Who says the system isn’t rigged?
Today, with the primaries still going on and the Democratic convention more than a month away, the Associated Press anointed Hillary Clinton the presumptive nominee.
In fact, AP and other mainstream media organizations have treated Hillary as the presumptive Democratic nominee from the start, even though millions of Bernie Sanders fans are appalled by the idea of a ticket headed by a woman who, along with Barack Obama, embodies everything that has gone wrong with the Democratic Party since good old boy Bill Clinton took office in the 1990s.
It’s no accident that Hillary’s defenders already sound like Obama apologists. They say she’ll work to reverse income inequality, fight for workers’ rights, rein in Wall Street’s greedy boys, bolster Social Security, reform campaign financing, make health care for all a priority, avert environmental disaster, and so on, but in an incremental fashion, unlike that fire-breathing socialist Bernie Sanders, who would make progress impossible by scaring away the non-existent Republican moderates needed to push progressive legislation through Congress.
Look at how well the incremental approach worked under Obama, a guy who never picked a fight with Republicans without making major concessions before the first shot was fired. A guy who “reached across the aisle” so often he might as well have got up and taken a seat among the Republicans. Who swears the economy is recovering even as fewer and fewer people earn a living wage. Who chose Timothy Geithner for Secretary of the Treasury in 2009, signaling his support for the Wall Street crooks who had recently destroyed the economy. Who expressed solidarity with organized labor while campaigning but turned his back when google-eyed Gov. Scott Walker was crushing private-sector unions in Wisconsin.
And so on. For me, the most egregious example of Obama’s incremental — i.e., do-nothing — approach to reform was health care. He never considered pushing for a single-payer health care option, even at a time when Democrats held the majority of seats in both houses of Congress. As a result, most of us in what used to be called the working class are still stuck with paying way too much for too little coverage from the corrupt and inefficient private insurance companies at the heart of the need for reform.
Incrementally, many well-meaning people will realize they voted against the party of the working class, Bernie’s party, forged during the New Deal years. But by then it might be too late to stop Hillary and her masters from destroying what’s left of that party — incrementally, of course.
P.S. As Yogi Berra said, it ain’t over till it’s over. Maybe Bernie can at least force a platform fight at the convention and start a movement to abolish superdelegates and other undemocratic features of the nominating process.