As general election polls tighten, with a majority of voters
disapproving of the Democratic nominee and believing that she should be
criminally indicted, the season of columnists blaming a Democratic loss
on Green Party supporters has begun. But the question this year is
clearer than ever: if you're trying to win, why nominate Hillary
Clinton? Why, when for months Bernie Sanders was running decisively
ahead of Hillary in head to head polls against Republicans, did an
almost unanimous roster of top Democratic legislators, governors, and
their compliant media scribes endorse the weaker general election
candidate? The conventional wisdom has said winning meant moving to the
ideological center, keeping the thumb over the face engraved on the
dime, but this year proved that unmistakably not to be the case because
of the weakness of the front runner, if it was ever true. Oh but Bernie
hasn't faced scrutiny like Hillary, they say: does anyone believe
Bernie would have more come out about him than what's yet to come on
Hillary? And yet the longer Sanders out-performed Clinton in general
election polls, the more the DNC rigged the deck against him. The top
donors that are documented to demand this favoritism have little actual
concern for who wins the general election, and they light up the
buildings through which the revolving door for public officials
endorsing Hillary passes.
Republicans and Sandernistas waited with baited breath for James Comey to recommend an indictment that more than half the country favors because of overwhelming evidence of several clear violations of law, regardless of what the peace movement or the Republicans had previously thought of the FBI. Clinton's legal team fed to reporters the unfounded view that the law requires intent and there was no evidence of intent, despite numerous outsourced emails showing knowledge and intent to circumvent Freedom of Information Act scrutiny when approving unprecedented foreign arms sales in exchange for Clinton Foundation donations and speaking fees for Bill. But Comey surprised them, reciting chapter and verse the Clinton legal team's pretzel logic in an unprecedented public announcement, recommending no justice save for the certain historical infamy the episode will visit on himself, Attorney General Lynch, and President Obama, whose legacy will be defined by his decision to name Hillary Secretary of State.
Republicans thought Comey was one of them, but Hillary is by far the largest recipient of donations from the defense industry and the hedge fund and private equity sector, and Comey, after leaving the Justice Department, was for over four and a half years a Senior Vice President of the world's largest defense contractor (Lockheed Martin) and for over two and a half years employed by the world's largest hedge fund (Bridgewater). Comey reported in his financial disclosure form when he was being confirmed for FBI Director holdings of less than $500,000 in a Lockheed Defined Benefit plan, less than $50K in a common plan, less than $100K in two 401K plans and less than $15K in seven Lockheed 401Ks, while reporting a $33.5 million net worth bolstered by earnings from Bridgewater. However, a breakdown provided by Lockheed to stockholders in 2009 reveals that over half of Comey's $6.11M salary was paid in stock awards ($2.65M) and options awards ($972K). Lockheed's 2010 filing to stockholders listed Comey with 55,217 shares, a number currently worth over $13 million, alotting him another 107,265 stock options.
Pressure mounted on Comey to conclude the investigation
in advance of the convention, but indicting her then would have meant
essentially making Bernie Sanders the president, since he doesn't share
Hillary's difficulty at defeating Trump. Three quarters of Lockheed's
revenue comes from government contracts, with reportedly a ten percent
profit margin. Sanders told a town hall a year ago "We know that there
is massive fraud going on in the defense industry. Virtually every
major defense contractor has either been convicted of fraud or reached a
settlement with the government.. I think we can make judicious cuts."
Hillary's lead over Sanders in hedge fund and private equity sector contributions was $978,405 to $11,677. Sanders has proposed a 0.5 percent speculation fee on hedge funds to make public colleges tuition-free, noting in a speech in 2013 "The top 25 hedge fund managers made more than $24 billion, enough to pay the salaries of 425,000 public school teachers. This level of inequality is neither moral or sustainable," a topic he took up frequently. No single publication in the mainstream media felt that any possible conflict of interest on Comey's part merited mention.
Though Sanders' delegate count would have made him the likely beneficiary of an indictment, without explanation his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, told Bloomberg News on June 16 that the campaign was no longer lobbying superdelegates, meaning that they had given up trying to convince the party to try to win. Sanders then directed his focus to the platform committee, leading to an endorsement of Clinton containing the phrases "Secretary Clinton has also publicly committed to.." and "she has also endorsed the enactment of.." while his supporters pondered the value of Secretary Clinton's public committments, with more than half the country's voters thinking her untruthful. A platform effects an electoral mandate except when a nominee exhibits an historically unprecedented absence of consistent policy initiatives and her presidency would amount to congressional investigations interrupted only by wars. Given Sanders' focus on the platform, it was disconcerting that he didn't publicly argue for paper balloting, despite a lawsuit currently being filed against Edison Media Research to inform the public why there was a "dramatic difference on exit polls and electronic vote totals in eleven states in the presidential primaries."
In an election where Sanders demonstrated the changing opinions of younger Democrats, a Clinton victory would give her faction institutional control over the party for at least eight years, unless she is impeached before she has a chance to run for re-election. Probably, she would lose to a Republican in 2020 who'd have the chance to benefit from incumbency until 2028. A Trump victory would leave both party establishments in shambles. Despite attempts to blame the loss on Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader or Darth Vader, the party would and should have to answer hard questions concerning how they unanimously endorsed an unelectable nominee. The Republicans would be left with a standard bearer with little regard for their leaders and opinions, who gained support from many by saying what everyone thought about his Republican opponents but were too polite and complicit to say. The historical trend of incumbent presidents losing midterm seats in Congress would likely afflict Trump more than anyone.
Hillary defeated Sanders not only with extraordinarily unpopular favoritism by the DNC and cases of voter suppression, but by opposing the 'pwogressive' with a single candidate backed by Wall Street, the media, and party leaders, and with the electoral support of minorities. It indeed would prove difficult to duplicate the feat against a progressive challenger in 2020 and thereafter if Trump wins.
(Article changed on July 18, 2016 at 01:06)