Thursday, July 28, 2016

Did Bernie Sanders Lay A Political Trap For Hillary?

Podcaster Jimmy Dore points out Hillary's subdued "hate" expression during Bernie's endorsement. Did he set a political trap? Quite probably, given he sensed she wouldn't keep to her promises.

Even as Barack Obama delivered his signature,  silver-tongued oratory and homage to Hillary last night -  a robust defense of "American values" and Hillary's qualifications to protect them-  darker ruminations have surfaced. These actually originated with Sen. Bernie Sanders' endorsement of Clinton in NH some time ago, but have only now come to the fore in the wake of Hillary's actual nomination.

And in that wake, questions of whether she will actually follow through on her promises - such as remaining steadfastly against TPP. Well, that came under suspicion the night before when VA Neolib Governor Terry McAuliffe
Image for the news result

 blurted out that Hillary would "flip on"  the TPP as soon as she got into the WH. This raised the hackles of Bernie supporters but of course was quashed almost as soon as it got out - unlike the DNC emails: McAuliffe and advisers sputtering that  TPP "would only go forward if the changes that she wants are implemented and that everyone is in agreement." HRC would examine the deal and only approve those sections in line with citizens' interests.  As The Washington Post observed:

"There's a reason Hillary Clinton's campaign so forcefully and unequivocally pushed back at Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's (D) assertion Tuesday that she will support the Trans-Pacific Partnership once she's in the White House.

What McAuliffe said doesn't just directly contradict Clinton's stated position about the trade deal Obama is trying to pass before he leaves office. It undercuts several narratives Clinton is using the convention to reframe, while reinforcing some of the most damaging narratives to her campaign"

Indeed. Hence, the distrust in Hillary's adherence to any previous positions, and hence also the picking up of visual clues in her body language and face during the Sanders' endorsement.

In fact,  a number of Left media were "Zaprudering" the NH event with special attention to Hillary's body language and facial expressions while Bernie was delivering his (seemingly) ringing endorsement.  Several times the image was paused (e.g. by liberal podcast host Jimmy Dore)  to reveal her with a none- too pleased look on her face. See e.g.

Dore then played a short video of Ralph Nader  who referenced Bernie's intent to expose Clinton's political betrayal on Jorge Ramos' show:

"He didn't slobber over her He basically went through all the promises she made on immigration reform, on minimum wage, on criminal justice reform, on the environment and climate  change.  I thought it was a really brilliant statement. .I have it here and urge everyone to read it because I think he's set her up for political betrayal".

What does that mean? It means, as Dore then explained,  that Sanders was setting her up since all those things HE said she was for, she's not really for, so she will betray his words. When she does that he can then enlarge his organization. Sandernistas will see they had put their trust in yet another Neolib who betrayed them. She only said what she did, when she did,   to get their votes.

This makes a lot of rational sense at a deep politics level: deliberately trotting out all the promises and commitments made  to put her on the spot and remind her of them, as well as his millions of followers. It is that technique of setting her up, that will ultimately expose her either as keeping to her word, or once again weaseling out. What is most telling is her body language and especially facial expressions. Pause the video as I did (at the same time Dore does) and look carefully. You don't need a B.Sc. in Psychology to be able to read her facial and body language literally screaming "Objection!" even as she  continues the rhythmic head bob telegraphing false assent.

As my psychologist friend Rick put it, the head bobbing is a physical compensation mechanism to neutralize HRC's  visceral objections via a controlled physiological response. In other words, to affirm a fake agreement with Sanders words despite the fact her face literally screams she actually hates them. But the head bobbing and nodding is a means to resist a totally negative physical reaction  (like issuing a middle finger salute as she did with the Kaine pick)..

The bottom line is that even before the Kaine VP pick (definitely not designed to inspire left turnout no matter what the scare tactics) and then the McAuliffe TPP gaffe, Sanders knew in advance that Hillary wouldn't stick to her promises. Hence, he listed a whole set of actions she'd said she do during the campaign. But Bernie basically set her up to do a purposeful fail:  commit totally unforced political hari kari - and very likely end up a one termer.

This also cuts at Bill Maher's snide remark last night (convention edition of HBO's  Real Time) that the Left is "purist".  Absolutely not! The Left, contrary to being purist, merely insists that if it makes sacrifices for a candidate he or she adhere to commitments made, at least those within their power. At the very least that means not verbally backtracking on them, and also pre-emptively embracing extreme right or center right positions never defended during the campaign. It means that the Left demands integrity in a candidate not "purist adherence" to ideological positions.  That Maher didn't know the difference is perhaps no surprise as in one Real Time from November, 2013 he didn't seem to know the difference between legitimate conspiracy analysis and god belief. He babbled:

 "We need conspiracies for the same reason we need God because we cannot accept that things are just random." 

Which is pure codswallop, because one doesn't "need" conspiracies.  They are rather detected and emerge out of the multifaceted scrutiny of  a universe of available evidence -  even that which may be released in files decades later. This is specifically so in the JFK assassination case. (In fact, as Dr. Pat Bannister noted, strong religious/ god believers are actually more likely to reject political conspiracies because they go against their most fervent beliefs in human nature and limits.)

But a person who wouldn't know the difference, or honor the distinction, would also mistake voters' demands for integrity in politicians as being "purist". In each case, an extreme comparison is invoked so it was also not surprising to see Maher and guests last night  making a false equivalence between "left and right crazies".

Sad, but this is why - along with the infusion of obscene amounts of money - our political and electoral system never improves and we are always saddled with "lesser of two evils" choices. Even our pundits and best comedians can't seem to enhance their insights to a deep politics' level to expose the ongoing con. 

"You have two choices, sir or madam: strychnine or cyanide! Which is it! Make your pick! You can't not pick!"

See also:



For many Clinton donors, particularly those from the financial sector, the convention is a time to shed what one called the “hypersensitivity” that had previously surrounded their appearance at Mrs. Clinton’s fund-raisers or at her political events, during a period when Mr. Sanders repeatedly attacked Mrs. Clinton’s connections to Wall Street and her six-figure speaking fees from financial institutions.

“I think we’re past that,” said Alan Patricof, a longtime donor to Mrs. Clinton, when asked about the need to lie low during the primaries.

In Philadelphia, donors were handed preferred suites at the Ritz-Carlton and “Friends and Family” packages created for longtime Clinton hands — some of them also longtime benefactors. Some were granted time backstage or in the Clinton family box with former President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. Blackstone, the private equity giant, scheduled a reception at the Barnes Foundation on Thursday with its president, Hamilton E. James, one of the leading Wall Street contenders for an economic policy post in a future Clinton administration.


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