What Happened is a sordid book, petulant and spiteful. It made me feel queasy and dirty while reading it, like the whole 25-year-long experience of Clintonism itself. By the end, I got the sense that its sleazy torrent of invective and blame-mongering was more an attempt to console the frail psyche of the author rather than to repair her shattered image to any readership the book might find. In the years to come, What Happened will prove much more valuable as documentary evidence for psycho-historians than political scientists.
Wow. This is the thanks that the Hillary Clinton has for Sanders’ energetic and self-effacing efforts to save her sorry, vapid, sold-out, and uninspiring political career. After everything Bernie did for her, after all the exhausting campaign stops he made for her, she still has the sneering sociopathic audacity to lay her abject failure partly at Sanders’ feet. [italics Street's --tm]
Caitlin Johnstone (a Green voter) doesn't actually review the book but contributes a fine, foul-mouthed rant:
As we all know, nobody actually wants Hillary Clinton to keep talking. Nobody, if they’re really honest with themselves, wants her to keep coming back, smearing Bernie Sanders, shitting on progressives, and blaming every living vertebrate not named Hillary Rodham Clinton for her loss in the 2016 election. Even her most ardent supporters are secretly wishing she’d just shut the fuck up and go away at this point so they could stop cleaning up after her and working overtime to spin her bullshit into something vaguely positive.
So why doesn’t she? Why does she keep coming back in, doing interviews, attacking the left, embarrassing her supporters and relitigating a primary election she’d do well to let the world forget? I think I know why.
Johnstone thinks that, having demonized Trump beyond all bounds of civilized imagination during the campaign, Clinton has to keep up the drumbeat now:
In opting for this risky gamble of telling Democrats that something uniquely horrible would happen if Trump won, and then losing, Hillary Clinton was forced into a position where she had to either (A) tell America that everything was going to be okay, thereby admitting that much of what her people had been saying about Trump was a lie, or (B) let the fear persist and try to avoid getting blamed for it. She opted for B.
That seems a bit baroque but this part of Johnstone's rant has the ring of truth:
America was spoonfed a boatload of lies in order to force the election of what the US oligarchs perceived as a more reliable pro-establishment candidate to protect their assets... [Yet] after all the fearmongering and freakouts, we’ve seen conclusively that Trump is essentially a Republican Obama, who was himself essentially a Democratic George W. Bush...
It's too early to say what Trump might have in store for us but he certainly seems to have been brought to heel by the military. The few anti-interventionist noises he made in the campaign will soon be a distant memory.
by tom moodyComments Off on harvard study: americans rely on the mainstream media to tell them whether a politician is honest
The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University has published a study analyzing the role of right wing activists in shaping narratives picked up by the mainstream media in the 2016 election. One of these was the Clinton Foundation corruption story. From the Chapter "Dynamics of Network Propaganda: Clinton Foundation Case Study":
The critical lesson of this chapter of the Clinton Foundation story is that the manipulation was not a result of Facebook fake news or of the fragmentation of public discourse. Precisely because the majority of Americans do not get their news from Facebook or from the right-wing media ecosystem, it was necessary for the actors on the right -- Bannon and Schweitzer through GAI, Breitbart, Fox, the Daily Caller, and Judicial Watch -- to frame a story that was attractive enough for mainstream media to cover, and to cause mainstream voters to doubt Hillary Clinton’s integrity. There simply are not enough voters who get their news largely from the right-wing media ecosystem to win an election. Right-wing media must harness broader parts of the ecosystem to achieve their strategic goals. In this case, they kept the story alive with several distinct media “hits”—the release of a book while offering careful “exclusive” access to major newspapers; a film; multiple releases of email dumps; and responses by political actors to these media events (from the congressional representatives’ letter to the IRS to Donald Trump’s public statements). Right-wing media succeeded in pushing the Clinton Foundation to the front of the public agenda precisely at the moment when Clinton would have been anticipated to (and indeed did) receive her biggest bounce in the polls: immediately after the Democratic convention.
Two major assumptions are made in the Harvard Study: (i) that Hillary Clinton is an honest person and (ii) "narratives" regarding her dishonesty emanated only from the right wing. Yet one doesn't have to be a rabid partisan to be offended by the Clintons' cash haul from speaking fees and supposed charitable donations. Many on the left were repulsed by the scale of the solicitation and it was a factor driving support for Bernie Sanders. Also, many Americans remembered the weasel words Clinton used to justify her Iraq War vote, both at the time of the vote and after the failure of the invasion. The Berkman Klein Center assumes "mainstream voters" must read something in the Washington Post to believe it; they can't suss it out for themselves. "Out of touch elite" doesn't begin to describe the authors of the study. At the same time, the authors seem incapable of making a moral judgment as straightforward as "$250,000 speaking fees = political access = corruption."
by tom moodyComments Off on fred willard and the HRC book of excuses
The indefatigable Hillary Clinton wrote a book! 512 pages of excuses for her election failure -- should be a fun read.
You might not know she was a fan of the movie A Mighty Wind, but in any case, here's Fred Willard with the title for her book: [YouTube clip]
(Fred explains the book title and other catchphrases: [slightly longer YouTube clip])