Last week (I’m late to the party) brought this astounding article from neoliberal pundit Matt Yglesias, noting how corrupt and amoral Hillary Clinton is… and how that is a good thing.
Just as with the coming kangaroo SCOTUS, rather than expressing dismay at our increasingly undemocratic and crooked system, many liberals like Yglesias express approval — because they believe such a crooked system will help further the progressive agenda. Not once does he contemplate how this same prerogative apparatus of a rubber-stamp SCOTUS or an overreaching executive would work in a Republican president’s hand. Or did he enjoy the results of the Cheney Administration?
The Atlantic offered up a comprehensive takedown of Yglesias’ unusually honest post, which I recommend. For instance, there is the matter of Clinton’s hardcore, hawkish approach to foreign policy that Yglesias glosses over. That Clinton is to the right of Rand Paul should neither surprise nor concern most liberals. But the fact that she is to the right of Ted Cruz should!
Although Yglesias gives some lip service to the idea that war is bad, his heart is obviously not into it. Like most Washingtonian self-described liberals, and like Clinton herself, he seems to view the Left’s traditional dovish nature as outdated and not in line with how the world works. After all, when Clinton heaped praise on Henry Kissinger, she really meant it. Never mind how relatively peaceful her own husband’s adminstration was — today’s endless wars that she promises to intensify make you miss the days of cruise missile diplomacy, don’t they?
It is impossible to overstate the towering arrogance of neoliberals (or what I call Boomerists) like Yglesias, Clinton, and above all, Yglesias’ boss Ezra Klein, who is a walking embodiment of the very worst qualities of the technocratic, Friedmanesque DINOs infesting Washington. They believe that they are Übermenschen who are smarter, wiser and better than all other people except a handful of fellow mostly white technocrats who also hailed from the same privileged backgrounds and schools. Possessed with a contempt for democracy, they yearn for a EU-style or China-style system where unelected, often anonymous bureaucrats and appointed officials (i.e., themselves) simply dictate to the masses. They simultaneously believe that they know all the answers and are the best suited to lead, while at the same time are motivated by nothing but rank self-interest — Yglesias and Klein for money and insider access; Clinton for raw political power for herself and her family. They are no different than the corrupt university presidents and hospital CEOs that donate heavily to Clinton’s campaign — men and women who think of themselves as liberal but who have far more contempt for the working class than any Republican presidential candidate not named Bush.
“Yeah, yeah, but who else are you going to vote for?” you ask. And I admit, I really don’t have a good answer to that, since her opponent will either be Bush, or else Trump if the GOP donor class considers him sufficiently slavish to their will to be a viable substitute. So for no other reason than SCOTUS, if I lived in Ohio, then I would have no choice but to vote for Clinton in November 2016. (Since I live in New York, and my vote for president therefore does not matter, I enjoy the luxury of getting able to lodge a feeble protest by voting for the craziest sixth-party lunatic I can find on the ballot.)
But let’s not ever forget that Clinton has all the snotty arrogance, nastiness and will-to-power of Dick Cheney, combined with the paranoia of Richard Nixon, seasoned with the warmongering and cynicism of Henry Kissinger, and topped with the clannish insularity of the three Bushes. That we have to suffer such an administration may be unavoidable. But let’s not celebrate Hillary Clinton as some kind of progressive icon, and let’s certainly not celebrate her diabolical machinations as something to look forward to. Young liberals in particular should not pretend like Hillary has their best interests at heart. At least Hillary’s own generation found it in themselves to protest against the warmongering liberal Democratic president of their era, back before she and her Boomerist cohort sold out their ideals in the name of money, power and corruption. Millennials should similarly protest her wars as vigorously as they did Cheney’s.
And most of all, everyone is bone-tired of know-it-all hacks like Yglesias and Klein and their conservative equivalents over at the Weekly Standard, who are fully committed to insider baseball without giving a damn about life outside the Beltway. That is why the GOP base is in revolt and that is why an old crank named Bernie Sanders may actually take New Hampshire. We are simply sick of these people who are actively making our lives worse.