Sunday, July 24, 2016

Planet Hillary

 Reprint of a Disqus comment on the Mother Jones article calling Taibbi "Suprisingly weak":

In Frederick Douglass' autobiography, he describes that the slaves would argue over whose master could beat up the other, whose was richer. "To be a poor man's slave," he said "was a disgrace indeed." The slave knows he is being mistreated, but cannot but help but assume some graciousness of his master is attributable to himself. This is true of US politics still. So ask Bernie supporters if they support him because he is what they want to see in themselves, or because he is going to get things done? And same to Clinton.
Having been disappointed by Obama, and betrayed by Rahm Emanuel and his frenemy Bruce Rauner, I cannot  help but worry what a fourth civil servant connected to Goldman Sachs will have in store for this country.
I agree that what's possible is not well understood, nor can it be, but shouting down a surging wave of left-wing revolt is a bad thing for the party, not the least if there's a chance we may have to articulate such positions against an anti-establishment attack from the right. Authenticity will win this election, and Obama is apparently blind to that. We don't have to be. When asked whom  he would appoint as an advisor, Sanders has said he would look to Elizabeth Warren, a brave voice of dissent toward the banking powers. The way Clinton operates her politics are very in line with how elites function, and is not positioned well to counter the right. Not only has Clinton not disclosed her speeches to Goldman Sachs, it is a sure bet she will hire some bankers to consult on her economic policy as Obama did.
And while overturning Citizen's United may not be in the cards, surely even the symbolic action of the American public putting in a president that is resistant to such influence would be a meaningful, measurable, form of resistance.
Let's take a more hard-headed view and assume absolutely no laws will get passed in the next 4 years. That *only* leaves military policy. Do you want it in the hands of someone who cites the unemployment rate of Gaza or recently presided over military intervention on the behalf of the "young people" in the Middle East, that always seems to end up with Saudi puppets in power?
Read the book "America's 60 Families" by Ferdinand Lundberg. He describes how the wealthy use private foundations to experiment with new ways to manage the population. The corruption is not only direct quid-pro-quo, but a baseline assumption of support. In the back of your mind, you know who pays your bills and is holding a job for you in retirement. And that explains why in every debate, when Sanders says that the wealthy are not pulling their weight in this country, Clinton is absolutely incensed. Not because she is wealthy, nor hateful of the underclass, but because he is threatening her ability to position herself at the top of the elite.
Clinton does not simply get off the hook for Iraq because it was in the past, and darn it if she wasn't on the wrong side of that issue. She was on the wrong side *of the country* which protested the war! (as a side note, how in the heck did a radical evangelical with a C average talk Clinton into anything?) This is a theme that runs through her entire political history. In her book Living History (page 248) Clinton misstates the social culture of the time on health care. A series of CBS polls found that starting in 1990, the majority of Americans favored a national health care system. Clinton's take on this is that the "vast majority" opposed national health care because they would have to "give up benefits and medical choices." It's true that a massive lobbying campaign ultimately drove down public support for *her* particular bill, but she did not try to organize a mass movement to get it passed, and that was its failing.
A recent example was the flub that Nancy Reagan was in any way supportive in the AIDS crisis. Of course, credit to her for apologizing, but what's becoming clear is that Clinton buys into this myth that powerful people are noble, and the rest of us are just, well, "people." This sentiment was actually articulated by her husband in a televised interview, that people need a consciousness that's "way up here" with him. In fact, Clinton herself forgot that Sanders shared a stage with her as she spoke for reform. Her campaign manager reminded us that he was standing in the back, apparently where he belongs.

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