Psst. Hillary. Labour defeats capital, again, this Saturday

CorbynWinningVoting in Labour’s second leadership election in a year today closed, with a massive turnout nearly 50% higher than last year, despite persistent, repeated, concerted efforts to purge new members. On Saturday, the result will be announced at conference in Liverpool. All expect Jeremy Corbyn to crush the pointless Blairite challenger Owen Smith by an even bigger margin than the 59% Corbyn won last time. A Quixotic, opportunistic, post-Brexit temper tantrum from the tools of capital, summer 2016’s New Labour Blairite coup never had a chance.

The coup attempt has a shining silver lining – Labour is now the most battle tested it has ever been, with a brand new, younger membership so huge it is now the largest political party in the history of Western Europe. Corbyn’s Labour is today a muscled out Jaguar, Rolls Royce, pick your favorite British made car, with nitrous oxide turbo boosters.

Spitting in the face of this movement, rumors of New Labour dead enders splitting off continued all summer. The parliamentary Labour Party, the PLP (members in parliament) made pathetic noises about somehow detaching themselves from Corbyn’s Labour by forming their own faction from Parliament, suing to keep Labour’s assets, all manner of nonsense. That didn’t last.

Reasonably, members began wondering aloud how to remove these recalcitrant coup plotters in Parliament if they cannot accept a democratic decision of membership for a second time. In America, we call this a primary challenge. In Britain, this is called “deselection”, local members meeting to choose a different candidate to stand in their parliamentary constituency. Every MP in Labour knows that if the gargantuan size of this new membership mobilized to deselect them, they can kiss all those Westminster perks goodbye, and like the rest of us, start looking for a new job that pays them to talk all day in the neoliberal hellscape their policies created. Sort of concentrates the mind.

labourleadsthewaylordsLabour is now the strongest fist worldwide punching up at the scourge of Third Way, Clinton DLC, Reagan Thatcher “There is no alternative” free market purist neoliberalism. Is Hillary Clinton listening? In America, Donald Trump has captured this sentiment with racism. No longer immunized against 1930’s style nationalism by the long dead New Deal (which Bill Clinton with his own pen himself dismantled most), America is falling victim to the predictable rise of hate that persistent economic decline at the hands of capitalism always produces. Blaming the problems on the brown people doesn’t mean there aren’t problems. It means average Americans are on the hunt for a scapegoat responsible for the end of the American Dream, and through Trump, they’ve been given the oldest scapegoat in human history.

It’s understandable that Hillary is so obviously reluctant to attack the failed neoliberal legacy her own husband created. However, tectonic plates worldwide are rolling over that legacy, right now, and in Liverpool next week, Labour will take its place standing atop that shift, ready to fight. Blairites will either cry uncle, finally (hint!), or put themselves in the crosshairs of this movement merely to be crushed a third time.

Hillary can either join Labour, capture that same movement stateside, or prattle on in irrelevance, watching powerlessly as Donald Trump, like every ugly dictator before him, scapegoats his way into the White House. She should seize this moment. This movement.

No Comments

How Hillary Clinton loses Ohio

When news broke that Hillary Clinton left the door to America’s internet wide open in her basement server, my Tweet was…

Two months out, with Russian hackers having spent 7 years burrowing like termites from Chappaqua into every crevace of the DNC, Donald Trump’s about to win Ohio. The Ohio Democratic Party’s last statewide candidate foisted onto us whether we wanted him or not also flouted the law, lied about it, got caught, and lied some more during the campaign; Ed FitzGerald, who got 34% running for governor in 2014 after being found to not have a driver’s license for 10 years. Hillary is tied with a stinking racist at 43% in Ohio, and heading downward toward Fitzy’s glory. Ohio voters don’t like candidates who get off scot free for something average folks would be tossed into jail for. Who knew.

"sure beats a blow job, Bill"

“sure beats a blow job, Bill”

Ted Strickland’s US Senate campaign against Rob Portman is a Ford Pinto held together with duct tape leaking oil. Poor Ted. When Ted was governor, Ohio Democrats barely put up with what we all called “the best Republican governor Ohio ever had”. Now, what’s even the point? Visibly old and tired, Ted’s barely making it across the finish line, with a voting record reliably in the pocket of the NRA, a legacy of prostrating Ohio’s budget before the market gods seizing every inch of public space. Now Ted reaps what he’s sewn, with the added insult of Hillary Clinton dragging him down just as Lee Fisher’s pathetic (just as rigged) US Senate attempt dragged Ted down in 2010, giving us John Kasich. Karma. Shoulda kept the downstate good ol’ boy preacher act on the farm this time, Ted; all them hillbillies votin’ for Trump, dawg. Ohio Democrats have had quite enough of triangulation.

All this stench is piled atop an ODP racket so corrupt for so many decades it’s incapable of mounting the most basic get out the vote campaign at the grassroots in 2016. Chris Redfern’s farcical departure as chair after the FitzGerald comedy, gave us not one, not two, but three attempts at keeping the game rigged, landing ODP on David Pepper, son of a Proctor & Gamble billionaire. Pay dirt, literally. No one is going to volunteer for a rigged game benefiting a 20 year hustle just this side of a RICO case, just as they wouldn’t for Al Gore after being made fools of in defense of a blow job.

CorbynWinningThe energy on the left is organizing not to assist but to destroy that hustle, as the Lakewood Democratic Club learned when the revolution descended upon them in force last month. Lakewood Dems robotically repeated the exact same machinations of capital displayed by this summer’s coup mounting Blairites rejecting this same movement electing Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Labour party by a landslide in 2015. Moving the goalposts, trying to outrun a flood of new members with rigged votes, refusing new members’ right to vote for leader, heading to court to do so, spitting in the face of a movement ready to spit back. Corbyn will repeat that mandate September 24 at Labour conference in Liverpool, likely with an even bigger margin. Capital is on transatlantic notice; we ain’t buyin’ it anymore.

Ohio in fall 2016 is, as the saying goes, “woke AF”. After the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and now the Bernie Sanders campaign for president, Ohio is boiling with revolution from the bottom up in all 88 counties. In 2000, for Al Gore, Democrats were expected to get up, brush themselves off, and start right over again after defending Bill Clinton’s blow job for 3 solid years. Al Gore was out of the state by Halloween. Another Clinton whose stupidity and arrogance we must defend? Who will then give us yet another Goldman Sachs Secretary of the Treasury? As out of touch as a red rightward pointing arrow in the H logo. They’re completely clueless.

What can she do? Water’s already under one bridge, unfortunately. She should have mea culpa’d her way around the server issue in March, 2015. Hand over the server immediately, beg forgiveness. Instead, she parroted her husband’s “What blow job?” for a year, which worked just as well.

Leaked photo of Bill Clinton "helping cure AIDS in Africa"

Leaked photo of Bill Clinton “helping cure AIDS in Africa”

Another missed opportunity – Hillary could have used her convention to cut ties with her Citizens United funding model, and promise to rely only on individual donations, like Bernie Sanders. Is there time yet for that change? Perhaps a moment in the first debate where Hillary responds to Trump’s inevitable attack on the Clinton Foundation by making a spectacular funding U-turn on national TV could save her.

Alas, these are the Clintons we are talking about. Their political radar long ago stopped working, left somewhere at the bottom of Harold Ford Jr.’s punch bowl in the Hamptons. With Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 10-15% statewide, turnout going ever downward, a Democratic base that would rather watch the Browns lose by 30 on a Sunday than knock on a single door with that stupid H-logo on their chest, Ohio is Trump country.

HillaryLogoNewYorkerAmerica survived many stinking racist presidents, some of whom turned out to be pretty good presidents despite their bigotry. When Trump said in the first Fox News August 2015 debate “she came to my wedding because I paid her, she had no choice,” this die was cast. Ohio would have been the center of a historic Democratic tidal wave if Bernie Sanders was at the top of this ticket. Instead, we are on our own, preparing to kick in the teeth the next day whoever “wins” neoliberalism’s ultimate “lesser of two evils” display then predictably gives Goldman Sachs another Treasury Secretary.

On November 9, the movement will either have Trump’s Goldman Sachs appointment to Treasury to fight, or Hillary’s. Whether we have to fight the building of an idiotic, racist wall, too, really doesn’t make much difference. We know where this country is headed. Hillary Clinton certainly does not.

No Comments

Another Supreme Court election okie doke

The only time I really cashed in on a presidential election reduced to the Supreme Court was Al Gore’s collapse in 2000. I had recruited 6 British Labour Party staff to come to Cleveland and plug into the Gore campaign exactly the same way I had done with Labour in 1997. Found ’em nice places to stay for two weeks, and hustled a “GOTV” contract from the local consulting grand poobah (who I shall not name to save him further embarrasment) which paid for car rentals and reimbursed stateside expenses. I treated it like a visiting international delegation, which it was. A kind of “thank you” to my British friends.

Ahhhh....memories.

Ahhhh….memories.

The client was People for The American Way, the campaign was a door to door “issue” thus “non-candidate specific” canvass, thus technically legal. Through this contract, I put my eight Labour mates to work knocking on doors in Cleveland delivering this door hanger. The targets were high Democratic high turnout precincts, because a turned off Democratic base was a major issue for Al Gore in 2000, just as it is for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Despite Al Gore having pulled out of Ohio by the time the Brits arrived two weeks out, it was a blast, of course. My Labour colleagues were mini local celebrities, and they got to see the Florida recount horror begin. “We left and you Yanks still didn’t have a president!” was the joke in later years.

Democrats have thus heard this argument when their presidential candidate is nose diving before. Repeatedly, in fact. Especially in Ohio, the dumping ground of millions in “GOTV” cash every four years. My Labour mateys knew the score, too. Their popularity was based not just in their accents, but mostly in their ability to show up in force as a team of six people, volunteers being extremely rare commodities in Ohio in 2000. To boot, door knockers weren’t all that welcome on those Democratic doorsteps, British or not. We were having zero impact on the election’s outcome. Our international delegation did cross polinate our transatlantic freindships, so it was all a success nonetheless.  We drank a lot of beer.

Sixteen years later, the Supreme Court looks likely to end up the Clinton campaign’s closing argument, again. There is some cosmic explanation for all this, I’m sure.

No Comments

Trump shows leadership, Clinton clings to cash

The door in Trump's wall can't match this.

The door in Trump’s wall can’t match this.

Leadership is bringing people somewhere they would otherwise not go absent your leadership. The Donald Trump base simply would not go beyond a racial, nationalist, deportation rage unless Trump himself dragged them there. We thus see the first evidence of Donald Trump acting presidential.

Trump’s recent loud, openly meandered “softening” on immigration comes as he co-opted the hardest core anti-immigrant Brietbart alt-right at the very top of his campaign. Just imagine the conversation (argument from hell?) between Steve Bannon and Trump the last few days, as the softening softened. What’s Bannon gonna do, go back to his stupid blog and whine about the wetbacks some more? Talk about getting Trumped. Machiavelli couldn’t do better.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton could have shown precisely the same leadership by adopting the central core of the Bernie Sanders campaign at her convention; refusing corporate money, superpacs, the entire architecture of the Clinton funding machine, and pledged to rely only on small donors. A mere sniff of the political breeze would have made that leadership mandatory. Instead, Hillary and the Clintons just can’t quit the cash. The Clinton Foundation’s reeking stench of corruption, the Goldman Sachs speech transcripts, millions of tendrils in email leaks suddenly visible, now engulf the Clinton campaign like a fog. Instead of leading, the Clintons cling to their cash cow like grim death, on live television.

Leaked photo of Bill Clinton "helping cure AIDS in Africa"

Leaked photo of Bill Clinton “helping cure AIDS in Africa”

Will Trump lose base voters who will see another “softening” on immigration as yet another betrayal? Some, perhaps a lot. Rick Perry collapsed in the 2011 GOP primary not due to the famed “oops” brain fart in a debate, but when he sounded humane on immigration.  The alt-right racialist base of the GOP piled the political corpses atop Rick Perry for years, after each attempt at the same leadership Trump is now forcing onto his own voters. Many of Trump’s hardest core base will probably just stay home and not vote, for this “softening” is the ultimate betrayal.

The gamble of course is that Trump picks up more undecideds than he loses base voters. Has Trump made himself untouchable to undecided voters in the year he’s spent proving to his base that he’s with them before he leads them? Possibly. Trump’s a salesman; he closed the deal with his base, and kept on closing it with ugliness well beyond when the sale closed. Do swing voters believe him now? Will they ever?

Trump is gifted with an opponent who is now collapsing under the weight of her own corruption. A sprinkling of leadership pixie dust could have solved Hillary’s problems, just as Trump is attempting to solve his problems with leadership. The good news for Hillary? Plenty of time to show that leadership, and cast the fog away with one blown goodbye kiss at her corrput to the core funders. Cut the cord, Hillz. Trump is taking a far greater risk with his base than Hillary would risk by kissing off the Citizens United model of her entire campaign.

No Comments

Back to school, graduating in spring; a Tim update

Leaving The Closet by force, one should never build another one. This is the story of my journey against The Next Closet, another leg of which will be my graduation from the MAGI program at CSU Spring, 2017. I write this for anyone who’s interested, including future employers, or future voters for that matter! Put the kettle on.

So I met a boy.

FreeTimesCoverJune2008UnforgivenOnce I was granted early release from probation in December, 2002, I fled to London in January, 2003 to leave it all behind and start a new life. Soon a hot summer romance with an American Labour Party student intern bloomed; totally my type. I was finally exploring my bisexuality openly for the first time, in a city I love. One day he was stepping out the front door of Labour HQ, saw me turn down Old Queen Street (¯\_(ツ)_/¯), ran to kiss me; and I broke his heart. Couldn’t kiss him in front of a place we both worked; fear seized me, and I became my conviction that instant. My New Closet’s walls appeared everywhere. Probably irrational, I know! But that’s how a criminal conviction governs you sometimes.

Came back home after my life got exploded, the first of the pattern I would not yet recognize for years. I spent a month in a nonprofit job before some jerk blew me up in March 2004, days after I signed a year long Tremont apartment lease, and a three year car lease. Thus began the Tremont Era, a years long drunken stoned blur tailspin during which I turned to writing and video online, college radio at WRUW (that glot blowed up too), clinging to the hope of something working out abroad. The blind side hits just kept coming.

I learned another lesson in that blur. Jobs, gigs, proposals, partnerships, business plans, every single hustle I stooped to for survival blowing up in my face was never really about my conviction. It was about money. People imagined losing a nickel if associated with me, a phantom paranoia that turned even friends (very close ones, too) into vicious animals toward me in the blink of an eye, whenever it suited the ghosts they conjured circling their pocketbook.

Project Whole Tim

West Bank election observation mission, 2004

West Bank election observation mission, December, 2004, still in Closet #2

Over time, this pressure of another secret (my conviction) forcing me to live two lives became too much. My crime being so minor I didn’t have to register as a sex offender just didn’t matter. No difference in the real world. I still sometimes safely navigated my old world with none the wiser, to Latvia in 2003, even into the West Bank, my last well paid international politics gig from late 2004 to early 2005. It would take Congressman Tim Ryan’s own wife calling me during the 2005 Labour Party campaign and asking me (me!) for a job to be the last straw. As I imagined myself on the cover of The Sun for a week (Labour Perv!), it became clear. This wouldn’t work. At 37 years old, I would have to start over as if I’d just been born.

So I decided, as the Kennedys might say, to hang a lantern on my problem, as painful as I knew that would be. If I kept the conviction to myself, it would blow up in my face predictably. People would hurt me, and I would hurt people I loved, just like my First Closet did. Every time I wonder if this road is the right one, I think of my London fling, who I’ve never heard from again. Maybe he finally Googled me, or maybe he just couldn’t be bothered with a hot mess who couldn’t kiss in broad daylight in the middle of London. We should have made out right there in front of Labour HQ like star crossed London lovers. Instead, I hurt him, and shouldn’t have. No More Closets.

It’s kinda working

Basically, I had a political problem, and using my skills and experience, I would proceed to solve it. Like I always did. I threw myself into that decision as I would any political campaign. PR rollout, online investigative journalism, two runs for public office, I started planting stories I knew would be hit pieces just to get that Kennedy lantern ever higher on my problem. Over the last year, I even went through the motions of attempting an expungement I knew would never happen (Judge Ambrose rejected the motion without so much as a hearing this spring). Project Whole Tim is now about 10 years old. It should be an HBO series, so many twists and turns, trials & tears, with tiny triumphs here and there.

My 2010 campaign yard sign in Tremont

My 2010 campaign yard sign in Tremont

After winning my very public battle to get into CSU, using the votes I earned countywide to fight my way in, it was like I crossed the finish line of a marathon with a sprint then collapsed in a heap. Boy did I need the rest. Still do. Slowly, I felt myself become older, and suddenly very tired. The MAGI program can be done in 2 years, but I took it slow. I’ll brush up on international law in the fall, my last class being international economics this spring. I’ve had some battles on campus, all minor skirmishes associated with Project Whole Tim. But I’ve kept a 4.0 GPA throughout, am interning with a highly respected international attorney in town, and have contributed to my community in the MAGI program with my experience abroad like an extra professor in the room. The MAGI program as a whole is excellent, helped me put theoretical meat on a lot of old bones, even producing some of my best writing. And I’ve made some new friends from all over the world, who met the Whole Tim the first time, and accept me.

I kinda feel like I’m back at NDI. I’m consulting on politics, training, helping build power for the powerless, at home, because I want to, and have to. Not for a handsome salary in a far off land (which would still be nice). My long battle with the internet has given me a unique understanding of its political power, which I’ve put to use successfully. I’ve written at length about the duality of this power, how it can create dystopia or utopia in equal measure, in what I think is a pretty solid theory about how the internet works globally. My hope is to find work where the skills I learned on this long journey can be useful. I know for a fact they are quite useful, indeed.

Bottom line, I’m starting to feel whole now, like I’ve never done before. Project Whole Tim is working, slowly. Took a lot longer than I wanted it to, but that was (is) the road ahead of me. Please feel free to forward this along to folks who might be interested. And thanks to everyone who helped along the way.

 

No Comments

A Corbynista on the inside must be sabotaging the Blairite coup

CorbynWinningOne of my favorite qualities of the Blairite apparatchiks who used to be my closest friends was their ability to make the hard left Trots think they were getting what they wanted, while at the same time knifing them in the back.  “You won’t believe this one, mate,” would begin the latest war story, followed by uncontrolled cackling laughter at pulling another fast one. Nothing would bring them more delight.

Given the suicide mission of this year’s Blairite coup, which is now so obvious the plotters are literally using members’ money to fight their own membership in court, repeatedly, I can only conclude that Jeremy Corbyn has someone at the very top of Labour convincing Blairites to continually chop their own heads off spectacularly. As we all know, Britain has a long history of expertly deployed counter intelligence. Who could it be? And when will Billy Bragg pen a working class Woody Guthrie style ode to this unnamed hero of the movement?

One imagines Our Hero dragging on a cigarette in the Stranger’s Bar at the House of Commons, cuff links gleaming, collar pressed, eyes telling nothing, surrounded by whispering coup plotters awaiting Our Hero’s next word to set them racing to their own guillotine. Our Hero is no Fredo Corleone, flailing about in desperation, easily discovered. Oh no. Our Hero is quiet, elegant, may be a femme fatale in stilletos mingling amongst the City boys, flowing effortlessly through Westminster. He, or she, will never be known, but for her heroic service to the revolution.

The plant would have to be very high up, with enough credibility that party lawyers leap into court to self immolate at his (or her) mere suggestion. Someone with a political compass that still functions well enough to sniff the breeze, who can feel the political tectonic plates worldwide about to bury neoliberalism, and its hideous progeny Blairism. Could it be Tony Blair himself? Blair’s political radar was once this accurate. After Blair’s very public takedown in the Chilcot report, and Blair’s personal defense thereafter, he would make the perfectly unsuspected saboteur.

A far more likely Jezza’s Jihadi James Bond would be Gordon Brown. Brown once claimed the mantle of the left, famously feuded with Blair for years, thus has precisely the self-interest to help Blairites salt the earth over their own graves. Brown can still call on a clique of MPs, members of the House of Lords, former and current staffers, right up and down the country. And Brown has been conspicuously quiet throughout this entire squalid affair.

Either way, this summer has been a display of political strength by Jeremy Corbyn none of the Blairite coup plotters could have foreseen. British voters reward such strength handsomely, whatever their political beliefs. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and unwittingly, this coup has made Jeremy Corbyn infinitely stronger than he was before the coup oozed out of neoliberalism’s backside. Before the coup, Corbyn seemed easy pickings for the Tories. After the coup, Corbyn is now the strongest figure in British politics.

If you’re going to try to kill the king, better get it right the first time.

 

 

No Comments

Zombie Blairite Undead prepare to refuse another thrashing Corbyn victory

LabourZombies

You know you’ve got Blairite neoliberal capitalist pigs in a corner when they start leaking to the Torygraph, anonymously, how they’re going to sue to grab the Labour Party for themselves. Such a cunning plan!

…it emerged frustrated Labour politicians – many of whom expect Corbyn to retain the leadership in September – are looking at proposals to choose an alternative figurehead in the Commons and pick their own shadow cabinet, as well as approaching Commons Speaker John Bercow to try to be named the official Opposition on the basis of having a greater number of MPs.

They could even launch a legal bid to take control of the Labour Party names and assets, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph, which confirms plans which are known to have been in circulation in Westminster for some weeks.

The Tories couldn’t be more tickled. It’s as if the Lord Mayor convened a sanhedrin of the Worshipful Company of Suicide Bombers in the Guildhall, Chukka Umunna circled the room in a fuzzy hat lighting candles, they drew lots, and Owen Smith (a ten year BBC whore, then Pfizer lobbyist, which makes him perfect for the job) got the short straw to go blow up Labour, the one political party standing in the way of total Tory control of Britain. Masterful.

As us Yanks might say, we now see the whites of their eyes. Only Blairites could see hundreds of thousands of new members come in the door and spit at them. Spit some more. Then cry to their toadies in the media about how abused they’ve been for spitting in the eyes of hundreds of thousands of new members. Then threaten to sue and keep those members’ donations (best part), take the buildings, the party name, create their own fake rump PLP…this will all make excellent British comedy someday. Already is!

When the hundreds of thousands of new members literally repeat the exact same leadership election result they delivered a year ago, here’s what needs to happen after Jeremy Corbyn crushes these morons, again, at conference in Liverpool this September. Every tea room on Merseyside should boil with CLP members planning to deselect every single MP who participated in this nonsense. Why? Because they’ve revealed themselves to not be Labour Party members anymore, but naked tools of capital. As such, they won’t stop until they are out for good. They’ll be happier with the Tories anyway, deselection will be doing them a favor.

The lesson for us Bernie Sanders Yanks stateside? The fight to contain capital never really ends. Never.

No Comments

My structural theory of the internet in international relations

Scholarly publication isn’t a very good process, as I noted when I teased this paper in June. If you wait until an academic journal prints your stuff, no one may ever see it. I submitted this paper to such a journal earlier this summer, getting a predictable rejection. Since it’s a paper about the internet, rather than keep it under wraps on the off chance it gets through a bunch of editors years from now into a print publication you have to pay someone other than me to read (yay capitalism!), in the spirit of my theory, I’m tossing it out there for wider “peer review”. Let me know what you think.

The paper linked below is my contribution to the required group exit project for the MAGI program at CSU – the five of us each got on A. Woot! It’s a more traditional version of my previous Kantian theory, a paper I wrote in the Fall, 2014 semester for the international relations theory class. In a sense, it’s already “peer reviewed”, as I ran the theory by one of my professors regularly just to make sure I wasn’t off on some wild goose chase. I’ve been told it’s onto something. So there’s that!

Our group found that the internet behaves politically at the global level as a known ideational structural phenomenon, creating and contesting norms which govern nation state behavior. My portion of the paper focuses on internet memes (citing the now legendary Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash) as a variable which illuminates how these ideas are contested, the most “fit” ideas surviving a cybernetic discourse to become the normative global structure within which states act and react.

Here’s the paper in PDF form —->> TimRussoOnInternetRisk

No Comments

Hillary Clinton begins America’s Brezhnev era

BerniBirdieGoodbyeWoot. Once, Hillary Clinton being the Democratic nominee would have made me very happy. Now, she’s just another Clinton who bent the rules for herself, got caught, lied about it for a year, and now expects the rest of us to back up his (OOPS SORRY her) arrogant stupidity, for which she will never be punished, unlike the rest of us, who’d be rotting in prison today our lives destroyed.

Loyalty is such a one way street with the Clinton machine. Trust me.

Worse, at least when all us Democrats lied for Bill in the name of “unity” 18 years ago, it was just a blow job we defended. This time, Hillary’s term as Secretary of State was a 4 year long COME ON IN to hackers, who no doubt spread like termites from Chappaqua, even into the DNC. Edward Snowden was small potatoes compared to Hillary. Now that it’s all comin’ back to haunt her, whole lotta schadenfreude in that karma.

That’s before you get to ideology. Hillary began America’s Brezhnev Era this week in Philadelphia, complete with corpulent rigged apparatchiks gloating at their victims on live national television while being fellated by a pliant media drooling to sweeten their beats. All in between Cialis ads, veterans begging ads, Pete Peterson’s debt con job ads, and as always the finely spun tapestry of ads for oil, oil, oil. I’m an Energy Voter! America’s beggar prostration before the market dwarfs Brezhnev’s soviet propaganda, because we all buy it hook, line, sinker. (See Gramsci.)

Or at least we all used to.

The idea keeping the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact afloat hadn’t yet begun to die when Lenoid Brezhnev became leader of the USSR in 1964. By Brezhnev’s death in 1982, the Soviet idea was dead, too. Call it what you will; communism, pure or otherwise, or some nationalistic bootstrapping thereof, the idea keeping the Soviet bloc alive was rotting from within as Brezhnev aged. The peoples over which Soviet dictatorship ruled had long begun ridiculing their lot in life, resigned to a futureless grinding descent into total poverty. Once Gorbachev began admitting the idea’s death with perestroika and glasnost in 1986, the clock began to tick on collapse.

Brezhnev’s USSR is where America is today ideologically, as Hillary Clinton claims her nomination to be president, which, thanks to Hillary’s aforementioned stupidity, is now documented as rigged from the very start. Capital rigging politics is the intended end result of neoliberalism, birthed in a 1930’s right wing corporate funded rejection of FDR’s New Deal. Neoliberalism as an idea was so absurd at the time it was ridiculed (Steadman Jones, p. 136), spending decades nursing on global capital until the Thatcher Reagan moment raised the idea to a commanding transatlantic height not even Friedrich Hayek, neoliberalism’s 1930’s originator could imagine. Democrats surrendered by 1992, Bill Clinton embedding neoliberalism into the Democratic Party so thoroughly, not only is the Democratic party itself enslaved to capital, the state Hillary Clinton seeks to lead is now shackled by capital. Scholars call it the “fiscal straight jacket”, a state incapable of governing at all, let alone the market. Neoliberalism’s 21st century victory has unleashed capital beyond Hayek’s wildest dreams.

Now that a massive movement led by 1900 Bernie Sanders delegates this week in Philadelphia has proven the idea of neoliberalism a failure, how long will it take to die?  Depends. Powerful, but failed ideas die slowly, leaving behind deep, widespread, generational wreckage. The pigs who feed at its trough become desperate, and cling on quite tightly, lest they slip into their own idea’s gaping black hole and never get out; like their serfs did. Like the rest of us did.

I’ll probably not even vote this year, the first time in my entire life. Whether the next president is another Clinton or Donald Trump frankly doesn’t matter to me. The idea that gave rise to both hideous caricatures has begun its slow, certain, death throes. Maybe another Berdie will give us hope to get up, torpedoes be damned, and try to finish this thing off. Maybe I’ll just wait it out.

No Comments

Capital gives us Tim Kaine, recycles Bernie Bro slur in British Labour

Since I used to do this for a living, I can’t stop finding similarities in the concurrent dramas of the US presidential campaign and the British Labour Party’s now year long fight to the death with neoliberalism.  With Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s VP we see the Democratic Party take another lurch toward capital. Kaine himself seems nice, which reminds me to scratch my Gandhi itch.

We must remember that our fight is with capital, not the people who make themselves its tool. Capital will find a way to rig the state in its favor very like water finding its way to the ocean. Perpetually. It will not stop, it has to be stopped. That is what the New Deal was designed to do, specifically on Wall Street, but the New Deal barriers also directed the flow of capital, rather than always upward toward oligarchs as now, in directions that helped us all – the alphabet soup of federal government programs that built the white picket fenced unprecedented American post-war boom we now view through our 21st century nostalgic gaze backward.

As an invented sharp end of capital, Blairite neoliberalism in the British Labour Party was never going to just go away; too many pimps and whores suckle from the foul teat of the oligarchy they themselves created. Thus, this summer there’s a second Labour leadership election in a year, forced upon the party by Blairite neoliberalism; forced upon Labour by capital.

Didn’t we just do this, you ask? Why yes! You’ll recall after Labour lost the 2015 general election spectacularly, Labour members elected the stereotypically bearded grey haired super lefty Jeremy Corbyn leader last September with 60% of the vote, his nearest Blairite challengers (plural) invisible in the distance. A year later, Blairites have manufactured a coup, first justified with the lie that Corbyn hadn’t done enough to defeat Brexit, which soon gave way to the absurdity of last year’s beatdown, and which now features a cut and paste, spun from whole cloth Bernie Bro lie narrative about “abuse” toward various and sundry. I suspect that came from David Axelrod himself, who consults for Blairites as I once did.

Capital will lose in Labour again this summer. Corbyn will crush the Blairites when ballot papers go out August 22, there is little doubt. The most recent poll showed Corbyn doubling up the weirdly conjured challenger, Owen Smith, a creature oozed out the corpulent back side of neoliberalism’s media spin, big pharma, Westminster petri dish. Owen Smith is quite like Tim Kaine in this regard; just another empty vessel through which capital flows upward.

 

No Comments