Saturday 7 December 2019

Elizabeth Warren faces the Clinton machine (Sunday Guardian)

By M D Nalapat

A Warren Presidency would clean up the US financial system of the privileged few who have squeezed hundreds of billions of dollars from it.

During the 2016 US Presidential polls, the Democratic Party machine was largely controlled by the Clintons, and they saw to it that Bernie Sanders lost in the primaries to Hillary. After his defeat, Senator Sanders uncharacteristically acted as a PR agent for the Clintons. Had the Vermont Senator shown more spine in taking on the Clinton machine, he would not have lost many of his followers. This time around, rather than continue to back Sanders as the Democratic Party nominee in the 2020 polls, many former “Sandersistas” have moved on to another fierce and idealistic candidate, Elizabeth Warren. In common with Sanders—and in contrast to the Clintons, who eagerly made their peace with Big Money—the Massachusetts Senator has fought Wall Street throughout her career in the higher reaches of US politics. She has refused to accept mega donations from the SuperPacs, the billionaire interests who have largely rallied behind former Vice-President Joe Biden, who is a Clinton loyalist through and through. It is because of such loyalty that the Clintons persuaded Barack Obama to make their surrogate (Biden) his Vice-Presidential pick in 2008, and which has created a groundswell of support for Biden within the substantial sections of the US media that still respond to the Clinton machine. This machine has moved to impeach President Donald Trump for the fact that he sought to get information on Hunter Biden, the pampered (since the death of his idealistic brother Beau in 2015) son of Joe Biden. The former Vice-President refuses to acknowledge the moral hazard in his offspring’s eagerness to make millions of dollars any which way he can. Had President Trump’s team been halfway competent, they would have quietly arranged for a team of private investigators to investigate the numerous money-making activities of Hunter Biden in countries such as Romania and the Ukraine, known to be infested with mafia groups that trade money for influence on a regular basis. It is a commentary on the power of the Clintons within the US media that no news report of any significance ever came out about the many business dealings that then Vice-President Joe Biden’s son was involved in. This had to wait till 2019. Efficient rather than incompetent teamwork would have seen to it that Donald Trump was kept far away from any activity that may be seen as ethically challenged. Instead, they allowed the 45th President of the US to himself ask the newly elected leader of Ukraine to assist in uncovering the presumed misdeeds of Hunter Biden. They watched silently as Trump asked his personal attorney to directly work on sensitive tasks that only a private detective with no visible links to the Trump Presidency ought to have done. The culture of fear and insecurity among Trump’s staff that has been engendered by the style of functioning of the 45th US President may result in his defeat in a year’s time.
The fallout from Ukrainegate has hit the Biden candidacy as well, leaving the Clintons scrambling to locate another surrogate whom they can seek to push into the White House, or for Hillary Clinton to run. Her entry would, of course, ensure that Trump gets re-elected. The sense of entitlement and disdain for others that is visible in the demeanour of Hillary Clinton has made her toxic to several million voters. A 2020 Clinton-Trump contest would be a battle between toxicities, as both have a large pool of detractors within the country. Despite the fact that she or her husband did nothing for them, African Americans love the Clintons and largely back whomsoever the Clinton machine favours. These days, that is Joe Biden. However, it is unlikely that the 78-year old will hold on to his front-runner position for much longer. He may be overtaken by Elizabeth Warren, who is the antithesis of Hillary Clinton. The fact that the incomes of the middle class have been stagnant over nearly three decades while those of the hyper-rich have skyrocketed has boosted the chances of a candidate not afraid to challenge Big Money. Neither Bill Clinton nor Barack Obama (both of whom poured huge amounts of taxpayer dollars into assisting Wall Street) did anything to lower the pain being felt by hundreds of thousands of young people, who are struggling to repay the debts they incurred to ensure their passage through college. Or to ensure that millions did not lose their homes during 2008-10. Many such unfortunates could rally behind Elizabeth Warren, who has shown that she is not among the majority of politicians who forget what they promised to voters as soon as they win an election. A Warren Presidency would clean up the US financial system of the privileged few who have squeezed hundreds of billions of dollars from it since the time Ronald Reagan entered his second term in office. Both Tulsi Gabbard as well as Kamala Harris are also imbued with ideals, but Tulsi will need to wait till 2024 to emerge into the topmost tier of US politics. In the case of Kamala Harris, the absence of her attractive foster family from the campaign trail cost her a lot of traction in a country that still reveres the family as a unit. Should she act a little more folksy rather than wonkish, Elizabeth Warren would steadily rise in the polls, and should the African-American community leadership accept that Joe Biden is not a reliable friend of a community that is both vibrant as well as disadvantaged and switch to Warren, her momentum would be unstoppable. Indeed, it is not just the Clintons but Trump who has provided oxygen to Biden, by using every method the US President could find (and that too, directly) to load the former Vice-President with the claimed misdeeds of his son.
In order to win the White House, Elizabeth Warren will need to overcome a substantial hurdle (besides winning her party’s nomination). The US economy is doing well under President Trump. Unemployment figures are at historic lows and more and more manufacturing jobs are migrating back to the US as a consequence of the corporate tax cuts that he made. Will the vast PR machinery of Big Money succeed in keeping Elizabeth Warren from the White House? They failed repeatedly in the1930s to block Franklin Roosevelt, and may with Warren as well in 2020.

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