not in our stars, but in ourselves
As Peter Mannion might put it: fuck-a-doodle-doo. Super Tuesday has come and gone. I’m mad. What else is new.
1. I won’t even comment on the GOP shitshow, because what is the point. Let’s focus on Sanders and Clinton. My guy won Vermont, Colorado, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. That warmongering profiteer won all the Southern states – and, heartbreakingly, Massachusetts. It was by a slim margin, but she won my beautiful little state, and I am very upset about it. For one thing, her husband decided to drum up support for her by visiting one of the more media-saturated polling places in the City of Boston (along with our illustrious mayor, the pro-Boston 2024 Marty Walsh). Now, all candidates are permitted to cast their votes on the day of their home state’s primary, and it’s natural to assume that they and their family members would vote for themselves – but Bubba doesn’t live here, doesn’t vote here, doesn’t belong here, and was breaking state laws by telling voters to pull the lever for Hillary. But, like, who cares. No big deal. No sir. At present, I feel a lot like this when I see every pundit and grandee screech about HRC’s inevitability:
This is all made that much more inevitable by the mainstream media’s (and the Democratic National Convention’s – more on that in a moment) focus on the delegate counts. Ah, yes, the delegate counts. According to WBUR, Clinton currently has 1,034 delegates. Sanders has 408. That sounds pretty daunting, and pretty impossible to overcome – until you actually count how many delegates each candidate won in each state that has held a voting contest so far, and realize that HRC has earned 467 delegates. She’s still leading, obviously, but it’s a lot easier to catch up if we’re talking 467 vs. 408. That won’t be the focus, though. Robert Reich – in an effort to instill confidence in Sanders supporters – hit the nail right on the head: “Regardless of how well Bernie does today, the media will say Hillary is now the Democratic candidate. Baloney. The ‘momentum’ theory of politics is based on momentum stories the media itself generates.” It’s true that it’s baloney, but it’s also true that it works. A party alone can’t make a candidate catch on with the public (see: Jeb! and Rubio), but a party in collusion with the mainstream media can.
2. In case you forgot: it’s not only unfair, it’s also fucking deplorable that HRC has swindled so many into buying her phony “I care about you all!” act. Jacobin is a great lefty rag, as lefty rags go, and they do a pretty swift job of laying out her dreadful track record on foreign policy: not that she’s not effective, but she will keep this country plunged in endless, escalating warfare for as long as she’s in office (and likely far beyond). This oldie-but-goodie, by Twitterer @Bro_Pair, is a searing indictment of the war in Libya – attributed here to Obama, who did ultimately authorize it, but really Clinton’s brainchild:
There are only two other Middle Eastern dictatorships that could ever see a military incursion similar to that of Libya: Syria and Iran. The governments of those two are just as odious as those of Jordan or Yemen or Algeria: they’re just not on our team (though Syria wants to be), and therefore they don’t get a pass. The mass murders Syria, Iran and Libya commit will provoke sober, “masterful” speeches on American exceptionalism, while the most grotesque Mideast dictatorship — that of Saudi Arabia — will be propped up by the U.S. ’til the bitter end, as if they were Grant’s men at Cold Harbor. At the end of the day, dead Bahrainis and dead Yemenis mean nothing to Barack Obama. Nothing.
I’d prefer his spin doctors and hope hacks didn’t fake any pain over the dead in those countries, maybe responded to any media inquiries with a two column Powerpoint. One column could be titled: “Despots Who Commit Horrific Human Rights Abuses and Must Be Stopped.” The other could read, “Treasured U.S. Partners with a License to Kill Their Uppity Raghead Citizens.” They could issue licenses to the governments of Bahrain and Yemen, so as to keep their civvie-hunting strictly kosher: daily haul not to exceed fifty protestors shot, 1,000 protestors sodomized in secret prisons. They are inconvenient in their bleeding. Those asshole victims.
In more succinct terms, here’s Brendan James:
Fuck HRC. She may be marginally – mind you, only marginally – better on cultural issues than her GOP counterparts, but she will ensure that the United States continues to soak its hand in other people’s blood. Fuck that, and frankly, fuck you if you think that’s not ample reason to hope her ambitions end in ashes.
3. Meanwhile: Pussy Riot supports Bernie. Any enemy of Putin has a good chance of being a friend of mine.
4. It turns out that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the co-chair of Clinton’s 2008 campaign and current chair of the DNC, is so beholden to corporate interests that she is actively trying to block payday loan regulations – regulations that Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a.k.a. one of the few government agencies dedicated to trying to prevent average Americans’ lives from being ruined by this illustrious country’s enormous usury industry, is trying to push through. That’s bad. (And I’d recommend reading this, separate but not unrelated, review of a study performed on poor people who are evicted from their homes: “Evicted isn’t a depressing book. It is also a stirring reminder that the US accepts as ordinary a depth of poverty that is extraordinary and cruel. At its heart is a simple message: ‘No moral code or ethical principle, no piece of scripture or holy teaching, can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become.'” Wasserman Schultz evidently sees nothing wrong with that cruelty; one doubts that Clinton does, either.) Also bad: she has used her position as head of the DNC to try to rig the nomination for Hillary. One hopes she loses her seat in Congress so she can’t pull these dirty tricks anymore, but the damage may have been done. I don’t know. Sanders is probably too honorable and self-un-aggrandizing to split off and run as a third-party candidate if HRC is anointed as the Democratic candidate, but I wish he’d consider it. If it’s Clinton and Trump as the official candidates in the two parties, they just might cancel each other out so Bernie could win. I mean, it won’t happen, but isn’t it pretty to think so?
5. If I keep it up, I’m going to have a heart attack, so I will switch to Carl Diggler. I’ve been remiss in my duties, dear reader: Diggler is the most enjoyable pundit by a very wide margin (one might call it yuge), and he’s not real. Those two facts probably have quite a lot to do with each other. Eddie Brawley wrote a fabulous, comprehensive profile of “The Dig,” just to give you an idea of what he’s about (and an idea of Diggler’s co-creators, Virgil Texas and Felix Biederman). You should read it. But you should also just read Diggler’s column on Cafe.com. Here he is, gloating about his 91% success rate in predicting primary and caucus winners – a better record than any other professional, real-life pundit:
I called the winners of 20 out of 22 Super Tuesday contests (pending the GOP result in Alaska) and literally got every result right on the Democratic side — better than any of my colleagues, be they Bloomberg quants, clean-cut Politico analysts, or the face of dishonesty and cowardice, 538’s Nate Silver. While others were too afraid to call exotic locales like American Samoa and Minnesota, I bit down and dove into danger. None of you could last one minute in my world. You don’t have the courage, gut, or charisma. I have called winners of the week since the time of McGovern. I called the surge of John Anderson when I was but a boy. This is my life. This is who I am. I am Carl Allison Diggler, and I called it again.
It’s C. Allison Diggler’s world and we just live in it. Thank heaven for that.