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THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave Macaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
The Coming Horror

Hillary the Inevitable?


Anything can happen in two years time. For now, though, it looks like Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States.

The reasons are obvious: opposition from within the Democratic Party will be too little too late; and, on the off-chance that someone else’s candidacy actually does take off, the Party leadership, ever mindful of Wall Street’s concerns, will crush it — faster than a Massachusetts or Vermont Senator can say “Slick Willy.”

With less than two years to go and with Democratic voters fed up with President Obama’s craven “bipartisanship,” his wars, and his eagerness to do Wall Street’s bidding, it is surprising that sparks of rebellion don’t flare up frequently.

The hardly ever do however; not in public view, anyway. The unconcealed intra-party wrangling that went on last week as the deadline for averting another government shutdown loomed was a first for the Age of Obama.

In a healthier political climate, it would be a portent of things to come. In the world as it is, it was more likely a flash in the pan. These are Democrats, after all; their first and last instinct is to knuckle under.

On the Republican side, the party’s grandees, even dearer to Wall Street than Clinton Democrats, will either succeed again in keeping their useful but refractory idiots in line or they will not.

If they do, the Republicans will again nominate someone their base will despise. We saw how that worked out in 2012.

On the other hand, if the base gets its way, those “uncommitted” voters on whom the outcomes of American elections depend will be scared off again, as well they should be.


* * *

But does anyone really want a President Hillary? Maybe a few unreconstructed Friends of Bill do, and some feminists with tunnel vision. No one else can stomach the idea.

Nevertheless, Democratic voters and unaffiliated “moderates” will acquiesce. In neoliberal times, acquiescence is what politics is all about.

And so we have global warming, 24/7 surveillance, increasing inequality, perpetual war and a host of other horrors no one really wants.

There is money to be made from these things, and their impact on the larger economy is considerable. Careers are tied up with them. Still, there is not a right-minded person on the face of the earth who would not want them gone if getting rid of them were of no consequence to their personal ambitions or to their bottom line.

In actually existing democracies, self-interests regularly trump the public interest. This is why there is no voting away the evils acquiescence enables.

And this is why, etymology and political theory aside, the demos do not rule in actually existing democracies. By constraining the options and threatening economic hardship if results don’t...

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