Friday, February 12, 2016

A "political revolution" is not the same as winning an election

One thing that people need to understand about the Sanders campaign is that it isn't actually about electing or nominating Bernie Sanders. It's about building a movement that can expose and challenge the hypocrisies of our oligarchic system. So far that's going pretty well.

For example, Bernie just whipped Hillary in New Hampshire garnering 60 percent of of the popular vote. And yet..
Even measured by committed delegates — the narrowest possible measure of “frontrunner status” — Sanders is at a massive disadvantage. Yes, his campaign has netted a combined total of 36 delegates from Iowa and New Hampshire, narrowly edging out Clinton’s haul of 32 delegates so far. But that’s not counting the superdelegates, a group of 370 Democratic potentates who can flock to their preferred candidates without being constrained by state primary outcomes. Clinton has the pledged support of 362 superdelegates to Sanders’s eight, giving her an overall 394 to 44 delegate lead even before the next 48 states head to the polls.
The nomination is going to go to Hillary.  The entire process is designed to ensure that that happens. But there's still value in winning primaries. It demonstrates just how out of touch the political elites are with the actual challenges people face.   If we're going to build a more responsive politics the first step is demonstrating just how badly unresponsive the politics we now have is. That is what this primary is about.

This primary is about showing the elites as the immoral toadies they are.  One highlight of last night's debate involved the candidates articulating their differing views of Henry Kissenger. The Intercept's Dan Froomkin writes that  it's one of those moments that should tell you everything
But Clinton is clearly picking from the usual suspects — the “securocrats in waiting” who make up the Washington D.C. foreign policy establishment.

They work at places like Albright Stoneridge, the powerhouse global consulting firm led by former secretary of state Madeline Albright, a staunch Clinton backer. They work at places like Beacon Global Strategies, which is providing high-profile foreign policy guidance to Clinton — as well as to Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. And they work at places like Kissinger Associates. In fact, Bob Hormats, who was a Goldman Sachs vice chairman before serving as Clinton’s under secretary of state, is now advising Clinton’s campaign even while serving as the vice chairman of Kissinger Associates.

Despite the wildly bellicose and human-rights-averse rhetoric from the leading Republican presidential candidates, they’re picking from essentially the same pool as well.

A few weeks ago, I talked to Chas Freeman, the former diplomat I once called a “one-man destroyer of groupthink,” whose non-interventionism and even-handed approach to the Middle East was so un-Kissingeresque that his surprising appointment to President Obama’s National Intelligence Council in 2009 lasted all of a few days.

He marveled at the lack of any “honest brokers” in the D.C. foreign policy establishment. “We have a foreign policy elite in this country that’s off its meds, basically,” he said.

“There’s no debate because everybody’s interventionist, everybody’s militaristic.” They all are pretty much in the thrall of neoconservatism, he said. You can see them “speckled all over the Republican side” and “also in the Clinton group.”

Henry Kissinger is thus a litmus test for foreign policy. But don’t count on the mainstream media to help you understand that.

Imagine two types of people: Those who would schmooze with Kissinger at a cocktail party, and those who would spit in his eye. The elite Washington media is almost without exception in that first category. In fact, they’d probably have anyone who spit in Kissinger’s eye arrested.
There are "two kinds of people" involved in this Democratic primary.  Which side are you on?  Think long and hard about whether or not you believe the Clintons are on your side or ever have been.
As far back as 1990, Clinton and the DLC had declared in the “New Orleans Declaration” that they intended to echo the language of conservatism. The Third Way advocates pledged their devotion to the mission of expanding “opportunity, not government.” The war on poverty was replaced by a “politics of inclusion” that would phase out social welfare. The compensatory role of social assistance and affirmative action were denigrated. The lauding of individual initiative and upward mobility refuted a focus on problems of group inequality and the search for social solutions to discrimination.

Economic security would be achieved through free trade, not protectionism. Strong defense had to be maintained on the world stage while the prevention and punishment of crime would define domestic security policy. Concerns of the oppressed were to be sidestepped, as the integration of minorities into the “economic and cultural mainstream” was preferred to “racial, gender, or ethnic separatism.” And finally, citizenship was to be redefined in line with communitarian principles, entailing “responsibility as well as rights.” A strong reliance on “moral and cultural values” would govern public behavior.
I was coming of age during the early 90s. 1992 was the first Presidential election I was old enough to vote in. But even then I was literate enough to understand what garbage humans the Clintons were.  It's disappointing but not surprising to me that the corporate press does its best to ensure younger generations don't instinctively get it without having done some digging. (May not be succeeding anyway because, lo and behold, young people are not, in fact, total idiots.)

What continues to astonish me, though, are the large number among my contemporaries and older who seem perfectly fine with the garbage legacy of these garbage people. All of them should know better. Some of them, no doubt, will come around.  But we're going to have to win a few more primaries first. Even if those primaries don't end up having much to do with how a nominee is chosen.

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