a number of things might scuttle the clinton campaign. i don't think the death of vince foster is among them. if i were guessing, i'd say it will be the mcauliffe matter and in general, moneymoneymoney.
i'm up on splice today with my little rap on fear, anger, and hope in presidential politics. i'm going to try to ship them a piece every week or so for a bit. actually i think it's an interesting publication, one of the few zones of the media not completely dedicated to simplistic or obviously false partisanship, with independent voices. it's edited by russ smith; i was a music critic for his baltimore city paper in the '80s, and his new york press in the 2000s.
how can we explain the hillary clinton phenomenon? who could have anticipated it? it makes no rational sense. but then politics isn't about rationality. for myself as for so many, it is inexplicable that anyone could vote for her at all; one cannot understand the motivations of the people who have brought her to the brink of the democratic nomination. but here is an explanation: there's a lot of anger and fear out there, particularly among women. hillary is exploiting that anger and fear. that's what leaves people open to demagogues, but also to empty surfaces such as hillary where people can sort of project their fears and desires.
“If you want to imagine what Trump’s America would look like, picture more kids at risk of violence and bigotry,” Clinton said.
“Picture more anger and fear,” she added. “Ask any of the mothers here tonight if they want to live in that kind of America … Enough is enough.”
Clinton’s remarks were in direct response to Trump’s appearance at the NRA’s annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. The billionaire, once a proponent of stricter restrictions on firearms, countered skepticism among pro-gun voters by embracing open carry laws and calling for an end to gun-free zones in schools.
That idea, Clinton said, “isn’t just way out there. It’s dangerous.”
“This is someone running to be president of the United States of America, a country facing a gun violence epidemic, and he’s talking about more guns in our schools. He’s talking about more hatred and division in our streets, even about more nuclear weapons in the world. That’s no way to keep us safe.”
nathaniel rich has a several books by and about james baldwin in the may 12 nyrb. it's not the worst thing i've ever read, though rich is no baldwin. but it ends with this typical symptom of obsessive, delusional political partisanship, which runs like painful urination through the pages of the new york review of books, the new york times, the new yorker, and so on.
Baldwin’s novels and essays describe a nation suffering from a pain so profound that it cannot be discussed openly. This was not a pessimistic view; it was, rather, deeply optimistic. It suggested that most people, deep down, wanted to resolve the crisis—that they were not apathetic or, in Baldwin’s term, brutally indifferent. Today it can be difficult to preserve this optimism. Still there are strong indications that there is more pain than indifference. You can tell this by the general level of fear, which is, after all, the source of that pain. It has risen to the surface, often reaching the level of total panic, evident in the calls to “take our country back,” to “reignite the promise of America,” to “abolish the IRS,” to “restore America’s brand,” and the many other revanchist sentiments that dominate the political discourse. These messages do not ring of indifference. They are expressions of great terror.
now, rich echoes baldwin in insisting that white americans examine the bigotry in themselves and its effects on their own psyche. rich engages in no such self-reflection, but just goes for the autonomic trump-bashing. but truly, his approach is just bizarre. so, for example, 'abolish the irs' is supposed to be an obvious expression of great terror and racism. say what? i suppose the internal revenue service is an agency dedicated to ending the national nightmare of racism. only a racist would have misgivings about american tax policy. 'restore america's brand' is supposed to be something you'd only say if you were terrified, i guess? also i suppose that the most wicked insult rich has at his disposal is 'revanchist.' is there nothing people like you, nathaniel rich, will not try to turn to partisan account? and can you do it no better than that?
what baldwin - one of my heroes - would tell someone like nathaniel rich is to try to start peeling back his own racial attitudes before he starts hurling his inexplosive bombs. and i will say, as i have said before, that american leftism has been an extreme disaster for the black community. we are approximately as segregated now as we were in the 1950s. housing programs in particular, but the welfare state in general, has frozen a permanent racial underclass and destroyed black communities. democrats loved and prosecuted mass race incarceration until they pretended to see the light. that they've trapped black folks in this insane dilemma where they vote 90% democrat is unforgivable. and there is racism at the very heart of white liberalism, but it is 'unconscious': incredibly condescending, taking no account of the experience of the people whose conditions or selves it proposes to ameliorate, engaged in continual moral self-congratulation, which is what it is for.
also, just for the hell of it, hillary's campaign is already based entirely on fear, of the 'dangerous loose cannon', etc. of course, some fears are rational, so that accusing someone of operating politically on fear is not adequate to condemn their position. also 'make america great again' sounds strangely like hope, though not like my hope. and sheer hope isn't enough either; it depends on what you hope for.
the partisanship we see now - and i emphasize the left though it's certainly coming from both ends - is obsessive, manipulative, and delusional. baldwin would tell you that if he were still around, rich boy. the people who write in this mode for these publications are only writing for people who already agree with them, and the whole thing is an exercise in slapping one's own back, all day every day. also the people who already agree are the only people who could be expected to nod along with non sequiturs of this caliber: disliking the internal revenue service can only be an expression of racial terror. i hope your ass gets audited, son, and they end up coming for your paycheck.
talking only to people who agree with you leads to thinking of this quality, as heads bob up and down in unison. also it's liable to lead to some kind of partition in this country, or maybe a civil war if it keeps going like this. tell you what: let's see where race is after 8 years of hillary (admittedly, hillary getting elected is unlikely). just where we are now, i believe. or after 8 years of trump: also more or less just where we are now. engage in some self-reflection or leave james baldwin alone, son. you are not ready.
republican candidates had an argument that trump would never be the nominee: the voters are really smart; i have faith in the american people, etc. so i wonder whether these bozos are teachable? admittedly, the whole thing was the most boilerplatish pandering horseshit. but i pray they have lost the faith they never had. in fact, they believed that the american people are incredibly easily manipulated by emitting little catch-phrases, or engaging in diabolical yet idiotic strategic communications. the clintons are going the same way now: the american people are too good, too wise; i trust the american people. lord knows whether they've ever met any american people. but they sure do recite their little cliches mindlessly, which perhaps shows that they are themselves american people.
this thing where trump posed as his own publicist under an assumed identity, far from being a scandal, is hilarious and wonderful. so very often, each of us is posing as his own publicist under an assumed identity. that is what distinguishes us from bacteria, if indeed we can be distinguished from bacteria.
typepad doesn't seem to be letting me edit previous entries, so instead of adding at the end i'm writing new ones. i am not saying that hillary clinton, for example, has not faced sexism in a variety of ways. but the first thing to point out is that membership in any group is never univocal. hillary is not only a woman. she is a white heterosexual woman. perhaps you should look at her residences or itinerary or income. or perhaps you should consider that she will raise about $1.5 billion dollars, in large measure from her mega-rich patrons, clients, and friends. she is one of the most privileged human beings in the world, alright? and i would feel sorry for billions of the earth's peoples and take their claims to have been treated with prejudice and oppression much, much more seriously. or seriously.
and i'll add this. if you are a tenured professor at an r1 university, or a columnist at the guardian, you are a person of privilege, even if you are black or female. you're going to have to grapple with that fact. if you believe that hillary clinton is sub-altern in virtue of her gender, you are being very disingenuous or very foolish or both. i predict that hillary and/or her surrogates will be portraying her as a victim throughout the general election campaign. they ought to be ashamed.
i do think extreme lack of entertainment value has been a practically bad aspect of american political discourse for a long time, and i trace the real total boredom to the clinton era. bill was a good speaker and better than most at presenting the focus-grouped, consulted phraseology, but he is remembered way too enthusiastically. but he got us to the position where you go with whatever's polling, and say as little as possible, and always try to short-circuit your opponents by apparently absorbing their values or exceeding them, as in the crime bill (that'd be a good nickname).
but look, was it wrong that martin luther king or abraham lincoln was a spellbinding orator? was that important in motivating and persuading and moving people? alright compare that to al gore circa 2000: taking no positions, including nothing about climate. doing absolutely nothing but focus-grouped sentences. safety, strategy, extreme cowardice, no convictions that would actually motivate him to passion, unless passion was polling, then he'd simulate. so, is it bad for democracy when it is impossible to pay attention to what leaders are saying, or when that are not saying anything, yet saying the same thing over and over? apathy is the only possible and the only rational approach. think about pericles, or the way aristotle conceived rhetoric: as bound to truth as well as to persuasion.
i'm thanking don for bringing the personality, the definiteness, for taking chances, for speaking his own words, for not having a gaggle of mediocrities feeding him strategic advice. other people can do that too; sanders comes a lot closer to clinton to having some reality or belief or...anything at all.
i'm serious when i say this: if i were voting my pure self-interest, i'd have to vote for trump. the main stake i, like most americans, have in the presidential contest is that i will have to watch the winner on television, every day, for at least the next four years. i have no idea how donald or hillary's agendas would affect my bottom line or whatever, and actually i don't think hillary has any agenda at all, except 'you won't notice me doing anything.' that's because i don't think she has any beliefs except that she should aggrandize herself. but i sure will have to watch her yapping robotically, and i long ago had way too much of that.
people keep howling that politics has become mere entertainment. no, it has always been entertainment, in large measure. now shit does happen. someone might take you into a disastrous war, for example. but you can't really know that ahead of time unless they're screeching it, which is unlikely.
anyway, i am not down with trump's nationalism, with walls or muslim bans etc. not at all. but again, if i were actually to vote only on my self-interest, it's obviously trump. you too, i'm thinking, probably, though maybe not. it's just that msnbc, cnn, and fox will be 24-hour saharas if she's elected. i'll know what she's going to say about anything at any time before she says it: it will be the safe thing, the polled thing, the empty thing, the consulted thing. it'll be all manipulation all the time, yet it will be unbelievably repetitive, predictable, contentless: just as though she is an idiot.
what this theory of communication which everyone appears to share (that communication is manipulation or propaganda in every case) has led to politically is this: a completely incoherent set of political positions on which people seem to be unanimously agreed in their demographic. so, the whole left since marx has been dedicated to achieving egalitarianism through maximum inequality of power. marxism is the most extreme and insane version of this, but no egalitarian can consistently be a statist, bro. indeed, the whole american left will end up voting straightforwardly for oligarchy, motivated essentially by vilification and dehumanization of their opponents.
on the other hand, watch the thrashing about right now about who is really a 'conservative' etc. now, is right-wing foreign policy militarist or isolationist? trump will run 'to hillary's left' on military interventions, etc. that doesn't mean anything, because 'right' and 'left' don't mean anything. do right-wingers want minimal government, or do they want laws telling people what bathroom to use (next: laws telling them how to poop, etc)? no idea bro, because 'the right' makes no sense.
every day i watch and am just stunned that people are throwing around these terms (left, right, progressive, conservative, etc) when they obviously have no idea of what they mean whatsoever. they don't even notice. that's because they are not trying to say or advocate the truth, but only to form up groups against one another. nothing could be more obvious, all the damn time. that is some sad sad shit.
that's a quote, and i am still working sk's attack upon christendom.
a couple of people asked me, apropos of the entry below, whether i support trump. let me say this: that i do not support trump, think he's dangerous, etc, does not entail that i should believe that everything he says is false, monstrous, etc, or that i should pretend i do in order to help form up the like-minded, impress or comfort you with the fact that i belong to your group, etc. people actually believe that the only reason anyone would say anything is to achieve manipulation=solidarity or whatever. this is false, and all you need is a few cases where obviously the person would say anything to join their group together or make its members feel good about themselves or manipulate people into agreeing (='epistemic partisanship') to get to the point where that person ought to have been thoroughly discredited.
all i'm trying to do is say the truth, not lead or follow a movement, not work you emotionally to agree, not to congratulate myself or you because the people we oppose are so stupid. now, obviously that does not entail that what i say is actually true - not at all. but it ought to be the minimum standard of human credibility. i often feel that i am the very last american with any commitment along those lines whatever.
all day every day, people just flamboyantly parade the fact that they don't care about truth at all; they care about group membership, and that means they care about exclusion, destroying or discrediting their opponents. i don't see how people give rush limbaugh or timothy egan any credibility whatsoever, or krugman on politics or whatever. the obvious minimum standard for human cred is that you do try to speak the truth. now, the fact that such people may think of themselves as trying to do that, when it is false on its face, might be the saddest thing of all.
hillary clinton was born to get destroyed by trump, much like jeb bush. she has already focus-grouped her phraseology: right now it's 'risk' and 'loose cannon,' over and over again infinitely. someone on morning joe this morning said that her whole campaign will be based on fear, because 'women are more risk-averse.' then they'll get pissed when don says she's playing the 'woman card', when every single person in the universe knows that that's her basic strategy: above all, no one in politics should be permitted to say anything true.
meanwhile, donald just rolls through the improvisations, as in wv last night: (more or less) 'the bill clinton administration was a disaster. and she was involved in all of it. well, maybe not in absolutely everything. i hope not, anyway.' much laughter. man you don't even have to say anything; all you have to say is 'bill' and images of interns and cigars swim into the minds of americans.
while she mechanically parrots her strategic bullshit, he will roll her up and lob her casually into perdition. i don't think she can survive two weeks of trump, much less six months. it will be 100% woman card by the end, and she'll fuck that up too somehow, like that gloria steinem stuff.
hillary, the most privileged person in the world, will be whining all fall about being the victim of bullying...because women respond to that, according to her internal polling. if the way women are being portrayed now by everyone, and particularly the clinton campaign, is anything like true - fear and spoiled whining being the two major factors in their vision of the future - it really is a devastating indictment of the gender. i have a funny feeling that trump is going to do much better than expected with women, however, because actually i think most american women outside the highest classes of white women aren't really like that.
like i say, my very andrew-wyethy bit of rural pa is about 50% mexican. (i'd say 'latino', except it really seems to be almost all-mex). my favorite spot out here is tania's mexican restaurant (and jewelry), down near the big canning plants in aspers. when i moved out here four years ago, it was all-mexican in staff and clientele; it was hard to order if you didn't speak spanish. one time i saw some boys in a truck drive by, flying the rebel flag, honking the whole way and flipping the bird at the place in general. also it's kind of a community center.
but it has dawned on people. man it is good; you've never had good mole, i bet. some of the staff seems to have intermarried with the anglos, and there are babies. this evening, there were a couple of different groups of mennonites in there, and quakers i recognize from meetings. there was an asian dude, as well as a bunch of folks looking all-mayan.
i don't know how trump will really play out here; you do see signs and stickers. but if we know what's good for us, we'll roll down there and tear down any wall that may arise, for this area was dying - culturally and economically - before the influx. there are many abandoned old houses and stuff; a number are being rehabbed and inhabited by mexican families with small children. i think the whole situation is paradigmatically american, actually.
the prospect of a hillary-donald matchup in the fall is unbelievably depressing, and i must say that i still cannot reproduce in my mind the structure of motivation that gets someone to vote for hillary clinton. she's meaningless, is one problem. and contrary to some, i think trump will destroy her in a two-person general election. she's the only candidate who approaches his numbers for 'disliked,' and lord there is infinite twitter ammo.
at any rate, what i'd hope for now is a free-for-all that breaks the two-party system. that's definitely not impossible, and it's a wee bit hard to imagine reince preibus and john mccain coming around at this point after the trump takeover of the party. it would have to happen fast; it almost has to happen now; but it is not impossible that they'd use whatever machine they still control to run someone else: kasich or rubio, maybe. i hope that they've gotten realistic: trump is almost certain to be nominated at the convention on the first ballot, i think. they need to be meeting today to develop an alternative.
sanders is in burlington, reflecting, and what i hope he is reflecting on is that hillary clinton is in fact the very essence of what he most opposes: a straight representative of the oligarchy. she's as 'progressive' as the poll numbers at any given moment, and her words mean nothing about her policies. she serves the super-rich. so then i hope that he feels duty-bound to run as a third-party candidate.
and then i'd like to see rand paul look squarely at all four of the candidates and realize that they agree extremely on one thing: the state should control every aspect of everyone's life, and feel duty-bound as well. if the two-party system breaks, party loyalty this time is going to lose its value for the long haul. but if rand doesn't hop, i think in that situation gary johnson could do pretty damn well; he'd have my vote, for sure.
i'd love to see a situation in which timothy egan or hillary clinton or michael tomasky can't just mechanically vilify republicans all day with the broadest brush and call that a strategy, in which the hypersimplistic partisan identity of these people faces a complex situation. i'm telling you that if it sticks to two parties each spending all day talking to themselves about how insane and evil and stupid the other one is, we'll head toward a partition in this country. a more complex politics where you have to vilify in multiple directions simultaneously, confusing yourself, would be the only route to the kind of contentious unity that could hold a democracy together.
my next self-publishing project will be an anthology of american anti-authoritarian writings from the 17th through the 19th century. a number of fundamental texts here are far-too-little known and not widely enough available. many of them are quite unimaginably defiant. here is the toc, still subject to alteration:
Trial and Interrogation of Anne Hutchinson (1637)
Roger Williams, "A Plea for Religious Liberty" (1644)
John Woolman, "A Plea for the Poor, or a Word of Remembrance and Caution to the Rich" (1764)
Anti-Federalist Papers (1787)
Samuel Bryan, Centinel 1
Robert Yates, Brutus 3
Robert Yates, Brutus 6
James Madison, "The Virginia Resolutions" (1798)
Letter to Governor Harrison (1810)
Speech to the Osages (1812)
John Taylor of Caroline, "Authority" (1814)
David Walker, "Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World" (Preamble and Article 1, 1830)
Sarah Grimke, Letters on the Equality of the Sexes (selections, 1838)
William Lloyd Garrison, "Declaration of Sentiments Adopted by the Peace Convention" (1838)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nathaniel Peabody Rogers
"Reply to a Correspondent" (1846)
Josiah Warren, Equitable Commerce (1846)
Henry David Thoreau
"Civil Disobedience" (1849)
"Life Without Principle (1863)
Lucretia Mott, "The Laws in Relation to Women" (1853)
Frederick Douglass, "The Claims of the Negro Ethnologically Considered" (1854)
Angela Heywood, "Human Sex Power - Fleshed Realism"
i'm telling you this is a discovery: someone's going to have to convince me that a more important straight-to-e book has been published.
A great and almost unknown American writer from New Hampshire, Nathaniel Peabody Rogers (1794-1846) was the most radical American political voice of the antebellum period. He is also an undiscovered American Transcendentalist, at his best comparable to Emerson and Thoreau. Both men acknowledged Rogers' influence on them, and Thoreau published one of his first essays - collected here - on Rogers' work, recognizing his excellence as both a political and a nature writer. Anti-slavery drove all his thought, and as an abolitionist writer, only Frederick Douglass and Wendell Phillips are his rivals. Rogers was an anarchist, a pacifist, a feminist, an environmentalist, a religious heretic, an individualist, an anti-capitalist and an advocate of animal rights.
His writings are collected here for the first time since 1849, along with Thoreau's essay "Herald of Freedom" and other materials about Rogers and American radicalism of the early 19th century.
nathaniel rogers was an amazing radical and an amazing writer, and if you want to see someone in 1840 who speaks up for animal rights, against capital punishment, against slavery, against the state, for environmentalism as that came much later to be understood, for indian rights, and so on, and did so with extreme clarity, creativity and vigor, you've got to check this out. he was a decade emerson's senior, and he is a fundamental american transcendentalist.
definitely losing all respect for black people. if you keep acting like this, my unconscious racism will become more and more conscious. y'all aren't really voting for hillary clinton, are you? damn, some people just want to be oppressed. by mediocrities.
On Tom Petty's "Buried Treasure" XM Radio show, he told the story of standing with his tour manager outside a venue in Texas, where there was a creek behind the place, with shade trees and a den of beavers playing in the water. Seemed pretty arcadian, really, until one of the beavers saw the humans and charged up the hill at them. Petty asked the manager if he had his gun, the manager said yeah, (Petty's comment was something to the effect that "It was in Texas..." )and then Petty said, "Don't Beaver's have flat tails..." They were being blitzed by a big, angry rat...and Petty took the gun and shot the thing.
Well, I've tried to figure out what the hell Trump's evolving hair style really looks like, and it kind of makes him look like a blonde beaver with it's tail rolled up over his head. I realize that some of my jejune minded readers will immediately think about all the varieties of beaver, and I think that if you are a Republican, that's awful to think that way. Me, I'm a radical-liberal life-time Democrat except when Crispin actually convenes the Anarchist Party convention and we nominate Bill the Cat, so I'm at least open to consider alternatives.
So, I recommend that the Republican Party bow down and welcome it's new Beaverish Rodent-style Overlord, al la the great Kent Brockman...
As described by the Washington Post's Alexandra Petri: (Alexandra PetriFebruary 24 at 11:53 AM) with a neat graph!
"There are three GOP candidates left in the race who are not Trump — oh wait, no, apparently Ben Carson is still running? — and this chart pretends that there are only two non-Trumps remaining, but I think it’s still a handy illustration of the problem.
"If Candidate A and Candidate B are really in it to win it: congratulations, Nominee Donald!"
I will let Mr. Petty explain it for the some what slower amongst us...
the problem with my little next book project of trying to figure out how or why marxism keeps resurging in the high-end intellectual world, is that then you have to read the texts, and in general the last thing you want to do is read something written by a marxist. anyway, i'm still inching through horkheimer and adorno's dialectic of enlightenment. here's a nice bit from the 1944 preface:
The loyal son of modern civilization's fear of departing from the facts, which even in their perception are turned into cliches by the prevailing usages in science, business, and politics, is exactly the same as the fear of social deviation.
they are just flat telling you that they have overcome their fear of departing from the facts; a bold anti-bourgeois strike (by bourgeois people, mind). we are free of truth, which is an anachronistic bourgeois disaster. now we are free (from reality entirely)! they proceed to vividly demonstrate this freedom in the rest of the book.
of course every moment in adorno reeks of aesthetic snobbery; want 20 quick examples? let's skip it until pressed. like i really cannot actually understand how the structure is supposed to fit together or where the conclusions, or even the assumptions are coming from. the whole authorship is like some crazy self-devouring artifact.
i actually think the argument is this: capitalism has led to radio, jazz music, the hard-boiled detective story. if not for their false consciousness, the proletariat would be listening to schoenberg and shostakovich all day. i'll just say, when you come to free us, we'll be shooting back. i definitely like my chances against theodor & co. meanwhile, schoenberg and shostakovich are haut bourgeois darlings; the people at the concerts are the best-dressed people in paris; no proletarian ever went anywhere near that shit. i must be missing something? how did you get here?
sometimes things are just so depressing, like the re-rise of hillary. in my opinion, hillary clinton cannot beat donald trump, but then again, i keep thinking she's got to collapse any second. here it is perhaps my lack of empathy and understanding: i'm having trouble reconstructing the process of reasoning or emoting that would guide anyone to vote for her. the section of her nevada victory speech i liked the best was her passionate plea to end unlimited contributions, 'secret money' and so on in campaigns: it's like she's saying, just very directly right in your face: only deeper and deeper into the problem can fix it. it is truly like she's attacking or discrediting herself, pointedly: running against herself. or it is: 'i am what is wrong; if elected, my first priority will be destroying myself.' people applauded. wha?
but i started out to try to say something positive. here is a lovely headline:
people didn't seem to notice it, probably because it is literally impossible to pay attention to jeb bush whether he's talking or not, but he cannot formulate an english sentence. he'd usually garble up even the sentences he'd rehearsed 1000 times in front of a mirror (can you imagine what he saw? it was the wall behind him. it's like a cloak of invisibility as well as stupidity). he left us with this gift: 'i look forward to working you.'
i have often been amused by trump, often agreed with him even (say on the iraq war), and i'd like to express my gratitude to him for clearing out the pall of yipyap that has been american political discourse. alright. but all of that is overwhelmed, because he's quite capable of bringing the true nightmare. vote for him and you may in a couple of years be having to choose between the trump regime and the resistance. it will be a good moral test.
if hillary clinton had a relationship with god, she wouldn't be hillary clinton anymore. she's on a spiritual journey, alright, fleeing as quickly as possible, or maybe hidden in the bushes by the path somewhere, cowering.
one theme i'd like to pull out of the comments: you know, they fully enclosed jesse jackson, john lewis, and so on. but after that, people who were supposed to be 'black leaders', like julian bond, jesse jr, let's say marc morial, kwesi mfume just went back and forth from democratic party politics to the leadership of black organizations. they are not people who actually have much of any constituency in the black community, but they have a big constituency among democratic party leaders and donors. morial is appearing as a hillary surrogate as he serves as president of the urban league. now, i always had on board that these organizations were actually too moderate and compromising throughout, that they never really accomplished that much until driven forward by much more radical people. they almost had to be dragged. but, in hindsight, those early organizers and presidents (oh, dubois) were so fiercely independent, so suspicious of white control of their own organizations, so independent and representing their race as they saw it (well, the middle-class, light-skinned people of their race, was the criticism). what would they say if they saw 'black' organizations and black 'leaders' who were wholly owned subsidiaries of the clinton campaign=the democratic party=goldman sachs? what if they saw little else anywhere?
and, those are the only black voices democratic politicians are listening to, the ones they're stuffing into suits and setting up as mouthpieces. they are selected specifically to mirror this half-assed, dishonest white liberalism, and the actual concrete results in their own communities have amounted to a permanent disaster. (how many decades of miserable failure is it going to take for us all to draw the conclusions malcolm drew in 1953? one way he saw what was real was that he saw the situation from prison; that's the angle from which the truth is available, not from the veuve clicqot dinner with the board of citibank.) that i have to sit here imagining what marcus or malcolm or whomever would say about this is the saddest thing of all. they used to be there right in our faces. y'all surrendered; your leaders are white people, and they are racist white people, and you vote the way they say at approximately 90%. never too late to go all nat turner on their ass, though.
(sharpton is an interesting case, inside/outside with some legitimacy as a leader. it has gotten to where al sharpton is the most radical black voice most white people might ever hear. no wonder we're complacent. think about where he would have been on the spectrum of black leadership in 1967. cornel west is out there, and at least he knows this history. but i think he would like to be absorbed into the democratic party; he's more pissed that they won't, though to his credit he'd try to push them into something that would at least look vaguely egalitarian and would be connected with some passion to the actual radical civil rights tradition. ok i should be able to name twenty names to the more radical side of that. i've got none except some underground hip hop artists.)
every time trump says something apparently outrageous, or risks his candidacy again today, i've found that people will want to read it as a slick intentional strategy (or they want to read each one like that retrospectively, when it turns out to have helped trump). i just want to point this out: no political strategist in america would suggest attacking the second bush administration, saying george w didn't keep us safe at all because 9.11, saying the iraq war was an insane blunder driven by lies, and so on, in the week leading up to the republican primary in south carolina. nobody. nada. zippo. nary a one. not a soul. add to that that he's already leading in the polls; by acclamation it's a time to say as little as possible and not make a mistake. what he's realized is that people are really really sick of political strategists.
hillary clinton right now: 'i went to 112 countries as your secretary of state, including many places where dictators, or special interests, called the shots.' boy she was angry and passionate, arguing that obama should nominate a supreme right now, because this is a democracy, a beacon of hope in a benighted world. but some lessons you can learn without ever leaving home. and some people can mint brilliant ironies without even trying to, or while trying with all their vast ability not to. i'm voting for her because she's so much smarter than trump.
i utterly appreciate trump's attack on george w. if it's just the sort of thing you've always been saying - he lied us into a disastrous war and then the economy collapsed - you should too. the theory is that george w will play great in sc because it's so military. i don't know where military people might be now, but when i interacted during the war with high-ranking military people (colonel and above; because of dickinson's [spotty] interaction with the u.s. army war college), they'd just shake their head, roll their eyes, and often tell you straightforwardly that (though they viewed their jobs as carrying out the orders of the commander-in-chief) this was the worst idea anyone ever had, and just the sort of crappy shit the intelligence community does all the time, etc. i don't know how well george w is going to play as trump reminds everyone of the problems. a lot of military people came home maimed from that thing, and at the very best it accomplished absolutely nothing. you'd think that would alienate precisely military-type folks. don't let a flag confuse you; anyone can fly a flag.
oh just for the hell of it, while we're on the bush family: let's say i have some high-end sources who served in the reagan administration. two of them, in the late '80s, had a theory about the insane iran-contra debacle. the good thinking where they exchanged weapons for iranian hostages and then used the proceeds to illegally fund the contras (the other main source being a flood of cocaine that was waved through, helping drive the crack epidemic): it was a george h.w. bush operation (reminder: bush had run the cia). that had never occurred to me before. they just didn't think reagan could in any way generate a plan like that, even if he more or less waved it on or pointedly pretended not to see anything. they seemed pretty damn certain, like it just obviously had that distinctive bush touch, and they had channels...