[Marxism] Hillary Battles Bernie Sanders, Chick Magnet
wytheholt at cox.net
wytheholt at cox.net
Sun Feb 7 15:13:39 MST 2016
With all respect, Louis, I do not think that Bernie Sanders has "a narrow message." That is modern code for an emphasis on class over race, gender, age, etc.
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(I'll be voting Green but I loved this op-ed piece.)
NY Times Op-Ed, Feb. 7 2016
Hillary Battles Bernie Sanders, Chick Magnet
by Maureen Dowd
MANCHESTER, N.H. — HILLARY CLINTON first grabbed the national spotlight
47 years ago as an idealistic young feminist, chiding the paternalistic
establishment in her Wellesley commencement speech.
So it’s passing strange to watch her here, getting rebuffed by young
women who believe that she lacks idealism, that she overplays her
feminist hand and that she is the paternalistic establishment.
Bernie Sanders may be a dead ringer for Larry David, but Hillary is
running the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” campaign. She can’t fire up young
voters by dwelling on what can’t be done in Washington and by explaining
that she’s more prose than poetry.
She’s traveling around New Hampshire with a former president who could
easily layer in some poetry, and a handful of specific snappy plans for
the future, to her thicket of substance and stack of white papers. But
somehow, Hill and Bill campaign side by side without achieving synergy.
Is it that he’s as tired as he looks or does she feel too competitive
with him to ask for that kind of help?
As one Hillary booster in Hollywood marveled: “There’s no chance her
husband doesn’t understand the problem. The look on his face during her
speeches evokes a retired major league All Star watching his son strike
out in a Little League game. This is so fixable.”
Hillary is like a veteran actor who doesn’t audition well. Bill could
tell her not to shout her way through rallies, that it doesn’t convey
passion but just seems forced, adding to her authenticity problem. Her
allies think mentioning her shouting is sexist, and sexism does swirl
around Hillary, but her campaign cries sexism too often. In 2008, Barack
Obama used race sparingly.
Even after all this time watching Bill and Barry, she still has not
learned the art of seduction on stage. She’s surrounded by former Obama
and Bill Clinton strategists, but they are not helping her achieve “the
goose bump experience,” as Lily Tomlin called it. Hillary has ceded the
inspirational lane to the slick Marco Rubio, who’s more like the new
John Edwards than the new Obama.
In the MSNBC debate on Thursday night, Hillary huffily said she could
not be an exemplar of the establishment, as Sanders suggested, because
she’s “a woman running to be the first woman president.”
But she is establishment. So is Nancy Pelosi. So was Eleanor Roosevelt.
Hillary must learn to embrace that and make it work for her, not deny
it. As a woman, as a former first lady, senator and secretary of state,
she’s uniquely equipped to deliver a big, inspiring message with a
showstopping speech that goes beyond income inequality, that sweeps up
broader themes of intolerance, fusing the economic, cultural and
international issues at stake.
She could, as one talented political speechwriter riffed, say something
like this: “We’re a stronger country when more people have higher
incomes; when women get paid the same as men; when we draw on the
diverse talents of immigrants; when we show the world that America is a
place that embraces all religions, that offers refuge to the persecuted
and the terrorized. When a few old rich white men are the only ones who
succeed, that’s not just unfair, it’s untenable.”
Hillary’s most poignant moment came during the CNN town hall on
Wednesday night when she said that, as a young woman, she had never
expected to run for president herself, given that her husband was “a
natural.” It was her misfortune in 2008 to run into another natural. She
was not “likable enough” that year.
But it was at least fathomable. She was running against the Tulip Craze
Barack Obama. Now she’s running against a grumpy gramps, a stooped
socialist with a narrow message, brusque manner and shaky grasp of world
affairs. But the Clintons are still leveling the same charges, that her
opponent’s stances are fairy tales and that his idealism masks tough
And she’s still not likable enough for the young women who were supposed
to carry her forward as a Joan of Arc. According to an NBC News/Wall
Street Journal/Marist poll, Sanders won among young men and women in
Iowa by 70 points. And in New Hampshire, going into the weekend, polls
showed him leading with women, racking up yawning margins with women
under 45 and with both sexes under 30.
Lyndon Johnson said that the two things that make politicians more
stupid than anything else are sex and envy. With Hillary, there are
three things: sex, money and the need for secrecy.
She was in on sliming her husband’s ex-girlfriends who told the truth
about liaisons. She has long been driven by a fear of being “dead
broke,” as she put it — and a conviction that she deserved the life and
perks she would have had if she had gone into the private sector. That
led her to do her suspiciously lucrative commodity trades while Bill was
Arkansas attorney general and to make Wall Street speeches on the cusp
of her 2016 campaign, even though she and Bill had already made more
than $139 million between 2007 and 2014.
The Nixonian obsession with secrecy by the woman who was once an
idealistic lawyer on the Watergate committee staff — on Whitewater,
health care and her State Department emails — caused her to
unnecessarily damage herself and leave Democrats perennially spooked.
While she was giving three speeches to Goldman Sachs for $675,000, her
party was changing. As the economy slowly healed, Democrats were
seething with anger over the big banks that never got punished for
wrecking the economy and the reckless billionaires who are still living
large. A tone-deaf Hillary was there sucking at the teat and that rubs
people the wrong way.
Sanders noted in Thursday’s debate that Hillary’s “super PAC” had raised
$15 million in the last quarter from Wall Street. The Wall Street
Journal calculates that since the Clintons first entered national
politics in the early ’90s, Wall Street has given more than $100 million
to their campaigns, foundation and personal finances.
When Anderson Cooper asked why Hillary had taken the obscene Goldman
Sachs windfall, she gave a stupefyingly bad answer to a predictable
question. “Well, I don’t know,” she said, throwing up her hands and
shrugging. “That’s what they offered.” She was reluctant to release the
texts of her “Don’t worry, I’m one of you” speeches.
As with the Chappaqua email server, Hillary is not sorry she did it.
She’s only sorry people are making a fuss about it.
Typical of the Clintons, she tried to drag in others to excuse her own
ethically lax behavior, noting that “every secretary of state that I
know has done that.” After the Monica scandal broke, Clinton aides cited
Thomas Jefferson, F.D.R. and J.F.K. to justify Bill’s Oval Office cavorting.
But the other secretaries of state were not running for office, Cooper
“To be honest I wasn’t — I wasn’t committed to running,” Hillary said.
It’s that sort of disingenuous answer that has spurred so many Democrats
to turn to the straight-shooting, Wall Street-bashing Sanders.
When Hillary accused Sanders during the debate of doing an “artful
smear” on her, charging him with insinuating that she engaged in
pay-for-play with Wall Street, drug companies and other special
interests, some Republicans predicted that the moment would go down as a
Gary Hart-style challenge that would come back to haunt her.
They said that surely Matt Rhoades, the Hillary oppo-research expert at
America Rising, must already be plotting ads slamming the disturbing
cat’s cradle of foreign money that came into the Clinton Foundation
while Hillary was at State, and the unseemly tentacles of Teneo, the
global firm run by Bill Clinton’s former body man, Doug Band, where Huma
Abedin, Hillary’s closest aide, worked while she was at State.
Sanders’s populist surge — he raised $20 million last month, $5 million
more than Hillary — has led some top Democrats to wonder if President
Obama will have to step in and endorse her.
Wouldn’t that be rich? The Wellesley idealist-turned-realist needs the
Chicago idealist-turned-realist who beat her last time to save her from
the Vermont idealist clinging to a simple reality: Wall Street fleeced
America and none of the big shots got punished.
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