1. Cornel West: Trump
Will Be a Neofascist Catastrophe
and Clinton a Neoliberal
2. The Idea of President Donald Trump
3. Why the Shake-up at the Democratic National
Committee Is Doomed
4. With Clinton at Helm, Democratic Party Again a
'Plaything of the Super-Rich'
This is a Nederlog of Thursday, August 4, 2016.
is a crisis log. There are 4 items with 4 dotted links (and this is a
fairly tame day, in terms of what I could find): Item
1 is about Cornel West's choice for Jill Stein (with which I
disagree); item 2 is about Trump's strangeness (to
avoid the term madness); item 3 is about Reich on
the Democratic Party: it will be led by the super-rich until
Citizen's United is undone; and item 4
is about the same fact. Incidentally, this was one of the fastest and
smallest Nederlogs this year, which will enable me to do some other
Yesterday was less tame (see item 4
and item 5, if you didn't), but there
still are 3 months to go till the American presidential elections.
West: Trump Will Be a Neofascist Catastrophe and Clinton a Neoliberal
first item today is by Robert Hennelly on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
Polls indicate that former
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a four-point bounce from the
heavily scripted Democratic Party Convention. But it is hard to
know the depth and intensity of support from Sanders activists
passionate enough to earn themselves a place at the convention. Those
are the kinds of activists that could help Clinton the most come
November. Yet, an informal survey of dozens of Bernie delegates
indicates a lack on enthusiasm for the Clinton cause. No
doubt, the decision by prominent Bernie booster Cornel West to go
for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein won't help.
I must say that I much doubt whether "Sanders
activists" "could help Clinton the most come
but let that be. What do I think of Cornel West's move from the
Democratic Party to the Green Party? Here is part of West's own reply:
“Now people say, ‘Brother West, she’s
better than Trump.’ That’s true, but Trump is about as low a bar that
anybody could ever have,” West told his audience.
“We are in a tough situation. Of course,
you know this is a swing state, so you have to make judgments in very
wise ways,” West said. “But you don’t want to lie to yourself. Hillary
Clinton comes on and says, ‘I have been fighting for children all my
life.’ Which children do you have in mind?”
People on welfare, West explained, are
“primarily women and children.” The welfare bill Bill Clinton signed,
which ended the federal Aid to Families With Dependent Children and
replaced it with block grants to the states, West said, “was a bill
Ronald Reagan would have not signed.” He added, “It was only signed for
To me this sounds as if West
simply doesn't want to face the facts:
The real choice is between Clinton and Trump, and Stein will
never win the presidential elections, although she may prevent Clinton
from winning. Given the almost certain fact that Stein will not win,
and given that West
agrees that Clinton is "better than Trump", he should support Clinton. But he can't, he says,
because of facts West indicated.
I agree the choice for Clinton is a choice
from two evils, but that is the choice one has. I agree
this is an unpleasant choice, but then one often has to
make such choices. There is also this:
West was asked by a member of the
audience for his election predictions.
“I think Trump will be a neofascist
catastrophe and Clinton will be a neoliberal disaster," he answered.
"So we are between a rock and a hard place. We have to gird ourselves,
fortify ourselves for serious struggle. They are both tied to Wall
Street. They are both dangerous in that way.”
What West doesn't seem to see (or isn't
willing to admit?) is that the difference between Trump and Clinton is not
merely between the extreme
of President Donald Trump
right and a rightist, but also between a madman and a sane
And besides, I also think it is not responsible to say you are
voting for a candidate who will not win the presidency, while
voting for that candidate
will diminish the chances that Clinton will win.
The second item is by Robin Scher
on AlterNet (with an abbreviated title: I don't think titles should
This starts as follows:
In the past 24 hours, Donald
Trump has left many wondering whether he even
still wants to be president. Judging by what has come out of his mouth
in just one day, it’s becoming harder to tell.
Of course, you could argue this
has been Trump’s strategy from the start. His
stream-of-garbage/consciousness style has gotten him this far, so why
would he stop now? Yet barely two weeks after nominating Trump, a
growing number of Republicans are beginning to consider what might
happen if he were just ...to quit.
No, Trump will not quit if he
isn't forced to quit. And Robin Scher doesn't seem to know much about
psychology, but this is a rather strong inference from the
thesis - with which I agree, as a psychologist - that Trump has a narcissistic personality disorder.
Here is some more (and Karl is an ABC
White House correspondent):
“He is so unpredictable right
now,” said Karl on the feelings within the Republican Party. “They are
so unable to control his message, that they just don’t know and clearly
think it is a possibility, which is why they’re looking at these rules.”
This is all, of course,
wishful thinking because ... well, Donald Trump. “Even if people don’t
like me, they have to vote for me. They have no choice,” Trump said
Tuesday to a group of supporters in Ashburn, Virginia. He added, “Even
if you can’t stand Donald Trump, you think Donald Trump is the worst,
you’re going to vote for me.”
Despite Trump’s insurmountable
narcissism, if he does continue on his current trajectory the chances
are increasingly likely he’ll lose come November. FiveThirtyEight’s
election forecast shows that in the past week Clinton has
risen from being the underdog to having a 68 percent likelihood of
I say. I wish I could believe that, but all I
is that it is the beginning of August, while the elections are in the
beginning of November. And as I said above: I think it is very
unlikely that Trump will quit unless he is forced to quit.
3. Why the Shake-up at
the Democratic National Committee Is Doomed
The third item is by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as follows:
I'd say that the DNC's problems sound more as
if they are not structural, but amount to the diagnosis that
the DNC is completely corrupt. And I think that is also
probably correct (though I agree that there also are structural
The shake-up at the Democratic National
Committee after an
embarrassing breach of its email system continued Tuesday with the
departure of three senior officials.
But purging the DNC of top officials
won’t remedy the DNC’s problems.
Those problems aren’t attributable to individuals who didn’t do their
jobs. To the contrary, those individuals probably fulfilled their
responsibilities exactly as those jobs were intended to be done.
The DNC’s problems are structural.
National Committee – like the Republican National Committee – has
more than a giant machine designed to suck up big money from wealthy
individuals, lobbyists bundlers, and corporate and Wall Street PACs.
Here is Reich's proposed solution:
As long as
this is its de facto mission, the DNC won’t ever be kindly disposed to
a campaign financed
by small donations – Bernie’s, or any others. Nor will it support
campaign finance reform. Nor will it be
an institutional voice for average working people and the poor. It
to eliminate superdelegates or support open primaries because these
make Democratic candidates vulnerable to non-corporate interests.
What’s needed is structural reform. The DNC
has to turn
itself – and the Democratic Party – into a grass-roots membership
organization, with local and state chapters that play a meaningful role
selecting and supporting candidates.
I agree to all that, but I also agree with
Robert Reich's own judgement (a bit further down) that
"Unfortunately, I doubt this will happen" -
which leads to the conclusion he asserted in the title of this article.
And I agree with the conclusion, on which there is a little more in the
next and last item:
With Clinton at Helm, Democratic Party Again a 'Plaything of the
starts as follows:
The fourth item today is by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:
It appears that nothing is holding her
back now that Hillary Clinton has officially become the Democratic
nominee for president. With "cash
machine" Tim Kaine by her side, the Democratic ticket's fundraising
operation is in full swing, and the money—Big Money—is pouring in.
On Tuesday, the campaign announced a
record take of $90 million last month for the candidate and the
Democratic Party, not including that brought in by the Super PACs
supporting her bid. Republican nominee Donald Trump raised
a reported $80 million last month.
Actually, that is not much more
than Trump gathered, or so it seems.
Here is part of the reason that the "Democratic Party" is "Again a 'Plaything of the Super-Rich'" as the article's title says, and also a possible reason
this might be avoided in the future:
Clinton herself has promised
to introduce a constitutional amendment to "overturn Citizens
United" during her first 30 days as president, saying
she will "fight for other progressive reforms,
including small-dollar matching and disclosure requirements."
But as the Center for Public Integrity's
Carrie Levine and Michael Beckel recently pointed
out, that is not stopping the nominee, nor the Democratic
establishment, from aggressively courting corporations and the
Cataloging the endless displays of
corporate sponsorship, high falutin luncheons, and other examples of
how last week's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia was
ultimately a "playground," for lobbyists, Super PACs, and outside
political groups, they write: "Democrats have a light year to go before
ever reaching that goal."
I agree with this: Until Citizens
United has been undone, the Democratic Party will
be a plaything of the super-rich. Here is Robert Scheer, who argues the
Underscoring how murky the world of
politics and big-money influence is now, an
investigation by the Sunlight Foundation published last week found
that at least 63 of the Democratic superdelegates are also registered
"For all of the Democrats' denunciation
of Citizens United
and the role of big money, that
is what saved Clinton in this campaign, and the fat cats toasting over
at the Ritz-Carlton were delighted with the outcome," Robert Scheer wrote
"It is the Democrats, first Barack Obama and now Clinton, who turned
their backs on public financing because, thanks to their sellout to
Wall Street, they can look to big money to smash populist sentiment, as
expressed so dramatically this time by the incredible outpouring of
small contributions that financed the Bernie Sanders campaign," Scheer
continued, referring to the notorious $27 donation average boasted by
the Sanders campaign.
"Follow the money," he added, "and it is
obvious that the Democratic Party as much as the GOP is now the
plaything of the super-rich."
Yes, indeed. And the differences also
exist: The Republicans are extreme rightists while the
Democrats are rightists; the Republicans are led by an insane
presidential candidate while the Democratic candidate is sane.