Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Crash Years

The United States is the Howard Cosell of nations. That is, we're so wrapped up in our own self-importance that we have no idea how much the rest of the world hates us, at least until we elect a dim-bulb conservative to be our President - then we get a sample of such antipathy.
Ironically, Donald Trump is causing antipathy among European nations for having no idea how important we are to them.  He's had to have Cabinet members like Defense Secretary James Mattis, quickly becoming the jewel in the tin crown of an administration (though I'm willing to give Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the benefit of the doubt for now, and new national security adviser H.R. McMaster looks to be a sensible guy), assure European leaders that the Trumpster will not pull back from the NATO alliance in the face of Russian expansion.  Oh yeah, and we're not out to grab Iraqi oil either.  
Also, Vice President Mike Pence went to Munich over the weekend to reassure fellow NATO members that the alliance is strong.  The fact that he's a heartbeat away from ultimate power couldn't possibly have reassured the Europeans, though, because whereas Trump is a vulgarian, Pence is just a rube.  He denies climate science and evolution, and he tried to regulate women and preserve legalized homophobia as governor of Indiana.  European leaders tend to be rather sophisticated, like a gourmet meal.  Mike Pence is the political equivalent of ham and raisin sauce. 
While the United States tries to avoid a collision with its own allies (can you really call them "friends"?), the Democratic Party is trying to avoid an internal crackup - a crackup that, I believe, is as inevitable as Hillary Clinton's perpetual campaign for the Presidency if Clinton stooge Tom Perez is chosen as the Democratic National Committee's (DNC's) chairman.  Perez will undoubtedly push the party toward the Clintons' corporate agenda and split the party down the middle.  Diana Price of made this point quite acidly in a recent column in which she also noted that, while the Russian government may very well have colluded with the Trump campaign, the Democratic e-mails uncovered, whether leaked by the Russians or by WikiLeaks acting alone, showed how the party establishment favored Hillary and was pulling every possible trick to ensure her nomination at the expense of other candidates, including Martin O'Malley and the front-running anti-Hillary, Bernie Sanders.
"It's the height of hypocrisy," Price wrote, "for the corporate Democrats and the DNC to complain about election manipulation when the DNC emails leaked verify that the DNC - and former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in particular - was gaming the primaries for Hillary Clinton."  Not only were debates limited, but - and this kills me - there was widespread voter disenfranchisement by reducing the number of polling sites in some areas and many voters were purged from the primary and caucus registers. Among other things.  Now that the election is over, Hillary backers in the party establishment are not only unrepentant, they keep ignoring O'Malley and disrespecting Sanders.  They even got angry at Sanders for proposing that less expensive Canadian drugs be legalized for importation into the United States, a bill amendment that every Republican and also thirteen Senate Democrats - including the heir apparent to the Hillary faction, New Jersey senator Cory Booker - refused to support.  Also, Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison. the "Sanders Democrat" in the DNC chairmanship race, has actually demanded that Sanders give his mailing list to the party establishment, which would most certainly be against the wishes of Sanders supporters.
So, imagine what will happen if Perez is chosen as the party chairman?   
So, even if the Russians worked in concert with the Trump campaign - and that is a very serious charge, and one that is grounds for impeachment should it be proven - that doesn't change the fact that whoever leaked these e-mails only proved that the Democratic establishment, by trying to silence the anti-Hillary members of their party and getting them to hold their noses and vote for Hillary in November, is more to blame for Trump's victory than the Kremlin.  If Sanders or O'Malley had been the Democratic presidential nominee and WikiLeaks or the Russians or the Trump campaign or whomever found evidence that the Democratic primary process was fair and clean and that rank-and-file Democrats were happy with the nominee, there would have been nothing for Trump to capitalize on, and, likely thus, no Trump victory.     
Price sums things up nicely:
"With the huge grassroots following behind Bernie Sanders, do you really want to push that argument that Sanders is not someone you want helping shape the Democratic Party, and, in fact, Sanders is someone who offers voters an alternative party to Democrats? This is yet another example of the arrogant thinking by the DNC that voters have to choose either their chosen corporate Democrat juiced into lobbyist interests or choose a Republican. Apparently, the DNC and establishment Democrats don’t realize they are promoting a mass exodus and the demise of their own party with that argument and are incapable of learning their lessons."
A Democratic National Committee chairman who serves the interests of the Clintons rather than the interests of the rank-and-file party members will surely trigger such a mass exodus the same way Whig squeamishness over slavery triggered a defection of its northern and western members to the nascent Republican Party in the 1850s.
At which point Martin O'Malley will do what Abraham Lincoln did in 1856 - tell his old party to screw themselves and join a new party, in the present case a party that Sanders will have already formed.   

No comments: