Sunday, November 13, 2016

Is There A George P. Bush vs Chelsea Clinton Coming Up At Some Point?


Nita Lowey is 79 and has been in Congress since 1988. The Clintons are among her constituents and she has easy reelection races in this D+5 district. This cycle the Republicans didn't bother putting up an opponent. The district spans northern and western Westchester County and all of Rockland County (40% of the district population-wise). Hillary beat Trump 2 to 1 in Westchester-- 64.9-32.1% and beat him in Rockland County 51.2% to 46.1%, which wasn't quite as well as Obama did in Rockland Co. in 2012, when he beat Romney 53-46%.

Friday the NY Post reported that Chelsea is being "groomed" to run for Lowey's seat when she retires.
A source told us, “While it is true the Clintons need some time to regroup after Hillary’s crushing loss, they will not give up. Chelsea would be the next extension of the Clinton brand. In the past few years, she has taken a very visible role in the Clinton Foundation and on the campaign trail. While politics isn’t the life Hillary wanted for Chelsea, she chose to go on the campaign trail for her mother and has turned out to be very poised, articulate and comfortable with the visibility.”

The source continued, “There has been a lot of speculation within New York Democratic circles about Lowey’s retirement and Chelsea running for the seat. There is a belief that Chappaqua is a logical place for Chelsea to run, because it would be straightforward for her to raise money and build a powerful base.”
I didn't puke. I put up a Twitter poll. Not many people thought it was a good idea:

Her father's old friend and ex-Secretary of the Department of Labor, Robert Reich did an OpEd for The Guardian yesterday-- Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more. His point was that the election was "a repudiation of the American power structure" brought about in charge part because Bill Clinton and Obama "helped shift power away from the people towards corporations. It was this that created an opening for Donald Trump." That can't come as a surprise to anyone who reads DWT with any frequency.
Hillary Clinton’s defeat is all the more remarkable in that her campaign vastly outspent the Trump campaign on television and radio advertisements, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Moreover, her campaign had the support in the general election not of only the kingpins of the Democratic party but also many leading Republicans, including most of the politically active denizens of Wall Street and the top executives of America’s largest corporations, and even former Republican president George HW Bush. Her campaign team was run by seasoned professionals who knew the ropes. She had the visible and forceful backing of Barack Obama, whose popularity has soared in recent months, and his popular wife. And, of course, she had her husband.

Trump, by contrast, was shunned by the power structure. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, actively worked against Trump’s nomination. Many senior Republicans refused to endorse him, or even give him their support. The Republican National Committee did not raise money for Trump to the extent it had for other Republican candidates for president.

What happened?

There had been hints of the political earthquake to come. Trump had won the Republican primaries, after all. More tellingly, Clinton had been challenged in the Democratic primaries by the unlikeliest of candidates-- a 74-year-old Jewish senator from Vermont who described himself as a democratic socialist and who was not even a Democrat. Bernie Sanders went on to win 22 states and 47% of the vote in those primaries. Sanders’ major theme was that the country’s political and economic system was rigged in favor of big corporations, Wall Street and the very wealthy.

The power structure of America wrote off Sanders as an aberration, and, until recently, didn’t take Trump seriously. A respected political insider recently told me most Americans were largely content with the status quo. “The economy is in good shape,” he said. “Most Americans are better off than they’ve been in years.”

Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don’t reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience. Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money.

Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Workers without college degrees-- the old working class-- have fallen furthest. Most economic gains, meanwhile, have gone to top. These gains have translated into political power to elicit bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, special tax loopholes, favorable trade deals and increasing market power without interference by anti-monopoly enforcement-- all of which have further reduced wages and pulled up profits.

Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it.

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in “swing” suburbs.

Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of Congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and economic security. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

They stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with simple up-or-down votes. Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22% of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to less than 12% today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy’s gains.

Bill Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify-- with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated. The unsurprising result of this combination-- more trade, declining unionization and more industry concentration-- has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. This created an opening for Donald Trump’s authoritarian demagoguery, and his presidency.

Now Americans have rebelled by supporting someone who wants to fortify America against foreigners as well as foreign-made goods. The power structure understandably fears that Trump’s isolationism will stymie economic growth. But most Americans couldn’t care less about growth because for years they have received few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.
In the same issue of The Guardian Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), warned these kinds of Democratic Party elites that "middle-of-the-road thinking has overstayed its welcome" and that "the future of the Democratic party begins with cleaning house at the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Without a dynamic progressive committed to a year-round 50-state strategy leading our party-- and a DNC staff committed to humble outreach and genuine advocacy for peoples’ needs-- we are doomed to repeats of 8 November.
We cannot rely on the same tired, inside-the-Beltway social media messages and stale talking points that got us here. Nor can we fall for the dangerous notion that if only she’d talked more about privatizing social security, Hillary Clinton might have won over more moderate voters. There is no evidence that such triangulation has any credibility with the American people, and our party needs to recognize that once and for all.

If Donald Trump’s unusual ideology has taught us anything, it’s that many of the political fights ahead of us have nothing to do with the arguments of the past 20 years. Party leaders need to recruit candidates with a genuine understanding of the issues that matter today, from economic insecurity to the future of rural America to social justice to education affordability.

We need to work with grassroots organizations to build a fresh party for the future. Just putting fresh paint on the party that lost the White House is not an option.
In the NY Times yesterday, Gretchen Morgenson, wrote that there were people who voted for Trump because the Clinton-Obama wing of the Democratic Party (i.e., the Establishment) let the banksters off the hook. I didn't vote for Trump, of course, but that's very much part of the reason why I didn't vote for Clinton.
There are many facets to the populist, anti-establishment anger that swept Donald J. Trump into the White House in Tuesday’s election. A crucial element fueling the rage, in my view, was this: Not one high-ranking executive at a major financial firm was held to account for the crisis of 2008.

As millions of foreclosures and job losses followed, the failure to go after fraudsters confirmed the suspicion that the powerful got protection while those on Main Street were kicked to the curb. When Mr. Trump asserted that the system was rigged, he tapped directly into such misgivings.

Many readers of the New York Times, particularly if you live in Manhattan, San Francisco or another affluent enclave, may not see how an accountability failure of years ago could still resonate. But the failure to prosecute even one or two high-profile bankers-- or force them simply to pay fines and penalties out of their own pockets-- left millions of Americans believing that our justice system was unjust.

Recall that more than 800 bankers went to jail after the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. And that mess wreaked nowhere near the devastation that the housing debacle did on the overall United States economy.

Embarrassed, perhaps, by their passivity, Justice Department officials recently pledged to take a more aggressive approach to white-collar crime. But the memo issued last September by Sally Quillian Yates, deputy attorney general, outlining new ways the department would hold individuals to account, has not translated into results.
So Chelsea Clinton for Congress? I don't think so. People just want the Clintons to go the fuck away. Like the Bushes.

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At 6:23 AM, Blogger CNYOrange said...

The irony of trump is that he will in no way, shape or form change anything regarding the power of corporations or the economy as currently structured. BTW, if Chelsea runs for congress in that district she'll certainly win.

At 6:34 AM, Blogger Anon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger jvb2718 said...

If C. Clinton runs and wins it will confirm for me 2 things:
1) voters are truly morons
2) there is not god... unless that god just likes fucking with us.
If G.P. Bush ever runs... same thing.

The US will be long gone before we might see them running against each other.
Things will get so much worse so much faster for that to happen... we can't possibly last that long.

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there is one good thing that might come from this no-win election, it could be that the investigation of the Clinton foundation and the pretty obvious "pay for access" to $hillbillary while secstate could finally happen.

I know Chelsea had expressed ... discomfort with the foundation and the "appearance" of corruption... and, well, if that is proved, Chelsea may not run.. and if she does, the ONLY district she could win might be that one. But there wouldn't ever be a national run.

FBI investigators wanted the DOJ to do an investigation (Yes, the FBI is partisan right-wing, but obamanation's DOJ would never do that... or much of anything, really). Maybe under AG Giuliani, it will happen.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, no. No more Bushes or Clintons, or Trumps! 'Cause the latter will be coming down the pike, too.

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll forgive me if I just vomit in my mouth a little bit -- not just for the thought of Chelsea Clinton being "groomed" for another exercise in electoral entitlement, but also by reading lectures from Robert Reich.

Reich has been trying to redeem himself for years now, but I've never seen an honest admission from him that he was right there in the '90s touting Clinton's third-way, neoliberal pie-in-the-sky.

How many interviews and speeches did Reich give in which he confidently told us that NAFTA would mean more and better "knowledge" jobs? We didn't need no stinkin', dirty manufacturing jobs. No, all those folks who were staring at permanent un- and under-employment had to do was get some of that sweet retraining and Boom! now you're a programmer, an x-ray technician or (more likely) a Walmart greeter instead of a well-paid assembly line worker with defined benefits.

No, if Reich ever once admitted he was wrong, or that he knew he was selling a load of horseshit for Clinton and the Chicago School, I haven't heard it.


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