Democrats, Too Clever by Half on Clinton

Exclusive: Democratic Party honchos who wanted Hillary Clinton’s coronation are having some regrets as her weaknesses become obvious, her poll numbers sink, and Donald Trump surges toward the lead, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Last year when Democratic insiders looked forward to Election 2016, they expected a run-of-the-mill Republican, possibly even legacy candidate Jeb Bush. So they countered with their own “safe” next-in-line legacy candidate, Hillary Clinton, who would supposedly win by playing up the prospect of the first woman president.

In such an expected match-up, the concern of rank-and-file Democrats about Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy would be negated by the GOP nominee still defending President George W. Bush’s Iraq War and again surrounded by neocons pounding the drums for even more wars. With both parties putting forward war candidates, anti-war Democrats would accept Clinton as the lesser evil, or so the thinking went.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confronts Sen. Bernie Sanders in Democratic presidential debate on Jan. 17, 2016.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confronts Sen. Bernie Sanders in Democratic presidential debate on Jan. 17, 2016.

The likely Republican nominee also would be burdened by reactionary domestic proposals, including GOP plans for privatizing Social Security and Medicare. By contrast, centrist Clinton would look reasonable in promising to protect those popular programs, albeit with some modest trimming of benefits to please the budget hawks.

But the Democratic insiders didn’t count on the unlikely emergence of populist billionaire Donald Trump, who repudiated Bush’s Iraq War and the GOP’s neocon foreign policy and rejected Republican orthodoxy on “entitlement reform,” i.e., slashing Social Security and Medicare.

The unabashed Trump also has made clear that he is not afraid of countering Clinton’s “woman card” by playing his own “man card,” including attacks on her troubled marriage and her tolerance of Bill Clinton’s notorious womanizing, even claiming that she was her wayward husband’s “enabler.”

At first, the Democratic hierarchy couldn’t believe its luck as the Republican Party seemed to splinter over Trump’s disdain for the GOP’s neocon interventionism and rejection of the party’s cutbacks in Social Security and Medicare. Trump’s mocking attacks on his rivals also shattered the decorum that Republican leaders had hoped would mark their primary campaign.

So, the Democratic insiders initially rubbed their hands with glee and imagined not only an easy presidential victory but major gains in the House and Senate. However, new polls show Trump running neck-and-neck with Clinton nationally and in key battleground states, while other polls reveal strong public doubts about Clinton’s honesty, thus wiping the premature smiles off the Democrats’ faces.

Panic Mode

Indeed, some Democrats reportedly are slipping into panic mode as they watch Clinton’s poll numbers tank and the Republican Party come to grips with the Trump phenomenon. The new storyline of Campaign 2016 is the tale of top Republicans reconciling to Trump’s populist conquest of the party. At least, these GOP leaders acknowledge, Trump has excited both average Republicans and many independents.

The obsessive media coverage of Trump’s meetings on Thursday with senior congressional Republicans made the narcissistic real estate mogul and reality TV star look like some major world leader being received in Washington as a conquering hero. And, with the GOP rallying behind Trump, the likelihood is that his poll numbers and favorable/unfavorable ratings will continue to improve.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

So, instead of Democratic dreams of a landslide victory, the party insiders are worrying now about their decision to coronate a deeply flawed and wounded candidate in Hillary Clinton. Not only could she lose to Trump but she could take many of the House and Senate candidates down with her. It’s dawning on some Democrats that they may have squandered a historic opportunity to realign American politics to the left by promoting the wrong person in 2016.

At a moment when the American people are demanding change – even willing to risk entrusting the White House to the unorthodox and inexperienced Donald Trump – the Democratic Party may be stuck with an uninspiring status quo candidate who also is pro-war, indeed far more hawkish than President Barack Obama.

Thus, in the fall election, not only would Trump be in a position to bait Clinton about her dysfunctional marriage, reminding the nation of the messy scandals of the 1990s, but he could challenge her on her warmongering positions, including her years of support for the Iraq War and her hawkish policies as Secretary of State, including her instigation of the disastrous “regime change” war in Libya. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon.”]

This November could be the first time in modern American history when the Republican nominee would be the relative “peace candidate” and the Democrat would be the “war candidate.” That changing places could lose Clinton much of the “anti-war left,” a significant faction within the Democratic coalition with many “peace Democrats” either voting for Trump or choosing a third party, such as the Greens.

Of course, the Democrats didn’t have to be in this position. The party leaders could have encouraged a more competitive primary contest instead of trying to keep alternative candidates, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and some younger Democratic prospects, on the sidelines, all the better to give Hillary Clinton an unimpeded path to the nomination. The party insiders treated Clinton like an incumbent president seeking reelection, a foregone conclusion.

Alternatives, Anyone?

But the best laid plans of mice and politicians often go astray. How weak Clinton is as a candidate has been underscored by her struggle to put away a progressive challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old “democratic socialist” from Vermont, who isn’t even technically a Democrat, listing himself as an Independent.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts

Even though the vast majority of “super-delegates” – i.e., party insiders – have lined up behind Clinton and she leads in pledged delegates, Sanders continues to win primaries, including recent ones in Indiana and West Virginia, and he could roll up a series of victories in upcoming western state races.

Clinton could stagger to the Democratic convention in July with a dispirited party lining up glumly to witness her long-delayed coronation. The onlookers might sense that they had made a terrible mistake but couldn’t correct it. They would be left to grit their teeth and hope that Clinton’s self-inflicted wounds, such as her private emails as Secretary of State, don’t fester and become fatal.

Arguably, it is the Democrats who would benefit the most from a contested convention, one that might give them an opportunity to reconsider the choice of Clinton and either nominate Sanders, who fares much better against Trump in poll match-ups, or pick someone else, possibly a fresh face like Sen. Warren.

While that may be highly unlikely – even if Sanders sweeps the remaining primaries – it is beginning to dawn on Democratic insiders that their scheme to grease the skids for a Clinton nomination might end up slipping Donald Trump into the White House.

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 barnesandnoble.com).

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85 comments for “Democrats, Too Clever by Half on Clinton

  1. Terry
    May 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    If the Democratic elites don’t wake up to the current ongoing Reality Show — and give Bernie the nomination — then they will hand the Presidency to Trump and severely fracture the DNC! No ifs ands or buts.

    • Roberto
      May 13, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Absolutely!

    • rosemerry
      May 14, 2016 at 3:37 am

      I cannot believe that the US voters (far fewer as a proportion than in most other “democracies”) even with their ignorance of real issues,like climate change, nuclear war, and their fear of terror and Muslims as the main problem or their future, would be taken in by the “unorthodox and inexperienced Donald Trump”.

      • Carmen Flores
        May 16, 2016 at 5:39 pm

        But it’s ‘ok’ if they are taken in by the criminally inept, lying, malignant, rapist – enabling sociopath that is Hillary Clinton?

    • David Smith
      May 14, 2016 at 11:02 am

      The”Democratic elites” know exactly what they are doing. It has been planned from the start. HRC will be nominee for Prez, and she will chose Sheepdog Sanders for Vice Pres, a winning ticket, but it will be close(“elites” love “close”).

      • akech
        May 14, 2016 at 9:40 pm

        The Wall Street, the neocons, military industrial complex and other corporate elites who are investing tons of money in Hillary presidency will benefit. What will Sanders’ supporters get out of this nasty alliance?

        • Mongoose
          May 16, 2016 at 6:17 pm

          They get to sit down and shut up.
          It’s her “turn”.

      • Joseph Chastain
        May 20, 2016 at 4:57 am

        As I’ve replied below, that’s the WORST ticket they can nominate. Sanders supporters will see him as a traitor and Clinton supporters will see her as weak.

    • Jeannie O'Halloran
      May 17, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Why doestn’t the DNC get that Bernie Sanders is our candidate? At this point, I’ve told the DNC to get rid of Debbie Wasserman and when that happens, maybe I will support them again. The DNC has betrayed us.

    • Lucas P
      May 19, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      The elites can’t hand Bernie the nomination if Clinton has won the vast majority of the votes, and the pledged delegates, and the super delegates.

  2. Ebony
    May 13, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    My sentiments exactly. We shall see..

  3. Bill Bodden
    May 13, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Democratic Party honchos who wanted Hillary Clinton’s coronation are having some regrets as her weaknesses become obvious,

    Hubris and attachment to fellow wretches will do that to people. As Ray McGovern’s Irish grandmother said, “Show me your company, and I’ll tell you who you are!”

    It’s dawning on some Democrats that they may have squandered a historic opportunity to realign American politics to the left by promoting the wrong person in 2016.

    Given that the Democratic Party is covering the left flank for corporate America it is questionable that its oligarchy would want to return it to the left.

  4. May 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Nonsense! It’s NEVER too late to rectify your situation. Look at Megan Kelly. She is a professional. Walks any necessary paths in order to move forward. Welcome to Trump Team! Do not look at it as some might snidely say: “rats deserting the ship.” Look at it as being able to make cool, logical conclusions. Balance and moderation. Including making decisions.

    • Terry Sneller
      May 13, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      What kind of decisions are you referring to, Michael?

    • Roberto
      May 13, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      But, with the loss of Hillary comes the loss of neocon control of the executive branch of government. So they are locked in.

      • Bob Van Noy
        May 14, 2016 at 11:01 am

        Yes, as well as the Bush/Clinton hold on our government and that is a big problem for them.

      • May 15, 2016 at 10:02 pm

        Sheldon Adelson just pledged $100 million to Trump. You were saying about neo-cons?

  5. Sojourner Truth
    May 13, 2016 at 7:14 pm
  6. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    May 13, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    The system is the same and whoever wins has to comply……….American politics, including elections, are no more than a circus for entertainment and to make the fools think that they have a say in choosing their government…………They still love “Bill Clinton” who actually caused so much damage to this country perhaps more than anyone else!! Remember who pushed for the removal of Glass-Steagall Act that led to the financial disaster of 2007-2008?! It was beloved “Bill”………….and his wife voted for wars and created wars and does not want to even make the transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs public!! AND that is the person they hope to be the first woman president of the US??!!

    The real sad fact is that “The System is the same regardless of who is in the picture!!”. Regarding the plans of the democrats, well, the US Foreign Policy is a series of Unintended Consequences…….or blame it on Bad Intelligence!! So, for the democrats plan to go wrong, it will be bad thinking or just another SNAFU………..

    • Brad Owen
      May 14, 2016 at 9:08 am

      You speak to an idea that’s been haunting me for years now (since 9/11 when I’ve been seriously checking other news sources; I don’t even look at MSM shows or magazines anymore). Lofgren summed it up best, by calling “IT” the Deep State, and I suspect “IT” has been there all along, weathering the “Storm” of democracy that’s been blowing since the 18th century (The Tories never left us. After the Revolution, they hooked up with the Deep State already in place in London under late 17th century William of Orange accompanied by powerful and wealthy Dutchmen who were themselves descendants of powerful & wealthy immigrants from Venice; called “The New Venetian Party” in the 1700’s). Dr. Carroll Quigley wrote of “IT” as the Anglo-American Establishment, and was privileged to be allowed into “IT”‘s inner sanctum to observe “IT”‘s workings. Quigley was mentor to Bill Clinton, and the Deep State is probably anxious to insert him into the White House via his wife. There are other parts of this Deep State apparatus; Cecil Rhodes RoundTable grouping, and the Synarchists’ Movement for Empire (SME, a concoction of Napoleon’s Generals & extreme reactionary elements of the Catholic Church in the 1840’s found out by FDR’s ops; championed by another Venetian Count in the early 20th century, giving birth to all of the Fascist/NAZI Movements). The Deep State Oligarchy has always been here, planning a return to Empire and defacto “Crowns”, with no interference from “democratic types”. I fear you may be right, in that our politics can never get its’ hands on the REAL “Steering Wheel”. All we may have is an appeal to their “Noblesse Oblige” so that we won’t make trouble with their well-oiled Machine.

      • Brad Owen
        May 14, 2016 at 9:20 am

        To clear up something; in 1940, FDR’s O.S.S agents investigated the beginnings of Fascism/NAZIism and traced it back to SME, founded a century earlier. Since this whole thing stinks of Old Big Money, it is WHY FDR “welcomed their hatred” for him, referring to Wall Street machinations & coup plots. And billionaire Trump is just looking to “join the Club”, to which his base of supporters are NOT invited.

      • steve cochran
        May 14, 2016 at 11:31 pm

        Bernie’s reluctance to discuss foreign policy in any depth, most notably re: Russia and China, is most likely a tacit acknowledgement that the president ultimately holds very little power in that arena. I say this because it’s a stretch to imagine that he’s as ignorant of, or disinterested in, foreign affairs as his campaign might lead voters to believe.

    • akech
      May 14, 2016 at 9:50 am

      You hit the nail right on the head! The shadow governing authority continues to operate regardless of what party fills the POTUS!

  7. Rob
    May 13, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    “It’s dawning on some Democrats that they may have squandered a historic opportunity to realign American politics to the left by promoting the wrong person in 2016.”

    Ehh, actually what this shows is the Democrats are a rightist group; and they are. Sanders, as many have pointed out, is just a New Deal Democrat. No one who could be considered close to anthropologically objective considers him some kind of radical leftist. On the contrary, he is a far-right terrorist on many issues, as he proudly and openly supports US international terrorism including executions, cruel and unusual punishment, and wars of aggression, backing up these beliefs with neo-con propaganda statements.

    In the real world, if he and others like him could be caught, Sanders would get the death penalty at an international tribunal for supporting the US bombing of Yugoslavia, among other major crimes.

    • Sendero Santos
      May 15, 2016 at 3:26 am

      What international tribunal would inflict the death penalty on anyone let alone somebody as relatively innocuous as Bernie. Perhaps an international tribunal would meet in hang ’em high Oklahoma, but I am surprised that there’s room enough on the page for even the words International and Oklahoma to appear in the same sentence.

  8. Bob Van Noy
    May 13, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Robert Parry. You have it exactly right, again! Hillary And Bill have simply worn out any good will they might have had; by remaining…well, so, Hillary and Bill, so most of out here in the hinterland, recognize the very real possibility of president Trump, and further recognize, that a democracy might actually elect a fascist president.
    One could clearly recognize Hillary’s weakness when her book sales were not what was expected and then when it was analyzed it pointed out her obvious attraction for the use of military force and intervention.
    The Democrats will be heading to a convention much like 1968, so it will be interesting to see what happens from here forward…

  9. Jack
    May 13, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    The problem with a contested convention is that unless they choose a different candidate it will only make Hillary Clinton more unpopular and an even weaker candidate against Donald Trump.

    • Bob Van Noy
      May 13, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Exactly Jack, it has to be Bernie or possibly better Elizabeth Warren.

      • Katherine
        May 14, 2016 at 9:24 am

        I am not convinced Elizabeth Warren would be a better candidate against Trump, judging from her back and forth twitter feud with him. I think it plays right into his
        hands and diminishes her. But she is probably slightly more palatable to the dem elite than Bernie. Check out Cenk’s theory on The Young Turks this week. He believes they are preparing for Joe Biden to step in, just in case they cannot nominate Clinton. Oh, the intrigue. Bernie’s candidacy is just that threatening to their neoliberal sensibilities.

        • Bob Van Noy
          May 14, 2016 at 10:49 am

          You may be right Katherine, but Bernie supporters will not vote for VP Biden, seeing him as more of the same, some what like a kinder, more gentle Hillary, but still more of the same…

  10. glaud
    May 13, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Looks like they are getting it too late. A Clinton nomination will indeed loose this election. Those who don’t buy into “least of two evils”, fear talk are not going to be fooled again as they were with “Peace Prize” give me another drone types. Nor promises to reign in wall street while bringing them into the cabinet. No, no more democratic double tongue talk from those who do not “walk the walk”, which represents 90% of congress and the administration. No Mr. Sanders, no victory. And, yes a sweep of both sides of the isle is necessary if we are to make real progress on behalf of most of America versus the few.

  11. May 13, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Bernie Sanders could select Tulsi Gabbard US rep from Hawaii as his VP candidate. ASAP

  12. WaltG
    May 13, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Sort of leaves Bernie Sanders as the only logical Democratic candidate.

  13. LEE LOE Grandmother for Peace
    May 13, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    The time for input to Bernie is now! He has included “we, the people” as being part of his planning. So let’s do it! NOW!
    Tulsi Gabbard could help organize a group of vets, including the Iraq Veterans Against the War and Kathy Kelly’s Voices of Creative NonViolence, and I would include Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies and Valerie Plaime (sp). Another part of our warring ways, and Bernie has said he doesn’t support endless wars and that he does want to stop and reverse climate change, which is a huge and terrifying part of dropping bombs!
    So that means he needs folks from the 350.org and others to write up reports for him on this subject.
    Also, he needs to understand that killing ISIS folks just creates more ISIS folks. Again, we have Phyllis Bennis and others. (Robt. Kennedy Jr. has written Why the Arabs want us out of Syria which goes into this. He could join the brainstorming.)
    One thing Bernie said that is not being talked about is that we need federal funding not local tax monies for public schools. This destroys a system of structural discrimination that is both racist and classist. I am sure you can think of other thinking crews to help him formulate his views, especially on warring including using drones.

  14. Joe Tedesky
    May 13, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Okay, if we are all to vote using a write in campaign, who will decide on who the write in candidate will be? Will it be Bernie, or Jill? Are their others? I mention this, because if we are to take the White House with a single candidate name, then we better all vote using the same one name to put on the ballot. If we all write in different names of our choice, then we will lessen our chances of winning. Or, is this all that hopeless? I like the idea of leveraging a third party. This is exactly what this country needs, at this time.

    Both parties have been caught (excuse the phrase), with their pants down. The Republicans by not seeing a Trump rising out of their scheming voter registration drives over these many years (thanks Lee, thanks Carl). The Democrats by avoiding Bernie, because it always was Hillary’s turn (sorry Bern). And let’s not forget the parent of this Rosemary’s Baby election nightmare, our wonderful American News Media who celebrates their terrifying newborns, with their higher ratings, and their much higher commercial profits to strut around with before the end of empire finally arrives. The future will look back at us, and they will have to conclude how we were all just batshit crazy, but then again we could always blame all this insanity on the med’s we were taking. The pharmaceutical financials will bear this out, so this excuse will be believable.

    • Skip Edwards
      May 14, 2016 at 12:25 am

      Love the humor. It is time for a little laughter as this country, especially that group that thinks it has te reigns of power, has gone completely bat shit (not sure where that term originated, but I am using it to describe the ongoing circus atmosphere; wouldn’t it be fun to listen in on some of those high echelon meetings? I digress sorry). Common folks let’s snatched victory from those clowns and get behind Sen Sanders. It is the peoples’ time to rule.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 14, 2016 at 12:50 am

        So, should I put you down, as 1 for Bernie? Seriously, us write in voters would do well to decide upon voting on the one same candidate, if there is any chance to make a noticeable difference to be made with a third party write in. I don’t often use such language, but bat shit isn’t dirty, it’s normal American slang…well, that’s what I meant anyway. Talking about vocabulary; I will bet Hillary Clinton’s language at that high echelon meeting, would make any sailor blush with embarrassment, if Hillary is anything like what I have read about in regard to her demeanor. But Hillary’s foul mouth isn’t the issue, is it? I wish it were about the four lettered words she uses, and not the three lettered word she is known for, war. I personally get a long well with women who, let’s say, speak with an earthy tone. What I do fear is a person with a quest for empire, man or woman. Hillary’s ambition to satisfy her donor class is what scares me the most.

        • J Bookly
          May 15, 2016 at 11:36 pm

          I’ve been wondering too about how best to use the power (if there is any) of the write-in vote. To me, it’s a question of which is better, to write in Bernie Sanders or write in Jill Stein. Ideas????

    • Skip Edwards
      May 14, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Love the humor. It is time for a little laughter as this country, especially that group that thinks it has the reigns of power, has gone completely bat shit (not sure where that term originated, but I am using it to describe the ongoing circus atmosphere; wouldn’t it be fun to listen in on some of those high echelon meetings? I digress sorry). Common folks let’s snatched victory from those clowns and get behind Sen Sanders. It is the peoples’ time to rule.

    • Katherine
      May 14, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Jill Stein has said she would support Bernie: better to write in his name as he is better known.
      Please, everyone on this thread, keep writing
      and keep donating. The media is publishing multi anti-Sanders articles per day now in an attempt to pressure him to drop out before the convention and to disillusion his voters. We must keep voting Sanders and keep donating, so that he gets to the convention and his proposals
      live on.

      • Richard Coleman
        May 17, 2016 at 5:41 pm

        Agree but let’s not be premature. Things are wildly in flux; a couple of weeks ago who would have foreseen that the repubs would unite behind Trump? What if the remaining primaries go very well for Bernie? He might be “forced” to reconsider his previous promise to endorse Hillary if the nomination is stolen. If he runs as an indie, what would that mean? A write-in vote or campaign to get him on the ballot? I don’t think he would go Green although it’s an outside possibility I suppose. Let’s keep our powder dry, work to kick ass in the primaries and see what happens. FEEL THE BERN!

    • jpteschke
      May 15, 2016 at 2:23 am

      It should be whoever is on the ballot; Jill Stein will be in most cases. Write-in votes can be ignored. If, however, Bernie is pissed off enough to stand after all of the Clinton bullshit, it is likely to be as a Green Party candidate, because I think in that instance, Stein would step aside because Sanders has a large pool who has already voted for him, and buyer’s remorse among some who supported the harpy gives him a larger voting potential in that instance. I think Bernie’s wife has had it with the Harpy and perhaps could convince him to take a more forthright action when the time comes. Speaking for the Harpy would be a total sellout by Sanders.

  15. Kiza
    May 14, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Another most insightful article by Mr Parry. He is currently one of the top five independent journalist in the World (not only in the US).

    Two things I would like to add:
    1) Hilary is truly unelectable and clearing a path for her to nomination is a sign of the intellectual decline of the Democratic Party privileged class (those people are not as smart as they think they are),
    1) the Clintons & Clintonites play really, really dirty, as indicated, for example by the number of paid Clintonite trolls at this zine; the rest of the campaign will reach unexplored depths of deprevity.

    I am betting on the Democrats losing Presidency and more for eight years due to this major miscalculation.

  16. May 14, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Clinton’s forte is helping organize coups in Ukraine and Brazil, or assisting the violent overthrow of leaders like Libya’s Gaddafi. Democratic elections are not really not her thing.

  17. May 14, 2016 at 2:59 am

    $hillary is a fate Democratcs can avoid with Bernes Sanders elected as POTUS!

  18. michael lacey
    May 14, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Fair assessment!

  19. Peter Loeb
    May 14, 2016 at 8:02 am

    POLITICS SUPREME

    The essay by Robert Parry is eloquent presuming that one begins
    in the middle of the (political) story.

    My perception begins rather in an analysis of historical American
    realities. These are best presented by the late historian Gabriel
    Kolko, briefly in the epilogue to THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN
    POLICY… EPILOGUE: “REASON AND RADICALISM” and more
    extensively in Kolko’s MAIN CURRENTS OF MODERN AMERICAN
    HISTORY. In these works Kolko analyzes the development of
    the character of the US over 100 years, including immigrant
    groups, US labor, Presidents of those years etc.

    Relevant here in particular is the lack of substance in what
    pundits and politicos on the left refer to as the New Deal
    and etc. Those programs had their flaws then (unemployment
    actually increased) and failed to solve the Great Depression.

    What solved the Great Depression was World War Two.
    There were jobs for everyone and more. There were perks
    for the private sector. Kolko notes especially
    the change with the Federal Budget of 1941, the first WW II
    budget.

    (Note: Other works by Kolko focus on other aspects.)

    What has taken “liberal pundits” by surprise is that their
    political potion is at last worn out.

    I doubt Senator Sanders would be any answer at all.
    He failed to attract support from the millions of voters
    who would benefit from many of his programs. H. Clinton
    carried states with large minority populations.

    I hope that Senator Elizabeth Warren(MA) does NOT
    run either as a person at Hillary’s beck and call or
    as the Democratic party’s last desperate gasp. From
    Senator Warren’s own political perspective, she would
    lose her voice and power in the Senate. (Warren is, of course,
    as pro-Israel as all the others.)

    It is important for those on the left not to waste themselves
    in opposition to or endorsing Hillary Clinton but in coming
    to terms if and when Donald Trump becomes President number 45.
    Mocking “the Donald” has no more traction. Is there a line between
    supporting his atavistic and irresponsible positions and…?

    Democrats have had a jolly ride, as it were, and now are
    stewing in their own juice. Many of us will look to Consortium
    writers and some writers for Counterpunch for guidance.
    Ranting as radicals with their toes stepped on is sophomoric.
    Facts are what we need.

    With many thanks as usual to Robert Parry and the Consortium gang,

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Katherine
      May 14, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Sanders did not fail at all to attract enough supporters to take the lead. It was the establishment, and good portion of the
      Superdelegates, who promised back to Clinton beforethe race and became her Bernie bashers on MSM. This, together with media’s mission to keep his views from the American people, and then, after giving him minimal airtime, negating him and his propasls at every turn. Yet, now, at this late date, Sanders continues to either win stares or take a large chunk of the electorate.
      I say, at the very least, he has awakened many who will keep pressing our government to put the interests of the many above the interests of
      the monied few.

  20. Krnewman
    May 14, 2016 at 8:04 am

    This is all hauntingly true.

  21. Katherine
    May 14, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Your article downplays the positive influence Sanders and is supporters are having on the Democratic party. But to suggest that they might want to nominate someone other than Sanders? Sure they do, that’s the reason for the current onslaught of bashing him in the print and online media after winning West Virginia. The establishment has been scared of his proposals
    from day 1, but most Americans want them. Sure, try to stop Bernie now and force him to leave before the convention, so they can nominate someone else, just in case they cannot nominate Clinton. But you can be sure it won’t be Elizabeth Warren either. And if they do choose someone else, the party will lose Sanders’ supporters, who could have been the future of the demcratic party.

    • Bob Van Noy
      May 14, 2016 at 8:46 am

      I think you’re right Katherine, about Bernie supporters; I think that if the Democratic Party selects someone, say like, VP Biden, they will lose Bernie supporters because they will recognize another “fix”, kind of like the Obama Presidency. I think that stuff is over for the Democrats; whether they know it or not…

  22. Lefty
    May 14, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Haven’t seen any comment on it, but there are parallels with Virginia Dems electing Doug Wilder as the fist black governor since reconstruction and following him with Mary Sue Terry. Terry ran an abysmal campaign against boorish and in many ways Trump like George Allen. She lost badly.

  23. May 14, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Excellent insight into the hubris demonstrated by the Democrats by placing all their eggs in one basket in the form of Hillary Clinton as their preferred nominee for president in 2016. Whatever political cachet she had now appears to be on the wane. She is clearly damaged goods. This was evident to me in the responses I received to a recent piece I penned on The Woman who Would be POTUS, published on Op Ed News. (See below for link.) One response in particular which stood out came from my fellow Australian James ONeill, human rights barrister, political activist and writer (Counterpunch, New Eastern Outlook). Like myself, O’Neill is a trenchant critic of US foreign and national security policy, and I thought I’d share his comments below about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Hillary-Clinton-s-House-of-by-Greg-Maybury-Bernie-Sanders-Presidential-Campaign_Clinton-Campaign_Clinton-Transcripts_Democratic-160506-388.html#startcomments

    “Greg, thanks for this analysis which one will almost certainly never read in the Australian mainstream media. As you say, they are all too complicit in the crimes of Madame Clinton to ever challenge her apparently pre-destined role as the next titular head of the American War Machine.

    Two thoughts come to mind. The first is that the appalling direction the US has been hell bent on pursuing for the past several decades (at least since 1945) is not going to change for the better. That should inspire some serious rethinking in DFAT (Foreign Affairs) and the [Australian Ministry of Defence] about whether it is really in Australia’s interests to be the reliable adjunct to whatever war the US wishes to pursue. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that every war Australia has gotten into since 1945 has been at the behest of the Americans. They have all ended disastrously and the ones currently in progress, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, are not going to end any differently. Not a single vital Australian interest has been enhanced by this lap dog conduct. It ought to be a golden opportunity to fundamentally rethink our whole foreign policy stance, but notwithstanding the experiences referred to above, and the powerful arguments mounted by the late Malcolm Fraser (Ed. Note: Aussie PM ’75-’83; a conservative BTW) in his book Dangerous Ally, there is not the slightest bit of evidence that such a rethink is in fact going on.

    The second thought that comes to mind is that the US has got away with its outrageous behaviour over the past decades, and especially since 1990, because there has not been a serious countervailing power centre. That in my view is fundamentally changing. There is likely to be some significant changes in the Kremlin hierarchy, not, as the neocon wet dream would have it by Mr Putin being replaced, but rather with Atlantic sovereigntists such as Medvedev being shown the door because a much harder line faction wants stiffer resistance to US and NATO belligerence and blatant breaking of several treaties. I highly recommend that people listen to Stephen Cohen on podcast for his insights, the likes of which you will never hear or see in the Oz MSM.

    A related change is closer to our own backyard. China is equally sick of American interference and troublemaking in Asia (of which the so-called pivot, and the TPP are two classic examples). As with the Russians, they now have the superior military hardware to give effect to confronting further American adventurism. Of relevance to Australia is the Dongfeng-41 ICBM missile, which can traverse 12,000 in 30 minutes. Each missile carries 8-10 independently targeted warheads. Our naval fantasists, who see an Australian submarine popping up in the South China Sea to lob some missiles at the PRC, and other military fantasies, will be rudely shocked. The Chinese response would eliminate Australia as a player in approximately 30 minutes.

    It seems to me we have a stark choice. Either continue with our suicidal path, that will undoubtedly accelerate under a Clinton presidency, or we actually formulate a foreign and defence policy that puts Australia’s real national interests to the forefront.”

    End Quote.

    Recent Articles from James O’Neill.

    http://journal-neo.org/2016/04/26/what-is-really-happening-in-the-south-china-sea/

    http://journal-neo.org/2016/03/19/australia-still-reluctant-to-disclose-mh17-information/

  24. Bob Van Noy
    May 14, 2016 at 9:26 am

    This election is reminiscent of !968, not only because of Bernie Sanders success like Bobby Kennedy’s in May of 1968, but also because the fight ahead is so uncertain. Bobby, like Bernie Sanders was clearly the populist candidate sure, but he was also the natural inheritor of MLK’s anti-war message, which often gets overlooked in these times. America, then as now, was suffering from serious war fatigue and the military industrial complex refused to acknowledge that, probably because they, like our current neocons, weren’t fighters, they were students of geo-political theory, misled then, as they are now. And, I must add, both MLK and RFK were in their way…

  25. akech
    May 14, 2016 at 9:30 am

    The DNC establishment and the Clinton should reap what they sowed, that is, taking voters issues for granted!

    These people have spent millions of $$$ trying to cast the Americans voters who disagree with their draconian policies as “low information, imbecile, troglodytes”, to name only a few. Then they expect these troglodytes to just roll over in November and vote for Hillary, no questions asked, really??

    Other than her solemn promise to the crowd at the AIPAC and snobbishly telling African American crowds about increased funding in SECTION 8 in New York City, she has not explained why she is determined to be the POTUS! American women are not going to die en masse if planned parenthood joints are discontinued around the country!
    Real growth in economy will allow citizens to take care of themselves without handouts. The millionaires around her, with her tacit support, want to move their operations and tax heaven abroad and they want American voters to embrace this policy!

  26. Roscoeman
    May 14, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Great analysis, if I could offer the party insiders a suggestion for the fall election, go with the honest guy with high favorables against the dishonest jerk that nobody really trusts.

  27. david younng
    May 14, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Robert , you have often rightfully criticized the MSM for “group think” in which reporters allow themselves to be manipulated by false narratives from politicians and government officials. Unfortunately this article displays the same disease! Is Donald Trump really a dove compared to Hillary Clinton’s hawk ? To begin with ,Trump lied about opposing the Iraq War. He was heard on the Howard Stern Show supporting it.He also said he would consider using nuclear weapons to fight ISIS.He would kill the terrorists and there families.He would bring back waterboarding and more extreme forms of torture.There is plenty to criticize on Clinton’s foreign policy record,but there is no way a deranged fascist bigot like Trump could reasonably called a “peace candidate”!!!

  28. David Smith
    May 14, 2016 at 10:31 am

    The controllers of the Democratic Party are very aware of HRC’s unsuitability as a candidate, and have a trick up their sleeve. Remember 2007, when she was elbowed aside by a guy with less time in the Senate than she? BHO, the guy out a nowhere. 2016 we have another guy out a nowhere, but no elbows, just 50%. Don’t the two look good together on stage? A new “Iron Dummy” and the kindly old socialist Uncle Sanders. Why go into the election with half a pie? Uncle Sanders can bring his half to make a whole pie. It’s the perfect Madison Ave scam: HRC will be the nominee for Prez, and she will name Sanders for VP.

    • Bob Van Noy
      May 14, 2016 at 10:57 am

      I can’t imagine Bernie accepting, but should he, that team will not get my vote because of Hillary’s terrible judgement.

      • David Smith
        May 14, 2016 at 11:58 am

        As you watch the Democratic Conventiion on TV, remember my prediction.

    • Dam Spahn
      May 14, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Bernie Sanders is with us. She’s with them. He’s not corporatist, and no puppet. Talk like this is beneath absurd, and smacks of desperation. It’s like floating rumors of Warren for VP. She would NEVER join forces with someone who represents all that Warren despises. Desperation and prickly sweat brings out these laughable maneuvers.

      • Brad Owen
        May 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm

        The desperation and prickly sweat is just a sign that the standard EASY fixes aren’t working this time. The Deep State is prepared to go deeper. I was reading on Tarpley that the Republican Establishment Conservatives (these would be the William Buckleyite Tories and Bonapartists, well-monied, Blue Blood types) are planning to run a third party challenge, thus denying the 270 electoral win, throwing it into Congress to decide as per 12th Amendment. They’re looking for a retired General or Admiral to head the ticket (Petraus, Mattis the “Warrior/Monk” as he’s called…these guys are real Bonapartists). They’ll bribe/smear their hardest to get Congress to give THEIR man the nod. After being safely inserted into the W.H., arrange for one more “False Flag” event, and they’ll have their genuine “Pinochet” era installed; formal Fascism in the name of National Security. AND Trump’s BeerHall Brown Shirt gangs will get the same treatment that the S.S. dished out to the S.A….night of the Long Knives (“terrorist threats” mopped up in the name of National Security). Of course, elections will be re-scheduled in the indefinite future when the “Threat” is declared safely over (which will be as close to “never” as the Deep State can get…but they’ll have contingencies for that too. They play us like fiddles-at-a-hoedown).

    • Joseph Chastain
      May 20, 2016 at 4:43 am

      That will not happen and if it does both will go down in flames. Sanders supporters will see him as a traitor and become disillusioned.Clinton supporters will see her as appeasing him and picking him only because she couldn’t really beat him. It’s the same reason Obama didn’t pick her in 08. That would be disastrous and lead to president Trump.

  29. OH
    May 14, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Clinton knows how to win – she has to welcome the hatred of and be willing to become the enemies of the worthless rich, she has to make the worthless rich scream and whine that they are going to get persecuted, she has to join in our anger – merely understanding that we are angry is not enough.
    Clinton would be more than happy to win the race – if she can find a way to do it without going populist like Bernie Sanders. If Clinton cant find a way to win without going populist, she will accept the 2nd prize which is to lose but advance your inter-party struggle by calling the liberals purists and blaming liberals for the defeat by accusing them of staying home even though liberals will vote for the lesser of 2 evils and it’s really the independents and moderates who will peel off to the Republicans.

    • Joseph Chastain
      May 20, 2016 at 4:24 am

      Clearly as an unknown beat her in 2008 and Bernie Sanders a relative unknown is having such a fight with her and Trump is beating her now, she does NOT know how to win. She won two easy elections her entire life. Nothing has ever prepared her to run for president. Both now and in 2008 she was thought she would easily become president and neither time did that happen. Her husband is a great politician and knows how to win. She is not and does not.

  30. F. G. Sanford
    May 14, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Think Donald Trump can’t be elected? Think again. Just about everybody has a brother, or an uncle, or a grandfather, or a cousin, or a neighbor, or a co-worker who thinks just like Archie Bunker. And…they still love the guy. His wife loves him. His daughters love him. His girlfriend loves him. His friends love him. Slowly but surely, we’ve witnessed a ‘Bunkerization’ of mainstream media, mainstream thought, mainstream values, and mainstream America. In a nutshell, here’s how it works: “It isn’t really racism if what you say is true.” By the same token, the accompanying “political correctness”, “inclusiveness”, “multiculturalism” and “gender identity” issues have provided a convenient smokescreen to distract from the far more insidious disenfranchisement embodied by “school choice”, “right to work”, “privatization”, and “religious freedom” initiatives. Politicians have actually succeeded in rationalizing school segregation, union busting, elimination of social services, and religious tyranny using these fraudulent “freedoms”. Much of this comes from a pseudo-moralistic desire to emulate attitudes they believe are consistent with Judeo-Christian “values”. And after all, the “Holy Land” is the ultimate standard-bearer for these cultural imperatives. For the most part, they’ve been implemented by a careful strategy of distraction. “Tolerance” has become the most effective distraction of all. By creating an atmosphere of moral chaos in which “values” can no longer be arranged in a hierarchical pyramid, just about any transgression can be slipped under the radar. Boys using the girl’s bathroom is the greatest gift Barack Obama could ever give to Donald Trump. And, what does Donal Trump envision? Why, the same thing Bibi Netanyahu does: walls to keep “them” out, segregation to keep “them” out, real-estate development to move “them” out, voting restrictions to keep “them” in their place, and tax laws to keep “them” from getting a free ride. Bruce Jenner is not a hero. Prince is not a national tragedy. Forget about bathrooms. What about locker rooms? Does anybody think an average American father wants some “girl” with a big “crank” taking showers with his ninth grade daughter after gym class? I bet Bibi wouldn’t think so, and neither would Donald Trump. Bibi won his last election with that old racist saw about the opposition party: “They’re bussing “them” in to vote against us.” I’ll never forget my third grade teacher’s exasperated remark fifty-some years ago, before “attention deficit disorder” became the universal excuse for just plain bad. The ‘class clown’ routinely made attempts to invade the ‘girl’s room’. Of course, he wanted a justification when apprehended. He wanted to know, “Why?” Well, the teacher told him, in no uncertain terms: “Because boys have peepees, and girls have beebutts.” And, while Americans are preoccupied with this nonsense, Bibi Netanyahu and Donald Trump are both enjoying electoral success. It’s OK for fifty percent of American children to suffer from protein calorie malnutrition. But dammit, they have a right to use the bathroom of their choice. Yep, Donald Trump can get elected, Just like Bibi did. By playing the “Archie Bunker Card.” In the long run, it may “trump” everything. And Americans, you have only yourselves to blame.

    • Nicetry
      May 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I think that it will come down to whether people decide this election based on some vague sense of “Social Justice” or some vague sense of “America First”

      If they feel that “Social Justice” is the highest cause they will reluctantly even begrudgingly allow Hillary to slip in.

      If they feel that “America First” is the highest cause they will take a risk and allow Trump to try his hand at steering.

  31. Dam Spahn
    May 14, 2016 at 11:29 am

    For the life of me, I can’t understand this party’s obsession with her. Why gamble? All the red flags, all the indicators going in the wrong direction, WTH people?

  32. Jay
    May 14, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Well, right.

    Hillary Clinton was a really weak candidate, this was obvious before Sanders declared. Letting the “oh so special daughter”, Chelsea, sit for a Harper’s Bazaar puff piece (June 2015) was a sign of really bad optics management by campaign Hillary 2016. And obviously the magazine “reporting” was in the works before Sanders declared.

    Last I checked Harper’s Bazaar had scrubbed this piece of gee she’s so accomplished (she isn’t) “reporting” from the magazine website. It was entitled crap that should never have been published.

    Then came Trump and it was obvious he wasn’t going to go away easily as early as the summer of 2015. Not matter what the likes of Nate Silver, or Cohn, said.

  33. Jay
    May 14, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    rosemary, then you don’t know much about US voters.

  34. May 14, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Sorry, this progressive won’t vote for Clinton under any circumstances.

    Warren could be the running mate, and I won’t vote for it – because of Clinton.

    Heck, BERNIE SANDERS could be the running mate and I won’t vote for it – because of Clinton.

    • May 14, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Vote Jill Stein

  35. Erik
    May 14, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    The obsession with Hillary is primarily the recognition that most women will vote for a woman even if she takes diametrically opposite positions on all policy issues. Al the DRC has to do is ensure that they get Hillary instead of Sen Warren, and she will win. No doubt they scammed and threatened Warren, and it is a very poor showing for both of them.

    This has been true in Maine for a generation at least. This is a solid blue low-income state in which impoverished single women vote for the Repub senator because she is a woman and for no other reason. Never underestimate the power of ignorance: those who do the best ignorance engineering win elections.

  36. Bruce
    May 14, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Go with the Bern’s Donfire of the Pompadour! The Newd Clint0n is the road to DemNation!!
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fblbqgI8Mn8/Vf4-aphveMI/AAAAAAABjN8/cuCHXWsb_XY/s1600/Hillary%2BPinup-Girl-2016.jpg

    • Nicetry
      May 17, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Yeah I’m not even clicking on that garbage. Fitting your name is “Bruce”

  37. Dennis Rice
    May 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    The successes of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are attributable to the American people being fed up with both political parties. The political message from the voters is suddenly sinking in to the Republicans who are now lining up behind Donald Trump. But that message of being fed up with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party leadership is yet to be realized by a sleeping Democratic leadership so out of touch with those who want to vote Democrat, and who refuse to accept that Hillary Clinton is not acceptable.

    Hillary is quick to hid behind the coat tails of Obama when she tries to point out that Obama did not let Wall Street contributions to his campaign influence prosecutions (but not the top dogs) of Wall Street.

    She doesn’t point out, however, and it seems neither does the mainstream media, and some independent media, that it was her husband, Bill Clinton, who did take money from Wall Street, and who joined with Republicans and removed the financial restrictions of Glass-Stengall.

    Republican or Democratic, this is the last chance Americans will ever have to take back their country from the control of the two political parties.

    IT’S NOW OR NEVER.

  38. Cosmic Janitor
    May 14, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Spot on Robert Parry, not to mention that Sander’s is exactly the candidate that this historical juncture demands if the US. neo-cons are to be exposed and deposed. This progressive independent will be voting Trump if the DNC prevails with Clinton.

    • Nicetry
      May 17, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Rightward-leaning Independent here.

      Would vote for Bernie in a heartbeat even if he takes progressive too far for my tastes.

      But the DNC has shown how corrupt and foolish they are. Not only in deciding who they wanted their candidate to be ahead of time but in actively sabotaging Sanders’ campaign.

      The RNC was trying to undermine the candidate that a majority of voters wanted and almost imploded the party.

      If both parties self destruct it wouldn’t really bother me in the least as long as new parties raise up that actually stand for good principles and listen to the voters.

  39. D Johnson
    May 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I was raised in a military family during WW2 and Korea. I served 5 years as an AIr Force pilot during the Viet Nam phase of The Endless War. I have studied our politics, economic structures and institutions carefully, and have talked with friends from many other countries about their views on the United States. By far, I think that Bernie Sanders offers the most sensible way forward for the U.S., and join the rising tide of young people as well as us older relics in this careful consideration for future generations, not only here but in other countries as well. Current political machinery is broke and dysfunctional. Congress does next to nothing. One should not use economic models of doing business to describe the functions of government and its methods of achieving national goals, other than, in the interest of the citizenry, balancing budgets so that taxpayers are not gypped by the artificially high prices of how government “does business”.

  40. Gregory Kruse
    May 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Warren could run next time, but I think she made a mistake by not endorsing Sanders.

    • incontinent reader
      May 16, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Warren may be a better on domestic policy issues, but she is either blind or a dodo on foreign policy- and she has never publicly questioned or crossed Hillary on any of the latter’s hawkish decisions.

  41. Kent Bott
    May 16, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I would hate to imagine the scenario where I would ever find $hillary the lesser of two evils.

  42. vigorous D
    May 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I am fairly certain the democratic establishment would rather have Trump as president than Sanders. “Democrats vs Republicans” is theatre for the masses. So in answer to the constant shouts of “They don’t understand what the people want!”: No, they know exactly what the people want and they couldn’t care less. The most common incarnation of this delusion is the Bernie-crats who believe they will somehow pull the party to the left. What will actually happen is there’ll be a few speeches giving lip service to the ideas espoused, maybe a couple of token gestures, then the party elite will go back and re-organise their networks, fundraising and media machine to ensure there isn’t another insurgency like this again.

    The shepard doesn’t care about the opinion of the sheep, he (or now she) just fleeces them, milks them and leads them to the slaughter. If you believe that modern democracy was ever designed to give voters a meaningful say you have already lost the battle. Sanders suffers from this delusion, as shown by supporting Clinton over Trump. In the end those who don’t understand the game are tricked into following the status quo in the name of ‘party loyalty’

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