#NeverHillary: Why some progressives reject Hillary Clinton. Daily Bullshit, June 2, 2016 (updated)

I hit the publish button on this post by mistake at a little after 3 am. I left the post up because I didn’t want to go to the hassle of fixing it and I think Yves Smith’s article[1] really is important. But pretty much everything other than that article and the Candorville cartoon has been added since.


Hillary Clinton

[Hillary] Clinton inherits the mantle of a [limousine] liberalism that has hollowed out the American economy and metastasized the national security state. It has confined the remnants of any genuine egalitarianism to the attic of the Democratic Party so as to protect the vested interests of the oligarchy that runs things.[2]

Something to notice about the opposition to Hillary Clinton is that it isn’t just a preference for Bernie Sanders. People really don’t like her policies or her record.[3] This doesn’t just show up among young voters at University of California, Davis, but among relatively well-off progressives whom Yves Smith counts among her readers at Naked Capitalism.

Darrin Bell, Candorville, June 2, 2016, GoComics, fair use.

I basically agree with Smith’s article here in Politico but would add, with quite some emphasis, that if I must have a president, that s/he must not be a war criminal. It’s neoconservatism that’s been adopted as a mainstream ideology and that has embraced neoliberalism as a moral imperative that’s at issue here. It’s all criminal and the criminality is compounded as elites further enrich themselves through their criminality. In general, I support restorative justice in emphasizing root causes rather than punitive measures.[4] But all of these mother fuckers need to go up against the wall.

Alexei Koseff, “Bernie Sanders supporters in Davis skeptical of Hillary Clinton,” Sacramento Bee, June 1, 2016, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article81272257.html

Yves Smith [Susan Webber], “Why Some of the Smartest Progressives I Know Will Vote for Trump over Hillary,” Politico, June 1, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/wall-street-2016-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-213931


Horse Race

I don’t know how it is within commercial polling operations or think tanks. My only exposure to either is from the outside. Within academia, I believe we would probably across the board take the doubts being expressed about survey results this year[5] very seriously. But I would emphasize another point:

[Donald] Trump channels the hostility generated by that neoliberal indifference to the well-being of working people and its scarcely concealed cultural contempt for heartland America into a racially inflected anti-establishmentarianism. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders targets Clintonian liberalism from the other shore.[6]

We already know there is an antipathy toward the elite this year that simply hasn’t gained traction in most other years. As Steve Fraser writes, “[t]o a degree then, Trump and Sanders are competing for the same constituencies, which should surprise no one given how far the collateral damage of neoliberal capitalism has spread.”[7] Which is also to say that in nominating Clinton, the Democratic Party is, to an unknown degree, conceding folks who feel a rage toward the status quo—not just Yves Smith’s well-off progressives[8]—to the Republicans. This is a dynamic that almost certainly undermines the assumptions that pollsters can usually rely upon. I think pollsters almost certainly know to question those assumptions this year. But to question those assumptions is not to have an adequate answer.

Niall Stanage, “Predicting November: Doubts creep into Trump-Clinton polls,” Hill, June 2, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/281910-doubts-creep-into-trump-clinton-polls


Harambe the gorilla

I parse Jane Goodall’s message differently from how Kate Good portrays it. Good writes, “What Jane does in this email is connect with [Thane] Maynard on a human level, empathizing with the gravity of the choice he made and highlighting how this sad event must have also affected the gorillas that knew Harambe.”[9] Good, I should emphasize, is writing for One Green Planet, which insists on being (sometimes sickeningly) upbeat. And to her credit, she (along with others[10]) nonetheless criticizes the keeping of gorillas in zoos.[11] And to be fair, here is a brief Associated Press story on the message that substantially supports Good’s reading:

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Jane Goodall Institute has released an email sent by the primatologist and conservationist to the director of the Cincinnati Zoo expressing empathy with him over the weekend shooting of a gorilla in an effort to protect a small child who entered the primate’s habitat.

In the message to zoo director Thane Maynard dated Sunday, May 29, the day after the shooting, Goodall writes that she feels sorry for Maynard having to defend a shooting that he “may disapprove of.” Goodall says it looked like the gorilla was putting an arm around the child and calls it “a devastating loss.”

Goodall also asks about the reaction of the other gorillas and whether they were allowed to express grief.

Goodall is known for her decades of studying wild chimpanzees in Tanzania.[12]

What I notice is that Goodall, having viewed the video and who is certainly one of the foremost experts on gorillas in the world, thought “it looked as though the gorilla was putting an arm around the child — like the female who rescued and returned the child from the Chicago exhibit” and that the zoo director was “having to try to defend something [he] may well disapprove of.”[13]

Admittedly, the decision to kill Harambe was a decision that had to be made very quickly, but I was concerned a gun may have been too close at hand and that alternatives were maybe not close enough. It looks to me like Goodall, while bending over backwards to be diplomatic, may agree.

Jane Goodall’s message to the Cincinnati Zoo, via One Good Planet, June 2, 2016, fair use.

Associated Press, “Jane Goodall feels sorry for Cincinnati Zoo director,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 2, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/jane-goodall-feels-sorry-for-cincinnati-zoo-director/381626121/

Kate Good, “Jane Goodall’s Touching Email to Director of Zoo that Killed Harambe will Remind You of the Larger Issue,” One Green Planet, June 2, 2016, http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/jane-goodall-touching-email-to-director-of-zoo-that-killed-harambe/

Jack Murtha, “What makes a source qualified to speak on Harambe? Not much,” Columbia Journalism Review, June 2, 2016, http://www.cjr.org/criticism/hashtag_gorilla.php


Footnotes

  1. [1]Yves Smith [Susan Webber], “Why Some of the Smartest Progressives I Know Will Vote for Trump over Hillary,” Politico, June 1, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/wall-street-2016-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-213931
  2. [2]Steve Fraser, “Bernie, The Donald, and the Sins of Liberalism: An American Version of Class Struggle,” TomDispatch, June 2, 2016, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176148/tomgram%3A_steve_fraser%2C_how_the_age_of_acquiescence_came_to_an_end/
  3. [3]Alexei Koseff, “Bernie Sanders supporters in Davis skeptical of Hillary Clinton,” Sacramento Bee, June 1, 2016, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article81272257.html
  4. [4]Wanda D. McCaslin and Denise C. Breton, “Justice as Healing: Going Outside the Colonizers’ Cage,” in Handbook of Critical and Indigenous Methodologies, eds. Norman K. Denzin, Yvonna S. Lincoln, and Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2008), 511-529.
  5. [5]Niall Stanage, “Predicting November: Doubts creep into Trump-Clinton polls,” Hill, June 2, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/281910-doubts-creep-into-trump-clinton-polls
  6. [6]Steve Fraser, “Bernie, The Donald, and the Sins of Liberalism: An American Version of Class Struggle,” TomDispatch, June 2, 2016, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176148/tomgram%3A_steve_fraser%2C_how_the_age_of_acquiescence_came_to_an_end/
  7. [7]Steve Fraser, “Bernie, The Donald, and the Sins of Liberalism: An American Version of Class Struggle,” TomDispatch, June 2, 2016, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176148/tomgram%3A_steve_fraser%2C_how_the_age_of_acquiescence_came_to_an_end/
  8. [8]Yves Smith [Susan Webber], “Why Some of the Smartest Progressives I Know Will Vote for Trump over Hillary,” Politico, June 1, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/wall-street-2016-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-213931
  9. [9]Kate Good, “Jane Goodall’s Touching Email to Director of Zoo that Killed Harambe will Remind You of the Larger Issue,” One Green Planet, June 2, 2016, http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/jane-goodall-touching-email-to-director-of-zoo-that-killed-harambe/
  10. [10]see, for example, Tony Norman, “The gorilla had to go. But why keep them?” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 31, 2016, http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/tonyman/2016/05/31/Tony-Norman-The-gorilla-had-to-go-But-why-keep-them/stories/201605310085
  11. [11]Kate Good, “Jane Goodall’s Touching Email to Director of Zoo that Killed Harambe will Remind You of the Larger Issue,” One Green Planet, June 2, 2016, http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/jane-goodall-touching-email-to-director-of-zoo-that-killed-harambe/
  12. [12]Associated Press, “Jane Goodall feels sorry for Cincinnati Zoo director,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 2, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/jane-goodall-feels-sorry-for-cincinnati-zoo-director/381626121/
  13. [13]Kate Good, “Jane Goodall’s Touching Email to Director of Zoo that Killed Harambe will Remind You of the Larger Issue,” One Green Planet, June 2, 2016, http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/jane-goodall-touching-email-to-director-of-zoo-that-killed-harambe/

One thought on “#NeverHillary: Why some progressives reject Hillary Clinton. Daily Bullshit, June 2, 2016 (updated)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.