Monday, February 22, 2016

Fear and Loathing, 2016

What better setting for the triumph of the casino capitalism that Hillary Clinton represents than an actual Las Vegas casino? What better venue than Caesar's Palace for the political enforcer known as Harry Reid to ensure the survival of the oligarchy for one more election cycle?

"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.  


annenigma said...

The NYT is informing us of some real news today - that despite what we've been led to believe in theory, the Superdelegates in practice have all the power and they aren't loosely committed or non-committed, at least not this time. They're locked down tight for Hillary and she is set to win the nomination.

They don't actually come right out and say it because the plan is to keep us believing so that when we finally lose the 'fair' fight for the nomination, we will willingly hop on board the Hillary train to Hell. But they're strongly implying that the Superdelegates will not be flexible and there is virtually no way Bernie can win.

The key point that is unspoken is FEAR, as Karen referred to in her post regarding Nevadans who dared not caucus. No one but Bernie and a handful of insiders has dared to challenge the fearfully powerful Clinton Machine. There's a special place in Hell for those who don't support the Clintons and that is common knowledge. They make you pay, one way or another.

So it's not that the NYT is writing Bernie's political obituary as much as they're trying to break the NEWS to us that we can keep believing Bernie has a chance, or we can face the facts that he doesn't. No way, no how. It's the Democrat's Party and Bernie only registered as a Democrat in November. They will never forgive him for not having a lifelong commitment to the Party like Hillary does, no matter how much better he represents true Democratic Party ideals.

So take it from the consummate insider, the NYT, that Hillary has the nomination locked up already. Only an unfortunate incident that knocks her out of the race physically can change that.

Pearl, do you still have that voodoo doll? Now that Scalia is gone...

Pearl said...

I just received an announcement from Bernie's website that they are tied with Hillary regarding current delegates: 51 to 51. They seemed excited about this.

How important is this so early in the game since there are many more to be given out? And of course it depends on how each do in the states coming up but does this indicate a better outcome than thought?

Or are you right annenigma that Hillary has it all tied up unless an unusual event occurs to knock her out? And what if Bernie is the only one who could win over the Republicans before closing out the voting?

We need a crystal ball.It's clouded now.

Meredith NYC said...

Many very critical comments to Chs Blow today. Like... he could have written "Sanders erases a 20-point lead". It could have been "Hillary narrowly beats Sanders in AZ". And 'How Blow gets “hits a roadblock” from what was in actual numbers an extremely tight race can only be described as Tabloid “journalism.”

Many comments are increasingly superior to the Times corrupted columnists as this campaign goes on. Shame. Does the NYT boss put out a memo, or a hint? Or does everyone automatically fall into line? Or do liberals just not go to work at the Times in the 1st place?

I said----
There's been no substantiation at all of why so much black support for Clinton, --supposedly. The super pac of the congressional black caucus endorsed her, but they're beholden to big corporate money and are separate from the caucus itself, per articles I've read.

This may be one of the great PR coups of all time.

But some prominent black leaders have endorsed Sanders-- Ben Jealous, and T. Coates to name just 2.

It’s just stunning that the one black columnist on the Times op ed page, and who stands up for racial minority rights against injustice and exploitation does not write about Bill/HiIlary's policies in the 90s that harmed minorities the most. Not a peep.

Harmed is a weak word. Dems and Repubs caused destruction and suffering, with effects we see today from:

Loss of jobs with Nafta
The war on drugs with prison/sentencing expansion
Ending welfare ‘as we know it’
Deregulating banks to set the destructive pattern of financial crime culminating in the Crash that ruined savings and home values

In effect, racial minorities were attacked from every possible angle. And still are with police abuse and unaccountability. Yet blacks are voting for Hillary by large margins?

How far would Hillary ever go to repudiate her husband’s policies?

One advantage of Sanders is that he’s not married to a former president! This is now something to be thankful for.

When is Chs Blow going to write about this? Never? He likes stats---well, which ones?

Jay–Ottawa said...

Who needs a crystal ball, when an adding machine will clarify everything? Presumably, Bernie reads the big papers and can count. Superdelegates and assorted dirty tricks by the superlobby called the Democratic Party make Hillary's coronation inevitable. Bernie discovered this at least as early as we did.

Understanding all that, as the Sanders camp surely must, Bernie, who is deeply obligated to the thousands who volunteered and caucused for him and the 1.3 million who sent him a few bills, has got to recant on his chivalrous promise to back Hillary if she takes the nomination by means not fair but foul. Must he keep his promise as she betrays him as well as the trusting people who contributed in good faith to her cause?

There is little overlap between Bernie's domestic program and Hillary's. Bernie has got to veer off from the Dems to run as an Independent. Unless he does, he'll lose credibility. Failing to run as an Independent, what else can he be up to but sheepdogging old lefties and young voters for Hillary and the party?

Pearl said...

Jay: I think that Bernie's hopes were to change the character of the Democratic party along with his plans for the major establishment gurus. He, as I, and many others recall the better times with the democratic party and accomplishments that are tarnished now.

Joining or starting a third party in the U.S.of A has a very low record for survival and if he tarnished Hillary, the other half of the democratic party might well come to life with the people that support him. Left of center democrats are wise to the plans of a Clinton and moving them to another venue would dilute their strength and add more divisions. Now, there is a strong support for left of center politics within the party which should be saved if at all possible. If Bernie legitimately loses, he can become the voice of reason within the democratic party and effect change in that way or at least put a strangle hold on Hillary (ala the repugs to Obama) and dog her footsteps every inch of the way. Hopefully, better Congresspeople will be added to the bunch during the next election - I get innumerable requests from decent people running for Senate or representative office who may have a chance now come November.

No don't put Bernie into a sheepdog stance - he can show his credentials within the party and fight from within since he has support now and if it should be a battle at the Convention let it continue within the Democratic party. He has status now.
Leaving the democratic party neolibs to their vultures is not productive and allows them to further destroy the country. Maybe the black voters may wake up once they see Hillary in action or non action. But all of us can directly reach Bernie many of whom are registered democrats.

I think if and when Bernie has to accept Hillary's win and announce he is remaining in the party to fight for what he and his people believe, she will not like the sound of it, but his moving to another set up will be music to her ears.

But then she is not yet in the Oval office.

I approve this message. Pearl Volkov

Pearl said...

Bernie Sanders Opens A New Front In His War on Hillary Clinton’s Big Money

Interesting exposure of lobbyists role in money contributions to the Democratic party in the nytimes in case you missed it.

Anonymous said...

"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."

I don't think you have to be a classicist to understand that Graves' portrayal of Livia was more imaginative than accurate. In Graves' portrayal, we could absolve poor Augustus of his guilt. It made for great TV, but I'm not sure we should accept it as a fair portrayal of women in ancient Rome -or even of THAT woman in the era of Augustus.

Just sayin'.

Bill said...

When I drive out 267 toward Dulles airport down in DC I see all the corporate buildings along the road (they have big neon signs to promote themselves) It's way different than it was when the airport was built "back in the day". It's really fun to suck off the Federal Gummint teat! Everyone needs a handout. Maybe Romney wasn't far from being a social democrat when he said that 47% of us are taking from the Gummint! Hey, where'd that statistic come from? Is it true? Corporations (which are people don't forget) go to the head of the line! Perhaps I should incorporate myself. I want mine, too...

Anonymous said...

There is no sling shotting of Hillary Clinton or anyone. The voters decide. To me it is just so incredibly amazing that when the voters have someone to break the cycle of Washington they vote for the same characters that made their lives miserable. Some voters stay right on top of everything and others stay clueless relying upon what they hear on the radio. During the last election cycle everyone in the dental office that I go to was going to listen to a debate and then vote. One debate. They knew absolutely nothing about any of the candidates. One would think one was in some hillbilly county to hear that but it is all over. Listen to people at the check stand, in a business environment or anything else. When there are such consequences at stake it is amazing that people don't take their responsibilities seriously. They deserve what they get, but the rest of us don't.

Kindest regards

Unkal Ryno said...

Ironic that you title an anti-Hillary article with Fear and Loathing when, if you actually read the good Doctor Thompson's works, you'd realize that Sanders is just a new McGovern and realize what the election of Nixon taught him - that idealism doesn't trump good politics.

Roberto said...

Went here for a great all-you-can-eat buffet and at venue NYC they held nothing back. Their food, service and mostly the staff were truly amazing. I was starving and am one of those voracious "sampling" type eaters who has to try everything in a buffet, and I couldn't make it!