Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hillary Or Die

 Is this show ever going to end?

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.


Jay–Ottawa said...

"Is this show ever going to end?"

Ugh! I know what Karen means about the interminable farce called the American campaign season, especially with the Duopoly's cast now on stage till November. (What holds my interest is watching which interest group Trump will alienate next. He's averaging about one interest or identity group per week. You have to wonder whether there will be enough umbrage-taking interest groups remaining in the US to keep him busy through November 8.)

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently set a record for calling an election, the same one that sent him back home to Alberta, stripped of power. By tradition, the Canadian election period is counted in days––36 is the number, in case you were wondering. Well, Harper did the unimaginable and set a record for the last election cycle: 11 weeks (77 days). Unbelievable!

Meredith NYC said...

The Bernstein sum up of her roles as Joan of Arc and Jane Eyre is excellent. Didn't know that was in his book. He and Robert Reich recently wrote essays in the Times Room for Debate---what should Hillary do with Bill after she becomes president.

The ugly truth of US democracy now ....we must elect Clinton to avoid utter disaster. End of story. Otherwise we just indulge ourselves. Then, after she's inaugurated, don't hold back, hold her accountable to higher standards, let her have it with guns blazing.

She'll move right. Now, Trump is so atrocious, some Repubs will move to Clinton--happening already. She went a bit left toward Sanders voters. Now she will likely gain more advantage going after Gop-ers disgusted by the worst candidate in history. They want a pro corporate president.

We need contrast. Below is a revealing reply re how other countries elect leaders, to a comment of mine to Bruni's column
I said:
Trump obviously takes pride in just that rudeness/crudness that offend so many. Thus, it can only escalate. Fasten seat belts for a bumpy ride.
(the US has GOT to shorten its camPAINS!)

You don't see these kinds of crude, gross, insulting, ignoramus candidates in other democracies' elections. Even their right wingers sound more reality oriented and less insulting than Trump. Just imagine --
short campaigns of 3 months.
free media time.
public funding.
limits on private donations.
elimination of media profits in campaign ads ( with obvious effect on reporting and punditry.)

The reply from someone in Greece:

"I've lived in Greece for three of their elections now and several referendums, and I've traveled extensively throughout Europe and the UK during that time. The elections here are over and done in three months; the referendums wrap up within a week.

There is no private or corporate funding of elections or campaigns, not in Greece or anywhere else in Europe. (what a stunner)

We're exceptional, alright; people all over Europe are terrified at the prospect of either of our candidates, frankly, but they're especially incredulous over Trump."

Cirze said...

It's too bad that the right wing has been able to define "conspiracists" so successfully because if they hadn't it might be easier to define our current political situation.

My guess is that all that money pouring into the Clinton Foundation bought Trump as her opponent - the perfect greater evil foil for the real evil in the presidential race.

As the Republicans run for the shelter of Hillary's tent, it seems that the definition of "conspiracist" will remain obscured for a little longer.

Anonymous said...

Don't agree with your solution, Meredith. This is the time to vote for the Greens. I hear it every election - we will vote for Obama and now Hillary and "hold his/her feet to the fire." When will progressives learn? The Democratic leadership doesn't care what progressives think or want. They ignore us. Hillary's contempt couldn't be clearer by not putting her position on the TPP in the platform.The Democratic Leadership know that at election time many "pragmatic progressives" will hold their nose and vote for whoever, no matter how heinous, they put forward.

My prediction is many Republicans will vote for Hillary because she is a Republican in all but name. Liberal and Progressive Democrats need to vote for the party and candidate that represents our values and interests. And the only party that does that is the Greens.

And just for the record, in case anyone out there is still singing the same meme, Ralph Nader and those who voted for him did NOT cost Gore the election. The Democratic leadership under Bill Clinton sold out Labor and the Progressive wing of the party. Progressives took their vote elsewhere. If the Democrats under Gore actually wanted to win our votes (as opposed to taking them for granted), they should have given us something in return.

Ralph Nader didn't sell out his constituents like Bernie, and for that, he has been scapegoated.

Valerie said...

Sorry, that last comment was from Valere

annenigma said...

Not to shock anyone, but Donald Trump's appeal is only going to grow the more the corporate media and political establishment on both sides of the aisle joins forces to take him down, and taking him down is exactly what they're trying to do. If they think the people don't see that, they're the bigger fools.

You know why Trump's appeal is growing among the 'folks'? He's proving that he's not OWNED or CONTROLLD by anyone. That's powerful given current rebellious public sentiment.

The more they gang up on him, however justified, the more he'll gain support. Don't pay attention to the polls. Pay attention to the number of small donations.

Elizabeth Adams said...

97 bottles of beer on the wall...

Hey, you made a typo. It's not "MSDNC", it's -- oh wait, I see what you did there!

She doth love her woman-card cake. "Vote for me because I'm a woman -- it's my time," versus "If you don't vote for me you're a misogynist".

HRC supporters think it's a GOOD thing all those Republicans are endorsing her. The well of cognitive dissonance is very deep.

When she gets called out on her antidemocratic actions, her supporters cry "misogyny", preferring to see that she is being compared to men who have done the same things rather than to Republicans, with whom a Democrat should have a starkly different political profile.

I have seen the thought expressed elsewhere, but I do believe the Drumpf candidacy was intentional. He got all that free media exposure to establish in millions of minds HRC's Lesser Evilism. (I believe that, like Obama was, she is the more effective evil)

Valerie said...

As Jill Stein has said: “Forget the lesser evil, stand up and fight for the greater good like our lives depend on it – because they do”.

Gary Johnson has said:
“When someone tells you your wasting your vote, recognize that they don’t care about you. It’s a selfish statement. They are saying your beliefs aren’t worth being represented. That you should silence your voice so theirs can be louder. Vote your conscience, not someone else’s politics.”

Counterpunch article, Challenges to the Duopoly

Valerie said...

Even Robert Reich is saying we need a Third Party to push the Democratic Party to reform itself. It's not going to reform based on a push from its progressive base. http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/reich-heres-real-problem-dnc

Jay–Ottawa said...

Yup! Here's the best tactics for progressives, or whatever we think we are. Practice holding feet to the fire. Worked on Obama, didn't it? Every morning I get up, thinking right after breakfast I'll get busy holding his and other people's feet to the fire. Should work on Hillary about as well as it has on other presidents since Reagan.

And, in between sessions of holding pols' feet to the fire, lets print more lists of "ought tos" and "shoulds." We, or rather someone somewhere, should do A,B,C, X, Y, Z. There, that felt good. If we make enough lists of shoulds, then in no time those shoulds will become real. You've probably noticed that after you sing enough choruses of "Blue Skies," eventually there's your sunshine and blue sky.

So let's do what we've already done a few times before (2008, 2012), but let's expect a different outcome in 2016. The lesser-of-two-evils hasn't ever let us down before, right?

Clothespins? Did I hear somebody needs clothespins? Those virtual red, yellow and blue clothespins beside my handle are so effective at warding off neolibs and neocons. Or at least pushing them to the left. I never leave home without them.

Nonni Muss said...

Thank you for another great post, and for bringing up an issue that no one is talking about. Namely, if there is indeed a near-universal consensus that Trump is Beyond The Pale, and in every respect, among all decent people, a completely unacceptable choice for President, that means that we actually have no choice. Which means, effectively, one-party rule. Wasn't one-party rule a bad thing when the Soviets did it? In fact, wasn't it considered one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian state? Add to that, the fact that the consensus candidate has repeatedly and emphatically refused to be accountable to the people by her refusal to hold a press conference, release the transcripts, or to strictly adhere to the truth, and it's not at all an exaggeration to say that democracy in America is over. And if so, why are Americans of all political stripes - and notably, our not-so-vigorous press - so alarmed about Trump, yet so blasé about this state of affairs?

Meredith NYC said...

Would be great to have a 3rd party..but this can't work unless have a run off election.... so voters vote their true choice in 1st round, then pick from 2 top winners in 2nd round. This shows true voter preferences.

We have winner take all....most countries with multi parties have 2 round elections, AND they form coalitions with the losers if they reach a certain amount of votes. And they have explicit party labels---labour or green party, or tory.
It's the SYSTEM, set up in advance to better express democracy.

Valerie said...

No doubt that a preferential voting system is the best. No doubt that the Parliamentary System is superior to ours in the U.S.

Every single election since I can remember, the Democrats have used fear to get themselves elected. There is and always will be a bogey man and the Supreme Court will always be the biggest scare tactic of all. Last time I checked, the Democrats in Congress had to agree to the nominees. They can do what the Republicans have done - stall or push whoever wins the presidential election to pick a candidate more to their liking.

I am confident Hillary will win. Republicans will vote for her because she IS a Republican in all but name. Most Republicans don't have issues with gay marriage or any of the social issues on the Clinton agenda. Even the worst Republicans acknowledge we need some kind of safety net. So I don't think any of them will have a problem with Billary.

This is the moment to seize. We need a Third Party and we need it to be strong. We may not win this time around but the momentum is there. If every person with a student loan would vote for Jill Stein, we could actually win this election. I doubt that will happen because too many people will chicken out and vote for Billary, but it is time that a viable Third Party pulls in enough of the vote to scare the corrupted Democratic Party.

We need to stop voting out of fear and pragmatism and start voting our for sensible governance. If we don't, we are just like Nonni wrote, voting for the one option, which isn't voting at all.

Neil said...

Part 1

Re Karen, "Is this show ever going to end?" and "I need some air". I suspect this is rhetorical, but team Clinton is hoping for this kind of response from the typical voter.

Re Meredith NYC, "multi parties". Yes, we should try multi parties.

Re Valerie: Parties are not in the US Constitution. We are not bound to have parties. Parties are the problem. Why not "no parties", just candidates. We elect candidates, not parties.

Therefore I contend that "party" rules and laws are unconstitutional.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) shows 1874 candidates registered for president.

2016 Candidate Summary

Why are we only talking about 2 of the 1874 candidates?

This morning I called the Federal Election Commission (Tel. 800-424-9530; email info@fec.gov) with two questions:

1. Can a candidate for president run without a party? Answer: Yes.
(My comment, FEC Form 1 is "Statement of Organization")

2. When is the last day to get a presidential candidate’s name on the ballot?
Answer: Call your state’s election office.

The Florida Division of Elections (DOE)phone 850.245.6200

A compilation of the Election Laws of the State of Florida July 2016 (181 pages)

The Florida DOE said minor party candidate filings are due August 31, 2016, and NPA write-in candidate Oath was due July 12, 2016. (if I heard correctly)

Florida election law is governed by the Florida Statutes, Title IX, Electors and Elections, Chapters 97-107.


Neil said...

Part 2

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) Registration and Reporting Forms

FEC Form 1 Statement of Organization (4 pages) (link to fillable form)

FEC Form 2 Statement of Candidacy (1 page)

During this 2016 election the Democratic Party favored one candidate (HRC) over the other candidate (BS), and broke its own rules. Was Bernie a Clinton shill?

What did the Republican Party accomplish? Is Trump a Clinton shill? Or is Trump a madman? Or is Trump the next populist POTUS?

Third party? What party gets to be called the "Third" party?

Why not a fourth party, a fifth party and a sixth party? Why not 100 parties?

No War Party
Love Party
End The Fed Party
Free College Party
Medicare For All Party
Woman for President Party
Restorative Justice Party
Truth and Reconciliation Party
No Lobbyist Party
Green Party
Libertarian Party
Constitution Party
Socialist Party
Tea Party
Occupy Party
Labor Party
Communist Party
Conservative Party
Homestead Party
Vegetarian Party
Carnivore Party

Keep in mind, YOU do not vote for the president/VP.

"The election of President and Vice President of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C. cast ballots for a set of members of the U.S. Electoral College, known as electors. These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for President and Vice President of the United States. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for President or Vice President is then elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority for President, the House of Representatives chooses the President; if no one receives a majority for Vice President, then the Senate chooses the Vice President. The Electoral College and its procedure is established in the U.S. Constitution by Article II, Section 1, Clauses 2 and 4; and the Twelfth Amendment (which replaced Clause 3 after it was ratified in 1804)."


And you thought the USA was about freedom, or a republican form of democracy?

No. Just ask Native Americans [Indians], or chattel slaves brought from African, and their descendants, about our white supremacy creation myth.