I didn’t expect Matt Taibbi to draw reasonable conclusions about Hillary Clinton’s motives after studying the latest bushel of Wikileaks “revelations”:
The transcripts read like freewheeling discussions with friends about how to navigate an uncertain future. In one speech, she conceded a sense of disconnect between the wealthy and the middle class to which she used to belong. This, she said, was a feeling she never had growing up, when the country seemed to be more united.
“And now, obviously,” she told executives from Goldman, “I’m kind of far removed because of the life I’ve lived and the economic … fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy.”
This frank, almost regretful admission rendered her more real in a few sentences than those cliché-ridden speeches about her hardscrabble background as the granddaughter of a Scranton lace-factory worker.
In a speech before the Brazilian Banco Itaú, Clinton talked about her vision for the future. “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders,” she reportedly said. She wanted this economy “as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
This article about the Clinton Foundation’s alleged phony charity work in Colombia, in which programs designed to fight poverty instead concentrated petroldollars in the hands of an oligarchy, is closer to felonious. In a normal campaign cycle the WaPo and the New York Times would have expended resources to investigate these claims by estimable alternative media outlets. Because Donald Trump is both Culmination and Aberration, it matters less than yesterday’s snow in the Rockies. These entities skim the tops of the Wikileaks material for the sake of parity. A large part of the problem is the media still wanting to play Both Sides Do It, despite even NBC Nightly News reporters writing ledes that go (I paraphrase): “Donald Trump, after lying about never sexually assaulting women, repeated the charge today.” But the Beltway press has only turned on Trump because it feels like it’s been treated like chumps.
And, no, I don’t see the fever breaking in 2018 or 2020. Did the fever break when Goldwater lost in 1964? No. Nixon, canny politician that he was, came off like the Elder Statesman but one who cut deals with Strom Thurmond to get the same racists who opposed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and who would vote for George Wallace in 1972.
The only way the Democrats ever destroyed the GOP for a generation was when FDR and Truman hung the Depression and Herbert Hoover around the neck of every Republican who ran for office betwen 1932 and 1952; even Ike was smart enough not to dismantle the New Deal. Instead, we’ve got a Dem nominee/likely president who will likely sit down with Paul Ryan.