movie character of a political manipulator. Of course I’ll voter for this character—where am I going to go? But a commenter said—‘Her campaign should at least get the message out about what she voted for, in an official capacity, not just what she has said in speeches.’
Or, would they rather not?

Our standard has sunk so low, anyone can call themselves a liberal. What reality do voters have to compare?

If HC were to repudiate her husband’s signing of Nafta and repeal of Glass Steagall, she’d be called a wild eyed left wing socialist---much further to the left of Obama---even a threat to the republic. They’d be planning impeachment before she was even elected. Please, not that again!

Today, you don't have much vs the gop to be called a 'populist'. LIke 2 meals a day, rather than just 1, for the expanding poor? Warren is called a left liberal. But what she advocates is normal accepted policy in any advanced democracy, even in the late 20th C. That's the yardstick we should use, but can't, in our $$$ system.

Btw, I'm thinking of not voting anyway now, because I might get called for jury duty from voter rolls. There's no age limit. They mailed me a basic qualification questionnaire, but I'm ignoring it. What's the penalty if the authorities come and get me? Will they tase me if I run? I can jog.

Meredith NYC said...

There's a wikipedia entry for 'political positions of Hillary R. Clinton'. I may look at this after a good nights sleep and an energy drink.

Suspicious Pearl said...

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company

This confusing article just came up on page 1 of the NYTimes. The responses are interesting. At any rate all the complicated information confusing to me as it is, does not pass the sniff test of people like the Clintons and their Foundation.

Karen, please translate.

Denis Neville said...

And so it goes …

“The power elite, especially the liberal elite, has always been willing to sacrifice integrity and truth for power, personal advancement, foundation grants, awards, tenured professorships, columns, book contracts, television appearances, generous lecture fees and social status. They know what they need to say. They know which ideology they have to serve. They know what lies must be told—the biggest being that they take moral stances on issues that aren’t safe and anodyne. They have been at this game a long time. And they will, should their careers require it, happily sell us out again.” - Chris Hedges

So it goes …

Michael Eric Dyson offers unto Caesarius Hillarius the iconic head of the nation’s best known Black dissident, Dr. Cornel West:

“I love Brother Mike Dyson, but we’re living in a society where everybody is up for sale. Everything is up for sale. And he and Brother Sharpton and Sister Melissa and others, they have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage. And we invite them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves. But at the moment, they want insider access, and they want to tell those kinds of lies. They want to turn their back to poor and working people. And it’s a sad thing to see them as apologists for the Obama administration in that way, given the kind of critical background that all of them have had at some point.” - Dr. Cornel West

“Obscenely, Michael Eric Dyson attempts to depict Dr. King as of his own ilk of boot-licking, access-begging, job-seeking, misleaders in his attack on Cornel West, who made his own break with Obama’s wars at home and abroad, early on,” writes BAR executive editor Glen Ford.

“Dr. King did not become influential because he got invitations to the White House; he got invited to the White House because he was influential among millions of Black people. MLK made the principled, and possibly fatal, decision to break with Lyndon Johnson’s White House on April 4, 1967, with his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence” speech. He effectively severed ties with an administration that had, at times, been an ally in the civil rights struggle.”

And so it goes …

Hail, Caesarius Hillarius!

Kat said...

non hillary news:
press release from White House

Kat said...

Okay, I see it is up on the NYT web site now.

Karen Garcia said...

Am I alone in thinking that Obama chose today to come clean on his drone strike "mistake" in order to get the latest Hillary scandal off the front page and out of the news cycle? It also serves to suppress the TPP inter-party agita, and get the "purists" outraged over something new, so he can go about the important business of twisting arms and trading favors.

At least his wooden emotionless speech was blessedly short. He is actually giving Hillary a run for her money in the robotics department. He feels sorry and sad over what he passively calls a "tragedy."

I think he is up to his eyeballs in the uranium mining rights sale to Russia too. What did he know, when did he know it and if he didn't know about it, why the hell not? Whether he is corrupt, inept, or both, is moot at this point. He takes responsibility for crimes against humanity, but actual accountability is not on the radar.

Kat said...

That sounds like a plausible explanation, Karen. Otherwise this would be a Friday press release.

PEARL said...

Karen or Sardonickyites: Did that lengthy detailed article about the cash flows to the Clinton Foundation and involvements with Uranium company owners indicate any illegal kinds of behavior by the Clintons or their unethical behavior in these 'arrangements'? And if so can it be proven and therefore affect Hillary's grand coronation plans? It was difficult to find an answer in that article because of so many people involved and their purposes not made clear (deliberately?) and what points of views did the reporters represent? How big an issue could this really become now that it is out in the open in the NYTimes?
Thank you for any clarity.

Karen Garcia said...


I admit I didn't give the Times piece as close a read as I should have, but it seems like only a circumstantial criminal case at this stage. Some commenters suggest a complete audit of the Clinton charity. But, by whom? If this does come to pass, I can imagine an independent auditor being appointed... by the Clintons themselves.

Meanwhile, check out the reader comments on Margaret Sullivan's piece today. The Clintonistas are on the rampage. Hardly anyone is standing up for the Times. It's the anti-Maureen Dowd brigade on steroids... and crack. In response to my comment, in which I wondered whether the book's muckraking author is hard up for money based on his side-jobs of hacking for right wing think tanks, somebody accused me of "spin" and empathizing with the financial needs of Confederate slave owners. (It seems that my post about the pod people was more accurate than I thought.)

Meredith NYC said...

Karen....Msnbc Ed Schultz today had Sen Bernie Sanders on to talk strongly against TPP. Schultz is passionately against it and says every union is also. In the middle they switched to Obama speech, where he passionately points out the good of TPP. Obama mentioned Msnbc negatively as anti TPP, tho I didn’t catch all of that .

Then Sanders retorted that other media , namely ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN have not or hardly covered TPP. It’s amazing that they haven’t, despite it being the biggest trade agreement issue, with far reaching negative effects on the country. Msnbc has covered it more, lately, at least. This has been one of the most blatant examples of media avoidance of an issue I can recall.

Massive street protests are needed for this to get out in front of the cameras and onto the national boob tube, to wake up the viewing boobs. The unions have got to start organizing this—who else will?

A friend of mine who relies for his daily news on NPR news digests, as of last week hadn’t heard about TPP. Now Obama’s talking it up so there’s some more media, but hardly enough. Obama was featured in a roundtable discussion on Tuesday I think on Chris Matthews’ show. I didn’t get a chance to see much of it. But the transcript should be revealing.

At least NPR’s talk show On Point gave an hour to it the other night, with various views, including Lori Wallach who’s very persuasive discussing factual evidence against.
The "optics" of this are fascinating. Hope you write more, Karen.