Hillary Clinton Will Never Be A “True Liberal”
It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. .
We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn - Matt Taibi
In 2014, ex-CIA official, Robert David Steele, predicted the growing unrest in Europe and in the U.S. – as embodied by the Populist movement -- would metamorphose into revolution, stating, “We are at the end of an era in which lies can be used to steal from the public…”
He added that “…revolution is inevitable, simply because the demise of the system presided over by the 1% cannot be stopped …We have no choice but to step up.”
Certainly that revolutionary spirit is resonating in Europe where leftist coalitions have recently increased their political clout, first in Greece where the leftist coalition, Syriza, assumed power, and now in Spain where the populist Podemos movement wrested control from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative, Popular Party.
Last Sunday, while watching the launch of Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, the thought crossed my mind that I was watching the start of the U.S. populist revolution. In many ways, Sanders’ candidacy resembles the rise to power of Mayor elect, Ada Colau, the first female politician to assume control of Barcelona, Spain.
Like Sanders, Colau is a true grassroots candidate, a former activist once described as a thorn in the side of the Spanish government.
"She's transparent, she's honest, she speaks the language of the people — and she has managed to touch what Barcelona was feeling," says Antonio Roldan, a Spain analyst at the Eurasia Group in London. "The Popular Party had absolute majorities in most regions and now they have none. So it's a new period of cleaning up the corrupt establishment in some of these municipalities that have been for many years dominated by the two big parties."
Colau offers a much simpler assessment of her populist rise to power.
"I'm not particularly intelligent, I'm not powerful. I'm just a normal person and that's what worries them most. It just shows how much power normal citizens can have," she says.
When asked why a U.S. “revolution” has failed to ignite -- given the level of furor and unrest at the grass roots level -- Robert David Steele said it hasn’t happened because a flash point was needed to mobilize activists; but he said that moment is rapidly approaching. And when it happens, the end of two-party domination will come quickly and forcefully.
Colau’s rise to power is a great example of a “flash point” creating a political tidal wave.
Two years ago, she testified before parliament at a hearing about Spain's foreclosures crisis. On the panel, Colau spoke right after a representative of Spain's banking industry.
"This man is a criminal and he should be treated like one," she said at the time, her voice shaking with rage.
Lawmakers' jaws dropped. Colau got a reprimand from parliament, but her speech endeared her to millions of Spaniards hurt by layoffs and austerity. (Frayer, 2015, para. 6-8)
Almost overnight, her twitter account increased by 100,000 followers, and the newfound popularity culminated in victory last Sunday evening when she was elected mayor of Barcelona.
Ada Colau and Bernie Sanders share a political advantage, a characteristic not found in other candidates: they are true grassroots heroes motivated by convictions. They never sought office to increase personal wealth or to garner fame: they simply stepped up to the plate at a time when courageous political figures were almost non-existent.
The most common assessment of Sander’s candidacy, both in the mainstream media, and among political pundits, has been that he is unelectable because of his socialist background. But consider this: President Obama was unable to garner enough support to pass a $10.10 increase in the minimum wage, but at the same time, a movement to implement a $15 minimum wage -- created by a socialist city councilwoman in Seattle, Washington – proved to be a great success, and her efforts spawned a nationwide movement that has altered the financial landscape, as evidenced by the Los Angeles city council’s recent decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.
In fact, the National Employment Law Project said this about the $15 movement:
Since November 2012, grassroots momentum generated by the $15 movement has helped to push through dozens of state and local minimum wage policies, raising wages for millions of workers. In addition, some of our nation’s biggest low-wage employers, including Walmart, McDonald’s, T.J. Maxx and the Gap, recently announced pay increases for their lowest-paid workers. While these increases are modest, their public announcement demonstrates the effect of the $15 movement in highlighting soaring corporate profits on the one hand, stagnant worker wages on the other, and growing public demand for companies to increase pay.
The Occupy Wall Street movement illuminated the strength of the American populist movement; and its brutal demise -- orchestrated by the Obama administration, at the behest of Wall Street bankers -- demonstrated the extreme lengths the 1% would go to protect its financial interests.
But when examining the populist revolt, it is the growing schism inside the Democratic Party that is most revealing because it clearly illustrates the reason so many Americans are furious at this president and at our nation’s leaders. Our leaders simply refuse to listen to the concerns of their constituents. The DNC and the Hillary Clinton camp have exerted extreme pressure on Democrats to de-emphasize rising grassroots anger. In essence, the PR machine they have assembled is the equivalent of the Dutch boy who stuck a finger in the dike trying to ward off a catastrophe; only the crack in the dam is growing wider as the 2016 campaign season approaches.
And unfortunately for the Hillary camp -- because Bill Clinton and Barack Obama built their administrations on deceit -- the centrist faction of the Democratic Party has nothing to stand on but lies. The American public gave Obama a very clear mandate to engender change, and he used progressive speeches to promise unequivocally he would fulfill that mission; only he didn’t, and the long trail of broken campaign promises left in his wake have inflicted a scar on voters that might take generations to heal.
But betraying constituents wasn’t enough; it was the way he kept dissenters at bay that caused the most damage. If you examine the OFA’s web site, you will see the words “progressive” and “truth” mentioned a lot, but the organization’s agenda has been far more anti-progressive than liberal, and they have made very little attempt to include truth in their messages. In fact, the primary purpose of the OFA was to use any tactic available, no matter how nasty, to quash dissent. Many stalwart liberals -- activists who had the temerity to attack Obama’s policies -- were hounded and ostracized from so-called progressive websites like the Daily Kos because the OFA coordinated faux outrage attacks against them. Writers like Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hampshire, Jesselyn Radak, and Ted Rall were viciously attacked in “mock forums” that seemed eerily reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials.
The message was loud and clear: tow the party line or pay the price. And the visceral hatred created between Obama’s followers and populist members is too deep to heal before 2016.
Progressive voters sent an equivocal message to DNC leaders during the midterm elections; we were not happy with the path they had taken, but in traditional neo-liberal fashion, Democratic leaders ignored our anger, claiming instead that Americans wanted more bi-partisanship.
And for many Progressives, that was the final straw.
On a larger scale, the same type of vicious intimidation was directed against whistle blowers and members of the press, and because Edward Snowden’s revelations illuminated how easy it was for the U.S. intelligence community to destroy the character of anyone deemed undesirable, journalism lost much of its credibility. And now, almost any writer who makes an attempt to reveal the truth feels a moment of panic before hitting the publish button.
That is not America at its best, and it reveals how far the party has gone astray. The truth is the Democratic Party has tacitly sanctioned the OFA’s intimidation campaigns even though they were launched against its own members.
Markos Moulitsas, the owner of the Daily Kos, recently published an Op-Ed titled, “Clinton A True Liberal,” on the Hill website. In the article, he stated:
"So for those hoping that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sanders would push Clinton to the left, it appears it’s too late. She’s already there."
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Hillary is not a populist, and to understand how ridiculous it is to make that type of assertion just examine the way Clinton’s campaign is structured, which is a top-down political organization as opposed to a true populist movement, which is a grassroots, ground-up movement. In other words, she is the antithesis of a true populist candidate.
If Hillary was a true liberal, as Moulitsas claimed, then she would have led the fight: to kill the TPP, to stop NSA spying on innocent Americans, to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan, to stop the indiscriminate use of drones that killed innocent children, to end inequality, to see that the Wall Street criminals who caused the financial collapse were prosecuted, to oust Republicans and Wall Street insiders who crafted Obama’s Republican friendly policies, to insure that protesters – like the members of Occupy Wall Street – were allowed to practice their Constitutionally guaranteed right to express dissent, to overturn the sequestration, to restore funding to the social safety net programs that traditionally protected the most vulnerable people in our nation, to eliminate childhood hunger and to see that no child in America has to go to school hungry, to secure the future of elderly citizens who rely on Social Security and Medicare, to see that the minimum wage was raised to a sustainable level for millions of Americans who lost their jobs and homes because of the greedy actions of her campaign donors (and Obama’s)…and the list goes on and on.
But during the last six years, Hillary has never led a single fight to help the needy or to uplift middle class Americans because she is part of the problem; not part of the solution. And once elected, her Wall Street donors will prevent her from reversing those injustices.
If you have read statements coming from her PR machine, then you know she has attempted to establish her liberal creds by listing the faux-liberals hired to run her campaign. Compare that to Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign message, which is unequivocally based on his very long tract record in the House and the Senate and the platform he says he will champion if elected. Sanders not only made it clear he opposes the TPP; he has helped lead the fight to see it defeated. Hillary on the other hand, has shunned media questions, knowing that $2 billion – her present fundraising goal --prevents her from telling the truth.
Neo-liberals are incredibly predictable. When a credibility problem is encountered, they simply create an alternate reality, and then in quick succession they have paid or activist writers release articles promoting that alternate reality. That is why Markos Moulitsas penned an incredibly disingenuous article championing Hillary’s true liberal idealism, and it is why Robert Creamer posted an equally deceitful article on the front page of the Huffington Post several days ago.
There has been a flurry of recent commentary about the "battle" between the Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren wings of the Democratic Party -- a supposed contest for the party's soul.
But by and large, the battle for control for the ideological center of the Democratic Party has been settled -- and it is likely that Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren were never the real protagonists.
There are still pro-Wall Street, corporatist -- and even socially conservative -- elements in the Democratic coalition. But the center of the Party has consolidated around progressive principles as never before with respect to economic, social and foreign policy.
There are obstacles in the road. But fundamentally, we have arrived at a potentially progressive moment in America -- a moment when a true progressive consensus has begun to form in the Democratic Party and among the voters. If we take advantage of that moment, we could look back at 2016 not as some showdown between wings of the Democratic coalition, but as a progressive tipping point in American history.
That type of article isn’t directed at populists because grassroots activists are very savvy to real political events – it simply wouldn’t work; instead it’s designed to mislead low-information voters who are willing to swallow almost any pabulum they’re fed.
While discussing the rising populist movement, former Clinton aide Bill Curry said this about the Democratic Party:
We’re in crisis because of all our broken systems; because we still let big banks prey on homeowners, students, consumers and retailers; because our infrastructure is decrepit; because our tax code breeds inefficiency and inequality; because foreign interventions bled us dry. We’re in peril because our democracy is dying.
But you will never hear an Obama or Clinton follower say that. To admit the truth on that level would indict Obama’s presidency, and the so-called centrists of the party have made it clear the truth is less important than protecting the president’s agenda.
That is one of the clearest examples of why democracy – in the hands of the Democratic Party – has been dying. Many of its members no longer recognize how corrupt and soulless the party has become. On many levels, under Obama’s leadership, the Democratic Party has become as unethical and corrupt as the Republican Party. The only difference is Republicans make no attempt to conceal their corrupt agenda because that is what their constituents want. But the only way Democrats can continue to wallow in corruption is to lie.
And that duplicity has become the defining characteristic of the current Democratic Party
As Matt Taibi said:
But the most appalling part is the lying. The public has been lied to so shamelessly and so often in the course of the past four years that the failure to tell the truth to the general populace has become a kind of baked-in, official feature of the financial rescue. Money wasn't the only thing the government gave Wall Street – it also conferred the right to hide the truth from the rest of us.
Hillary’s candidacy may seem too powerful to defeat at the moment, but if the DNC’s attempt to quash dissent fails, then her inevitability – along with her faux populist image -- will disappear overnight.
And the big loser will be the Democratic Party.