It’s stating the obvious that [Kamala] Harris is yet another variant on the Obama formula: take an attractive, well-educated, mixed-race centrist and encourage the press and public to project that their “minority” background means that they’ll be staunch defenders of the downtrodden.
But the public isn’t so easily fooled. 9 million foreclosures, many of which could have been prevented, bailouts for banksters, a two-tier recovery with smug elites preaching “Let them eat training” to people stuck outside big cities or too old to be employable, and sky-high Obamacare deductibles mean a lot of voters are not going to fall for idpol packaging as easily a second time. Plus Obama had so little in the way of a political track record that it was easy for him to be a shape-shifter; he made his stint as a community organizer go a long way. Even now, hardly anyone knows that Obama, along with his wife Michelle and Valerie Jarret, as described by Robert Fitch, built their early career success by lending an appearance of legitimacy to moving black South Chicago further south on behalf of local real estate and finance interests.
Further complicating the foolhardy effort to cast Harris in the Obama mold is that she’s got way too much political baggage to fool all that many people as to what she is really about.
So it’s telling that self-absorbed Harris campaign imagery clashes with her slogan, “For the people”. Even more so than for most politicians, Harris’ team has to stick with the surface because that’s all they have to sell.If the strategic shortcoming of the Gillibrand campaign is to hitch its wagon to a #MeToo movement dependent on celebrity scalp-taking and tabloid journalism relocated to the pages of the prestige press, Harris' failure is believing that voters want another Obama.
Obama was a failure. Hillary takes all the blame for losing to a huckster like Trump. But Trump's path was paved by Obama.
Trump has captured the Republican Party. My epiphany over the weekend was the realization that the U.S. intelligence community has taken upon itself the defense of the two-party system by making sure that outsiders like Bernie Sanders don't capture the Democratic Party. How else to interpret Nicole Perlroth's story from last week "D.N.C. Says It Was Targeted Again by Russian Hackers After ’18 Election"? The story keeps the "Russians Stole My Election" meme moving; in this case, by spotlighting the CIA-friendly FireEye report alleging a spearphising attack by CozyBear on "multiple industries, including think tank, law enforcement, media, U.S. military, imagery, transportation, pharmaceutical, national government, and defense contracting."
The two-party system in the United States is under the same pressures as other neoliberal Western states. A parliamentary system like the United Kingdom, long anchored by the Conservatives and Labour, is splintering into many different political groupings. There is Momentum Labour, Blairite Labour, UKIP Tories, Remain Tories, SNP, Greens, Sinn Féin, DUP, Plaid Cymru. France is splintering too. The Yellow Vests are a manifestation of that. Germany has its own problems.
The solution being pursued by in the United States is a combination of rebooting the Cold War with China and Russia and censoring the internet. In terms of electoral politics, the intelligence community wants the Democratic Party to choose a neoliberal who favors perpetual war to square off against Trump. The difficulty here is that after Obama, after Hillary, Democratic primary voters are wary of voting for a Gillibrand, a Harris, a Biden, a Booker. It is going to take a miracle of propaganda to elect one of these zombies.