Don’t let the Democratic Party Elite Triangulate the Resistance Against Donald Trump

In politics, triangulation is the strategy in which a political candidate presents their ideology as being above or between the left and right sides (or “wings”) of a traditional (e.g. American or British) democratic political spectrum. It involves adopting for oneself some of the ideas of one’s political opponent. The logic behind it is that it both takes credit for the opponent’s ideas, and insulates the triangulator from attacks on that particular issue.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulation_(politics)

As Robert De Niro demonstrated in his otherwise forgettable movie about CIA counter-intelligence chief James Jesus Angleton, the CIA is just like the mob, only with WASPs, and not Italians. Over the past seventy years, they have protected Nazi war criminals. They have overthrown democratically elected governments in Guatemala and Iran. They have funded a terrorist war in Central America by selling crack cocaine in South Central Los Angeles. They currently run a network of “black sites” all over the world where prisoners are routinely tortured. In 1956, they kidnapped Columbia professor Jesús Galíndez and turned him over to the Trujillo government in the Dominican Republic, where he was boiled alive and fed to the sharks.

galindez

The CIA will now save you from Donald Trump.

At least that’s what many liberal Democrats claim. Yesterday, and according to the NY Times based on a “swell of evidence,” the CIA issued a report claiming that it was none other than Vladimir Putin who was behind the hack of the email accounts of the DNC and Democratic Party fixer John Podesta. A chorus of Democratic Party politicians, liberal pundits, not so liberal pundits, and erstwhile liberal Democratic Party websites quickly drew what they believe to be the obvious conclusion. The DNC and John Podesta hacks cost Hillary Clinton the election. If confirmed by the Electoral College, Donald Trump will not only be an illegitimate President elect. The United States will, in effect, become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian Federation. The electors must, therefore, refuse to install Donald Trump in the White House this December 19, and replace him with either Hillary Clinton, or some acceptable “moderate” Republican like John Kasich.

My views about Donald Trump are no mystery. I think he’s a fascist and a white supremacist. Nevertheless, liberal Democrats have somehow managed to come up with something even worse, a coup by the “deep state” against the over two hundred year old precedent of the Electoral College voting the way the people of their states have instructed them. This is a very short term solution to a very long term problem. Even if Vladimir Putin was behind the hacks against the corrupt DNC and the cretinous John Podesta – a very big “if” if you ask me – there’s no compelling argument that it determined the outcome of the election. While there’s no shortage of racism and antisemitism in Russia and Eastern Europe, white Americans don’t need Russians to teach them how to hate immigrants and Muslims. To blame the rise of Donald Trump on Vladimir Putin is a cop out at best. A President Donald J. Trump is the inevitable outcome of a long, and mostly unresolved, history of American white supremacy.

Do most Democrats actually believe that a report by the CIA will persuade the members of the Electoral College to replace Donald Trump will Hillary Clinton or John Kasich? We’ll find out on December 19, but I would argue no. If a coup led by the CIA blocks Trump from entering the White House, it won’t stop there. It will also require massive repression by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security against his supporters, who have been stockpiling weapons for years. It will mean a Second American Civil War, not to end slavery, but to consolidate the power of the federal government behind the Clinton family. I doubt most liberals have the stomach for that.

Instead, what I think the Democratic Party is trying to do is to “triangulate” resistance to the coming Trump Administration, to repeat the unlikely feat they pulled off during the middle-2000s, where they somehow managed to neuter and co-opt the resistance to the Bush/Cheney regime and funnel it into the campaign of the neoliberal Barack Obama. Indeed, the Democratic Party elite and the corporate media elite fear a mass popular uprising – the only way to remove Trump from office without provoking a civil war – almost as much as the Republican Party does. By framing the resistance to a President Trump as part of a jingoistic campaign against Russia and Vladimir Putin, the American ruling class gets to have its cake (Trump) and eat it too. They get to restrict Trump to the domestic arena, where he can privatize Social Security and eliminate Medicaid, and continue the bipartisan militarist consensus abroad. Their thugs and enforcers in the form of the CIA are, in effect, telling Trump to “keep off the grass.”

Will rank and file liberal Democrats go along with it? Sadly, I fear many of them will. As we saw during the Democratic primaries, the American working class is far too divided between white and black, between male and female, between native and immigrant, even to unite behind a moderate social democratic like Bernie Sanders. Yet there are also a few glimmerings of hope. The Standing Rock demonstrations scored an unlikely victory against the fossil fuel industry. The millennial generation, now mostly in their twenties and thirties, is more favorable to the idea of socialism than any other generation in American history. Whatever the Electoral College decides on December 19, both the Democratic and Republican Party elites have been exposed as corrupt and undemocratic, and neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton can command the loyalty of a clear majority of the American people. Our government and our ruling class stand in front of us naked. The emperor has no clothes. What will we do?

A Quick Comment On My Heavily Pro-Clinton town in New Jersey

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According to nj.com my town of Roselle, NJ  is probably among the most pro-Clinton places in all of America.

Roselle, a suburb of Elizabeth, is heavily African American and Hispanic, but it still has a lot of white people, 6,240 to be precise, and less than 15% voted for Trump. It’s easy to understand why. Many of them are elderly people, and are probably terrified that Trump will gut Social Security and Medicaid.

According to Wikipedia, the racial makeup of the borough was 29.59% (6,240) White, 55.06% (11,610) Black or African American, 0.31% (65) Native American, 2.23% (471) Asian, 0.02% (5) Pacific Islander, 9.63% (2,030) from other races, and 3.15% (664) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 26.77% (5,644) of the population.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roselle,_New_Jersey

So Roselle, NJ is a Clinton success story, right?

Not exactly. Also according to Wikipedia, as of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 11,743 registered voters in Roselle. Of those 11, 743, only 8,212 people voted. That means that 3,531 did not. The population of the town as a whole in 2010 was 21,085. That means about 9,342 people aren’t registered. How many of those 9,342 people are children or new immigrants who have not yet become citizens? I don’t know. But still, it seems as if in one of the most anti-Trump, pro-Clinton towns in America, a lot of people just stayed home. I doubt there was much voter suppression. I’ve never been asked for Photo ID and I’ve never had to wait in line.

Note: Who were those 904 people who voted for Trump? Your guess is as good as mine. The guy on the next block with a Confederate flag bumper sticker on his pickup truck — occasionally I think about keying it but it’s such a dilapidated piece of junk I doubt he’d notice — also has a Gary Johnson sign on his front lawn. So not even him.

American Identity Politics: American Exceptionalism

henwood

When veteran democratic socialist Doug Henwood chose the cover for his new book Her Turn, he almost certainly hoped to generate controversy. Even though the cartoon of Hillary Clinton aiming a pistol at the prospective reader had been designed by a woman, the unexpectedly strong showing of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has put supporters of of the former Secretary of State on guard. Similar to the way Woody Allen heard “Jew” every time someone said “you” in his classic film Annie Hall, Clinton’s supporters see sexism everywhere.

One of Henwood’s, and Sander’s, most vociferous critics has been Salon writer Amanda Marcotte, a radical feminist and former supporter of North Carolina Senator John Edwards. Well aware of his excellent record on gay rights and reproductive rights, Marcotte, and other Clinton supporters, have attempted to shift the charge of sexism from Sanders himself to his supporters, especially those on social media. Henwood proved to be a convenient target.

The Clintonite charge against the Sanders campaign goes beyond the argument that some of his supporters, like Henwood, might have a bit of a blind spot on gender issues. Some of Clinton’s supporters have made accusations that Sander’s supporters, like Gamergate, have engaged in a systematic campaign of harassment of women on social media. The very strange little anti-Gamergate activist Arthur Chu has even preemptively accused them of a racist backlash against Clinton’s victory.

chu

Female heads of state are nothing very new. Conservative, Catholic Poland has had two. The current Chancellor of Germany, probably the third or fourth most powerful country in the world, is a woman. Dilma Rousseff, the President of Brazil, probably the fifth or sixth most powerful country in the world, is also woman, as are the Presidents of Chile and Argentina. Nuclear powers Israel, Pakistan, India, and the United Kingdom have all have female heads of state. What’s more, every single time a woman has risen to become head of a major power like Germany or the United Kingdom, she has acted pretty much the way a man would have acted. Angela Merkel has governed as a conservative. Michele Bachelet has governed as a moderate social democrat. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari of Nepal will probably govern as a communist. The idea that even the most sexist man has anything to fear from a female head of state is a bit far-fetched. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has been the President of Argentina for years. As far as I know, it’s still a Catholic country where you can’t get a legal abortion. Nevertheless, it never seems to occur to Amanda Marcotte that Doug Henwood would object to Hillary Clinton’s neoliberal politics, or long-time ties to Walmart. For Marcotte, it’s all about the “fear of female power.”

For Amanda Marcotte and Arthur Chu, there doesn’t seem to be any difference between a female head of state and “female power.” Margaret Thatcher did more to harm women than a male Prime Minister from the Labor Party would have done in her place. The fact that President George W. Bush was a white male, like me, did nothing to empower white males like me. Quite the contrary, he took away my freedom and civil liberties, spent my tax money on a useless war in Iraq, and tarred all Americans as torturers and mass murderers. Amanda Marcotte, in other words, is not a liberal, or even a feminist. Like the conservatives who voted for George W. Bush because he was “the kind of guy you’d like to have a beer with,” she cares more about identity politics than principles. Marcotte doesn’t care about “female power.” She cares about seeing someone who looks like her in the White House. It might, in fact, even be flattering Marcotte to accuse her of identity politics. A better term might be “narcissism.”

Even calling Marcotte a “narcissist,” however, might be letting her off a little too easy. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has helped enable the destruction of Libya. She has invoked the oppression of women to justify the ongoing American occupation of Afghanistan. She is not only a consistent supporter of apartheid in Israel, she has followed the lead of the Israel Lobby against Barack Obama’s attempt to negotiate a peace treaty with Iran. Perhaps it would be best to label Amanda Marcotte, or any other Clinton supporter, as “just another warmonger and imperialist.”

I do not know if Amanda Marcotte is a racist. As someone who’s been unjustly accused of anti-Semitism and racism myself, I don’t throw that kind of accusation around lightly. Nevertheless, the shockingly pro-imperialist cover of Marcotte’s book “It’s a Jungle Out there” doesn’t speak well of her politics. The cover of Doug Henwood’s book may or may not be sexist, but Henwood chose it as a provocation, as a way to sell books. In other words, he was conscious of the effect it would have on thin-skinned feminists like Marcotte. Marcotte, on the other hand, as well as her publisher, were taken by surprise at the reaction to their, now withdrawn, image of a white woman leading the struggle for the “white man’s burden” in deepest, darkest Africa.

marcotte

Bernie Sanders has a questionable record on militarism. While he did vote against the invasion of Iraq, as well as the Patriot Act, he is largely silent on the apartheid regime in Israel. He voted for the war in Afghanistan as well as for the ludicrously overpriced F35 fighter jet. I could understand why a socialist or anti-imperialist would be reluctant to support his campaign. At best, he’ll probably maintain the status quo of the Obama years. Hillary Clinton however, would be much worse, not only because of her well-established ties to the Israel Lobby, and her belligerent hostility to the people of Iran, but because, even more than Sanders or Obama, she can push for war under the banner of women’s rights. Whether it’s preached by George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton, the idea that the United States is a peculiar force for good in the world has been proven false. George W. Bush’s attempts to justify the destruction of Iraq with the idea that “we” were bringing the Iraqis freedom and democracy rang hollow, even before Hillary Clinton voted “yes” on H.J. Res.114, the joint resolution for the authorization for use of military force against Iraq. Hillary Clinton’s arguments that “we” are keeping troops in Afghanistan to protect women’s rights ring just as hollow. Even if it is dressed up as “feminism,” American Exceptionalism is still American Exceptionalism.

Let’s reject it.

Why I won’t be voting for Hillary Clinton (Even against Donald Trump)

doyle

I voted for Barack Obama twice. I won’t say I regret it. The alternative in 2008 and 2012 was much worse. I also think he has been a failure as President.

While even in 2008 I realized that Obama was a lightweight plucked out of obscurity by the neoliberal elites to be their compliant puppet, I also thought he might grow in office. After all, in 1964, The Beatles were an over-hyped boy band. By 1968, they had changed the face of popular music forever. A vote for the Senator from Illinois was a vote against George W. Bush. Cool, smooth, secular, and above all African American, he seemed the opposite of the belligerent, neoconservative frat boy who had run the country into a ditch after 9/11. The Clinton campaign’s attempt to smear him by association with Jeremiah Wright only increased his appeal. It let me believe that underneath the bland neoliberal surface he might have been a secret radical.

Barack Obama has been popular in the African American community similar to the way Pope John Paul II was popular in the Polish American community. He’s one of their own. Obama is also popular among elite, white, Ivy League neoliberals. As a center-right corporate Democrat who has been subjected to ludicrous, conspiratorial attacks from the racist far-right, he lets Wall Street have its cake and eat it too. Criticism of Obama’s militarist foreign policy, draconian crackdown on dissidents and whistle blowers, and failure to investigate the criminal bankers and speculators responsible for the financial crisis of 2008 can be painted as racism, conspiracy theory, and right-wing extremism. Like Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama has been a charismatic, and effective spokesman for the American ruling-class.

Barack Obama is not the traitor the Tea Party says he is, but he’s no Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt. He’s not a patriot who loves his country. He is an upwardly mobile professional who loves his class. Obama has not governed in the interests of all Americans. He has governed in the interests of other upwardly mobile professionals. If you’re part of the upper-middle-class or above, you’ve done very well over the past 8 years. If you’re not, the financial crisis of 2008, and the “great recession,” still casts a shadow over your life. That has set black against white, women against men, native born Americans against immigrants, and just about everybody against Muslims.

Hillary Clinton is Barack Obama with the mask ripped off, Benedict XVI to his John Paul II, George H.W. Bush to his Ronald Reagan. Obama did not deliberately set out to divide Americans against one another. The Republicans and the Tea Party did that for him. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, like Donald Trump, sees the breakdown of a united American identity as a business opportunity. In her campaign against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – a genuine patriot who wants to unite Americans of all races and religions against the 1% – we see the class politics of the Obama administration made explicit, an alliance of upper-middle-class white professionals, black professionals, and working-class blacks – who will be stabbed in the back shortly after she takes the oath of office – against working-class white men. Donald Trump’s crude appeals to xenophobia and racism need little or no comment. Hillary Clinton’s superficially liberal, but profoundly divisive, feminism and political correctness are probably just as dangerous.

Operator’s Manual for Hillary Clinton PotUS Unit, Mark II: An Excerpt

A Note: All those wishing to write letters to Robotical Presidential, Inc. complaining that people are always judging Hillary Clinton’s appearance because she’s a woman, be aware that the purpose of this excerpt is to demonstrate and assess her operational realism solely in her capacity as a politician. That even those lovely jowls on Chris Christie don’t make him look as much like a bunraku puppet as Hillary Clinton is not a reflection of either of their looks, but rather a reflection of Clinton’s exceedingly well-programmed politician expressions and cutting-edge artificial intelligence providing her with the general cognizance not to become too emotional in public. Conversely, Christie’s psychotic tirades make it apparent that he is exceedingly human. Thirty-five years ago, this would’ve been an Operator’s Manual for a Ronald Reagan PotUS Unit (also Mark II, incidentally).

8. Uncanny Valley and Your Clinton Unit

When operating your Hillary Clinton PotUS Unit Mk. II robot, it is important to note that Clinton-bot’s various modes are accompanied by expressions that convey varying levels of realism. The more emotional or otherwise-stirred-up a crowd is, the more susceptible they are to comments delivered in spite of robotic expressions, audible distortion, or visible discharge of mechanical fluids.

Boot System Malfunction: Please note that Hillary Clinton PotUS Unit Mk. II bots still contain a minor design flaw of the prior Hillary Clinton PotUS Unit Mk. I and Senatorial Unit bots. If, when booting up your Hillary Clinton PotUS Unit Mk. II, you engage the activation mechanism too quickly, Clinton-bot’s enthusiasm circuits will receive excess stimulation. You can most quickly identify issues of this sort should you be greeted after turning on your Clinton-bot with an expression not dissimilar to this:

Should your Clinton-bot begin acting erratically–eschewing pantsuits, talking about Barry Goldwater, or reminding you that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican–consult your nearest shotgun in order to engage the “active shutdown” method. By no means should your Clinton-bot be used as a sex-bot, although your Clinton-bot doesn’t really mind if you use a proper sex-bot as a sex-bot in the next room while your Mk. II is activated.

Folksy Back-Home Type: Though not a distinct mode with its own unique library of expressions as it was on our renowned Palin-bots, Clinton-bot’s shameless adoption of her “true” accent when campaigning the South demonstrated to us that this feature was an important-enough element of the PotUS Unit Mk. I to justify bringing back in our Mk. II units.

Now we can get on to the modes proper.

Enough is Enough mode: With all the authenticity of a Turkey Italiano Melt from Subway, your Clinton-bot will fiercely scorn her most threatening adversaries with complaints about disingenuity and the vagueness of policy proposals slightly less vague than Clinton-bot’s own. Though Clinton-bot’s policy parameters can be updated with the most recent polling from Pew Research, we recommend avoiding the “policy” elements of Clinton-bot’s functionality.

Advantages: Clinton bot es un robot muy fiable y puede hacer muchas cosas excelentes . Para obtener instrucciones en francés, por favor refiérase a la sección 17.3 en el manual “G”, que se encuentra en el tercer disco en el segundo aglutinante de instrucción proporcionada con el bot Clinton.

Disadvantages: Watch in horror as Clinton-bot cries “Shame on you!” for reasons you could never quite grasp at black politicians threatening her foretold ascension to the Presidency. Clinton-bot’s movements in this mode appear cold and mechanical, so it should be used when there is a podium for cover. Clinton-bot has been known to engage fins not unlike a Dilophosaurus before similarly shooting acid at observers when highly-agitated while in this mode.

Capitalization Mode: Clinton-bot takes advantage of ham-handed opposition attempts to impugn her integrity, causing area-of-effect Democratic victories in off-year elections. 

Advantages: In addition to the area-of-effect, Republicans fail to notice actual shortcomings by Clinton-bot for another three turns (this effect is stackable). Mana pool is fully restored immediately, Clinton-bot takes a turn in place of her next opponent’s turn. 91-98% chance of supporter applause and subsequent statistical buffs.

Disadvantages: Republicans still hate Clinton-bot for imagined and outright-slanderous reasons. Media continues airing their grievances with minimal accountability.

Hell Hath No Hillary Like a Hillary Scorned: The most-realistic and possibly even the only outright-genuine of Clinton-bot’s expressions. Denoted on the graph by red, the color of passion and of hatred. Best summarized by the quote “He’s a hard dog to keep on the porch.”

Advantages: Victim sympathy from the left.

Disadvantages: Victim-blaming from the right. Also that acid-spitting thing from earlier.

I must say, in reading this manual excerpt combined with other reviews I’ve seen for the Mk. II Clinton-bot, I feel that it seems Robotical Presidential, Inc. has fallen into the same bad habits of other technology companies, purveying new, cyclical editions of items that are of little improvement upon their predecessors and are even less durable. Additionally, this new and “improved” Clinton-bot’s much-touted “Capitalization” feature was used to poor effect in the latest Democratic debate when she invoked Nine Eleven to defend her ties to Wall Street. I was thinking I’d hang on to my Obama v1.1 (the more resigned 2012 upgrade; poor Bo didn’t get his own second version outright for the re-election), but as it is, an old, balding politicobot with rusted circuits has gone rogue in my home and taken up residence in the downstairs guest room. I’m not quite sure what his angle is, but he keeps hollering on and on about how we already live in a socialist country and demanding I stop trying to plug things into him and instead give him some food.