“For the right amount of money, you’re willing to eat Alpo.”
–Reggie Jackson, quoted in The Sporting News, February 1, 1988
* * *
(from The Heretic’s Handbook of Quotations)
Amidst all the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of molars over the very real horrors of Donald Trump’s election, almost no one has talked about the very probable horrors of Hillary Clinton’s presidency had she won.
She was an unrepentant hawk. An interventionist (Libya, Iraq). She was a fan of drone warfare. She wanted to put in place a “no fly zone” over Syria, which could quite possibly have led to direct military conflict with Russia.
She would have been almost as abject a servant of the Israeli extreme right as Trump has turned out to be. This would, as under Trump, have bolstered the longstanding and accurate impression that the U.S. aids and abets Israel in its theft of Palestinian lands and in its oppression of the Palestinian people. If you want permanent conflict in the Middle East, this is the recipe.
She, like Trump, would have been in bed with the brutal, authoritarian Islamists currently in power in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and Turkey, as well as the repressive military regime in Egypt.
She was obsessively secretive and an advocate, likely an architect, of Obama’s war on whistle blowers. She would have continued that war.
Like Obama, she was chummy with the bankers and corporate elite — remember her $5,000-a-minute speech to Goldman Sachs?
I could go on. The similarity of many of her positions, both domestic and foreign, to those of Trump, Obama, and Bush the Lesser are legion.
But let’s talk about why she would have been a disaster from a domestic politics standpoint.
Had she won, she’d have faced a hostile Congress, and even if she’d wanted to make progressive economic changes (she didn’t), the Congress would have stymied her. (Her true priorities were revealed in her “no we can’t” responses to Bernie Sanders during the primary season.) Economically, it would have been more of the same for the next four years: the rich getting richer and the poor and middle class getting screwed.
It would also have meant that the corporate-lackey wing of the Democratic Party — a wing whose strategy has been purely to pander on social issues while serving the corporate and banking elite on economic issues — would have remained firmly in control. Clinton’s victory would have cemented their control. Now, progressives might seize control of that party.
Had Clinton won, anger over economic inequality would have built, as the Republican propaganda machine (read Fox “News” and Breitbart) cast the center-rightist Clinton as a “leftist” or even a “socialist.”
This would have fed directly into the alt-right/neo-Nazi Trump-base narrative of “elite liberals” thwarting the economic well-being of ordinary Americans.
As gridlock set in even more deeply, anger would have continued to build, likely resulting in even more far-right Republican gains in the House and Senate in 2018, and the likely election of a smoother, more skilled Republican theo-fascist as president in 2020.
As is, we’re saddled with a grotesque excuse for a president: a narcissistic pathological liar, a whining, paper-thin-skinned bully who is obviously and grossly unfit for office.
As such, he’s inciting massive opposition. Millions of people who have never before been politically active have become so, doing everything from taking to the streets and engaging in civil disobedience to simply calling their congressional representatives or showing up at town halls.
Would this have happened under Clinton? No. Not a chance. At least on nothing approaching the current level.
Rather than the rise of massive progressive opposition, the neo-fascist, phony-populist right would have continued its ascension.
Now, Trump and his alt-right tools are in control, and they have to own what they produce. Their economic policies insure that they can’t deliver on their economic promises and will instead deliver more misery to the working class and what’s left of the middle class.
Thus, there’s already mass progressive opposition. And it will grow.
Some misinformed leftists have argued that the election of Trump was a disaster. It was. What they forget is that the election of Hillary Clinton would, in the long run (barring mass incineration), have been an even bigger disaster.
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”
–Albert Einstein (attributed–I have major doubts about this one, but it’s funny enough to post anyway)
It’s time once again to speak four of the most beautiful words in the English language: “Pitchers and Catchers Report.” (The two most beautiful words, are of course, “Play ball!”)
In honor of the start of Spring Training, our pal Leo passed along a link to SimplyHaiku which features a number of baseball haikus, some of them quite funny. Our two favorites are both by Ed Markowski, of Auburn Hills, Michigan. (Surprisingly, there seem to be a number of Ed Markowskis out there.)
We hope that you enjoy these haikus as much as we did:
up from Pawtucket
his error in slow-mo
on the centerfield scoreboard
shaken off a second time
the catcher flashes his
Strictly speaking, these aren’t haikus, which consist of three lines of, respectively, five, seven, and five syllables. But we like these anyway.
Since I moved to Tucson 25 years ago, I’ve played (“playing” meaning at least one paying gig) with 4 vocalists, 3 bassists, and roughly 20 drummers — I lost exact count ages ago, and I’m not even counting the ones that spontaneously self-combusted.
So, I appreciated the following ad that just appeared in the Musicians section of Tucson’s Craigslist, and have a hunch you might, too. Enjoy!
Decades of experience and a professional demeanor, I am the drummer you’ve been looking for.
I do not have a car and I do not have my own drums. I love to drink and I like to hit people in the mouth when I’ve had a few. I’ve hurt people before and I’ll do it again.
I will not learn your original material unless I’m paid $75 per hour per gig and I must be paid in advance. I do not know many covers and cannot commit to learning new ones unless I really dig the song.
My influences include Staind, P.O.D., the theme song to Malcolm in the Middle, and old Black Eyed Peas.
Additionally, I will need to crash with you for a while, as I do not have any source of income outside of my musical endeavors.
I cannot stress enough how much your band needs me at the rhythmic helm of the rock and roll ship. Call now.
Also, I do have a small narcotics habit.
About the only thing the anonymous genius who produced this forgot to add was, “Great rhythmic control. I can either rush or drag — I’m in control!”