Sunday, June 12, 2016

Learning The Wrong Lesson-- Meet The Establishment


The Clinton Machine, Obama Biden, Schumer, Reid, the media lobbying and donor elites that serve them... are sure at the apex of the Democratic establishment. Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi detects some heavy smugness among them and their wing of the party when it comes to the vanquishing of Bernie-- rather than the realization of what an unlikely close cll they just experienced. Taibbi explains what they barely avouded being swamped by as "no ordinary primary race, not a contest between warring factions within the party establishment, รก la Obama-Clinton in '08 or even Gore-Bradley in '00. This was a barely quelled revolt that ought to have sent shock waves up and down the party, especially since the Vote of No Confidence overwhelmingly came from the next generation of voters. Yet editorialists mostly drew the opposite conclusion." They feel certain they can continue spitting in the face of the left, forever able to manipulate and seduce the lo-info voters of the Democratic base without having to fear a Trump coming along and taking it all away from them the way the GOP establishment lost it all this cycle.

The Washington Post's James Hohmann's piece, Primary wins show Hillary Clinton needs the left less than pro-Sanders liberals think asserts that the Democratic establishment can "now safely return to their traditional We won, screw you posture of 'minor concessions' toward the 'liberal base.'" Another media shill for the establishment-- whose husband works for the Clinton campaign-- Jonathan Capehaeart wrote that "in the battle of the outsider egos storming the political establishment, Trump succeeded where Sanders failed."

"If," wrote Taibbi, "they had any brains, Beltway Dems and their clucky sycophants like Capeheart would not be celebrating this week. They ought to be horrified to their marrow that the all-powerful Democratic Party ended up having to dig in for a furious rally to stave off a quirky Vermont socialist almost completely lacking big-dollar donors or institutional support. They should be freaked out, cowed and relieved."

Taibbi doesn't entertain any of what are labelled "conspiracy theories"-- like how she and her allies-- from Wasserman Schultz and Reid, down to grubby political bosses in Brooklyn, Philly, Chicago, Essex and Camden-- cheated, rigged and stole state after state for the Machine.
But to read the papers in the last two days is to imagine that we didn't just spend a year witnessing the growth of a massive grassroots movement fueled by loathing of the party establishment, with some correspondingly severe numerical contractions in the turnout department (though she won, for instance, Clinton received 30 percent fewer votes in California this year versus 2008, and 13 percent fewer in New Jersey).

The twin insurgencies of Trump and Sanders this year were equally a blistering referendum on Beltway politics. But the major-party leaders and the media mouthpieces they hang out with can't see this, because of what that friend of mine talked about over a decade ago: Washington culture is too far up its own backside to see much of anything at all.

Democratic voters tried to express these frustrations through the Sanders campaign, but the party leaders have been and probably will continue to be too dense to listen. Instead, they'll convince themselves that, as Hohmann's Post article put it, Hillary's latest victories mean any "pressure" they might have felt to change has now been "ameliorated."

The maddening thing about the Democrats is that they refuse to see how easy they could have it. If the party threw its weight behind a truly populist platform, if it stood behind unions and prosecuted Wall Street criminals and stopped taking giant gobs of cash from every crooked transnational bank and job-exporting manufacturer in the world, they would win every election season in a landslide.

This is especially the case now that the Republican Party has collapsed under the weight of its own nativist lunacy. It's exactly the moment when the Democrats should feel free to become a real party of ordinary working people.

But they won't do that, because they don't see what just happened this year as a message rising up from millions of voters.

Politicians are so used to viewing the electorate as a giant thing to be manipulated that no matter what happens at the ballot, they usually can only focus on the Washington-based characters they perceive to be pulling the strings. Through this lens, the uprising among Democratic voters this year wasn't an organic expression of mass disgust, but wholly the fault of Bernie Sanders, who within the Beltway is viewed as an oddball amateur and radical who jumped the line.

Nobody saw his campaign as an honest effort to restore power to voters, because nobody in the capital even knows what that is. In the rules of palace intrigue, Sanders only made sense as a kind of self-centered huckster who made a failed play for power. And the narrative will be that with him out of the picture, the crisis is over. No person, no problem.

This inability to grasp that the problem is bigger than Bernie Sanders is a huge red flag. As Thacker puts it, the theme of this election year was widespread anger toward both parties, and both the Trump craziness and the near-miss with Sanders should have served as a warning. "The Democrats should be worried they're next," he says.

But they're not worried. Behind the palace walls, nobody ever is.
It helps explain why Pelosi's DCCC can piously demand "party unity" while ignoring progressive "outsiders"-- from Mary Ellen Balchunis in the Philly suburbs to Tom Wakely in the Austin-San Antonio corridor-- who beat more conservative establishment Democrats in primaries. For the Democratic establishment, party unity is a one-way street: get behind Hillary or risk being labelled a Naderite and helping to elect Trump, while they-- symbolized by Wasserman Schultz and Schumer-- eviscerate anything remotely populist or progressive about the Democratic Party. who would want to be part of that? The party of the Rahm Emanuels and Debbie Wasserman Schultzes and Harry Reids and the Clintons?

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At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you have pointed out before, Mary Ellen Balchunis is and has been a supporter of Hillary Clinton's. No matter. The Democratic Establishment won't support her in her run for a winnable seat. They have lots of money to beat Joe Sestak but nothing for her.

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dem's Political idiocy (and irrelevancy) is magnified since the celebration of the "victory" over Sanders occurred with a backdrop of 2 recently lost massive/large majorities in congress.

Of course. what does the Generalisssima care, she's ready "to get things done with the Republicans"?

John Puma

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Dorothy Reik said...

Sending this to Tom Hayden.

At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, Taibbi's awesome and 100% correct. Wish Bernie's revolution could become organized. Televised would've helped too!

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Rob said...

It is time we acknowledged the Republican and Democratic Parties are beyond salvation. We must establish a Progressive party. We may have to suffer through Trump in oder to get this done but it is well worth the price in order to win back our Republic.


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