Monday, September 14, 2015

Advice To A Candidate

Over at Salon there is another good piece on how Both Siderism has ruined Murrica. 

Which is nice; everyone, it seems, is going "full driftglass" these days.
The media made this f**king monster: How phony objectivity helped create Donald Trump

The old "both sides do it" lie keeps the press from talking honestly about politics, and helps empower the right
But it is also mildly irritating, since I have been writing such essays since I first hung out my shingle in the spring Spring of 2005, and it has moved me not one inch closer to landing some kinda paying gig someplace.  Anyplace.  Hell, even Salon :-)

So I was digging around in my archives to make some point or another on that subject, when I happened across this post in which I advise then-Senator Hillary Clinton about properly and respectfully courting us Liberals.

I think it's held up pretty well, so I am reposting.  Or you can go read the original here and revel in +450 spambot comments from days gone by...

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Celle qui fut la belle heaulmière Posted by Hello

In English, the name of this stunning piece roughly translates into: She Who Was the Helmet-Maker's Beautiful Wife. It’s also known by a few other names, one of which is 'The Old Courtesan'.

A snippet from yesterday’s New York Daily News...
Democrats need to strengthen message on security, Sen. Clinton says
by Thomas M. Defrank
New York - (KRT) - Sen.
Hillary Clinton lamented Monday that Democrats booted security issues in last fall's election and urged her party to embrace the "different course" she's been pushing - or risk another four years of GOP rule.
Meeting with New York Daily News editors and reporters, the New York Democrat said her party must "do a better job" of debunking Republican attacks that Democrats are soft on homeland security as well as national security issues like the Iraq war.
The Junior Senator from New York has also recently teamed up with two of the Hard Right’s usual suspects – Senators Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback – to flog Grand Theft Auto as perhaps an even greater threat to the Youth of American than Spongebob masturbating to Elvis singing Evil Rock ‘n Roll.

Brent Bozell, President of the Pro-Theocratic Nanny State “Parents Television Council”, went so far as to warn his fellow wingnuts that: "Hillary's would-be Republican competitors had better take notice. She is successfully outflanking them on a hugely important issue she intends to make her own."

Talk about whatever you’d like, Senator. And yes, there is no denying that national security is certainly important, but for you -- She Who Was the 42nd President’s Influential Wife -- the lustrous days of old are gone. Like the La Belle Epoch of dollar-a-gallon gasoline, or the sepia-tinted era of curling up in front of the Grundig Majestic and listening to “Terry and the Pirates” (which was well before my time, but Harlan Ellison assures us that those days were glorious indeedy), the Halcyon Days of Triangulation are over.

Barbering the conservative vote -- taking a little off the back and sides – hoping that a new ideological makeover and a nice, severe suit will be enough will never work, Senator. Never. Dressing in Red accents with a Red purse in the delusional belief that you can maybe peel off a few votes from people who, while they thought your husband was a mere minion of Satan, really believe that you are Old Scratch Herself, is a doomed approach. A failed approach. A “Norma Desmond going mad clinging to a life long-passed” approach.
Joe Voter: You're Triangulating Hillary. You used to be in Democratic Politics. You used to be big. 
Hillary: I am big. It's the party that got small.**
Senator Clinton needs to grasp that fact, grieve, cope and move on with a new, winning playbook, but as things stand now, she comes bearing the disease, not the cure. Giving up a bit here and a bit there on the vain hope that you can pick off enough voters in onesies and twosies to squeak back into power is the slow, bone cancer that is killing Progressivism in America.

That decomposing Al From, “Beau Geste” strategy (lets keep propping up our Persistent Vegetative Strategy, and waving its rotting arms around, and hope we fool em’!) is Dead, Senator.

Dead as disco. Dead as Dillinger. Dead as hand-painted radium watch-faces.

I’m not asking her to star in, “Suddenly Socialist!” Hell, if she did that, I’d jump ship myself: I have no use for any flavor of authoritarian Utopidiots, no matter how they’re decked out and perfumed. But if she wants the votes of thousands – of millions – she needs to take to the stump and start talking about the GOP with a little genuine, populist rage.

You remember the GOP, don’t you Senator? The people that crucified your family and put everyone you love through a slow-motion meat grinder for partisan kicks? Surely you can muster a little fury over them, and surely you must know that you come across as a duplicitous little pocket-calculator every time you share the same air with those people.

Start telling farmers in Iowa why progressive government is good for them. Why Good Government is something to be proud of: the envy of the world. Why having an elected, responsive government answerable to the people is a terribly important firewall between the citizenry and the steamroller of raw, economic might. Why faith is terrific, but a State Religion is bad, which is why people of true faith inside the government should be fighting every day to keep it Secular and Democratic. Why a strong social safety net is Patriotic: as imperative to our national security as a thousand armies.

Quite trying so God damned hard to go Right around every corner, Senator. Try some genuine, heartfelt, Left turns and a lot of people you never expected will be there to cheer you on. And don’t worry about the DLC: say these things – and fucking well mean them! -- and as they have shown so consistently, that wing of the Party will follow. Shit, they have no will of their own. No core. They’ll go where the tide takes them.

Hell, if they see the Progressive Train pulling out of the station and they don’t scurry on board at the last minute, how are they ever going to command five-figure fees on the lecture circuit six years from now, bragging about how prescient and bold and good-leadershipful they were? 

**(As an aside IMHO a “Sunset Boulevard” remake with Hillary as Norma, Bill as Max [former Director and former husband] and, I dunno, Paul Begala? as Joe…would be the Funniest. Thing. Ever. It writes itself.)


Neo Tuxedo said...

In comments of the original post, you wrote, re C-Plus Augustus:

He's the who stood on the rubble. The rubble that that his own incompetence certainly helped to create

Then I looked at the date-stamp on the post and realized which rubble you'd been talking about.

if the next six months are half the Watergate-summer beat-down that the signs indicate

The wheels came off within six months, of course, but not in the way you (or I, had I known of your blog) anticipated then:

Say 9/11 changed everything now, motherfuckers. Ooops, 9/11, 9/11. 9/11. Doesn't work anymore? Gee, maybe the sea of alligator MRE's once known as the citizens of New Orleans has something to do with that. Now you can shut the fuck up about 9/11. Bush just proved what would happen with another 9/11. Dead Americans as far as the nose can smell.

(For newcomers: )

These glimpses of the better universe come, in the words of the man who had three arms, "often enough, perhaps, to mourn the death of God."

waldo said...

"I’m not asking her to star in, “Suddenly Socialist!” Hell, if she did that, I’d jump ship myself:I have no use for any flavor of authoritarian Utopidiots, no matter how they’re decked out and perfumed."

Jeez that's a shame, given that Bernie Sanders will be the next President of the US.

bowtiejack said...

What oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed.
Thanks for reposting this. Missed it the first time and boy you nailed it. A joy to read. (And La Bell Heaulmière. Delicious.)
Besides Sunset Boulevard, there’s another William Holden movie you might look at.

A long time ago (1954, if you must know) there was a movie called Executive Suite about the boardroom struggle for the presidency of a furniture manufacturer. It starred William Holden as the idealistic design chief and Frederic March as the shrewd controller accountant.

Courtesy of Wikipedia: “The initial self-appointed frontrunner is the ambitious but narrowly focused Shaw (March), who is concerned more with short term accounting gains and satisfying the stockholders than the quality of the company's actual products and long-term company growth. “

The narrative drive positions the shrewd Shaw/March, through a combination of money skills and satisfying all the various interests by triangulation, guile, blackmail and insider info, as clearly destined to win. Sound familiar?

The Holden character is more concerned with making good furniture people can be proud of.

Wikipedia again: “. . . the machinations, bargaining and maneuvering culminate with Walling's (Holden) enthusiasm, vision – and his stirring boardroom speech – eventually carrying the day, resulting in his unanimous election as company president.”

Hope this is a metaphor for our present circumstance.
Check out the final boardroom scene:

drbopperthp said...

Harlin Ellison is right about every fucking thing.

Retired Patriot said...

God damn I sure wish Steve Gilliard was still around to see the circus of Trumpism, the ridiculous Hillary and what our beloved country has become.


Kathleen O'Neill said...

@Retired Patriot
I wish he were here to write about it. I think he saw all of this coming and nothing would surprise him. Those of you who knew him better may disagree with that, but that is my memory of him. His razor sharp perception and grasp of history gave his commentary a unique voice.

driftglass said...

I miss him too