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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 11/29/15

Wake Up Zombie, Kick Up a Big Stink!

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NOTE: This article is conclusion of a three-part series, "Climate's Deadliest HIDDEN Enemy: The Clinton Political Machine." The series explains how Hillary Clinton's political machine, if unchecked by climate-activist revolt, will undemocratically crush Bernie Sanders' presidential chances and will foist on us a candidate, Hillary Clinton, provably inadequate by policies and character, to address our planet's climate emergency. Part 1 is titled "Sanders Correctly Rattles Sabers--at the Climate Change Enemy"; Part 2, "Clinton's Updated Tammany Hall: Destroying Democracy AND Climate Too"; and Part 3, "Wake Up Zombie, Kick Up a Big Stink." The first two parts established the case for revolt against the Clinton machine urgently pleaded for here in Part 3--the call-to-arms finale of the series.

Final Warning: The THUGS Are Taking Over

Recognize this article's title? Then you're probably a rabid Elvis Costello fan. The title's a line from one of my favorite obscure Costello songs, his quirky apocalyptic vision "Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over)." But Costello's line couldn't be more politically pertinent, not just for his fans, but for climate activists and progressives and--dangerously unbeknownst to itself--for all of humanity.

Zombie Walk 2009--Will climate and progressive  zombies awake before 2016?
Zombie Walk 2009--Will climate and progressive zombies awake before 2016?
(Image by petitefox)
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Just as the average, blissfully unaware "zombie" of Costello's song must awake to the fact of a "giant insect mutation" that threatens human extinction, so climate activists--and progressives generally--must awake to the dangers of a bullying, anti-democratic Clinton machine that, by imposing on us Clinton's lethal "all of the above" energy policy heavy on fracking and her militaristic foreign policy that makes peace and global climate cooperation unthinkable, ultimately may threaten that same extinction.

Given the bullying nature of Clinton's electoral machine, perhaps we should retitle Costello's song "Hurry Down Doomsday (The THUGS Are Taking Over)." In Part 2 of this series, I framed that political thuggery as the appearance of a new, far more sinister Tammany Hall, with both Clintons, Hillary and Bill, combining to play the backstage role of a vastly more powerful Boss Tweed --a Boss Tweed with global political and donor connections. In that Part 2 article, by emphasizing the hiddenness of that new Tammany Hall--a hiddenness due to the irresponsibility of deeply corrupt mainstream media that has made itself part of the Clinton political machine--I probably shortchanged my actual case for the climate-threatening thuggery of the Clintons' new Tammany Hall.

The Clinton machine's thuggery consists of two parts: (1) shoving down our throats a candidate (Hillary Clinton) with demonstrably bad character and policy and (2) shoving her down our throats, like all other political machines, by radically assaulting, informed consent of the governed--in other words, trampling democracy itself. The Clinton machine--in reality, a conspiracy of Big Money interests, mainstream media conglomerates, the Democratic Party leadership, and Democratic politicians, union leaders, and environmental organizations bought off or intimidated by the Clintons and their Big Money interests--works incessantly to paint a deceptively rosy picture of Hillary Clinton and to censor from voters the many damning things they need to know about her to make an informed presidential choice. For, without the Clinton machine's vast efforts at censorship and propaganda--and backroom intimidation of progressive opinion leaders with no rational grounds for supporting her--Democratic primary voters would almost certainly choose Bernie Sanders for president. The Clinton machine's political thuggery amounts to an overthrow of democracy when, in the face of imminent climate catastrophe, humanity needs democratic governance most.

Consider, for example, the cases of unions and environmental organizations that--contrary to rational evidence and the wishes of their members or supporters--have endorsed Hillary Clinton. John Atcheson's splendid Common Dreams article makes that case far better than I have space to here. But in citing Atcheson's article as my evidence for the anti-democratic, pro-Clinton behavior of unions and environmental groups, I wish to note two important things.

First is Atcheson's statement about those two sorts of organizations: "Now they've joined the press, the political parties, and government as tools of the oligarchy." This point is important, since these players are precisely the ones I identify as parts of the conspiracy I call "the Clinton machine."

Second is his detailed spelling out of how, from the viewpoints of both union members and environmental organization supporters, endorsement of Hillary Clinton is simply irrational: the influence of Big Money has simply overruled the rational reflection based on member interests and the common good that should--and used to--motive such organizations. Such endorsements are based on paper-thin rationales fabricated by propagandists--or, what amounts to the same thing--by bought-off organizational leaders seeking to rationalize their own unjustifiable support for Clinton. It shouldn't surprise us that Atcheson blows always such flimsy, transparent rationalizations like so much chaff in a tornado. This flimsy rationalization--this shoddy reasoning to cover corrupt, irrational action--will play a crucial role in my castigation of supposedly "progressive" Democratic politicians for endorsing Clinton rather than Sanders. As it will in publicly shaming and challenging those "progressives" for their irrational, unmerited endorsements--a crucial part of the revolt strategy I outline here.

Quite clearly, it's the backroom power of the Clintons, with their enormous support from global Big Money interests, that lets them (by threatening use of that money to harm electoral prospects) intimidate any progressives who might follow rational progressive principle and endorse Bernie Sanders. In the circumstances, Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison's endorsements of Bernie look like moral heroism, though perhaps they're partially explained by a popularity with constituents that debars the Clinton money machine from "getting" them. Perhaps the best progressives can generally hope for is the cowardly political fence-sitting of Elizabeth Warren or Alan Grayson--itself vastly preferable to Al Franken's, Sherrod Brown's, or Bill De Blasio's lickspittle endorsements of Clinton.

Because, for a rational progressive politician seeking the best interests of progressive constituents, there is no defensible reason under the sun for endorsing flip-flopping "convenience progressive" Hillary Clinton rather than staunch, principled progressive Bernie Sanders. Since this is my chief argument for a revolt against Democrats that gets up in spineless progressives' faces, let's examine briefly it in detail.

Hillary Treats Progressives as "f*cking Retarded"

For a brief, compelling summary of the virtually irrefutable case why Hillary Clinton is no progressive, read here , here, and here. But besides offering a solid repository of evidence supporting the claim that no progressive can rationally endorse Clinton, I'd like to dramatize my appeal by making my own case on a "What have you done for me lately?" basis. That way, no one can conceivably conclude--at least not on rational grounds-- that political snake Clinton has recently molted, replacing her repulsive opportunist skin with a shiny progressive one.

The key word here is opportunist, a term that insightfully pinpoints the nature of the Clintons--and indeed, the whole approach of the "Third Way" Democrats who now dominate the party and whom the Clintons played a central role in bringing into being. Whatever pols like the Clintons say to progressives, the underlying "prime directive" is to keep the geyser of money from Wall Street and other well-heeled interests flowing; needless to say, this agenda is accompanied by more than a dash of cynicism and contempt toward the progressives whom one must appease with lip service--a contempt brutally expressed by former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel when he called progressives "f*cking retarded." Now that Clinton seems confident her machine has strong-armed enough endorsements and superdelegates to assure her the election, her every action seems vivid proof of how strongly she agrees with Emanuel.

Remember now, this is a woman who recently declared, in the October 16 presidential debate, "I don't take a backseat to anyone when it comes to progressive experience and progressive commitment." Evidently, she thinks we as progressives are so "f*cking retarded" that we won't remember--or that we simply don't have a clue what progressive policies are. We should have seen the progressive mask dropping when Clinton shortly thereafter refused to lobby against TPP. Beyond being objectionable to progressives of every stripe , this treaty is disastrous for effective climate action, allowing fossil fuel corporations to sue all governments whose responsible efforts to curtail carbon emissions negatively impact their profits. Real progressives like Sanders and Warren treat defeating TPP as a matter of life and death; isn't Clinton, in showing no progressive commitment to this battle, definitely "taking a backseat"?

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Patrick Walker is co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy (RAP) and the Bernie or Bust movement it spawned. Before that, he cut his activist teeth with the anti-fracking and Occupy Scranton PA movements. No longer with RAP, he wields his pen (more...)

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