Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Deep State vs. Democracy



counterpunch |  With Bernie Sanders the people’s choice for winner of the Democratic primary in terms of political organizing and campaign contributions, the powers-that-be in the DNC are putting out a call for establishment figures like Hillary Clinton or Michael Bloomberg to join the race. Not being ‘reported’ by the establishment press is that these same kingmakers 1) weighted the Democrat’s choice against Mr. Sander’s and towards Ms. Clinton in 2016 and lost and 2) chose Joe Biden as their ‘heavyweight’ candidate for 2020.

The idea, popular on the American left, that winning against Donald Trump is all that matters, runs up against the fact that these DNC kingmakers have a less than stellar track record when it comes to winning elections. Not only is Ms. Clinton one of the most enthusiastically despised people on the planet— more so than Donald Trump even after his impeachment was announced, but Michael Bloomberg was a Republican for the entirety of the wildly misguided American war against Iraq. Why isn’t he running as a Republican?

The rationale for the reappearance of the ‘grownups’ from the DNC appears to be that Joe Biden’s political prospects are sinking faster than Bill Clinton’s libido in the presence of women over the age of consent. That Mr. Biden’s failure comes as a surprise to DNC insiders illustrates the political ineptitude mentioned above. In fact, this practice of perpetually failing upward— of being wrong about absolutely everything while maintaining leadership positions in quasi-public institutions like the DNC, suggests that winning elections isn’t the objective.

According to the political campaign funding website opensecrets.org, Bernie Sanders is second only to Donald Trump in terms of campaign contributions raised toward his 2020 presidential campaign. And given the source of Mr. Sanders’ contributions— small donors, a.k.a. ’the people,’ he is quite conspicuously the people’s choice for President amongst Democrats. This leaves the rich, business executives and their bourgeois aspirants— the richer 10% of the country, with a choice of Mr. Trump or the Democratic Party equivalent.

The question of where Elizabeth Warren is in all this gets to the issue of motives. Ms. Warren is both brighter and more competent in a performative sense than Joe Biden. And she signaled early on that she will drop her entire political program if doing so gets her the nod from donors and DNC insiders. This willingness to ‘compromise’ sets her apart from Mr. Sanders. The question ‘can she win,’ the seeming pragmatic question of the day, is proved a farce through the first insider choice of Joe Biden, and then with the call for more ‘heavyweight’ losers.