On the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal was this above-the-fold headline: “Clinton Bucks Biden Threat.” Biden’s announcement that he’s not running confirms the headline. The Journal is the most reliable barometer of Republican establishment thinking. Back in December, before Donald Trump was on the radar, a front page headline: “Bush’s Ties to Donors Put Rivals in a Bind,” anointed Jeb Bush the establishment’s candidate (“Can’t Wait For That Next Election,” SLL, 12/22/14). Unfortunately for the establishment, significant numbers of Republicans aren’t buying what they’re selling, and have turned to outsiders Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina. The hope has been that these voters will return to the fold, but it is dimming as the outsiders maintain their poll numbers and the reliable apparatchiks falter or drop out. The establishment is hindered by its open condescension towards grassroots voters and the widespread belief among them that the establishment is full of shit, which happens to be true.
It is bad enough that Trump has questioned orthodoxy on immigration and trade agreements, two causes near and dear to the establishment’s heart. Recently, he has also challenged neoconservative dogma on foreign interventionism, saying that the US should let Vladimir Putin take out ISIS. He elicited a flummoxed non sequitur from Jeb Bush when he noted that 9/11 occurred on his brother’s watch, and his opposition to the subsequent Iraq invasion is well-known. Perhaps most threatening to the neoconservatives, Trump’s book, The America We Deserve, published over a year before 9/11, warns of blowback: American interventionism producing unforeseen and negative consequences, including increasing terrorism against America.
The military-industrial-intelligence complex is the heart of the Republican party (it is well-represented among the Democrats, too). It has derived its power and funding from American interventionism since the Spanish-American war. It figures prominently in every discussion of the the shadowy deep state that rules behind the scenes regardless of who is nominally in power on Capitol Hill and the White House. Before his foreign intervention apostasy, there had been a few trial balloons floated about the establishment and Trump making peace. Today’s Journal headline, especially its placement on the front page, serves as announcement that if renegade Republicans go off the reservation and select apostate Trump, the establishment will line up for reliable interventionist Hillary Clinton.
Her scandals, libidinous husband, vicious attacks on his female victims, political ineptitude, lack of substantive accomplishment, Benghazi and Libya, emails and all the rest are now…irrelevant. Relevant: her strong ties to Wall Street and most importantly, that she’s never met a US foreign intervention she didn’t like (as a senator she voted for the Iraq invasion). She’s John McCain in drag. Being a supporter of intervention naturally entails support of big defense and intelligence budgets, continuing expansion of the national security state, and continuing erosion of what remains of individual liberty. She ticks all the right boxes for the Republican establishment, and now they’re in her corner.
The fix is already in. Republican Representative Trey Gowdy’s work as chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi has reportedly been judicious. However, he’s been undermined by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bizarre and inexplicable—in light of his run for the House speakership—remark that the Benghazi investigation had hurt Clinton in the polls. A former Republican investigator has also alleged that the committee is out to destroy Clinton’s reputation. Now the talking point will be that the committee is nothing more than a partisan witch hunt, no matter how well or poorly Clinton testifies before it. It’s a variation on the “vast right-wing conspiracy” strategy: avoid the accusations and attack the accusers.
If you think the corrupt media is servile towards the Clintons now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. With Bernie Sanders rolling over on emails, she’s been declared the hands-down winner of last week’s debate by the punditry, although the Drudge Report and other online polls said Sanders was the clear winner. Hillary’s shape-shifting and complete lack of principles will redound to her benefit, and she’ll call on a public relations machine that will be envy of America’s corporate advertisers. By next November, she will be Joan of Arc, Florence Nightingale, Mother Theresa, and Susan B. Anthony all rolled into one. Don’t expect the “loyal opposition,” Fox News and the Journal, to come up with any earth-shattering exposes, unless they’re of Trump. Judicial Watch and the judges who are giving her fits about her emails will be muzzled until after the election. She can count on automatic support from a majority of women, the government-teat sucking 47 percent (now 49 or 50 percent), and Wall Street’s expedient whores.
Once and for all voters will learn their lesson: they will vote for the candidates the uni-party establishment chooses for it. At least in Hong Kong voters are told up front that the only permissible candidates are those chosen by the Chinese government and nobody pretends otherwise.
GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN A RACKET FOR A LONG, LONG TIME