June 2, 2016

Why Clinton could be a disaster and not just a crisis

The most recent poll in Michigan in which Hillary Clinton is in a statistical tie with Trump is more than a little disturbing. It's not merely that Clinton is in a statistical tie while Sanders is 19 points ahead, it's that this has happened only once in the last 20 years when, in 1996, the Democratic candidate won the state by just three points (one less than Clinton's lead) whereas in the other elections the Democrat has won by 5 to 16 points. The Republican candidate hasn't won the state since 1988.

Things are even worse in New Jersey, where Clinton, according to the latest poll, is in another statistical tie of only four points ahead. In recent elections, Democrats have won th state by 9 to 18 points and they have won ever election since 1992. 

This is another troubling example of how the pros in the Democratic Party are being driven by personal rather than party loyalty. In fact, the Clinton myth has been damaging from their start as national figures. As we noted some years back"

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Democrats held a 1,542 seat lead in state bodies in 1990. At the end of the Clinton years that lead had shrunk to 288. That's a loss of over 1,200 state legislative seats, nearly all of them under Clinton.

Across the US, the Democrats controlled only 65 more state senate seats than the Republicans.

Further, in 1992, the Democrats controlled 17 more state legislatures than the Republicans. After 1998, the Republicans controlled one more than the Democrats. Not only was this a loss of 9 legislatures under Clinton, but it was the first time since 1954 that the GOP had controlled more state legislatures than the Democrats (they tied in 1968).
Here's what happened to the Democrats under Clinton:
- GOP seats gained in House since Clinton became president: 45
- GOP seats gained in Senate since Clinton became president: 7
- GOP governorships gained since Clinton became president: 11
- GOP state legislative seats gained since Clinton became president: 1,254
as of 1998
- State legislatures taken over by GOP since Clinton became president: 9
- Democrat officeholders who have become Republicans since Clinton became
president: 439 as of 1998
- Republican officeholders who became Democrats since Clinton became president: 3

In short, those seeking a Democratic win in 2016 had better spend more time looking at the figures and less playing with fantasies.


dakati said...

Couple interesting passages I read from Thomas Frank's new book "Listen Liberal":

“Once Clinton was in the White House, counter-scheduling mutated from a campaign tactic to a philosophy of governance. At a retreat in the administration’s early days, Bill’s chief political adviser, Hillary Clinton, instructed White House officials how it was going to be done. As Carl Bernstein describes the scene, Hillary announced that the public must be made to understand that Bill was taking them on a “journey” and that he had a “vision” for what the administration was doing, a “story” that distinguished good from evil. The way to dramatize this story, the first lady continued (in Bernstein’s telling), was to pick a fight with supporters.

You show people what you’re willing to fight for, Hillary said, when you fight your friends—by which, in this context, she clearly meant, When you make them your enemy."

NAFTA would become the first great test of this theory of the presidency, with Clinton defying not only organized labor but much of his own party in Congress. In one sense, it achieved the desired results. For New Democrats and for much of the press, NAFTA was Clinton’s “finest hour,” his “boldest action,” an act befitting a real he-man of a president who showed he could stand up to labor and thereby assure the world that he was not a captive of traditional Democratic interests.16

But there was also an important difference. NAFTA was not symbolism. With this deed, Clinton was not merely insulting an important constituency, as he had done with Jesse Jackson and Sister Souljah. With NAFTA he connived in that constituency’s ruin. He assisted in the destruction of its economic power. He did his part to undermine his party’s greatest ally, to ensure that labor would be too weak to organize workers from that point forward. Clinton made the problems of working people materially worse.

“It is possible to regard this deed as fine or brave, as so many New Democrats did, if you understand the struggles of workers as a cliché you’ve grown sick of hearing. However, if you understand those workers as humans—humans who contributed to Bill Clinton’s election—NAFTA starts to appear like betrayal on a grand scale as well as a sizable political blunder. By making it clear to labor, his party’s strongest combatant, that he did not care about them or their issues, Clinton essentially encouraged them to stay home on election days. To this day, for working people, the lesson of NAFTA glares like the headlight of an oncoming locomotive: These affluent Democrats do not give a damn about inequality except as an election-year slogan.”

Excerpts From: Frank, Thomas. “Listen, Liberal.” Henry Holt and Co. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Anonymous said...

If Hillary cared about America, she would defer to Bernie.

Unfortunately, Hillary is in this for Hillary and not for America.

Tom Puckett said...

HRC's 6/2/16 "foreign policy" speech featured criticisms of Donald Trump's outlandish sounding statements. She looked very "presidential" according to TV talk news show anchors.

How hard was that, though, if your pal Donald Trump sets out to say these things on purpose, so that with the help of the media his opponent looks reasonable.

This is a disservice to the voters who don't really want either, but would choose the more reasonable candidate, since the other is so undesirable.

Against a paper or plastic choice, Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein seem the most reasonable. However these are candidates that would mitigate corporate and wall street agendas.

Whereas even the current speaker is now behind the presumptive Republican nominee and the Democrat establishment is favoring the touted front runner, I assign blame to each and both parties for perpetrating this fraud on the American voters and by extension all Americans, even those who can't vote.

Its one more indication that Huey Long was right:

Corrupted by wealth and power, your government is like a restaurant with only one dish. They've got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side. But no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.

Not really interested in business as usual...

"Look well, oh wolves." -- Rudyard Kipling

Cheers, Tom

Anonymous said...

I saw Thomas Frank on this book tour and he's even better in person. He mentioned a French academic friend who visits him every four years, complaining "every time I visit, your country gets worse." Not everyone laughed.
The book could have been called "Fuck You, Clinton."

A round of applause for Sam, an early adopter of truth-telling about the Clintons.

Leslie Armstrong said...

It is such a shame that the majority of Americans are unaware of all this stuff. MSM is slanted, loaded with 'opinion' reporting, half-truths, half-stories (leaving out 'the other side) and sometimes complete omission of important events. The dumbing down of our citizenry is alive and well and only serves to perpetuate this corporatocracy and war, to the peoples' disadvantage. We are so propagandized against countries all over the world. The struggling middle and lower classes have no time to research independent news reporters (Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, Greg Palast, and Sam, here, just for starters). I'm retired now and, literally, spend all my time researching stuff, and not just stuff I agree with. Pretty much, everything is screwed up, except for the good that average people do for one another and agencies trying to 'fight' for truth and change for the common good.

Richard said...

Obama has a worse record than Clinton. Here's a quote from an analysis by Professor Larry Sabato of the losses of the party holding the White House starting with Truman:

"However, it is Barack Obama who holds the modern record for overall losses, at least through 2014. President Obama has presided over two devastating midterms for his party. From 2008 to the present, Democrats in the Obama era have racked up net forfeitures of 11 governorships, 13 Senate seats, 69 House seats, 913 state legislative seats, and 30 state legislative chambers. In the latter three categories, Obama has doubled (or more) the average two-term presidential loss from Truman through Bush."