Wednesday, March 9, 2016

It Ain't Over

Despite beating all the odds and upsetting Hillary Clinton in Michigan, Bernie Sanders is still being pressured to leave the race. Why? Because those oh-so-accurate polls tell us that Bernie is behind in two state contests to be held next week. Plus, it is just too exhausting for the Empress in Waiting to keep up the populist pretense for very much longer. Have you looked at her lately? The woman looks very tired, and she is growing increasingly hoarse.

"The sooner I can become your nominee," she rasped at a rally right before her ignominious defeat, "the more I could begin to turn my attention to the Republicans."

So the establishment media's morning-after coverage of Bernie's unexpected trouncing of Hillary is a lot like Donald Trump's own post-victory speech/press con last night. It's a gigantic infomercial trying to sell us a bucket of branded mystery meat.

Here, for example, is what the New York Times sniffed right after Bernie's blowout: 
Hillary Clinton is leading Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in Florida and Ohio, according to polls released on Wednesday that show him looking vulnerable going into next week’s primary contests.
Losses in Ohio and Florida, where there are a combined 405 delegates at stake on March 15, could deal a significant blow to Mr. Sanders’s campaign and increase pressure on him to consider dropping out of the race.
A survey from Quinnipiac University shows Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state, dwarfing Mr. Sanders in Florida, with Democratic voters backing her by a margin of 62 percent to 32 percent.
Of course, some polls had Clinton beating Sanders by more than 20 points in Michigan, a fact which is not even mentioned in the article. Narrow journalistic  minds are focused on the "narrow path forward for Bernie" narrative like a pit bull's jaws clenched around a tender ankle.  If the pundits have proven anything, it's that they know how to mindlessly persevere for the plutocratic cause.

If regular people have proven anything, it's that they ignore opinion-molding polls and pundits.

They look around their communities and see the shuttered factories. They look at their bank accounts and see a big fat Zero. They open up the kitchen tap and see brown smelly water. They go to their mailboxes and find a utility shut-off notice. They open their doors to greet the landlord bearing eviction papers.

If they are among the lucky Americans who still have cable TV or internet access, they saw the Sunday debate where Hillary Clinton falsely accused Bernie Sanders of voting against the auto bailout. They heard her refuse to hand over the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches. They heard her say they might get new pipes for their drinking water in about five years.

If they saw Bernie Sanders appearing flustered at times, or were aware of his much-ballyhooed "ghetto-gate" remarks and gun gaffes, they obviously didn't care.

According to Michigan exit polls, he is gaining slow but steady support among black voters, who also look around and see closed factories and crumbling schools. Much to the chagrin of the Clintonoid Firewall Brigade, black people are not monolithic. People of all races and ethnicities are united in their knowledge of, and anger over, the job-offshoring trade deals that Hillary Clinton has always supported.  They notice that the auto bailout benefited the owners and punished the workers, and that General Motors, becoming aware of the affects that Flint's tainted corrosive water was having on their products, simply pulled up stakes and left without so much as blowing the whistle to their customers and neighbors.

Tellingly, Hillary lost big in Dearborn, home to many Muslim families. Voters notice that American wars have killed many Muslims. They notice the refugee crisis spawned by these wars. They notice that hundreds of Muslims have drowned trying to escape from Libya and other sites of her military adventurism. They notice that her sales of lethal weapons to Middle Eastern autocrats have enabled the mass slaughters of innocent Muslims. They noticed that Bernie Sanders aired commercials in Arabic.

The persevering pundits showed their own bigotry when they professed shock and awe that a Brooklyn Jew could get the Muslim vote. Oh, snap, said the pit bull.

Bernie Sanders has ecumenical appeal.  Who woulda thunk it? 

People simply don't like or trust Hillary Clinton. And the more the media-political complex props her up, the more they seem to telegraph their desire for a President Donald Trump. Donald Trump has been raking in the bucks for them, and would continue to do so if elected. This celebrity huckster is eminently available to journalists for whom access to the powerful has long trumped actual reporting and pursuing truth in the public interest.


Kat said...

Well, I for one was quite happy to see the upset. Hopefully, Sanders will continue to focus on jobs. This is a unifying issue. His response to the racism question that I finally caught was cringe worthy. People need to understand that black people have a wide variety of life experiences too. And, there are many black people that are doing well (especially in southern states such as Georgia) We also have to understand that things like welfare reform and our carceral state effect us all. Unless you are an employer, there is nothing good about a more desperate workforce. And when more and more of our sales and property taxes go to police and judicial budgets that hurts us all too.

Kat said...

Check out this Trump article by Thomas Frank, by the way. :

I for one find it endlessly amusing that they keep writing him off.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it must be exhausting for Hillary Clinton to keep up her populist pretense. If she wins, how long do you think it would be before she reverses on TPP? 15 minutes?

Robert F

Jay–Ottawa said...

Hi, My name is Lucy and I like to play football. My way. You wanna play? We don't play tackle here; that only gets you CTE.* Seems like most people act as if they were born with CTE, so you don't have to pound it in on them. Me, I have my own way of messing with people's heads, you'll see. Watch this.

"Hey, Charlie Brown, let's play kick ball."

"Uh-uh. Not again."

"You can do this, yes you can, Charlie Brown. Never give up hope."


"That's the spirit: real positive. I so admire you. Now, line up carefully and I'll hold it steady. I sure hope you don't miss it like you did yesterday and land on your butt again."

Here he comes, here he comes! (Too bad for him I want to keep this football as new and shiny as the day I got it. So I can use the same positive outlook trick for ever and ever like some kind of ju-jitsu. Hee-hee-hee.)

"Woops, you missed it again, Charlie Brown. What ever is the matter with you?"

*Chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

annenigma said...

NYT still won't put Bernie's photo up to accompany the article they finally choked out after Bernie's stunning victory over Hillary. Sour grapes I'm sure. The Bernie Blackout continues but is showing a few grudging cracks.

< O-O >

Meredith NYC said...

After being criticized for months by many commenters, about their biased coverage, the Times doubles down. If they changed now, it would only point up their hypocrisy? They thought they could get away with this in the age of reader comments?

Maybe they like this criticism, since it shows the Times is part of the establishment. Isn't that why they reported the WMD hoax as fact? Same motive.

The Times wants to be seen as part of establishment power, but with some humanitarian focus. Doesn't work. Thus not 1 op ed columnist on the side of the progressive movement, which is gaining steam nationally. As the more liberal views of younger generation voters expand, the Times will be left behind. They show poor judgment since all newspapers are struggling financially.

My comment to article on primary wins:

Uh, Times—your front page headline just announces the continued long trend of Trump leading.

But Sanders defeat of Hillary in Michigan changes the trend. That should be the front page headline.

What’s the NYT definition of newsworthiness? Is this distortion automatic, or does the boss tell the reporters to keep giving Der Trumpf the most attention?

Hillary lost big in a Midwest rustbelt state. It’s Nafta, Nafta! Jobs, Jobs! Bill Clinton, and also repeal of banking laws—get it?

Hillary will be the 3rd Clinton administration. Where’s an op ed on that?
Is it time to discuss a new amendment? Relatives/spouses of previous presidents cannot run for same office. Let them do something else. That’s reasonable. The wife of the previous prez will usually not want to contradict his policies, and will find ways to excuse and continue them.

Meredith NYC said...

Now I see the Times changed its front page headline to "Sanders Upsets Michigan Vote as Trump Adds to His Lead". There was so much criticism in comments last night when the headline was all about Trump's win. Of course the Times could defend that, saying after all the Repub party is about to split---this is big news. And the elites are moving their money to try to defeat Der Trumpf, says the Monday front page. The preferences of the Big Money are big news.

But today's subhead still says Sanders win is 'prolonging' the campaign for Hillary. Why doesn't he just quit, that means.
One commenter said this was the most corrupt campaign coverage he's seen in his life.
Post Citizens United and its Trickle Down effect?

Sanders and his many reality oriented fans are laying the groundwork for a new progressive candidate in 2020. Watch out Prez Hillary.

Pearl said...

It was wonderful to see the CNN pundits squirming to figure out what to say acceptably after Sanders' win. One man seems to be progressive but the others were obviously in shock. And yes, we have had nothing but Republican coverage for ages plus Hillary's successes repeated over and over. By the way, did she ever compliment Bernie for his successful run?

The main thing to come out of all this is if voters reconsider the 'unelectability'
mantle hovering over Sanders. That might add more votes to his future.

I see more dents in reporting about Hillary lately, praising but also warnings about her weaknesses. Sanders should bring out more items from her dismal record in the debate tonight that she is prepared to lie about which is wearing thin.

annenigma said...

Bernie will be going into the lion's den during tonight's debate in Miami sponsored by Univision and the Washington Post.

"Univision chairman Haim Saban has contributed $2.5 million to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing Clinton. Ramos's daughter, Paola Ramos, works for the Clinton campaign's communications team. And in January, Sanders memorably unloaded on The Washington Post editorial board for criticizing his 'fiction-filled campaign.' The dynamics among the candidates and sponsoring media outlets could provide intriguing subplots."

Jay–Ottawa said...

Because CNN doesn't transmit live broadcasts to Canada, at least not through internet streaming, I missed the first ten minutes of the Clinton-Sanders debate. Finally got sound and a small picture via NPR. My impression is that Sanders did exceedingly well tonight, even though moderators interrupted him sooner and oftener. He bored right over them and answered well. Was it my bias that I also heard moderators throwing Clinton softballs? Her responses, as usual, were polished but stale and often cheap shots at Sanders. Her claque in the audience sounded larger than Bernie's. On balance this should help Sanders before the next round of state primaries and help pump more hope into the proceedings.

On the blogs I've come across two different expressions of the following trope. A few days back everyone still in the Republican race said they would back the party winner in the general election. Clinton and Sanders have pledged the same fealty to winner of the Democratic primaries. So then bloggers were able to say: a primary vote for Cruz, Rubio or Kacich is a vote for Trump. Likewise, a vote for Sanders, should he fail, ends up as a vote for Clinton.

Pearl said...

Four reasons Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic debate

In the Washington Post today. WOW!!

Pearl said...

The above article in the Washington Post includes a transcript of the debate.

Pearl said...

Sanders Surprises

Blow's change of heart

Pearl said...

I hope Justin Trudeau doesn't seriously take any advice from President Obama. However, he will be faced with the next president and it had better be
Bernie. Madam Secretary will eat him alive and as for Trump we may then never see Justin here again.

So much for fairweather friends.

Kat said...

Is Justin Trudeau really that different than Obama? Is Canada really that different than the US? They are both neoliberal states. Both major carbon emitters. Both displace people in Latin America. Actually what I am saying is both serve the whims of multinationals. Maybe we should stop looking at nations and labeling one good or bad and see what the real problem is capital v. the people.

Kat said...

Speaking of Latin America: I didn't watch the debate, but that is some howler that Clinton spouted (referenced early in the article)

Kat said...

Red baiting. Go team blue!

Jay–Ottawa said...

"Is Canada really that different than the US?"

Good question for a sober meditation north of the border. True, the same general economic system influences just about everything up here. That was increasingly so for a decade under Conservative Steven Harper. The new PM, Liberal Justin Trudeau, is a bit nicer, but he has still given a green light to the TPP process. What do you suppose that means? Trudeau is making us increasingly uneasy by neglecting a few other promises that so distinguished him from Harper during the campaign. Worrisomely Obama-like in that way. And yet there still remain deep in the Canadian fabric a few liberals (small 'l') of the old school, with real organization, pushing back effectively against the giant economic interests.

On any day of the week, we can beat you in some categories of ugliness. Under Canada's flag, shameless international mining companies practice gross injustice routinely, not only in Latin America but around the world. Not sure how that is going to be corrected, if any party ever thinks to correct it. Then there's the treatment of First Nations peoples––right up to the present. We could go on. However, overall, Canada will loose to the US in just about any ugly contest thanks to the saving grace of small size. In population, Canada is only a tenth of the US. We're not in the same weight class for such comparisons.

Canada does some things pretty well, it has to be said; but let's skip that, because it opens the door to bragging, exaggeration and hard feeling. Canada may come out best in a US-Canada ugly contest when you judge it by what it has chosen not to do, that is, in the ways it has not aped its big neighbor to the south. Canada chose not (at some cost in neighborly relations under Bush II) to follow the US into Iraq. Ages ago Canada chose not to let the sick remain utterly neglected or, in the alternative, cared for so as to push them into bankruptcy. And looking to the future, bad as Harper was and Trudeau may turn out to be, Canada has nothing even close to matching Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Clinton. Sometimes doing nothing is a real accomplishment.

And on both sides of the border we're probably tied, proportionally of course, in our share of people dreaming of a fair country.

Pearl said...

Meredith: Wonderful comment from you to Krugman's latest travesty, Trade and Tribulation. Many outstanding comments in the Readers Picks column explaining clearly to Krugman why Bernie won Michigan. Rima Regan had several top comments as well.
We can only hope that voters are becoming as knowledgeable as the commenters to the NYtimes regarding the realities that Bernie is talking about. It can change the presidential choices for the better.

Do print your comment in Sardonicky. I am proud to be in such enlightened company and learning a lot from all the angry progressives writing in to the NYtimes.
I see some hope out there now.

annenigma said...

As you will be able to tell from this comment, I still haven't taken any hopium. I'm clean. (Pearl, you'll want to skip this comment - I don't want to harsh your mellow.)

I read a tweet from Bernie's twitter feed that said "The failure to prosecute the crooks on Wall Street for their illegal behavior is a clear indictment of our broken criminal justice system."

What? No! No! No! It's actually a damning indictment of our bribery-based campaign finance system!

Every time Hillary points out how much money Wall St. gave to Obama "and it didn't influence him" just as it wouldn't influence her (haha), I just want to scream at Bernie to point out that none of those bankster campaign donors went to jail though, did they! If he doesn't dare impugn Obama's integrity and honesty *cough*cough*, he could just say that it COULD buy influential campaign donors a free pass for crimes under say under a future Republican President, *wink*wink*.

We're never going to see a real Political Revolution if Bernie doesn't dare point out corruption wherever it lurks. During the debate, he even gave Hillary a pass on Honduras and her role in the coup there which caused so many children to flee. I wish he'd stop protecting corrupt powerful politicians!!! Politicians, banksters, what's the difference? It's all one big mutual protection racket.