Yves Smith linked this morning on her Naked Capital blog to my post from yesterday called “The Secretive Democracy Alliance’s Secret Is Out: Some of its members are elitist, racist and self-serving,” and added a comment about it:
Helpful, but does not follow the logic to the obvious conclusion. Why is the Dem apparatus harping on the Kochs and not issues that would motivate voters, like more jobs, better access to housing and education? Because they’ve done nothing on those fronts and don’t intend to. […]
The link and Yves’ comment “pinged back” as a comment to my post. In response to Yves and to a comment by Daniel Becker, I wrote:
My intended point, Yves, was that harping on the IS harping on the issues that would motivate voters, like more jobs, better access to housing and education. Steve Phillips, et al., think that only white men and married white women are smart enough to understand the connection between politicians’ financial benefactors and those politicians’ proposed legislation and attempts to block legislation. I think Phillips is wrong.
The failure of the Obama administration–courtesy largely of Tim Geithner and of Obama’s weird infatuation with him throughout Obama’s first term, but also to Obama’s laconic, detached, I’m-a-centrist! persona–to propose and then fight for substantial Keynesian fiscal policies and for other progressive policies–is not, say, Nancy Pelosi’s, or Dick Durbin’s, or Sherrod Brown’s, or Tom Harkin’s fault.
And, yes, the very last thing that the Dems need is yet another presidential nominee who’s never had an original policy idea in her life; who almost never takes a policy position that actually leads rather than follows (and in the one instance in which she did–drivers’ licenses for unauthorized immigrants–scrambles and backtracks at first sign of political harm to her; who spends her time posting to a silly Twitter account and trying to enhance her personal persona rather than ever, ever, ever actually thinking about and offering specific domestic policy proposals; and who apparently can’t function without the constant presence of an entourage of her “people,” i.e., her devotees.
How many other Secretaries of State had a constant go-fer? How many other FORMER Secretaries of State brought along that same constant go-fer after leaving office? How many couldn’t manage without one?
I keep wondering: Is anyone under the age of 40 “ready for Hillary”? Best as I can tell, the answer is, no. What people ARE ready for is a politician–like Durbin, Harkin, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, the former two who are too old to run for president, the latter two who don’t appear interpeted in doing so–who doesn’t have a Twitter account, or a personal entourage, or a daughter whose parents thought it was a good idea for her to sell her celebrity name (and nothing more) to a network news program for a huge amount of money, and talked their daughter into doing that. Someone, in other words, who’s not famous for just being an ‘icon’, but who has built a mostly-quiet career as an economics populist in Congress or academia.
And, Daniel, I, like you, still cringe, as I did in 2008, at a campaign run almost entirely on a promise of Hope and Change, the substance of which the candidate never specified because he himself had no particular person convictions or policy ideas. We don’t need another such standard bearer–not even one who replaces Hope and Change with WOMEN! WOMEN! WOMEN! One Dem presidential candidate, and Dem president, of that ilk is more than enough, thank you very much.
Daniel, I think you and Yves have it backwards. The Dems can’t show progress in policy BECAUSE of the billionaire-controlled campaign-finance system.
So now I’ve gotten it off my chest. It, being my dismay and utter frustration at the silly Hillary-or-bust obsession of the seemingly hypnotized Establishment Democrats and pundits.
This woman has written a narcissistic book for which she was paid handsomely-being paid handsomely appears to be her primary concern–and is in the process of blowing her book-tour interviews. Which is nice, because now maybe–just maybe; it’s by no means certain–some actual longtime progressive policy person of some political stature, who doesn’t have a Twitter account or a personal entourage, and is not entirely self-obsessed–will step forward and run for the Dem presidential nomination, on a platform that details policy rather than relies upon personal celebrity and gender.
Hope springs eternal. Although the Kochs, the Chamber of Commerce, and some hedge fund folks have noticed, few political journalists–and apparently no Dem pols and political consultants–have. This country is suddenly moving rapidly toward a progressive economic-populist era. Instead, the over-40 professional political crowd thinks that the political sun rises and sets each morning with Hillary Clinton’s personal appearances and Twitter comments. It doesn’t.
Post edited slightly for clarity after posting. 6/25 at 3:58 p.m.