Saturday, August 13, 2016

Goldwater Girl Redux

Now that Hillary has gotten her jingoistic corporate convention out of the way, and Trump is sinking in the polls, and Bernie Sanders is admonishing the Bros that the Clinton Restoration is as revolutionary as Wonder Bread, we're just about at that point where we can finally take the waiting right out of the Empress-in-Waiting moniker.

Why wait until she's formally elected to ditch progressives and show her true conservative, war-hawkish colors? In the space of just a few weeks, she's sought and gained the support of such odious Republican billionaires as Michael Bloomberg and Alice Walton, along with a whole Who's Who of Deep State war criminals. Although she's still angling for Henry Kissinger, and Dick Cheney is playing hard to get, and George Bush is waffling on the prom invite, there are plenty of sloppy Neocon seconds lined up, fetid bouquets and résumés in their slimy grasping hands.

"Why is Clinton using Trump to promote Republicans?" hypothetically muses Carl Beijer:
 Donald Trump is, by far, one of the weakest nominees for president in modern history. His unfavorable rating is now hovering around 63%, well above that of even the most unpopular nominees over the last several decades. Clinton is presently unlikely to lose any state that Obama won in 2012, and is in a position to add several more - including Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. At present, her lead over Trump doubles the largest lead Obama ever built over Mitt Romney four years ago.

Strategically, this advantage should create an extraordinary opportunity for the American liberal-left. As the standard-bearer for the Democratic party, Clinton is in a position to press this advantage against her political opposition and make them pay as high a price as possible for nominating such an unpopular candidate. Broadly, this would mean, among other things, winning as many legislative seats as possible in order to advance the Democratic agenda.

Instead, we are seeing the exact opposite. From the recent email leaks, DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda:
[T]he Clinton rapid response operation we deal with...[doesn't] want us to tie Trump to other Republicans...That's a problem....we can't give down ballot Republicans such an easy out. We can force them to own Trump and damage them more by pointing out that they're just as bad on specific policies...We would basically have to throw out our entire frame that the GOP made Trump through years of divisive and ugly politics. We would have to say that Republicans are reasonable and that the good ones will shun Trump...It might be a good strategy ONLY for Clinton...
 The strategy that Miranda is criticizing here is precisely the strategy that we have seen play out over the past few weeks, as the Clinton campaign hypes statement after statement from "reasonable" Republicans who have become embarrassed by Trump. Liberals and Clinton media surrogates have fallen in line accordingly, and are now openly praising Republicans who everyone understood yesterday to be some of the most radical reactionaries on the planet.
Miranda, one of the DNC operatives forced to resign after the email leaks, also questioned Clinton's hording/hiding of campaign cash in a veritable pay-to-pay slush fund -- a sordid truth which was first exposed in April by Margot Kidder in CounterPunch.

As Maureen Dowd writes in her latest column, the money and the influence-peddling among reactionaries effectively make Hillary "The Perfect G.O.P. Nominee":
Hillary is a reliable creature of Wall Street. Her tax return showed the Clintons made $10.6 million last year, and like other superrich families, they incorporated with the Clinton Executive Services Corporation (which was billed for the infamous server). Trump has started holding up goofy charts at rallies showing Hillary has gotten $48,500,000 in contributions from hedge funders, compared to his $19,000.
Unlike Trump, she hasn’t been trashing leading Republicans. You know that her pals John McCain and Lindsey Graham are secretly rooting for her. There is a cascade of prominent Republicans endorsing Hillary, donating to Hillary, appearing in Hillary ads, talking up Hillary’s charms.
Robert Kagan, a former Reagan State Department aide, adviser to the McCain and Mitt Romney campaigns and Iraq war booster, headlined a Hillary fund-raiser this summer. Another neocon, James Kirchick, keened in The Daily Beast, “Hillary Clinton is the one person standing between America and the abyss.”
All so sadly, or as Donnie might say, "bigly" true. My published Times comment:
 HRC couldn't have asked for a better opponent if she'd constructed him out of a six-foot pile of mildewed straw. By running against Trump, the whole Trump and nothing but the Trump, and openly courting neocon war criminals and "establishment" Republicans, she's outrageously giving CPR to what should have been a rotting corpse of a political party by now.

By giving new life to the pathocrats who made Trump possible, Clinton is only making her own party weaker and more right-wing, only making it easier for down-ticket Republicans to slither their way back into power.... the better to triangulate with during the Clinton restoration. Grand Bargain, here we come. TPP, (just waiting for that fig leaf of meager aid for displaced American workers) here we come. Bombs away.

With three months to go before this grotesque circus ends, Trump is giving every indication that he wants out, getting more reckless by the day. And that's a good thing, because with her rise in the polls, Hillary will now have to do more on the stump than inform us she is not Trump. She'll have to ditch the fear factor. She'll have to start sending emails and Tweets with something other than "OMG! Did you hear what Trump just said?!?" on them to convince voters.

She'll have to stop hoarding her campaign cash and share it with the down-ticket Democrats running against the same well-heeled GOPers she is now courting with such naked abandon.

The Empress needs some new clothes to hide that inner Goldwater Girl.
Under ordinary circumstances, pre-Citizens United, Democrats probably wouldn't countenance such a right-wing nominee. But the party of the working stiff is now officially the party of the plutocracy. If liberals are uncomfortable about this state of affairs, they're putting on the stiff upper lip during the Donald Blitz. The Democratic Establishment is bound and determined to ignore the trials and tribulations of the worsening every-day lives of their erstwhile base, but they are least inviting you to visit their big tent. While you can't exactly rub elbows with the generals and the godzillionaires, you can gain parity with them in your mutual hatred and fear of Donald Trump. As Hillary's mantra goes, we're all Better Together.

Clinton is banking on the primordial tribalism which has always been an essential part of being human, surpassing even the Golden Rule when times get hard and fraught. Where would humanity be without someone to hate and fight against and demonize?

Bertrand Russell could have been talking about the American electoral process, based as it is mainly upon hatred and fear and insecurity, in a lecture broadcast over the BBC some 70 years ago. Even war-mongering Hillary can easily and hypocritically proclaim that "Love Trumps Hate" because
We are taught to believe in worldwide cooperation, but the old instincts that have come down to us from our tribal ancestors rise up in indignation, feeling that life would lose its savor if there were no one to hate, that anyone who loved such a scoundrel as So-and-So would be a worm, that struggle is the law of life, and that in a world where we all love each other, there would be nothing to live for.
Liberals who have no qualms about a Democratic administration's drone assassination policy and undeclared wars and legalized bribery and the cruel imprisonment/deportations of mothers and children fleeing the Central American violence birthed by CIA-led coups can pour out all their outrage at moldy old Donald Trump and his stupid Wall.  Loyalty to party trumps everything.

It may be the economy, stupid, but tribalism helps you to temporarily forget your misery. Even tainted food tastes good and fills you right up as long as it's loaded with just the right amount of propaganda sugar.


Jay–Ottawa said...

Everybody knows: Trump and Clinton are committed to money. More importantly, they are also deeply committed to violence. The ease of calling up violence and using it liberally just might be the greater flaw undermining the social contract.

A glance at the headlines this Sunday morning––the anniversary of Japan's surrender in WWII and pretty damn close to the anniversary of Germany's invasion of Belgium in WWI––mentions the shootings of (1) a young loony in Strathroy, Ontario, who might have benefited more from the skills of a psychiatrist than the full-bore attentions of the Mounties, (2) a young nut in Switzerland who knifed and set fire to a handful of people on a train, and (3) yet another black in the US, this time in Milwaukee, followed by the predictable reaction of the community.

Violence is the first means used by all sides, the powerful and the powerless, to solve problems. It's quick, and time is money when you think only in terms of budgets and other abstractions, whether it's the authorities trying to solve a knotty problem or an angry commoner aiming for some kind of redress or vengeance. Einstein had a famous line about doing something repeatedly and expecting different results. The US doesn't repeat its stupidities; it escalates them.

Even at play, we prefer violence over skill, the Olympics not withstanding. Check the ticket sales; football rules in American sports. Up north, it's hockey. You don't encourage your kids to try out for those sports if you give a damn about their bones or their brain case.

People who make a living keeping track of such things tell us that film, TV and computer games keep stuffing our brains with more and more violence per hour. One wonders whether the national frontal lobe will ever come around to recognize the full cost of deadly force, or whether, on a more primitive level, we'll just reach a point, eventually, of vomiting upon hearing of each new episode of needless carnage.

Money is the root of all evil. And violence, not the tarnish of virtue, turns out to be the evil. Sounds old fashioned, but, for starters, look at Citizen's United, the widening disparities within the population and the strange apportionment of our national budget. Life slips lower and lower down the list of national––and personal––priorities.

Violence in its many forms doesn't happen accidentally; it's something we plan for and buy off the shelf. Commoners are making local gun dealers rich. On the national level, which federal agency is allotted more than half of the national discretionary budget year after year? And that department's product and service is .…….?

Tommy Bones said...

Hillary a not-so-closeted republican? I am shocked, shocked I tell you!!!

Now on to another observation. Wow, quite a difference in the quality of the rescue response for this 2016 disaster in Louisiana compared to the effort made in 2005 for Katrina. What could account for the contrast, one wonders!!!

What I watched on TV in 2005 during and after Katrina will stay with me till I die. I truly believe there will be an accounting someday.