Monday, February 1, 2016


What we have witnessed over the last week is an amazing rescue operation performed by the mainstream media on behalf of the Clinton campaign. It is similar to the effort that followed the first Democratic Party presidential debate last October when the mainstream spin cycle locked into high gear and created the impression that Hillary won a smashing victory.

For a pure, distilled form of this pro-Hillaryese, go over to FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver's ESPN-owned (The Walt Disney Company) outlet and read his "What Happens If Bernie Sanders Wins Iowa." Silver's argument goes something like this: Yes, Sanders might win in Iowa, and he will likely win New Hampshire, but it means nothing because there is no sign he can win in Dixie. Sanders is not doing enough to bridge his divide with black voters. So he will lose in South Carolina, and he will lose on Super Tuesday. And, oh, by the way, if Sanders can't win in Iowa, his candidacy is cooked, done, kaput.

Silver follows up that piece, which was published Friday afternoon, with one that appeared yesterday, "Hillary Clinton May Win Iowa After All," which argues that Sanders's momentum has stalled and Hillary maintains her lead in the final polls conducted before today's caucus. Silver attributes Clinton's strength to her organizational ground game in the Hawkeye State, and her enduring popularity among Democratic voters.

In other words, according to Silver, Hillary can't lose regardless of the outcome today, and she very well might knock Bernie out of the race. 

This is basically the same snake oil that is being peddled by Silver's former employer, "the newspaper of record," the august New York Times, which endorsed Clinton over the weekend, bizarrely dismissing the Sanders campaign as catering pie-in-the-sky to "alienated middle-class voters and young people," while simultaneously raising up Hillary as the most experienced politician to keep us safe from the Republican bogeymen.

The question comes down to whether there are enough Iowa Democrats willing to be duped; that, or enough caucusing Democrats who are actually pleased with the status quo. The answer to the second question is an easy one. I don't think there are many working-class voters who are ready to sing praises to the present state of affairs. Wages are stagnant. Housing and health care costs continue to rise. And job growth, despite a rosy picture that appears once every few months, has never really pierced a pervasive sense of gloom.

So the question comes down to dupes. Are there that many in Iowa? The polls say yes. But answering a telephone call is not the same as going to a caucus. There is no doubt that Bernie holds the edge in motivation. To this Clintonistas reply that Sanders' support is clustered in urban areas and around college towns, but it is thin in rural areas. 

What is being obscured by the mainstream media smokescreen is the intense revulsion voters feel towards Hillary. If Obama 2008 was a powerful collective hallucination that a better world was possible, Sanders 2016 is a shared gut feeling that the status quo with its huge banks, fraudulent justice and perpetual war is killing us all and therefore must be destroyed.

What is rarely if ever given any ink in the prestige press is that the Obama administration has been an enormous failure. Obama turned out to be a false idol, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is presiding over innumerable undeclared wars. Hillary, by wrapping herself in his mantle, is gambling that Democrats are still in love with Obama. I say no. And even if her gamble pays off and she advances to the general, she has boxed herself in. Obama is more unpopular with the opposing party than any president -- including W. -- going back to Eisenhower.

Bernie wins Iowa. I haven't said anything about Trump because I think he has separated himself from the field recently. Trump wins Iowa. The battle in the GOP then becomes one over who will the party coalesce around to take out Trump. A Rubio vs. Cruz battle is developing to see who will be the main contender.


  1. I think Democrats will be Democrats and Hillary wins Iowa. And the Democratic race is done, sadly. I wish it were otherwise. I have a bad feeling that Bernie is going to vastly under perform tonight, and it will be spun left and right as DISASTER!

    Trump wins Iowa, and thus wins the Republican nomination.

    My two cents as long as we're doing the horse race thing.

  2. If Sanders loses, you're right on the spin. It will be "pack it up." He'll soldier on, but Hillary will clearly have the upper hand. What I can't get over is the feeling that Hillary has very weak popular support. Elite support, yes. But is she broadly popular? I don't see the evidence. Look at the crowds at her events versus Sanders' events. There is no comparison. People I talk to in labor there are one or two for Hillary but overwhelming everyone else is for Bernie. Can a Democrat win without labor? We'll see because if Hillary wins it will be without rank'n'file labor support. Sanders is hedging his bets today, saying "What's the big deal if we lose by a few votes."