Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Ascension

We Americans have a well-established recent history of begrudgingly voting for the presidential candidate we hope will march us more slowly to the abattoir. Our choices in recent elections have been just as bad, though only through the magic of hindsight. Our wide-eyed hope for Obama has been revised by the drone program, surprise right-centrist policy moves, and perpetual weakness against an adversarial congress. The only time hope has stayed pristine was when Bobby Kennedy had the decency to die before he had the chance to cash in his political capital. 

The words choke me as if made of soot, but Hillary was right - there is no perfect, so adequate will have to do. Maybe my wildly low expectations will lead to a pleasant surprise - I'd say we have a really good idea of whose pockets she's in, so maybe that fact will lead to a more accountable approach. 

I suppose there is some good that Bernie has done regardless of the outcome of this specific contest - the progressive left has flexed enough that the establishment knows it's not to be ignored. There's still the chance for Bernie, Liz Warren, and other progressives to unite and press hard in congress for bills that Hillary might not support, but would be unlikely to veto while facing an imminent re-election campaign. 

I won't complain that "the fix is in" because the fix has been made not only legal but de riguer thanks to Citizens United and its ilk. There's a perverse truth in the notion that Hillary's campaign is groundbreaking - it's not just that a woman will likely clinch the nomination for a major party, but that a generally unlikeable, classist woman will succeed in this while the money trail is only halfheartedly obfuscated. She didn't have to be any better than her predecessors in order to succeed, and that is weirdly progressive in its own horrible way. Hold no doubt that I will drink to that.


  1. "...the fix has been made not only legal but de riguer thanks to Citizens United..."

    The candidates with the strongest outside spending failed to gain traction early on.