- Date published:
2:35 pm, February 27th, 2016 - 74 comments
Categories: democratic participation, International, politicans, Politics, us politics - Tags: bernie sanders, hillary clinton, John Michael Greer, menu of least bad options, the Archdruid
John Michael Greer, of the Archdruid Report, has just written a fascinating post on why Hilary Clinton and Jeb Bush, once the two ‘favourites‘ for the 2016 Presidential campaign, have fallen, and fallen hard.
JMG says that Jeb Bush did everything right, by the conventional establishment book:
When (Jeb Bush) launched his campaign last year, it was a letter-perfect copy of the successful presidential campaigns of the last three decades. He lined up plenty of big-money sponsors; he assembled a team of ghostwriters, spin doctors, and door-to-door salesmen to run his campaign; he had a PR firm design a catchy logo; he practiced spouting the kind of empty rhetoric that sounds meaningful so long as you don’t think about it for two minutes; he took carefully calculated stands on a handful of hot-button topics, mouthed the conventional wisdom on every other issue, and set out to convince the voters that their interests would be harmed just a little bit less by putting him in the White House than by any of the alternatives.
That sort of content-free campaign is what got George Bush I, Bill Clinton, George Bush II, and Barack Obama onto the list of US presidents. What it got Jeb Bush, though, was a string of humiliating defeats.
So it appears that the ‘rules of the game’ have suddenly been changed on the establishment oligarchy, and they’ve been caught flatfooted. JMG continues to make this point via Hilary Clinton:
She’s got a whopping case of that weird mental blind spot I labeled, in a post that appeared here last year, “the delusion of control”—the notion, as pervasive as it is preposterous, that when a member of America’s privileged classes does something, the rest of the cosmos is obliged to respond to that action in a wholly passive, wholly mechanical manner. For a world-class example, watch the way Clinton’s handlers simply look blank each time they find out that most of the American people loathe and distrust their candidate, and try repeatedly to “reintroduce” her, as though they think they can just hit a reset button…
For that matter, Clinton’s own attitude during the campaign so far reminds me of nothing so much as what happens when someone puts money into a defective vending machine. She’s fed the thing her quarters and pushed the right button, but the desired product hasn’t dropped to the bottom where she can get it. Now she’s jabbing the button over and over again, and in due time she’ll be pounding her fists on the thing and screaming at it because it won’t give her what she’s paid for.
JMG makes the point that plutocracy has corrupted democracy as it was always going to do, the difference now being that ordinary people are no longer accepting the fancy arguments and spin that they should continue to vote for the ‘least bad’ political party and the ‘least bad’ candidates pushing for the ‘least bad’ version of “realistic” “serious” status quo neoliberal policies.
What the insurgent candidacies of Trump and Sanders show conclusively, in turn, is that the lesser-evil rhetoric and its fixation on “realistic” politics have just passed their pull date. There are very good reasons for this. The pursuit of the lesser evil means that the best the American people are supposed to hope for is the continuation of the current state of things—that’s what you get, after all, if your only talking points fixate on stopping things from getting worse—and for most Americans today, the current state of things is unbearable.