Two Corrupt Establishments

Exclusive: The insurgent campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have staggered Official Washington’s twin corrupt establishments on the Republican and Democratic sides, but what happens next, asks Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The United States is led by two corrupt establishments, one Democratic and one Republican, both deeply dependent on special-interest money, both sharing a similar perspective on world affairs, and both disdainful toward the American people who are treated as objects to be manipulated, not citizens to be respected.

There are, of course, differences. The Democrats are more liberal on social policy and favor a somewhat larger role of government in addressing the nation’s domestic problems. The Republicans embrace Ronald Reagan’s motto, “government is the problem,” except when they want the government to intervene on “moral” issues such as gay marriage and abortion.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

But these two corrupt establishments are intertwined when it comes to important issues of trade, economics and foreign policy. Both are true believers in neo-liberal “free trade”; both coddle Wall Street (albeit seeking slightly different levels of regulation); and both favor interventionist foreign policies (only varying modestly in how the wars are sold to the public).

Because the two establishments have a chokehold on the mainstream media, they escape any meaningful accountability when they are wrong. Thus, their corruption is not just defined by the billions of special-interest dollars that they take in but in their deviations from the real world. The two establishments have created a fantasyland that all the Important People treat as real.

Which is why it has been somewhat amusing to watch establishment pundits pontificate about what must be done in their make-believe world – stopping “Russian aggression,” establishing “safe zones” in Syria, and fawning over noble “allies” like Saudi Arabia and Turkey – while growing legions of Americans have begun to see through these transparent fictions.

Though the candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have many flaws, there is still something encouraging about Americans listening to some of straight talk from both Trump and Sanders – and to watch the flailing reactions of their establishment rivals.

While it’s true Trump has made comments that are offensive and stupid, he also has dished out some truths that the GOP establishment simply won’t abide, such as noting President George W. Bush’s failure to protect the country from the 9/11 attacks and Bush’s deceptive case for invading Iraq. Trump’s rivals were flummoxed by his audacity, sputtering about his apostasy, but rank-and-file Republicans were up to handling the truth.

Trump violated another Republican taboo when he advocated that the U.S. government take an evenhanded position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and even told pro-Israeli donors that they could not buy his support with donations. By contrast, other Republicans, such as Sen. Marco Rubio, were groveling for the handouts and advocating a U.S. foreign policy that could have been written by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump’s Israel heresy brought the Republican foreign-policy elite, the likes of William Kristol and other neoconservatives, to full battle stations. Kristol’s fellow co-founder of the neocon Project for the New American Century, Robert Kagan, was so apoplectic over Trump’s progress toward the GOP nomination that he announced that he would vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s Struggles

Clinton, however, has had her own struggles toward the nomination. Though her imposing war chest and machine-driven sense of inevitability scared off several potential big-name rivals, she has had her hands full with Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old “democratic socialist” from Vermont. Sanders pulled off a stunning upset on Tuesday by narrowly winning Michigan.

While Sanders has largely finessed foreign policy issues – beyond noting that he opposed the Iraq War and Clinton voted for it – Sanders apparently found a winning issue in Michigan when he emphasized his rejection of trade deals while Clinton has mostly supported them. The same issue has worked well for Trump as he lambastes U.S. establishment leaders for negotiating bad deals.

What is notable about the “free trade” issue is that it has long been a consensus position of both the Republican and Democratic establishments. For years, anyone who questioned these deals was mocked as a know-nothing or a protectionist. All the smart money was on “free trade,” a signature issue of both the Bushes and the Clintons, praised by editorialists from The Wall Street Journal through The New York Times.

The fact that “free trade” – over the past two decades – has become a major factor in hollowing out of the middle class, especially across the industrial heartland of Middle America, was of little concern to the financial and other elites concentrated on the coasts. At election time, those “loser” Americans could be kept in line with appeals to social issues and patriotism, even as many faced borderline poverty, growing heroin addiction rates and shorter life spans.

Despite that suffering, the twin Republican/Democratic establishments romped merrily along. The GOP elite called for evermore tax cuts to benefit the rich; demanded “reform” of Social Security and Medicare, meaning reductions in benefits; and proposed more military spending on more interventions overseas. The Democrats were only slightly less unrealistic, negotiating a new trade deal with Asia and seeking a new Cold War with Russia.

Early in Campaign 2016, the expectations were that Republican voters would again get behind an establishment candidate like former Florida Jeb Bush or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, while the Democrats would get in line behind Hillary Clinton’s coronation march.

TV pundits declared that there was no way that Donald Trump could win the GOP race, that his high early poll numbers would fade like a summer romance. Bernie Sanders was laughed at as a fringe “issue” candidate. But then something unexpected happened.

On the Republican side, blue-collar whites finally recognized how the GOP establishment had played them for suckers; they weren’t going to take it anymore. On the Democratic side, young voters, in particular, recognized how they had been dealt an extremely bad hand, stuck with massive student debt and unappealing job prospects.

So, on the GOP side, disaffected blue-collar whites rallied to Trump’s self-financed campaign and to his promises to renegotiate the trade deals and shut down illegal immigration; on the Democratic side, young voters joined Sanders’s call for a “political revolution.”

The two corrupt establishments were staggered. Yet, whether the populist anti-establishment insurrections can continue moving forward remains in doubt.

On the Democratic side, Clinton’s candidacy appears to have been saved because African-American voters know her better than Sanders and associate her with President Barack Obama. They’ve given her key support, especially in Southern states, but the Michigan result suggests that Clinton may have to delay her long-expected “pivot to the center” a bit longer.

On the Republican side, Trump’s brash style has driven many establishment favorites out of the race and has put Rubio on the ropes. If Rubio is knocked out – and if Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains an also-ran – then the establishment’s only alternative would be Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a thoroughly disliked figure in the U.S. Senate. It’s become increasingly plausible that Trump could win the Republican nomination.

What a Trump victory would mean for the Republican Party is hard to assess. Is it even possible for the GOP establishment with its laissez-faire orthodoxy of tax cuts for the rich and trickle-down economics for everyone else to reconcile with Trump’s populist agenda of protecting Social Security and demanding revamped trade deals to restore American manufacturing?

Further, what would the neocons do? They now control the Republican Party’s foreign policy apparatus, which is tied to unconditional support for Israel and interventionism against Israel’s perceived enemies, from Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, to Iran, to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Would they join Kagan in backing Hillary Clinton and trusting that she would be a reliable vessel for neocon desires?

And, if Clinton prevails against Sanders and does become the neocon “vessel,” where might the growing ranks of Democratic and Independent non-interventionists go? Will some side with Trump despite his ugly remarks about Mexicans and Muslims? Or will they reject both major parties, either voting for a third party or staying home?

Whatever happens, Official Washington’s twin corrupt establishments have been dealt an unexpected and potentially lasting punch.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

30 comments for “Two Corrupt Establishments

  1. March 13, 2016 at 07:19

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  2. Ctt
    March 12, 2016 at 20:15

    It now appears that dirty trickster agents from the Bush/rubio/ HRC camp are creating trouble at Trump rallies with the usual tactics of paid provacators posing as Bernie supporters, a clever move to fragment the momentum of disaffected serfs. Divide the opposition and pit them against each other, classic tactic. These elite have been overthrowing governments here and abroad since Eisenhower. The military industrial complex stays juiced and wealth flows to Goldman Sachs, Carlyle Group and the rest of their ilk. The beneficiaries gathered at the tomb of their beloved in Simi Valley.

    • Eddie
      March 13, 2016 at 15:30

      “It now appears that dirty trickster agents from the Bush/rubio/ HRC camp are creating trouble at Trump rallies with the usual tactics of paid provocateurs posing as Bernie supporters…”

      While that’s not impossible, IF they were doing that they’re sure giving Trump a lot of support in the process, since the talk-radio Republicans who are his main audience LOVE that kind of thing – – – the confrontation, the bullying, the violence, the publicity, etc and it would only increase his popularity/polling numbers. I’d be surprised if any of Trump’s political opponents would want to give him MORE ‘ammunition’/attention by hiring provocateurs…

  3. anonymous
    March 12, 2016 at 14:09

    The NEOCONS have dominated the defense and foreign policies of the two-party system in USA, incognito, for a very, very long time! These faceless, unelected men and women attach themselves to (a) “the bought and paid for” elected officials in Congress (b) Congressional staffers (c) national security, foreign or domestic policy advisors and think tanks. Their impending agenda, usually, is not talked about during election circles, but is given first class funding priority once then new POTUS or Congress is put in place!
    Unelected Congressional staffers are notorious for slipping strange inserts into bills to be passed without the knowledge of the Congressman/woman voting for the bill! This corrupt system has been going on forever!
    When the Democratic Leadership Council was created in 1985 by Al From, Bill Clinton became its standard bearer until it folded in 2011! The DLC was created to get rid of those left leaning issues associated with 1960s civil rights which the Democrats had earlier embraced. The new Democratic Party had become as close to the GOP as possible in order to win the elections! The Democractic Party, essentially, became the Bill and Hillary Clinton party, staffed with carefully selected close friends, associates, Wall Street and corporate funding elites up till now.
    All left leaning members in the party were either silenced or offered financial incentives to tone down their expectations in order to gain access to the alpha males/females running the party. The common voting public within the spheres of influence of these neutered liberal elites are only remembered during drives to get votes and only spoken to these money hungry neutered elites! The flocks of sheep in these spheres of influence are herded to the voting booths during election circles, no question asked!
    Has anybody ever investigated why Bill and Hillary Clinton chose to settle in New York at the end of his two terms as the POTUS instead of going back to his home town of Hope, Arkansas?
    Dick Cheney cracked some jokes about it: “And now, as the man from Hope goes home, to New York”.
    The Clintons have contempt for issues affecting liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Recently, Bill Clinton compared the liberals with the Republican Tea Party gnats! Yet, these are the same gnats whose primary votes Hillary has gone after in her quest for the nominating delegates – “Southern strategy”! Democrats do not carry the south in any general elections regardless of this shameless strategy.
    Between January 20, 1993 and January 20, 2001, Bill Clinton was the two terms POTUS and his policies during this period speak volumes!
    (A) As Bill Clinton was about to ascend into power, the Bosnian War (1992-1995) broke
    (B) Between 1996–2003, two very bloody wars (First and Second Congo Wars), in which over 10 million poor African civilians were slaughtered took place. The Rwandan Genocide and Paul Kagame are the only aspects of these two catastrophic wars in the African Great Lakes being remembered today. The design of these two wars was a master piece, created and carried out from the neighboring county of Uganda where president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni still wreaks havoc on the Ugandan citizens without any news coverage.
    (C) Americans are conversant with events which led to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the thousands and thousands human lives who have been wasted and the slaughter is relentless as we speak!
    (D) The brutal removal of Gaddafi and his son (who was then Foreign Minister) in Libya left that country as a failed state. Libya was the only country in the African continent where citizens of the neighboring sub-Saharan African countries could leave their home states and find jobs to support their families back home! The ongoing bloody civil wars in Syria and Yemen continue unabated. The coup in the Ukraine which removed Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych has left deaths and destruction in its path! The resources (Nile waters and arable fertile land) civil being waged in the young African country of Southern Sudan has caused deaths and displaced thousands who are now starving death in the no man’s land (refugee camps). All these have occurred under the watchful eyes of “the broad smiling” Barack Obama, whom I voted for twice, with the campaign slogans “CHANGE WE CAN TRUST”! Really?
    When I casted my vote, it never occurred to me that the vote would be the CARTE BLANCHE for foreign policies that would lead the destabilization and destruction of so many innocent human lives! I wonder who benefits from these boldfaced lies and I have no clue if there are ordinary voters out there who feel comfortable with the destruction of people and places abroad!
    As I learned about Hillary’s private server, I have wondered whether this was merely a harmless arrangement or something more sinister than that! Hillary has spoken very passionately about advice she got from Henry Kissinger! Did Obama also solicit Kissinger’s input or was he left out of this loop? What about the presence of Victoria Nuland Kagan with Hillary at the State Department? Was this just a coincidence or a carefully well planned arrangement for what was to follow?
    When you look at the pictures of these individuals, it is difficult to associate them with the insanely bloody destructive human events they promote under the radar!
    Here is Hillary and Honduras President Manuel Zelaya, just before this President of a sovereign country, Honduras, was kidnapped from his house at gun point, flown out of his country, and left at some airport in Costa Rica in his pajamas! Is this is the accepted methods of dealing with anybody these “intellectuals/think tanks” disagree with anywhere on planet earth? If so, what then would stop them from applying these tactics to people they do not agree with here in USA! When we talk about American National Interest in the world, specifically, whose interest is being referred to here? Is it PUBLIC, private or corporate interest? What do voters benefit?
    Hillary Clinton-Obama foreign activities in Central America created destabilization in Central American resulting in unaccompanied minors flowing into USA en masse. American citizens in the southern border-states have been overwhelming and resentful. Some of the fleeing children have died en route. Others have become victims of sexual exploitation; a number of them were tossed back home by the Obama’s immigration policy! Americans Citizens have vehemently protested against the flow of these terrorized kids. The elites whose agenda created the conditions giving rise to the flight these unfortunate children have been silent! This was an elite-to-elite economic cooperative alliance between elites in USA and those in the countries from where these children are originating? The intent of this unholy alliance is the deliberate and stone-hearted marginalization of other humans and greed is at the bottom of it!
    The Syrian-Libyan destabilization scheme has created a flood of refugee crisis, with victims drowning in the Mediterranean Sea and thousands and thousands others, the lucky ones, flowing into the European Union. There is a US policy being enforced on ground in these countries that is causing citizens to flee. These draconian policies are conceived, developed and implemented by unelected “intellectuals” operating incognito and attached to the people the American voters are forced to vote for every election circle through disinformation by the controlled propagandized media! These “intellectuals/think tanks” know exactly what they are doing. And they do not want voters to associate their faces with these repulsive activities as long as there are ambitious selected individuals bold enough to push those hot bloody buttons on their behalf! American public is coerced into voting for these trigger happy fall guys/gals every election circle!!!
    These tiny elites are organized with one hidden caviar, they do not tolerate any citizens of the world including citizens of the United to organize as workers or writers or voters or environmentalists and fight for their survival! These kinds of unions are threats to these alpha elites. The plebeians’ views of the world must come from them!
    This is the truth! WHO ARE WE AS VOTERS, BLOCKS OF WOOD?
    Below is the late Libyan Foreign Minister, Mutassim Gaddafi, meeting with Hillary Clinton in Washington DC.
    In just a couple of months, he and his father Muhammar Gaddafi would be brutally killed, with Muhammar Gaddafi suffering a bayonet in inserted in his rear, OOOOOOOOUCH, before getting one shot in the head! The Gaddafis may have been the most grotesque human beings in the eyes on many! However, what kind of a human being would be gloating over something so horrific to watch!
    ++++++NOTE ++++++
    Democratic Leadership Council Records were purchased by the Clinton Foundation:
    TEAM CLINTON OWNS the DEMOCRATIC PARTY since 1985 and chooses who must be in or out!
    The elites are hell bent on creating poverty worldwide. From the masses of these desperate poor people, they are embarking on building soldiers of fortune with which to create more chaos! In many parts of the world, particularly, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, economically desperate poor young men and women are being lured, recruited and armed to fight some enemy identified by some elite group. This recruitment has been extended inside refugee camps where desperate refugee young men and women assemble! This may be the solution for “NO BOOTS IN THE GROUND”! Let these pathetic poor people fight and die for wars designed somewhere else! The lives of the poor are worthless to the designers and can be wasted in wars! These are RESOURCES WARS making a few filthy rich and enabling them to design and wage more wars!

  4. David Smith
    March 11, 2016 at 16:09

    Everyone, including the analysts, is missing something very important about Trump, perhaps because he is caricutured as a buffoon. All of Trump’s statements are carefully honed daggers designed to slice up HRC. Trump appears to be merely seeking the Republican nomination, but he is already fighting the election and his target is HRC. Trump can simply stay “on message” and wipe the floor with Hillary’s face. In a TV debate, he might be able to reduce HRC to gibbering apoplexy, that would be fun to watch. The Republican National Committee might be feigning opposition to Trump, but they must know their base is fed up with Bush/Rubio/Cruz type drones and want an “honest outsider”, and the RNC certainly wants a winner. Sanders has simply divided the Democratic Party, his supporters will not vote HRC even if he tells them to. They do not support Sanders, but what he says, and will vote a third party, like the Greens, dissipating both opposition to Trump and support for HRC.

  5. GT Barber
    March 11, 2016 at 14:47

    Look forward to events turning dark. The plan hatched from the beginning, run HRC as a straw candidate, she is too flawed to get elected Pres., she will continue get wealthy as long as she plays; it was to be Jeb Rubio all along and still is. Do not underestimate the Bush camp, the stellar rise of Rubio after the juiced ballot count in Fla, onward to DC. But Trump, well he is in the way, and you know what happens to those people, pay them to go away or else, the setup, all this hate baiting. He deserves what he gets, an easy sell to the country. Now HRC has some unexpected work to do, but it just too late, her lies and corruption defeat her in a real contest.

  6. March 11, 2016 at 14:40

    Sanders & Warren, on an Independent ticket.

  7. Wm. Boyce
    March 11, 2016 at 12:14

    I would say that Mr. Parry’s assessment: “What a Trump victory would mean for the Republican Party is hard to assess.” is not only true for the Repubs, but the country in general. Independents are flocking to either Trump or Sanders, not the establishment candidates. Fasten your seatbelts, no one knows how this will come out.

  8. March 11, 2016 at 11:07

    Richard Parry, you traced the circle and almost completed it.

    TV sets the polarities. The People seem to adjust accordingly. It’s Fox News mutton-headedness to call Bernie a socialist just as it’s MSNBC hysteria to call Trump a fascist.

    Here’s some recent Chris Hedges:

    “In Europe, America’s Democratic Party would be a far-right party. The Republican Party would be extremist. There is no liberal—much less left or progressive—organized political class in the United States.”

    The genius of American media concentration was to create a right of center media-imposed middle where nothing’s ever at stake. Those who use all the pumped-up horizontalisms of red-blue, lib-conserv like they really matter are just watching TV. In fact ideology has been excised from the system. What we have now are jostling corporate sponsorships.

    The real phenomenon today is a populist groundswell that’s rumbling *underneath* the cozy horizontal duopoly. Trump and Sanders are the recipients of that groundswell, imperfect vehicles though they may be. Beggars can’t be choosers and 99% of Americans are beggars. We need a Trump-Sanders ticket to sweep it all away.

    • Brad Owen
      March 11, 2016 at 15:25

      Such a marriage was tried, I believe in the early seventies Argentina, with the return of Peron. These Peronistas had a falling out, seperating into its’ Left-Right components, but I get the idea behind it

  9. Patti
    March 11, 2016 at 04:04

    This article portrays Trump as a “voice of truth” against the establishment. He is not. He is running a social experiment for the very establishment. There is no democracy in the USA. Presidents are elected before the primary and the general elections. The media creates candidates. Is there a coincidence that Trump got all the media attention since the beginning of his announcement? There is no such Trump leader. He is a control opposition.

    • dahoit
      March 11, 2016 at 14:09

      Oh yeah,that’s why the MSM has its knives out for him,he’s their boy.sheesh.
      No they do not want US out of control of Zion,hence their hatred.We are the muscle that lets Israel exist as the cancer it is in the body politic of this world.

  10. March 10, 2016 at 22:47

    As always your article is spot on. I’m a Bernie fan. But definitely won’t vote for Hillary.

  11. March 10, 2016 at 17:38

    You Can’t be stupid here ,Don’t vote Waych what happens. KOK

  12. Gregory Kruse
    March 10, 2016 at 12:30

    I will be voting for Sanders in the Primary, and Jill Stein in the General. To me, the election of Clinton would signal the end of Democracy, and the election of Trump would signal the beginning of the Terror. I can accept either, because my hope is that Sanders supporters and those who lose elections to the Senate and House because they backed Sanders, will continue to work for the revolution that could pull the US and the world back from the brink of world war and global climate meltdown. Alan Grayson is one of those brave people who endorsed Sanders, and time is growing short for others, such as Elizabeth Warren to choose which side of history they are on. We have no more than four or five more years to turn this bus around and head back to the road we abandoned when Reagan was driving.

    • Brad Owen
      March 12, 2016 at 09:04

      I think you’re exactly right: H=End of Democracy, T=Beginning of The Terror. Mr.T liked what the Chinese leadership did in 1989 Tien An Minh Square. It represents Strength. He’s a worshiper of “The Strong Man”, and you see how many admirers he has even on this site. If Sanders falls, I’m going with Jill and the Greens. Running a Country “like a business” is the essence of Fascism, where the CEO is the Strong Man, and “You’re Fired” means a firing squad or torture mill. People backing Trump are playing with real fire.

    • Eddue
      March 12, 2016 at 13:48

      Yes, GK, that’s my plan also — support Sanders in the primary and (assuming he loses the nomination) then vote for Jill Stein/Greens in the general. Although previously a liberal/progressive Democratic supporter/voter (i.e.; McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Dukaikis, Bill Clinton 1st term), as noted numerous times the Dems have morphed into a ‘republican-lite’ party that’s now to the right of where the odious Richard Nixon was before his downfall. If someone looks to the Dems for liberal/progressive policies nowadays, they’ll find that “there’s no there there” (apologies to Gertrude Stein). No-way will I vote for Hillary, even IF it’s a Clinton/Trump race and Supreme Court seats are in the balance (I’m tired of that chronic threat about the SCOTUS justices – – – that gets used on us lib/progs like the 2nd Amendment/Abortion gets used on the blue-collar conservatives. And that argument wouldn’t be as persuasive in a Clinton/Trump contest because it’s unlikely that a Trump SC nomination would be a Scalia/Thomas/Roberts type justice.)

  13. Joe Tedesky
    March 10, 2016 at 11:17

    We all know that if this years presidential election comes down to a coin toss, well then it will be Queen Hillary’s turn to ruin the world. Let’s all keep a happy face, and hope it doesn’t come to that. Brad Owens makes a good point to a third party candidate winning against a Trump Clinton campaign, but Jill Stein is hardly known, and how will a Green Party candidate overcome this. This is certainly the year of the Independent. My quess would be that with a Trump Clinton competition, that unless Jill would get a lot of PR exposure that the Independent would break for Trump. Now, if Bernie were to pick a VP such as Tulsi Gabbard, and further go on to suggest an Elisabeth Warren as Secretary of Treasury, that he would stand a good chance to win this thing. I have my doubts about all these Black Women for Hillary, but then again we are talking about a Clinton here. If Hillary is thrown up against the Donald well then hold on for the scandal ridden, name calling, your husbands a pervert type of campaign, that apparently this country gets into, to suck out all the air in the room campaign. Will you be able to bear it? Let us all hope it doesn’t come down to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling…sorry I said that.

    One other thing, if you know someone leaning towards Hillary, by all means have them read Diania Johnstones ‘Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton’. My own thinking believes Trump and his people understand the power of TV better than the average Politico, and with this he is winning, so far. Bernie is in my mine the best choice, because he wants to target the heart of the beast, and the beast is Wall Street.

    • Brad Owen
      March 11, 2016 at 13:10

      2016: the year of “The Declaration of Independents”. Couldn’t resist that one.

  14. Bob Van Noy
    March 10, 2016 at 10:24

    Excellent summary Mr. Parry, thanks for all you do. Hillary has been exposed as the tried and true neocon that she is and always has been. If the Georgetown Set was compelling in their background power and intrigue I the nineteen sixties; they are certainly matched in complexity by the neocons of today. Quite simply, Hillary is a neocon. It is totally clear that neocon policy is being exposed and America has never supported that policy; the neocons never asked for support, they just “created their own reality,” now it’s over, and I think Hillary can’t change her true self now without seeming totally disingenuous. Donald Trump exposed the Bushes, and Hillary’s record at State is now exposing her.

  15. Peter Loeb
    March 10, 2016 at 06:07


    The balanced assessment of the 2016 US electoral extravaganza
    demonstrates once more how needed Parry and Consortium’s
    views remain and how much they are needed.

    A central factor is the role of the military in the US economy.
    A definition of our present economic situation is well described
    in an article in COUNTERPUNCH NEWS by Paul Craig Roberts
    entitled “The U.S. Economy Has Not Recovered and Will Not
    Recover” (February 19, 2016). Similar points have been
    made elsewhere. And many of us know the realities not only
    from listening to begging for the charity of the wealthy, but
    in our bones and very personally.

    The military in today’s USA makes all veterans into heroes.
    No talk of suicides, broken families, provision by the US of
    thousands of prostitutes for our Men (mostly) “in service.

    From a collection of media-fed myths, William Greider
    wrote in 1998 about the military:”It does not add up.
    Quite literally there is no way to pay for all these competing
    claims…” (FORTRESS AMERICA, 1998, p xi). The rest
    of this brief book is a magnificent introduction to the situation
    at that time within and about the military.

    (It should be noted that Greider’s introductory illusions
    conflict in a basic way with the landmark works of
    the late historian Gabriel Kolko such as AN INTRODUCTION
    etc.—the latter redefines the so-called “cold war”)

    It remains that Greiders description of the military is nothing
    short of brilliant. Combined with John Tirman’s THE SPOILS
    OF WAR….these works provide a sound basis for further

    The prime result is that without “employment” killing in the military
    the unemployment rate would be considerably higher than
    ca 5% (see Roberts op cit.).

    Both major political parties will have the task of persuading the
    electorate that votes in the general election (not the party
    primaries) of the validity of their positions. (Kolko in MAIN CURRENTS
    IN MODERN AMERICAN HISTORY questions the very programs
    so nostagically sanctified by liberals/progressives.Will a
    Democratic nominee be able to trot these programs out once
    more to satisfy an angry and frustrated electorate??

    In a radio interview yesterday (on NPR) Bernie Sanders acknowledged
    Hillary Clinton’s success in the South but quickly added:”But I
    am not a conservative!”

    Regarding statements made by virtually every candidate, it
    is well to look at these as ways to evaluate the candidate.
    Many are the times when a candidate has ruin on one platform/
    agenda and no sooner elected goes elsewhere. FDR ran on
    a “balanced budget” in his campaign of 1932.

    Kolko documents that the FDR alphabet soup programs never
    has a significant effect in solving the depression. World War
    II did and the recovery from the Great Depression but
    the Federal Budget of 1941 raised profit everywhere (private
    sector) and jobs and income aplenty (eg “Rosie the
    Riveter” etc)

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  16. Daize
    March 10, 2016 at 04:31

    Very good assessment as to what got us here, but I am rather disappointed that no speculative attempts were made as to “what happens next”, since that is the suggestion in the header.

    Since you haven’t, I’ll have a go:

    1- The most likely scenario is Trump vs. Hillary which will result in the most amusing spectacle possible and the destruction of both the Democratic party as well as the Republican one. That mutual destruction will occur for very different reasons, but essentially because the Democrats will have become the Republicans since all the neo-cons and recently ex-Repub establishments will be supporting Hillary. Trump will win a fight against Hillary, and you will have a Trump presidency resulting most likely in a semi-fascist state (if that is not almost where we are already).

    2- The best scenario for American citizens is that Sanders, against all odds, manages to win the Democratic nomination. In this case November will see Trump vs. Sanders which will be a literal turkey-shoot for Sanders who will take the presidency by a landslide. Here at least America will have the semblance of a chance of returning to actually being a state which represents its people.

    • Brad Owen
      March 10, 2016 at 05:52

      A Trump vs. Hillary race might actually make for a THIRD party win, since Independents are actually the largest faction, and the choice between T and H is so odious that there is no “lesser evil” to choose from. The Oligarchs might suit up one of their own (Bloomberg?) to send into the ring. Unless he’s an Aristocrat with a lively “noblesse oblige” like FDR and pushes for a new New Deal, I’ll be voting for Jill and the Greens this year. I’m the angry Blue-collar white guy, but my tastes don’t run to Fascism, I’m a New Dealer through-n-through (FDR: the destroyer of Fascism). I came back to the fold in 2000 with Nader (my high school hero), after drinking libertarian Kool-Aid for twenty years (I apologise to the Nation for my twenty-year drunk with libertarianism). I regard FDR’s policies, not as emergency policies, but as necessary and permanent fixtures for our Nation, and there was much work left undone with his untimely demise. Had he finished out his term to January 1949, and handed “The Mantle” off to someone like Harry Hopkins or Harold Ickes (the two Harrys) there probably would have been no rise of the Right Wing. But there was a covert World War going on behind the scenes (not communism; the financial backers of Fascism, Wall Street and London), striking first in the Intelligence Community in the Post-War Forties. FDR would have crushed them, and one of the “Harrys” would have pointed out that the Red Scare was a ploy; That Fascism was still afoot, although THEIR “boots-on-the-ground” were destroyed by WWII.

    • Roberto
      March 11, 2016 at 00:40

      “(if that is not almost where we are already).”

      Oh yeah! Remember the swastika? Remember the “Support our troops” stickers everywhere?

      This whole thing has been carefully put together, by people who really know Nazi technique, for quite some time.

      Just a coincidence?

    • dahoit
      March 11, 2016 at 13:56

      Fascism is what we’ve got, knucklehead.What else is corporatism aligned with military madness?Jeez.

  17. onno
    March 9, 2016 at 23:53

    Thank you, again a great article illustrating the dilemma of the Republican and Democratic establishment. The new kids on the block Donald Trump and Sanders finally and openly bring the truth in this election campaign that is the influence of the 0,01 rich, the banks and especially the powerful Washington interest groups like the upper elite class in Washington who will lose their job and if not that lose their power in the administration. Especially under Republican Donald Trump USA can expect a total change in the present ‘special interest administration’. Washington will become less political and more rational and business oriented and therefore, more effective cutting bureaucracy and personnel. On top of that this will reduce paperwork and influence of Washington in the economy in the style of Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman. This will bring back USA in the original straight forward – non-political – base that made USA the greatest and most powerful economy in the world.

    • AllRaj
      March 11, 2016 at 00:09

      Oh, No

      You do realise that many of the economic problems experienced by your country (and mine) is the wholesale acceptance of the ridiculous economic theories promoted by Milton Friedman.

      • dahoit
        March 11, 2016 at 13:55

        He was railing against Friedman I believe,just used in instead of on the economy,and of the style.

  18. Pablo Diablo
    March 9, 2016 at 18:54

    Hillary is tacking towards Bernie’s positions, but more and more are seeing her insincerity.
    Go Bernie, GO

  19. Christene
    March 9, 2016 at 18:01

    Here’s what none of the mind-numbed ideologues in either party, Democrat or Republican, seem to understand; most of the American people have abandoned them.

    In 2015, approximately 22% of voters identified as Republicans. Democrats don’t fare much better at approximately 26%. By far, the largest percentage of the American electorate identify as Independents at 45% and guess what. We are pretty much fed up with the utter corruption, duplicitousness, and impotence of BOTH parties. The only thing either of them seem to do well is wage insanely stupid wars, drive up the national debt into the stratosphere, and turn large portions of the world into apocalyptic hellholes.

    This election year, the adults (Independents) will be heard as never before (as in Michigan).

    The fact of the matter is, whoever wants to president is going to have to win over Independents and, at this moment, Hillary doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of doing that. Her negatives, when last checked, were -27. Add to that the dismal enthusiasm factor that follows her around like a funeral dirge, and rational adults rightly conclude she has real problems. While Republicans are showing up at their primaries in record numbers, Democrats numbers are way down. If it weren’t for Bernie Sanders, it would be even worse. And guess what….HIS supporters are, at this moment, signing “ANYONE BUT HILLARY” pledges by the tens of thousands.

    Hillary will end up with her much lusted-after nomination crown, but after the Michigan defeat, and probably more to follow, the illusion that it was the will of rank-and-file Democrats is shattered. It will be the hollowest of victories and like everything the Establishment does these days, it will probably end up blowing up in her face. What will happen Nov. 8th? Who can say. It will be fascinating to see who and what are left standing when the smoke clears Nov. 9th. But in the words of my anti-Establishment hero, Dylan;
    “Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is ragin’
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’.”

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