If my math is correct, today's the day that we can finally start singing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall and apply it to the election.
You take one media episode down, you pass it around, then 98 days till America Votes.
The various plot twists and back stories and cliffhangers necessary to hold the viewing audience's attention are getting more convoluted and outlandish by the minute. And so they must, if Kardashian Nation is not to cut the cord and stay tuned long enough to vote for the Smarter of Two Evils come November 8th.
And so the "horse-race" is looking more and more like a cheap remake of Homeland, in which Hillary plays the flawed but intrepid agent fighting Trump the Terrorist Traitor.
As Carl Bernstein wrote in A Woman In Charge, his biography of the Empress-in-Waiting, Hillary has acted the dual (and dueling) roles of fighting Joan of Arc and victimized Jane Eyre for her entire public life. She essentially sets herself up to be her own straw-woman, then sits back to await the attacks from both right and left, some of which are justified and some of which veer (by design) off into hyperbolic overkill. The formulaic plot then has Hillary donning her shining armor to fight the enemies which she herself has had a large part in creating. And fudging of facts - flying in the face of all fact - has long been a Clintonian weapon of choice.
The latest example of this tactic came a couple of days ago in her interview with Fox News, in which she doubled down on her untruthiness about her private email server. She lied about her lying, thus earning the maximum Four Pinocchios rating from the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, who wrote:
As we have seen repeatedly in Clinton’s explanations of the email controversy, she relies on excessively technical and legalistic answers to explain her actions. While Comey did say there was no evidence she lied to the FBI, that is not the same as saying she told the truth to the American public — which was the point of Wallace’s question. Comey has repeatedly not taken a stand on her public statements.Liberals hate Fox with absolute justification, which is probably why Hillary chose it over MSDNC to set herself up, to victimize herself anew and importune her fans to fight back anew against all the "haters."
And thanks to Donald Trump, she has a boorish billionaire-in-the-flesh to deflect voter attention from her own crimes and misdemeanors. It's almost as though he himself was actually a straw man of the Clintons' own creation: a true Clintchurian candidate rather than the "Siberian candidate" that Paul Krugman, among others in the corporate media, has presented for scare-mongering purposes. That's how perfect a two-dimensional enemy Trump is for her tired brand of paranoid identity politics. Because of widespread, media-driven and justified Trumpophobia, Hillary is getting a miraculous second wind and a comparative free pass on the "lesser evil" of her own serial mendacity.
And with traitorous misogynistic Donnie around, she and her new BFF Barack Obama can even get the American public to overcome their annoying "sickly inhibitions" against never-ending wars, get people to either ignore or to cheer on their aerial murders of hundreds of innocent civilians in Syria as well as a whole new unauthorized and undebated round of bomb attacks on Libya. Their use of a dead Muslim soldier's Gold Star parents to attack Trump at last week's convention was a real stroke of genius on their part. It not only elicited the desired xenophobic reaction from him, it helped to squelch any incipient popular anti-war sentiment.
Hardly any Americans are outraged about the fact that over the last seven and a half years, the Obama administration has ordered a drone strike against Muslims on an average of once every four days. They're mad that Trump wears his own Islamophobia on his sleeve and even insults the grief-stricken parents of a fallen soldier.
If you're with Barack and Hillary and the unabashedly militaristic Democrats, then your motto might as well be We're All Neocons Now.
Obama stood in the East Room of the White House today with one of his TPP partners, the prime minister of tax-haven Singapore, to urge Republican leaders to denounce Trump in the name of patriotism. More and more GOP officials are already announcing they'll be voting for the Clinton restoration. This might effectively set the stage for one-party totalitarian rule in the United States, should the top Republican leadership actually heed Obama's call for unity in the service of plutocracy and withdraw their endorsements of Donald Trump -- leading to loss of funding and defeat at the polls.
Meanwhile, Democrats are able to gloss over the Wikileaks revelations of the deep corruption within their own party by actually red-baiting Trump (and by extension, voters) as they point to his alleged friendships and murky financial dealings with Russian oligarchs and Vladimir Putin, whom they accuse of hacking into their emails and databases and trying to mess with an American election.
As I wrote in a Sunday New York Times comment: (in response to a column by Frank Bruni that bemoaned stubborn Hillary's inability to connect with American angst)
There are still 100 days, troves of Wikileaks goodies, media propaganda, natural and man-made disasters to go before this whole interminable spectacle ends (only to start up again in January 2017, if not before.)
I consider myself a political junkie, yet I am beginning to tune out. Every hour there's a new scare-mongering headline. Today it's Trumputin leading us to Trumpistan. Tomorrow it'll be the latest terror plot or hack. If a week goes by without one mass shooting, CNN won't know what to do with itself.
I really hesitate to criticize Hillary too harshly, because as we all know, if you diss her, you're either a secret Trump supporter or a whiny Bernie Bro "purist" -- which is the same thing as being a tool of Putin, which of course means that you're totally Un-American.
And that is pretty much how they want you to feel. If you didn't wave the flag, and bop balloons with Bill Clinton, and weep at all the platitudinous speeches, and rejoice that LGBTs and Muslims and Black and Brown people all have equal rights to fight and die in endless wars in the pursuit of corporate dominance, then there has to be something seriously wrong with you.
I wish that Hillary had mentioned "poverty" more than once in her speech, wherein she promised to be the president of the "struggling, the striving and the successful". It made me think she'll be equally attuned to the rights of billionaires and meritocrats sweating their Ivy League applications.
I need some air.