by Binoy Kampmark Nov 7, 2019
Only a sadomasochist could consider it a genuine prospect: A failed presidential candidate Don Quixote keen to make yet another vain tilt at the White House windmill. In the rogues’ gallery of the defective and disturbed, Hillary Clinton can count herself as pre-eminent, a historical creature who should be preserved as a warning for the party faithful. She refuses to lie quietly and gives ventriloquised clues via her husband she could be ready for a return to competition. Oh boy!
The way Clinton disturbs the news bubble is through complaint heavy with spite. She gazes at the mirror in self-loathing and claims to spot the faults of others. The loathing is understandable, for it is Clinton and her circle who disastrously decided to elevate Donald Trump as electable material ahead of rival Bernie Sanders.) The story she bores her audience with lacks variation: The 2016 loss to Trump could never be put down to her, veteran political figure, establishment doyen. No, that would be inaccurate for a person with the credentials for office.
A person in such a state is bound to see any contender as dangerous. Heap upon them; dismiss them as lacking the scoundrel factor of patriotism. Hide behind some rich, over egged notion of fact checked veracity, while casting grave accusations of foreign control and veiled treason.
One of the Democratic fold proves particularly troubling to Clintons: Tulsi Gabbard’s views on US foreign policy and the imperium’s insatiable appetite for interference and meddling is particularly worrying for the former Secretary of State.
In her electoral platform, Gabbard insists on:
“a bold change in our foreign policy to bend the arc of history away from war and towards peace. Stop wasting our resources,and our lives on regime change wars. Redirect our focus and energy towards peace and prosperity for all people.”
The United States best be done with notions of “gun boat diplomacy” and focus instead on “differences with communication, negotiations, and goodwill.”
Light-on-hill romanticism is bound to figure in the rhetoric, and Gabbard insists the United States lead in ensuring “the survival of the human race.” Power should be used only for “good”; the sleepwalk towards nuclear war stopped in what she hopes to be “the turning point of human history, an era in which the world’s greatest powers choose to abandon the path of confrontation and war, and agree to pursue the path of cooperation, diplomacy, and peace.”
There is much in Gabbard’s words to question, and these should linger with persistent tenacity. But the scorn from Clinton towards such views was evident, coming out in the Campaign HQ last month made rippling rounds. “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be a third-party candidate. She’s a favourite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of support for her so far.”
While there was some doubt as to whether Clinton intends Gabbard to be the subject of the barb, spokesman Nick Merrill’s remark on NBC news “if the nesting doll fits” suggests as much. Merrill insists, however, the “grooming” reference alludes to Republicans in general, rather than Russians, but who, in this hyperventilated world of addled speculation can tell the difference?
Gabbard responds quick and sharp. She thanks Clinton with acid gratitude. “You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the sickening the Democratic Party for so long, finally came out from behind the curtain.”
A challenge duly issued. “It’s now clear this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.”
Another to receive the Clinton splash was Jill Stein, the Green candidate for the White House in 2016. The Clinton automatons have issues with Stein about a media conference she attended in Russia in 2015. To merely be in Russia is to be a Putin puppet; to have “Red Square as her backdrop” in a video sufficient to disqualify her from office.
Stein saw dark clouds over US politics. The efforts by Clinton and her campaigners “to shift responsibility for their electoral failure to ‘Russian assets’ fuelled a new era of McCarthyism – a toxic brew of warmongering, political repression, and censorship now poisoning our public discourse.” In response to the Clinton wounded vanity machine, Stein issued a challenge similar to Gabbard’s. “It’s past time to give the American people the real debate they deserved in 2016, but were denied by the phony DNC/RNC-controlled Commission on Presidential Debates.”
As before, the Clinton ability to stir and invigorate Trump has no parallel. HillBillary provide Trump a bounty of low lying fruit to pick and fling like a monkey. In a cabinet meeting in October, Trump openly asserted Gabbard is “not a Russian agent.” He considers the entire Clinton show to be “sick. There’s something wrong with them.” The common denominator remains, as ever, Russia.
Such adamant stirring leads to a question that refuses to leave the Democrats: will Hillary accept the challenge and run? Husband Bill makes sure his wife’s name blots the electoral news though, as ever, he can never avoid making an observation without referencing himself. “She may or may not run for anything, but I can’t legally run for president again.” This remark comes during the course of an event at Georgetown University School of Law, one shared by Hillary and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Philippe Reines, an advisor who earned his bread advising Clinton over the years, also added kindling to the prospects. In a discussion with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, Reines speculated “there might be a reason she’d be the best person, not only to beat Donald Trump, but to govern after Donald Trump, which is a part we don’t talk about much. And, look, you can make fun of her all you want, but 65 million people voted for her, second more to anyone except Barack Obama.”
This is not an issue of making fun, let alone making light of matters. If there is one candidate who can issue an iron-clad guarantee for a Trump victory, it is the same person who did so in 2016. Should the Democrats entertain the notion seriously, their inability to win the White House should be assured and long lasting.