For most long time exiles from the Democratic Party, the post election liberal meltdown as a result of HRC’s historic, unexpected loss continues to gratify as photos of White House staff in tears do little to stir sympathy.
But unexpected? Only in the eyes of Democratic party stalwarts who wouldn’t know what to say to a Trump supporter, if they met one.
After all, how could she lose with the unwavering support of every institution in American life that mattered including every media conglomerate at the DNC’s fingertips – but even that boomeranged on the impending coronation.
Having digested Wikileaks emails re the MSM and partisan collusion, it was of no small interest then to view the Anderson Cooper and the Jake Tapper interviews on CNN’s Sunday morning talk shows two days before the election with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.
Tapper who hosted the Presidential town hall debate in Columbus, Ohio and Cooper who co-hosted the last debate in St. Louis are both regarded as credible liberal reporters, synonymous with being fair and respectful, professional and amenable to alternative points of view. Their respective interviews with Conway proved none of that to be true.
On that Sunday, HRC was leading in the polls and expected to win up to 320 electoral votes. What was revealing was that, even in the face of Wikileaks confirmation, the MSM continued to unabashedly favor Clinton which did not go unnoticed by ‘deplorables’ around the country. Media bias for Democrats came as no surprise but what was unexpected was proof -positive that the media has been infiltrated by political partisans such as CNN’s Donna Brazile (she of the passing debate questions scandal). MSNBC, of course, is rife with political operatives who have moved into hosting their own shows masquerading as objective journalists.
As if deliberately thumbing their nose with a certainty that the mass of American voters are semi literate, bumbling racists who don’t know how to think, corporate media continued to display an obvious partiality, disputing any analysis that did not conform with their high opinion of HRC as they persisted in following Clinton’s grievously flawed candidacy down the tubes to ignominious defeat.
Obviously Conway’s choice of candidate is irrelevant to her right to speak freely on publicly-owned airwaves without being humiliated and bullied by big name, multi-million dollar media stars who believe that as journalists they inherited a God-given right to influence an election by disparaging one candidate against another – some of those same media stars who believe steadfastly in their own arrogance were so utterly wrong and ethically compromised on election evening for all the world to see.
As Anderson and Tapper approached their prospective interviews with Conway, they had to know beforehand that she had already proven to be an intelligent, knowledgeable and savvy politico as any Presidential campaign manager on the national stage should be. It was clear watching their performance that there was a deliberate intent on ‘cracking’ her composure and breaking her resolve. As millions of women watched, some of whom may not have yet voted, saw the Cooper/Tapper assault as another example of Big Media anti Trump overreach.
In what might easily be seen by HRC’s female supporters as sexual harassment, both Cooper and Tapper ‘s behavior was consistently unprofessional and discourteous as they repeatedly interrupted Conway, spoke over her so as to drown out her comments and otherwise continued a harangue they never would have unloaded on John Podesta .
While much media attention was focused on Trump’s sexual indiscretions of more than a decade ago, the Big Blue Propaganda Machine was banking on voters believing that liberal men are paragons of virtue immune from sexual misconduct. White female voters proved to be more discriminating as economic issues mattered more with 53% voting for Trump over Clinton.
Lest you think this essay is only about how high powered men in positions of power publicly mistreat women in comparable positions of power, Conway’s interview on The View in early October was equally appalling. In an insightful if excruciating ‘view’ of how liberal women treat other women who have a different political point of view, there was no evidence of Sisterhood. Whoopi Goldberg grilled Conway about Trump’s tax returns claiming that HRC’s ‘transparency is insane” while another member of the panel suggested that Trump spent money in Cuba during the US embargo equated to ‘treason’.
Throughout all three interviews which millions of women who vote were watching, Conway, a smart, experienced political strategist, stayed on message, never lost her cool and maintained an admirable poise. As the first woman to successfully manage a Presidential campaign, Conway is tough enough to understand that being female and a Trump supporter made her an object of ridicule and an irresistible target for the Hollywood/New York City and MSM elites.
Clearly, if the MSM does not agree with the message, the DNC playbook is to attack the messenger. Any communications professor might consider using either of these interviews to teach their students how not to conduct an interview.
In an October 31 appearance on Morning Joe, Conway commented that since “Hillary Clinton was engendering boos for the FBI and the FBI director at her rallies yesterday,” she asked “Are we going to start asking if she’s going to accept the result if she loses” and “are we going to start asking her if she’s inciting violence.”
As if a prescient answer to Conway, much of the nation may have been surprised to see thousands of young people in the streets to protest Trump’s election with a disturbing level of violence, property destruction and their own version of intense hatred. While it is encouraging to see young’uns feel passionate about civic engagement and stand up for principle as they take advantage of their constitutional rights, they have been duped.
What the MSM has described as ‘spontaneous’ demonstrations were generated by MoveOn.org which has been a thinly-disguised front for the Democratic party since its inception. Created in 1998 in response to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for lying about his sexual indiscretions, MoveOn (aka Change.org) has a reported membership of eight million members and received funding of $1.4 million from Big Blue oligarch, international financier and currency speculator George Soros who recently donated $50 million to the ACLU which promptly issued a challenge to President-elect Trump.
As a Wikileaks release in August described, this is the same Soros, who has a history of funding and fomenting protests around the world and in 2011 instructed Secretary of State HRC to overthrow the government of Albania including the need to “forestall further public demonstrations.” Days later, HRC followed Soros’ instructions to a T.
On March 11th, the NY Times reported on the cancellation of a Trump rally in Chicago due to ‘violent scuffles’ and protestors who “engaged in intense disputes” with security officials. What the Times did not report was that MoveOn took credit for the mob violence sending out an email that read “This is what standing up to hate looks like” citing an ‘outpouring of peaceful opposition” which was actually not peaceful.
So in orchestrating protests that fan the flames of fear, violence and civil disorder, high school and college students are being taught that lawless, violent behavior is appropriate and to be condoned if a valid election result does not meet their expectation. Adult liberals have also reacted with shock in discovering that much of country does not necessarily think as they do.
The issue here is not that Trump’s rhetoric did not deserve an appropriate response; he is clearly a flawed individual and will be watched for authentic evidence of violating his oath of office. However, the 2016 election is not a replay of 2000 when the Democrats rolled over as the election was stolen. MoveOn could have then provided a useful public service but GW was akin to the influential oligarch elite class which would have presumably been satisfied with either Gore or Bush.
The larger problem is that partisan-connected oligarchs have a personal agenda that threatens the integrity of a constitutional democracy as they found and fund public interest groups which manipulate its members that, in turn, benefit the oligarchs own financial and political gain.
Despite anxiety and concern generated by HRC and MSM that Trump would not accept election results thereby causing riots, civil unrest and perhaps beginning a civil war, there have been no signs of Trump supporters confronting the protests – so who exactly is perpetuating the violence and hostility?
The emptiness of defeat
Obama’s legacy is in tatters, and that is good news. Donald Trump’s victory was not just a win over Hillary Clinton, but against Democratic Party policies that silenced the rank and file. For years Democrats became convinced that the only means of keeping Republicans at bay was to go along with their party leadership without complaint. If they wanted to expand trade deals that stole workers’ jobs, so be it. The people who marched against the invasion of Iraq folded their tents when Democrats became the party of endless war. When Obama promoted austerity and “grand bargains” with Republicans not a word was uttered. Even Black Lives Matter refused to point out that the Obama Justice Department left killer cops unpunished.
Barack Obama is nothing if not consistent. While Democrats take to the streets in protest against president elect Trump, Obama declares that the man he once called unfit is not an ideologue, but a “pragmatist.” No one should be surprised about the conciliatory tone. Obama never had a problem with Republicans. They may have obstructed him, but he was always happy to assist them because he wasn’t really opposed to their policies.
The most obvious example of Obama’s lack of substance was his relationship with black Americans. His disdain and contempt for the people who loved him the most was clear to anyone who paid attention. Jokes about “cousin Pookie” and parents serving fried chicken for breakfast should have been seen as the racist screeds they clearly were. But the desire to see a black face in a prominent place endures to our detriment.
Obama won by making himself palatable to white people while also taking advantage of undeserved black pride. Hillary Clinton would be the president elect if the new voters who emerged in 2008 had remained committed to the Democratic Party. But their loyalty was to the imagery of Barack Obama as president. Their joy was confined to seeing him meet the queen of England alongside his first lady or disembarking from Air Force One with his signature swagger. The sight of Barack and Michelle hosting a state dinner was enough to make black hearts swoon. Policy initiatives need not intrude upon the love fest.
The end result of this unrequited and superficial love was six million fewer votes cast for Hillary Clinton in 2016 than for Obama in 2012. The apocryphal cousin Pookie stayed home and no one should be surprised. There is no secret to keeping voters engaged. They are engaged if their needs are met. Deliver for voters and they deliver in the voting booth.
Even the unpopular and shady Hillary Clinton could have won Michigan if the people of Flint had received the federal help they needed so badly. Not only did the Obama environmental protection agency allow the beleaguered city to be given contaminated water, but he showed up for a photo opportunity and did nothing else as residents suffered. He drank a glass of water, posed for the cameras and returned to Washington. The people of Flint are still living under conditions Americans think of as being “Third World.”
The response to Trump’s victory should mean more than protesting policies the Democrats now have little ability to fight. This moment presents an opportunity for much needed introspection and mea culpas. Millions of people did more than just accept Democratic Party policy. They supported actions they would have rejected if carried out by a Republican or a white Democrat. They supported Muammar Gaddafi when Republicans were president but averted their eyes to his murder when committed by a Democrat. They even voted for the person who bragged about the killing. Democratic voters must ask themselves why they said nothing when their party promoted trade deals that were against their interests. Ultimately that acquiescence led to defeat at Trump’s hands.
The Obama team’s propaganda skills were legendary but the day of reckoning revealed the emptiness of what they produced. The corporate media acted like scribes under White House direction and declared that Russia was an enemy state and its president a 21st century Hitler. Now it is Donald Trump, the self-promoting reality television star, who declares his willingness to talk to his Russian counterpart. It is the sort of behavior that Democrats once valued.
Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton began the tradition of getting Democrats to support what they didn’t like. Obama perfected the art, which ultimately led to the debacle. He will certainly not be the last to tempt the party faithful but in 2016 Democrats sold their souls and ended up with nothing. Defeat creates the most hollow feelings of all.
Margaret Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.
By John Chuckman | Aletho News | November 10, 2016
Brushing away the extreme claims and rhetoric of much election analysis, there are some observations which deserve attention. These unfortunately mostly provide hard lessons and not a lot of encouragement for people who hold to principles of democracy, enlightenment, and progressivity.
The election demonstrated perhaps better than ever, and better than has generally been recognized, that American is, indeed, a plutocracy. It took a genuine American Oligarch, a multi-billionaire, a man with a lifetime’s economic empire-building, to defeat a family which could provide the very definition of being politically well-connected, a family which had laboriously constructed and carefully maintained a kind of deep well ever-flowing with money for their ambitions.
It was the ever-flowing well of money, drilled by Bill Clinton with help from some extremely shady friends, such as Jeffrey Epstein, that made the Clintons keystone establishment figures in the Democratic Party. It was not personal charm or exceptional political generalship – although Bill, in his heyday, displayed some of both of those – that earned the Clintons their place, it was the money, the “mother’s milk of politics.” In what is euphemistically called “fund raising,” many hundreds of millions of dollars were provided for the party over the last couple of decades by Bill Clinton’s efforts.
Hillary fully appreciated the fact that money buys power and influence. She lacked Bill’s superficial charm, but she certainly more than shared his ambition. On the charm front, when she was ready to move into running for office, she adopted, perhaps under Bill’s tutelage, a kind of forced clown face with arched eyebrows, bugged-out eyes, and a smile as big as her lips would allow, and these expressions were accompanied by little gestures such as briefly pointing to various on-lookers or waving helter-skelter whenever she campaigned.
Her gestures reminded me of something you might see atop a float in a Christmas Parade or of the late Harpo Marx at his most exuberant. These were not natural for her. They were never in evidence years ago when she spent years as a kind of bizarre executive housewife, both in a governor’s mansion and later in the White House, bizarre because she indulged her husband’s non-stop predatory sexual behavior in exchange for the immense power it conferred on her behind the scenes over her far more out-going and successful politician-husband.
Anyway, Hillary knew that gestures and simulated charm do not get you far in American politics. She determined to build a political war chest long ago, and there are many indications over the years of her working towards this end of making this or that change in expressed view, as when running for the Senate, when sources of big money suggested another view would be more acceptable. She was anything but constant in the views she embraced because when she ran for the Senate she spent record amounts of money, embarrassingly large amounts.
In her years of speaking engagements, she aimed at special interests who could supply potentially far more money than just exorbitant speaking fees. Later, in the influential, appointed post of Secretary of State – coming, as it does, into personal contact with every head of government or moneyed, big-time international schemer – she unquestionably played an aggressive “pay for play” with them all. Covering up that embarrassing and illegal fact is what the private servers and unauthorized smart phones were all about.
A second big fact of the election is that both major American political parties are rather sick and fading. The Republican Party has been broken for a very long time. It hobbled along for some decades with the help of various gimmicks, hoping to expand its constituency with rubbish like “family values,” public prayer and catering to the Christian Right, and anti-flag burning Constitutional amendments, and now it is truly out of gas. That is precisely why a political outsider like Oligarch Trump could manage to hi-jack the party.
He was opposed by tired, boring men like Jeb Bush, seeking to secure an almost inherited presidency, and a dark, intensely unlikable, phony Christian fundamentalist like Ted Cruz, and it proved to be no contest. It was a remarkable political achievement, but I think it was only possible given the sorry state of the party.
The Republican Party had been given a breather, some new life, by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. He had an extremely mixed record as President, but he was popular, held in some affection, and did have a clear vision, but his effect on the party was not lasting. Trump could be seen as another Reagan, but I think the comparison is superficial. Trump literally hi-jacked the party, and he was not deliriously crowned by its establishment.
The Republican Party itself was formed not long before Abraham Lincoln’s candidacy out of the remains of worn out and collapsed predecessors, including the Whigs and Free-Soil Democrats. Parties do not last forever, and here was Trump creating something of a minor political revolution inside a tired and fairly directionless old party, a phenomenon which I do not think was sufficiently noticed.
The press was too busy attacking him from the start to take notice or do any intelligent analysis, and he was attacked precisely for the potential damage to the establishment he represented. His most promising quality is his potential for creating a new coalition of interests and one excluding the continuation of the Neocon Wars Hillary vigorously embraced and would expand.
But the Democratic Party is in serious trouble, too. It has a great deal of internal rot, as the Wiki-Leaks material from the DNC clearly shows us. Arrogance, lack of direction, ignorance of the people it has always claimed to serve, bad decision-making, and the absolute prostrate worship of money are the major symptoms.
It would have been impossible for the party to have so made up its mind and committed its resources to Hillary Clinton without serious rot. She has always had strong negatives in polling, always been (rightly) suspected concerning her honesty.
The Wiki-Leaks material tells us about many internal conflicts, including harsh high-level judgments of Hillary’s decision-making, resentment over the back-stabbing character of daughter Chelsea who is said to resemble Hillary in her behavior and attitudes, and the belief of some that Hillary just should not have run. And, frankly, she had become for many a rather tiresome, used-up figure from whom absolutely nothing spectacular in politics or policy could possibly be expected. But they not only blindly supported her, they broke all their own party rules by internally and secretly working to defeat a legitimate and viable contender, Bernie Sanders.
Sanders might well have been able to win the election for the Democrats, but their establishment was blind to the possibility and rejected his candidacy out-of-hand. After all, there were Bill and Hillary beckoning to their running well of money. In hindsight, it might be just as well that Sanders was cheated out of the nomination. He proved a weak individual in the end, giving in to just the forces he had claimed to oppose and leaving his enthusiastic followers completely let down. There he was, out on the hustings, supporting everything he ever opposed personified in Hillary Clinton. Men of that nature do not stand up well to Generals and Admirals and the heads of massive corporations, a quality which I do think we have some right to expect Trump to display.
Another important fact about the election is that it was less the triumph of Trump than the avoidance of Hillary that caused the defeat. The numbers are unmistakable. Yes, Trump did well for a political newcomer and a very controversial figure, but Hillary simply did badly, not approaching the support Obama achieved in key states, again something reflecting the documented fact that she is not a well-liked figure and the Party blundered badly in running her. But again, money talks, and the Clintons, particularly Bill, are the biggest fundraisers they have had in our lifetime. No one was ready to say no to the source of all that money.
Now, to many Americans, the election result must seem a bit like having experienced something of a revolution, although a revolution conducted through ballots, any other kind being literally impossible by design in this massive military-security state. In a way, it does represent something of a revolutionary event, owing to the fact that Trump the Oligarch is in his political views a bit of a revolutionary or at least a dissenter from the prevailing establishment views. And, as in any revolution, even a small one, there are going to be some unpleasant outcomes.
The historical truth of politics is that you never know from just what surprising source change may come. Lyndon Johnson, life-long crooked politician and the main author of the horrifying and pointless Vietnam War, did more for the rights of black Americans than any other modern president. Franklin Roosevelt, son of wealthy establishment figures, provided remarkable leadership in the Great Depression, restoring hopes and dreams for millions. Change, important change, never comes from establishments or institutions like political parties. It always comes from unusual people who seem to step out of their accustomed roles in life with some good or inspired ideas and have the drive and toughness to make them a reality.
I have some limited but important hopes for Trump. I am not blind or delirious expecting miracles from this unusual person, and after the experience of Obama, who fairly quickly proved a crushing, bloody disappointment, I can never build up substantial hopes for any politician. And what was the choice anyway? Hillary Clinton was a bought-and-paid one-way ticket to hell.
Trump offers two areas of some hope, and these both represent real change. The first is in reducing America’s close to out-of-control military aggressiveness abroad. This aggressiveness, reflecting momentum from what can only be called the Cheney-Rumsfeld Presidency, continued and grew under the weak and ineffectual leadership of Obama and was boosted and encouraged by Hillary as Secretary of State. Hillary, the feminists who weep for her should be reminded, did a lot of killing during her tenure. She along with Obama are literally responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of women and their families, many of them literally torn apart by bombs.
The other area of some hope is for the welfare of ordinary American people themselves who have been completely ignored by national leaders for decades. By welfare, I do not mean the kind of state assistance that Bill Clinton himself worked to end.
George Bush’s lame reaction to Hurricane Katrina (before he was internationally shamed into some action) has become the normal pattern for America’s national government when it comes to ordinary Americans. The truth is that the legacy of FDR has withered to nothing and no longer plays any role in the Democratic Party, and of course never did in the Republican Party.
Nothing can impress someone not familiar with America’s dark corners more than a visit to places like Detroit or Gary or Chicago’s South Side, parts of New Orleans, or Newark or dozens of other places where Americans live in conditions in every way comparable to Third World hellholes. No, I mean the people’s general well-being. Trump’s approach will be through jobs and creating incentives for jobs. I don’t know whether he can succeed, but, just as he asked people in some of his speeches, “What do you have to lose?” Just having someone in power who pays any attention to the “deplorables” is a small gain.
People should never think of the Clintons as liberal or progressive, and that was just as much true for Bill as it is for Hillary. His record as President – apart from his embarrassing behavior in the Oval Office with a young female intern and his recruitment of Secret Service guards as procurers for women he found attractive on his morning runs – was actually pretty appalling. He, in his own words, “ended welfare as we know it.” He signed legislation which would send large numbers of young black men to prison. He also signed legislation which contributed to the country’s later financial collapse under George Bush. He often would appoint someone decent and then quickly back off, leaving them dangling, when it looked like approval for the appointment would not be coming. His FBI conducted the assault on Waco, killing about eighty people needlessly. A pharmaceutical plant in Sudan was destroyed by cruise missiles for no good reason. There were a number of scandals, including the suicide of Vince Foster and the so-called Travelgate affair, which were never fully explained to the public. It was his Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who answered, unblinkingly, a television interviewer’s question about tens of thousands of Iraqi children who died owing to America’s embargo, “We think it’s worth it.” He committed the war crime of bombing Belgrade. When news of the horrors of the Rwanda genocide were first detected by his government, the order secretly went out to shut up about it. No effort was made to intervene.
No, any real change in America could never come from people like the Clintons, either one of them.
By Doug Steil | Aletho News | November 9, 2016
As luck would have it Hillary Clinton’s landslide loss was so big that massive election fraud by Democratic Party operatives in various cities could not overcome her deficit.
The “shock” by insiders of having lost obviously reflects their earlier certainty of prevailing, which hints at the extent of their vote rigging schemes. The unverifiable system of voting in America is so flawed that foreign observers are now being blocked from monitoring US elections. The topic of fraud can no longer be swept under the rug.
Surely Clinton and the media will try to make a big deal of having “received more votes” than Trump in the popular vote total, which according to the current tabulation has already occurred, with an even higher differential to come once West Coast state results are all counted.
Those inside the DC Beltway and within elite campuses will claim that this is “unfair” and that Hillary really “should have won”.
However, this assertion should be vociferously challenged. Surely this surplus is artificial. Is it really possible that so many Americans would have ignored the prospect of going to war with Russia?
The question needs to be raised publicly: How many hundreds of thousand votes were switched from Trump to Clinton altogether and how many invalid (illegal) votes were registered for her?
Aside from that — assuming all the votes were legitimate — the electoral college system is intended to prevent, say, a concentration of votes in urban centers to the detriment of rural voters across the country. As is the case in Maine and Nebraska, voters in individual states can decide how to allocate their electoral votes, so it doesn’t have to be a winner-take-all system.
It is a tribute to the designers of the US Constitution that the Electoral College mechanism still exists. It’s almost as if though they might also have already suspected long ago that there could be illicit efforts in the future to change an election outcome simply by stuffing the ballots in a few locations. The indirect US electoral system has saved the country from a big crisis brought on by election fraud. Instead of changing the Constitution future election reforms should focus on making vote fraud impossible or extremely difficult to carry out.
By Patrick Henningsen | 21st Century Wire | Noember 1, 2016
The longer this soap opera drags on, it’s becoming more and more evident that the Russia government did not ‘hack’ into the DNC, and Moscow is not feeding John Podesta’s emails to Wikileaks. For those who are deeply invested in this now official conspiracy theory, this might be a hard pill to swallow.
The White House and the Hillary Clinton campaign are now married to the idea that ‘Putin is hacking the US elections.’ In response, the President is weighing his options – tougher economic sanctions, revoking diplomatic status to Russian envoys in the US, or even deploying his newly developed ‘malicious cyber-activity’ tools.
Even VP Joe Biden wants in on the action, threatening Moscow by saying,”We’re sending a message. We have the capacity to do it.”
It seems that where ever you turn nowadays, someone in Washington is issuing a threat against Russia. Are US-Russian relations really that bad, or does this trend have more to do with the defense industry and power struggles within the US?
What was previously a stance reserved for right-wing neoconservative hawks and Cold War hold-outs has now infected America’s left-wing, and is a firm plank in the Democratic Party platform, as evidenced by Hillary Clinton’s constant anti-Russian rhetoric throughout this 2016 election cycle. Along with the White House, Clinton has now transformed the Democrats into the vanguard of Washington’s new anti-Russia movement.
On July 27th, Josh Rogin from the Washington Post wrote, “The Clinton campaign has decided to escalate its rhetoric on Russia. After Trump suggested Wednesday that if Russia had indeed hacked Clinton’s private email server it should release the emails, the Clinton campaign sent out its Democratic surrogates to bash Russia and Trump in a manner traditionally reserved for Republicans.”
Anyone who was paying attention back then knew this ‘Russian hack’ talking point was purely political, but then again, who’s really paying attention these days? Certainly not the US media.
Backed by the Obama White House, Clinton and the media pressed ahead blaming Russia – not only for the controversial DNC leaks, but also for hacking into US election systems in Arizona – a charge devoid of any evidence other than innuendo and speculation. The media’s coverage on this issue was deceptive from the onset. In a leading news release, entitled, Russian hackers targeted Arizona election system, we can see how after the cock-sure headline, the first paragraph would always sound definitive:
“Hackers targeted voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona, and the FBI alerted Arizona officials in June that Russians were behind the assault on the election system in that state.”
But then by the time you advanced down the story, the report would quickly retreat into a zone of uncertainty:
“The bureau described the threat as “credible” and significant, “an eight on a scale of one to 10,” Matt Roberts, a spokesman for Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R), said Monday. As a result, Reagan shut down the state’s voter registration system for nearly a week.”
And then, down to almost nothing…
“It turned out that the hackers had not compromised the state system or even any county system. They had, however, stolen the username and password of a single election official in Gila County.”
At no point was any evidence ever given. Only ambiguous statements like, “Cyber security officials agree that this looks very much like a Russian government-directed hack.”
Are American politicians so callous as to tempt geopolitical conflict in order to further their short-term political ambitions? Better yet, has American political life really arrived such a dark cul de sac (translated in French: ‘bottom of the bag’) where politicians in power are so insecure as to make-up and propagate wild international conspiracy theories – in the middle a national election cycle? It’s a very depressing prospect, and yet, this is exactly what we are seeing in this 2016 Presidential Election.
Behind Clinton’s wild hyperbolic rants about the Kremlin and Wikileaks, you will find the White House…
On October 7th, the Obama Administration formally accused the Russian government of stealing emails from the Democratic National Committee and other high-profile individuals including Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta – giving them to Wikileaks.
Soon, there was a queue of ‘national security’ politicians eager to hitch a ride on this bandwagon. Senator Ben Sasse (NE-R), a member of the Homeland Security Committee spouted out, “Russia must face serious consequences. Moscow orchestrated these hacks because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin believes Soviet-style aggression is worth it. The United States must upend Putin’s calculus with a strong diplomatic, political, cyber and economic response.”
According to a Washington Post report by technology editor, Ellen Nakashima, the only ‘evidence’ that seems to be available on this story is a corporate analysis of the alleged ‘Russian government hacks’ – provided by a US cyber security company called Crowdstrike. No actual specifics are given, so we are meant to take private firm Crowdstrike’s word for it.
IMAGE: Crowdstrike cyber security.
The Post’s Nakashima then added:
The administration also blamed Moscow for the hack of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the subsequent leak of private email addresses and cellphone numbers of Democratic lawmakers.
An online persona calling himself Guccifer 2.0 has claimed responsibility for posting the material. Those sites and that persona are “consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts,” the joint statement said. “… We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.
Moscow’s press secretary’s reply: “This is some sort of nonsense,” said Dmitry Peskov.
Despite the constant repetition by Democrat media surrogates, and as CNN’s Maria Cardona said last night, no US national intelligence agency has really “confirmed” that Russia was behind the email hacks – and still no evidence, other than speculative guesswork, has been presented.
Likewise, US intelligence agencies have never actually said definitively on record that “Russia did it,” thus, leaving the door open to walk-back the accusation at a later date. Standard Washington procedure of ambiguity. This little detail doesn’t seem to matter in this hyperbolic political climate though. It seems that the White House, Hillary Clinton and media operatives like Cardona – are quite happy living in what John Kerry recent dubbed as a ‘parallel universe.’
Still, during the final Presidential debate, Hillary Clinton proudly crowed how “17 US intelligence agencies” aka the “Intelligence Community” all agreed that Russia did it. Some might call that propaganda.
“We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election,” said Clinton. “I find that deeply disturbing.”
What’s even more disturbing is the fact that Clinton is lying in front of a national audience. The highest levels of the Kremlin? Really? Here are Clinton’s ’17 agencies’:
Air Force Intelligence, Army Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Coast Guard Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, Energy Department, Homeland Security Department, State Department, Treasury Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Marine Corps Intelligence, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency, Navy Intelligence and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
What does the Coast Guard Intelligence, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency or the Drug Enforcement Administration know about John Podesta’s emails? Answer: nothing.
The exact same thing happened following Wikileaks first trove of DNC emails back in July 2016. The US government issued a vague accusatory statement, but would not actually name the culprit.
In both instances, the Obama Administration refused to present any evidence. Translated: there was no evidence. If there had been, the White House would have been shouting from the rooftops and using it as leverage to apply muscle in the UN over Washington’s flagging efforts in Syria. Both Obama Administration announcements were nothing more than dog whistles for Democrats and “journalists” working for hopelessly partisan outlets like New York Times and CNN – none of whom have bothered to press the White House for one ounce of evidence pertaining to the Party’s decree that “Russian is hacking the US election process.”
To be fair, Hillary would have every reason to believe that the Kremlin is behind the hack – because her staff read it to her from the campaign’s daily intelligence briefings, presumably, supplied from the US government’s much vaunted Intelligence Community. Of course, that’s the same Intelligence Community that briefed George W Bush about Saddam’s nonexistent nuclear weapons program, and who also briefed Cowell Powell about Iraq’s imaginary “Winnebagos of Death” aka mobile anthrax labs disguised as senior double-wide camper vans. So, of course, they would know if Putin directed the DNC leaks and Podesta email hacks.
For those us who are skeptical of the great oxymoron known as ‘Washington Intelligence,’ I can almost hear the mainstream rebuttal now, “No, that was Iraq, that was Bush. We’re not like that. No, this time it’s different. This time we are sure the Russians did it!”
In 2014, Obama claimed that Kim’s notorious “Bureau 121” hacked into Sony Pictures.
This isn’t the first time that President Obama has cried wolf on a foreign ‘hack’ and then tried to sell it for political purposes. Back in December 2014, Obama claimed that North Korea had hacked Sony Pictures in Hollywood. Pentagon-CIA media proxy CNN quickly chimed in to support Washington’s conspiracy theory, floating a colorful story that Kim Jing-Un had deployed a secret underground hacking unit called ‘Bureau 121.’ Just like with today’s “Russian Hack” theory, no member of the mainstream press dared to question the White House’s ridiculous North Korean claim, and like the ‘Russian Hack’ claims, the only source cited for Sony hack was analysis provided by US firm Crowdstrike.
Jumping the Shark
After their Democratic Party Convention on July 27th, the Clinton campaign machine put all of its chips on their Putin narrative.
Soon after, a cadre of top Clinton national security surrogates then accused Trump of emboldening Russia in their evil plot to “destabilize and dominate the West.” Tom Donilon, a former national security adviser then accused Russia of ‘interfering’ with elections all over Europe and then accused Trump is helping Russia directly. At that point, they were in too deep to turn back.
Clinton spin doctors Josh Schwerin and Michael Fallon would stoop even lower by accusing RT of having possession of the Podesta emails even before Wikileaks did. Their only ‘evidence’ seemed to be Twitter posts by RT News which Clinton held up as ‘proof’ that the Kremlin was front-running Wikileaks email dumps. The Clinton braintrust failed to note that the Podesta emails were posted on Wikileaks own website well before RT News had tweeted about them. At that point that it became obvious that the Clinton campaign was panicking and hysterically grabbing for any excuse they could get their hands on. We then watched, as one RT reporter after another dismantled the Clinton campaign’s desperate claims. It was embarrassing.
They could not face the uncomfortable fact that it was WikiLeaks head Julian Assange who chose the timing of the release of the DNC and Podesta emails. Rather than attack Assange himself, who happens to be popular with millennials (the very group Clinton struggles to connect with), her operatives opted to target Russia and Trump instead.
Either way, the political strategy here is clear – to shoot the messenger. The Clinton campaign is stuck in permanent rear-guard mode, because based on the content of both the DNC Leaks, Wikileaks files, and Project Veritas video – their own Democratic Party has been discredited and exposed as a corrupt political organization.
Their other big problem is that despite all the outrage from Democrats and their mainstream media surrogates, none of the leaked content has been challenged on the basis of its authenticity. The results speak for themselves. The initial DNC leak of 20,000 emails resulted in the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. They revealed the unthinkable: the Democratic National Committee actively worked to undermine the Presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders in favor of the establishment choice in Hillary Clinton. Sanders never had a chance. Honest commentators called this an affront to the democratic process, while party insiders and Clinton supporters pretended to be aloof as if it never happened.
To prove this point, both President Obama and Hillary Clinton then gave Wasserman-Schultz glowing endorsement on the way out. “For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful,” said Obama. Not surprisingly, Clinton thanked Wasserman Schultz, presumably for helping to knock her only competitor Sanders out of the Democrat primary race. “I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democratic Party to this year’s historic convention in Philadelphia, and I know that this week’s events will be a success thanks to her hard work and leadership,” said Clinton.
The party had sold its soul to devil and no one seemed to care too much about it.
Wasserman Schultz’s replacement didn’t fair much better. DNC Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile was installed to serve as interim chair through the remainder election, but Brazile was soon skewered by subsequent Wikileaks batches – showing how, on more than one occasion, she fed debate questions obtained from corrupt mainstream media operatives – straight to Hillary Clinton.
“A March 12 email exchange shows Brazile stating that she received a town hall question from Roland Martin, a TV One host who co-moderated a March 13 town hall with CNN’s Jake Tapper.”
“A March 5 email shows that she shared a question with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and communications director Jennifer Palmieri that was to be asked in a March 6 debate hosted by CNN in Flint, Mich.” (Source: Daily Caller)
Brazile’s audacious fraud also helped contribute to her party’s planned sabotage of Democrat challenger Bernie Sanders. Watch Brazile go into full meltdown when confronted here:
Completely corrupt and still, Brazile even had to temerity to deny doing it when pressed on FOX News last week. Brazile’s reputation is so bad now that even CNN has severed ties with her – and that’s saying a lot.
In addition, it was also revealed how CNN’s head political commentator, Gloria Borger, was named by Podesta as one of a shortlist of ‘journalists’ the Clinton campaign would “work with” to gain favorable coverage. You’d think that CNN would have dropped Borger after this was revealed, but no. Amazingly, Borges is still leading CNN’s election coverage.
Clearly, CNN cannot be trusted to police itself when it comes to matters of outright collusion with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.
Worse Than Watergate
Perhaps a bigger scandal which the Obama White House and Clinton campaign operatives would like to bury – is the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal confirmed the existence of an internal feud between the FBI and the Justice Department, over whether or not to pursue an investigation into Clinton issue:
“Some investigators grew frustrated, viewing FBI leadership as uninterested in probing the charity, these people said. Others involved disagreed sharply, defending FBI bosses and saying Mr. McCabe in particular was caught between an increasingly acrimonious fight for control between the Justice Department and FBI agents pursuing the Clinton Foundation case. It isn’t unusual for field agents to favor a more aggressive approach than supervisors and prosecutors think is merited. But the internal debates about the Clinton Foundation show the high stakes when such disagreements occur surrounding someone who is running for president.”
There’s more. It was also revealed last week how Jill McCabe, the wife of FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe, received $467,500 in campaign funds in late 2015 for her Virginia State Senate run. This unusually large donation came via a political action committee run by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe – a Clinton Foundation board member. After the funds were donated, Andrew McCabe was then put in charge of the Clinton Email case. In normal times, this one scandal would be bigger than Watergate, but these are not normal times.
So why is Washington going all out to deflect to Russia, and cover-up the Clinton scandals, and the Wikileaks document dumps? One reason is because the Clinton email issue goes all the way to the top – to the President himself.
What 21WIRE reported on Oct 21st is how President Obama lied when first confronted about whether or not he knew about the existence of Hillary’s unauthorized private server. Obama told CBS News on March 7, 2015 that he only found out about Clinton’s server “the same time everybody else learned it through news reports.” The President’s lie was confirmed when newly released FBI documents showed that:
“Obama used a pseudonym [email@example.com] when communicating with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by email, and at least one of those emails ended up on Clinton’s private email server.”
So, not only did Obama lie on national TV, but he also broke strict White House security protocols by carelessly exchanging private emails “off grid” with Hillary Clinton on a unsecured and unauthorized mail server – maybe to avoid the same scrutiny one would have on a government system. Who knows why he did it.
Sure, he’s not the first US President to lie, but like, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, Obama just joined that exclusive liars club – caught out lying to the American people.
On top of this, any communications made by the President of the United States are de facto labeled as “born classified.” The same goes for any State Department communications with other foreign ministers.
COVER-UP: John Podesta and Huma Abedin on the Hillary campaign jet (Image: ABC News)
It should be well known by now after watching both Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch in action – that the Obama Justice Department (DOJ) is one of the most politicized in history. Bear that in mind when looking at the latest leg of the Hillary Email case.
On Friday, FBI Director James Comey set the election alight after announcing that the FBI would be reopening the Clinton email case – currently examining 650,000 emails found while investigating a laptop belonging to former US Congressman Anthony Weiner (estranged husband of top Clinton aid and long-time confidant Huma Abedin) who was snared in a ‘sexting’ scandal, allegedly involving a under-aged female. So which DOJ person is in charge of this investigation? None other than Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik. Who is Kadzik? Zero Hedge reports:
“Oh yes. Recall our post from last week, “Clinton Campaign Chair Had Dinner With Top DOJ Official One Day After Hillary’s Benghazi Hearing” in which we reported that John Podesta had dinner with one of the highest ranked DOJ officials the very day after Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony? It was Peter Kadzik.”
Incestuous is an understatement, and on the whole, Americans are sick of it.
Blame the Russians
These are just a few scandals surrounding the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, along with the many exposés revealed through Wikileaks, and the Podesta email batches. Those are actual scandals with real tangible evidence – unlike the ‘Russians hacking the DNC and John Podesta and passing those to Wikileaks.’
Suffice to say, the Democratic Party machine has already demonstrated that it is prepared to say anything in order to deflect and divert attention away from the damning Wikileaks material, and also blame Donald Trump in the process. It should be obvious by now that in their desperation to push a highly comprised Hillary Clinton over the finish line on November 8th, the Washington establishment has concocted the story that ‘Putin is trying to influence our electoral process in the US.’ They’ve tried to lay this at the feet of Donald Trump, who Obama and Clinton claim has some secret special relationship with Vladimir Putin. The liberal mainstream media have made a meal out of this talking point, and anti-Russian war hawks on the Republican side love it too. For the White House and the Clinton campaign this seemed like the ultimate clean sweep – a perfect double entendre.
The geopolitical strategy behind this move was twofold. First, this non event would be used to advance immediate calls for sanctions against Russia. Secondly, the US could continue to lean on Russia in the UN over Syria. Previously, 21WIRE reported how Washington’s State Dept and UN delegations, led by the dynamic trio of John Kerry, Samantha Power, and John Kirby, already lied when levelling charges against Russia for war crimes in Aleppo, and again while accusing Russia and Syria of conducting an airstrike on a UN Aid Convoy in Syria. As we have already shown – that raid was mostly likely a ground attack carried out of US-backed ‘rebels’ Al Nusra Front, or Nour al-Din al-Zenki.
With so much at stake geopolitically, why would Washington lie about a potential World War III trigger event? If they are prepared to lie about this, what else are they prepared to lie about?
The demonization of all things Russian has definitely accelerated since late 2013 when the US engineered a coup d’etat in Kiev, Ukraine. Ever since then it’s been a go-to talking point for ginning-up and new transaltlantic arms race, as with Republican war hawks – and a convenient scapegoat for any politician requiring misdirection, like Clinton and the Democrats. When the new year rang in 2015, the newly appointed head of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, Andrew Lack, announced the new challenges facing America’s own state-run media arm that includes U.S. overseas propaganda assets including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Asia. Lack said, “We are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram,” He was forced to resign shortly after that.
What’s clear is that when it comes to all things Russian, there is an established pattern of compulsive lying by this US Administration. The list is too long to chronicle here, although ‘Russian-backed Rebels Shooting Down MH17,’ and ‘Assad Regime Sarin Attack in Damascus in 2013‘ certainly comes to mind.
That said, it’s hard to imagine a lie as egregious and potentially destructive than one which accuses the Russia government, a world nuclear power and member of the UNSC, of ‘Hacking Into the US Electoral Process.’ When you examine history however, you will plenty of evidence documenting exactly how the US government and the CIA have altered and flipped 100 foreign elections throughout history, the attempted assassination of over 50 foreign leaders. Knowing all this, one might find it hard to take seriously Washington’s claims that Putin and Trump are trying manipulate the 2016 Election.
On Oct 9, 2016, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov laid it all on the table:
“We have witnessed a fundamental change of circumstances when it comes to the aggressive Russophobia that now lies at the heart of U.S. policy towards Russia. It’s not just a rhetorical Russophobia, but aggressive steps that really hurt our national interests and pose a threat to our security.”
Self-serving, career political operatives in Washington are playing a dangerous game. History will mark this as one of the biggest political follies of the Obama-Clinton era.
Still, we’re waiting for the emergence of an adult in the room in Washington – before its too late.
America the inexorable
I had the misfortune of watching a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. For those who are not familiar with the show, it is an HBO weekly one hour long feeding frenzy consisting of a series of rapid fire overwhelmingly progressive half-truths cheered relentlessly by a select audience that is constantly engaged in hooting and jeering while giving the pollice verso to any designated victim who finds himself targeted by a smug Maher. The episode I saw was filmed on July 29th, shortly after the conclusion of the Democratic convention. Guests included Matt Welch of Reason magazine, Alex Wagner of The Atlantic, Professor Cornel West and former Congressman from Massachusetts gay activist Barney Franks. The episode can be seen on HBO on demand for those who have that service and bits of it are also available on YouTube.
Openly expressed hatred of Donald Trump by a mainstream media that has de facto become part of the Hillary Clinton campaign is one of the more interesting aspects of the current electoral cycle. One might therefore have expected that the Real Time ridiculing of Trump would be a constant, driven mostly by Maher himself but also picked up on with some alacrity by the others. Even though I knew in advance that the show would be blood sport targeting Trump, I had tuned into the program because I have a great deal of respect for Cornel West who, to me, maintains some of the best traditions of the old and now nearly dead type of liberalism that was such a powerful force in America in the 1950s and 1960s. West is genuinely anti-war and pro-people and not afraid to stick by his guns when confronted by the powerful, metaphorically speaking. He recently went to bat for the Palestinians while serving on the Democratic platform committee and on the Maher program dared to mention the repression taking place on the West Bank, which produced a stone faced response from the progressive-except-for-Israel Maher.
To his credit West, when asked his opinion of Hillary Clinton, opined that she had vast experience in government but is completely lacking in integrity, an assessment that was poorly received by Maher, who had spent the early part of the show eulogizing the Democratic candidate. So to hear what else West had to say I put up with Franks’ blathering and Maher’s invective as well as the occasional interjections by Welch and Wagner, who played secondary roles in the proceedings.
Inured to hearing a load of old codswallop I was nevertheless really blown away by Barney and Maher’s launch into an explanation of something that had occurred at the Democratic National Convention. For those who have not seen it, the July 28th prime time speech by Hillary national security adviser General John Allen is positively Strangelovean, pledging to rid the world of “evil” and declaring that “America is great because America is good.” Reportedly intended to bolster the Dems national security credentials and possibly to welcome into the fold disenchanted neocons, it is as red blooded, American-exceptionalism-laden a presentation as anyone is likely to witness anywhere, replete with a backdrop consisting of a stage full of American flags. It is available online and is highly recommended to anyone who doubts that Hillary and her entourage are as nutty as fruitcakes in their own way, more than eager to assume the mantle of American global military dominance without any hesitation or reservations.
When Welch and Wagner expressed surprise at the Democrats embracing such a chauvinistic display, Franks explained emphatically though somewhat oddly that the speech by Allen and the rhythmic chanting of U-S-A U-S-A by the audience that accompanied it were all due to Donald Trump, who has embraced that vicious thug and “one of the worst men in the world” Vladimir Putin. The highly charged nationalistic Democratic crowd reaction was per Franks both a warning about Trump and a direct challenge to Putin to keep his hands off those wonderful little democracies springing up everywhere in Eastern Europe. Trump’s “encouragement” of Putin, per Franks, has made the United States complicit in Putin’s “brutality” and the Democrats were responding to that challenge.
When Cornel West attempted to object to the militarism implicit in the Allen speech and interject the failed project represented by Libya into the discussion Maher and Franks made sure that everyone understood that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was also a “horrible dictator” and thug who fully deserved to be overthrown and subsequently killed by having a bayonet inserted in his anus. If Hillary Clinton had been present she might have added with a laugh, “We came, we saw, he died.”
So this is what passes for progressive thought on war and peace as seen by the Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton, Barney Franks and Bill Maher. I would prefer to describe it as Democratic Party Derangement Syndrome. And, of course, there is a back story to it all that Maher chose to avoid. The chanting of U-S-A was apparently organized by Hillary’s team on the Democratic National Committee, which clearly connived at rigging the nomination process in favor of Clinton before focusing on marginalizing and silencing Bernie Sanders’ supporters at the convention. That the “Bernies” would stage a significant and disruptive demonstration on the convention floor was particularly feared. There were white noise speakers placed inside the hall to make incomprehensible unauthorized chanting while Bernie supporters had their signs taken away from them before entering the venue. It has also been reported that many Bernie delegates coming back to the convention hall on the second day found that their seats had disappeared, being replaced by blocked off reserved seating where no one was actually allowed to sit.
When Allen got well into his speech and his message became clear, Bernie supporters began to chant “No More War.” The technicians running the light and sound for the event immediately followed their instructions and killed the lights and microphones in the area where the chanting was coming from so that the media present around the floor would be unable to film the disruption. Meanwhile Clinton’s team converged and surrounded the Bernie supporters, holding up previously distributed USA signs to block the protesters from camera view while themselves chanting “U-S-A” to drown the dissidents out. By some accounts, Hillary’s people in the hall were supplemented by an organized group of counter-demonstrators who were in this case responding to instructions on what to do if anyone attempted to disrupt the proceedings. If all of that is true it was a shameful episode, reminiscent of what was done to Ron Paul at the 2012 Republican Convention in Charlotte.
And there is also a bit of a back story on retired Marine Corps General John Allen. Allen, one recalls, became mired in the same security investigation regarding the mishandling of classified information that brought down philandering CIA Director and former General David Petraeus. And, ironically, Allen’s own path to an early retirement was the result of an email problem, curiously reminiscent of the issues that have plagued the woman he has so enthusiastically endorsed for President of the United States of America.
Allen reportedly became heavily involved with someone else’s wife, in this case Tampa socialite Jill Kelley. Kelley, an “honorary ambassador” to U.S. Central Command, hosted numerous parties at her waterside mansion for the CENTCOM and U.S. Special Operations Command senior officers, including both Allen and Petraeus. While subsequently serving in Afghanistan as commander in chief, Allen’s many hundreds of “inappropriate emails” to Kelley cost him both his job and his expected nomination to become the commander of U.S. military forces in Europe (EUCOM).
The investigation of Allen’s email contact with Kelley did not result in any formal charges by the military but he was forced to resign his commission in February 2013. Obama subsequently rewarded the feckless Allen with an appointment as Special President Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in 2014, a position he held until October 2015. He was largely unsuccessful in that role, witnessing on his watch the conquest of much of Syria and Iraq by ISIS. He now has a sinecure position at the Brookings Institution in its Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, and apparently came to Hillary’s attention when he rounded up a group of military retreads who were willing to support her for president.
Bill Maher’s Real Time is certainly real, but it is symptomatic of everything that is wrong with the American media. It has plenty of one-liner joking, laughter and mugging for the camera but is astonishingly light on content and heavy on pretense. In the episode I watched, it largely consisted of saying Donald Trump followed by either a laugh line or an expression of disgust. Serious discussion regarding what Trump is saying about out of control immigration, endless wars in the Middle East and why a reset of relations with Russia is imperative appear to be of no interest.
The Donald Trump candidacy might well be regarded as a joke by many of the punditry but Hillary Clinton is arguably worse in that while The Donald has undeniably said terrible things she has actually been the driving force behind some horrific policies, most notably regarding Libya and Syria. And then there is her persistent dishonesty and readiness to lie to conceal her mendacity. She continues to dissimulate about her emails, saying in a recent interview that “Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails.” That is a lie from top to bottom and one has to wonder why Real Time with Bill Maher doesn’t seem interested in giving a little equal time to that story if only as a brief respite from his incessant pillorying of Donald Trump.
Media report that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is meeting with advisers in Vermont on Sunday.
This last week, many spoke laudingly of the recently deceased Muhammad Ali.
As some noted, Ali’s great contribution was not being a talented athlete, heavy weight champion — there are many such prominent sports figures, but they don’t play a historic role. His true greatness came because at the height of his fame and powers, he challenged an oppressive system: He refused to go into the Army during the Vietnam War. It cost him a great deal of money and stature — and tremendously helped the world and assured his canonization.
Sanders has a similar opportunity now. As pundits are voicing alleged ecstasy over Hillary Clinton “shattering the glass ceiling” by becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party, the first female president in Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has been ousted in a defacto coup. This has been fostered by establishment media in Brazil, as for-profit media often plays the role of king maker in ways stark and subtle in every country, including the U.S., as we’ve seen in this current election.
Rousseff’s cabinet was diverse, both in terms of gender and ethnically. The new government is all white males. Rousseff was set to investigate corruption, including in the Brazilian Senate, and the coup was planned out by corrupt senators. Indeed, the anticorruption minister in the new coup government was recently forced to resign when a tape was leaked about how he was trying to cover up corruption. All this and more is being done with U.S. government silence and tacit support.
Certainly, Sanders has challenged the power of Wall Street and the wealthy from within the Democratic Party. But, largely because of the role of the media in fostering a mantle of celebrity around Hillary Clinton (and Donald Trump for that matter), they are the likely nominees.
But perhaps, for all the good that Sanders did, he might feel a measure of remorse for what he hasn’t done: Spoken serious about the U.S. government’s role in the world. Even in his discussions of inequality, he’s confined himself to inequality inside the U.S. But what about global poverty?
Has Sanders been moved by slums in Latin America? Refugee camps in the Mideast? Stark poverty in Africa? Sweatshops in Asia? He went to a Vatican conference where Bolivian President Evo Morales also spoke. They chatted. What can be built from that? How can progressive leaders work together globally? How can movements cross boundaries? Are not movements weakened when they confine themselves to national barriers?
Ali took himself out of his comfort zone. He focused not just on getting a seat on a bus for himself, and not just for African Americans, but spoke against the Vietnam War. Sanders has not transcended himself. As Ben Jealous has said, Sanders “has been giving the same damn speech for 50 years.” Well, that’s not necessarily a good thing. There are people living in horrible conditions around the world, in large part because of economic, political and military policies determined in marble facade buildings in Washington, D.C. Sanders has been remarkably mute about that.
The power of the establishment rests in large part because of its global connections. But progressive forces have been reluctant to wield such power. Recall shortly before the invasion of Iraq, there were quasi-global protests against the war on Feb. 15, 2003. Just after that, the New York Times called the peace movement “the second super power.” Yes, that didn’t stop the war, but that was because there was only some global solidarity late in the day. The answer is more solidarity sooner.
And now, Sanders has campaigned in all 50 states. It’s late in the day, but not too late for him to break the wall and seriously engage the rest of the world. That should start with going to Brazil and meeting with Rousseff. It would help overturn the coup, thus doing a tremendous service to the people of Brazil and it would put the heat on the U.S. government regarding its behind the scenes machinations. It would also highlight the fake feminism that surrounds the Clinton campaign. Do we want women in officialdom simply so that they can be as murderous and corrupt as men have been? Or do we want a different kind of politics that is inclusive in terms of gender, but that is based on solidarity and uplift rather than “I got mine”?
Clinton’s crimes on foreign policy constitute quite a rap sheet. Sanders has at best scratched the surface. From bombing Libya, to voting for the Iraq war, to backing Netanyahu, to backing the Honduran coup and responsibility for the killing of Berta Cáceres, it’s a gruesome tail that few have really come to grips with.
And perhaps Sanders, struck by fear of Trump, desperately wants to look away. He doesn’t want a sun rise, he wants a sunset. Does he want to be a pawn in the Clinton machine? See the roles that other past “insurgent” candidates play now: Howard Dean, Jesse Jackson, Dennis Kucinich. They played the role of what Bruce Dixon has called “sheepdogging” — they ended up being little more than a tool of the Democratic Party establishment to get presumably serious progressives to end up supporting an increasingly pro-corporate Democratic Party. That same fate of accessory or marginalization awaits Sanders.
Now, the consultants and “advisers” he’s meeting with this weekend are probably pushing Sanders to accept what bread crumbs he can get from Clinton & Co. After all, they have their careers to think about, and their careers are with the Democratic Party machine or some appendage of it.
But real power, real greatness, doesn’t come from accepting such a role. That’s why we remember the name Muhammad Ali and forget many, many others.
Here we go again. Earlier this year, some were surprised to see Project For The New American Century (PNAC) co-founder and longtime DC fixture Robert Kagan endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president.
They shouldn’t have been. As is now clear from a policy paper [PDF] published last month, the neoconservatives are going all-in on Hillary Clinton being the best vessel for American power in the years ahead.
The paper, titled “Expanding American Power,” was published by the Center for a New American Security, a Democratic Party-friendly think tank co-founded and led by former Undersecretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy. Flournoy served in the Obama Administration under Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the next secretary of defense, should Hillary Clinton become president.
The introduction to Expanding American Power is written by the aforementioned Robert Kagan and former Clinton Administration State Department official James Rubin. The paper itself was prepared in consultation with various defense and national security intellectuals over the course of six dinners. Among the officials includes those who signed on to PNAC letters calling for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, such as Elliot Abrams, Robert Zoellick, Craig Kennedy, Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross, and Flournoy herself, who signed on to a PNAC letter in 2005 calling for more ground troops in Iraq.
The substance of the document is about what one would expect from an iteration of PNAC. The paper cites a highly revisionist history of post-World War II American policymaking, complete with a celebration of America’s selfless motives for every action. Left out is any mention of overthrowing democratically elected and popular governments for US business, or the subsequent blowback for such actions in Latin America, the Middle East, and elsewhere.
For the neocons and liberal interventionists at the Center for a New American Security, the United States has always acted for the benefit of all.
The paper primarily focuses on the economy and defense budget, and American security interests in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Supporting the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are considered the highest priority, as they will bind the main drivers of the US-led “liberal world order”—the US and Europe—closer together.
According to the paper, “Even in a world of shifting economic and political power, the transatlantic community remains both the foundation and the core of the liberal world order.” In other words, the West must maintain control of the planet, for the good of all, of course.
Part of the European concerns are a rise in nationalist sentiment in eastern Europe and the United Kingdom, for which the paper blames Russia, even bizarrely claiming that Russian funding is the cause of the disunity within the European Union—a claim without foundation, especially in the UK’s case.
The revisionist history continues, as the paper makes an astonishingly absurd claim on the US role in Asia, stating, “U.S. leadership has been indispensable in ensuring a stable balance of power in Asia the past 70 years.” No mention of the calamitous US war in Vietnam or its reciprocal effects in the killing fields of Cambodia. Nor is the US role in the genocide in East Timor dispensed with anywhere.
Then we come to the Middle East, where things really get slippery. The paper breezes past the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with a sorry, not sorry statement: “Despite recent American misjudgments and failures in the Middle East, for which all recent administrations, including the present one, bear some responsibility, and despite the apparent intractability of many of the problems in the region, the United States has no choice but to engage itself fully in a determined, multi-year effort to find an acceptable resolution to the many crises tearing the region apart.”
And with that, the paper demands regime change in Syria and that “Any such political solution must include the departure of Bashar al-Assad (but not necessarily all members of the ruling regime), since it is Assad’s brutal repression of Syria’s majority Sunni population that has created both the massive exodus and the increase in support for jihadist groups like ISIS.” Left out is the US role in destabilizing Iraq and arming jihadist rebels in Syria.
The paper goes on to regurgitate alarmingly facile claims about regional tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia that could have been written by the government of Saudi Arabia itself, such as, “We also reject Iran’s attempt to blame others for regional tensions it is aggravating, as well as its public campaign to demonize the government of Saudi Arabia.” It also states that “the United States must adopt as a matter of policy the goal of defeating Iran’s determined effort to dominate the Greater Middle East.”
If that appears like a commitment to more reckless regime change in the Middle East, that’s because it is.
But the overriding concern of the entire paper, with all its declarations about bipartisanship and universal altruism, is a concern with the American people being increasingly apprehensive towards the empire, and that concern leading to further defense budget cuts and unwillingness to support adventurism abroad.
The authors of the paper hope an improved economy can help change the current situation. “Ensuring that the domestic economy is lifting up the average American is still the best way to ensure support for global engagement and also contribute to a stronger, more influential America,” they write, though they see no end in sight, regardless of public support, claiming, “the task of preserving a world order is both difficult and never-ending.”
That this is what a think tank closely associated with Hillary Clinton is openly claiming should be concerning to all. While such analysis and declarations no doubt please the Center for a New American Security’s defense contractor donors, the American people are less-than-enthused with perpetual war for perpetual peace.
Former Secretary Clinton already affirmed her belief in regime change during the campaign, but now it looks like those waiting in the wings to staff her government are anxious to wet their bayonets.
Robert Parry says in his latest piece that while the Democrats have been “a reluctant war party” since 1968, by nominating Hillary Clinton, they have once again become an “aggressive war party”.
Noam Chomsky notes that indeed, Hillary Clinton would be more “adventurous”, ie aggressive, than Trump or Sanders in terms of foreign policy, but he and other analysts, like John Pilger, disagree with Parry that the Democrats were, during the period Parry suggests, and perhaps any other, what a rational person would call “reluctant” to kill.
Looking back briefly at a couple of examples of Democratic initiatives, as well as who formed the Democratic party, we see that when it comes to butchering people, the Democrats have never been shy.
John Pilger points out in a recent article that “most of America’s wars (almost all of them against defenceless countries) have been launched not by Republican presidents but by liberal Democrats: Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.”
Kennedy began the US genocide against the people of Vietnam, demanding bombings and attacks with chemical weapons like napalm, and began a terrorist campaign against Cuba that continues to date.
Johnson, who viewed the Vietnamese people as “barbaric yellow dwarves”, continued the genocide in Vietnam and Indochina.
Bill Clinton, among many horrific acts, committed a major genocide against the people of Iraq, and helped lay the foundation for today’s nuclear war tension by expanding NATO to Russia’s borders.
One of Hillary Clinton’s many crimes was to continue this expansion by supporting a US-backed, neo-Nazi and neo-con integrated coup in Ukraine while referring to the president of Russia as “Hitler” – by far the most aggressive stance towards Russia of any US candidate.
See Pilger’s article for some of Obama’s crimes, which in several ways are uniquely extreme.
Truman defied his military and conservative advisers and many others and carried out mass nuclear executions of civilians as a way to influence the government of Japan (and likely the Soviet Union), then followed his nuclear attacks by further targeting Japanese civilians with the biggest TNT-based mass-execution of civilians in human history up to that point. Executing civilians was a prominent part of his ‘Democratic’ philosophy. He publicly stated that “the German people are beginning to atone for the crimes of the gangsters whom they placed in power and whom they wholeheartedly approved and obediently followed.” His logic, an example of the standard definition of “terrorism”, would suggest that Israelis, who support almost entirely their state’s illegal annexation and massacres of Palestine, should be targeted and killed until they “atone” for what their government is doing, and that US civilians who supported the sanctions against or invasion of Iraq (etc.) should likewise be punished until they “atone”. This is also the principle behind the 9/11 attacks, though US citizens who support terrorism committed by their own state are quick to engage in the “wrong agent” – genetic– fallacy when this is pointed out.
Looking back further than Truman, we find the Democrats comprised the bulk of the pro-chattel-slavery bloc. As noted at Pbs.org, “after the Civil War, most white Southerners opposed Radical Reconstruction and the Republican Party’s support of black civil and political rights. The Democratic Party identified itself as the “white man’s party” and demonized the Republican Party as being “Negro dominated,” even though whites were in control. Determined to re-capture the South, Southern Democrats “redeemed” state after state — sometimes peacefully, other times by fraud and violence. By 1877, when Reconstruction was officially over, the Democratic Party controlled every Southern state. The South remained a one-party region until the Civil Rights movement began in the 1960s. Northern Democrats, most of whom had prejudicial attitudes towards blacks, offered no challenge to the discriminatory policies of the Southern Democrats.”
Backing up again, we see that in fact the Democratic party was founded by supporters of the sadistic genocidaire Andrew Jackson, who enjoyed making clothing from the skin of people who were exterminated in service of expanding the un-free world.
Are Republicans therefore a superior organization? Of course not. The two parties check and balance each other to maintain and expand the world’s leading terrorist state.
As we can see, it is nothing new or different for the Democrats to be a party of expansionist gangsters. What is remarkable of Clinton, then, is that even against this gory and tyrannical backdrop, she stands out as especially evil, corrupt, and extremist in her US religio-national supremacism. As Professor Johan Galtung notes, two countries today (and occasionally their proxies) continue to wage aggressive war, thanks to their belief that they have been anointed by their gods: the US and Israel. And Hillary Clinton is as fundamentalist as they come.
As Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky, among others, have recently noted, US elections are “a carnival… a way of making people passive, submissive objects”. Rather than petering out and cowering to the Democratic party, Chomsky says, Sanders supporters should “sustain the ongoing movement, which [should] pay attention to the elections for 10 minutes but meanwhile do other things.” However, at the moment, “it’s the other way around. It’s all focused on the election. It’s just part of the ideology. The way you keep people out of activism is get them all excited about the carnival that goes on every four years and then go home, which has happened over and over.”
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Updates on Twitter. Author’s pamphlet ‘The Agility of Tyranny: Historical Roots of Black Lives Matter’.
During her 4 years as Secretary of State of the United States (2009-2014), Hillary Clinton controlled US foreign policy. She had access to the most confidential information and state documents, numbering in the tens of thousands, from all of the major government departments and agencies, Intelligence, FBI, the Pentagon, Treasury and the office of the President. She had unfettered access to vital and secret information affecting US policy in all the key regions of the empire.
Today, Mme. Clinton’s critics have focused on the technical aspects of her violations of State Department procedures and guidelines regarding handling of official correspondences and her outright lies on the use of her own private e-mail server for official state business, including the handling of highly classified material in violation of Federal Records laws, as well as her hiding official documents from the Freedom of Information Act and concocting her own system exempt from the official oversight which all other government officials accept.
For many analysts, therefore, the issue is procedural, moral and ethical. Mme. Clinton had placed herself above and beyond the norms of State Department discipline. This evidence of her arrogance, dishonesty and blatant disregard for rules should disqualify her from becoming the President of the United States. While revelations of Clinton’s misuse of official documents, her private system of communication and correspondence and the shredding of tens of thousands of her official interchanges, including top secret documents, are important issues to investigate, these do not address the paramount political question: On whose behalf was Secretary Clinton carrying out the business of US foreign policy, out of the review of government oversight?
The Political Meaning and Motivation of Clinton’s High Crimes Against the State
Secretary Clinton’s private, illegal handling of official US documents has aroused a major FBI investigation into the nature of her activities. This is separate from the investigation by the Office of the Inspector General and implies national security violations.
There are several lines of inquiry against Mme. Clinton:
(1) Did she work with, as yet unnamed, foreign governments and intelligence services to strengthen their positions and against the interest of the United States?
(2) Did she provide information on the operations and policy positions of various key US policymakers to competitors, adversaries or allies undermining the activities of military, intelligence and State Department officials?
(3) Did she seek to enhance her personal power within the US administration to push her aggressive policy of serial pre-emptive wars over and against veteran State Department and Pentagon officials who favored traditional diplomacy and less violent confrontation?
(4) Did she prepare a ‘covert team’, using foreign or dual national operatives, to lay the groundwork for her bid for the presidency and her ultimate goal of supreme military and political power?
Contextualizing Clinton’s Clandestine Operations
There is no doubt that Mme. Clinton exchanged minor as well as major official documents and letters via her private e-mail system. Personal, family and even intimate communications may have been carried on the same server. But the key issue is that a large volume of highly confidential government information flowed to Clinton via an unsecured private ‘back channel’ allowing her to conduct state business secretly with her correspondents.
Just who were Secretary Clinton’s most enduring, persistent and influential correspondents? What types of exchanges were going on, which required avoiding normal oversight and a wanton disregard for security?
Clinton’s covert war policies, which included the violent overthrow of the elected Ukraine government, were carried out by her ‘Lieutenant’ Under-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, a virulent neo-conservative holdover from the previous Bush Administration and someone committed to provoking Russia and to enhancing Israel’s power in the Middle East. Clinton’s highly dangerous and economically destabilizing ‘brainchild’ of militarily encircling China, the so-called ‘pivot to Asia’, would have required clandestine exchanges with elements in the Pentagon – out of the State Department and possibly Executive oversight.
In other words, within the Washington political circuit, Secretary Clinton’s escalation of nuclear war policies toward Russia and China required secretive correspondences which would not necessarily abide with the policies and intelligence estimates of other US government agencies and with private business interests.
Clinton was deeply engaged in private exchanges with several unsavory overseas political regimes, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Honduras and Turkey involving covert violent and illegal activities. She worked with the grotesquely corrupt opposition parties in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil
Clinton’s correspondence with the Honduran armed forces and brutal oligarchs led to the military coup against the elected President Zelaya, its violent aftermath and the phony election of a pliable puppet. Given the government-death squad campaign against Honduran civil society activists, Clinton would certainly want to cover up her direct role in organizing the coup. Likewise, Mme. Clinton would have destroyed her communications with Turkish President Erdogan’s intelligence operations in support of Islamist terrorist-mercenaries in Syria and Iraq.
Secretary Clinton’s e-mail would have shown her commitment to the Saudis when they brutally invaded Bahrain and Yemen to suppress independent civil society organizations and regional political rivals.
But it is Clinton’s long-term, large-scale commitment to Israel that goes far beyond her public speeches of loyalty and fealty to the Jewish state. Hillary Clinton’s entire political career has been intimately dependent on Zionist money, Zionist mass media propaganda and Zionist Democratic Party operations.
In exchange for Clinton’s dependence on political support from the Zionist power configuration in the US, she would have become the major conduit of confidential information from the US to Israel and the transmission belt promoting Israel-centric policies within the US government.
The entire complex of Clinton-Israel linkages and correspondences has compromised the US intelligence services, the State Department and Pentagon.
Secretary Clinton went to extraordinary lengths to serve Israel, even undermining the interests of the United States. It is bizarre that she would resort to such a crude measure, setting up a private e-mail server to conduct state business. She blithely ignored official State Department policy and oversight and forwarded over 1,300 confidential documents and 22 highly sensitive top-secret documents related to the ‘Special Access Program’. She detailed US military and intelligence documents on US strategic policies on Syria, Iraq, Palestine and other vital regimes. The Inspector General’s report indicates that ‘she was warned’ about her practice. It is only because of the unusual stranglehold Tel Aviv and Israel’s US Fifth Column have over the US government and judiciary that her actions have not been prosecuted as high treason. It is the height of hypocrisy that government whistleblowers have been persecuted and jailed by the Obama Administration for raising concerns within the Inspector General system of oversight, while Secretary Clinton is on her way to the Presidency of the United States!
Many of Clinton’s leading critics, among them two dozen former CIA agents, have presented a myth that Hillary’s main offence is her ‘carelessness’ in handling official documents and her deliberate deceptions and lies to the government.
These critics have trivialized, personalized and moralized what is really deliberate, highly politicized state behavior. Mme. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not ‘careless in managing an insecure mail server’. If Clinton was engaged in political liaison with foreign officials she deliberately used a private email server to avoid political detection by security elements within the US government. She lied to the US government on the use and destruction of official state documents because the documents were political exchanges between a traitor and its host.
The 22 top secret reports on ‘Special Access Programs’ which Clinton handled via her private computer provided foreign governments with the names and dates of US operatives and proxies; allowed for counter-responses inflicting losses of billions of dollars in program damages and possibly lost lives.
The Inspector General Report (IGP) deals only with the surface misdeeds. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has gone a step further in identifying the political linkages, but faces enormous obstacles from Hillary’s domestic allies in pursuing a criminal investigation. The FBI, whose director is a political appointee, has suffered a series of defeats in its attempts to investigate and prosecute spying for Israel, including the AIPAC espionage case of Rosen and Weismann and in their long held opposition to the release of the notorious US-Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard. The power of the Zionists within the government halted their investigation of a dozen Israeli spies captured in the US right after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Clinton’s choice of conducting secret private communications, despite several years of State Department warnings to abide by their strict security regulations, is an indication of her Zionist power base, and not a mere reflection of her personal hubris or individual arrogance.
Clinton has circulated more vital top-secret documents and classified material than Jonathan Pollard.
President Obama and other top Cabinet officials share her political alliances, but they operate through ‘legitimate’ channels and without compromising personnel, missions, funding or programs.
The executive leadership now faces the problem of how to deal with a traitor, who may be the Democratic Party nominee for US President, without undermining the US quest for global power. How do the executive leadership and intelligence agencies back a foreign spy for president, who has been deeply compromised and can be blackmailed? This may explain why the FBI, NSA, and CIA hesitate to press charges; hesitate to even seriously investigate, despite the obvious nature of her offenses. Most of all it explains why there is no indication of the identity of Secretary Clinton’s correspondents in the various reports so far available.
As Sherlock Holmes would say, “We are entering in deep waters, Watson”.
Last year when Democratic insiders looked forward to Election 2016, they expected a run-of-the-mill Republican, possibly even legacy candidate Jeb Bush. So they countered with their own “safe” next-in-line legacy candidate, Hillary Clinton, who would supposedly win by playing up the prospect of the first woman president.
In such an expected match-up, the concern of rank-and-file Democrats about Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy would be negated by the GOP nominee still defending President George W. Bush’s Iraq War and again surrounded by neocons pounding the drums for even more wars. With both parties putting forward war candidates, anti-war Democrats would accept Clinton as the lesser evil, or so the thinking went.
The likely Republican nominee also would be burdened by reactionary domestic proposals, including GOP plans for privatizing Social Security and Medicare. By contrast, centrist Clinton would look reasonable in promising to protect those popular programs, albeit with some modest trimming of benefits to please the budget hawks.
But the Democratic insiders didn’t count on the unlikely emergence of populist billionaire Donald Trump, who repudiated Bush’s Iraq War and the GOP’s neocon foreign policy and rejected Republican orthodoxy on “entitlement reform,” i.e., slashing Social Security and Medicare.
The unabashed Trump also has made clear that he is not afraid of countering Clinton’s “woman card” by playing his own “man card,” including attacks on her troubled marriage and her tolerance of Bill Clinton’s notorious womanizing, even claiming that she was her wayward husband’s “enabler.”
At first, the Democratic hierarchy couldn’t believe its luck as the Republican Party seemed to splinter over Trump’s disdain for the GOP’s neocon interventionism and rejection of the party’s cutbacks in Social Security and Medicare. Trump’s mocking attacks on his rivals also shattered the decorum that Republican leaders had hoped would mark their primary campaign.
So, the Democratic insiders initially rubbed their hands with glee and imagined not only an easy presidential victory but major gains in the House and Senate. However, new polls show Trump running neck-and-neck with Clinton nationally and in key battleground states, while other polls reveal strong public doubts about Clinton’s honesty, thus wiping the premature smiles off the Democrats’ faces.
Indeed, some Democrats reportedly are slipping into panic mode as they watch Clinton’s poll numbers tank and the Republican Party come to grips with the Trump phenomenon. The new storyline of Campaign 2016 is the tale of top Republicans reconciling to Trump’s populist conquest of the party. At least, these GOP leaders acknowledge, Trump has excited both average Republicans and many independents.
The obsessive media coverage of Trump’s meetings on Thursday with senior congressional Republicans made the narcissistic real estate mogul and reality TV star look like some major world leader being received in Washington as a conquering hero. And, with the GOP rallying behind Trump, the likelihood is that his poll numbers and favorable/unfavorable ratings will continue to improve.
So, instead of Democratic dreams of a landslide victory, the party insiders are worrying now about their decision to coronate a deeply flawed and wounded candidate in Hillary Clinton. Not only could she lose to Trump but she could take many of the House and Senate candidates down with her. It’s dawning on some Democrats that they may have squandered a historic opportunity to realign American politics to the left by promoting the wrong person in 2016.
At a moment when the American people are demanding change – even willing to risk entrusting the White House to the unorthodox and inexperienced Donald Trump – the Democratic Party may be stuck with an uninspiring status quo candidate who also is pro-war, indeed far more hawkish than President Barack Obama.
Thus, in the fall election, not only would Trump be in a position to bait Clinton about her dysfunctional marriage, reminding the nation of the messy scandals of the 1990s, but he could challenge her on her warmongering positions, including her years of support for the Iraq War and her hawkish policies as Secretary of State, including her instigation of the disastrous “regime change” war in Libya. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon.”]
This November could be the first time in modern American history when the Republican nominee would be the relative “peace candidate” and the Democrat would be the “war candidate.” That changing places could lose Clinton much of the “anti-war left,” a significant faction within the Democratic coalition with many “peace Democrats” either voting for Trump or choosing a third party, such as the Greens.
Of course, the Democrats didn’t have to be in this position. The party leaders could have encouraged a more competitive primary contest instead of trying to keep alternative candidates, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and some younger Democratic prospects, on the sidelines, all the better to give Hillary Clinton an unimpeded path to the nomination. The party insiders treated Clinton like an incumbent president seeking reelection, a foregone conclusion.
But the best laid plans of mice and politicians often go astray. How weak Clinton is as a candidate has been underscored by her struggle to put away a progressive challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old “democratic socialist” from Vermont, who isn’t even technically a Democrat, listing himself as an Independent.
Even though the vast majority of “super-delegates” – i.e., party insiders – have lined up behind Clinton and she leads in pledged delegates, Sanders continues to win primaries, including recent ones in Indiana and West Virginia, and he could roll up a series of victories in upcoming western state races.
Clinton could stagger to the Democratic convention in July with a dispirited party lining up glumly to witness her long-delayed coronation. The onlookers might sense that they had made a terrible mistake but couldn’t correct it. They would be left to grit their teeth and hope that Clinton’s self-inflicted wounds, such as her private emails as Secretary of State, don’t fester and become fatal.
Arguably, it is the Democrats who would benefit the most from a contested convention, one that might give them an opportunity to reconsider the choice of Clinton and either nominate Sanders, who fares much better against Trump in poll match-ups, or pick someone else, possibly a fresh face like Sen. Warren.
While that may be highly unlikely – even if Sanders sweeps the remaining primaries – it is beginning to dawn on Democratic insiders that their scheme to grease the skids for a Clinton nomination might end up slipping Donald Trump into the White House.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
Donald Trump’s ascension to the Republican presidential nomination has created an enormous rift between the Republican elites and the rank and file. This process is a welcome development that could lead to the end of that party.
While the Republicans implode Hillary Clinton moves towards the Democratic party nomination by moving ever more towards the right. She and former president Bill Clinton have made it clear. They intend to get votes from independents and Republicans who can’t stomach the idea of a Trump presidency. That has been her modus operandi throughout her political career. She bragged about being a teenaged Goldwater girl and now brags about killing in Libya.
She ignores the Bernie Sanders phenomenon because she has no reason to do otherwise. From the moment he started his campaign he said he would endorse her if she won the nomination. Of course Sanders followers might change the trajectory of history by refusing to go along with the charade. If they stand firm they can also send their party into the historical dustbin where it belongs.
Trump’s supporters epitomize white nationalist sentiment but they are also driven by personal need. They have been left behind by the machinations of both parties. The trade deals concocted by Republicans and Democrats have taken the living wage jobs they expected to have forever. While they prosper more than any other group in the country they still feel affronted by their change in fortune. They don’t care about the imperial project and wouldn’t mind if Trump made good on his pledge to cease invasions and regime change plots.
Democrats on the other hand are less likely to send their party packing. They have been hypnotized by years of lies which have allowed wars, austerity, and mass incarceration to be considered acceptable, small prices to pay to keep the Republicans at bay. Black voters in particular are so fearful of Republican victory that any Democratic Party policy, no matter how damaging to them, gets the go ahead.
The election of 2016 should be historic not just because two people who are disliked by millions will run for president. It should be ground breaking because it will mean that Americans who love to think of themselves as independent will finally live up to that self-image.
The Sanders people in particular claimed to want a revolution. Now is their chance to make good on this assertion. Their task is a simple one. They must not support or vote for Hillary Clinton in November and they must say so loudly and clearly. They can vote for another party’s candidate or write in one of their own. They may exhort Sanders to deny her an endorsement. Any tactic will do. But if they follow tradition and vote for a conservative Democrat they will have made a mockery of their demand for change.
Liberal Democrats who like to think of themselves as leftists must put up or shut up. They should know by now that their party cannot be reformed. It must be done away with for good. The duplicity of the Democrats is fully on display for everyone who really wants to see it. On the one hand they will use the infamous Koch brothers to strike fear, raise money and keep their voters in line. Will they continue to do that now that Charles Koch has declared Hillary Clinton to be possibly more acceptable than Donald Trump?
In reality the Bernie Sanders campaign held more pretense than reality. Sanders isn’t really a socialist and neither are most of his voters. Yet they found it appealing to be connected to a candidate who gave them political cache. Neither are Sanders or his supporters revolutionary. The word revolution was more of a marketing ploy than anything else and continued the mirage of the possibility for change.
Sanders was always the sheep dog, as Black Agenda Report said in 2015. That does not mean his followers have to follow suit. The necessary rejection of Hillary Clinton will also mean a rejection of the man they admired and voted for if he does as he promised and endorses her.
Sanders voters can be the revolutionaries they aspired to be if they loudly and publicly state that they won’t vote for Hillary Clinton. They will need a great deal of determination as they will surely be scapegoated, guilt whipped and blamed for her defeat. But those attacks should be considered as a badge of honor in what may well be a revolutionary effort.
Of course if people “felt the Bern” only because they hoped for a better Democrat then this effort is for naught. By now everyone should know that the corruption in the Democrat party cannot be cut out. The party doesn’t want to change itself and makes sure that opponents end up just driving the sheep.
It is time for the Sanders supporters to make good on calls for revolution. They can do that by actively and openly denying Hillary Clinton the presidency. When they are called spoilers they must proudly own the charge and declare that they meant what they said. They are fighting for a revolution.
Margaret Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.