Hillary’s Clinching of the Nomination

Yet another selfie
Yet another selfie

W.J. Astore

Well, she’s won.  Hillary Clinton’s victories in last night’s presidential primaries have clearly put her over the top, clinching the Democratic nomination. Facing the loudmouthed bigotry and ignorant blustering of Donald Trump this fall, Hillary has an excellent chance of being elected as America’s first female president.

I’ve already written a lot of articles at this site on why I find both Hillary and The Donald to be poor choices as president. I won’t repeat those arguments here.  But I do want to talk about Hillary’s campaign, and what it says about her candidacy.

I remember the first commercial Hillary made, the announcement of her candidacy.  A tedious spot, it focused on her grandmotherly qualities.  It had no vision, no bite, and little hope.  It was about trying to make us feel comfortable with Hillary.  Hey, she’s a mom and a grandma!  Other women like her!  She’s just like us!

It went downhill from there.  Hillary’s campaign has been carefully scripted and modulated, the opposite of impassioned.  Vapidness replaced vision.  That’s why a democratic socialist Jew from Vermont via Brooklyn gave her a run for her money, because she had no passion or vision and he did (and does).

For me, the defining moment of their debates came when Bernie argued strongly for a $15.00 minimum wage for workers and Hillary was content with offering workers a $12.00 wage. (More than enough, peasants!)  Combine that moment with her infamous statement about the gobs of money she made in three speeches to Goldman Sachs (“Well, that’s what they offered”) and you get a clear sense of who she is and what she’s about.

A quick note: A nursing aide making Hillary’s generous $12.00 hourly wage at 40 hours a week would take 28 years to earn the $675,000 that Clinton “earned” in a few short hours giving those speeches.

Her campaign claims she’s “fighting for us.”  But I see Hillary as fighting for herself — and her circle of privileged cronies.  There’s nothing new about this in American politics, of course.  It’s just terribly disappointing for America that two narcissists, two voices of the privileged, will be vying for the presidency this fall.

One thing I would like to see (and it won’t happen): I’d like to see Trump and Hillary debate with Green and Libertarian candidates.  I’d like to hear some real alternative views and how the “major” candidates respond to them.  But even though the media found room for up to seventeen Republican primary candidates on the stage, you can bet the house that Trump and Hillary will share a stage alone together.

Alone together — get ready for gratuitous insults and sound bites, America. One thing is certain: neither candidate is fighting for us, and both are not about making America great again.

18 thoughts on “Hillary’s Clinching of the Nomination

  1. Well, this is likely another hold your nose and vote in November, unless the legal system regarding her misuse of security information results in indictment

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  2. I’m disturbed by your repetition of the corporate media language that Clinton has “clinched the nomination” and that yesterday’s wins “put her over the top.” Barring extraordinary developments in one of her scandals between now and July 25th, she will most likely win the nomination on that date when the “unpledged delegates” finally have their say. A corrupt Party leadership, billions in SuperPAC money, voter suppression and, most critically, the corporate media’s management of public perceptions* have set up that scenario. But that is not the same thing as claiming that she has won it on June 6th or June 7th. She has not – yet… – Nicolas

    *Wasn’t it interesting how the media got the jump on her, declaring her the winner the day before she was ready to claim victory? That seemed like a calculated demonstration of their power to shape the public’s perceptions, not letting her think that she controls them… They will back her all the way to the White House, but they expect due deference (and payback) for their role as power brokers…

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    1. Technically correct, but she has effectively clinched the nomination by the corrupt rules of officialdom.

      What galled me was the announcement of the clinch even before the big California primary — which could not help but aid Clinton and hurt Bernie Sanders. But of course Bernie was never an acceptable candidate to our corporate masters … C’est la guerre, Bernie.

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  3. Perhaps I should have added: Elect Trump and you get a whacko Republican. Elect Hillary and you get a neo-con Republican. Pick your poison.

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    1. William.

      Rep. Issa voiced the perfect capture: “There are three people running for office – a socialist, a criminal, and an amateur.” The socialist might soon be looking for work in the toilet-paper free zone called Venezuela; the amateur is working to improve his game, thus the tele-prompter; and the criminal is still a criminal – one with editorial board friends recently revealed at AP.

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      1. Walt: I think we agree on Hillary, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on Trump. I recall the wisdom of my dad’s words: “an empty barrel makes the most noise.” And Trump makes a lot of noise.

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      2. The Democratic Socialist with a steady Senate day job has set America’s domestic political and economic agenda for the next generation. The rank Republican amateur has stuck one foot in his mouth and the other up his ass. The corrupt corporate militarist Democrat will go on desk-murdering impoverished foreign peasants just like her several male predecessors did. Criminal? Yes, but if Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, and Karl Rove didn’t go to jail for outing CIA operative Vallery Plame, then I doubt that You-Know-Her will see any jail time for letting her subordinate Victoria Nuland publicly midwife the violent coup that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine. As George Orwell wrote in 1984: “In Oceania there is no law.”

        Actually, if any form of justice still existed in the United States, Green Party candidate Jill Stein would sue Senator Bernie Sanders for plagiarizing her entire domestic economic program — which will become America’s in the years to come — minus only the really important part about demobilzing America’s bloated, inept, and ruinously expensive military establishment. Third party movements seldom ever win elections in the United States — the electoral college guarantees that — but they often set the country on a progressive course into the future. You’Know-Her’s billionaire corporate owners will not want her doing anything for poor and working-class Americans; but if she doesn’t, she will find herself out on her ass come 2020, if not before. Like some witty person said recently, You-Know-Her reminds them of “Richard Nixon only without the progressive social policies.” Once a Goldwater Girl, always a Goldwater Girl.

        As retired Army officer Don Bacon told me upon Barack Obama’s “hope and change” election in 2008: “By their cabinet appointments you shall know them.” It won’t take long for us to see where things go from here. …

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  4. William.

    I hear you. However, our next POTUS will be either Clinton II or Trump I. At my age, I no longer do “throw-away” votes, so, to me, the choice is clear.

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  5. As the late political philosopher Sheldon Wolin wrote in Democracy, Inc.: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism:

    “In a one-party state, politics is, in effect, “privatized,” dissociated from the practices of citizenship and confined within the party, where it takes the form of intramural rivalries for the privileges of power and status. It is a politics that never goes public except to orchestrate unanimity.”

    Or, as Gore Vidal put it: “The United States does not have two political parties. It has only one party, the Property Party, and it has two right wings.”

    So the far-right Republicans have chosen the billionaire political rookie Donald Trump to head their crypto-fascist faction while the not-quite-so-right-wing “Democrats” have picked You-Know-Her: the empty symbolism of a privileged pantsuit babbling about penthouse “glass ceilings” to people who find themeslves living in their parents’ (or somebody else’s) basement. An entertaining (for the elites) and distracting (for the working class) puppet show, perhaps, but of no relevance in a country whose actual political center lies to the left of both squabbling intramural right-wing factions.

    As a historical fact, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have brought the Democratic Party so far to the right seeking to appease intransigent Republican demands that the so-called “Democrats” have almost crowded the Republicans off the right hand edge of the stage, so to speak. Now, in order for the Republicans to win the Presidency — which position carries with it unaudited and endlessly profitable public spending on the uniformed military, dogs-of-war mercenaries, and corporate camp followers — their faction’s candidate, Donald Trump, will have to somehow get to the left of the “Democratic” faction’s candidate, the war-bimbo You-Know-Her. It appears to me that Donald Trump actually recognizes where the center of the country lies, as does Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. But Trump, for his part, has to somehow get back left toward the working-class, anti-interventionist center of the country while leading a reactionary, crypto-fascist faction that thinks, like the You-Know-Her Democrats, that the “center” of the country lies even further to the right! Consider, for example, two items from headlines at ConsortiumNews.com:

    “… victorious Hillary Clinton is expected to pivot right to attract disenchanted Republicans …”

    and:

    “Democrats Are Now the Aggressive War Party”

    So it looks like the two right-wing factions of the Property Party will go on staging their phony “election” puppet show while each tries to get further to the right than the other. As Jill Stein has said: You-Know-Her will “fake left and run right.” And the minute Bernie Sanders formally concedes, the faking and flirting with the “leftist,” “socialist,” “anti-imperialist” base of the Democratic faction will instantaneously cease. Actually, it already has. Not an impenetrable “glass ceiling” above, but an already shattered glass wall to the right. You-Know-Her has already broken through that wall many times before and will easily do so again.

    But Donald Trump, if he has any perceptive political instincts at all, will see that his road to a possible win lies leftward, towards the anti-interventionist working-class center of the country. From time to time he makes some interesting noises to the effect that he gets this, but the crypto-fascist base and imperial militarist elite of the Republican faction will never let him get away with moving the Republican Party leftward, closer to where it began with Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, such a schizophrenic conundrum does not appear susceptible to resulution. The Republican faction will now explode from two causes: Impotent Hysteria and Political Irrelevance. With “Democrats” like the Clintons, who needs Republicans?

    The American people will get another right-wing POTUS from the “Democratic” faction of the Corporate Property Party. The corporate oligarchy has decreed this and it will come to pass when the American voters “choose” what they have been given.

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  6. Following up on what I wrote above, Salon.com has a good article on Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s candidate for President of the United States. As an added plus, the article links to an interview with Dr. Stein on Democracy Now, with Amy Goodman. I don’t want to recapitulate here the many detailed criticisms of You-Know-Her’s abysmal record of rank opportunism and war-whoring (my choice of terms, not Dr Stein’s), but, essentially, Dr. Stein encourages us to vote for what we want and not against what someone else has told us to fear.

    Yes, Dr Stein says, Donald Trump has said many truly awful things. Nevertheless, in so many instances, the policies he only advocates, You-Know-Her has actually implemented or brow-beaten others — like President Obama — into implementing for her. She really has a lousy record, and if I fault Senator Sanders for anything, I fault him for letting You-Know-Her off the hook regarding her bogus “experience.” Anyway, check out the article and interview. In both you will find loads of ammunition with which to refute the “lesser-evilists” who keep voting against what they fear only to assure the rest of us that we all get it.

    See:

    Clinton helped create Trump: Green Party’s Jill Stein blasts Hillary for already implementing Donald’s policies, by Ben Norton, Salon.com (Friday, Jun 10, 2016)

    The cynic journalist, H. L. Menken once said: “I never vote for anyone. I always vote against.” Personally, I can never forget how so many Americans voted against Barry Goldwater leading America into an unrestrained bombing of Vietnam in 1964, only to get unrestricted war in spades with “Peace Candidate” Lyndon Johnson. I could go on with many more examples from America showing how bed-wetting Americans always respond to fear-mongering and almost always get from their voting precisely what they fear. This doesn’t happen by accident, and Dr. Jill Stein, like Ralph Nader, who have understood this perfectly, have tried to give us a choice of something we might actually want for ourselves, our families, our country, and the world. As Dr. Stein and Ralph Nader have both reminded us, we could easily implement “Instant Runoff” or “Ranked Choice” voting in order to give ourselves more choices in our voting. So we could do something about our awful voting system if we really wanted to.

    I once thought — after voting for Ralph Nader in 2000 and 2004 — that I would never again have the chance to vote for someone who actually suggested doing what I thought my country ought to do. Fortunately, Dr. Jill Stein has given me that chance once again. Good for her and good for us all. I don’t like “lesser evils.” I don’t like “greater evils.” I don’t like “evils,” period. And I refuse to vote for any of them.

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      1. I am not happy with our 2 “choices,” but I just wanted to add the “Ralph Nader Caveat”. Ralph gave us George Bush by his miscalculated run pulling election-deciding votes from Al Gore and thousands and thousands and thousands died. A third party candidate could be “unsafe at any speed.”

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    1. dkkeller48 —

      A little history of the year-2000 presidential election:

      First of all, the American citzens who voted for George W. Bush gave us George W. Bush. For some reason that totally escapes me, Democrats seem to have a great deal of trouble blaming Republican and “independent” voters for anything, and would rather attack Emanuel Goldstein or some other pathetic — yet insidiously powerful — “liberal” for their own shortcomings.

      Second, Al Gore gave us George W. Bush when he couldn’t even carry his home state of Tennessee with its paltry 11 electoral votes. Basing his electoral strategy on a state where his competitor’s brother sits in the governor’s chair and where the Republican Party runs all critical state offices — especially the one that counts the votes — has to rank as one of the most stupid campaign strategies ever devised.

      Third, Five “conservative” justices of the Supreme Court gave us George W. Bush when they stopped the Florida recount of votes once George W. Bush had attained a 500+ vote margin over Al Gore, thus handing Dubya “his” election, in the words of the now-deceased Justice Antonin Scalia.

      Fourth, The “Democrats” who voted for George W. Bush gave us George W. Bush. Especially the 2,000 ad-hoc Florida voters known as “Blind Florida Jews for Pat Buchanan” who couldn’t read the infamous “Butterfly Ballot” so that they wound up voting for an anti-semite instead of Al Gore, as they intended.

      Fifth, All the other 5 or 6 candidates on the Florida ballot gave us George W. Bush since they all got more than Dubya’s 500 vote margin and any one of them could have swung the election to Gore had “deluded” American citizens not “wasted” their votes on someone who actually appealed to their interests.

      Worst of all, though, four years later in 2004, even more “Democrats” and “Independents” joined Republicans in voting for George W. Bush, even after the entire world knew that this dyslexic dwarf chimpanzee he had lied our country into a monstrous debacle of an endless war — still going on (thanks to President Obama) today in 2016 — in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in my home state of California, I had to write in Ralph Nader’s name on my ballot because the Democratic party had spent lots of time, money, and effort keeping my preferred candidate out of sight when it came time for them to run a joke of a candidate like John Kerry only to lose again to a known war-criminal and certifiable moron.

      People who vote for a candidate bear the responsibility for electing that candidate, not anyone else. Nobody “owns” the vote of any other person. Those American citizens — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents — who twice voted for George W. Bush gave America George W. Bush and they really ought to give up blaming Ralph Nader — who got a paltry 2% of the vote in 2000 and even less in 2004 — for what they, themselves did not once, but twice. Talk about “wasted” votes. Personally, I’d call them wasteland votes, since a vote for a Republican or Democrat will predictably produce exactly that.

      Finally, to paraphrase what Sheldon Wolin wrote in Democracy, Inc.: the Republican party exists to produce and protect inequality of wealth and privilege while the Democratic party exists to dismay and discredit anyone who might challenge the Republicans. The Democratic party has just done it again with the nomination — at some point justified by actual vote counts — of You-Know-Her: Wall Street hooker and war-bimbo. The Republicans can now breathe easier. For them, it won’t matter who wins the presidency, since a Clinton will give them everything they want while still leaving them with a so-called “Democrat” to blame for it. The Democrats, naturally, will do what the Repubicans can’t do for themselves while blaming some annoying little third party candidate instead of the Republicans who bullied them into sticking it to the poor and working class. So, again, the Republicans win.

      I really don’t see why the Republicans want to squander their time, money, and energy even running a candidate for President. With a Clinton — or, better yet, two of them — back in the White House, they’ve already got it all for free. And very few Americans will dare to “waste” a vote telling them otherwise. But, hey, all you basement dwellers out there: “cracks” in the penthouse “glass ceiling,” and all that …

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  7. One last comment before this topic rolls off the board:

    I believe I heard You-Know-Her make an “acceptance” speech recently wherein she threatened the world with the specter of Donald Trump starting wars. Now, in what I have to say I do not wish to blow Trumps trumpet, so to speak, but hasn’t President Obama — with the aid and enouragment of You-Know-Her — not only prolonged two of Deputy Dubya Bush’s wars for eight years (Afghanistan and Iraq) but involved the United States in additional wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Ukraine? I mean, how many more wars could Donald Trump start than those already started and perpetuated by You-Know-Her and her heroes, George W. Bush and Barack Obama? Just asking ….

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