Clinton’s F-You to Progressives: This is How Trump Could Become President

Clinton’s F-You to Progressives: This is How Trump Could Become President

Nominating a political clone like Sen. Tim Kaine is exactly the wrong thing to do if you want a higher turnout

 Here’s what Hillary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine as her VP tells us:
  • She suffers from a possibly fatal mix of arrogance and political cluelessness that may well hand the election to Trump;
  • She is totally beholden to the Oligarchy she claims to want to reign in;
  • She’s not a progressive – and her so-called leftward “evolution” on issues was a calculated, cynical and clumsy attempt to neutralize Sanders.  

Before we explore these issues, let’s get some perspective here.  Tim Kaine is not a right wing zealot.  He’s backed expanding payroll taxes to cover a broader range of income to increase Social Security’s solvency.  He’s supported some limited expansion of gun control in a state that loves its guns. He’s got a reasonably good record on LGBT rights (after “evolving” a bit). He’s got a mixed record on climate and energy, banning some but not all fracking when governor of Virginia, and supporting the use of fossil fuels as a “bridge” to clean energy (including support for clean coal); but at least he acknowledges the science on climate change. He’s suggested that waging war against ISIL requires congressional authorization, and he called for withdrawing from Afghanistan as quickly as possible.

“With Clinton’s lead at about 4% in polls, taking an action that was certain to shrink the turnout was either arrogant, stupid, or demonstrative of someone who is so out of touch with the plight of the average American as to be clueless.”

But he’s also supported Fast Track and praised the TPP, although he’s declined to say whether he would vote for it.

In short, he’s pretty much a centrist candidate much like Hillary.  And therein lies the problem.

It’s About the Passion, Stupid

Make no mistake – this presidential race is all about passion.  Here’s why.

There is only one way that Trump can win the presidency, and that is if turnout is low.

With only 23% of Americans identifying as Republicans, and more independents leaning left than right, a big turnout is deadly to Trump’s chances.

Conversely, a low turnout strongly favors Trump.  Consider the 2014 midterms in which the Democrats were handed a devastating defeat that was far worse than any polling suggested.  Why? With the lowest turnout for a midterm election in over 72 years, the race went to the most rabid; not the most reasonable.  As Yeats put in his poem, The Second Coming:

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are filled with a passionate intensity.

It’s always been apparent that Trump was playing to the primitive lizard brain, and with his fear mongering acceptance speech on Thursday it showed he’s intending to double down on this tactic.  It’s classic demagoguery.  First, neutralize the press; second, make people afraid. Third, declare “I alone, can fix it.”

Most Americans won’t swallow this swill.  But if turnouts are as low as 2014 when only 36.3% of eligible voters showed up, then Trump could win by getting only 20% of eligible voters. And while Trump’s campaign is a study in chaos, the man has proven good at one thing: generating passion; not to mention irrational frenzy. These people may be crazy, and they may constitute a minority, but they will turn out.

Contrast that with Hillary. At a time when people are desperately looking for something other than a status quo corporatist candidate, she’s the quintessential party politician, complete with PACs, and dragging her past support for Wall Street, the Big Banks, perennial Wars, and trade policy behind her like a giant buzz kill. The only thing that saved her in the primary was strong backing by the press, the elite party members, and – inexplicably – African Americans.  That and her “evolution” to the left.

The only folks who feel passion for Hillary are women over 40 and the elite economic and political establishment. A powerful group, but not big in terms of numbers. After significant concessions in the platform debate, she had some hope of winning over at least some real progressives. Tim Kaine’s appointment will cut that number significantly.

Nominating a political clone is exactly the wrong thing to do if you want a higher turnout.  And Kaine is a clone.

Hillary is not a Progressive

But Kaine’s appointment tells us something else – Clinton’s brief feint to the left wasn’t for real. Kaine is obviously a dog whistle to show Big Banks and Wall Street that her tough talk during the campaign wasn’t to be taken seriously.

Now it’s likely that turnouts for a Presidential race will be higher, but by how much, and the real question is how will it be enough for her to win, after this appointment?

With Clinton’s lead at about 4% in polls, taking an action that was certain to shrink the turnout was either arrogant, stupid, or demonstrative of someone who is so out of touch with the plight of the average American as to be clueless. Beyond that, it’s irresponsible. Giving a candidate as heinous as Trump a shot at the Presidency raises the question of whether she has the judgement to serve as President.

Finally, it shows she is beholden to Big Banks and Wall Street

There was a debate during the primary about whether Hillary was beholden to Wall Street and the financiers for the money she’s received from them.  Elizabeth Warren gave us one example.  Hillary just confirmed that it remains the case generally.

John Atcheson is author of the novel, A Being Darkly Wise, an eco-thriller and Book One of a Trilogy centered on global warming. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the San Jose Mercury News and other major newspapers. Atcheson’s book reviews are featured on
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  • Clyde Duncan  On 07/24/2016 at 5:11 am

    Praising Kaine … by David Nir – Daily Kos

    Hillary Clinton announced her selection of Virginia Senator, Tim Kaine, as her running mate late on Friday evening, and something incredible has already happened: Major Republican figures are speaking up to offer their praise. For instance Arizona Senator, Jeff Flake and Pennsylvania Senator, Pat Toomey offered congratulations and praise.

    There will be more to follow, because, in the words of Virginia’s Republican state House speaker, Kaine is an “honourable public servant” who commands respect both broad and deep from fellow lawmakers — even Republicans. Now, there’s no question that other considerations are playing a role for guys like Flake, who is positioning himself as the post-Trump leader of the sane faction of the Republican Party; or Toomey, who is seeking re-election this fall in a blue state and is very vulnerable.

    But that’s precisely the point: Clinton knows that these fissures already exist, and they’ve only been exacerbated by Donald Trump’s toxic candidacy. Tim Kaine is her wedge to split those fissures wide open. And it’s not just about winning in November but looking toward January as well: Kaine is the sort of person who will help her forge good deals with Congress and pass good legislation if she’s president.

    When Trump tapped Indiana Governor Mike Pence for his VP slot, Republicans hoped — PRAYED, really — that Pence would serve as an escape hatch for an estranged establishment to wander in from the wilderness and embrace Trump.

    So far, though, there’s been no sign of that happening. Instead, it’s Kaine who’s offering a way for Republicans disgusted with their own nominee to accept Hillary Clinton. In this bitterly polarized age, that’s a remarkable feat. It will only send the GOP even deeper into disarray and, with any luck, pay dividends at the ballot box.

    • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 07/24/2016 at 2:33 pm

      Clyde, this suggests that Clinton is hoping to attract those disaffected Republican voters.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 07/24/2016 at 10:58 am

    Tim Kaine – Mayor of Richmond, Virginia – 1998-2001
    – Wikipedia

    In July 1998, Kaine was elected Mayor of Richmond, succeeding Larry Chavis. He was chosen by a majority-black City Council, becoming the city’s first white mayor in more than ten years, which was viewed as a surprise.

    Previous mayors had treated the role as primarily ceremonial one, with the City Manager effectively operating the city; Kaine treated the office as a full-time job, taking a more hands-on approach.

    As Mayor, Kaine used a sale-leaseback arrangement to obtain funds to renovate the historic Maggie L. Walker High School and reopen it in 2000 as a magnet governor’s school, the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies, which “now serves the top students in Central Virginia.” Three elementary schools and one middle school were also built in Richmond under Tim Kaine.

    Along with Commonwealth’s Attorney David Hicks; U.S. Attorney James Comey, and Police Chief Jerry Oliver, Kaine was a supporter of Project Exile, which a reporter described as a “controversial but effective program,” that shifted gun crimes to federal court, where armed defendants faced harsher sentences.

    The effort “won broad political support” and the city’s homicide rate fell by 55% under Kaine’s tenure in office. Kaine later touted Project Exile during his campaign for lieutenant governor in 2001.

    On several occasions, Kaine voted in opposition to tax increases, and supported a tax abatement program for renovated buildings, which was credited for a housing-renovation boom in the city. Richmond was named one of “the 10 best cities in America to do business” by Forbes magazine during Kaine’s term.

    According to John Moeser, a professor emeritus of urban studies and planning at Virginia Commonwealth University and later a visiting fellow at the University of Richmond’s Center for Civic Engagement, during his time as mayor, Kaine “was energetic, charismatic and, most important, spoke openly about his commitment to racial reconciliation in Richmond.”

    In the early part of his term, Kaine issued an APOLOGY for the city’s role in slavery, the apology was generally well received as “a genuine, heartfelt expression.”

    In the latter part of his term, a contentious debate took place in the city over the inclusion of a portrait of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in a set of historic murals to be placed on city floodwalls; Kaine came out in favour of Lee’s inclusion, arguing that placing Lee on the floodwall made sense in this context.

    During his tenure as Mayor, Kaine drew criticism for spending $6,000 in public funds on buses to the Million Mom March, an anti-gun-violence rally in Washington, D.C.; after a backlash, Kaine raised the money privately and reimbursed the city.

    National Rifle Association of America HQ in Virginia was NOT a friend of Tim Kaine. “Tim has a backbone of steel. Just ask the NRA. Over and over again he has had the courage to stand up to the Gun Lobby in their own backyard,” Hillary Clinton said on Saturday afternoon. “He has fought for common sense gun reform.”

  • Clyde Duncan  On 07/24/2016 at 11:08 am

    I never read the bible, but I like this one: Yee of little faith – Why are you afraid?

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 07/24/2016 at 2:36 pm

    Yet another episode in “Race for the White House 2016.” The plot thickens. Next episode: the Democratic National Convention.

    • De caatro  On 07/24/2016 at 3:40 pm

      Last turn out USA 38.1%
      Is this factual.
      If so 51% may prove useful to
      Wicked witch being next CIC.
      Is this possible …will more voters
      vote …think so …51%? so far doubtful.
      As it gets nearer Nov 8 we will know.
      If turn out less than 50% it’s undemocratic in my books.
      Compulsory voting the way forward.
      OZ leads the world on democracy in
      principle and practice.
      Maybe others should follow ?
      Just thinking

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