I watched Hillary Clinton give the biggest speech of her life tonight, on the final day of the Democratic Convention. I am stunned that all the talent in Ms. Clinton’s campaign staff could not persuade her to give even a moderately good speech. It was dull, predictable, and unbelievable. In a year in which voters seem to crave a politics that feels fresh and authentic and daring, she sounded like one of those bombastic, old-school politicians glibly promising everything on the platform knowing full well that the whole point is to get elected and then do whatever you want.
Occasionally, the cameras showed us Bernie Sanders’ face. I was fascinated by it. I have no idea what he was thinking but I know what I would have been thinking. I would have been thinking, “she has co-opted my movement and she’s not going to enact any of those policies I managed to wrangle into the platform”. Philadelphia was already infested with the big donors and special interest groups, bankers, pharmaceutical executives, lobbyists, that Bernie was fighting against. He had that look: the system won again. It is rigged.
Some of the lobbyists were already at the Clintons’ side, sitting in their exclusive box at the– get this– Wells Fargo Center.
She is not going to do any of the things Bernie Sanders campaigned for. She is going to start another war or escalate the endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. She’s going to step into the quagmire that awaits her in Syria. She’s not going to be able to pass the free tuition legislation even if she did really believe in it. She’s going to make marginal improvements in some social programs in exchange for the usual sell-out of tax bites, exemptions, military increases, education programs that cost nothing and accomplish nothing, and symbolic gestures.
If Obama found Congress hard to work with, I don’t imagine Clinton will find it any more cooperative. She may have an advantage though. It is conceivable that Trump will lose so badly and take so many Republicans down with him that she may have more of a mandate, and more cooperation from a Democratic majority than Obama has had in the last two years. And Clinton has demonstrated a greater ability to negotiate with Republicans than Obama has. She might be able to peel off a few votes here and there.
And she will likely be able to appoint two or maybe three new Supreme Court Justices. And perhaps she’ll follow the Republican template and appoint them young, and thereby influence the direction of the court for decades.
She will be immeasurably better than the alternative but still, that sad expression on Sanders’ face, is the look of recognition: the system is rigged.
[whohit]The Election is Rigged[/whohit]