August 18, 2015 by Thomas Hauber
A lot of people have been getting into Hillary’s kitchen lately. Ten featured Republicans tried a couple weeks ago on the FOX News version of The Gong show but failed in a pitiful episode of mindless bickering. Marco Rubio, possibly the only one not gonged, quickly realized how weak the field was and essentially let the others embarrass themselves. What the country saw on FOX was a clown show, a heap of rhetorical gibberish having little to do with actual governance and everything to do with an exhibition of ego and assorted personality disorders.
The only real heat on the Democratic front-runner is being applied by one pain-in-the-butt Bernie Sanders. Bernie, like plain-speaking President Harry Truman, isn’t afraid to mix it up with the crowd or the Press. When the Bernie show comes to town, it’s live and a little rough, but people listen. Unlike Bernie, the press-sensitive Hillary continues to lead the polls over everybody despite being continually sniped at by the likes of Wolf Blitzer over emails that she just can’t seem to delete.
Despite her well-advertised “listening tours,” it is well known that Hillary doesn’t like the live Press and avoids them whenever she can preferring scripted and planned events like the universally panned interview she recently gave to CNN. Hillary was clearly annoyed with recurring questions and appeared even a little nervous. One commentator put it simply: where Bill was fearless, Hillary is fearful, fearful of making an early mistake that might hurt her chances with the Sanders/ Warren wing of the Party.
While Warren works the Senate, Bernie just puts it out to the public, stating in simple terms what Progressives see as a simple mandate that citizens take care of one another; far different from modern Conservatism with its basic doctrine of “every man for himself”. The Conservative subtext that ought to irritate everyone is the implication that the Government (and the Democratic party specifically) is stealing money from deserving people (like the poor-mouthing Koch Bros.) and giving it away to undeserving pond scum like 99% of America. Bernie is a socialist, but so what? Socialist ideas like the income tax, Social Security, Medicare and the VA work and have made immediate and long term sense for decades keeping the disabled, the old-folks and war vets from sleeping under bridges.
We’re still in the entertainment phase of the race and Republicans are providing most of the bad jokes. The Jeb Bush “you-need-to work harder to rise above “ routine is lame and trite and hollow coming from his privileged background. The Tallahassee version of Elmer Fudd fools nobody including most of his own party. Only corporate donors understand how the ruse works.
Donald Trump, our self-serving crybaby capitalist tool, also claims to speak for the people, taking pot shots at everybody including POWs. Trump is a perfect example of the kind of loudmouth, unashamed greed-head that has virtually drowned the economy in its own soup twice in the last eighty years. Greed is in again, America, thanks to the Supreme Court, federal bankruptcy courts, industry consolidation and the rise of corporate-owned news media. The mystery is why everyday people even tolerate The Donald speaking for them.
Unfortunately the deck is stacked against Bernie and everyone else who tries to buck the modern big money bought and paid for campaign. The book on managed image campaigning was chronicled almost fifty years ago by Joe McGinnis in his classic, “The Selling of the President 1968.”
The marriage of politicians and ad-men (and Richard Nixon) in the Sixties was no coincidence. “… once they (all) recognized that the citizen did not so much vote for a candidate as make a psychological purchase of him, it is not surprising they began to work together.” Politicians and ad-men (modern campaign staff) are con men at heart, imploring ¨us to buy something we don’t really want or need. Add a Citizens United unlimited campaign budget and TV and you have a mechanism that beats the American voter into a submissive fear coma, afraid to take chances on anyone but the Big Dogs. Hillary’s image is clearly tied to the possibility she could be the First female President of the United States. How Republicans hope to sell their latest version of the Great White Hope is still a mystery.
With Hillary’s millions, you can be sure she is prepared to throw a lot of cash at guys like Bernie or anyone else down the road in a determined campaign to sell herself as what America needs and wants. Some day she will tell us what she really wants, but not yet. Today’s answer is to Trust her. We trust she will not continue to preside over the already and nearly complete corporate takeover of America begun decades ago and firmly advanced by George W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton. We’s rather she listen to and become emboldened by the liberals in her own party and stand up to corporate America and their attempts to dismantle everything Progressives have fought for the last eighty years.
In fact Hillary claims we already trust her so there is plenty of time for pacesetters like Bernie to whip the liberal faithful into a frenzy, after which she will take credit (from considerable height) for everything good Democrats have ever done. The same will happen on the Republican side. After the gang of thirteen finishes shooting each other in the face, Jeb will probably be the last man standing, maybe Scott Walker. Both Jeb and Hillary may lose the early rounds, but in the end it’s about the money. Both will likely take their respective podiums in cascades of red, white and blue balloons, to as yet undetermined musical accompaniment, and be nominated and crowned King and Queen protectors of Corporate America.
As McGinnis points out, the American voter delights in being seduced and deceived. We are easily misled about men (and women), “…and how much greatness can be found among them… we have become so accustomed to our illusions that we mistake them for reality. We demand Them. And we demand that there will always be more of them, bigger and better and more vivid.”