Hmm, it’s hard to find the first paragraph this morning.
There are two curious instances of rare truth in the media in the last 24 hours. These will give you an uncomfortable feeling in your sphincter because instances where journalists observe and accurately analyze happen so infrequently that the events that are being reported must be significant.
The first recommendation is from Slate’s Political Gabfest. This episode is called the “Rough Them Up”. The panelists are John Dickerson, Ruth Marcus, Dahlia Lithwick and David Plotz. I’m beginning to really like John Dickerson. He seems to do his homework and he’s got a slightly irritable and impatient edge. This guy is barely masking his contempt for Third Wayer David Plotz. It’s fun to listen to.
In this edition, John Dickerson precisely lays out Trump’s path and math to the nomination. The panelists also discuss what I brought up a couple of days ago: The parties are private. They make the rules and they can break the rules to suit them. What is going to be important is the media narrative when the rules favor one candidate over another. We saw this happen in 2008 when the media immediately jumped on the “Why is Hillary harshing Obama’s mellow?” at the convention in Denver. Yeah, what made her think she was entitled to a legitimate roll call vote where delegates who were pledged to her on the first ballot thought they were allowed to, you know, vote for her? It seems like the Slate panelists either want to forget that 2008 happened or they aren’t aware of how close the delegate count really was in 2008.
But they are right about the parties’ prerogatives to change the rules at will, voters be damned. If you got burned in 2008 for supporting Hillary, go listen and you will start to sympathize with the Trump voter. I mean, it will pass because you are not a crazy person. But you will understand the frustration of millions of people who have finally had enough of establishment political groups forcing their preferred candidates on the rest of us after pretending that the primaries actually count or something.
They also talk about Trump rallies, the deeply unsettling and scary takeaway messages from Trump and his supporters, and the rhetoric of pathology that has permeated Trump’s campaign. This is a serious problem and we should take the candidate and his supporters at their words. They are not kidding. Then they discuss the safe, boring choice of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court. Dahlia Lithwick nails what it means and what Garland’s nomination says about Barack Obama. In short, Obama is about as boring, pedestrian and middle of the road as a guy can get. It is not in his nature to shake up anything.
Thank you, Dahlia. I’ve been waiting 8 long years for someone to finally say it.
The second piece is about what Obama told donors the other day about how it’s time for Bernie to drop out and everyone to get behind Hillary. The title of the piece is Obama quietly signals time to unite behind Clinton.
Let’s just examine the title here for a moment. First, what he’s doing is sneaky. He does this “quietly”, “privately”. Secondly, it’s with his donors. He’s got them, they’re his. There is a reciprocal agreement. Thirdly, he doesn’t care that the primaries are still in full swing. He’s more interested in shaping the outcome without all those pesky voters.
This is and has been his method for years.
If this report is accurate, it just confirms that Obama is the frenemy Hillary can do without. This is the upper middle class corporate ladder climbing president who could be living in some swank northern Jersey suburb, playing golf with other men of the same socio-economic group, telling them that, sure, Hillary doesn’t *seem* authentic and she’s not exciting, but she’s really talented, we should all get behind her now and it’s time to show Bernie, and all the people that Bernie attracts, the door. It’s like getting a glimpse of what that midlevel manager colleague of yours is really saying about you to the bosses behind closed doors.
See reference to what Dahlia Lithwick said about Obama’s personality above.
I’ll say it again after eight years of saying it: I’ve never been impressed or wowed! by Obama. He’s had a pretty good PR team but I found his campaign speeches to be endless run-on collections of prepositional phrases without a point. Maybe some people are impressed by that. It did nothing for me. His record was, what, spotty? Non-existent? He came out of almost nowhere. His favorite politicians were, um, Republicans. He wrote some self-indulgent biographies. Annnnnd that’s about it. Lawyers, even ones from Harvard, are a dime a dozen these days. Yahhhhwwwn. It’s difficult to find a more establishment politician than Barack Obama.
I am not surprised that there are a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters who feel burned by his two terms in office. They really believed the hype about hope and change, even though the guy they picked doesn’t have a single cell of change in his body. This is the guy who is talking about Hillary’s authenticity. I hope the former Obama supporters who are feeling the Bern this year have learned something but they probably haven’t. I keep thinking I can’t get more disgusted by Obama but he always manages to do it one more time.
In any case, this politically tone deaf president (whoops! totally forgot the latest episode of Serial, season 2, called Thorny Politics, where Obama screwed up the return of Bowe Bergdahl. Yeah, go listen to that.), has succeeded in pissing off just about everyone by going to this single donor event. Nevermind that these vulture capitalists have to be stroked so they see the value in supporting the best presidential candidate the country has had for 26 years. No, he’s got to be an arrogant douchebag and insult her and Bernie Sanders’ voters at the same time.
So, Sanders people out there, I really do feel your pain. I might be a Clintonista but I am not going to invalidate your vision or tell you to give up having your vote counted. That’s the Obama way, he and his buddies have been doing it for 8 years now, or maybe even longer, if the stuff I’ve read about his Chicago years are accurate. He’s all about eliminating opponents by forcing them to drop out and depriving their voters of an opportunity to vote. The quicker we can get Hillary to stop having to fluff Obama and his friends for money, the better off we are all going to be. In a way, it’s all going to come down to you.
Your choice. And you DO have a choice.