not in our stars, but in ourselves
Given everything else happening over the weekend, it may seem surprising that I found the mental fortitude to watch the Democratic debate on Saturday night. I will tell you how, O Reader: I was drunk. Despite that, however, I was paying attention, and certain presumptive candidates succeeded in grinding my gears pretty harshly. I refer to the one, the only, Hillary Rodham Clinton – to whom I would like to extend a hearty “fuck you.”
Why’s that? Well, aside from her pretense that she only got into bed with Wall Street after 9/11 – a false pretense, mind you – and her assertion that the federal minimum wage shouldn’t be anything as astronomical as $15/hour, there was her refutation of Bernie Sanders’s policy proposal. Sanders thinks all colleges should be tuition-free. Hillary doesn’t think Donald Trump’s kids should get a free ride. That might sound defensible until you consider that what she really means – that private higher-education institutions should be able to charge whatever the fuck they want and saddle their students with crippling debt for decades – is so baldly capitalist that Trump himself would probably stand up and cheer. She’s saying that people like me, who had the nerve to want to go to a fancy private school and study things that made us happy, deserve to owe tens of thousands of dollars in perpetuity.
So fuck you, Hillary. Really and truly. Fuck your pandering and your barely masked lust for power. I can’t imagine there’s any way you won’t get the nomination, unfortunately, but I don’t even care anymore. I won’t vote for you. I’ll write in Beyoncé and cast real votes on everything else. (Don’t worry. Massachusetts will go blue. There’s no chance my protest vote will support whichever GOP rube is on the ticket.)
And oh, by the way, about that 9/11 stunt:
The most tone-deaf line of the night belonged to Hillary Clinton, after she was targeted for her history of Wall Street support. Sanders asked, “Why, over her political career, has Wall Street been… [her] major campaign contributor? Maybe they’re dumb, they don’t know what they’re going to get, but I don’t think so.” It was Sanders’ who are we fucking kidding, here? moment, and it points to, again, the problem at the heart of Hillary’s pitch on Wall Street reform. Over the course of her career, four of her top five donors have been Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. Someone has to be the moron, and if it’s not the rich guys whose jobs are buying things that advance their self-interest, then it’s the people at home buying a new regulatory zeal from someone who’s never much evinced an inclination toward it before.
Clinton’s response took the form of a vaporous appeal to identity politics, followed by an invocation of September 11 crass enough to make Rudy Giuliani’s cheeks redden in either shame or envy. Addressing Sanders’ comments above, as well as the number of small donors to his campaign, Clinton said:
“You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, and I’m very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent… I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”
This rancid bucket of word scrofula does a lot of coldly profitable handwaving and at best only creates more questions than it answers. Clinton’s disclosure forms reveal reams of high-dollar Wall Street contributors, so what does a majority of women donors signify that obviates the former in any material way? Would significant Wall Street backing disappear as an issue for a gay candidate who said, “60 percent of my donors are gay”? Does all of Cory Booker’s “love money” from hedge fund ghouls get less problematic if he hits a threshold of black donors?
And, after 14 years of every opportunist creep in a blue suit and red tie exhuming the corpses of the World Trade Center dead to festoon themselves with sanctified victimhood, it’s amazing that there are still new ways to be forced to ask the question What the fuck does September 11 have to do with any of this shit, asshole? Would Hillary Clinton become a card-carrying Communist if the CPUSA headquarters had been hit by a plane? Would her donor lists be full of members of Supertramp, Fairport Convention and Oingo Boingo if Al Qaeda had attacked the A&M Records building? What possible causal relationship exists here? And how does attending to Wall Street’s fortunes rebuke the terrorists? By those lights, Wall Street should have been completely deregulated just so those guys could get back on their feet and start signing donor checks even faster. Suck on that, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
And despite flogging the nation’s honored dead for the billionth beshitted time this century, Hillary Clinton won the debate handily. Martin O’Malley and those related to and paid by Martin O’Malley will disagree. And Bernie Sanders supporters, who don’t seem to realize that online polls are scientific garbage and a measure of, at best, the effectiveness of Reddit, will insist that their candidate cleaned up. Meanwhile, the media, which tends to worry about whether a member of its tribe looked good, will tell you that John Dickerson was the clear winner, just in case your biggest concern coming away from a debate on national and foreign policy issues was the dumbest distinction imaginable.
It’s a long slog between here and November 2016, but the good news is we know we can always take the low road.
Wake me when Kanye’s running in 2020. I’ve had enough shit for one election cycle.