Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016.


How the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Made Hillary Clinton Invincible

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Democratic Party, Sanders and Clinton

Andrew O’Hehir:

By the time you read this votes will already have been cast in 11 states (and American Samoa!) that in all likelihood will doom us to an eight-month campaign between a vacuous, proto-fascist huckster with no accomplishments or principles and an unregenerate war hawk who represents the neoliberal global elite. Thanks, America!

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. The nominations are not sewn up yet, but you wouldn’t know that by reading news media this morning.

If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes President, she will have the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy to thank. She represents everything about the Democratic Party that progressives have been bitching about for years — she’s too accommodating to the Right; too reluctant to push for anything beyond incremental baby steps; too compromised by ties to big money donors; and, for whatever reason, way too hawkish. Yet if you point that out to people, you get reactions like this

I am sick up to my fucking eyeballs of listening to supposed Dems call HRC corrupt. If you want to be a TeaBagger and push GOP talking points, at least be honest enough to declare yourself one of them. She’s been slandered, smeared and vilified by the Right for 30+ years. If there was dirt there to uncover it would have been found, but nothing, NOTHING has ever been found, let alone proven.

In other words, the steady drumbeat of hysterical, over-the-top animus and accusations that the Right has flung at Hillary Rodham Clinton all these years has inoculated her from criticism from the Left. Because of Darrell Issa’s idiot and dishonest Benghazi!!!! hearings, for example, the Left is closing its eyes to a real issue, which is that Secretary of State Clinton sold President Obama on policies in Libya that turned out to be disastrous.

After all we have gone through from Vietnam to Iraq, you’d think lefties would be extremely reluctant to support an obvious hawk like Clinton. But leftie groupthink has taken hold that doesn’t allow us to talk about this.

As far as corruption is concerned, I doubt we will ever find clear quid pro quos in her record. She’s not one to cross the line toward doing anything clearly criminal. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to be concerned.  I’ve quoted this before, but I think Jeffrey Feldman clearly spells out what the real issue is:

While not guilty of corruption in the explicit sense of quid pro quo, Clinton not only participates in, but actively cultivates patron-client relationships with Wall Street. In the clientelism that Clinton embraces and defends, she claims the American public to be the sole beneficiary via her representation, but she refuses to acknowledge how Wall St. benefits.  And yet, in a patron-client system, both the patron and the client always benefit. Always. That is how it works. In this case: Clinton gets resources to run for office, while Wall Street gets the guarantee that the candidate they gave so much money in one place (e.g., a speech) will tacitly if not explicitly support their views of economic reality in another place (e.g., The White House). It is a long term strategy for both.

Suffice it to say that if an industry seeks to play the long game–seeks to control the rule governing financial sector for the benefit of their firm–then they are much better off seeking to build as many patron-client relationships with government as possible, rather than a few risky acts of corruption.

Do read the whole thing.

And this is why Clinton will never promote far-reaching reform in the financial sector. She’s likely to give us a few tweaks to keep the worst of the vampire squid impulses at bay, but she won’t try to change The System itself.  But if it doesn’t change, and substantially, we’re all screwed. The young folks especially.

And, of course, there’s the gender card. I said something pro-Bernie on Facebook last night and was accused of sexism. She accuser refused to believe me when I said I was a woman, and a feminist. Because, apparently, the only reason to oppose a Clinton presidency is misogyny.

I wrote last week:

Hillary Clinton has some utterly and passionately devoted supporters, many of them older women, who appear to devoutly wish for a Clinton win because, in their heads, that would be paypack for all the sleights and obstacles and disrespect they’ve suffered through the years.

And that’s why they want her to win. Issues? Income inequality? Election reform? The corruption (or, as Jeffrey Feldman calls it, “clientelism“) in government? Nope, not on their radar. She’s going to do so much for women! they gush. (If you point out that Sanders is a feminist, also, they don’t want to hear about it. A Sanders win would deny them their symbolic victory.)

I submit that a Clinton presidency would reduce sexism about as much as the Barack Obama presidency reduced racism. But it would give many women a few hours of glorious gloating, so I guess that’s all they care about.

Let’s talk about the Democratic Party. I wrote back on February 8 about the sentiment among many that we must support Hillary Clinton because she’s a real Democrat, and Bernie Sanders isn’t. Sometimes I feel that with all my years of voting for Dems and $5 I could get a 20-piece Chicken McNuggets. The Obama Administration has made a real difference, of course, and I certainly don’t want to turn the keys of the White House over to Donald Trump. And there are some genuinely progressive Dems, of course.

But the party as a whole, going back decades, time and time again hasn’t given us what we need from them. We vote for them mostly because the alternative is worse.

Yet this is the party we’re supposed to support, just because it’s Our Home Team? Or something? There are people I have personally heard badmouth wishy-washy Dems for years who suddenly think Hillary Clinton can do no wrong and we must be loyal to her because she is a real Democrat, and Sanders is not.

Well, bleep that.

It is because of corruption in the Dem Party that Clinton is Miss Invincibility. Back in August Martin O’Malley accused the DNC of rigging the primary system in Hillary Clinton’s favor. And now we can see at least one reason why — obviously, Clinton worked out a deal with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz that helped solve the DNC’s financial crunch while it funneled PAC money to Clinton that she has been able to count as direct donations.

With inept news media that does nothing to inform voters about candidates — except who is winning, and who isn’t — we’ve got a perfect storm of derp going on. Voters support Hillary, yes, but for the wrong reasons.

In other words, Dem voters have not been real allowed input into the process of choosing our candidate. And we’re all just supposed to support the candidate we’re told to support.

One more time — bleep that.

Sanders isn’t done yet; he’s saying he will stay in the race until all states have voted, or until he stops getting donations, whichever comes first. I’ve said earlier that the primary calendar in April and may gets friendlier for him, and if I were him I wouldn’t quit yet either.

But I acknowledge there is very little hope that Hillary Rodham Clinton won’t be the Dem nominee for the presidency. Between her and Trump, it’s like a choice between a quick death or a slow one.

Update: One more thought — it occurs to me that, given the lack of analysis and debate actual issues, American voters are viewing the presidential campaigns as morality plays. Your perspective of who is the hero and who is the villain rests on your own social-psychological wiring, of course.  The fact that HRC has been the victim of many lunatic witch hunts has given her a veneer of innocent righteousness in the eyes of many people who are not wingnuts. But the real world isn’t that simple, and just because she isn’t the evil bitch queen the Right thinks she is doesn’t mean she deserves your vote for President.

Also, too  — the Apartment Fund fundraiser is close to the halfway mark! Just because you are reading this post doesn’t mean I deserve donations, but I’ll leave that to your judgment.

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