Oh, God. Why does Clinton refuse to run on the Democratic Party platform? And against pro-Citizens United justices?
The Clinton campaign today made a key concession about its analysis of the fundamentals of the race. This concession was made almost in passing, as an afterthought, in a statement released late last night by Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri:
“One upside to Hillary Clinton’s break from the trail was having time to sharpen the final argument she will present to voters in these closing weeks. So when she rejoins the trail tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will deliver the second in a series of speeches laying out her aspirational vision for the country: that we are “Stronger Together.” Tomorrow’s remarks will focus on what has been at the core of who Hillary Clinton is as a person and the mission of her campaign — how we lift up our children and families and make sure that every child has the chance to live up to their God given potential.
“Our campaign readily admits that running against a candidate as controversial as Donald Trump means it is harder to be heard on what you aspire for the country’s future and it is incumbent on us to work harder to make sure voters hear that vision.” [Boldface in original.]
— Hillary Clinton’s campaign just admitted she has a real problem, Greg Sargent, yesterday morning
I’ve seen that Palmieri quote—parts of it and all of it—several times in one or another article now. The good news: that Clinton realizes that she needs to make major changes in how she campaigns. The bad news: The changes are that she’s gonna tell everyone how much she’s always cared about kids and families and how she wants to help kids meet their “God-given” potential.
Great! Millennials will be energized to know that Clinton considers kids’ potential to be God-given. Because they’re so, y’know, religious as a generational group. And because they love it when a pol overtly panders to religious folk.
And because the secret to sealing the deal for Clinton with most voters is that they understand that Clinton has always cared about kids and families. And they’re about to learn this.
So we can relax.
What voters, including me, didn’t know—but I do know now, because I just read Politico Magazine writer Bill Scher’s piece from yesterday—is what the thinking was behind Clinton’s Basket-of-Deplorables strategy: It’s that Clinton sees a sea change in how Democrats really think they can win, the article’s subtitle summarizes.
The article explains:
Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” moment blew up on the campaign trail last weekend like the major gaffe everyone had been waiting for. Donald Trump had new ammunition for the home stretch — a moment echoing Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment that made clear just how much he disdained a wide swath of America. The attack line was clear: Clinton had just needlessly maligned, even thrown overboard, millions of white working-class voters.
Yet Clinton only half walked it back—and the Clinton campaign overall appears happy to keep talking about Trump’s most loathsome supporters. This might all be a mistake on her part, a blunder followed by a refusal to back down. More likely, in such a thoroughly data-driven operation, it’s a strategy — a calculated gamble that represents a new turn in American politics. By squarely siding with civil rights activists who demand that racism be forcefully confronted, she’s making clear that she views her path to victory doesn’t run through the white working-class vote. Rather, she’s making a bet that the makeup of 21st century America allows her to do something no Democratic nominee, not even Barack Obama, has done before: win the White House without winking at white grievance.
She’s right. A Democrat can win the White House without winking at white grievance.
Assuming, that is, that the Democrat doesn’t campaign on that fact, and instead campaigns on progressive fiscal and economic and regulatory policies.
And on significantly altering the manner of campaign financing—which requires a Democratic-controlled Congress and Democratic-appointed Supreme Court justices.
In this particular election it also means that the Democratic nominee actually educate the public that her Republican opponent is in fact not self-funding his campaign , and is beholden to far-right hedge-fund billionaires who are funding his campaign effort and writing tax, spending and regulatory policy for his campaign—the specifics of which Trump helpfully detailed (so to speak) in a teleprompter’d speech yesterday written by people owned by those billionaires and their mostly-owned-subsidiary think tank, but which has been available in slightly different form for many, many, many months.
Specifically, that is, it also means relentlessly apprising the public that Trump’s fiscal and regulatory policy proposals are standard Republican-Establishment fiscal and regulatory policy proposals. Paul Ryan stuff. You know; the ultimate Establishment Republican.
As will his Supreme Court and lower-federal-court nominees. As will his SEC, NLRB, Dept. of Justice, Treasury Dept., etc., etc., appointees.
In the last 24 hours or so I’ve published two detailed posts here at AB about the Pam Bondi/Donald Trump sequence of events illustrating that, yes, extortion or bribery likely did occur.*
Commenters to the first thread think, with some reason, that no one gives a damn about this. But here’s what people do give a damn about: the profoundly and thoroughly corrupt campaign finance system that the Supreme Court, in a series of several 5-4 opinions in which one of the five has died and has not been replaced, has issued rendering impossible any meaningful alteration of the campaign-finance system.
Citizens United was only the first and is only the best-known. Citizens United is extremely unpopular across the political spectrum, with the exception of course of its beneficiaries and benefactors. Trump’s deputy campaign manager founded and is on leave as president of the organization, Citizens United. Which is funded largely by the two hedge fund billionaire father-daughter duo funding Trump’s campaign. And who are “advising” Trump on policy positions.
And who will be dictating his nominees for the bench and the entire panoply of executive-agency top appointees.
It would seem that Clinton would recognize the distinction between incessantly talking about what Trump has said that everyone knows about—and that these things are dangerous, domestically and in foreign policy—and telling the public about Trump’s fiscal and regulatory policies, about his judicial and administrative-agency appointees, about who will be choosing them—and about what this will mean for any effort to alter the campaign-finance system.
Not to mention the absolute slew of other pro-Establishment, pro-corporate, pro-wealthy, pro-already-influential other 5-4 Supreme Court opinions issued in the last decade. And the series of obscene 5-4 Court opinions that brazenly and unabashedly skew elections toward Republicans. Which, of course, was the purpose of Citizens United.
If Clinton thinks simply reminding people that she cares about kids and families and always has, and telling people what her own policies in that regard are, is enough to signal the change that so many millennials, especially, but many, many others too, dearly want, she’s probably wrong. What probably would be enough would be talking about the most progressive parts of the Party platform. Such as campaign-finance reform.
And such as the healthcare Public Option. Which we’ve all forgotten actually is part of the platform. Well, most of have forgotten, anyway.
But not everyone. I received this email today via the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:
This is Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon.
I’m thrilled that in less than 24 hours, tens of thousands of Americans have supported the resolution I introduced yesterday with Senators Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, and Patty Murray. That show of public support doesn’t happen very often in today’s Senate!
If support for this resolution keeps growing, we can make the public option a key part of the 2016 debate and have momentum to pass this idea under the next president.
I’m proud to announce that we’ve grown from 5 senators to 33 senators on the resolution calling for every American to have the choice of a public health insurance option. USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Oregonian, and others have covered our campaign together.
This momentum is happening because people care about bringing much-needed competition and accountability to the insurance market. It’s also happening because we’re working in collaboration with great allies like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Presente, UltraViolet, MoveOn, the Working Families Party, Democracy for America, Daily Kos, Campaign for America’s Future, and the AFL-CIO.
Organizations like the PCCC were integral to keeping the public option alive — and nearly passing it — in 2009 and 2010. Since Obamacare passed, Democrats have been focused on beating back Republican attempts to repeal it.
But now, there is an opportunity to write the next chapter of health care reform and do it in a bold progressive way. President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders all called for the public option this year — giving it new life. And then fuel was added to the fire.
Like you, I was outraged when Aetna announced it would pull out of state exchanges in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, Kentucky, Texas, and Illinois.
Worse, it was revealed that Aetna denied millions of people the opportunity to buy their insurance as part of an attempt to force the Justice Department to approve a mega-merger between two insurance giants.
I don’t think we need any more proof that a public option is critical to bringing more competition and accountability to the insurance market.
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon)
I signed the petition. Hillary Clinton should, too.
Clinton’s Basket of Deplorables comment is neither here nor there, in my opinion. I just desperately wish she would run a campaign that is grounded in the economic and anti-campaign-funding-corruption populism in tune with 2016. A.k.a., a strong desire for change. Instead she’s running a deplorable one and turning a lot of us former Sanders supporters into basket cases.
Turns out that a substantial percentage of Millennials think there’s no difference between Clinton’s policy preferences and Trump’s. Not all that surprising, I guess, given that Clinton spent the summer campaigning for Republican votes. Brilliant idea!*
*Paragraph added 9/16 at 5:53 p.m.
UPDATE: *That link is to the second of my two Bondi/Trump posts, the one I posted this morning. Thus far there is one comment to it, from reader Woodrow, who writes:
So Trump, Clinton, and nearly all of CONgress are corrupt. Wake me when partisan voters, what few there are, change their voting habits instead of voting the same cronies in of both Party’s at a 90% rate.
Bondi is special in her own right, some may recall when she got into office one of the first thing she did was fire a couple of successful anti-fraudclosure attorney’s from her office.
Actually, I had no idea regarding the info in that second paragraph. It sure is interesting. And a perfect example of the Citizens United/Citizens United (not redundant here)/campaign-finance-restructuring issue that I’m pleading with Clinton in this post to, like, mention.
As for that first paragraph, the reason that Trump is doing as well as he is and could win is exactly that he’s scamming the public into beieving that he’s not a same-old-crony. But the same old cronies are his puppeteers, who wrote his economic/fiscal/regulatory proposal and who will be choosing his Supreme Court, lower-federal-court, and executive agency appointments.
And since Clinton has opted to not run on the Democratic Party platform, and instead to win appealing mainly to moderate Republicans, it now looks like the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate as well as the House.
Added 9/16 at 3:11 p.m.
Among people who thought they could answer a question about what the [Clinton Foundation] does, more than half (56 percent) think that setting up speaking engagements for the Clintons is one of its activities. This answer was chosen more than any other, including the charitable activities the foundation actually is engaged in, like combating AIDS in Africa (47 percent chose this answer), providing schoolchildren with healthful food choices (29 percent), and helping girls and women through education and training (43 percent). Although some money from the Clintons’ speeches ends up at the charity (and the Clintons may speak on behalf of the charity), booking speeches is not a central activity of the Clinton Foundation.
More surprising, 39 percent of registered voters think the Clinton Foundation manages the personal finances of the Clinton family, and 40 percent also think the foundation gives money to Democratic candidates. (It does neither of these things.)
— What People Don’t Know About the Clinton Foundation Is Revealing in Itself, Lynn Vavreck, The New York Times, yesterday
Lordy. I mean, God.
Clinton remained virtually silent throughout the August news blast about her emails-and-foundation stuff. The news media, as Vavreck notes, has done an excellent job of misleading the public on this. But it’s had an infinite amount of help from Clinton and her campaign.
So maybe now—now—she should use some of that donations haul from August to run ads explaining this? And then following up that ad campaign with one that educates the public about the Trump Foundation?
There’s no time like the present, Hillary Clinton. You should do this. Now.
Added 9/16 at 3:55 p.m.