Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment, 2016

Home 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2012

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Sep 19, 2017] Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trumps triumph: How a ruthless network of super-rich ideologues killed choice and destroyed people s faith in politics by George Monbiot

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The book was The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick Hayek . Its publication, in 1960, marked the transition from an honest, if extreme, philosophy to an outright racket. The philosophy was called neoliberalism . It saw competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. The market would discover a natural hierarchy of winners and losers, creating a more efficient system than could ever be devised through planning or by design. Anything that impeded this process, such as significant tax, regulation, trade union activity or state provision, was counter-productive. Unrestricted entrepreneurs would create the wealth that would trickle down to everyone. ..."
"... But by the time Hayek came to write The Constitution of Liberty, the network of lobbyists and thinkers he had founded was being lavishly funded by multimillionaires who saw the doctrine as a means of defending themselves against democracy. Not every aspect of the neoliberal programme advanced their interests. Hayek, it seems, set out to close the gap. ..."
"... He begins the book by advancing the narrowest possible conception of liberty: an absence of coercion. He rejects such notions as political freedom, universal rights, human equality and the distribution of wealth, all of which, by restricting the behaviour of the wealthy and powerful, intrude on the absolute freedom from coercion he demands. ..."
"... The general thrust is about the gradual hollowing out of the middle class (or more affluent working class, depending on the analytical terms being used), about insecurity, stress, casualisation, rising wage inequality. ..."
"... So Hayek, I feel, is like many theoreticians, in that he seems to want a pure world that will function according to a simple and universal law. The world never was, and never will be that simple, and current economics simply continues to have a blindspot for externalities that overwhelm the logic of an unfettered so-called free market. ..."
"... J.K. Galbraith viewed the rightwing mind as predominantly concerned with figuring out a way to justify the shift of wealth from the immense majority to an elite at the top. I for one regret acutely that he did not (as far as I know) write a volume on his belief in progressive taxation. ..."
"... The system that Clinton developed was an inheritance from George H.W. Bush, Reagan (to a large degree), Carter, with another large assist from Nixon and the Powell Memo. ..."
"... What's changed is the distribution of the gains in GDP growth -- that is in no small part a direct consequence of changes in policy since the 1970s. It isn't some "market place magic". We have made major changes to tax laws since that time. We have weakened collective bargaining, which obviously has a negative impact on wages. We have shifted the economy towards financial services, which has the tendency of increasing inequality. ..."
"... Wages aren't stagnating because people are working less. Wages have stagnated because of dumb policy choices that have tended to incentives looting by those at the top of the income distribution from workers in the lower parts of the economy. ..."
"... "Neoliberalism" is entirely compatible with "growth of the state". Reagan greatly enlarged the state. He privatized several functions and it actually had the effect of increasing spending. ..."
"... When it comes to social safety net programs, e.g. in health care and education -- those programs almost always tend to be more expensive and more complicated when privatized. If the goal was to actually save taxpayer money, in the U.S. at least, it would have made a lot more sense to have a universal Medicare system, rather than a massive patch-work like the ACA and our hybrid market. ..."
"... As for the rest, it's the usual practice of gathering every positive metric available and somehow attributing it to neoliberalism, no matter how tenuous the threads, and as always with zero rigour. Supposedly capitalism alone doubled life expectancy, supports billions of extra lives, invented the railways, and provides the drugs and equipment that keep us alive. As though public education, vaccines, antibiotics, and massive availability of energy has nothing to do with those things. ..."
"... I think the damage was done when the liberal left co-opted neo-liberalism. What happened under Bill Clinton was the development of crony capitalism where for example the US banks were told to lower their credit standards to lend to people who couldn't really afford to service the loans. ..."
Nov 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The events that led to Donald Trump's election started in England in 1975. At a meeting a few months after Margaret Thatcher became leader of the Conservative party, one of her colleagues, or so the story goes, was explaining what he saw as the core beliefs of conservatism. She snapped open her handbag, pulled out a dog-eared book, and slammed it on the table . "This is what we believe," she said. A political revolution that would sweep the world had begun.

The book was The Constitution of Liberty by Frederick Hayek . Its publication, in 1960, marked the transition from an honest, if extreme, philosophy to an outright racket. The philosophy was called neoliberalism . It saw competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. The market would discover a natural hierarchy of winners and losers, creating a more efficient system than could ever be devised through planning or by design. Anything that impeded this process, such as significant tax, regulation, trade union activity or state provision, was counter-productive. Unrestricted entrepreneurs would create the wealth that would trickle down to everyone.

This, at any rate, is how it was originally conceived. But by the time Hayek came to write The Constitution of Liberty, the network of lobbyists and thinkers he had founded was being lavishly funded by multimillionaires who saw the doctrine as a means of defending themselves against democracy. Not every aspect of the neoliberal programme advanced their interests. Hayek, it seems, set out to close the gap.

He begins the book by advancing the narrowest possible conception of liberty: an absence of coercion. He rejects such notions as political freedom, universal rights, human equality and the distribution of wealth, all of which, by restricting the behaviour of the wealthy and powerful, intrude on the absolute freedom from coercion he demands.

Democracy, by contrast, "is not an ultimate or absolute value". In fact, liberty depends on preventing the majority from exercising choice over the direction that politics and society might take.

He justifies this position by creating a heroic narrative of extreme wealth. He conflates the economic elite, spending their money in new ways, with philosophical and scientific pioneers. Just as the political philosopher should be free to think the unthinkable, so the very rich should be free to do the undoable, without constraint by public interest or public opinion.

The ultra rich are "scouts", "experimenting with new styles of living", who blaze the trails that the rest of society will follow. The progress of society depends on the liberty of these "independents" to gain as much money as they want and spend it how they wish. All that is good and useful, therefore, arises from inequality. There should be no connection between merit and reward, no distinction made between earned and unearned income, and no limit to the rents they can charge.

Inherited wealth is more socially useful than earned wealth: "the idle rich", who don't have to work for their money, can devote themselves to influencing "fields of thought and opinion, of tastes and beliefs". Even when they seem to be spending money on nothing but "aimless display", they are in fact acting as society's vanguard.

Hayek softened his opposition to monopolies and hardened his opposition to trade unions. He lambasted progressive taxation and attempts by the state to raise the general welfare of citizens. He insisted that there is "an overwhelming case against a free health service for all" and dismissed the conservation of natural resources. It should come as no surprise to those who follow such matters that he was awarded the Nobel prize for economics .

By the time Thatcher slammed his book on the table, a lively network of thinktanks, lobbyists and academics promoting Hayek's doctrines had been established on both sides of the Atlantic, abundantly financed by some of the world's richest people and businesses , including DuPont, General Electric, the Coors brewing company, Charles Koch, Richard Mellon Scaife, Lawrence Fertig, the William Volker Fund and the Earhart Foundation. Using psychology and linguistics to brilliant effect, the thinkers these people sponsored found the words and arguments required to turn Hayek's anthem to the elite into a plausible political programme.

Thatcherism and Reaganism were not ideologies in their own right: they were just two faces of neoliberalism. Their massive tax cuts for the rich, crushing of trade unions, reduction in public housing, deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing and competition in public services were all proposed by Hayek and his disciples. But the real triumph of this network was not its capture of the right, but its colonisation of parties that once stood for everything Hayek detested.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair did not possess a narrative of their own. Rather than develop a new political story, they thought it was sufficient to triangulate . In other words, they extracted a few elements of what their parties had once believed, mixed them with elements of what their opponents believed, and developed from this unlikely combination a "third way".

It was inevitable that the blazing, insurrectionary confidence of neoliberalism would exert a stronger gravitational pull than the dying star of social democracy. Hayek's triumph could be witnessed everywhere from Blair's expansion of the private finance initiative to Clinton's repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act , which had regulated the financial sector. For all his grace and touch, Barack Obama, who didn't possess a narrative either (except "hope"), was slowly reeled in by those who owned the means of persuasion.

As I warned in April, the result is first disempowerment then disenfranchisement. If the dominant ideology stops governments from changing social outcomes, they can no longer respond to the needs of the electorate. Politics becomes irrelevant to people's lives; debate is reduced to the jabber of a remote elite. The disenfranchised turn instead to a virulent anti-politics in which facts and arguments are replaced by slogans, symbols and sensation. The man who sank Hillary Clinton's bid for the presidency was not Donald Trump. It was her husband.

The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neoliberalism's crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek's "independent"; the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow. The neoliberal thinktankers are now swarming round this hollow man, this empty vessel waiting to be filled by those who know what they want. The likely result is the demolition of our remaining decencies, beginning with the agreement to limit global warming .

Those who tell the stories run the world. Politics has failed through a lack of competing narratives. The key task now is to tell a new story of what it is to be a human in the 21st century. It must be as appealing to some who have voted for Trump and Ukip as it is to the supporters of Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn.

A few of us have been working on this, and can discern what may be the beginning of a story. It's too early to say much yet, but at its core is the recognition that – as modern psychology and neuroscience make abundantly clear – human beings, by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish . The atomisation and self-interested behaviour neoliberalism promotes run counter to much of what comprises human nature.

Hayek told us who we are, and he was wrong. Our first step is to reclaim our humanity.

justamug -> Skytree 16 Nov 2016 18:17

Thanks for the chuckle. On a more serious note - defining neoliberalism is not that easy since it is not a laid out philosophy like liberalism, or socialism, or communism or facism. Since 2008 the use of the word neoliberalism has increased in frequency and has come to mean different things to different people.

A common theme appears to be the negative effects of the market on the human condition.

Having read David Harvey's book, and Phillip Mirowski's book (both had a go at defining neoliberalism and tracing its history) it is clear that neoliberalism is not really coherent set of ideas.

ianfraser3 16 Nov 2016 17:54

EF Schumacher quoted "seek first the kingdom of God" in his epilogue of "Small Is Beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered". This was written in the early 1970s before the neoliberal project bit in the USA and the UK. The book is laced with warnings about the effects of the imposition of neoliberalism on society, people and the planet. The predictions have largely come true. New politics and economics needed, by leaders who place at the heart of their approach the premise, and fact, that humans are "by comparison with any other animals, are both remarkably social and remarkably unselfish". It is about reclaiming our humanity from a project that treats people as just another commodity.


Filipio -> YouDidntBuildThat 16 Nov 2016 17:42

Whoa there, slow down.

Your last post was questioning the reality of neoliberalism as a general policy direction that had become hegemonic across many governments (and most in the west) over recent decades. Now you seem to be agreeing that the notion does have salience, but that neoliberalism delivered positive rather than negative consequences.

Well, its an ill wind that blows nobody any good, huh?

Doubtless there were some positive outcomes for particular groups. But recall that the context for this thread is not whether, on balance, more people benefited from neoliberal policies than were harmed -- an argument that would be most powerful only in very utilitarian style frameworks of thought (most good for the many, or most harm for only the few). The thread is about the significance of the impacts of neoliberalism in the rise of Trump. And in specific relation to privatisation (just one dimension of neoliberalism) one key impact was downsizing (or 'rightsizing'; restructuring). There is a plethora of material, including sociological and psychological, on the harm caused by shrinking and restructured work-forces as a consequence of privatisation. Books have been written, even in the business management sector, about how poorly such 'change' was handled and the multiple deleterious outcomes experienced by employees.

And we're still only talking about one dimension of neoliberalism! Havn't even touched on deregulation yet (notably, labour market and financial sector).

The general thrust is about the gradual hollowing out of the middle class (or more affluent working class, depending on the analytical terms being used), about insecurity, stress, casualisation, rising wage inequality.

You want evidence? I'm not doing your research for you. The internet can be a great resource, or merely an echo chamber. The problem with so many of the alt-right (and this applies on the extreme left as well) is that they only look to confirm their views, not read widely. Open your eyes, and use your search engine of choice. There is plenty out there. Be open to having your preconceptions challenged.

RichardErskine -> LECKJ3000 16 Nov 2016 15:38

LECKJ3000 - I am not an economist, but surely the theoretical idealised mechanisms of the market are never realised in practice. US subsidizing their farmers, in EU too, etc. And for problems that are not only externalities but transnational ones, the idea that some Hayek mechanism will protect thr ozone layer or limit carbon emissions, without some regulation or tax.

Lord Stern called global warming the greatest market failure in history, but no market, however sophisticated, can deal with it without some price put on the effluent of product (the excessive CO2 we put into the atmosphere).

As with Montreal and subsequent agreements, there is a way to maintain a level playing field; to promote different substances for use as refrigerants; and to address the hole in ozone layer; without abandoning the market altogether. Simple is good, because it avoids over-engineering the interventions (and the unintended consequences you mention).

The same could/ should be true of global warming, but we have left it so late we cannot wait for the (inevitable) fall of fossil fuels and supremacy of renewables. We need a price on carbon, which is a graduated and fast rising tax essentially on its production and/or consumption, which has already started to happen ( http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/SDN/background-note_carbon-tax.pdf ), albeit not deep / fast / extensive enough, or international in character, but that will come, if not before the impacts really bite then soon after.

So Hayek, I feel, is like many theoreticians, in that he seems to want a pure world that will function according to a simple and universal law. The world never was, and never will be that simple, and current economics simply continues to have a blindspot for externalities that overwhelm the logic of an unfettered so-called free market.

LionelKent -> greven 16 Nov 2016 14:59

And persistent. J.K. Galbraith viewed the rightwing mind as predominantly concerned with figuring out a way to justify the shift of wealth from the immense majority to an elite at the top. I for one regret acutely that he did not (as far as I know) write a volume on his belief in progressive taxation.

RandomLibertarian -> JVRTRL 16 Nov 2016 09:19

Not bad points.

When it comes to social safety net programs, e.g. in health care and education -- those programs almost always tend to be more expensive and more complicated when privatized. If the goal was to actually save taxpayer money, in the U.S. at least, it would have made a lot more sense to have a universal Medicare system, rather than a massive patch-work like the ACA and our hybrid market.

Do not forget that the USG, in WW2, took the deliberate step of allowing employers to provide health insurance as a tax-free benefit - which it still is, being free even from SS and Medicare taxes. In the post-war boom years this resulted in the development of a system with private rooms, almost on-demand access to specialists, and competitive pay for all involved (while the NHS, by contrast, increasingly drew on immigrant populations for nurses and below). Next, the large sums of money in the system and a generous court system empowered a vast malpractice industry. So to call our system in any way a consequence of a free market is a misnomer.

Entirely state controlled health care systems tend to be even more cost-effective.

Read Megan McArdle's work in this area. The US has had similar cost growth since the 1970s to the rest of the world. The problem was that it started from a higher base.

Part of the issue is that privatization tends to create feedback mechanism that increase the size of spending in programs. Even Eisenhower's noted "military industrial complex" is an illustration of what happens when privatization really takes hold.

When government becomes involved in business, business gets involved in government!

Todd Smekens 16 Nov 2016 08:40

Albert Einstein said, "capitalism is evil" in his famous dictum called, "Why Socialism" in 1949. He also called communism, "evil", so don't jump to conclusions, comrades. ;)

His reasoning was it distorts a human beings longing for the social aspect. I believe George references this in his statement about people being "unselfish". This is noted by both science and philosophy.

Einstein noted that historically, the conqueror would establish the new order, and since 1949, Western Imperialism has continued on with the predatory phase of acquiring and implementing democracy/capitalism. This needs to end. As we've learned rapidly, capitalism isn't sustainable. We are literally overheating the earth which sustains us. Very unwise.

Einstein wrote, "Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life. Only the existence of these varied, frequently conflicting, strivings accounts for the special character of a man, and their specific combination determines the extent to which an individual can achieve an inner equilibrium and can contribute to the well-being of society."

Personally, I'm glad George and others are working on a new economic and social construct for us "human beings". It's time we leave the predatory phase of "us versus them", and construct a new society which works for the good of our now, global society.

zavaell -> LECKJ3000 16 Nov 2016 06:28

The problem is that both you and Monbiot fail to mention that your "the spontaneous order of the market" does not recognize externalities and climate change is outside Hayek's thinking - he never wrote about sustainability or the limits on resources, let alone the consequences of burning fossil fuels. There is no beauty in what he wrote - it was a cold, mechanical model that assumed certain human behaviour but not others. Look at today's money-makers - they are nearly all climate change deniers and we have to have government to reign them in.

aLERNO 16 Nov 2016 04:52

Good, short and concise article. But the FIRST NEOLIBERAL MILESTONE WAS THE 1973 COUP D'ETAT IN CHILE, which not surprisingly also deposed the first democratically-elected socialist government.

accipiter15 16 Nov 2016 02:34

A great article and explanation of the influence of Hayek on Thatcher. Unfortunately this country is still suffering the consequences of her tenure and Osborne was also a proponent of her policies and look where we are as a consequence. The referendum gave the people the opportunity to vent their anger and if we had PR I suspect we would have a greater turn-out and nearly always have some sort of coalition where nothing gets done that is too hurtful to the population. As for Trump, again his election is an expression of anger and desperation. However, the American voting system is as unfair as our own - again this has probably been the cause of the low turn-out. Why should people vote when they do not get fair representation - it is a waste of time and not democratic. I doubt that Trump is Keynsian I suspect he doesn't have an economic theory at all. I just hope that the current economic thinking prevailing currently in this country, which is still overshadowed by Thatcher and the free market, with no controls over the city casino soon collapses and we can start from a fairer and more inclusive base!

JVRTRL -> Keypointist 16 Nov 2016 02:15

The system that Clinton developed was an inheritance from George H.W. Bush, Reagan (to a large degree), Carter, with another large assist from Nixon and the Powell Memo.

Bill Clinton didn't do it by himself. The GOP did it with him hand-in-hand, with the only resistance coming from a minority within the Democratic party.

Trump's victory was due to many factors. A large part of it was Hillary Clinton's campaign and the candidate. Part of it was the effectiveness of the GOP massive resistance strategy during the Obama years, wherein they pursued a course of obstruction in an effort to slow the rate of the economic recovery (e.g. as evidence of the bad faith, they are resurrecting a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that Obama originally proposed in 2012, and now that they have full control, all the talk about "deficits" goes out the window).

Obama and the Democratic party also bear responsibility for not recognizing the full scope of the financial collapse in 2008-2009, passing a stimulus package that was about $1 trillion short of spending needed to accelerate the recovery by the 2010 mid-terms, combined with a weak financial regulation law (which the GOP is going to destroy), an overly complicated health care law -- classic technocratic, neoliberal incremental policy -- and the failure of the Obama administration to hold Wall Street accountable for criminal misconduct relating to the financial crisis. Obama's decision to push unpopular trade agreements didn't help either. As part of the post-mortem, the decision to continuing pushing the TPP may have cost Clinton in the rust belt states that went for Trump. The agreement was unpopular, and her shift on the policy didn't come across as credible. People noticed as well that Obama was trying to pass the measure through the lame-duck session of Congress post-election. With Trump's election, the TPP is done too.

JVRTRL daltonknox67 16 Nov 2016 02:00

There is no iron law that says a country has to run large trade deficits. The existence of large trade deficits is usually a result of policy choices.

Growth also hasn't gone into the tank. What's changed is the distribution of the gains in GDP growth -- that is in no small part a direct consequence of changes in policy since the 1970s. It isn't some "market place magic". We have made major changes to tax laws since that time. We have weakened collective bargaining, which obviously has a negative impact on wages. We have shifted the economy towards financial services, which has the tendency of increasing inequality.

The idea too that people will be "poorer" than in the 1920s and 1930s is just plain ignorant. It has no basis in any of the data. Wages in the bottom quartile have actually decreased slightly since the 1970s in real terms, but those wages in the 1970s were still exponentially higher than wages in the 1920s in real terms.

Wages aren't stagnating because people are working less. Wages have stagnated because of dumb policy choices that have tended to incentives looting by those at the top of the income distribution from workers in the lower parts of the economy. The 2008 bailouts were a clear illustration of this reality. People in industries rigged rules to benefit themselves. They misallocated resources. Then they went to representatives and taxpayers and asked for a large no-strings attached handout that was effectively worth trillions of dollars (e.g. hundreds of billions through TARP, trillions more through other programs). As these players become wealthier, they have an easier time buying politicians to rig rules further to their advantage.

JVRTRL -> RandomLibertarian 16 Nov 2016 01:44

"The tyranny of the 51 per cent is the oldest and most solid argument against a pure democracy."

"Tyranny of the majority" is always a little bizarre, given that the dynamics of majority rule are unlike the governmental structures of an actual tyranny. Even in the context of the U.S. we had minority rule due to voting restrictions for well over a century that was effectively a tyranny for anyone who was denied the ability to participation in the elections process. Pure majorities can go out of control, especially in a country with massive wealth disparities and with weak civic institutions.

On the other hand, this is part of the reason to construct a system of checks and balances. It's also part of the argument for representative democracy.

"Neoliberalism" is entirely compatible with "growth of the state". Reagan greatly enlarged the state. He privatized several functions and it actually had the effect of increasing spending.

When it comes to social safety net programs, e.g. in health care and education -- those programs almost always tend to be more expensive and more complicated when privatized. If the goal was to actually save taxpayer money, in the U.S. at least, it would have made a lot more sense to have a universal Medicare system, rather than a massive patch-work like the ACA and our hybrid market.

Entirely state controlled health care systems tend to be even more cost-effective. Part of the issue is that privatization tends to create feedback mechanism that increase the size of spending in programs. Even Eisenhower's noted "military industrial complex" is an illustration of what happens when privatization really takes hold.

daltonknox67 15 Nov 2016 21:46

After WWII most of the industrialised world had been bombed or fought over with destruction of infrastructure and manufacturing. The US alone was undamaged. It enjoyed a manufacturing boom that lasted until the 70's when competition from Germany and Japan, and later Taiwan, Korea and China finally brought it to an end.

As a result Americans born after 1950 will be poorer than the generation born in the 20's and 30's.

This is not a conspiracy or government malfunction. It is a quirk of history. Get over it and try working.

Arma Geddon 15 Nov 2016 21:11

Another nasty neoliberal policy of Reagan and Thatcher, was to close all the mental hospitals, and to sweeten the pill to sell to the voters, they called it Care in the Community, except by the time those hospitals closed and the people who had to relay on those institutions, they found out and are still finding out that there is very little care in the community left any more, thanks to Thatcher's disintegration of the ethos community spirit.

In their neoliberal mantra of thinking, you are on your own now, tough, move on, because you are hopeless and non productive, hence you are a burden to taxpayers.

Its been that way of thinking for over thirty years, and now the latest group targeted, are the sick and disabled, victims of the neoliberal made banking crash and its neoliberal inspired austerity, imposed of those least able to fight back or defend themselves i.e. vulnerable people again!

AlfredHerring GimmeHendrix 15 Nov 2016 20:23

It was in reference to Maggie slapping a copy of Hayek's Constitution of Liberty on the table and saying this is what we believe. As soon as you introduce the concept of belief you're talking about religion hence completeness while Hayek was writing about economics which demands consistency. i.e. St. Maggie was just as bad as any Stalinist: economics and religion must be kept separate or you get a bunch of dead peasants for no reason other than your own vanity.

Ok, religion based on a sky god who made us all is problematic but at least there's always the possibility of supplication and miracles. Base a religion on economic theory and you're just making sausage of your neighbors kids.

TanTan -> crystaltips2 15 Nov 2016 20:10

If you claim that the only benefit of private enterprise is its taxability, as you did, then why not cut out the middle man and argue for full state-directed capitalism?

Because it is plainly obvious that private enterprise is not directed toward the public good (and by definition). As we have both agreed, it needs to have the right regulations and framework to give it some direction in that regard. What "the radical left" are pointing out is that the idea of private enterprise is now completely out of control, to the point where voters are disenfranchised because private enterprise has more say over what the government does than the people. Which is clearly a problem.

As for the rest, it's the usual practice of gathering every positive metric available and somehow attributing it to neoliberalism, no matter how tenuous the threads, and as always with zero rigour. Supposedly capitalism alone doubled life expectancy, supports billions of extra lives, invented the railways, and provides the drugs and equipment that keep us alive. As though public education, vaccines, antibiotics, and massive availability of energy has nothing to do with those things.

As for this computer being the invention of capitalism, who knows, but I suppose if one were to believe that everything was invented and created by capitalism and monetary motives then one might believe that. Energy allotments referred to the limit of our usage of readily available fossil fuels which you remain blissfully unaware of.

Children have already been educated to agree with you, in no small part due to a fear of the communist regimes at the time, but at the expense of critical thinking. Questioning the system even when it has plainly been undermined to its core is quickly labelled "radical" regardless of the normalcy of the query. I don't know what you could possibly think left-wing motives could be, but your own motives are plain to see when you immediately lump people who care about the planet in with communist idealogues. If rampant capitalism was going to solve our problems I'm all for it, but it will take a miracle to reverse the damage it has already done, and only a fool would trust it any further.

YouDidntBuildThat -> Filipio 15 Nov 2016 20:06

Filipo

You argue that a great many government functions have been privatized. I agree. Yet strangely you present zero evidence of any downsides of that happening. Most of the academic research shows a net benefit, not just on budgets but on employee and customer satisfaction. See for example.

And despite these privitazation cost savings and alleged neoliberal "austerity" government keeps taking a larger share of our money, like a malignant cancer. No worries....We're from the government, and we're here to help.

Keypointist 15 Nov 2016 20:04

I think the damage was done when the liberal left co-opted neo-liberalism. What happened under Bill Clinton was the development of crony capitalism where for example the US banks were told to lower their credit standards to lend to people who couldn't really afford to service the loans.

It was this that created too big to fail and the financial crisis of 2008. Conservative neo-liberals believe passionately in competition and hate monopolies. The liberal left removed was was productive about neo-liberalism and replaced it with a kind of soft state capitalism where big business was protected by the state and the tax payer was called on to bail out these businesses. THIS more than anything else led to Trump's victory.

[Dec 31, 2016] Trump praises Putin over US sanctions – a move that puts him at odds with GOP by Lauren Gambino and Ben Jacobs in Washington

Notable quotes:
"... Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security... ..."
"... All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble. ..."
"... Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who. Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria. Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times. ..."
"... Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corporatism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama. ..."
"... The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more. ..."
"... Obama acting like a petulant child that has to leave the game and go home now, so he's kicking the game board and forcing everyone else to clean up his mess. Irresponsible. ..."
"... Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office. ..."
"... So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ? ..."
Dec 30, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The president-elect has been consistently -> skeptical about the US intelligence -> consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor – the reason for Obama's new sanctions. At one point, he suggested the culprit might have been China, another state or even a 400lb man in his bedroom .

On taking office in January, Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. And as president, he could do so; presidential orders can simply be repealed by the executive branch.

But the situation is not that simple. If Trump did choose to remove the sanctions, he would find himself at odds with his own party. Senior Republicans in Congress responded to the Obama sanctions by identifying Russia as a major geopolitical foe and criticizing the new measures only as a case of too little too late. Some promised a push for further measures in Congress.

Trump may therefore choose not to reverse the new sanctions. If so, he will find himself at odds with the man he so constantly praises.

On Friday, the Kremlin responded to the moves, including the expulsion of 35 suspected intelligence operatives and the closing of two Russian facilities in the US, with a shrug . Putin, it seems, is willing simply to wait until Trump moves into the Oval Office. Trump's tweet suggested he is too.

But such provocative words could not distract the media and public from another domestic concern for Trump – the growing perception that his predecessor has acted to his disadvantage .

"The sanctions were clearly an attempt by the Obama administration to throw a wrench into – or [to] box in – the next administration's relationship with Russia,"

vgnych, 30 Dec 2016 18:56
All Obama does with his clumsy movements is just attempting to blame Russians for Democrat's loss of elections. Also he is obscuring peaceful power transition while at it.

All what Trump needs to do is to just call the looser a loser a move on.

Max South , 30 Dec 2016 18:56
White House/StateDep press release on sanctions is ORWELLIAN: corruption within the DNC/Clinton's manager Podesta undermines the democracy, not its exposure as claimed (let alone the fact that there is still no evidence that the Russian government has anything to do with the hacks).

The press release also talks about how the security of the USA and its interests were compromised, so Obama in effects says that national security interest of the country is to have corrupt political system, which is insane.

This argumentation means that even if Russian government has done the hacking, it was a good deed, there is nothing to sanction Russia for even in such case.

CDNBobOrr , 30 Dec 2016 18:58
'Fraid both Putin and Trump are a lot smarter than Barry. Putin's move in not retaliating and inviting US kids to the Kremlin New Year party was an astute judo throw. And Barry is sitting on his backside wondering how it happened.
antobojar , 30 Dec 2016 19:00
.. Probably Obama's "exceptionalism" made him so clumsy on international affairs stage..

.. just recently.. snubbed by Fidel.. he refused to meet him..
.. humiliated by Raul Castro, he declined to hug president of USA..
.. Duterte described.. hmm.. his provenance..
.. Bibi told him off in most vulgar way.. several times..
.. and now this..
..pathetic..

P.S.
You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination."
Charles de Gaulle.

ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 19:07
Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who.

Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria.

Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times. Share Facebook Twitter

foolisholdman -> ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 20:01
Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corpratism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama.

The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more.

bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

Are your mentors still thinking that people will swallow that fable? The same mentors who understated Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania?

foolisholdman -> bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:36
bready

"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

These people either think that an ex-British Ambassador is not an important witness or they don't want to hear anything that contradicts the narrative they have been told to spin. It has to be one or the other.

rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be slient, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office.
cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ?

American party politics /
Spite ?
Ideological hatred ?

For those of you who are too young to remember, look up "Cold War" and look for references
to Hawks and Doves.

Who are the Hawks now - and who are the Doves ?

The Left/Liberal paradigm is so drastically in need of updating that it is becoming downright dangerous.

Hell hath on fury like a self defined "liberal" scorned.

Haigin88 , 30 Dec 2016 19:30
R.E.M.: 'Exhuming McCarthy'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMedTmZKo38
gottliebvera , 30 Dec 2016 19:34
I think Obama is behaving in a most petulant and non-presidential manner. Lack of decorum as parting shot. Good going.
philo41z , 30 Dec 2016 19:37
We watched trump defeat republican favourites to get the nomination. He has not really needed them as much as they have felt they need him. Then he has big oil in his transition team, tillerson if I am not mistaken, connected to exxon which has oil interests in Russia....

rocjoc43rd , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
I also think this is Obama's move to direct attention away from the cease fire in Syria. There the US has been supporting all these groups, flying air missions and dropping special forces in Syria for years now, and the US has no seat at the table of the cease fire negotiations. That should be very embarrassing for the US, but it apparently is not, because all the media wants to talk about are these sanctions, which seem pretty trivial to me. The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office.
stormsinteacups , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
Still no proof of any meddling by the Russians. Only a last gasp attempt by a weak president in what is starting to look like a boys against men tussle with Putin. Add the Syria ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Putin to this to show how Obama is being outmanouvered at every turn.
Sad to see what a far cry from Obama the candidate Obama the president has turned out to be.
gandalfsunderpants , 30 Dec 2016 19:41
Action makes propaganda's effect irreversible. He who acts in obedience to propaganda can never go back. He is now obliged to believe in that propaganda because of his past action. He is obliged to receive from it his justification and authority, without which his action will seem to him absurd or unjust, which would be intolerable. He is obliged to continue to advance in the direction indicated by propaganda, for action demands more action.
Jacques Ellul:
Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:43
Obama just got dissed big time by Putin. What an inglorious end to an inglorious eight years.
DogsLivesMatter -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 20:05
The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade.
MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:44
Oh for christ's sake, once again:

There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED!

Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

PS once you are there, read everything else Craig Murray has written there. This is the ambassador HM government fired for daring to speak out against the Uzbek government's human rights abuses.

PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unpresidented". Where previously we had implemented such actions ourselves without fear of reciprocation we should be concerned that we are no longer immune to such machinations by other states. These events may represent a turning point as regards our accepted global hegemony. Share
Tribal War -> PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:52
USA hacks
USA spies
USA interferes with foreign regimes
USA is number 1 bully and hypocrite

The damn cheek of Russian hack spies interfering with US election and setting them up with an idiot

brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
Obama has been anti-Russia long before Trump came into the picture.
This article is more of a wish list than anything else.
We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

Where is it? I would love to see this.
I do know that the 2 countries that carry out most cyber attacks in the world are the US and it's main ally in the Middle East. Just ask the Iranians what they did.

Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
Obama complaining about Russian influence in American elections.

Last time I've checked it was Mr. Obama that warned British people against Brexit, wasn't? What about the deposition of an ELECTED president in Ukraine with their support of Obama and EU? Let's talk also about regime changes in Syria, Lybia and Egypt undertaken under Obama's administration? Perhaps we could also remember that Obama's agencies spied 3 million of Spanyards, Merkel, Dilma Rousseff (Brazilian President) and so on... WHAT A HIPOCRISY, OBAMA!!!!

mtkass -> Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
You have hit the nail on the head on all your points. But America and especially the American military needs a boogy man to justify the trillions of dollars of American tax payer money they request to keep their military empire going. Imagine if there was no boogy man and the conclusion was to half the American military to a size only equal to the next 6 largest militarys instead of the present 13. Incidentally, most of the next largest militarys are allies of the United States.
This whole kerfuffle about Russian hacking has the stink of shooting the messenger. What about concentrating on what was in the leaked e-mails. They showed a high level of deep corruption in the DNC. That is the importance of the hacked e-mails. Whoever hacked and released them to the American public has done the America public a great favor. If Wasserman Shultz in cohoots with Hillary had not swung the primaries in favor of Hillary and if Obama had remembered that the constitution says the government is for the people and by the people (the peoples choice was by a huge margin for Bernie) and come out for Bernie, we wouldn't be in the CF we are in right now. I thought Obama is a constitutional lawyer. So much for the constitution. The only statesman in this mess is Putin. Thank heaven for his level headedness. The American pronouncements have the stink of the build up to another false flag operation (the CIA revelations themselves are probably a false flag operation). I hope Putin can keep his 'cool' in the face of American provocation.
Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
Well what a spiteful, petty man this Obama has turned out to be! This is the first time his side hasn't 'won' and he can't take it so throws his toys out the pram and risks further souring relationships with the East. Thank goodness Putin rose above it.
ID1516963 -> Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:10
Ha! Obama has obviously nothing to lose and decided to make hay in the limited time he has. More mischief making. Love it. Let's face it the master spiteful petty man is the one about to occupy the white house.

voice__of__reason

, 30 Dec 2016 20:13
This just shows the real character of Obama. Queering the pitch for Trump and the incoming administration. But well done Putin for sidestepping. Clever. Much smarter than Obama. In the end lawyers make bad Presidents and bad Prime Ministers.
TheChillZone , 30 Dec 2016 20:15
Bit of a pot-kettle interface going on here. America leads the way in the hacking of public servers around the world and spying on friend and enemy alike. Not long ago the CIA tapped into Angela Merkel's mobile phone and I don't remember the same level of public outcry. Seems like America is affronted that Russia and others are now doing what the US has done for years. And if it is in fact the Russians - proof not yet forthcoming - this wasn't a hack into the electoral system at all; it was a simple phishing email that the US officials were silly enough to click onto the link.
And finally - what eventually was released was the truth. Clinton was favoured by the DNC, she did say those things to Goldman Sachs, a CNN reporter did provide her with the questions before the presidential debates. The truth is that the US elections were corrupted, but not by the Russians - the culprits lie a little closer to home.
Kano59 , 30 Dec 2016 20:18
With Putin declaring he'll wait to see what Trump's policies are, then it seems he has at least that in common with the US electorate.
Harry Bhai , 30 Dec 2016 20:22
Obama tried to corner Russia, and almost all GOP lawmakers applauded Obama's action. Called it was well overdue. But our smart president-elect comforted crying Putin right away by calling him a smart man for not taking any actions. It is becoming more and more clear that Trump and Putin are made for each other. I think Trump is keeping Putin on his side to take air out of overinflated Chinese balloon. May be he was advised by his team. No one knows his game plan.
flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
Nearly 40 years ago , at the height of the cold war when I joined up to serve my country, never did i dream the day would come when I had more respect for the leader of Russia than a president of the USA and that I would have more faith in the Russian media than our own fake media.

That's what 40 years of liberalism does i guess. Share Facebook Twitter

TyroneBHorneigh -> flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
40 years of Neo-liberalism.
Sparky Patriot , 30 Dec 2016 20:37
Not content with merely stealing the silverware, BO is intent on causing as much mischief as possible before being booted out of the White House, but the Russians are not falling for it. They will be dealing with Donald Trump in a few weeks, and there is no need to respond to Barry's diaper baby antics.
I'm sure the Russians are hacking our internet systems, but the DNC emails that went to WikiLeaks did not come from them. The content, outlining Podesta's plan to discredit Bernie supporters by falsely tying them to violent acts, would indicate that a disgruntled and disgusted DNC employee was more likely the source.
rocjoc43rd , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
The liberal media, I can't wait until they claim that Trump has few paths to victory from this trick bag he is in. We are living in the dying days of the Obama administration. Things will be very different January 20, 2017. Things that appear difficult or impossible now will suddenly be taken care of with the stroke of a pen. It will be exciting to see. Just a few months ago, Trumps path to victory was so small that he shouldn't even bother trying, then it was the electors will do something about Trump. It was all nonsense. This to about Obama limiting Trump is nonsense. Obama's lines in the sand are completely without effect.
HollyOldDog -> asiancelt , 30 Dec 2016 21:37
It is of course impossible as the USA has the most and claimed most advanced spying network on the planet. It totally surrounds both friends and foes alike - with such technical ability the only country who could spy and influence (e.g. arm twisting Merkal is a prime example) on any country at will is the 'exceptional ' US Government.

furiouspurpose

, 30 Dec 2016 20:54
If there was genuine evidence that Russia had somehow swayed the election, Hilary Clinton - who desires power above all other things - would now be bringing a legal case to overturn the result and get a re-election.

But there is no evidence - only lies and cynicism. A few weeks ago I was convinced that US politics had hit a nadir and that it couldn't smell any worse or get any more ridiculous. How wrong I was.

ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55
The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...]

In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source )

I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost.

Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions.

europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23
Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that.

And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering.

And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now.
And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then.

And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time.

And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy.

fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails?

Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine.
That is called freedom of press.
What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share Facebook Twitter

RadLadd -> fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 21:00
As soon as you post "Obummer" you show yourself to be immature. Share Facebook Twitter
an opinion -> RadLadd , 30 Dec 2016 21:09
He is Obummer. Share Facebook Twitter
Paull01 -> fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 21:13
They are private servers, why would the government have any involvement whatsoever in the servers of political parties during an election?

The whole point is interference in the election process not who they interfered with. Share Facebook Twitter

roman vega , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
Send Obama to therapist ... urgent.. Share Report
roman vega -> J.K. Stevens , 30 Dec 2016 21:07
Haven't you noticed that whole of the West has already moved that way? I do not mean pro-Putin, I mean priority of national interests at home and some isolationism.
HollyOldDog -> MtnClimber , 30 Dec 2016 21:30
Obama is leaving office with the record of saving American troops lives by the process of using drones which on dodgy information mainly target wedding parties. Share Facebook Twitter
geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
Appears suspiciously likely that Obama is just bitter that his legacy is about to be dumped in the nearest skip on Jan 20, and wants to make trouble for Trump during his last 3 weeks in office.

Hard to see how Putin could have engineered Hillary Clinton's defeat, given she won the popular vote by 3 million.

Also Obama is extremely hypocritical as the CIA has repeatedly interfered in the affairs of other countries over the past 60 years.

I hope Trump and Putin become buddies. Share

Burnaby1000 -> geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
The CIA never released emails of any country's people. It's simply bad tradecraft, meaning that it can't be used when one really needs it. Share Facebook Twitter
geofffrey -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:51
Didn't Wikileaks release those emails.. Share Facebook Twitter
melodrama1 -> geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:56
The story is that they were 'leaked' to Wikileaks and that only stuff that helps Trump was leaked. There are loads of Republican/Trump mails that remain secret (presumably). Sounds plausible to me but the how the hell would I know? Share Facebook Twitter
tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
Putin outmaneuvers Obama, again. Share Facebook Twitter
pragmata -> tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
Obama outmanoevres Trump. Share Facebook Twitter
J.K. Stevens -> tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
Putin goes rogue. You're putin me on. Share Facebook Twitter
tomspen -> pragmata , 30 Dec 2016 20:48
Not really. Democrats lost the election, through their own fault, and now Putin is waiting till Trump comes in office. All will go swimmingly and we can look forward to better relations between the USA-Russia. Win win. Share Facebook Twitter
furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:42

On Thursday, the Arizona senator John McCain and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement: "The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration today are long overdue.

That's all I needed to know. If lunatic war monger John McCain wants to ratchet up the tension with a nuclear power - then it is very wise to do the opposite. Share

Burnaby1000 -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:44
But he has 48 Dems who support him, and most Republicans. Share Facebook Twitter
MtnClimber -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
Sure. Let's let Putin control our democracy. He and his BFF, Trump, will keep our democracy safe /s Share Facebook Twitter
J.K. Stevens -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
Putin is/has been the provocateur. Keep up. Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:43
Wouldn't it be hilarious if a revolution broke out next year in Russia, over the downward spiralling Russian economy, just when Putin thinks he has victory in sight?

But wait--didn't that happen in 1917?

Yep, think it did... Share Facebook Twitter

pawsfurthought -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:51
Parallels with the public mood in Russia leading up to 1917? Zero. Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 -> pawsfurthought , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
"Peace, Land, Bread!!!!!"

Parallels -- 100% Share Facebook Twitter

HollyOldDog -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 21:21
Ah! The evident effects of sipping too much Death Wish Coffee 64 fl.oz - 3,472 mg of caffeine it could do serious damage to your brain. Share Facebook Twitter
osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 20:44
Wow, the Trump/kremlin brigade zoomed in on this comments section faster than greased lightening! Good to know that some people just love them some fascism! Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 20:50
They HAVE been doing this for quite some time. Share Facebook Twitter
furiouspurpose -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election.

And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter

TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter
EmperorWearsNoCloths , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
Good move by Obama. Trump will soon have to clarify where he stands in regards to Putin. Share Facebook Twitter
HollyOldDog -> EmperorWearsNoCloths , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
I don't usually follow American elections but is this the usual way to hand over to a new president is to try to kick him in the teeth? Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
As always, it is the US Senate that brings forth the best in the US inuncertain times.

It was Republican senators who were very critical of Bush that eventually got him to do the surge.

Similarly, it will be the Senate that applies pressure in the right place to keep Trump in check.

Who knows, he may even come up with one or two good ideas. Share Facebook Twitter

grodhagen -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
It were GOP senators leading the huzzas for invading Iraq too. But Ted Cruz? James Inhoffe? Half of the GOP senators are just hirelings for big business. Share Facebook Twitter
Putzik , 30 Dec 2016 20:48
It's not too late fir Obama to cluster bomb Russian troops in Syria and Ukraine.

Now that would certainly constipate the Golden Domed donald. Share Facebook Twitter

HollyOldDog -> Putzik , 30 Dec 2016 21:09
Such a move - did you manage to think this one up by yourself? Or is it just recient history repeating itself - you have only a one tracked mind, a bit like your icon. Share Facebook Twitter
Putzik -> HollyOldDog , 30 Dec 2016 22:37
I am not aware that the US has yet bombed the Russian fascist hordes.

Never too late though, eh? Share Facebook Twitter

dddxxx , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
The fact that the Russian sanctions makes things difficult for blowhard Trump is not the issue nor the intent. President Obama was acting in response to Russia's interference with our diplomats and cyber attacks. This needed to be done. As to Trump, that's tough. Share Facebook Twitter
furiouspurpose -> dddxxx , 30 Dec 2016 21:06
No - he was reacting to Russia "hacking the elections". What specifically did they do? What evidence exists of this? Share Facebook Twitter
WillKnotTell -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:16
The lack of evidence is the evidence. Ask any Trumpeteer and believer of Peter Schweizer. Share Facebook Twitter
monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well

Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?...
How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??!
furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03

Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party.

Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security...

All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble.

an opinion -> hawkchurch , 30 Dec 2016 21:07
Putin is playing obama like a fiddle and make him irrelevant!
diddoit , 30 Dec 2016 21:04
Make America and Russia ... Great Again.

Intelligence sharing, to tackle terror, is only the start of what's likely to become a strong partnership.

I bet Intel agents can hardly wait ..lol

Munchausen007
Simple solution, publish the commenter geolocation and ban proxy, clean the comment section from putinbots. Putin like ASBO's must stop to do more harm against democracy.
Down2dirt -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:17
What a foolish comment.
Ilurktostudyyouall -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:39
And what happens when you begin to realise many are not putinbots?
Not4TheFaintOfHeart -> Ilurktostudyyouall , 30 Dec 2016 19:58
I'm sure they'll find some excuse to get around that... 'It's elephants all the way down', don't forget
Julian Beach , 30 Dec 2016 19:06
...an attempt rendered utterly futile by Putin refusing to carry out tit-for-tat expulsions.

Premier League trolling. Again.

fivefeetfour -> Jonathan Stromberg , 30 Dec 2016 22:47
There's still no evidence regarding the origin of the cyber attack. I've seen you posting a link to the report. The first line in it is a disclaimer: "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within". Which is very wise from them.
ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 19:07
Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who. Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria. Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times.
foolisholdman -> ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 20:01
Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corporatism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama.

The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more.

Potyka Kalman , 30 Dec 2016 19:09
Oh the War Party. Trump rally should point them out as such. So the light shines in those dark spots.

You Russians have a strange sense of humour.

AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 19:13
Ben, I found Glenn Greenwald's take on you quite interesting. Have you responded? And, yes, I know, my polite and pertinent question will violate the terms here.
Ilurktostudyyouall -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
Cheers for that. False news angle now in total tatters
furiouspurpose -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 21:36
What does Glenn Greenwald know? With his crappy little "Pulitzer Prize".
John Blenkins -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 23:17
Good to see someone with the bollox to call a spade a spade.
More importantly it helps lift the eyelids of those who think our msm tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
AveAtqueCave -> Tercole , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
The American system is based on open legal proceedings.

Have you seen the evidence Russia perpetrated the leaks?

Please provide.

Terry Phillips , 30 Dec 2016 19:19
You just know these people, like Johnny boy, who are pointing fingers at Russia are doing so based upon long laid plans to bind up Trump from building a healthy relationship with Russia which would put an end to terrorism and likely all of these petty little wars that are tearing the world to pieces. These people want war because division keeps them in power and war makes them lots of money. I hope that Trump and Putin can work together and build a trust and foundation as allies in that together we can stamp out terrorism and stabilize the worlds conflicts. Everything these people do in the next 20 days has a single agenda and that is to cause instability and roadblocks for Trump and his team. Hope is just around the corner people so let's help usher it in.
Ilurktostudyyouall -> 79pentland , 30 Dec 2016 19:54
Don't trust anyone until you know them. Been married and watched it turn to shit? You can't really trust anyone. The same can be said for any country member.
bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

Are your mentors still thinking that people will swallow that fable? The same mentors who understated Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania?

foolisholdman -> bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:36
bready

"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

These people either think that an ex-British Ambassador is not an important witness or they don't want to hear anything that contradicts the narrative they have been told to spin. It has to be one or the other. Share

bready -> foolisholdman , 30 Dec 2016 19:54
Some people don't need to hear narratives to discern the cheap tricks of politics.
86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:24
First... let's see some actual evidence/proof. Oh, that's right, none has been offered up.
Second... everyone is upset that the DNC turd was exposed, but no one upset about the existence of the turd. ?

Obama acting like a petulant child that has to leave the game and go home now, so he's kicking the game board and forcing everyone else to clean up his mess. Irresponsible.

TheWindsOfFreedom -> 86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:33
Hundred times repeated lie will become the truth... that's the US officials policy for decades now. In 8 years, they did nothing, so they are trying to do "something" in the last minute. For someone, who's using his own brain is all of this just laughable. United States are not united I guess. Guess, that Merkel is the next on the list...
Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:26
Hopefully now this will enable senate and congress republicans to prevent these crazy ideas of Russian appeasement take hold and pursue a hardline against Russia, Hamas, Iran and Cuba.
Down2dirt -> Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:31
They'll probably do that. Business as usual. To pursue a hard line against Isis enablers like Saudi and Qatar, now that would be a surprise.
Individualist -> Down2dirt , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
Actually the biggest ISIS enabler was Cheney.
Down2dirt -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
Well you're probably right about that.
Waaarrrggghhh , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
Not really. Obama is just making himself look like an idiot.
rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office.
cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ?

American party politics /
Spite ?
Ideological hatred ?

For those of you who are too young to remember, look up "Cold War" and look for references
to Hawks and Doves.

Who are the Hawks now - and who are the Doves ?

The Left/Liberal paradigm is so drastically in need of updating that it is becoming downright dangerous.

Hell hath on fury like a self defined "liberal" scorned. Share

Individualist -> cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:33
So you are blaming the President (the current one) for addressing the fact that a foreign power attempted to mess with a US election?
rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
I think you can blame Obama for underestimating Putin. Remember when he told Putin before the 2012 election off mike that he would have more leeway after the election. Remember when Romney in 2012 warned us that Russia was a big threat and Obama thought that was silly. Obama has been outclassed by Putin at every turn. Whatever else you may say about Trump, he recognizes that Putin is worthy adversary not one to be marginalized. Putin has manage to marginalize the US in Syria despite all the money and effort we have dumped into it.
Banker1 -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
The foreign power did the American people a favor when it exposed the corruption within the Democratic Party; something the establishment media was apparently unable or unwilling to do. Rather than sanctioning Putin, Americans should be thanking him!
Haigin88 , 30 Dec 2016 19:30
R.E.M.: 'Exhuming McCarthy'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMedTmZKo38
Mick Readdin , 30 Dec 2016 19:31
Whatever the outcome, the winner is.... Putin!

His recent announcement (no tit-for-tat) was masterful politicking. Should Trump refuse to do anything, Putin knows he can wrap Trump around his finger, with the added bonus of both US houses kicking off.

If Trump does do something, relations will sour and Putin can blame the US.

gottliebvera , 30 Dec 2016 19:34
I think Obama is behaving in a most petulant and non-presidential manner. Lack of decorum as parting shot. Good going.
UnitedundertheSun -> Jonathan Stromberg , 30 Dec 2016 23:10
Attack Russia with a wet lettuce? Oh the pain! And gives Putin the high moral ground. Brilliant politics from Obama.

All to hamfistedly conceal what a rotten dysfunctional political organisation he heads.

Obama plays snakes and ladders while Putin is playing chess.

VultureTX -> Pitthewelder , 30 Dec 2016 21:50
" and decides not to accept it he will have to make it public,"

Solely a presumption on your part, a simple statement by the new agency heads saying that the info is inconclusive and the method of the investigation will not be revealed cancels your whole argument. Sure the press will howl, but Trumps using Twitter to talk to the people and unless someone leaks you got nothing.

chelsea55 , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
Seems a no brainer, reverse Obama's ridiculous posturing gesture. As if the US doesn't have a long track record of interfering in the affairs of other countries.
chelsea55 -> LithophaneFurcifera , 30 Dec 2016 21:57
Personally I think the US should do as it wishes but it's extremely hypocritical to act shocked when the same meddling is returned by others. Obama is acting foolishly as if the final weeks of his presidency have any genuine traction on future events.
philo41z , 30 Dec 2016 19:37
We watched trump defeat republican favourites to get the nomination. He has not really needed them as much as they have felt they need him. Then he has big oil in his transition team, tillerson if I am not mistaken, connected to exxon which has oil interests in Russia....if trump removed big oil from his team maybe he can get out of this without escalating the issue or appearing to be a putin puppet...

[Dec 31, 2016] The last hissy fit of neocon Obama is probably connected with the loss of Alepo and being sidelined in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... I also think this is Obama's move to divert attention away from the cease fire in Syria. ..."
"... The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office. ..."
"... The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade. ..."
"... Oh for christ's sake, once again: There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED! Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated. ..."
"... All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unprecedented". ..."
"... Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election. And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12 It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49 Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well Share Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:54 Russia defeated the US in the Ukraine and recently it received an even harder blow Syria. Next think you know the US 'administration' makes a fool of itself by expelling 35 RF officials, who would have though that! Sad to see this beautiful continent is being compromised by someone's puppets in the white house. Nato is crumbling now that Turkey t-he gateway to the Balkans, the Caspian, to the Stannies- rethinks its ties with US/NATO and moves towards Russia. It is crumbling beacuse the world begins to understand that the rationale behind 'operation gladio' /strategy of tension is still ruling the US admin. We could do without NATO, and could use a US government supporting peace rather than an administration creating war. Even Germany starts to realize that, because of the abundance of US military bases in this country, Germany is in fact 'occupied territory', a US colony if you will. The USA has underestimated people on this planet who, as opposed to US politicians, were able to put current politics in a historical perspective. US policymakers took a part of Heidegger, Locke, Freud, Descartes and others without knowing their interpretations were at least incomplete. It results from the way in which US universities teach the discretized model of two extremes with the requirement of choosing one of these without putting both in one perspective: 'Descartes or Pascal' (not both as the French do); 'black or white'; 'with or against us'. The result Americans aimed for was a stable socio-political model, same with 'Neue Sozialismus'. What they obtained was a polarized world, because, a rigid stable model can only be governed by suppression (which the Military industrial Complex is currently doing) and we do not want that. Trump may lack political experience, he may be supported by a group of ideosyncratic wealthy people attracting bad press from 'regulated media'. Equal chance of Trump having a positive or negative effect on US internal and external policy-making, and on the relationship with RF. But, Trump has one advantage: the more the Obama 'administration' barks, the more support Trump will receive to change what Bush-Clinton-Obama have ruined for their electorates; the more to celebrate for the Russians on January 13. LMichelle -> Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:57 Bingo. This is not about the integrity of US elections. It's about being punked in Syria this week. The problems with the electoral process in the US were massive before 2016 and never received this many Presidential press conferences. Share ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55 The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...] In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source ) I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost. Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions. Paull01 -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:18 Please provide an example of a political party behaving ethically during an election campaign? You reckon the republicans weren't trying to tip the scales away from Donny? Also, Clinton lost despite getting way more votes so Donny will be president and it is pointless to continue to indulge in bashing Hillary, she is now just another elderly lady enjoying her golden years. Share Facebook Twitter europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23 Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that. And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering. And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now. And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then. And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time. And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy. fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58 The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails? Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine. That is called freedom of press. What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59 Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?... How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??! Share furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03 Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party. Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security... ..."
"... All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble. ..."
Dec 31, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
On Friday, the Kremlin responded to the moves, including the expulsion of 35 suspected intelligence operatives and the closing of two Russian facilities in the US, with a shrug. Putin, it seems, is willing simply to wait until Trump moves into the Oval Office. Trump's tweet suggested he is too.

But such provocative words could not distract the media and public from another domestic concern for Trump – the growing perception that his predecessor has acted to his disadvantage .

"The sanctions were clearly an attempt by the Obama administration to throw a wrench into – or [to] box in – the next administration's relationship with Russia," said Boris Zilberman, a Russia expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

"Putin, in part, saw through that and sidestepped it by playing good cop to [Russian foreign minister Sergey] Lavrov and the [state] Duma, who were calling for a reciprocal response."

rocjoc43rd, 30 Dec 2016 19:38

I also think this is Obama's move to divert attention away from the cease fire in Syria. There the US has been supporting all these groups, flying air missions and dropping special forces in Syria for years now, and the US has no seat at the table of the cease fire negotiations.

That should be very embarrassing for the US, but it apparently is not, because all the media wants to talk about are these sanctions, which seem pretty trivial to me.

The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office.

stormsinteacups , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
Still no proof of any meddling by the Russians. Only a last gasp attempt by a weak president in what is starting to look like a boys against men tussle with Putin. Add the Syria ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Putin to this to show how Obama is being outmaneuvered at every turn.
Sad to see what a far cry from Obama the candidate Obama the president has turned out to be.
gandalfsunderpants , 30 Dec 2016 19:41
Action makes propaganda's effect irreversible. He who acts in obedience to propaganda can never go back. He is now obliged to believe in that propaganda because of his past action. He is obliged to receive from it his justification and authority, without which his action will seem to him absurd or unjust, which would be intolerable. He is obliged to continue to advance in the direction indicated by propaganda, for action demands more action.
Jacques Ellul:
Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:43
Obama just got dissed big time by Putin. What an inglorious end to an inglorious eight years.
jamie smith -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
An inglorious bastarde!
DogsLivesMatter -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 20:05
The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade.
MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:44
Oh for christ's sake, once again: There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED! Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

PS once you are there, read everything else Craig Murray has written there. This is the ambassador HM government fired for daring to speak out against the Uzbek government's human rights abuses. Share

Yer Man -> MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:57
No, no, you see you just put the word "consensus" before a pathetically transparent lie and then apparently it magically becomes evidence based and well sourced...
PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unprecedented".

Where previously we had implemented such actions ourselves without fear of reciprocation we should be concerned that we are no longer immune to such machinations by other states. These events may represent a turning point as regards our accepted global hegemony.

Tribal War -> PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:52
USA hacks
USA spies
USA interferes with foreign regimes
USA is number 1 bully and hypocrite

The damn cheek of Russian hack spies interfering with US election and setting them up with an idiot Share Facebook Twitter

brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
Obama has been anti-Russia long before Trump came into the picture.
This article is more of a wish list than anything else.
We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

Where is it? I would love to see this.
I do know that the 2 countries that carry out most cyber attacks in the world are the US and it's main ally in the Middle East. Just ask the Iranians what they did. Share

Think Clear -> brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 20:00
I think all American presidents are anti Russian. Sounds like you was born 2005 or you just doing your British citizenship. You don't know much so read this Life in the uk test Share Facebook Twitter
MaryLeone Sullivan -> brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 20:02
Ask Britain for their MI6 files on Russia. See how far you get with that. Share Facebook Twitter
UralMan -> brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 20:13

We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

Where is it? I would love to see this.

Whaaat!? You don't believe the most democratic democrats on their word? Share Facebook Twitter

Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
Obama complaining about Russian influence in American elections.

Last time I've checked it was Mr. Obama that warned British people against Brexit, wasn't? What about the deposition of an ELECTED president in Ukraine with their support of Obama and EU? Let's talk also about regime changes in Syria, Lybia and Egypt undertaken under Obama's administration? Perhaps we could also remember that Obama's agencies spied 3 million of Spanyards, Merkel, Dilma Rousseff (Brazilian President) and so on... WHAT A HIPOCRISY, OBAMA!!!! Share

mtkass -> Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
You have hit the nail on the head on all your points. But America and especially the American military needs a boogy man to justify the trillions of dollars of American tax payer money they request to keep their military empire going. Imagine if there was no boogy man and the conclusion was to half the American military to a size only equal to the next 6 largest militarys instead of the present 13. Incidentally, most of the next largest militarys are allies of the United States.

This whole kerfuffle about Russian hacking has the stink of shooting the messenger. What about concentrating on what was in the leaked e-mails. They showed a high level of deep corruption in the DNC. That is the importance of the hacked e-mails. Whoever hacked and released them to the American public has done the America public a great favor. If Wasserman Shultz in cohoots with Hillary had not swung the primaries in favor of Hillary and if Obama had remembered that the constitution says the government is for the people and by the people (the peoples choice was by a huge margin for Bernie) and come out for Bernie, we wouldn't be in the CF we are in right now. I thought Obama is a constitutional lawyer. So much for the constitution. The only statesman in this mess is Putin. Thank heaven for his level headedness. The American pronouncements have the stink of the build up to another false flag operation (the CIA revelations themselves are probably a false flag operation). I hope Putin can keep his 'cool' in the face of American provocation.

DogsLivesMatter -> Deeptank , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
May he take John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey "I do declare" Graham with him.....please? Share Facebook Twitter
Georwell , 30 Dec 2016 19:51
Obama:

Check , haha --

Putin - Check&Mate --

HoHo, and Happy New Year little duck -- Share Facebook Twitter

vgnych , 30 Dec 2016 19:57
It starts to look as if Putin and Trump wipe their shoes on Obama at this point, and it is Obama who asked for it. Embarrassing. Share Facebook Twitter
SallyWa , 30 Dec 2016 20:00
I've read Guardian's article on Russia's response to Obama's tantrum. Yep, it's clear why Obama lost to Russians and can't cope with it. Now use your own advice, Barry. Go to the back of the queue. Share Facebook Twitter
DogsLivesMatter , 30 Dec 2016 20:02
They were gossipy emails ffs. If that was all it took for H. Clinton to lose to Trump, then the Democrats really need to do an autopsy on itself. Or, here's a thought, VISIT the states where you need the support to win. This is becoming soooooo boring! Share Facebook Twitter
Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
Well what a spiteful, petty like man this Obama has turned out to be! This is the first time his side hasn't 'won' and he can't take it so throws his toys out the pram and risks further souring relationships with the East. Thank goodness Putin rose above it. Share Facebook Twitter
ID1516963 -> Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:10
Ha! Obama has obviously nothing to lose and decided to make hay in the limited time he has. More mischief making. Love it. Share Facebook Twitter
irenka_irina , 30 Dec 2016 20:06
Few words left.....the future presidency and its administration is an absolute farce....a 'free for all' for Trump and his cronies. Watch the rich get even richer and the poor get screwed. America chose....they have to deal with it.
Unfortunately for those of us who aren't are going to be screwed as well. Lack of tact and ignorance of diplomacy could ignite a power keg. Share Facebook Twitter
Huddsblue -> irenka_irina , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
That was the Obama administration you've just described in a nutshell. Share Facebook Twitter
SeekAndYouShallFind -> dutchcanadian , 30 Dec 2016 20:40
The problem is no one trusts the agencies you mentioned anymore based on their past record....

As regards the FBI being no friend of the democrats, didn't they just let her off for storing thousands of classified emails on a private server?
Besides, the whole world knows that the US have been sponsoring changes of Govs around the world so it comes across as completely hypocritical.

This appears to be a smokescreen for numerous embarrassing issues relating to the election & foreign policy.

For the record, I'm not a putin bot or fan if DT. So tired of the same old hackie responses to anyone who questions the narrative. It's getting really boring. Share

BG Davis , 30 Dec 2016 20:12
"Obama's Russia sanctions: an attempt to tie Donald Trump in knots ".... Facebook Twitter
voice__of__reason , 30 Dec 2016 20:13
This just shows the real character of Obama. Queering the pitch for Trump and the incoming administration. But well done Putin for sidestepping. Clever. Much smarter than Obama. In the end lawyers make bad Presidents and bad Prime Ministers. Share
TheChillZone , 30 Dec 2016 20:15
Bit of a pot-kettle interface going on here. America leads the way in the hacking of public servers around the world and spying on friend and enemy alike. Not long ago the CIA tapped into Angela Merkel's mobile phone and I don't remember the same level of public outcry. Seems like America is affronted that Russia and others are now doing what the US has done for years. And if it is in fact the Russians - proof not yet forthcoming - this wasn't a hack into the electoral system at all; it was a simple phishing email that the US officials were silly enough to click onto the link.
And finally - what eventually was released was the truth. Clinton was favoured by the DNC, she did say those things to Goldman Sachs, a CNN reporter did provide her with the questions before the presidential debates. The truth is that the US elections were corrupted, but not by the Russians - the culprits lie a little closer to home.
Harry Bhai , 30 Dec 2016 20:22
Obama tried to corner Russia, and almost all GOP lawmakers applauded Obama's action. Called it was well overdue. But our smart president-elect comforted crying Putin right away by calling him a smart man for not taking any actions. It is becoming more and more clear that Trump and Putin are made for each other. I think Trump is keeping Putin on his side to take air out of overinflated Chinese balloon. May be he was advised by his team. No one knows his game plan. Share
Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:28
This shows Putin's strengths and weaknesses.

He is a great tactician. It certainly makes Obama look less threatening.

But he is a horrible strategist. A good strategy doesn't surprise. It makes plain to one's opponent that things will only get worse--and one had better accommodate sooner rather than later. It was at the heart of Reagan's strategy, which destroyed the SU.

And this is exactly the situation that Putin faces with or without sanctions. The renewed fracking is going to keep oil and gas at lows not seen since the 90s. What was interesting was that even Putin's stooge in the UK, Krassnov, said that Russia faced a very dire economic future. Whatever Trump does, few Republicans are going to be accommodating after:

1) Crimea and Donbass
2) Blasting Aleppo to smithereens
3) Trying to throw the US election

The latter is an existential threat to every lawmaker, and they are hopping mad at the thought that it could happen again.

Ironically, Putin is proving ever more clearly that Obama should have used air power in 2013, as Putin has done in 2016.

It is a lesson that will not be lost on a Republican Congress.

That hates Putin's guts.

SeekAndYouShallFind -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
1) situation caused by US Newland causing havoc in Ukraine by spending millions on regime change.
2) caused by US arming terrorists
3) lol - no serious person believes the Reds had any influence. It was the candidate. (If interference in someone else's election was an international crime, the US would be in the dock every 6 months!)

The fool trump cannot do any worse than what's been occurring the last 15 years! Wars, invasions, terrorist support and dossiers on mythical WMDs! It's been a disaster. US foreign policy is heavily influenced by the CFR. He won't have a say in it. They will continue in the same diabolical fashion.

Happy New Year!

flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
Nearly 40 years ago , at the h
flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
Nearly 40 years ago , at the height of the cold war when I joined up to serve my country, never did i dream the day would come when I had more respect for the leader of Russia than a president of the USA and that I would have more faith in the Russian media than our own fake media.

That's what 40 years of liberalism does i guess. Share Facebook Twitter

TyroneBHorneigh -> flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
40 years of Neo-liberalism. Share Facebook Twitter
Sparky Patriot , 30 Dec 2016 20:37
Not content with merely stealing the silverware, BO is intent on causing as much mischief as possible before being booted out of the White House, but the Russians are not falling for it. They will be dealing with Donald Trump in a few weeks, and there is no need to respond to Barry's diaper baby antics.
I'm sure the Russians are hacking our internet systems, but the DNC emails that went to WikiLeaks did not come from them. The content, outlining Podesta's plan to discredit Bernie supporters by falsely tying them to violent acts, would indicate that a disgruntled and disgusted DNC employee was more likely the source. Share
Nick Richardson , 30 Dec 2016 20:40
Of course everyone on here decrying Obama's actions knows far more and understands the cyber-attacks/election interference issue far better than the combined resources and considered judgement of the US intelligence community.
Of course you do. Goes without saying, all you have to do is cite an example of incompetence or malfeasance by US intelligence agencies in the past and you rest your case.
Or maybe it's like parents who can't accept their child has been a bully or a general shit at school. If you are a fan of the Trump-Putin axis you'll go through any self-deceiving contortions necessary to avoid accepting reality.
Stop defending the indefensible. It happened, Obama acted (albeit slowly) and now Trump quite properly will be expected to justify any softening of position.
Yer Man -> Nick Richardson , 30 Dec 2016 21:29
They've told us nothing. They are known repeat liars.
Only question is, why do you take them at their word and nothing further? Share Facebook Twitter
raharu -> Nick Richardson , 30 Dec 2016 21:34
Talking about self-deceiving contortions while performing your own mental gymnastics. It's quite a show.
You say "stop defending the indefensible", while waving away any past instances of malfeasance by US intelligence agencies in the past. To be explicit: yes, that includes meddling in other countries' political affairs. Share Facebook Twitter
HollyOldDog -> asiancelt , 30 Dec 2016 21:37
It is of course impossible as the USA has the most and claimed most advanced spying network on the planet. It totally surrounds both friends and foes alike - with such technical ability the only country who could spy and influence (e.g. arm twisting Merkal is a prime example) on any country at will is the 'exceptional ' US Government.
geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
Appears suspiciously likely that Obama is just bitter that his legacy is about to be dumped in the nearest skip on Jan 20, and wants to make trouble for Trump during his last 3 weeks in office.

Hard to see how Putin could have engineered Hillary Clinton's defeat, given she won the popular vote by 3 million.

Also Obama is extremely hypocritical as the CIA has repeatedly interfered in the affairs of other countries over the past 60 years.

I hope Trump and Putin become buddies. Share

furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:42

On Thursday, the Arizona senator John McCain and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement: "The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration today are long overdue.

That's all I needed to know. If lunatic war monger John McCain wants to ratchet up the tension with a nuclear power - then it is very wise to do the opposite. Share

furiouspurpose -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election.

And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter

TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter
monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well Share
Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:54
Russia defeated the US in the Ukraine and recently it received an even harder blow Syria. Next think you know the US 'administration' makes a fool of itself by expelling 35 RF officials, who would have though that!

Sad to see this beautiful continent is being compromised by someone's puppets in the white house. Nato is crumbling now that Turkey t-he gateway to the Balkans, the Caspian, to the Stannies- rethinks its ties with US/NATO and moves towards Russia. It is crumbling beacuse the world begins to understand that the rationale behind 'operation gladio' /strategy of tension is still ruling the US admin. We could do without NATO, and could use a US government supporting peace rather than an administration creating war. Even Germany starts to realize that, because of the abundance of US military bases in this country, Germany is in fact 'occupied territory', a US colony if you will.

The USA has underestimated people on this planet who, as opposed to US politicians, were able to put current politics in a historical perspective. US policymakers took a part of Heidegger, Locke, Freud, Descartes and others without knowing their interpretations were at least incomplete. It results from the way in which US universities teach the discretized model of two extremes with the requirement of choosing one of these without putting both in one perspective: 'Descartes or Pascal' (not both as the French do); 'black or white'; 'with or against us'. The result Americans aimed for was a stable socio-political model, same with 'Neue Sozialismus'. What they obtained was a polarized world, because, a rigid stable model can only be governed by suppression (which the Military industrial Complex is currently doing) and we do not want that.

Trump may lack political experience, he may be supported by a group of ideosyncratic wealthy people attracting bad press from 'regulated media'. Equal chance of Trump having a positive or negative effect on US internal and external policy-making, and on the relationship with RF. But, Trump has one advantage: the more the Obama 'administration' barks, the more support Trump will receive to change what Bush-Clinton-Obama have ruined for their electorates; the more to celebrate for the Russians on January 13.

LMichelle -> Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:57
Bingo. This is not about the integrity of US elections. It's about being punked in Syria this week.
The problems with the electoral process in the US were massive before 2016 and never received this many Presidential press conferences. Share
ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55
The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...]

In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source )

I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost.

Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions.

Paull01 -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:18
Please provide an example of a political party behaving ethically during an election campaign? You reckon the republicans weren't trying to tip the scales away from Donny?

Also, Clinton lost despite getting way more votes so Donny will be president and it is pointless to continue to indulge in bashing Hillary, she is now just another elderly lady enjoying her golden years. Share Facebook Twitter

europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23
Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that.

And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering.

And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now.
And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then.

And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time.

And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy.

fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails?

Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine.
That is called freedom of press.
What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share

Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?...
How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??! Share
furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03

Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party.

Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security...

All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble.

[Dec 19, 2016] Michigan unemployment agency made 20,000 false fraud accusations – report

Notable quotes:
"... One bankruptcy attorney told the Detroit Metro Times he had as many as 30 cases in 2015 tied to debt from the UIA; before the automated system was implemented, he said he would typically have at most one per year with such claims. The newspaper also found claimants who were charged with fraud despite never having received a single dollar in unemployment insurance benefits. ..."
"... A pair of lawsuits were filed in 2015 against the UIA over Midas. According to a pending federal case, in which the state revealed it had discontinued using Midas for fraud determinations, the system "resulted in countless unemployment insurance claimants being accused of fraud even though they did nothing wrong". ..."
"... Blanchard told the Guardian in February that many unemployment applicants may not have realized they were even eligible to appeal against the fraud charge, due to the setup of Midas. Attorneys representing claimants have said that many refuse to ever apply for unemployment benefits again. ..."
"... Levin, who represents part of metropolitan Detroit, said in his statement that Michigan officials had to fully account for the money that has flowed into the unemployment agency's contingent fund. ..."
Dec 18, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
Michigan government agency wrongly accused individuals in at least 20,000 cases of fraudulently seeking unemployment payments, according to a review by the state.

The review released this week found that an automated system had erroneously accused claimants in 93% of cases – a rate that stunned even lawyers suing the state over the computer system and faulty fraud claims.

"It's literally balancing the books on the backs of Michigan's poorest and jobless," attorney David Blanchard, who is pursuing a class action in federal court on behalf of several claimants, told the Guardian on Friday.

The Michigan unemployment insurance agency (UIA) reviewed 22,427 cases in which an automated computer system determined a claimant had committed insurance fraud, after federal officials, including the Michigan congressman Sander Levin, raised concerns with the system.

The review found that the overwhelming majority of claims over a two-year period between October 2013 and August 2015 were in error. In 2015, the state revised its policy and required fraud determinations to be reviewed and issued by employees. But the new data is the first indication of just how widespread the improper accusations were during that period .

The people accused lost access to unemployment payments, and reported facing fines as high as $100,000. Those who appealed against the fines fought the claims in lengthy administrative hearings. And some had their federal and state taxes garnished. Kevin Grifka, an electrician who lives in metro Detroit, had his entire federal income tax garnished by the UIA, after it accused him of fraudulently collecting $12,000 in unemployment benefits.

The notice came just weeks before Christmas in 2014.

"To be honest with you, it was really hard to see your wife in tears around Christmas time, when all of this went on for me," Grifka said.

The computer system claimed that he had failed to accurately represent his income over a 13-week period. But the system was wrong: Grifka, 39, had not committed insurance fraud.

In a statement issued on Friday, Levin called on state officials to review the remaining fraud cases that were generated by the system before the policy revision.

"While I'm pleased that a small subset of the cases has been reviewed, the state has a responsibility to look at the additional 30,000 fraud determinations made during this same time period," he said.

Figures released by the state show 2,571 individuals have been repaid a total of $5.4m. It's unclear if multiple cases were filed against the same claimants.

The findings come as Michigan's Republican-led legislature passed a bill this week to use $10m from the unemployment agency's contingent fund – which is composed mostly of fines generated by fraud claims – to balance the state's budget. Since 2011, the balance of the contingent fund has jumped from $3.1m to $155m, according to a report from a Michigan house agency.

The system, known as the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System (Midas), caused an immediate spike in claims of fraud when it was implemented in October 2013 under the state's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, at a cost of $47m.

In the run-up to a scathing report on the system issued last year by Michigan's auditor general, the UIA began requiring employees to review the fraud determinations before they were issued.

The fraud accusations can carry an emotional burden for claimants.

"These accusations [have] a pretty big burden on people," Grifka said. While he said the new findings were validating and his own case had been resolved, he called for state accountability.

"There's no recourse from the state on what they're doing to people's lives. That's my biggest problem with all of this."

Steve Gray, director of the University of Michigan law school's unemployment insurance clinic, told the Guardian earlier this year that he routinely came across claimants facing a significant emotional toll. As a result, he said, the clinic added the number for a suicide hotline to a referral resource page on the program's website.

"We had just a number of clients who were so desperate, saying that they were going to lose their house they've never been unemployed before, they didn't know," said Gray, who filed a complaint with the US labor department in 2015 about the Midas system.

The fines can be enormous. Residents interviewed by local news outlets have highlighted fraud penalties from the UIA upwards of $100,000 . Bankruptcy petitions filed as a result of unemployment insurance fraud also increased during the timeframe when Midas was in use.

One bankruptcy attorney told the Detroit Metro Times he had as many as 30 cases in 2015 tied to debt from the UIA; before the automated system was implemented, he said he would typically have at most one per year with such claims. The newspaper also found claimants who were charged with fraud despite never having received a single dollar in unemployment insurance benefits.

A pair of lawsuits were filed in 2015 against the UIA over Midas. According to a pending federal case, in which the state revealed it had discontinued using Midas for fraud determinations, the system "resulted in countless unemployment insurance claimants being accused of fraud even though they did nothing wrong".

Blanchard told the Guardian in February that many unemployment applicants may not have realized they were even eligible to appeal against the fraud charge, due to the setup of Midas. Attorneys representing claimants have said that many refuse to ever apply for unemployment benefits again.

A spokesman for the unemployment insurance agency, Dave Murray, said it appreciated Levin's work on the issue and said it was continuing "to study fraud determinations".

The agency had already made changes to the fraud determination process, he said, and "we appreciate that the state legislature this week approved a bill that codifies the reforms we've set in place".

Levin, who represents part of metropolitan Detroit, said in his statement that Michigan officials had to fully account for the money that has flowed into the unemployment agency's contingent fund.

"While I am pleased that $5m has been repaid, it strikes me as small compared to the amount of money that was collected at the time," he said. "Only a full audit will ensure the public that the problem has been fully rectified."

ManuSHeloma 12 Feb 2016 9:02

Another failure of Gov Snyder's administration: first Flint water, now this. What can the people of Michigan expect next? The recall of Snyder should be automated.
stuinmichigan pepspotbib 12 Feb 2016 10:02
It's not just Snyder and his lackies. You should see the radically gerrymanderd Michigan legislature, run by rightist extremists, directed by the Koch Brothers, the DeVos family and others, via the ALEC program that provides them with the radical right legislation they have passed and continue to pass. Snyder ran saying that sort of stuff was not really on his agenda, but continues to sign it. He's either a liar, an unprincipled idiot, or both. It's bad here. And it's getting worse.
DarthPutinbot 12 Feb 2016 9:09
What the f*ck is wrong in Michigan? Split it up among the surrounding states and call it good. Michigan destroyed Detroit and cutoff their water. Michigan deliberately poisoned the residents of Flint. Too many Michigan lawyers are crooks or basically inept. The court system screws over parents in divorce cases. And now, Michigan is wrongly trying to collect money from people on trumped up fraud charges. Stop it. The federal government needs to take over the state or bust it up.
Non de Plume 12 Feb 2016 9:23
Hell, when the system *works* it's ridiculous. Watching my Dad - who had worked continuously since 14 years old save a few months in the early 90s - sitting on hold for hours... At least once a week, to 'prove' he still deserved money from a system he paid into. Hours is not an exaggeration.

And now this. Goddammit Lansing! How many other ways can you try to save/take money from the poor and end up costing us so much more?!?

Bailey Wilkins stuinmichigan 12 Feb 2016 21:56
Nothing against The Guardian's reporting, but if you follow the links, you'll see FOX 17 has been covering the story locally since last May. It's their investigation that got the attention of all the other publications (including Detroit Metro Times.) Local papers could have done a better job though, agreed on that.
talenttruth 12 Feb 2016 12:48
Leering, Entitled Republican bastards like Governor Snyder simply HATE poor people. And THAT is because all such bullies are cowards, through-and-through, always selecting as their "victims" those who can't fight back. And, since such Puritan Cretins as Snyder "Believe" that they are rich because of their superior merit, it stands to reason (doesn't it) that "poor people" (actually, all us Little Folk) have NO merit, because we didn't inherit a Trust Fund, Daddy's Business or other anciently stolen wealth. These people deserve stunningly BAD Karma. Unfortunately, Karma has its own timeline and doesn't do what seems just, on a timely basis (usually).
Jim Uicker 12 Feb 2016 13:29
With today's sophisticated algorithms, computers are used to flag insurance claims all the time. The hit rate is usually much better than 8%. But how can they even consider automating the adjudication of fraud? Fraud is a crime; there should be a presumption of innocence and a right to due process. Without telling people they had a right to appeal, didn't this system violate the constitutional rights of Michigan's most vulnerable citizens: those with no job and therefore no money to defend themselves?

And what about the employers who paid unemployment insurance premiums month after month, expecting the system to protect their employees from business conditions that would necessitate layoffs? Michigan has defrauded them as well, by collecting premiums and not paying claims.

Jim Uicker 12 Feb 2016 13:51
Even if the problem with Midas can be entirely blamed on the tech workers who built and tested the software, there is no excuse for the behavior of the Snyder administration when they became aware of the problem. Just like the cases of legionnaires disease, where the state failed to alert the public about the outbreak and four more people died, the Snyder administration is again trying to sweep its mistakes under the rug.

Before taking Midas offline, the UIA refused to comment on the Metro Times investigation, and Snyder himself artfully avoided reporters' questions after being made aware of the result of an investigation by a local television station. Now the state only revealed that it shut down Midas to a pending lawsuit.

The state spent $47 million dollars on a computer system and then took it offline because it didn't work. The flaws in the system are now costing the state many millions more. This level of secrecy is evidence of bad government. The state is supposed to be accountable to taxpayers for that money! Even if the Snyder administration isn't responsible for all of these tragedies, it is definitely responsible for covering them up.

Jefferson78759 12 Feb 2016 13:55
This is the GOP "governing"; treat the average person like a criminal, "save" money on essential infrastructure like water treatment, regardless of the consequences.

I get why the 1% votes GOP but if you're an average person you're putting your financial and physical well being on the line if you do. Crazy.

MaryLee Sutton Henry 12 Feb 2016 22:30
I was forced to plead guilty by a public defender to the UIA fraud charge & thrown in jail for 4 days without my Diabetic meds or diet in Allegan county. As it stands right now the State of Michigan keeps sending me bills that are almost $1000 more then what the county says I own. I have done community service, and between witholding tax refunds and payments I have paid over $1200 on a $4300 total bill. I have literally spend hours on the phone with UIA and faxing judgements trying to straighten this out, yet still get bills for the higher amount from UIA. Its a nightmare, I have a misdominer, until its paid and refuse to pay no more then $50 per month until they straighten this out. Maybe joining the class action law suit would help. Does anyone have any better ideas??
Teri Roy 13 Feb 2016 13:27
My son and I both got hit, I was able to dispute mine but he has autism and they would not dismiss his, so at 24 yrs old he's paying back 20 grand in pentailies and interest. Just not right
Outragously Flawless 14 Feb 2016 9:42
I also received a letter stating I owe and hadn't file taxes since 2007. I had to find all of my taxes from 2007 to 2013 my question is why did they wait over 5yrs to contact me, or is that the set up H&R block does my taxes and they didn't have records that far back.#sneakyass government

[Dec 14, 2016] Opinion Putin didnt win this election for Trump. Hillary Clinton did

Notable quotes:
"... That those scheming Russians were clever enough to hack into voting machines, but not clever enough to cover their tracks? ..."
"... It's strangely reminiscent of the days of the Red scare, minus the Reds. ..."
"... The displaced machinists in the industrial midwest, whose votes helped put Trump in the White House, believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. ..."
"... was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance. ..."
"... They were so confident of their inevitable victory that they wrote off the old industrial states in favor of luring upscale suburbanites who normally vote Republican. They hoped they would be so revolted by Trump that they would vote for her, but they didn't. ..."
"... It's panic over loss of control. They aren't pondering ways to make things better for the American people. Not in the Beltaway. Not the duoploy. The handwringing is strictly about control and pasification of the population. ..."
"... The long, long list of dodgy-donors to The Clinton Foundation told large numbers of Democrat voters everything they needed to know about a potential Hillary Clinton presidency. This, and the 'knifing' of Bernie, sealed her fate. ..."
"... America will never, and should never, forgive Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. ..."
"... At last! Someone on this newspaper talking common sense. ..."
"... Absurd! She was a rich white hawkish neolib who has no one but herself and the Democratic Pary to blame for the terrible loss which will seal the supreme court for years. Face facts!! She couldn't even beat Trump and was widely viewed as a fraud. ..."
"... The person who lost the Presidential Election in USA is Hillary Clinton. She, like Blair is a war monger. I, if I had a vote, would not have voted for her. ..."
"... If she had been elected we would have had bigger and better wars in the Middle East. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan never ended despite Obama calling the Iraq war a "strategic mistake". One that continued for another eight years. To those two we have added Syria and Lybia. ..."
"... " ...reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is. " The rest of the world has known that for decades. ..."
"... I don't understand how accurate reporting by Wikileaks of politicians' emails is considered 'interference' with the US elections. To me, it seems helpful. If a US newspaper made the report, they would probably get a prize. If a foreign organization made the report, so what? People abroad are free (I hope) to comment on US matters, and people in the US are free to read it or not. ..."
"... Perhaps they mean the Guardian's politics. Identity politics has been thoroughly rejected and instead of learning from the experience, Guardian has been electing to throw more of the same tactics, except louder ..."
"... Americans across the political spectrum are happy to use Putin to distract them from reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is. ..."
"... You're absolutely right. Putin is the boogeyman for every ill, real or purported, of his own society, and when the American political system and its institutions prove to be broken, Putin gets to be the boogeyman for that, too. What a powerful man! He must be pleased. ..."
"... This is an ultimate truth because it explains why Merkel will not be elected. These days Putin is in full control of the world and is responsible for everything. ..."
"... Let's thank Hillary for that. There is a very good news: on the 20th January we'll cut all Saudi supply channels to the IS and kill all the bastards within 2 months. ..."
"... In the modern world it is enough to do nothing to be a good man, eg if Bush, Blair, Obama and Clinton didn't create ISIS, the world would be a much better place. You do not even need to be smart to understand this. ..."
"... It's crazy. Even if the Russian hacking claims are legitimate, the leaks still revealed things about the Democrats that were true. It's like telling your friend that their spouse is cheating on them, and then the spouse blaming you for ruining the marriage. ..."
"... The Clinton campaign spent like drunken sailors, on media. This is a new role for the media giants that took care of Clinton's every need, including providing motivational research and other consultants. ..."
"... The ongoing scenario that now spins around Putin as a central figure is a product of "after shock media". ..."
"... To weave fictional reality in real time for a mass audience is a magnum leap from internet fake news. This drama is concocted to keep DNC from going into seclusion until the inauguration. ..."
"... Doug Henwood is absolutely correct. This obsession with the supposed foreign interference is baseless. All the real culprits operate within our own system. ..."
"... Trump's embrace of Russia and decision to end the neocon-neoliberal agenda of regime change skewer two of the corporate establishment's cash cows - arms sales to the numerous conflicts in the Middle East initiated by the corporate cabal, and arms sales to NATO and all the new post Cold War NATO members to continue the buildup of armaments on Russia's borders." ..."
"... I'd love to be pleasantly surprised, and I note that already Trump's campaign has put down TWO odious political dynasties, AND the TPP -- all very healthy developments. ..."
"... The only thing that kept the contest somehow close was the unprecedented all-media fear campaign against Trump. ..."
"... It was always Hillary's election to lose and she lost it simply because she was not to be trusted. Her very public endorsement by gangster capitalist Jay-Z told you all you needed to know about who she represented. ..."
"... I was dubious before, but I'm now actively concerned. This crop of Democrats and their deep state cohorts are unhinged and dangerous. They see me and my families' lives as an externality in their eventual war with Russia. As Phyrric a victory as there could possibly be. They are psychotic; not only waging countless coups and intelligence operations abroad, but now in plain sight on American soil. The mainstream media seems to invoke the spirit of Goebbels more vividly with each passing day. Their disdain and manipulation of the general populace is chilling. They see us not as people to be won-over, but as things to be manipulated, tricked and coerced. Nothing new for politicians (particularity the opposition) - but the levels here are staggering. ..."
"... January couldn't come soon enough - and I say that as strong critic of Trump. ..."
"... A good article to counterbalance the reams of rubbish we are hearing in the US election post-mortem. Anyone who had neural activity should have known that when you steal the candidacy, you certainly won't get the votes. Clinton effectively handed the election to Trump by not having the humility, humanity and honesty to admit defeat by Benie Sanders. ..."
"... There's always the possibility of course, that the US establishment realised Clinton's blatant warmongering wasn't 'good for business'. ..."
"... So maybe, they thought, we can get the Russkies 'on side', deal with China (ie. reduce it to a 'client state'/ turn it into an ashtray) - and then move on Russia and grab all those lovely resources freed up by global warming.... ..."
"... Only her campaign volunteers knew, her message to the public was "dont vote for Trump" which translates to, I could lose to him, vote for me! ..."
"... The Podesta emails confirmed what many people already suspected and knew of Hillary and her campaign. Those who were interested in reading them had to actually look for them, since MSM was not reporting on them. It's not as if an avid MSNBC or CNN watcher was going to be exposed. ..."
"... It's hilarious how the major Left outlets (Washington Post) are now telling it's readers how Russia is to blame for people voting against Hillary due to the Podesta emails, when they didn't even report on the emails in the first place. ..."
"... EVERYTHING about the system all halfway decent people detest, is summed up in the figure of Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... Like Donald said, she had 'experience', but it was all BAD 'experience'. ..."
"... she is a frail, withered old woman who needs to retire - def the wrong democrat choice, crazy -- Berni.S would have won if for them - he is far more sincere ..."
"... "The displaced machinists... believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. But that was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance." ..."
"... This argument is as asinine as the one the author opposes. It was a collusion of events that led to this result, including the failure of both parties to adapt to an evolving economic and social climate over decades. The right wing hailing the collapse of liberalism as a result of decades of liberal mismanagement conveniently forget their own parties have held the reins for half that time, and failed just as miserably as the left.... ..."
"... It's quite bizarre to see "progressives" openly side with the military industrial complex, which is threatened by a president elect weary of more warfare. ..."
"... It's to be expected from career politicians like McCain who is kicking and screaming, but it's shameful to see supposed liberally-minded people help spread the Red Scare storyline. ..."
"... Obama has behaved dreadfully, first he or his office gets one of its poodles namely MI6 to point the finger at Putin re cyberwar, which was swiftly followed by the International Olympic Committee looking at Russia for 2012 Olympic games, the elections in the US and the Democrats CIA coming out with unsubstantiated nonsense (funny how they never like, providing collaborative evidence - on this or anything that supposedly Russia has done) then there is Syria, and Obama and the Democrats were the cheerleader for regime change, because they have been out manoeuvred in that sphere. All of it in less than a week. ..."
"... If Obama, the administration, and the CIA were smart they would have realised that a concerted effort to blame Putin / Russia would be seen for what it is - a liar and one of trying to discredit both the outcome of the US elections, the dislike of HRC, and her association with Wall St. - she raised more money for her campaign than Trump and Sanders put together (if the Democrats had chosen Sanders, then they would have stood a chance) and that their hawk would not be in a position to create WW111 - thank goodness. The Democrats deserved what they got. ..."
"... This organ of the liberal media (no scare quotes required - it is socially liberal and economically neoliberal), along with many others, dogmatically supported Clinton against Sanders to the point of printing daily and ridiculous dishonesty, even going so far as to make out as if anyone who supports any form of wealth redistribution is a racist, sexist, whitesplaining dude-bro. ..."
"... The Wikileaks emails proved the votes were rigged against Sanders, it why Debbie W Shulz had to resign ..."
"... The election was close, and if one less thing had gone wrong for Hillary she would have won. However I think an important thing that lost her the election was identity politics. She patronized Afro-Americans and Hispanics, by tell them that because they are Trump-threatened minorities, they should vote for her. In the same vein, gays and women were supposed to vote for her. But what she was really telling these groups was that they should revel in their supposed victimhood, which was not a great message. ..."
"... Completely agreed! The onus for defeat belongs to the Democrat party leadership as well. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both understood where the momentum of the election was headed before anyone else did. The election was won and lost in the white blue collar Midwest. A place that decided that diet corporatism is decidedly worse than a populist right wing extremist. ..."
"... No one here believed the ridiculous about-face Hillary pulled on the question of the TPP. I guarantee you Bernie would have cleaned Trump's clock in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and perhaps Ohio and Iowa. ..."
"... "Our self-image as the world's greatest democracy...." Well, speaking for myself and plenty of other Americans, I never said anything like that about us. In fact, like a lot of people I wish we would stick to our own business, quit trying to be the world's cop, and cease meddling in other countries' affairs. ..."
"... Assuming that it really was the Russians who done it, I guess they had a better game plan than the Saudis. ..."
"... Her 'deplorables' comment was every bit as telling as Mitt Romney's '47%'. We really needed to know about her 'public versus private positions', even if it only confirmed what everybody already knew. I am not 100% sure the system made the worst choice in raising up Donald Trump. ..."
"... The American voters heard a steady stream of these arguments. Some may have simply ignored them. Others took them into consideration, but concluded that they wanted drastic change enough to put them aside. White women decided that Trump's comments, while distasteful, were things they'd heard before. ..."
"... Reliance on the sanctity of racial and gender pieties was a mistake. Not everyone treats these subjects as the holiest of holies. The people who would be most swayed by those arguments never would have voted for Trump anyways. ..."
"... Colin Powell said Clinton destroys everything she touches with hubris. Seeing as how she destroyed the democrat "blue wall" and also had low turnout which hurt democrats down the ticket I agree. ..."
"... All this hysteria about the USA and Russia finally working together than apart doesn't help either for it appears that the [neoliberal] lefties want a perpetual war rather than peace. ..."
"... The CIA being outraged about a foreign state intervening in an election is quite funny. They have intervened so many times, especially in Latin America, to install puppet regimes. ..."
"... As for hacking... does anybody believe the CIA has never hacked anybody? ..."
Dec 13, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

Hillary Clinton was the symbol of neoliberal globalization and contept of neoliberal for common poeple (aka deplorable). That's why she lost. this is more of the first defeat of neoliberal candidate in the USA then personal defeat of Hillary. She was just a symbol, or puppet, if you wish.

... ... ...

And what exactly are the claims made by these Putin-did-it stories? That were it not for Russian chicanery, Hillary Clinton would have won the popular vote by five million and not almost three million? That displaced machinists on the banks of Lake Erie were so incensed by the Podesta emails that they voted for Trump instead of Clinton? That Putin was pulling FBI director James Comey's strings in his investigation of the Clinton emails? That those scheming Russians were clever enough to hack into voting machines, but not clever enough to cover their tracks?

It's strangely reminiscent of the days of the Red scare, minus the Reds.

... ... ...

The displaced machinists in the industrial midwest, whose votes helped put Trump in the White House, believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. But that was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance.

They were so confident of their inevitable victory that they wrote off the old industrial states in favor of luring upscale suburbanites who normally vote Republican. They hoped they would be so revolted by Trump that they would vote for her, but they didn't.

... ... ...

Of course there are questions about our voting machines. The American balloting system is a chaotic mess, with an array of state and local authorities conducting elections under a vast variety of rules using technologies ranging from old-fashioned paper ballots to sleek touch-screen devices.

The former take forever to count, and the latter are unauditable – we can have no idea whether the counts are accurate. The whole system is a perfect example of a quote attributed (probably falsely) to Joseph Stalin: "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." It's not a system that inspires trust, but we barely discuss that.

LMichelle , 14 Dec 2016 03:07

It's panic over loss of control. They aren't pondering ways to make things better for the American people. Not in the Beltaway. Not the duoploy. The handwringing is strictly about control and pasification of the population.

And you're shocked? I'm shocked you expected more.

cvneuves , 14 Dec 2016 02:49
The really amazing story about the presidential elections 2016 was actually not Clinton or Trump. It was how close the US actually got to get its first socialist, or factually rather social-democratic president. Americans are craving for more justice and equality.

And no, Clinton does not stand for any "left values". Therefore the media favored her.

Pu2u2skeete -> dphaynes , 14 Dec 2016 02:43
The long, long list of dodgy-donors to The Clinton Foundation told large numbers of Democrat voters everything they needed to know about a potential Hillary Clinton presidency. This, and the 'knifing' of Bernie, sealed her fate. A reincarnated Tricky Dicky would have trounced her, too.
poikloik098 -> Mansplain , 14 Dec 2016 03:05
Weird in your mind only. A letter just before the election suggesting that Clinton might be indicted? And was she? Of course not. Match the letter's release with the polls at the time to see it's influence.

Clinton's problems such as her email server were nothing compared to all the baggage that Trump carries, yet Trump's problems were blithely ignored by many because they thought Trump would make a difference.

AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 02:19
America will never, and should never, forgive Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
jmac55 , 14 Dec 2016 02:18
At last! Someone on this newspaper talking common sense.

For the last twenty years, (way before we even knew Putin's name) the Republican Party have promoted, fomented and instigated the most ludicrous lies and calumnies about the Democratic Party and particularly Hilary Clinton, who they quite rightly recognised as a future Democratic Presidential candidate.

They have politicised: education, defense, Federal Parks, water, race, religion and even the air we breath in their efforts to ensure victory and to this end, they bought and paid for populist uprisings against Democratic politicians, like the now abandoned Tea Party.

The problem was that even when Republicans were elected, they obviously couldn't keep their own nonsensical promises to their now rabid audience who no longer trusted their own elected Government.

When Trump, a disestablishment, anti-Government candidate came along, the electorate (naively) saw a possibility of the change they have been promised.

Of course the Russians prefer Trump over Clinton, since they can see the destruction he can cause their geopolitical adversary and Putin would say as much as he can to support Trump...errr....even though it would be counter-productive with conservative voters...but it is unlikely that he bears anywhere near the blame that the Republican Party does, who foolishly allowed their own 'attack dog' to bite them on the arse.

I'm sorry to say that the Republican Party (and the US) has to suck this one up and admit...(to mix my hackneyed metaphors) that they've blown themselves up with their own petard!

joanne Ward , 14 Dec 2016 02:17
I think with hindsight Bernie Sanders is going to be blamed for dividing the Democratic Party and bolstering the Republican propaganda against the Clintons. If only we had stuck together with Clinton we wouldn't be facing the Trump disaster now. Hillary Clinton is not evil and she was very highly qualified--to paraphrase Brando, we could have had progress instead of a disaster, which is what we have now.
sand2016 -> joanne Ward , 14 Dec 2016 02:25
Absurd! She was a rich white hawkish neolib who has no one but herself and the Democratic Pary to blame for the terrible loss which will seal the supreme court for years. Face facts!! She couldn't even beat Trump and was widely viewed as a fraud.
FriendlyEmpiricist -> Fred1 , 14 Dec 2016 02:28
You fool, the Libertarian party is the largest third party in the US and they mostly take votes from the Republicans. Stop blaming third parties when their existence demonstrably helps the Democrats. Or perhaps you dream of a world where conservatives still support their third party just as much as they ever did but lefties all move in perfect lockstep? If so, it's time for a reality check.
pacificist , 14 Dec 2016 02:14
Up jumped Hilary Benn with the theory that Jeremy Corbyn had caused the Brexit vote. His resignation and the denunciation of 172 Labour MP's based on an "indisputable fact" that nobody believes to be true today. The person who lost the Presidential Election in USA is Hillary Clinton. She, like Blair is a war monger. I, if I had a vote, would not have voted for her.

If she had been elected we would have had bigger and better wars in the Middle East. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan never ended despite Obama calling the Iraq war a "strategic mistake". One that continued for another eight years. To those two we have added Syria and Lybia. The west, like Russia, is dabbling in other people's wars. They have been made one hundred times worse.

What Hillary would not have dabbled in is the industrial decline in the "Rust Belt" states. She is proposing to do nothing. So they had the prospect of no rectification at home with yet more wars abroad. No wonder they stayed at home. Hillary and Nu Labour are the same: belligerancy in the Middle East coupled with tame pussy cat against failing capitalism at home. The middle east has got total destruction from the west and total nothingness but austerity (ie more failure) as the action plan for capitalism. They are on the "same page" then!

Jympton , 14 Dec 2016 01:48
" ...reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is. " The rest of the world has known that for decades.
helenus , 14 Dec 2016 01:48
I don't understand how accurate reporting by Wikileaks of politicians' emails is considered 'interference' with the US elections. To me, it seems helpful. If a US newspaper made the report, they would probably get a prize. If a foreign organization made the report, so what? People abroad are free (I hope) to comment on US matters, and people in the US are free to read it or not. It could be argued that only reporting democratic emails is distorting the truth: I'd say its a step towards the whole truth. I welcome all disclosures that are pertinent to a good decision by US voters.
PostTrotskyite -> helenus , 14 Dec 2016 01:53
When did hacking become legal?
helenus -> PostTrotskyite , 14 Dec 2016 02:57
ask Snowden
DMontaigne -> 14122016 , 14 Dec 2016 02:26
The Guardian helped Trump? How many Americans actually read the Guardian?
Mansplain -> DMontaigne , 14 Dec 2016 02:46
Perhaps they mean the Guardian's politics. Identity politics has been thoroughly rejected and instead of learning from the experience, Guardian has been electing to throw more of the same tactics, except louder
Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 01:42
Citizens of the UK are by far the most heavily surveilled in the western world. This has been the case since long before the ubiquitous introduction of CCTV cameras.
HomoSapienSapiens , 14 Dec 2016 01:35

Americans across the political spectrum are happy to use Putin to distract them from reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is.

You're absolutely right. Putin is the boogeyman for every ill, real or purported, of his own society, and when the American political system and its institutions prove to be broken, Putin gets to be the boogeyman for that, too. What a powerful man! He must be pleased.

Only, the thing is, the American political system and its institutions - American democracy - weren't undermined overnight. It took several decades and it was done by Americans who weren't so keen on democracy. Can't fob that off on Putin, try as they might.

If American power takes a big fat fall like Humpty Dumpty, don't look to Vladimir Putin, look in a fucking mirror. That's where you'll find the culprit.

PreziDonald -> PostTrotskyite , 14 Dec 2016 01:28
This is an ultimate truth because it explains why Merkel will not be elected. These days Putin is in full control of the world and is responsible for everything.
PreziDonald , 14 Dec 2016 01:23
Let's thank Hillary for that. There is a very good news: on the 20th January we'll cut all Saudi supply channels to the IS and kill all the bastards within 2 months.
PreziDonald -> shampacanada , 14 Dec 2016 01:43
In the modern world it is enough to do nothing to be a good man, eg if Bush, Blair, Obama and Clinton didn't create ISIS, the world would be a much better place. You do not even need to be smart to understand this.
Your Donald.
From where you'd rather be.
With love.
Lafeyette , 14 Dec 2016 01:13
It's crazy. Even if the Russian hacking claims are legitimate, the leaks still revealed things about the Democrats that were true. It's like telling your friend that their spouse is cheating on them, and then the spouse blaming you for ruining the marriage.
Althnaharra , 14 Dec 2016 01:05
The Clinton campaign spent like drunken sailors, on media. This is a new role for the media giants that took care of Clinton's every need, including providing motivational research and other consultants.

The ongoing scenario that now spins around Putin as a central figure is a product of "after shock media". Broadcast media bounced America back and forth from sit-com to gun violence for decades, giving fiction paramount value. To weave fictional reality in real time for a mass audience is a magnum leap from internet fake news. This drama is concocted to keep DNC from going into seclusion until the inauguration.

judyblue , 14 Dec 2016 01:04
Doug Henwood is absolutely correct. This obsession with the supposed foreign interference is baseless. All the real culprits operate within our own system.
Chukcha Rybak , 14 Dec 2016 01:04
What happened to Guardian today ? A reasonable story. Unreal feel
AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:51
Maybe, in four years, Trump's administration can oversee a secure election. Unlike the Obama folks, who seem to make a calamity out of any project bigger than making a sandwich.
Pu2u2skeete -> AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:59
Obama still has access to lethal drones, watch your back.
TheMediaSux , 14 Dec 2016 00:49
This hullabaloo really highlights the disdain the establishment has for the American voter. They thought they had it tied up. They thought they had pulled one over on the American people. They are not interested in what the voter actually wants.

And this raises questions about why our servicemen and women are making sacrifices. The establishment story-line talks about our brave soldiers dying so we can have free elections. Or something like that. The establishment does not care about free and fair elections. In fact, this hullabaloo should have demonstrated to everybody that the establishment does not respect or accepts the results of elections that don't go their way.

AveAtqueCave -> TheMediaSux , 14 Dec 2016 00:53
Look at WikiLeaks. They died so Hillary could present her ever-so-clever "tick-tock on Libya" and make fools think she's a constructive foreign policy force.
AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:48
Trump blows, but I'm relieved incompetent Hillary Clinton and her gang of bloodthirsty bunglers aren't going to be in the white house.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz should have shown more respect to her party's membership.

Pu2u2skeete -> AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:55
H. Clinton would have started a war against Russia in Syria come January; and war against Russia in The Ukraine shortly after. Trump could yet end civilization as we know it: thereagain the CIA might 'JFK' him early doors before he's able to.
DogsLivesMatter -> Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 01:25
Trump might start a war with Iran. He will have the backing of Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordon. That frightens me just as much if not worse.
Pu2u2skeete -> DogsLivesMatter , 14 Dec 2016 01:30
Fully agree with you. Trump's victory is certain to have incalculable consequences for life on earth. I believe he will give Netenyahu the green light to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iranian nuclear and military facilities. I am no fan of Trump.
Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 00:43
American 'exceptionalism;' The World's Policeman; The greatest country on earth. Descriptions believed and espoused by the USA. So Exceptional is America that it claims a God-given right to interfere with or sabotage political parties, foriegn governments (democratically-elected or not) and sovereign states anywhere it chooses. Now we have the hilarious spectacle of a historically blood-drenched CIA (Fake News Central) squawking and squealing completely fabricated nonsense about Kremlin interference in Trump's election victory. Tell that to the tens of millions slaughtered in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and the many other nations and people's around the globe who have had first hand experience of American Exceptionalism. You could not make it up..
Fred Lunau -> Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 01:43
Well said. Sad but true.

cvneuves , 14 Dec 2016 00:41
Arguably, Clinton and the DNC themselves showed very little respect for democracy, as we know from leaks. And now they are whining because of a democratic outcome they don't like.

We should discuss two things:

- the content of the mails
- and the ethical question: did the hacker, whoever it is, did democracy rather a service than a disservice? From when on is a piece of information so valuable that its origins don't matter anymore?

Media, at least in times when msm still had some moral clout, often relied in their investigative journalism on source which by themselves were not necessarily ethically bona fide - but the public interest, the common good benefited by the information.

Had Clinton won the election and we only found out now about the trickery that aided in her success we would have a major dilemma. We would have to have endless discussions now about her legitimacy.

LibertineUSA , 14 Dec 2016 00:26
I am one who firmly believes that Clinton lost this election because of Clinton's and the DNC's ineptitude and hubris.

But that doesn't mean the Russians weren't running a psy-ops campaign of fake news stories and misinformation about Clinton and this election on Facebook.

Which was more responsible for Clinton's loss? Most probably Clinton's ineptitude but the fake news campaigns on Facebook had some effect. It needs to be addressed...

diddoit -> LibertineUSA , 14 Dec 2016 00:35
But hadn't Hillary made it personal by saying Trump was Putin's puppet etc?
She even refused to state whether she'd seek to impose a no-fly zone over Syria; this despite leading Generals telling her it would mean going to war with Russia and Syria.

Given all that, it's hardly surprising the Russian Duma broke into spontaneous applause upon the confirmation of her defeat. She'd very much cast herself as the enemy of Russia in the campaign.

LibertineUSA -> diddoit , 14 Dec 2016 01:12
With the naming of Rex Tillerson, a close business, and personal, friend of Putin, to be Secy. of State I am not sure the argument can be made that she was wrong in her assessment.
Mizzentop , 14 Dec 2016 00:21
This article is absolutely right. Trump was not a good candidate and for him to beat Clinton should be setting alarm bells ringing in Democrat HQ. The left though does have an entrenched culture of deluding itself and convincing itself that its a victim of things beyond its control. That lack of self awareness and inability to be brutally honest with itself is a major reason why the left wins many fewer elections than the left. It is also why there are never shock wins for the Democrats or Labour because they always assume too much. The Tories and Republicans are very good at understanding their weaknesses and mitigating them to win elections.
Aaron Aarons -> Mizzentop , 14 Dec 2016 00:41
It's absurd to consider Clinton and the mainstream Democrats as part of "the Left". Even the best of the Democrats are generally more on the Right than on the Left, in that they are pro-capitalist and defend the national interests of U.S. imperialism. Add to that their almost unanimous support for the settler colony called "Israel" and there's very little leftism to be found among them.
JamesHeartfield -> ID8701745 , 14 Dec 2016 00:31
Cunning of Putin to go back in time and persuade the framers of the US constitution to institute an electoral college, so that he could put his own candidate in place all those hundreds of years later.
No. Both candidates fought an election under the same rules. In the run up to the vote, Hillary's spokesmen often argued that even if the vote was close, they had the electoral college sewn up. She has nobody to blame but herself.
ID5073867 , 14 Dec 2016 00:11
There are plenty of villains who contributed to the electoral downfall of HRC, mostly, though, it's HRC who is primarily responsible, with a big assist from an arrogant & politically inept DNC. Hillary won a bare majority of women, plus the average income of Trump voters exceeded that of Hillies' supporters. Then all the groundwork for the deplorables was laid by Bill, who got rid of Glass-Steagell. Too much is being made of the machinist from Erie & the deplorables generally & if the Dems don't take a serious look at themselves we'll have Agent Orange for 8 rather than 4 deplorable years.
freeandfair -> S , 14 Dec 2016 01:52
For goodness sake, it is not foreign governments , it is information. With advance of social media and internet it became so much harder to control the information that gets out.
That is where we are in a post-propaganda world. You are not only receiving your government approved daily portion of brainwashing but propaganda and brainwashing and information from various sources, all with their various interests. It is your job a s an individual to decide what to believe. You can't put the jinni back in the box.
cvneuves , 14 Dec 2016 00:10
It is all about a narrative to suit the agenda. Had Trump outspent Clinton 2:1 he would now be reviled as the candidate of arms industry, pharmaceuticals and big banks. Had Clinton defeated him it would be celebrated as a successful setback for the aforementioned industries; the intelligence of the voters would have been praised. But then supposedly, Clinton was more supported by disadvantaged groups, albeit they then also would be disadvantaged with regards to their education.

It will always end up in absurdity. However, the notion that "Putin" (never with first name, or Mr, preferably pronounced "Poot'n") decided the US presidency is, interesting.

Usually the issue simply is, crap candidate, crap result.

diddoit , 14 Dec 2016 00:09
Had Sanders been the candidate and had he lost to Trump, I doubt very much he'd have started all this blaming the Russians nonsense.

Ultimately, Hilary had terrible trustworthiness ratings from nearly 25 years in frontline politics; every shortcoming ruthlessly exploited along the way by her and her husband's political opponents. Ignoring all that historic baggage(dating back to the early '90s) as irrelevant and blaming defeat on the Russians makes everyone supporting that theory look equally absurd.

MayorHoberMallow , 14 Dec 2016 00:08
In the 2016 Presidential election, in the 49 States other than California, Trump won the popular vote and enough electoral votes to win the election.
In California, the most populous State in America, the popular vote was so overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton that she ended up winning the overall popular vote.
The electoral college is working exactly as the Founding Fathers intended.
cvneuves -> ID8701745 , 14 Dec 2016 01:08

No he didn't. Check your facts and try again.

He did, in fact Trump is 600,000 votes ahead of Clinton without California.

Trump 62,916,237 - California 3,916,209 = 59,000,028
Clinton 65,758,070 - California 7,362,490 = 58,395,580

Amazing, the difference a fact check can make, isn't it? Thanks for alerting me to a fact check.

Zacky Olumba , 13 Dec 2016 23:58
In Shakespeare's book "Julius Caesar" the dictator was told not to go to the Capitol where he will be murdered. His wife warned him, the soothsayer warned him but he ignored it. Caesar's wisdom was consumed in confidence...confidence that he will be crowned king, confidence that all Romans (most stupid people then) loved him, and confidence that those who surround him are his 'friends.' He adamantly went to the Capitol and was murdered.

Clinton ignored most rural areas and I totally agree with the writer along this line "They were so confident of their inevitable victory that they wrote off the old industrial states in favor of luring upscale suburbanites who normally vote Republican." Clinton and her team paid dearly for it just like Caesar did. Blaming Russian for the loss is like "You made me do it."

Simon Speed , 13 Dec 2016 23:53
In the UK, Rupert Murdoch accesses a Prime Minister as readily as any government minister and wields at least as much influence. At least he is open and honest about this. Similar oligarchs exert their power more discretely. Murdoch's an Australian born US citizen (for business reasons) with a truly global empire.

A country's big rich have always ruled it's politics. Imperial powers have intervened in their spheres of influence . But now the big rich are international and, it seems, 1st world electorates are getting a taste of what 3rd world people have become used to.

What strikes me is the reluctance of the US political elite (including Obama) to intervene, even when there's a suspicion of vote rigging. The right of the rich and powerful to control the electoral process (as they have long done) trumps the national-interest (US v. rival powers) side of politics.

It's a confusing globalized world.

LastNameOnTheShelf , 13 Dec 2016 23:41
Hilary Clinton won the popular vote. More people voted for her. What is the deal with the electoral college? How is it possible to have such a huge discrepancy between the two. What is the point of blaming the candidate when they can lose while winning?

And what is the point of blaming the candidate for their campaign when large numbers of Americans are prepared to believe the most random bullshit? What did you want her to do, lie more often? Because apparently, that's what it takes.

86753oh9 -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 13 Dec 2016 23:52
this does a good job of explaining how the electoral college system works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXnjGD7j2B0 ->
MayorHoberMallow -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:09
From my comment above... "In the 2016 Presidential election, in the 49 States other than California, Trump won the popular vote and enough electoral votes to win the election.
In California, the most populous State in America, the popular vote was so overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton that she ended up winning the overall popular vote.
The electoral college is working exactly as the Founding Fathers intended."
Keith Schoose -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:20
The election is decided by Electoral Votes. Everyone including Hillary knew that. Complaining that she won the popular vote while losing in the Electoral College would be similar to the loser of a soccer match complaining they lost 1-nil even though they outshot the victor by a 6-1 margin. Whine all you want about the popular vote, it is irrelevant.

Hillary Clinton visited Arizona in the last week of the election, while visiting Wisconsin ZERO times in the general election campaign. The trip to Arizona was a waste of time.

She lost because she was a horrible candidate with terrible strategy. All these people bleating about "Putin" and or the "popular vote" make me laugh.

Afterthoughtbtw -> RobertAussie , 14 Dec 2016 00:10
With respect, you're going to have to back up some of those claims in the second paragraph and how they could apply to Russia.

As for the first paragraph, a few things come to mind.

Firstly, it's a huge simplification - there are things like public interest laws to be borne in mind when talking about the press having to obey the law. I don't think there is much doubt that this was in the public interest. I mean what Clinton did with the email server was actually illegal. If someone hacked into a mob boss' computer, got evidence of his/her crimes, and leaked them to the press, would you criticise the hacker or the mob boss?

Secondly, how on earth was this selectively released to favour one side? How do you favour one side over the other when you only have information on one side. You are literally saying that you shouldn't report on one side's wrongdoings if you can't find anything wrong about the other's! If these are genuine - which absolutely no-one to do with Clinton has denied - then that is all there is to it. Reality isn't partisan.

Or are you talking about how it was released? You mean dumped en masse onto Wikileaks? How was that showing bias in any way? I just don't understand what you are trying to claim here.

Finally this comment makes me suspect you don't appreciate the American political climate:

But, given the result, the section of the press that would investigate hasn't got the money or power to do so. You can be assured the Fox network would have devoted billions to the investigation had HRC won though.

Fox News aren't the only people with money - indeed, Clinton vastly outspent Trump in the election... by roughly half a billion(!) dollars.

JamesHeartfield -> fairviewsue , 14 Dec 2016 01:24
O -- The Director of the CIA says it, then it must be true? Forgive me, but isn't this an organisation created to spread disinformation around the world, overthrow foreign governments, and subvert democracy? Which elections in the world has the CIA not tried to influence? Time Magazine openly boasts that the US government and agencies had a direct role in securing the election of President Yeltsin (who sold off a significant share of the country's assets under US advice, and plunged Russia into the worst recession since the 1930s). Hillary Clinton openly supported the management of the elections for the Palestine National Authority in 2006. Bill Clinton openly agitated for the overthrow of President Aristide.
Now that the CIA's most assiduous supporters have lost office, up pops the CIA, blaming the Russians, like we were in some bad 1950s Cold War pastiche. Get real. Take responsibility for your own failures, Democrats. Time to cleanse the stables.
hashtagthat , 13 Dec 2016 23:21
The CIA: the organisation that brought us WMD, a Gulf war, 100,000s of deaths and the birth of ISIS. The original fake news masters.

Highly credible.

Mark222 , 13 Dec 2016 23:12
Where is even the proof of Russian propaganda? It all seems to come from an "Anonymous source", without verfication I don't see how this is any more legitimate than the rest of the post truth fake news out there that people believe just because it confirms their biases.
LastNameOnTheShelf -> Mark222 , 13 Dec 2016 23:45
The CIA claim to know that Russian hackers leaked the Clinton campaign emails to Assange. You can, of course, disbelieve them, but they're not a random anonymous source exactly.
Rosie423956 -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:17
Except the sources within the CIA are anonymous. The same CIA who has wrought wars, coups, interfered with elections. That CIA Anonymous source.

This would be funny, except...oh hell, it's still funny.

JamesHeartfield -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:56
The CIA -- Trustworthy source --
cvneuves -> Sappho53 , 13 Dec 2016 23:17
Putin extremely powerful man. Make regime change in Amerika without needing invasion or rebels. Soon regime change also in many Europan countries by sending copies of emails to small room in embassy of little country in London.

You know how powerful Putin? Last week even show finger to Chuck Norris! Chuck Norris now call Putin "sir".

James Harris -> Sappho53 , 14 Dec 2016 01:43
Uterus or bust went bust a good while back. Give it up
Michronics42 , 13 Dec 2016 22:50
Thank you, Doug Henwood for pointing out what the wholly-owned corporate "pundits" choose not to divulge to coincide with their own agendas.

Hillary was a disastrous choice for the "Democratic" party, but the vast majority of Democratic politicians were just too feckless to support Bernie Sanders, so now we have an equally terrible choice in Donald Trump.

That Clinton and Trump even competed for the presidency is in itself an indication of just how disconnected and undemocratic U.S. politics has become.

Moreover, as Henwood (a frequent and unsparing critic of Clinton, Inc. over the years) has pointed out both Democrats and Republicans are supporting the Russia conspiracy theory in a cowardly attempt to distract the U.S. public from the real and far more dire crisis, which is Washington's enormous political dysfunction not Russia's complicity. (Read Henwood's essay: Stop Hillary! Vote no to a Clinton Dynasty in Harper's Magazine, November 2014 - one article a month is free for reading).

Yes, the electoral college is a ridiculous throwback to slavery which should be abolished, but its dissolution is just one of many things I'd like to see eradicated from a governing body that has long stopped representing the interests of working class Americans; unless, of course you have the influence and money for such access.

The non-violent and powerful Black Lives Matter, Moral Mondays in North Carolina and Standing Rock protesters (reinforced by U.S. veterans and other supporters) have demonstrated that change is possible if we're carefully focused on uprooting and replacing government corruption.

Francisco Carvajal , 13 Dec 2016 22:49
A silly binary-it's not either Putin or Clinton but a complex conjecture. Can't we raise our intellectual level closer to the complexity of our world?
SubjectiveSubject , 13 Dec 2016 22:46
The West support for regimes like Israel and Saudi Arabia makes it hard to present a credible case against Putin on any issues but, rigging the election is just absurd. These days people are more clued up and know Hillary lost because she was not trusted, carried baggage and was funded by big banks. It is rather worrying that we've gone backward and Nazi propaganda tactics are the norm again.
skiloypet , 13 Dec 2016 22:42
There was a 50/50 chance the Democrats would take the fall from grace; both parties are out of touch with mainstream, middle-class America, it's just coincidence Trump manifested himself when he did. Neither party had a good message or a good messenger; the dark phenomenon of Trump could have come from either party, the nation was so desperate for change. Yet the GOP really maneuvered for Jeb Bush to begin with; the Democrats, with a significantly smaller field, laid their bet on Clinton. The public's rejection of both Bush and Clinton left the door open for a GOP interloper, Trump; and Clinton was pushed on the Democrats rather than Sanders.

Even the GOP will have buyers remorse if/when they cannot temper Trump.

Patrick Moore , 13 Dec 2016 22:34
As someone who wanted Hilary to win, it is difficult to disagree with any of this.

If she couldn't beat Trump - who about three times a day said something idiotic or repugnant, then she really was the wrong candidate

Since he won Trump has actually sounded miles more sensible. I can't help feel that if he had adopted his current tone before the election that he would have won by a landslide

samuel glover -> Herr_Settembrini , 13 Dec 2016 22:55
"This was the strategy not because Clinton was was incompetent; it was the strategy because all available data pointed to the fact that it was working."

What a joke.

She had a billion dollars in her campaign fund. The money she spent on "data" was just money flushed down the sewer. (No doubt various Clinton hangers-on got very nice "consulting" fees.) She was a Democrat who publicly bragged about her devotion to **Henry Kissinger**.

She lost to **Donald Trump**. I think even Martin O'Malley could've beaten Trump; I'm certain Sanders could. Only Hillary Clinton had the "magic" necessary to lose to a casino and real estate huckster.

She was always a lousy candidate, and she's an incompetent politician as well. Dems can face that, face reality, or keep going as they are, in which case there won't **be** a Democratic Party before long.

MountainMan23 , 13 Dec 2016 22:24
Agreed. HRC, DNC and the Clintonistas are the only ones responsible for her loss. But there's more to their post-election pushback than just shifting the blame, a lot more.

Demonizing Russia isn't just about seeking a scapegoat. Trump's embrace of Russia and decision to end the neocon-neoliberal agenda of regime change skewer two of the corporate establishment's cash cows - arms sales to the numerous conflicts in the Middle East initiated by the corporate cabal, and arms sales to NATO and all the new post Cold War NATO members to continue the buildup of armaments on Russia's borders.

That's a lot of anticipated arms sales and a lot of every bit as anticipated political "donations" from the corporate establishment.

amuel glover -> MountainMan23 , 13 Dec 2016 23:00
" Trump's embrace of Russia and decision to end the neocon-neoliberal agenda of regime change skewer two of the corporate establishment's cash cows - arms sales to the numerous conflicts in the Middle East initiated by the corporate cabal, and arms sales to NATO and all the new post Cold War NATO members to continue the buildup of armaments on Russia's borders."

That's a mighty optimistic forecast, but it's not impossible. I think Trump is likely to be a disaster, and even if he isn't, an unleashed Republican gang is a horrible thing to imagine. Still, I'd love to be pleasantly surprised, and I note that already Trump's campaign has put down TWO odious political dynasties, AND the TPP -- all very healthy developments.

cvneuves , 13 Dec 2016 22:23
Hillary Clinton lost because the majority of the voters were nauseated by her by her fake perma- smile which might as well have been installed by cosmetic surgery. The well rehearsed, worn-out, hollow on-message crap she spouted had zilch credibility and as much resonance. She had nothing to say to the electorate.

That the Clinton spent about twice as much as the Trump camp in this case did not work to her favour: every appearance on tv made her lose voters.

The only thing that kept the contest somehow close was the unprecedented all-media fear campaign against Trump.

I have never had any doubt that that Trump would get the job. What surprised me though, is that only one in 200 eligible voters bothered with the Green's Jill Stein: they are supposedly relatively highly committed to their causes.

Another mistake of the Clinton campaign, btw. was to focus on scandal. My experience of 45 years of campaigning tells me "scandal" does not win any campaigns.

cvneuves -> Walter Masterson , 13 Dec 2016 22:45

99% of the weapons in the Trump arsenal were Trumped up Hillary "scandals"

They did not decide it. Neither did the new "sexual victim" paraded every couple of days by the Clinton camp. Scandal and counter-scandal are part of every campaign and ignored by non-committed voters.

What did it for Trump was, that he spoke unscripted, thus came across a somewhat more genuine, and at least acknowledged the victims of de-industrialisation, for which he could not be blamed, but Clinton could. Clinton did not have anything she could present apart from "better equipped because of experience" - with an undistinguished actual record. The name Clinton can be blamed for the plight of the "rust-belt".

Juillette , 13 Dec 2016 22:19
Americans have paid a heavy price because of free trade deals and they want a different direction. In the last 15 years there is a noticeable difference in opportunity and wages and most of our politicians don't care. Hillary lost this because she supported most free trade and outsourcing jobs to India and China. They DNC has a chance to reform but they choose not to. I hope Bernie starts a new party and leaves the neo liberals behind. Who knows where Trump will take us but if he adds to the swamp he will be a one term president. Right now it looks like he is repaying his Wall Street fundraisers and big oil super pacs. Our politicians deserve the embarrassment for ignoring our citizens struggles.
PennyCarter -> Juillette , 13 Dec 2016 22:25
I mostly see your argument and respect it. However I was not aware that trump was subject to enormous support from super-pacs or Wall Street?
Juillette -> PennyCarter , 13 Dec 2016 22:58
Steven Mnuchin with ties to Wall Street stepped in when no one else would and fund raised for Trump. Mnuchin is picked as secretary of treasury. Big oil supported Cruz and moved to Trump with a few superpacs that Kellyanne Conway managed. Both Wall Street and energy will be deregulated. Also tax reform for corporations. He will have to follow through on new trade deals, tax on imports and immigration or he will only help the 1%. We will see if he follows through...
samuel glover -> PennyCarter , 13 Dec 2016 23:02
His appointments aren't those of a guy intent on keeping Wall Street at arm's length. **Three** cabinet posts to Goldman Sachs alums?!?!? C'mon.....
Solomon Black , 13 Dec 2016 22:18
But didn't Obama dismiss Romney's warning that Russia was a threat to America in 2012. Democrats double standard.
Walter Masterson -> Solomon Black , 13 Dec 2016 22:31
Short answer: no.

Keith Schoose -> Solomon Black , 14 Dec 2016 00:57
Short answer: Yes.

Mauryan , 13 Dec 2016 22:18
CIA? The one which came up with the truth about WMDs in Iraq?

Who can trust an intelligence agency that has become a legalized criminal organization?

I think Aliens changed the course of the election and not Putin :-)

Patrick Moore -> Mauryan , 13 Dec 2016 22:41
Exactly. So Goldman Sachs as well as the CIA are supporting Hilary. What's not to love about that.

Difficult to even think of a more toxic endorsement

MarinaAs , 13 Dec 2016 22:14
You sir are simply, wrong! read:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/12/1609989/-It-s-the-Russian-arctic-shelf-stupid
kritter , 13 Dec 2016 22:14
The only person the democrats are helping with this is Putin.

diddoit -> kritter , 13 Dec 2016 22:25
Indeed,

I bet in Moscow they're quite enjoying this notion Putin can simply dismiss any govt on earth by simply letting loose a few hackers and propagandists. And probably thinking if only.

The west looks like its collectively losing its marbles. Political systems, like tastes and fashion change naturally over time. Our two party systems struggle to cope with any change, thus the bewildered politicians within these parties lash out.

PennyCarter -> diddoit , 13 Dec 2016 22:33
It seems the Arab spring has finally reached America
MOTCO , 13 Dec 2016 22:11
The US have been obsessed with the commies for so long they can't see where the new threats are coming from.
SteveTory , 13 Dec 2016 22:09
On November 25, 2016, the Obama administration said the results from November 8, "accurately reflect the will of the American people." The following day, the White House released another statement saying, "the federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyberactivity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on Election Day."
Herr_Settembrini -> SteveTory , 13 Dec 2016 22:38
And? Does anybody claim that any foreign power hacked the voting machines themselves?

The claim is that Russian directed operatives hacked the DNC, etc. in an attempt to find embarrassing material that would damage Clinton's candidacy. They succeeded.

mismeasure -> Herr_Settembrini , 13 Dec 2016 23:49
We know about the claims. What about the evidence?
suddenoakdeath , 13 Dec 2016 22:04
Doug Henwood trying to beat the Bernie Sanders drum. What I heard from Bernie Sanders Townhall in Wisconsin is that people blamed illegal immigrants for their situation. Deep down inside they have been Trump supporters for a while. That is why Trump won Wisconsin.
Wiseaftertheevent , 13 Dec 2016 22:02
A Labour MP is claiming that Putin also fixed the Brexit vote - which also shows how people will blame anyone but themselves for losing a vote. There is not one Clinton supporter who would have complained about the result had she won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote.

That is not to say that the system should not be changed but Democrats and/or Clintonites should not try to change it retrospectively. That would mean chaos.

ATLcitizen7 , 13 Dec 2016 22:02
Totally agree with this article by Mr. Henwood. If Democrats, and Republicans for that matter, want to go on a wild goose chase to blame Russians for the election outcome, with basically no hard evidence to back their claim, rather than look at the real reasons why they lost (disaffected angry citizens and not being able to compete with Trump because they chose lousy candidates) then they deserve to continue losing their future elections. So be it.
Mystik Al , 13 Dec 2016 22:01
If she had not spent so much time calling Trump a Misogynist while taking money from Saudi Arabia then maybe , just maybe she would have not come across as the most deceitful and toxic candidate the US has ever seen.
NancyVolle , 13 Dec 2016 21:58
Hillary Clinton lost Pennsylvania, Michigan & Wisconsin solely because of NAFTA & TPP. Bill & Hillary Clinton supported NAFTA. Hillary Clinton had a history of supporting TPP & Obama was actively pushing it. When Hillary Clinton changed her position on TPP people in the old industrial heartland were not convinced that was sincere. The Russians were not responsible for Hillary, Bill & Obama's history of support for trade deals that facilitate moving jobs to low wage countries that suppress unions, allow unsafe working conditions & don't have meaningful environmental regulations.
seho90 , 13 Dec 2016 21:56

Julian Assange denies that the Russian government was the source of the hacked emails to and from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta that WikiLeaks published. Of course, there's no way of knowing if he's telling the truth – but regardless of their source, how much influence did they have on the election outcome?

oh, right

so when the Wikileaks reveals evilness of the conservatives, it's good, but when the liberals get revealed, he's not telling the truth?

give me a break.

Wikileaks is a neutral source, not a conservative or a liberal one.

PennyCarter -> seho90 , 13 Dec 2016 22:04
I agree with you. However may I add that the point is not whether Assange is of good character or whether Wikileaks is left or right. The point is has any Wikileaks releases been proven false in the last 10 years or so?
Herr_Settembrini -> seho90 , 13 Dec 2016 22:32

Wikileaks is a neutral source, not a conservative or a liberal one.

Bull. Assange dripped, dripped, dripped the leaks so that it would do maximum damage to Clinton. Whether he has conservative or liberal leanings is irrelevant. What in incontrovertible, however, is that he has an anti-Clinton bias.

What the leaks revealed is exactly the kind of internal policy debates, calibration of message, and gossipy venting that occurs in any political campaign. Only out of context did they appear damaging.

calderonparalapaz , 13 Dec 2016 21:43
Is Guardian running cold war propaganda?

"Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA's Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence"- Glen Greenwald

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence /

ewmbrsfca , 13 Dec 2016 21:41
The other big elephant in the room is that nearly half of those eligible to vote did not. Instead, the hysterical US media engage the gullible populace in yet another game of mass distraction, and soon Putin will be forgotten and all will salivate over the Oscar nominations. Thus the United States of Amnesia will settle into its usual addictive habit of running after any "news" that holds the promise of distractive entertainment. Never mind the nation's democracy... "We amuse ourselves to death" (Neil Postman).
Mike Kiepe , 13 Dec 2016 21:37
This article is spot on. Tulsi Gabbard 2020
PennyCarter , 13 Dec 2016 21:34
Otto Bismarck once said: "laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made"

To paraphrase, I guess you could also say the same about elections. Leaks revealing behind the curtains shenanigans of any election would turn most stomachs. After seeing this election I may become a vegetarian.

Huddsblue , 13 Dec 2016 21:32
Too right. It was always Hillary's election to lose and she lost it simply because she was not to be trusted. Her very public endorsement by gangster capitalist Jay-Z told you all you needed to know about who she represented.
chris200 , 13 Dec 2016 21:12
I used to work for an American oil company. Clinton was the one thing that united Democrats and Republicans over lunch time chats. She was unsuitable, and unfit for office. People voted not necessarily for Trump, but against Clinton. Don't blame Trump for this result. Blame the democrats and their poor candidates. So far I like his choice of cabinet members. Except for the banker they are men that create wealth by providing work for talented people. Not something the Guardian understands.
merrykoala -> LDWWDL , 13 Dec 2016 21:27
So your prime character witness for Hillary Clinton is.....Bill Clinton.

Good luck with that.

FYI mishandling protectively marked documents is wrongdoing, which James Comey testified that she had. Had it been ANYBODY other than a presidential candidate their feet wouldn't have touched the floor.

Justin Chudgar , 13 Dec 2016 21:09
What the author fails to emphasize is the degree to which Dem. party 'insiders' like DWSchulz and DBrazile and so on sabotaged their own nomination process by biasing the pre-primary and primary contests in favor of Clinton in subtle and stupidly obvious ways.

Had this been a contest between Trump and B. Sanders, M. O'Malley, J. Biden, E. Warren, etc. there would have been no Podesta emails to care hack, no home server to investigate, etc. By tipping the scales in favor of Clinton early, parts of the Dem. party caused the current outcome.

piouspish , 13 Dec 2016 20:58
I was dubious before, but I'm now actively concerned. This crop of Democrats and their deep state cohorts are unhinged and dangerous. They see me and my families' lives as an externality in their eventual war with Russia. As Phyrric a victory as there could possibly be. They are psychotic; not only waging countless coups and intelligence operations abroad, but now in plain sight on American soil. The mainstream media seems to invoke the spirit of Goebbels more vividly with each passing day. Their disdain and manipulation of the general populace is chilling. They see us not as people to be won-over, but as things to be manipulated, tricked and coerced. Nothing new for politicians (particularity the opposition) - but the levels here are staggering.

January couldn't come soon enough - and I say that as strong critic of Trump.

erewhon888 , 13 Dec 2016 20:39
There is an update to yesterday's Guardian article. Update: David Swanson interviewed Murray today, and obtained additional information. Specifically, Murray told Swanson that: (1) there were two American leakers ... one for the emails of the Democratic National Committee and one for the emails of top Clinton aide John Podesta; (2) Murray met one of those leakers; and (3) both leakers are American insiders with the NSA and/or the DNC, with no known connections to Russia.
michaelmichael , 13 Dec 2016 20:38
"Putin didn't win this election for Trump. Hillary Clinton did"

Nailed it. If the Democrats had fielded someone who actually represented the people (and who spoke the truth) instead of a corporate shill, the outcome would have been very different.

They had the ideal candidate in Sanders and they fucked him out of it. But have they learned anything? I seriously doubt it.

Patrick Perroud , 13 Dec 2016 20:37
Mrs Clinton is not blaming others. She never did. It's the CIA - backed by the 17 US intelligence agencies - that's saying Russia interfered with the election process in the USA.

In UK as well, the MI6 said something similar a few weeks ago. Germany is also concerned about the next elections in France and Germany. If any of this was true then it would be a serious threat against democracy in Western countries.

So who's blaming who? Deep cheaters or bad loosers? The CIA could be wrong but is probably correct this time. Trying to bury this unanimous call from western secret services under contempt is significant by itself.

Thatoneguyyouknow -> Patrick Perroud , 13 Dec 2016 21:06
" It's the CIA - backed by the 17 US intelligence agencies - that's saying Russia interfered with the election process in the USA. "

Way to parrot FAKE NEWS.

That is a COMPLETE LIE. Unless you honestly believe that agencies like the DEA and NASA's "intelligence" conclusively found "proof" that does not exist. That TALKING POINT was a lie when CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN originated it, and it is STILL a lie.

But hey, it's only wrong when the "bad guys" on the "other team" spread fake news and engage in intellectual dishonesty, right? When it's the "good guys" it's just a case of the "ends justify the means" and perfectly acceptable, right?

samuel glover -> Patrick Perroud , 13 Dec 2016 23:43
"Mrs Clinton is not blaming others. She never did."

Bullshit. Just last week she resurfaced (can't she grasp the idea of the graceful exit?) to yammer on about the menace of "fake news". Because of course we all know that before 2016, all American elections have been exercises in fair-mindedness and scrupulous devotion to truth.

stellendar , 13 Dec 2016 20:37
It's funny how media simply refuses to admit that Trump did it.
Russians, Hilary, polar bears - none of them had anything to do with it - HE WON.
Live with it.
Hmeckardt , 13 Dec 2016 20:36
The clickbait headline is frustrating. No serious person is accusing Russia of having caused Clinton's loss. Instead, serious people (including, thankfully, leading Republicans) are demanding that we take a thoughtful and comprehensive look at the evidence that Russia intended to influence the election. That's a necessary step for protecting our democracy and it's irresponsible to ascribe political motives to that task.
Bauhaus -> Hmeckardt , 13 Dec 2016 20:42
What about the $20 million given to Clinton from Saudi Arabia, did that influence the election or don't we talk about that?
James Harris -> Bauhaus , 13 Dec 2016 20:44
Sssshhh don't mention facts that don't support the agenda
HeeeresJohnny , 13 Dec 2016 20:34
There was a good article in The Intercept the other regarding the CIA's unsubstantiated (and subserviently published by the media) claims of Russian interference - how it has essentially become a willy-waving contest between the CIA and the FBI in the wake of the elections; how the CIA is an inherently untrustworthy organisation and the media allowing "senior officials" to dictate the news with empty leaks and no evidence (while shouting the loudest about fake news) is folly.

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence /

Eric Hurley -> HeeeresJohnny , 13 Dec 2016 20:53
The CIA is untrustworthy? what about the FBI?

HeeeresJohnny -> Eric Hurley , 13 Dec 2016 21:05
As far as I know, the FBI isn't currently leaking unsubstantiated "news" with the potential of provoking dangerously poor relations with Russia.
Thatoneguyyouknow -> Eric Hurley , 13 Dec 2016 21:12
"The CIA is untrustworthy?"

Have you ZERO knowledge of history? WHAT in their ENTIRE EXISTENCE has given you a ONE SINGLE BIT of faith in their credibility?

michaelmichael -> Dzomba , 13 Dec 2016 20:40
"but using covert methods to manipulate the flow of information in the public debate to undermine a candidate is totally unacceptable"

the US prefers to engineer military coups

finnja , 13 Dec 2016 20:32
Very true. It takes an abysmal candidate to lose against (quoting Jimmy Dore here:) Donny Tinyhands.
It takes a special brand of dense to run
- for Wall Street (against reinstatement of Glass Steagall)
- for a direct military confrontation with nuclear power Russia (wich Clinton's pet-project of no-fly zones in Syria would have signified)
- for trade deals (nobody bought Clinton was suddenly against that)
and expect the DEMOCRATIC base to turn out.
Jesus Christ, Donny ran to the left of Hillary on all three issues. Not that anyone trusts him to keep any promise, but at least he didn't outright spit in the face of the people who want less war, less neoliberalism and less Wall Street cronyism while running for election.
No Democratic candidate worth his/her name would have lost against Trump, not even if the Axis of Evil (whoever that currently is) had hacked all their emails, photobooks and private porn-flicks, in which they starred, and had them all run nonstop 24/7 on every screen on Earth.
2fingersup2tories , 13 Dec 2016 20:23
I'm shocked!!! Aren't the Russians to blame for everything???
My t.v breaking, the rain outside, brexit, Donald trump, the Iraq war, the death of Jesus, those damn Russians, nothing is safe around those monsters.
Hilarious
enodesign , 13 Dec 2016 20:19
Thanks for this article .

You are so correct .

I am so sick and tired of hearing those whining elite democrats gone incessantly about white males , the FBI , Putin , Russia , stupid red state citizens , etc., etc ..

I want say ' Shut the fuck up -- ..... and look in the bloody mirror ' .

I am a classic liberal .... always have been ..... always will be ...... and I don't know what you would like to call these corrupt , elitist , contemporary democrats but you certainly can not call them real liberals .

I call them designer democrats . They care only for their particular pet issues and they ongoing pursuit of notions of their own superiority . They routinely generalize in highly sexist and racist fashions and through the use of political correctness seek to silence all of their critics .

I , simply , loath them .

They sabotaged Bernie Sanders campaign . Bernie Sanders ..... the nicest , most caring man to come along in American politics in the past 50 years . Not since , FDR , John and Robert Kennedy have we seen such hope for average people .

But oh , no ..... Bernie was an outsider ..... not part of their corrupt , elite club . He was a threat to their ongoing party . He had to go .

They didn't give a shit about what was good for the people . They only cared about themselves and their exploitation of the Democratic Party and it's traditional status ..... and their vulgar corruption of genuine liberalism for their own purposes .

The Democratic Party establishment will now undergo a long , long overdue cleansing . The Clintons are the first to go as they should be . Two total career political scoundrels , if ever there were any . Lies and secrecy were all that you ever got from them aside form the horrific repeal of the 'Glass-Steggall Act ' and the Stock Trade Modernization Bill which lead to the licensing of the financial elite to plunder the economy , ruin the lives of countless average Americans and turn the economy into a complete casino .

Elitist to the core , they were .

Imagine an elite , spoon fed , self-interested urbanite like Hillary Clinton telling some poor white male schmuck living in some small town , who for economic reasons has never had a good full time time and works 3 temporary part-time jobs to pay the bills that he is privileged .

Bloody ridiculous --

Talk about overt sexism . Talk about overt racism .

It's these kinds of behaviours that doomed Hillary Clinton .

She only has herself to blame .

If she really had cared about average people she would have not sabotaged Bernie Sanders and she would have stepped aside back in June when every poll indicated the she could not beat Trump and that Bernie could beat him by 10 to 15 points .

Now , we the people are stuck with a Trump presidency ..... something which you can pretty much be assured is going to be un mitigated disaster in ways that we can't even begin to imagine yet .

Lord help us .

Good-bye Democratic Party elites ..... don't let the fucking door hit on the way out .

I wish I could say that it was nice knowing you but it wasn't .

Go off to your designer lives and pontificate about what is good for people ..... a subject that you know little about and really don't give a damn .

Go back to Davos and party with the financial global elite for they are really your people .... your kind . Certainly , average hardworking , genuinely liberal people are not .

Liberalism exists for all people not just the self-anointed few .

Treflesg , 13 Dec 2016 20:14
Have you noticed how recently the 'we are not racist and you are' left have started to use the Chinese and Russians as convenient foreign bogeymen to scare the people with?

Awkward economic figures, blame the Chinese.
Awkward diplomatic issues or you lost a vote, blame the Russians.

The problem with this is that our media then amplifies these attacks on China and Russia, they hear them, and they start to resent it and respond. And our future relations with two major world powers are made worse than they needed to be.

sarkany , 13 Dec 2016 20:13
A good article to counterbalance the reams of rubbish we are hearing in the US election post-mortem. Anyone who had neural activity should have known that when you steal the candidacy, you certainly won't get the votes. Clinton effectively handed the election to Trump by not having the humility, humanity and honesty to admit defeat by Benie Sanders.

He was not a perfect choice, but he could have been a candidate who was everything that Trump wasn't - uncorrupted, honest, and with a clearly thought out and principled agenda.

All Trump was facing was someone as entitled and establishment as he was,. but with less of what passes for 'the human touch' across the pond.

There's always the possibility of course, that the US establishment realised Clinton's blatant warmongering wasn't 'good for business'.

The Russians are no doubt aware that the US has to try and cut the Gordian knot - Washington cannot face down China and Russia at the same time; and the two countries are mutually supportive in the UN and are developing many economic projects together.

So maybe, they thought, we can get the Russkies 'on side', deal with China (ie. reduce it to a 'client state'/ turn it into an ashtray) - and then move on Russia and grab all those lovely resources freed up by global warming....

yohoot , 13 Dec 2016 20:12
Seems to me like the Clinton agenda of big oil, big banks and alot of lies won the WH. Hillary's big corporate donors are on Trumps transition team. Surely they didnt want her to win, since she adopted Sanders regulatory, tax the wealthy platform, hence Clinton was duped with marketing strategy which turned voters off, she was reduced to name calling over promotong policy...what did she represent? Only her campaign volunteers knew, her message to the public was "dont vote for Trump" which translates to, I could lose to him, vote for me!
Benjohn6379 , 13 Dec 2016 19:58
The Podesta emails confirmed what many people already suspected and knew of Hillary and her campaign. Those who were interested in reading them had to actually look for them, since MSM was not reporting on them. It's not as if an avid MSNBC or CNN watcher was going to be exposed.

So, if you were seeking them out, A: you probably already suspected those things and B: you weren't going to vote for Hillary to begin with.

It's hilarious how the major Left outlets (Washington Post) are now telling it's readers how Russia is to blame for people voting against Hillary due to the Podesta emails, when they didn't even report on the emails in the first place.

theshining , 13 Dec 2016 19:57
FINALLY sanity intrudes. For one article and one day. But hey , progress is progress. Trump will NOT be what you think him to be. He will be far better. He will still do things you don't like, but not REALLY bad things. :-)

There was no reason to vote for Clinton as the article says. She offered nothing except the entitlement of HER. It wasn't enough. Thank The Gods. EVERYTHING about the system all halfway decent people detest, is summed up in the figure of Hillary Clinton. And evidently (and I stand to be corrected) she didn't even have the stones not to melt down on election night and Podesta had to go out there and be a complete buffoon.

Trump might be an unknown but Clinton and her used up party were a complete known. Like Donald said, she had 'experience', but it was all BAD 'experience'. Trump might not fix the problems but at least he's going to try. Clinton didn't even see the problems.

Raleighchopper , 13 Dec 2016 19:48
-> Neoliberalism turned our world into a business. And there are two big winners
Fearmongering Donald Trump and optimistic Silicon Valley seem to epitomize opposing ideologies. But the two have far more in common than you think

Steady now Graun, 2 sensible articles in 1 day.

quasar9uk , 13 Dec 2016 19:48
it did her a really big favour because she was and still is in poor health and the stress of high office would have been fatal for her probably
quasar9uk -> kronfeld , 13 Dec 2016 22:20
she is a frail, withered old woman who needs to retire - def the wrong democrat choice, crazy -- Berni.S would have won if for them - he is far more sincere
Ken Kutner , 13 Dec 2016 19:48
Here is the key paragraph: "The displaced machinists... believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. But that was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance." Funny the author fails to notice that that describes to a T Trump's campaign, and actually his whole life. That description applies to Trump several orders of magnitude moreso than it applies to Hillary Clinton's life. If you think Trump is really interested in bringing jobs, especially good paying jobs back, you are willfully blind.
Prydain , 13 Dec 2016 19:43
"Putin didn't win this election for Trump. Hillary Clinton did"

Trump won, he played the game brilliantly to the rules (including the electoral college system), Clinton lost (you can't win it for the opposition, you can just lose, and the Democrats didn't put out their best hope) and Putin was irrelevant in terms of any interference (although maybe Trump voters would rather the US develop a better relationship with Russia, but that's down to Trump in playing that card).

SwansonDinner , 13 Dec 2016 19:39
This argument is as asinine as the one the author opposes. It was a collusion of events that led to this result, including the failure of both parties to adapt to an evolving economic and social climate over decades. The right wing hailing the collapse of liberalism as a result of decades of liberal mismanagement conveniently forget their own parties have held the reins for half that time, and failed just as miserably as the left....
HellisEmpty , 13 Dec 2016 19:38
It's quite bizarre to see "progressives" openly side with the military industrial complex, which is threatened by a president elect weary of more warfare.

It's to be expected from career politicians like McCain who is kicking and screaming, but it's shameful to see supposed liberally-minded people help spread the Red Scare storyline.

Aquarius9 , 13 Dec 2016 19:27
A good article Henwood.

The Democrats are in full blown tantrum mode, throwing teddies out of their pram and spitting dummies across the room, because their warmonger and deceitful candidate HRC, didn't win, that's why there has been all this bad news nonsense about Putin and/or Russia since last week.

Obama has behaved dreadfully, first he or his office gets one of its poodles namely MI6 to point the finger at Putin re cyberwar, which was swiftly followed by the International Olympic Committee looking at Russia for 2012 Olympic games, the elections in the US and the Democrats CIA coming out with unsubstantiated nonsense (funny how they never like, providing collaborative evidence - on this or anything that supposedly Russia has done) then there is Syria, and Obama and the Democrats were the cheerleader for regime change, because they have been out manoeuvred in that sphere. All of it in less than a week.

If Obama, the administration, and the CIA were smart they would have realised that a concerted effort to blame Putin / Russia would be seen for what it is - a liar and one of trying to discredit both the outcome of the US elections, the dislike of HRC, and her association with Wall St. - she raised more money for her campaign than Trump and Sanders put together (if the Democrats had chosen Sanders, then they would have stood a chance) and that their hawk would not be in a position to create WW111 - thank goodness. The Democrats deserved what they got.

ohforgoodnesssake -> PanYanPickle , 13 Dec 2016 19:35
This organ of the liberal media (no scare quotes required - it is socially liberal and economically neoliberal), along with many others, dogmatically supported Clinton against Sanders to the point of printing daily and ridiculous dishonesty, even going so far as to make out as if anyone who supports any form of wealth redistribution is a racist, sexist, whitesplaining dude-bro.
WitoldLutoslawski -> zootsuitbeatnick , 13 Dec 2016 19:14
The Wikileaks emails proved the votes were rigged against Sanders, it why Debbie W Shulz had to resign
Raleighchopper , 13 Dec 2016 18:59
Or more precisely the Superdelegates and the Democratic National Committee did. Her Goldman/Morgan Stanley speechs were in 2013 ffs, they all knew she had form and was 'viewed as an insider' as Obama put it in The New Yorker interview.
danubemonster , 13 Dec 2016 18:58
The election was close, and if one less thing had gone wrong for Hillary she would have won. However I think an important thing that lost her the election was identity politics. She patronized Afro-Americans and Hispanics, by tell them that because they are Trump-threatened minorities, they should vote for her. In the same vein, gays and women were supposed to vote for her. But what she was really telling these groups was that they should revel in their supposed victimhood, which was not a great message.
Stetson Meyers , 13 Dec 2016 18:45
Completely agreed! The onus for defeat belongs to the Democrat party leadership as well. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both understood where the momentum of the election was headed before anyone else did. The election was won and lost in the white blue collar Midwest. A place that decided that diet corporatism is decidedly worse than a populist right wing extremist.

No one here believed the ridiculous about-face Hillary pulled on the question of the TPP. I guarantee you Bernie would have cleaned Trump's clock in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and perhaps Ohio and Iowa.

ojeemabalzitch , 13 Dec 2016 18:36
"Our self-image as the world's greatest democracy...." Well, speaking for myself and plenty of other Americans, I never said anything like that about us. In fact, like a lot of people I wish we would stick to our own business, quit trying to be the world's cop, and cease meddling in other countries' affairs.

If we do that, then I could care less about our image or what the rest of the world thinks. Let some other country be the "leader of the Free World." Who died and left the US in charge, anyway? Not one war we have fought since WWII has been worth the price of one drop of American blood.

Steve Gustafson , 13 Dec 2016 18:31
Assuming that it really was the Russians who done it, I guess they had a better game plan than the Saudis. I consider the Russians to have done us a favor of sorts by exposing Hillary's secret Wall Street speeches and the machinations of the DNC. Her 'deplorables' comment was every bit as telling as Mitt Romney's '47%'. We really needed to know about her 'public versus private positions', even if it only confirmed what everybody already knew. I am not 100% sure the system made the worst choice in raising up Donald Trump.

And even so, if it takes four years of Trump to remove the people who thought Hillary was a good candidate from power in the Democratic Party, it may work out for the best in the long run. And if it takes four years of Trump to show the people who voted for Trump that Republican ideologues can only make their problems worse, so be it. It's mostly the hubris that amuses me at this point. They thought they were the pros. They had the money. They had the ground game. All they did wrong was to preselect and preordain a candidate nobody wanted.

Steve Gustafson -> Kevin Watson , 14 Dec 2016 04:13

abuses women, advances the cause of racism, attacks women's rights, is xenophobic

The American voters heard a steady stream of these arguments. Some may have simply ignored them. Others took them into consideration, but concluded that they wanted drastic change enough to put them aside. White women decided that Trump's comments, while distasteful, were things they'd heard before.

Reliance on the sanctity of racial and gender pieties was a mistake. Not everyone treats these subjects as the holiest of holies. The people who would be most swayed by those arguments never would have voted for Trump anyways.

Bronxite -> Kevin Watson , 14 Dec 2016 02:21
Colin Powell did not advise Clinton to do that, and even if he did she was a fool to take his advice when her boss Obama explicitly told her not to keep a private server. Colin Powell said Clinton destroys everything she touches with hubris. Seeing as how she destroyed the democrat "blue wall" and also had low turnout which hurt democrats down the ticket I agree.
Max von Berg , 13 Dec 2016 18:09
Zero evidence other than "he said, she said" regarding any involvement of Russian espionage agencies in the U.S. elections but the left, incredulous once the result didn't go their way, are now clinging to anything to divert attention from the issues that HRC ignored and Trump embraced.

All this hysteria about the USA and Russia finally working together than apart doesn't help either for it appears that the [neoliberal] lefties want a perpetual war rather than peace.

noteasilyfooled , 13 Dec 2016 18:01
The CIA being outraged about a foreign state intervening in an election is quite funny. They have intervened so many times, especially in Latin America, to install puppet regimes.

As for hacking... does anybody believe the CIA has never hacked anybody?

Anyway, had the emails not existed, there would have been nothing with which to help Trump. The Democrats have only themselves to blame. Bernie Sanders or ANY other candidate without the Clintons baggage could have done a better job f beating Trump. They wanted Hillary at all cost; they lost!

GuardianFodder -> noteasilyfooled , 13 Dec 2016 18:55
Christmas cracker joke for you;

Q: Why has there never been a coup in the US?

A: Because Washington doesn't have an American embassy....

[Dec 11, 2016] Something fishy about President Obama decision to investigate Russian influence of the recent Presidential elections

Notable quotes:
"... My perspective from across the ocean has always been that the McCarthy philosophy was the least admirable episode in recent US history. ..."
"... It's almost as if the West, or at least Western Elite circles who have strived to saturate the airways with Russia-the-bogey-man material since the year dot, can they, on the back of this one-sided propaganda machine, wheel-out blame directed towards Russia for .... well almost anything they desire. ..."
"... If only Barack Hussain Obama had not taken it upon his self to interfere in our referendum with his clear 'Back of the queue' threat, it may have been possible to not think he is a hypocrite. ..."
"... I suspect this is one last roll of the dice by the 'democrats' to keep Trump out of office. ..."
"... Obama is foolishly upping the ante, not on Putin, but on Trump. Trump's instinct will be to put a 10x hurt on Obama for this. Don't punk Trump. ..."
"... They are desperate to discredit the winner. It is as ineffective as any of his failed policies ..."
"... In other words, Obama admits he hasn't kept America secure versus 21st-century threats. ..."
"... Obama has said the intelligence agencies had the proof that Russia interfered with the election. With all their proof why order a review? Can't wait until Obama leaves office. ..."
"... what, is the USA the new Latin America, and Russia the new CIA ? forever meddling surreptitiously to undermine and overthrow other sovereign nation states democratic processes ? that's just so unfair ..."
"... It is a funny joke, but on the essence I would advise to read investigative report "The New Red Scare" in Harpers. The evidence of Russian government having anything to do with any hacks is literally non-existing. ..."
"... The US, heckler of the world for decades, stirring trouble wherever the dart falls, and yet Russian hackers and North Korean hookers are to blame for 99.9% of the worlds problems. Reality is, if the US didn't move past its own borders for 10 years the world would be already a much, much better place. ..."
"... The Guardian probably shouldn't go along in helping build the new McCarthyist, Cold War narrative, especially when it's just a bunch of US politicians and media figures repeating politically expedient, but factually unsupported claims. The Western media is trying to be Hearst Newspapers in the Spanish-American war. ..."
"... This is explicitly bad because it allows the suppression of dissent, of creating blacklists, the military industrial complex to further consolidate power, and to blame all sorts of domestic failures on shadowing foreign influence. ..."
"... But when Judith Miller, the NYT, George Bush and Hillary Clinton used fake news to kill hundreds of thousands, Obama told us to get over it, to "look forward and not backward." ..."
"... The United States has attempted to push its democratic ideologies on countries all over the world, using means much more direct than hacking. Yet they cannot take a fraction of what they dish out. If Russia is indeed intervening to aid nationalists around the world, then Russia is a friend and should be welcomed with open arms. Trump should do the same, and used the powers of the United States to undermine [neoliberal] leftists around the globe. ..."
Dec 11, 2016 | , discussion.theguardian.com
Mauryan , 9 Dec 2016 18:29
Interesting - Obama never ordered an independent probe into 9/11 or invasion of Iraq or on the Wall Street Collapse. Somehow Russian hacking seems to be more draconian than all the above.

And Russians somehow got into the brains of the disgruntled white population, and controlled Trump's brain so that he would be voted to power. Then they still control Trump's brain so much that he is wanting to let NATO countries pay for their security, make Japan, South Korea and everyone else where US maintains its bases to pay for themselves.

And then suddenly there is a news of a thousand Russian athletes doing well in 2012 London Olympics due to enhanced drugs. Until now, no one knew about this or heard about it.

It is not that I am supporting Russia all of a sudden. It is just that I am not supporting the attempt to create enemies out of thin air and make them monstrous as needed, while covering even more sinister schemes that need public attention.

Obama is part of the same system too that runs everything from behind the curtains. He still is a good man. But he has only some much room to function within and survive.

Karahashianders -> Mauryan , 9 Dec 2016 18:48
A good man is not capable of bombing 7 countries in 8 years' time. People are too naive to believe that someone could look as nice and sound as nice as Obama and push to advance the agenda of some of the most evil and power-hungry megalomaniacs on the planet.
Woodenarrow123 , 9 Dec 2016 18:28
It was Wikileaks that did it.

I don't know if the Russians provided Wikileaks with the actual emails or not but Wikileaks like so many news organisations before them released info obtained illegally that they thought the public had a right to know.

Now Assange has effectively been imprisoned in an Embassy in London for around 5 years on bogus charges and his reputation was damaged by the same charges - Obviously Obama does not want to give any credit to Assange and he knows he has played a part in this outrageous persecution.

This would also a could time to remind fellow commentators here about the Nuland - Pyatt conversation that was recorded by Russia and released. This conversation showed the the involvement of two high ranking US Politicians in the armed coup in Ukraine where an elected albeit corrupt leader was forced to flee the country.

200gnomes -> Woodenarrow123 , 9 Dec 2016 18:39
wikileaks did it because the MSM refuses to do it.
joeblow9999 , 9 Dec 2016 18:28
NOTHING in the DNC or Hilly campaign emails has been refuted by anyone. The corrupt DNC and Hilly got caught.

This is literally like a pedophile complaining to the police because someone stole their illegal porn. Absolutely shameful.

neighbor65003 , 9 Dec 2016 18:23
US intelligence? is this the same intelligent agency that gave us Iraq WMD report? They have no credibility
DaveCP , 9 Dec 2016 18:22
After reading the first two pages of comments here, it is tempting to believe the bear contributes to these forums on quite an organised scale.

I fail to see what possible fear anyone could have from whatever evidence exists being seen by, at least, those with a vested interest.

diddoit -> DaveCP , 9 Dec 2016 18:27

The period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by heightened political repression against supposed communists, as well as a campaign spreading fear of their influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents.

The third Red Scare? *clutches teddy bear*

Only one slight problem ...there aren't any reds in charge in Russia anymore.

diddoit -> DaveCP , 9 Dec 2016 18:38
My point being, there is no great ideological clash anymore. Assange volunteered the fact the email data didn't come from the Russians. And whether Trump is better than Hillary is open to debate.
DaveCP -> diddoit , 9 Dec 2016 18:42
My perspective from across the ocean has always been that the McCarthy philosophy was the least admirable episode in recent US history. I doubt many people want to return to that but surely, demonstrable evidence in either direction is the only antidote to accusations and conspiracy theories, and is needed now more than ever in this supposed 'post truth' era. Reply Share
thinkandleap1234 , 9 Dec 2016 18:22
I assume that Obama is being told to do this, and probably by the same people who backed the Clinton individual for POTUS. The American people must be exceedingly dumb if they fall for this rubbish.
jamese07uk , 9 Dec 2016 18:18
It's almost as if the West, or at least Western Elite circles who have strived to saturate the airways with Russia-the-bogey-man material since the year dot, can they, on the back of this one-sided propaganda machine, wheel-out blame directed towards Russia for .... well almost anything they desire.

Problem is, are the public still eating out of their hands!?

Brext and the Trump victory is suggesting - not all of us by a long way.

Boris66 , 9 Dec 2016 18:15
If only Barack Hussain Obama had not taken it upon his self to interfere in our referendum with his clear 'Back of the queue' threat, it may have been possible to not think he is a hypocrite.
john D , 9 Dec 2016 18:14
I was more worried about Soros and democracy NGOs then i was of russian hackers this election.
wtfbollos , 9 Dec 2016 18:13
what a joke, america has been 'interfering' (i.e. bombing and destroying) how many countries since 1945?? incredible hypocrisy and sickening double-standards.
IronBorn , 9 Dec 2016 18:13
War propoganda. Will the White Helmets be saving Russian civilians too? I suspect this is one last roll of the dice by the 'democrats' to keep Trump out of office.
sejong , 9 Dec 2016 18:09
Obama is foolishly upping the ante, not on Putin, but on Trump. Trump's instinct will be to put a 10x hurt on Obama for this. Don't punk Trump.
timolin , 9 Dec 2016 18:06
They are desperate to discredit the winner. It is as ineffective as any of his failed policies. He is completely useless.
AveAtqueCave , 9 Dec 2016 18:04
In other words, Obama admits he hasn't kept America secure versus 21st-century threats.
WoodenNickel , 9 Dec 2016 18:04
Obama has said the intelligence agencies had the proof that Russia interfered with the election. With all their proof why order a review? Can't wait until Obama leaves office.
Clotsworth , 9 Dec 2016 17:59
what, is the USA the new Latin America, and Russia the new CIA ? forever meddling surreptitiously to undermine and overthrow other sovereign nation states democratic processes ? that's just so unfair
smellycat , 9 Dec 2016 17:57
Oh dear. Russia causes regime change in America. What a laugh. What goes around comes around.
Max South -> smellycat , 9 Dec 2016 21:10
It is a funny joke, but on the essence I would advise to read investigative report "The New Red Scare" in Harpers. The evidence of Russian government having anything to do with any hacks is literally non-existing.
FMinus , 9 Dec 2016 17:57
The US, heckler of the world for decades, stirring trouble wherever the dart falls, and yet Russian hackers and North Korean hookers are to blame for 99.9% of the worlds problems. Reality is, if the US didn't move past its own borders for 10 years the world would be already a much, much better place.
IanB52 , 9 Dec 2016 17:57
The Guardian probably shouldn't go along in helping build the new McCarthyist, Cold War narrative, especially when it's just a bunch of US politicians and media figures repeating politically expedient, but factually unsupported claims. The Western media is trying to be Hearst Newspapers in the Spanish-American war.

This is explicitly bad because it allows the suppression of dissent, of creating blacklists, the military industrial complex to further consolidate power, and to blame all sorts of domestic failures on shadowing foreign influence. This is exactly what countries like Iran and North Korea do. Bravo guys, for keep this story going for almost half a year with no substantial proof whatsoever.

AveAtqueCave , 9 Dec 2016 17:55
But when Judith Miller, the NYT, George Bush and Hillary Clinton used fake news to kill hundreds of thousands, Obama told us to get over it, to "look forward and not backward." What a waste of 8 years.
Ginen , 9 Dec 2016 17:54
Obama's last exercise in futility.
hadeze242 -> Ginen , 9 Dec 2016 18:04
he suddenly discovered, 2-3 wks ago, that he was enthusiastic about space technology and exploration. He (that is his ghost writers) published a 1 p. article about his love of space. Fact is, first thing great-mind Obama did 8yrs ago is gut NASA's budget. He never mentioned space once in 8 yrs. Suddenly, he is a fan. Creepy ... how does he deal with his hypocritical self every morning?
ShoppingKingLouie , , 9 Dec 2016 17:53
Political theatre. He will be out of office before anyone will even be asked to take office.

Its hilarious that The Guardian tries to frame US Intelligence as a single cohesive unit. Its a splintered multi-headed hydra that will never act on this. Once again Obama brings righteous powerful leadership to the act of being ineffective.

Benjohn6379 , 9 Dec 2016 17:51
"Cold War 2: Tear Down This Firewall"

Starring:
Shirtless Putin
Legacy Obama
Hillary "I'm Not Trump" Clinton
Donald "OG Troll" Trump
Super Elite Genius Ninja Russian Hackers
The Poor Defenseless Victim DNC
John "Let's All Just Laugh at The Risotto Recipe and Not Pay Attention to any of my Other Emails" Podesta
80's synth "rock" and really bright neon clothing

And featuring: Lou Diamond Phillips as.....Guccifer 2.0

worryingmother -> Benjohn6379 , 9 Dec 2016 18:14
Like Rocky Horror, but more psycho. Where has Lou Diamond Phillips been, anyway.
calderonparalapaz , , 9 Dec 2016 17:45
News Media Reports of governments hacking foreign govts and private Companies:

CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/16/technology/nsa-hacking-tools-snowden /

Bloomberg News
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-05-23/how-the-u-dot-s-dot-government-hacks-the-world

Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/powerful-nsa-hacking-tools-have-been-revealed-online/2016/08/16/bce4f974-63c7-11e6-96c0-37533479f3f5_story.html?utm_term=.2ea1198b2a8b

The Intercept: The NSA would know about Russian Hacking
https://theintercept.com/2016/07/26/russian-intelligence-hack-dnc-nsa-know-snowden-says /

UK Gauardian
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/09/nsa-spying-brazil-oil-petrobras

RT News
https://www.rt.com/usa/us-hacking-exploits-millions-104 /

UK Mirror: hacking German Govt
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/angela-merkels-phone-hacked-american-2485433

Ryan Wei , 9 Dec 2016 17:45
The United States has attempted to push its democratic ideologies on countries all over the world, using means much more direct than hacking. Yet they cannot take a fraction of what they dish out. If Russia is indeed intervening to aid nationalists around the world, then Russia is a friend and should be welcomed with open arms. Trump should do the same, and used the powers of the United States to undermine [neoliberal] leftists around the globe.
John malkovich -> CrankyMac , 9 Dec 2016 19:49
No its by the letter actually. Libya, Yemen backed by US, Pakistan, Tunisia had some financial and military backing. Obama is the drone king. And Ukraine well have you heard of Victoria nuland before? Regime change in Ukraine cost the taxpayer 5 billion dollars

[Dec 11, 2016] Russia has always been the convenient whipping boy for the United States

Notable quotes:
"... Outrageous how the Russians interfered with the Koch brothers and Soros's electoral process... ..."
"... No one, not the government agencies, not those ominous private security firms, no one presented even a shred of evidence for any involvement of the Russian government. Not even some lackluster ambiguous data, it was all anecdotal stuff, 'confidence' and fluffy rhetoric. ..."
"... The McCarthy-esque paranoia spread by the Clinton campaign to deflect from the content of those emails took foothold it seems. ..."
"... If the evidence were to hand, actually existed, it would have been all over the front pages of the WaPo, NYT and other major news outlets, not just in the US but everywhere else too. Investigating this 'evidence' is, to borrow William Gibson's simile, "Like planning to assassinate a figure out of myth and legend". The usual 'national security considerations' which have been and will continue to be adduced, as reasons for not publishing the evidence is pure triple-distilled BS and pretty much everyone knows that it's BS. ..."
Dec 11, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
kropotkinsf , 9 Dec 2016 18:44
Russia has always been the convenient whipping boy for the United States. We manufactured the cold war because we needed an enemy to prop up our war economy. We built the Soviet Union into this monolithic bogey man, spoiling to crush the west, enemies of "freedom," in order to keep the west scared and pliant and in our pocket. After so-called communism collapsed, we found new enemies in the middle east but they lacked the staying power. So now it's back to Russia. Maybe the Russians did hack into the DNC. If so, they merely exposed the damning material. They didn't write it.
discreto , 9 Dec 2016 18:44
Oh boy the knives are out against Russia, first I read about the 2012 Olympics which even if it is true I would hold the British Olympic Committee responsible for the failure to find out about the doping at the time of the Games and not 4 years later. I have just read US, Obama is now pointing the finger at Russia for the outcome of the US Elections oh dear they are really scraping the barrell to look for someone to blame instead of finding out why their own people decided to vote for Trump. This is all typical American hyperbole and nonsense and a concerted effort on America's efforts to orchestrate the next War.
America is so way behind with any modern services, they apparently do not have their bank cards with pin or contactless as yet.
DogsLivesMatter -> discreto , 9 Dec 2016 18:49
Have you seen this documentary?
https://www.rt.com/shows/documentary/369619-drugs-sport-doping-scandal /
ShoppingKingLouie -> discreto , 9 Dec 2016 18:50
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/08/vladimir-putin-hillary-clinton-russia
Puro , 9 Dec 2016 18:43
Unlucky failed mainstream media lost all confidence of its readership and are now broke. What will they do next? ask for money saying that they're helping others whilst keeping most of it?
bishoppeter4 , 9 Dec 2016 18:41
The Russians are coming -- = The sky is falling -- It's the 1950s again.
ShoppingKingLouie , 9 Dec 2016 18:40
Yet The Guardian spews anti Trump hatred and propaganda everyday to a US audience and no one is investigating the UK for meddling.

Seems fishy.

MasonInNY -> ShoppingKingLouie , 9 Dec 2016 18:46
Why would the UK wish to meddle in a US election? Or France, Germany, Finland, or Italy? Russia, though... :)
ShoppingKingLouie -> MasonInNY , 9 Dec 2016 18:48
Why did the NSA spy on those very same countries?
Logicon , 9 Dec 2016 18:39
Outrageous how the Russians interfered with the Koch brothers and Soros's electoral process...
dongerdo , 9 Dec 2016 18:38
No one, not the government agencies, not those ominous private security firms, no one presented even a shred of evidence for any involvement of the Russian government. Not even some lackluster ambiguous data, it was all anecdotal stuff, 'confidence' and fluffy rhetoric.

But if it makes them happy....

The McCarthy-esque paranoia spread by the Clinton campaign to deflect from the content of those emails took foothold it seems.

mike muse , 9 Dec 2016 18:36
If the evidence were to hand, actually existed, it would have been all over the front pages of the WaPo, NYT and other major news outlets, not just in the US but everywhere else too. Investigating this 'evidence' is, to borrow William Gibson's simile, "Like planning to assassinate a figure out of myth and legend". The usual 'national security considerations' which have been and will continue to be adduced, as reasons for not publishing the evidence is pure triple-distilled BS and pretty much everyone knows that it's BS.
Jim Chaypull -> mike muse , 9 Dec 2016 19:32
Yeah sure, just like how it was 'all over the front pages' about what really happened on 9/11, who was really involved etc.

And don't give me any of that conspiracy theory, tin-foil hat bs either...unless you are able to be honest about this conspiracy: 19 or 20 strip-club lovin, don't-need-no-takeoff/landing-lessons jihadists used box-cutters to overpower jet air planes and with the-luck-of-the-century HIT NOT ONE....BUT TWO skyscrapers at the EXACT SPOT where the 47 concrete -steel inner columns were weak enough to cause 'pancaking' of the undamaged 60-90 UNDAMAGED FLOORS. Collapsing (and pulverizing concrete into dust) the building into itself.

And then weirdly enough a small cabal of PNAC signees who in writing had expressed that pax-americana was going to be 'difficult unless a pearl harbor like event happens' had almost as much Luck-of-the-century as the jihadists when......WA LA....into their lap.....a new pearl harbor.

suzie009 , 9 Dec 2016 18:36
Is it possible that if Bernie Sanders had been up against Trump he may have won??

That's the real question that needs addressing - together with why wasn't he chosen!

JuliusSqueezer -> suzie009 , 9 Dec 2016 18:41
He definitely would have won.
jmac55 , 9 Dec 2016 18:35
Nonsense!

Trying to blame one of the most flawed and undemocratic election process's in the Western hemisphere on the Russians is laughable to the point of hysteria.

The dumb-ed down bigoted electorate is a direct result of decades of a two party political system, backed up by a compliant media, that fosters mindless patriotism and ignorance rather than enlightenment and intelligent discussion on the problems facing the country.

Never have I seen a better example of your own dog biting you on the arse!

But Clinton lost the election because the Republicans realised she was certain to be the Democratic Presidential candidate fifteen years ago and they began their smear campaign against her right there and then, and a lot of it stuck.

When you add to that tens of thousands on the left like me who voted for her...but would not campaign for her because we didn't agree with her disastrous blunder in helping to overthrow Qaddafi in Libya ( a country that is now a feudal backwater) and her stated goals of regime change in Syria and all the while she had a domestic policy was cosying up to the bankers and Wall Street elites, whilst ignoring blue collar Americans without jobs and prospects for their future...the almost inevitable result is Trump as President of the United States.

'Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out!'

The US will get what it deserves...and it deserves Trump I'm afraid.

[Dec 11, 2016] Glencore stuns the oil-trading business with a deal to take a big stake in Rosneft

Dec 11, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
mrpukpuk, 9 Dec 2016 22:24
In the meanwhile: Glencore stuns the oil-trading business with a deal to take a big stake in Rosneft

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21711503-sanctions-are-not-impediment-they-were-expected-be-glencore-stuns-oil-trading

[Dec 05, 2016] The US grand strategy post-Bush was to reposition itself at the heart of a liberal economic system excluding China through TTIP with the EU and TPP with Asia-Pac ex. China and Russia. The idea was that this would enable the US to sustain its hegemony.

Notable quotes:
"... It has been an absolute failure. Brexit has torpedoed TTIP and TPP has limited value - the largest economy in the partnership, Japan, has been largely integrated in to the US for the past 70 years. ..."
"... IMO the biggest failure of the US has been hating Russia too much. The Russians have just as much reason to be afraid of China ..."
"... It's old Cold War thinking that has seen America lose its hegemony -- similar to how the British were so focused on stopping German ascendancy they didn't see the Americans coming with the knife. ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
Dante5 1d ago
The US grand strategy post-Bush was to reposition itself at the heart of a liberal economic system excluding China through TTIP with the EU and TPP with Asia-Pac ex. China and Russia. The idea was that this would enable the US to sustain its hegemony.

It has been an absolute failure. Brexit has torpedoed TTIP and TPP has limited value - the largest economy in the partnership, Japan, has been largely integrated in to the US for the past 70 years.

IMO the biggest failure of the US has been hating Russia too much. The Russians have just as much reason to be afraid of China as the US do and have a pretty capable army.

If the US patched things up with the Russians, firstly it could redeploy forces and military effort away from the Middle East towards Asia Pac and secondly it would give the US effective leverage over China -- with the majority of the oil producing nations aligned with the US, China would have difficulty in conducted a sustained conflict.

It's old Cold War thinking that has seen America lose its hegemony -- similar to how the British were so focused on stopping German ascendancy they didn't see the Americans coming with the knife.

[Dec 05, 2016] Trump campaign is a similar to Brexit crusade by grassroots activists against big banks and global political insiders . by those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised

Notable quotes:
"... Speaking to a local radio station before the joint rally, Farage urged Americans to "go out and fight" against Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... "I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny," Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. "If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We've just proved it." ..."
"... It's not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we've just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. ..."
Aug 24, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

...the British politician, who was invited by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, will draw parallels between what he sees as the inspirational story of Brexit and Trump's campaign. Farage will describe the Republican's campaign as a similar crusade by grassroots activists against "big banks and global political insiders" and how those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised can become involved in populist, rightwing politics. With Trump lagging in the polls, just as Brexit did prior to the vote on the referendum, Farage will also hearten supporters by insisting that they can prove pundits and oddsmakers wrong as well.

This message resonates with the Trump campaign's efforts to reach out to blue collar voters who have become disillusioned with American politics, while also adding a unique flair to Trump's never staid campaign rallies.

The event will mark the first meeting between Farage and Trump.

Arron Banks, the businessman who backed Leave.EU, the Brexit campaign group associated with the UK Independence party (Ukip), tweeted that he would be meeting Trump over dinner and was looking forward to Farage's speech.

The appointment last week of Stephen Bannon, former chairman of the Breitbart website, as "CEO" of Trump's campaign has seen the example of the Brexit vote, which Breitbart enthusiastically advocated, rise to the fore in Trump's campaign narrative.

Speaking to a local radio station before the joint rally, Farage urged Americans to "go out and fight" against Hillary Clinton.

"I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny," Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. "If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We've just proved it."

"I am being careful," he added when asked if he supported the controversial Republican nominee. "It's not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we've just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom."

[Dec 04, 2016] Is liberalism really to blame for Britains (and Americas) ills?

The soft neoliberalism (or The Third Way) promoted by Clinton and Blair now is replaced with a splash of far right nationalism. the level of anger in the bottom 99% and a refusal to accept the lies and propaganda by the top 1% created a crisis of legitimacy for neoliberal elite. Moreover, right years of king of "bait and switch" Obama with his typical for neoliberals unconditional love for financial elites has revealed that change can be delivered only through radical means...
Notable quotes:
"... Of course in the age of inverted reality, spin and obfuscation, the true nature of [neo]iberals is quite the reverse. Just like the fabians they seek to divert attention from their real goals by describing themselves as mirror opposites. ..."
"... The [neo]liberal elite is nothing of the sort, they seek to control, manipulate and suppress everything which doesn't fit their hidden purpose, which is to promote the flat earth globalisation of the debt pyramid on behalf of the banking cartel and the likes of the Rothschild's. ..."
"... They are despicable creatures, full to the brim with breath-taking hypocrisy, happy to claim faux indignation over widening inequality and falling living standards while they promote the pyramid scheme of debts which causes it. They may dream of a world government with socialism for the masses and largesse for the elites, but as sure as the sun rises in the east, such concentration of power, wielded by those least suitable to hold it, would create an authoritarian tyranny like seen before. ..."
"... Essentially, Third Way liberalism as practised by Clinton and Blair, but even more so by those who followed them (Clinton and Blair were, let's not forget, populists of a sort), is predicated on the belief that you can fashion a winning mandate to govern by appealing to a consensus among middle class professionals, the liberal rich, and what they saw as a new, unideological class of 21st century workers - the socially liberal, politically apathetic, precariously situated masses who hover somewhere between traditional working class and educated middle. ..."
"... They did this by appealing to issues of social identity while reinforcing the economics of the right-wing neoliberal ushered in by Thatcher and Reagan. They were, at the same time, losing working class votes - but their analysis of the economics told them that the (in a Marxist sense) working class was an endangered species. ..."
"... 2008 exploded this fiction but its architects remain wedded to the cause. They personally enriched themselves by opening-up traditionally popular parties to the donations and interests of corporate capitalism. Look beyond Blair and the Clintons and you will see hundreds of centre-left politicians growing fat on an endless stream of corporate money: Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, DWS, Howard Dean (in the US), Ben Bradshaw, Chris Byrne, Alastair Campbell, Jack Straw (in the UK) ..."
"... Deregulated capitalism tends to monopolies and the rise of a rentier class epitomised on Wall Street and property speculators like Donald Trump. ..."
"... Global capitalism pits workers against workers in an endless spiral of wage deflation and this fosters divisions between those whose class interests are, in fact, the same. The alienation that is an intimate part of capitalist production ..."
"... Marx also made a distinctive between productive and fictitious capital - share prices, derivatives and other financial instruments, arbitrage and all the other heinous arsenal of second-order exploitation. Neoliberalism has delivered productive capital into the arms of fictitious capital and ushered us into a world governed by nobody so much as orchestrated according to the graph-lines of the global stock markets. It has turned the spectacle from social relations mediates by images into the beating heart of how, where and why wealth moves the way that it does. The unreality has seeped into every aspect of lived experience. ..."
"... I am less despondent then I was under Obama and his smooth delivery of a hope and change always deferred. ..."
"... Or Hillary Clinton and her revolution of upper-class women with their own specific class interests. There is organising taking place right now and making demands that this system will not satisfy - because it is designed to do the exact opposite. ..."
"... I would rather speak with an alt-right troll than a liberal because one is searching for answers in the wrong place where the other glibly renders apologies for the system from which they seek to profit at the expense of those to whom they offer nothing but false sympathy. ..."
"... There is a mobilisation of anger and a refusal to accept the fictions spun by the ruling class that can potentially be harnessed for permanent change - and, moreover, 8 years of Obama and his pathological love for financial elites has revealed that radical change can be delivered only through radical means. ..."
"... But as others have said really we mean neoliberalism, not liberalism. Liberalism and capitalism are not the same thing and cant be used interchangeably, liberalism is a set of beliefs and capitalism is a set of practices which are sometimes at odds with one another. On the other hand, neoliberalism as a set of beliefs explicitly accepts the hegemony of capital and the expansion of the market economy into all areas of society and life. ..."
"... the reformist and incrementalist view of a progressive social democracy that balances state and market for the betterment of all is con. ..."
"... I don't think that Trump and Brexit mark an epochal shift; I think they are signs of disintegration. The more significant (though still not epochal!) moment was the 2008 financial crisis - and the complete failure of the political elites of Europe and America to address its fallout. This, by the way, was also far from the unforeseeable calamity that it was characterised as being in many sections of the media. Many economists and political analysts had discussed deregulation and unsustainable debt in terms of future crises; it wasn't prophesy, but a basic understanding of how unrestricted market capitalism (especially when reliant on the vicissitudes of shares/bonds/derivatives) operates. ..."
"... More broadly, I agree with you - history is not some untroubled march of the working class to freedom (alas!) It is contingent, messy and unexpected. We have agency - and we have to use it (another thing I believe has been reignited in the last 8 years). One of many ironies of the present situation is that neoliberal politicians believed that the educated precariat they were helping to create would be unideological, politically apathetic consumers - and yet it is the young who are returning the repressed in the form of unrest, economic demands, and the re-introduction of class into political discourse. ..."
"... Okay though, back to reality! That, I concede, is a very American and European perspective that does not take into account the global developments in Asia, Africa or Latin America. I actually lived in China for a while as a young man, and it struck me at the time that the society offered a possible, if bleak, template for the future - a technocratic, one-party state in which people trusted them to deliver the right decisions through a central bureaucracy but with consumer freedoms sufficient to forestall unrest. This is, perhaps, an alternative to the dissent and potentially unrest I have described - and what makes the latter imperative...? ..."
"... Oh, and what you wrote about waste is very interesting. I certainly agree that it, "efficiency" (usually code for cuts and/or transfer from public to private stewardship), are over-fetishised. In fact, ridiculously so. The waste of most governments is staggering and yet they attack only certain areas. What America squanders on its military is the most obvious of examples - or its increasingly repressive police. ..."
"... The point with Trump - and Brexit too - is not so much what it means to the man himself (or Brexit-profiteers like Boris Johnson) but how his victory gets brandished to confer legitimacy and political cover for a newly emboldened syndicate of zealously right-wing politicians and the corporate interests they represent (especially in America, where the majority of Congressional Republicans are little better than local union bosses who have been installed by the Mafia to carry their water and hold their places to exclude anyone else attaining any uncorrupted power or autonomous control). ..."
"... We are seeing this happen right now as Trump fashions his administration - there are a lot of lobbyists, reactionary financiers, neoconservative mavens, embittered figures from the intelligence community, and evangelical culture warriors suddenly footloose and demob happy after 8 years of Barack Obama and his patented brand of Fidel-loving, radical Chicago organising, spectacularly lukewarm but yet (according to Fox) apocalyptically awful, anti-American, Socialist Revolution. ..."
"... Much of the above will be familiar from Bush files - a man who was seldom happier than when sunk into his Lay-Z-Boy learning how to eat pretzels safely from Barney, his Scottish Terrier. His main role was to show up when required and gurn for the cameras, narrow his peepers and regurgitate what the teleprompter feeds him, before signing the executive orders dreamt up by his dream-team of vampyric, far-right champions of such American glories as the Vietnam War, Watergate, Iran/Contra, and more Latin American coup d'etats than even Henry Kissinger could shake his razor-studded cudgel at. ..."
"... The fact is that Trump cares about victory and basking in the light of his own self-proclaimed greatness – and now he's won. I doubt he cares nearly as much about mastering the levers of government or pursuing some overarching vision as he does about preening himself in his new role as the Winner of the World's Greatest Ever Reality TV Show. He may have thrown red meat to the crowds with the gun-toting, abortion-hating campaign rhetoric, but that is the base for every contemporary Republican's bill of fare. I don't believe he gives a tinker's cuss about those issues or any of the other poisons that constitute their arsenal of cultural pesticides. ..."
"... Like all rich people, he wants to pay as little tax as possible without breaking the law (or at least breaking it outrageously enough to attract the notice of the perennially over-worked, under-resourced IRS). ..."
"... And finally, like most rich people, he refuses to accept that governments can or should regulate transactions or industries in ways that may even slightly inhibit their unbound, irrepressible pursuit of their self-interests and unquenchable desire for more, more and yet again more. ..."
"... These basic right-wing tenets, of course, all easily translate into concrete policy - that's what the Republicans do best. ..."
"... But beyond that, there is the small matter of the world's most highly evolved and comprehensive system of state surveillance and repression - a confluence of agencies, technologies, paranoia and class war that was embraced and embellished by Obama from the moment he brought his glacial approach to change to the highest office in the land – indeed, he showed that he was quite comfortable signing off on historic erosions of constitutional freedoms provided it was endorsed by his ever-responsible friends in Langley and The Pentagon. ..."
"... So while Trump and his administration may in many ways resemble the familiar class warriors of Republican presidencies past, albeit with added evangelical vim, viciousness and vapidity courtesy of Mike Pence, let's not forget that his frequently displayed authoritarianism will have ample opportunity to be both stress-tested and to revenge itself on a plethora of opponents. ..."
"... The point, really, is to move beyond the office of the President, which is always absurdly fetishised in American politics to the detriment of scrutiny that should be directed elsewhere - at his team, his cabinet, his appointments, and his place in the web of Congressional Republicans, lobbyists and corporate money – the nexus of interests that really dictates policies and determined which political battles get fought aggressively, which cast aside. ..."
"... People will not see a new dawn, but the delirious rush to expand those chaotic, inhumane, amoral, and utterly unaccountable market forces that have already seeped far too deep into the already grotty political system. Trump is only a piece of this large and ugly tapestry – a figurehead for an army of cultural and social vandals serving alongside economic thieves and assassins. These are, moreover, the experts in how to instrumentalise economic inequality to serve the very politicians responsible for fostering the inequality in the first place and those most wedded to beliefs capable only of making matters worse for all but themselves and their donor-owners. ..."
"... But let's not be lulled by the familiarity of parts of this story. Familiar from Reagan and Bush Jnr, as well as Clinton and Obama (albeit with a more fulgent presentation and the skilled performance of sympathy to sugar the pill). ..."
"... [Neo]Liberalism is an ideology, it has many variations and even definitions for people. Arrogance, superiority, disdain, refusal to engage etc. A moral certainty more in line with doctrinal religion. ..."
"... The first question to ask is why these right wing commentators are attacking liberalism . Is it because they want a better society in which everyone gets a chance of a decent life ? Do they actually care about the people they claim to speak for - they people right at the bottom of the social scale ? ..."
"... The answer , of course, is no. They see attacking liberalism as a means of defending their own privileges which they believe liberalism and the gradual progress of recent years towards a more equal society have undermined. ..."
"... Since they are basically conning the underprivileged and cannot deliver what they promise the right will find itself driven to even more extremes of bigotry and deceit to maintain its position. The prospect is terrifying. ..."
Nov 18, 2016 | www.theguardian.com


MintonVase33 3d ago

Of course in the age of inverted reality, spin and obfuscation, the true nature of [neo]iberals is quite the reverse. Just like the fabians they seek to divert attention from their real goals by describing themselves as mirror opposites.

The [neo]liberal elite is nothing of the sort, they seek to control, manipulate and suppress everything which doesn't fit their hidden purpose, which is to promote the flat earth globalisation of the debt pyramid on behalf of the banking cartel and the likes of the Rothschild's.

They are despicable creatures, full to the brim with breath-taking hypocrisy, happy to claim faux indignation over widening inequality and falling living standards while they promote the pyramid scheme of debts which causes it. They may dream of a world government with socialism for the masses and largesse for the elites, but as sure as the sun rises in the east, such concentration of power, wielded by those least suitable to hold it, would create an authoritarian tyranny like seen before. Power in all forms should be spread into as many hands as possible, monopolies are always bad yet, once again, the illiberal's love a monopoly because they're not what they seem.

tempestteacup 1d ago Guardian Pick

...You certainly have a point that the experiences in the UK and the US are different for lots of reasons - historic alignments of the major parties, political corruption, and the different points where class, race, gender and geographical location intersect - but the latter-day form of liberalism tried - and failed - to do the same thing in both countries.

Essentially, Third Way liberalism as practised by Clinton and Blair, but even more so by those who followed them (Clinton and Blair were, let's not forget, populists of a sort), is predicated on the belief that you can fashion a winning mandate to govern by appealing to a consensus among middle class professionals, the liberal rich, and what they saw as a new, unideological class of 21st century workers - the socially liberal, politically apathetic, precariously situated masses who hover somewhere between traditional working class and educated middle.

They did this by appealing to issues of social identity while reinforcing the economics of the right-wing neoliberal ushered in by Thatcher and Reagan. They were, at the same time, losing working class votes - but their analysis of the economics told them that the (in a Marxist sense) working class was an endangered species. The Republicans in America willingly played into this fantastical analysis by engaging in the culture wars - politically useful but also economically necessary as a distraction from the growing cross-party consensus on how to enshrine, extend and improve the means of capitalist exploitation through deregulation and debt.

2008 exploded this fiction but its architects remain wedded to the cause. They personally enriched themselves by opening-up traditionally popular parties to the donations and interests of corporate capitalism. Look beyond Blair and the Clintons and you will see hundreds of centre-left politicians growing fat on an endless stream of corporate money: Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, DWS, Howard Dean (in the US), Ben Bradshaw, Chris Byrne, Alastair Campbell, Jack Straw (in the UK) .

Evolutions and developments require always refreshed analysis but the basic principles by which we subject those developments to our analysis remain fundamentally the same: capitalism is a system by which wealth is transferred from the workers to those owning the means of production. Deregulated capitalism tends to monopolies and the rise of a rentier class epitomised on Wall Street and property speculators like Donald Trump.

Global capitalism pits workers against workers in an endless spiral of wage deflation and this fosters divisions between those whose class interests are, in fact, the same. The alienation that is an intimate part of capitalist production is carried over into the social relations between workers and can only be short-circuited by acts of radical organising - revolution begins with a question that the system cannot answer and ends with a demand that refuses to be denied.

Marx also made a distinctive between productive and fictitious capital - share prices, derivatives and other financial instruments, arbitrage and all the other heinous arsenal of second-order exploitation. Neoliberalism has delivered productive capital into the arms of fictitious capital and ushered us into a world governed by nobody so much as orchestrated according to the graph-lines of the global stock markets. It has turned the spectacle from social relations mediates by images into the beating heart of how, where and why wealth moves the way that it does. The unreality has seeped into every aspect of lived experience.

And yet, strangely, I am less despondent then I was under Obama and his smooth delivery of a hope and change always deferred.

Or Hillary Clinton and her revolution of upper-class women with their own specific class interests. There is organising taking place right now and making demands that this system will not satisfy - because it is designed to do the exact opposite.

I would rather speak with an alt-right troll than a liberal because one is searching for answers in the wrong place where the other glibly renders apologies for the system from which they seek to profit at the expense of those to whom they offer nothing but false sympathy.

There is a mobilisation of anger and a refusal to accept the fictions spun by the ruling class that can potentially be harnessed for permanent change - and, moreover, 8 years of Obama and his pathological love for financial elites has revealed that radical change can be delivered only through radical means.

joropofever -> tempestteacup 2d ago

I would agree about this idea of a vacuum being created by the political class but really I think the political turmoil is a reflection of the economic inequality, economics shaping the political. But as others have said really we mean neoliberalism, not liberalism. Liberalism and capitalism are not the same thing and cant be used interchangeably, liberalism is a set of beliefs and capitalism is a set of practices which are sometimes at odds with one another. On the other hand, neoliberalism as a set of beliefs explicitly accepts the hegemony of capital and the expansion of the market economy into all areas of society and life.

I think what you are saying (correct me if wrong) is that the reformist and incrementalist view of a progressive social democracy that balances state and market for the betterment of all is con. Marxists said this view would result in the state becoming a conduit for the accumulation of power in the hands of capital and the gradual destruction of welfare and social institutions, and they were right.

My question is then though is how do you achieve this transformation (though I don't know what you would think best) without running the risk of a right-wing and nationalist hijack? History is littered with cases where well intended left-wing revolutions and social movements helped sow the seeds for later horrors. As you say, the prognosis and world view of the radical left and the alt-right are not miles apart.

tempestteacup -> joropofever 2d ago

More excellent and pertinent questions!

I don't think that Trump and Brexit mark an epochal shift; I think they are signs of disintegration. The more significant (though still not epochal!) moment was the 2008 financial crisis - and the complete failure of the political elites of Europe and America to address its fallout. This, by the way, was also far from the unforeseeable calamity that it was characterised as being in many sections of the media. Many economists and political analysts had discussed deregulation and unsustainable debt in terms of future crises; it wasn't prophesy, but a basic understanding of how unrestricted market capitalism (especially when reliant on the vicissitudes of shares/bonds/derivatives) operates.

And I don't accept that this is an anglocentric point of view. There are crises across Europe, although none have as yet had quite the before/after drama of the Brexit and presidential votes. In France, the Front National are basically the second party. In Italy, the chaotic 5 Star Movement are on the verge of toppling the prime minister and making gains elsewhere. In Hungary, Fidesz and the borderline neo-fascist Jobbik dominate political discourse, as the Law and Justice party have come to do in Poland. Even in Scandinavia, the Danish People's Party and True Finns have made significant, even decisive, inroads on political discourse.

Commentators are fond of saying that the left-right divide has been scrambled. Doubtless they would cite some of these as examples - many of the European nationalist parties I have mentioned are in favour of strong welfare protections, and use race, country of origin, religion or ethnicity as a dividing line. To me this does not signify the same thing - the Nazis were called National Socialists for a reason, and while the purges of the 30s and the war brought the anti-semitic mass murderers into the ascendancy, there were many founder-members like Strasser and Rohm who were essentially socialists with a racial or nationalist element.

But look, you're right - the events of 2016 are, as we speak, being interpreted, exploited and spun to the benefit of the prevailing conditions. One would expect no different - it's why I was not surprised that the Tory bloodletting post-Brexit gave way to such a painless transition, just as it appears to be doing in America under President-elect Trump. It's what the ruling class do - protect their interests. What I believe has happened is that there is now a rupture within the left (in its broadest sense) and that rupture is defined by those who believe economic change will deliver social justice on the one hand and those who believe in cosmetic changes without challenging the economic system.

More broadly, I agree with you - history is not some untroubled march of the working class to freedom (alas!) It is contingent, messy and unexpected. We have agency - and we have to use it (another thing I believe has been reignited in the last 8 years). One of many ironies of the present situation is that neoliberal politicians believed that the educated precariat they were helping to create would be unideological, politically apathetic consumers - and yet it is the young who are returning the repressed in the form of unrest, economic demands, and the re-introduction of class into political discourse.

If I may be allowed to spit-ball for a moment, this is, to my mind, a pivotal moment in history. Those of us adults but under 40 are the last vestiges of the 20th century and its traditions of dissent, revolt and counterculture. We are, so to speak, the children of the 1960s. And those from the 1960s are still here - there is a living link, and in revolutionary terms, such things matter. In a period where we could potentially prevent catastrophic, irreversible climate change, there is no more time. It is imperative that we make our stand now, with those who lived through the last revolutionary period in the west, to keep that flame of revolt alive - or, better yet, to stoke it into a pyre. Because without those signal historical developments, those noble challenges, the flame dies down and is covered in ashes....

Okay though, back to reality! That, I concede, is a very American and European perspective that does not take into account the global developments in Asia, Africa or Latin America. I actually lived in China for a while as a young man, and it struck me at the time that the society offered a possible, if bleak, template for the future - a technocratic, one-party state in which people trusted them to deliver the right decisions through a central bureaucracy but with consumer freedoms sufficient to forestall unrest. This is, perhaps, an alternative to the dissent and potentially unrest I have described - and what makes the latter imperative...?

tempestteacup -> joropofever 2d ago

Oh, and what you wrote about waste is very interesting. I certainly agree that it, "efficiency" (usually code for cuts and/or transfer from public to private stewardship), are over-fetishised. In fact, ridiculously so. The waste of most governments is staggering and yet they attack only certain areas. What America squanders on its military is the most obvious of examples - or its increasingly repressive police.

I was more concerned, though, with the general sustainability of a system where decisions are made by criteria other than profit/loss, demand/supply. You're right about direct democracy (it's been ages since I've read Raymond Williams so I'm glad you reminded me to do so again!) - but how does that work when it comes to resources that have to be shared over large areas? Is it possible to build, step by step, a democratic structure of shared ownership that is both responsive to individual communities and responsible in its disposition of resources on the basis of needs rather than profits?

tempestteacup -> ForgetThePolitics 1d ago

Sorry but I can't agree with that. Popular in terms of electoral success and populist in terms of generating fervid support through direct, emotionally charged appeals to your audience's most passionately held interests, fears or aspirations while adopting their language and mobilising their energy, are two very different things. Obama was popular but not, it turned out, a populist – despite the narrative of his early presidency, inflected as it still was with the delirious, joyous cheers the followed his rhetorically rich but studiously vague Yes We Can barnburner (of sorts).

The point with Trump - and Brexit too - is not so much what it means to the man himself (or Brexit-profiteers like Boris Johnson) but how his victory gets brandished to confer legitimacy and political cover for a newly emboldened syndicate of zealously right-wing politicians and the corporate interests they represent (especially in America, where the majority of Congressional Republicans are little better than local union bosses who have been installed by the Mafia to carry their water and hold their places to exclude anyone else attaining any uncorrupted power or autonomous control).

We are seeing this happen right now as Trump fashions his administration - there are a lot of lobbyists, reactionary financiers, neoconservative mavens, embittered figures from the intelligence community, and evangelical culture warriors suddenly footloose and demob happy after 8 years of Barack Obama and his patented brand of Fidel-loving, radical Chicago organising, spectacularly lukewarm but yet (according to Fox) apocalyptically awful, anti-American, Socialist Revolution.

There are legions of pissed off, fired up kingpins from the fossil fuel industry already itching to fire up the federal shredders fired up and set loose in the EPA. There are batallions of combat-ready, obscenely wealthy people and dynasties for whom there is no such thing as too much, and who are salivating just as they imagine the glorious bonfire of taxes that their Republican lackeys have a chance to build and dance around in one of their pagan rituals of money worship and rapacity as a fetish of a heavenly future. And they can build it on the floor of a Congress they also dominate, before embarking on a mission to extend their current gains during the 2018 mid-terms, when several precariously held Democratic Senate seats in otherwise Trump-friendly states will be up for re-election.

Much of the above will be familiar from Bush files - a man who was seldom happier than when sunk into his Lay-Z-Boy learning how to eat pretzels safely from Barney, his Scottish Terrier. His main role was to show up when required and gurn for the cameras, narrow his peepers and regurgitate what the teleprompter feeds him, before signing the executive orders dreamt up by his dream-team of vampyric, far-right champions of such American glories as the Vietnam War, Watergate, Iran/Contra, and more Latin American coup d'etats than even Henry Kissinger could shake his razor-studded cudgel at. It was their interests, energies, vendettas and connections that provided the real substance for a presidency characterised above all by the elevation of anti-intellectualism to the level of essential and authentic patriotic performance (preparing ground now bulldozed across by a Trump-shaped figure reveling in the sheer winningness of it all).

The fact is that Trump cares about victory and basking in the light of his own self-proclaimed greatness – and now he's won. I doubt he cares nearly as much about mastering the levers of government or pursuing some overarching vision as he does about preening himself in his new role as the Winner of the World's Greatest Ever Reality TV Show. He may have thrown red meat to the crowds with the gun-toting, abortion-hating campaign rhetoric, but that is the base for every contemporary Republican's bill of fare. I don't believe he gives a tinker's cuss about those issues or any of the other poisons that constitute their arsenal of cultural pesticides.

Like all rich people, he wants to pay as little tax as possible without breaking the law (or at least breaking it outrageously enough to attract the notice of the perennially over-worked, under-resourced IRS). Like many rich people, he believes that his wealth is objective and irrefutable proof of his personal excellence; that this proves how America is truly a land of opportunity, where hard work, innovation and good old moxie can transform any Joe Schlubb on Main Street into a millionaire princeling of the Upper West Side - thus demonstrating that social investment in education or spending to address issues like systemic discrimination is just throwing money at life's losers.

tempestteacup -> ForgetThePolitics 1d ago

And finally, like most rich people, he refuses to accept that governments can or should regulate transactions or industries in ways that may even slightly inhibit their unbound, irrepressible pursuit of their self-interests and unquenchable desire for more, more and yet again more.

These basic right-wing tenets, of course, all easily translate into concrete policy - that's what the Republicans do best. It is what should be expected.

But beyond that, there is the small matter of the world's most highly evolved and comprehensive system of state surveillance and repression - a confluence of agencies, technologies, paranoia and class war that was embraced and embellished by Obama from the moment he brought his glacial approach to change to the highest office in the land – indeed, he showed that he was quite comfortable signing off on historic erosions of constitutional freedoms provided it was endorsed by his ever-responsible friends in Langley and The Pentagon.

If, as would be unsurprising, public unrest spreads and civil disobedience intensifies while Trump begin work on the familiar Republican transfer of wealth, with Black Lives Matter hardening their resistance and resolve in the face of police brutalities now able to justify themselves in terms of sympathetic views espoused by the incoming President himself; with white working class voters realising that their interests have been, were always going to be, betrayed; with environmental activists mobilised in deadly earnest and in a desperate effort to push back against potentially catastrophic energy and industrial policies that imperil everyone's future; as young people schooled in the Bernie campaign seek to organise and resist the excesses of a Trump presidency that few accept as legitimately representative of them or their lives, and as the despair of the country increases under a divisive, duplicitous and avaricious administration soaked in the very corruption it was such a winning strategy to declaim - well, then Trump has at his fingers the shiniest forms of repression that money and 21st century technology can provide: blanket surveillance online and in the streets, habeas corpus perilously undermined by legislation like the NDAA, hyper-militarised police forces trained in the use of obscenely excessive force, obscenely high sentences imposed by one of the army of judges perversely satisfied by every extreme species of punitive justice at their fingertips, along with prosecutors who consider the multi-year deprivation of freedom in a brutalising prison system as a badge of professional honour, all the while dreaming up criminal indictments that are so overzealous they look for felonies to charge the felonies with. Many warned that the step-by-step construction of this multi-layered, barely controllable system (to complement the steady erosion of civil liberties and constitutional rights) betrayed a potentially disastrous lack of foresight. It would not always rest in the command of people unwilling to test its full extent, and once you have created such possibilities in law, in storage rooms of equipment, in training drills and operating manuals, it is only a matter of time before they will be invoked in reality (and seldom in the exact ways they were originally intended or designed).

tempestteacup -> ForgetThePolitics 1d ago

So while Trump and his administration may in many ways resemble the familiar class warriors of Republican presidencies past, albeit with added evangelical vim, viciousness and vapidity courtesy of Mike Pence, let's not forget that his frequently displayed authoritarianism will have ample opportunity to be both stress-tested and to revenge itself on a plethora of opponents. Add in the fact that the Republicans have achieved an unexpected, clean sweep of Congress, as well as holding an unprecedented number of governorships. They can act from a position of unparalleled strength, and as a strength that came unexpectedly one should not be surprised if they start wielding it recklessly. They can do so, also, after 8 years of stultification and political paralysis, placed under restraints in order the more effectively to effectively perform their new definition of Congressional work: obstruct everything the President attempts to do. They only receive the occasional fun day-out to the Benghazi hearings or when they could play find the gavel during the 2013 sequester.

So I would expect a lot of pent-up resentment, plenty of lunatic ideas and plenty of hubris that sees no problem in airing them as if they were the wisdom of Solomon. Their opposition is disastrously enfeebled after years of poor candidates being selected on the basis of their ability to toe the corporate line rather than define and then achieve political goals. There is a chance here, in other words and before demographic changes make future Republican presidential victories more remote, to pursue their most cherished, most ideological, most shameless, lunatic, idiotic, corrupt, destructive and irresponsible policies. Trump's bulbous slab of torso-meat, congenitally bound to seek and fill every available limelight, can provide cover as they rip up every regulation they see lying around or pretend to have read, slash taxes for themselves, their families, friends, and all those fine citizens who fund their political cesspool, all the while having fun with whichever civil liberty or egalitarian policy that catches their eye or makes them feel confused, perhaps inadequate, with their nasty, un-American regard for systemic injustice and the imperative to address historic wrongs.

Fresh from one of their favoured think-tanks, where charmed minds devote themselves to the rigorous and sober analysis, the scholarly investigation of such pressing national issues as: the best way to enjoy your money is to keep it, why the poor have only themselves to blame, and freedom is whatever we say it is, vulpine Republican advisers can sink their teeth into racial equality, voting rights, affirmative action, abortion rights, and whatever else Mike Pence and friends have decided does not represent their crushingly reactionary, mind-numbingly mediocre vision of an America without charm and sunk grotesquely in self-love, with anti-intellectualism as a core principle and, in the end, frightened of anything that diverges from a template of respectability designed by someone who seemingly loathes the entire human race.

None of this, however, justifies the orgy of visions competing to describe the most apocalyptic America, commentators outdoing each other in op-ed after op-ed as they spin stories from the most terrifying speculations or possible scenarios. I'm simply pointing out that it is not that difficult to foresee the direction Trump's presidency will travel - or to point out where and how things could become very nasty. The point, really, is to move beyond the office of the President, which is always absurdly fetishised in American politics to the detriment of scrutiny that should be directed elsewhere - at his team, his cabinet, his appointments, and his place in the web of Congressional Republicans, lobbyists and corporate money – the nexus of interests that really dictates policies and determined which political battles get fought aggressively, which cast aside.

The truth so far is about as desolate as one would expect – made that little bit worse by the continued (maybe permanent?) state of delusion and the feeble platitudes dribbling out of the by-now-almost-unsalvageable Congressional Democratic Wurlitzer of Wisdom, scarcely enough to drowned the noise of meretricious minds whirring as they look for solutions to the only question that really matters: how to continue mainlining the corporate donor money-dope while at the same time presenting an appearance of interest in the left-wing changes championed by progressive Democrats like Bernie sufficient to placate the latter along with their irritatingly rambunctious supporters.

tempestteacup -> ForgetThePolitics 1d ago

Ok, crazy - this is like a nightmare of my own making. So long! But must finished now I've started........


Blimey, this got long - apologies. Let me offer the reader's digest, abbreviated version: Trump and his court have thus far confirmed what was fairly obvious - that he and his new Congressional play-mates are already pawing the ground in anticipation of the approaching adventure into their favourite land: the magical kingdom of inexhaustible tax cuts, where every regulation can be tossed on the fire, where protections come to you to be gutted and the public finances positively cry out to be finagled in a giant cabaret that they can dedicate, as is their wont, to their feared yet beloved corporate masters. They can demonstrate to their heart's content their enduring fealty to the donor-class who bestride the nation like benevolent princes, they can lavish on them a horn of plenty overflowing with gifts, endowments, contracts, pourboires, fortunes bilked from the taxpayer and juggled into the pockets of these stalwart champions of American values, coy little loopholes with diagrams for how to exploit them, and above all – first, last and always – every asset they can think of stripping from public ownership they have been taught to believe is merely a euphemism for Marxist-Leninism.

In the meantime, public resistance or acts of dissent, the faintest hint of mass organising will be met with state forces of repression restrained now by little more than the frayed strands of a mostly cut-through piece of rope. Divisions revealed, exploited and entrenched during the election will, without serious and sustained will to extend solidarity beyond immediate interest-groups and to learn from the experiences of others, become the permanent operative language of the entire administration of American government. People will not see a new dawn, but the delirious rush to expand those chaotic, inhumane, amoral, and utterly unaccountable market forces that have already seeped far too deep into the already grotty political system. Trump is only a piece of this large and ugly tapestry – a figurehead for an army of cultural and social vandals serving alongside economic thieves and assassins. These are, moreover, the experts in how to instrumentalise economic inequality to serve the very politicians responsible for fostering the inequality in the first place and those most wedded to beliefs capable only of making matters worse for all but themselves and their donor-owners.

But let's not be lulled by the familiarity of parts of this story. Familiar from Reagan and Bush Jnr, as well as Clinton and Obama (albeit with a more fulgent presentation and the skilled performance of sympathy to sugar the pill). Familiar from every interview with almost every Republican and certainly the freshly minted, post Tea Party brand of prosperity Christian bullies worthy of far greater anger and loathing than they often receive thanks to a perhaps deliberate act involving a quasi-folksy clownishness – however many references, though, to the Republican clown car cannot alter the fact that even the thickest among them is capable of being herded with the others when it comes to voting for vicious legislation, insane tax cuts and budgets in which each new one is more limited, more nihilistic than the one before in every respect but the military and the ever-growing number of enormous flags that will soon follow Republican politicians around the country to provide an immediately appropriate backdrop in case they feel the sudden need to share their wisdom with the world or the nearest news anchor.

But while some parts are familiar, enough should be new or unknown to keep all of us looking forward anxiously, preparing carefully, and planning intelligently for the potentially vicious challenges ahead.

Danny Sheahan 3d ago

[Neo]Liberalism is an ideology, it has many variations and even definitions for people. Arrogance, superiority, disdain, refusal to engage etc. A moral certainty more in line with doctrinal religion.

These are big problems on the left/liberal platform.

Certainly not all but enough to damage it is a position.

Many, like me, who vote left are hoping that the penny will drop. It has to at some stage, why not now?

It may not though, it would not surprise me.

tehanomander -> Danny Sheahan 3d ago

What Danny said

Supported Labour all my life probably will with reservations still ....but the disconnect is palpable now (think Owen Smith to understand my meaning)

I voted Leave though .....so obviously now in here I'm a Trump supporter and racist xenophobe (which always amuses my Jamaican wife when I tell her)

Keith Macdonald 3d ago \

The first question to ask is why these right wing commentators are attacking liberalism . Is it because they want a better society in which everyone gets a chance of a decent life ? Do they actually care about the people they claim to speak for - they people right at the bottom of the social scale ?

Do they really want their own children to compete on equal terms with the rest of the population for the inevitably limited number of top jobs ?

The answer , of course, is no. They see attacking liberalism as a means of defending their own privileges which they believe liberalism and the gradual progress of recent years towards a more equal society have undermined.

Since they are basically conning the underprivileged and cannot deliver what they promise the right will find itself driven to even more extremes of bigotry and deceit to maintain its position. The prospect is terrifying.

The next question is how liberals and progressives deal with this powerful onslaught. So far we have done badly. For example Hillary Clinton clearly did not have a clue how Trump used the constructed "reality" of shows like The Apprentice to mount a presidential campaign based on fiction (although of course the underlying discontents are real). There is a massive amount of work to do here.

Yes - there has been a failure to make globalisation work. I think Thomas Piketty began to give some answers to this at

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/16/globalization-trump-inequality-thomas-piketty yesterday.

... ... ...

[Dec 04, 2016] The myth of Ronald Reagan: pragmatic moderate or radical conservative?

Notable quotes:
"... he changed American politics forever by demonstrating that style was more important than substance. In fact, he showed that style was everything and substance utterly unimportant. ..."
"... Conservatives used "bracket creep" to convince the middle class that reducing marginal rates on the top tax brackets along with their own would be a good idea, then with the assistance of Democrats replaced the revenue with a huge increase in FICA so that the Social Security Trust Fund could finance the deficit in the rest of the budget. The result was a huge boon to the richest, little difference for the middle class, and a far greater burden for the working poor. ..."
"... Any conversation about who the fantasy-projection "Reagan" was, misses an important reality: He was a hologram, fabricated by a kaleidoscope of various sorts of so-called "conservative" handlers and puppeteers. It was those "puppeteers" who ranged from heartlessly, stunningly "conservative" (destroya-tive), all the way further right to the kind of militaristic, macho, crackpots who have finally emerged from under their rocks at this year's "candidates." ..."
The Guardian


cgoodwood 19 Sep 2015 11:40

Do not contradict the memories of all the old teabaggers who desperately need the myth of Saint Ronnie to justify their Greed is Good declining mentality and years.

When Reagan cut-and-ran on Lebanon he showed rare discretion. A lot of the puffery stuff was B-Movie grade, but there was a lot of cross-the-aisle ventures, too.

He was a politician. The current GOP is just a bunch of white Fundie bullies, actually and metaphorically (e.g., Carson).

Zepp -> thedono 19 Sep 2015 11:37

Well, compared to Cruz, or Santorum, or Huckabee, he's a moderate. Of course, compared to the right people, you can describe Mussolini or Khruschev as moderates...

mastermisanthrope 19 Sep 2015 11:37

Lifelong shill

LostintheUS -> William J Rood 19 Sep 2015 11:36

Reagan underwent a political conversion when Nancy broke up his marriage with Jane Wyman and married him.

LostintheUS 19 Sep 2015 11:33

Here is the Reagan administration in a five second video clip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR3RqMMIwD4

LostintheUS -> inchoateruffian 19 Sep 2015 11:32

Here is the video clip where Don Regan (former CEO of Merrill Lynch) tells PRESIDENT Reagan to "speed it up".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR3RqMMIwD4

RightSaid -> ID3732233 19 Sep 2015 11:31

The cold war ended while Reagan was president, but he did not win the cold war. His rhetoric and strategy was wishful thinking - there's no way he could have had the definitive intelligence about the entire military-political-economic that would have justified the confidence he projected. He merely lucked out, significantly damaging the US economy by trying (and luckily succeeding) to out-militarize the soviets.

pretzelattack -> kattw 19 Sep 2015 11:31

both clinton and obama have showed a willingness to "reform social security". try naked capitalism, there are probably a number of articles in the archives.

LostintheUS -> piethein 19 Sep 2015 11:29

And that the emergency room federally funded program that saved his life was soon after defunded...by him.

LostintheUS -> pretzelattack 19 Sep 2015 11:28

Many of us saw through him...I noted the senility during his speeches during his first campaign...as did many people I knew.

pretzelattack -> 4Queeen4country 19 Sep 2015 11:27

thatcher said of reagan "bit of a dim bulb..."

Jim Loftus 19 Sep 2015 11:26

Dementia masquerading as politics.
But you can't say anything negative about Saint Ronald!

Peter Davis -> Peter Davis 19 Sep 2015 11:22

I believe Reagan also is responsible for creating the Hollywood notion in American politics and political thinking that life works just like a movie--with good guys and bad guys. And all one needs is a gun and you can save the world. That sort of delusional thinking has been at the heart of the modern GOP ever since.

loljahlol -> ID3732233 19 Sep 2015 11:21

Reagan did not end the Cold War. Brezhnev rule solidified the Soviet death. Their corrupt, inefficient form of capitalism could not compete with the globalization of Western capitalism.

John78745 19 Sep 2015 11:21

There's not much nuance to Reagan. He was a coward, a bully and a loser. He got hundreds of U.S. Marines killed then he ran from the terrorists in Beirut and on the Archille Lauro personally creating the seeds of the morass of terrorists we now live with. He fostered the republican traditions of sending U.S. jobs overseas at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and of invading helpless, hapless nations, a tradition so adeptly followed by Bush I & II. He also promised that there would never be a need for another amnesty.

I guess it's true that he talked mean to the Russians, broke unions, and helped make the military industrial complex into the insatiable war machine that it is today. Remember murderous Iran-Contra (a real) scandal where he and his minions worked in secret without congressional authorization to overthrow a democratically elected government while conspiring to supply arms to the dastardly Iranians!

We could also say that he bravely fought to save the U.S. from socialized medicine and to expunge the tradition of free tuition for California students. Whatta hero!

thankgodimanatheist 19 Sep 2015 11:19

Reagan, the acting President, was the worst President since WWII until the Cheney/Bush debacle.

Most of the problems we face today can be directly traced to his voodoo economics, huge deficit spending, deregulation, and in retrospect disastrous foreign policies.


LostintheUS 19 Sep 2015 11:17

"these days everyone seems to love Ronald."

Absolutely, not true. The farther along we go in time, the more Americans realize the damage this man and his backers did to America and the world. The inversion of the tax tables, the undoing of union laws, the polarization of Americans against each other so the plutocrats had no real opposition and on and on. His camp stole the election in 1980 through making a back door deal with the Iranian government to hold onto the American hostages until the election when Jimmy Carter had negotiated an end to the hostage crisis, which was the undoing of Jimmy Carter's administration.

"Behind Carter's back, the Reagan campaign worked out a deal with the leader of Iran's radical faction - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini - to keep the hostages in captivity until after the 1980 Presidential election." This is, unquestionably, treason. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/20287-without-reagans-treason-iran-would-not-be-a-problem

No, Reagan marks the downward turn for our country and has resulted in the economic and social mess we still have not clawed our way back out of. No, Reagan is no hero, he is an American nemesis and a traitor. Reagan raised taxes three times while slashing the tax rate of the super rich...starting the downward spiral of the middle-class and the funneling of money toward the 1%. Thus his reputation as a "tax cutter", yeah, if you were a multi-millionaire.

Check this out for a synopsis of the damage: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/10/942453/-How-Ronald-Reagan-s-Policies-Destroyed-the-United-States#

namora -> nogapsallowed 19 Sep 2015 11:15

Never thought of Reagan as the first Shrub but it fits. I wonder if future pundits will sing the Dub's praises as well. I think I'm gonna be sick for a bit.

kattw -> namora 19 Sep 2015 11:10

Pretzel is maybe talking about the 'strengthen SS' bandwagon? Perhaps? Not entirely sure myself, but yeah - one of the major democrat platform planks is that SS should NOT be privatized, and that if people want to invest in stocks, they can do that on their own. The whole point of SS is to be a mattress full of cash that is NOT vulnerable to the vagaries of the market, and will always have some cash in it to be used as needed.

SS would be totally secure, too, if congress would stop robbing it for other projects, or pay back all they've borrowed. As it is, I wish *I* was as broke as republicans claim SS is - I wouldn't mind having a few billion in the bank.

William J Rood 19 Sep 2015 11:08

Reagan was former president of the Screen Actors' Guild. Obviously, he thought unions for highly educated workers were great. Meatpackers? Not so much.

RealSoothsayer 19 Sep 2015 11:04

This article does not mention the fact that in his last couple of years as President at least, his mental state had seriously deteriorated. He could not remember his own policies, names, etc. CBS' Leslie Stahl should be prosecuted for not being honest with her everyone when she found out.

Peter Davis 19 Sep 2015 11:04

Reagan was a failed president who nonetheless managed to convince people that he was great. He was a professional actor, after all. And he acted his way into the White House. Most importantly, he changed American politics forever by demonstrating that style was more important than substance. In fact, he showed that style was everything and substance utterly unimportant. He was the figurehead while his handlers did the dirty work of Iran-Contra, ballooning deficits, and tanking unemployment.

nishville 19 Sep 2015 11:03

For me, he was a pioneer. He was the first sock-puppet president, starting a noble tradition that reached its climax with W.

mbidding -> hackerkat 19 Sep 2015 11:03

In addition to:

Treasonous traitor when, as a presidential candidate, he negotiated with Khomeini to hold the hostages till after the election.

Subverter of the Constitution via the Iran-Contra scandal.

Destroyer of social cohesion by turning JFK's famous admonishment of "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" on its head with his meme that all evil emanates from the government and taxation represents stealing rather than a social obligation for any civilized society that wishes to continue to develop in a sound fashion that lifts all boats.

Incarcerator in Chief through his tough on crime and war on drugs policies, not to mention defunding mental health care.

Pisser in Chief through his successful efforts to imbed trickle down economics as the economic thought du jour which even its original architects, notably Stockman, now confirm is a failed theory that we nonetheless cling to to this day.

Ignoramus in Chief by gutting real federal financial aid for higher education leading to the obscene amounts of student debt our college students now incur.

Terrorist creator extraordinaire not only with the creation of the Latin American death squads you note, but the creation, support, trading, and funding of the mujahedin and Bin Laden himself, now known as the Taliban, Al Qa'ida, and ISIS, only the most notable among others.

namora -> trholland1 19 Sep 2015 10:59

That is not taking into account his greatest role for which he was ignored for a much deserved Oscar, Golden Globe or any of the other awards passed out by the entertainment industry, President of The United States of America. He absolutely nailed that one.

William J Rood 19 Sep 2015 10:58

Conservatives used "bracket creep" to convince the middle class that reducing marginal rates on the top tax brackets along with their own would be a good idea, then with the assistance of Democrats replaced the revenue with a huge increase in FICA so that the Social Security Trust Fund could finance the deficit in the rest of the budget. The result was a huge boon to the richest, little difference for the middle class, and a far greater burden for the working poor.

Tax brackets could have been indexed to inflation, but that wouldn't have been so great for Reagans real supporters.

Doueman 19 Sep 2015 10:55

What sad comments by these armchair experts.

They don't gel with my experiences in North America during this period at all. When Reagan ran for the presidency he was generally ridiculed by much of the press in the US and just about all of the press in the UK for being a right wing fanatic, a lightweight, too old, uninformed and even worse an actor. I found this rather curious and watched him specifically on TV in unscripted scenarios to form my own impression as to how such a person, with supposedly limited abilities, could possibly run for President of the US. I get a bit suspicious when organisations and individuals protest and ridicule too much.

My reaction was that he handled himself well and gradually concluded that the mainly Eastern liberal press in the US couldn't really stomach a California actor since they themselves were meant to know everything. He actually was pretty well read ( visitors were later astonished to read his multiple annotations in heavy weight books in his library). He was a clever and astute union negotiator dealing with some of the toughest Hollywood moguls who would eat most negotiators for dinner. He had become Governor of California and had done a fine job. I thought it was unlikely he was the simpleton many portrayed. He couldn't be easily categorised as he embraced many good aspects of the Democrats and the Republicans. Life wasn't so polarised then.

The US had left leaning Republicans and right wing Democrats. A political party as Churchill noted was simply a charger to ride into action.

In my view, his presidential record was pretty remarkable. A charming, fair minded charismatic man without the advantage of a wealthy background or influential family. The world was lucky to have him.

raffine -> particle 19 Sep 2015 10:50

Reagan's second term was a disaster. But as someone below mentioned, conservative pundits and their financers engaged in a campaign to make Reagan into a right-wing FDR. The most effective, albeit bogus, claim on Reagan's behalf was that he had ended the Cold War.

jpsartreny 19 Sep 2015 14:22

Reagan is the shadow governments greatest triumph. After the adolescent Kennedy, egomaniacs Johnson and Nixon , they needed front guys who followed orders instead .

The experiment with the peanut farmer from Georgia provided disastrous to Zebrew Brzezinski and the liberals. The conservatives had better luck with a B- movie actor with an great talent to read of the teleprompter.

RealSoothsayer -> semper12 19 Sep 2015 14:19

How? By talking? Gobachev brought down the USSR with his 'Glasnost' and 'Perestroika' policies. His vision was what communist China later on achieved: mixed economy that flies a red flag. Reagan was just an observer, absolutely nothing more. Tito of Yugoslavia was even more instrumental.

Marc Herlands 19 Sep 2015 14:17

IMHO Reagan was the second most successful president, behind FDR and ahead of LBJ. Not that I liked anything about him, but he moved this country to the right and set the play book. He lowered taxes on the wealthy, the corporations, capital gains, and estate taxes. He reduced growth in programs for the poor, and made it impossible to increase their funding after his presidency because of he left huge federal deficits caused by lowering taxes and increasing outlays on the military. This Republican playbook still is their way of making sure that the Democrats can't give the poor more money after they lose power. Also, he enlarged the program for deregulating industries, doing away with antitrust laws, hindering labor laws, encouraged anti-union behavior, and did nothing for AIDS research. He was a scoundrel who did a deal with Iran to prevent Carter from being re-elected. He directly disobeyed Congressional laws not to intervene in Nicaragua. He set the tone for US interventions after him.


bloggod 19 Sep 2015 14:17

Obama, Clinton, and the Bushes all hope to be forgiven for their unpardonable crimes.

Popularity is created. It is not populism, or informed consent of the pubic as approval for more of the same collusion.

It is a One Party hoe down.

bloggod -> SigmetSue 19 Sep 2015 14:12

"they"

the indicted Sec of Defense Weinberger; the indicted head of the CIA Casey who "died" as he was due to testify: Mcfarlane, Abrams, Clair George, Oilyver North, Richard Secord, Albert Hakim

Reagan had no genius, he had Bush-CIA and the Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, and the "immoral majority" of anti-abortion war profiteers.


Marios Antoniou Lattimore 19 Sep 2015 13:52

I agree with everything you mentioned, and I intensely dislike Reagan YET the point of the article wasn't that Reagan was good, it rather points to the fact that Republicans have shifted so far to the right that Reagan would appear moderate compared to the current batch.

Rainer Jansohn pretzelattack 19 Sep 2015 13:52

Interesting had been his speeches during the Cold War.Scientists have subsumed it under "Social Religion",a special form of political theology.Simple dialectical:UDSSR the incarnation of the evil/hell on the other side USA :the country of God himself.A tradition in USA working until now.There is no separation between government and church as in good old centuries sincetwo centuries resulting from enlightening per Philosophie/Voltaire/Kant/Hume/Descartes and so on.Look at Obamas speeches/God is always mixed in!

talenttruth 19 Sep 2015 13:49

Any conversation about who the fantasy-projection "Reagan" was, misses an important reality: He was a hologram, fabricated by a kaleidoscope of various sorts of so-called "conservative" handlers and puppeteers. It was those "puppeteers" who ranged from heartlessly, stunningly "conservative" (destroya-tive), all the way further right to the kind of militaristic, macho, crackpots who have finally emerged from under their rocks at this year's "candidates."

The fact that Reagan was going ga-ga – definitely in his second term, and likely for part of the first – was entirely convenient for his Non-Human-Based-Crackpot-Right-Holographers, since he had was not actually "driven" to vacuousness by a tragic mental condition (dementia) – THAT change was merely a "short putt" – from his entire previous life.

Regarding his Great Achievement, the collapse of the Soviet Union? After decades of monstrous over-spending by the USA's Military-Industrial-Complex, the bogus and equally insane USSR finally bankrupted itself trying to "compete" and fell. Reagan (and his puppeteer handlers), always excellent at Taking Credit for anything, showed up with exquisite cynical timing, and indeed Took Credit.

Lest anyone forget, Reagan got elected in 1980, via a totally illegal and stunningly immoral "side deal" with the Iranians, in which they agreed to not release our hostages to make Carter look like a feeble old man. Then we got Reagan who WAS a "feeble old man" (ESPECIALLY intellectually and morally). Reagan "won," the hostages were "released" and he of course took credit for that too.

So all these so-called "candidates" ARE the heirs of all the very worst of Ronald Reagan: they are all simpleminded, they are totally beholden to Hidden Sociopathic Billionaires hiding behind various curtains, and they all have NO CLUE what the word "ethics" means. Vacuous, anti-intellectual, scheming, appealing only to morons, and puppets all. Perfect "Reaganites."

Bill Ehrhorn -> semper12 19 Sep 2015 13:32

It seems that the teabaggers and their ilk give only Reagan credit.

SigmetSue 19 Sep 2015 13:16

They called him the Teflon President because nothing ever stuck. It still doesn't. That was his genius -- and I'm no fan.


Lattimore 19 Sep 2015 13:13

The article seems to present Reagan as an theatrical figure. I disagree. Reagan, President of the United States, was a criminal; as such, he was among the most corrupt and anti democratic person to hold the office POTUS. The fact that he tripled the national debt, raised taxes and skewed the tax schedules to benifit the wealthy, are comparitively minor.
,,,
Reagan's crimes and anti democratic acts:
1. POTUS: CIA smuggling cocaine into the U.S., passing the drug to wholesalers, who then processed the drug and distributed crack to Black communities. At the same time Reagan's "War on Crime" insured that the Black youth who bought "Central Intelligenc Agencie's" cocaine were criminalized and handed lengthy prison sentences.
2. POTUS supported SOUTH AMERICAN terrorist, and the genocidal atrocities commited by terrorist in Chili, Guatamala, El Mazote, etc.
3. POTUS supported SOUTH AFRICAN apartheid, and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela as well. Vetoing a bill that would express condemnation of South Africa.
4. POTUS sold Arms to Iran.
5. POTUS used taxpayer dollars to influence election outcomes.
6. POTUS rigged government grants to enrich his cronies.
7. POTUS thew mental patients onto the streets.
8. POTUS supported McCarthyism, witch hunts, etc.
9. POTUS created and supported Islamic terrorist--fore runners of al Queada, ISIS, etc.

Niko2 LostintheUS 19 Sep 2015 13:12

I don't have much love for Nancy, but she did not break up this marriage, to be fair. And she actually got rid off the extreme right wingers in Reagan's administration, like Haig and Regan, whom she called "extra chromosome republicans". Surely she was a vain and greedy flotus with no empathy whatsoever for people not in her Bel Air circles (I can easily imagine her, "Do I really have to go and see these Aids-Babies, I'd rather shop at Rodeo Drive, lose the scheduler") but she realized at an early stage that hubbies shtick-it-to-the-commies policies would do him no favour. Maybe she's the unsung heroine of his presidency.

tommydog -> MtnClimber 19 Sep 2015 13:04

The principle subsidies to big oil are probably the strategic oil reserve and subsidies to low income people for winter heating oil. You can choose which of those you'd like to cut. After that you're arguing about whether exploration costs should be expensed in the year incurred or capitalized and amortized over time.

WilliamK 19 Sep 2015 13:03

He was one of J Edgar Hoover's red baiting fascist admiring boys along with Richard Nixon and Walt Disney used to destroy the labor unions, control the propaganda machine of Hollywood and used to knuckle under the television networks and undermine as much as possible the New Deal polices of Franklin Roosevelt. An actor groomed by the General Electric Corporation and their fellow travelers. "Living better through electricity" was his mantra and he played the role of President to push forward their right wing agenda. Now we are in new stage in our "political development" in America. The era of the "reality television star" with Hollywood in bed with the military industrial complex, selling guns, violence and sex to the fool hardy and their children and prime time television ads push pharmaceutical drugs, children hear warnings of four hour erections, pop-stars flash their tits and asses and a billionaire takes center stage as the media cashes in and goes along for the ride. Yeah Ronnie was a second tier film star and with his little starlet Nancy by his side become one of America's greatest salesman.


Backbutton 19 Sep 2015 12:57

LOL! Reagan was a walking script renderer, with lines written by others, and a phony because he was just acting the part of POTUS. His speeches were all crafted, and he had good writers.

He was no Abraham Lincoln.

And now these morons running for office all want to rub off his "great communicator" fix.

Good help America!

Milwaukee Broad 19 Sep 2015 12:49

Ronald Reagan was an actor whom the depressingly overwhelming majority of American voters thought was a messiah. They so believed in him that they re-elected him to a second term. Nothing positive whatsoever became of his administration, yet he is still worshiped by millions of lost souls (conservatives).

Have a nice day.


Michael Williams 19 Sep 2015 12:48

The US was the world's leading creditor when Reagan took office. The US was the world's leading debtor by the time Bush 1 was tossed out of office.

This is what Republicans cannot seem to remember.

All of the other scandals pale in comparison, even as we deal with the blowback from most of these original, idiotic policies.

Reagan was an actor, mouthing words he barely understood, especially as his dementia progressed.

This is the exact reason the history is so poorly taught in the US.
People might make connections....

Jessica Roth 19 Sep 2015 12:46

Oh, he had holes in his brain long before the dementia. "Facts are stupid things", trees cause pollution, and so on.

A pathetic turncoat who sold out his original party (the one that kept his dad in work throughout the Great Depression via a series of WPA jobs) because Nancy allegedly "gave the best head in Hollywood" and who believed that only 144,000 people were going to Heaven, presumably accounting for his uncaring treatment of the less-well-off.

His administration was full of corruption, from Richard Allen's $1000 in an envelope (and three wristwatches) that he claimed was an inappropriate gift for Mrs. Reagan he had "intercepted" and then "forgotten" to report to William Casey trading over $3,000,000 worth of stocks while CIA director. (Knowing about changes in the oil market ahead of time sure came in handy.) You had an attorney general who took a $50,000 "severance payment" (never done before) from the board of a corporation he resigned from to avoid conflict of interest charges and this was William French Smith; his successor, Edwin Meese, was the one with real scandals (about the sale of his home).

Hell, Reagan himself put his ranch hand (Dennis LeBlanc) on the federal payroll as an "advisor" to the Commerce Department. I didn't know the Commerce Dept needed "advice" on clearing wood from St. Ronnie's ranch, but LeBlanc got a $58,500 salary out of the deal. (Roughly £98,000 at today's prices.) Nice work if you can get it.

Meanwhile, RR "talked tough" at the Soviets (resulting in the world nearly ending in 1983 due to a false alarm about a US nuclear attack) while propping up any rightwing dictator they could find, from the South African racists to Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos (after they had Aquino assassinated at the airport) to Roberto "Death Squad" D'Aubuisson in El Salvador (the man who masterminded the assassination of Archbishop Romero while he was performing Mass).

Oh, and while Carter did a nice job of shooting himself in the foot, Reagan benefited in the election not only from his treasonous dealings with the Iranian hostage-takers (shades of Nixon making a deal with North Viet Nam to stall the peace talks until after the 1968 elections, promising them better terms) but through more pedestrian means such as his campaign's stealing of Carter's briefing book for the campaign's only debate, Reagan being coached for the debate by a supposedly neutral journalist (George Will, of ABC and The Washington Post), who then went on television afterwards (in the days when there were only three commercial channels) and "analysed" how successful Reagan had been in executing his "game plan" and seeming "Presidential" without either Will or ABC bothering to mention that Will had coached Reagan and designed the "game plan" in question. The "liberal bias" in the media, no doubt.

Always a joke, only looking slightly better by the dross that has followed him. (Including Bill "Third Way" Clinton and his over-£50,000,000 in post-Presidential "speaking fees" graft, and Barack Obama, drone-murderer of children in over a dozen countries and serial-summary-executioner of U.S. citizens. When Gordon-effing-Brown is the best that's held office on either side of the Atlantic since 1979, you can see how this planet is in the state it's in.)

pretzelattack DukeofMelbourne 19 Sep 2015 12:45

his stand on russia was inconsistent, and he didn't cause it to collapse. his economic programs were a failure. his foreign policy generally a disaster. he set the blueprint for the current mess.


pretzelattack semper12 19 Sep 2015 12:38

a total crock. reagan let murdering thugs run rampant as long as they paid lip service to democracy, the world over from africa to central america. the ussr watched this coward put 240 marines to die in lebanon, and then cut and run, exactly the pattern he was so ready to condemn as treason in others, and was so ready to portray as showing weakness, and you think the ussr was terrified of him. he was a hollywood actor playing a role, and you bought it.


Tycho1961 19 Sep 2015 12:13

No President exists in a political vacuum. While he was in office, Reagan had a large Democrat majority in the House of Representatives and a small Republican majority in the Senate. The Supreme Court was firmly liberal. Whatever his political agenda Reagan knew he had to constructively engage with people of both parties that were in opposition to him. If he didn't he would suffer the same fate as Carter, marginalized by even his own party. His greatest strength was as a negotiator. Reagan's greatest failures were when he tried to be clever and he and his advisors were found to be rather ham handed about it.


RichardNYC 19 Sep 2015 11:57

The principal legacy of Ronald Reagan is the still prevalent view that corporate interests supersede individual interests.


Harry Haff 19 Sep 2015 11:45

Reagan did many horrible things while in office, committed felonies and supported murderous regimes in Central America that murdered tens of thousands of people with the blessing of the US chief executive. he sold arms to Iran and despoiled the natural environment whenever possible. But given those horrendous accomplishments, he could not now get a seat at the table with the current GOP. He would be considered a RINO, that most stupid and inaccurate term, at best, and a closet liberal somewhere down the line. The current GOP is more to the right than the politicians in the South after the Civil War.

[Nov 26, 2016] Humanitarian aid of a tool of neocolonialism

Nov 26, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
SergeyL 1h ago 1 2 The problem is not a populism but western democracy which is a new religion, and as any religion it's intolerant to any opposite opinion. I can bet what if you will kill all Russians and all who are not western you will split and start fight between yourselves like Christianity or Islam did before. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Tongariro1 2h ago 1 2 We have not had an election to put a populist government into power in the UK. We had a referendum on the specific issue of EU membership. Even in the USA, they have elected a populist president, but Congress had much the same political complexion as it has had in times past. There is no campaign of any note in the UK to reduce aid.

The vulnerability of aid programmes to the whims of just two countries reveals a greater weakness - too few other countries contribute too little.

If the UN were to act more effectively to meet its core objective - "to maintain international peace and security" - then there would be less need for aid. Increasingly, the role of the UN seems to be to lament the failings of the west and other developed nations in preventing carnage, whilst doing little to tackle the perpetrators or bring about peace. Syria is a prime example of catastrophic failure. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report PrinceVlad 2h ago 2 3 If western populism leads to more isolationist foreign policies, there will be fewer refugees. Wouldn't this be a good thing? Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report John Chaloner 3h ago 10 11 According to the linked table in the article, the UK provides significantly more aid than France, Italy and Germany combined.

I would have thought indifference from Europe's other leading economies is a more serious impediment for the global aid effort than populism in the uk\us. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Bob's Your Uncle John Chaloner 2h ago 0 1 You're in the wrong place. The UK and the US are neo-liberal hell holes with all the selfish nastiness that entails, whereas continental Europe is a beacon of social democracy. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report flabbotamus 4h ago 6 7 is hardly surprising that governments are requiring reform when there are creatures such as Peter Sutherland at the UN using aid money t to forward his globalist no borders agenda by destabilising the very countries providing that aid.

Drain that swamp and then come back with the begging bowl Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Laurence Johnson 4h ago 6 7 Humanitarian aid became political a long time ago and nothing to do with populists. What is incredible is whilst the West was creating the tragedy with one hand, the taxpayers were left to pick up the tab of attempting to fix it all up.

Refugees are on the whole the result of Western intervention, subversive and open in other nations democratic systems, or indeed other nations despotic systems.

The world has changed in 2016, people have become far wiser to what has been going on and the costs of intervening in projecting what we perceive to be democracy in our eyes has cost many lives, and many trillions of dollars.

So Yes it is correct that Trump will pull back from conflicts, and many would think that to be a good idea. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report PrinceVlad Laurence Johnson 3h ago 3 4 Clinton wanted regime change in Syria, one of the main reasons I refused to support her. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Polly123456 4h ago 4 5 Western populism was created by the likes of Blair who promised a referendum but didn't give one. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report synechdoche 4h ago 1 2 Where else but the Guardian do you learn new words and concepts like "dunantist"? It's a wonderful publication. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Polly123456 5h ago 7 8 Aid is wholly political now. We buy foreign criminal dictators, so we can mine in their countries with cheap labour and get cheap commodities. The Niger delta is completely destroyed from oil, other places the same. Let's not pretend that the current system is any better than a future system. It's rotten to the core. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report This_Kidocelot 5h ago 4 5 Why aren't the comments open on the real news today........Don't want to truth it up today .......eh? Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report This_Kidocelot 5h ago 4 5 Pure sophistry! Alternatively, don't start and finance proxy or direct intervention wars and redirect some of that vast amount of expense into the natural disasters etc around the world.

Oh and stop the financial oppression of your workers, who are being squeezed in the pocket like never before in this globalist world!

What's this Crown Agents.....so transparent! Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Tsugunder 5h ago 6 7 "even if the US and UK do not decrease aid contributions, there is still a risk that they would allow humanitarian action to fall prey to politics."
Is this a sick joke? From the Marshall Plan on, Western governmental aid (with the possible exception of Scandinavian donors) has been consistently and unashamedly political, with disastrous results.
Sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of aid workers is higher than the complement of colonial administrators in the bygone era, is a case in point: "Since 1960, western governments have pumped more than $1 trillion in aid into the region, with the remarkable result that GDP per capita has declined." http://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/07/imperialism-is-back-and-this-time-its-politically-correct /
It's not 'Western populism' that threatens humanitarian action globally but its instrumentalisation by the likes of the US and the UK. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report radsatser 5h ago 2 3 " they will jeopardise not only their jobs,"

I think we can condense your essay down to seven words in your first paragraph. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report LillyGallagher 6h ago 11 12 The reason we have a hard time being humanitarian is because of failed crony capitalism. We can't afford to take care of our own people, let alone others. I would like to know what of the last 40 years does the Guardian say has been a humanitarian success, and how it can write off Trump before he's even started? Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report HorseCart LillyGallagher 6h ago 2 3 If you would like to know, that suggests you are capable of taking in information.

What does this article say it is published with the support of?

Crown Agents

Learn more, talk less.

[Nov 25, 2016] EdwardBernays

Nov 25, 2016 | profile.theguardian.com
, 14 Nov 2016 08:3>
Neoliberalism is the ideology of children who didn't get their needs met or suffered abuse or neglect. The more adverse child experiences one suffers, the greater the danger they pose to everyone else, and they seem to gravitate to warped belief systems where compassion or relying on others is deemed deeply shameful
dreamwatcher EdwardBernays , 14 Nov 2016 09:0>
I am no psychologist, but it must be evident to most that, at the micro level, childhood trauma and mental, physical and sexual abuse experienced at a young age within the family unit can lead to the child intending to rebalance and repay the power imbalance in adult life, with invariably adverse consequences for their environment and those around them.

Looking at the world today it is not hard to see the culmination of the sins of the father over the centuries in the form of decent, hard-working people with no power struggles to redress being subjected to endless and downright cruel, even vindictive actions and policies enshrined into law and played out across the world stage by those who have abused power to make it to the top.

And it is the socially disadvantaged and most vulnerable in society who have invariably suffered the most, hence the vast inequality in wealth distribution which has gathered momentum in recent years.

Brexit and Trump are a symptom, a reaction and a backlash to the traumatised child reclaiming and abusing their power on a macro level.

[Nov 24, 2016] Network: Its most famous virtue is its extreme and eerie prescience about where the news media would go in the next decades

Notable quotes:
"... If Trump hadn't settled on Make America Great Again for a slogan, he could have easily run on "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more!" ..."
"... Nobody wants news any more, says Christensen, as she ruthlessly lays out a template for the coming age of "disinfotainment" and canned news-porn. ..."
Nov 23, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
Comments 225
Network at 40: the flawed satire that predicted Trump and cable 'news porn'. Prescient and powerful, the film foreshadowed the likes of Bill O'Reilly with its 'mad as hell' protagonists and the climate of American anger that birthed Trump

Does this sound familiar? "The American people are turning us off. They've been clobbered by Vietnam, Watergate, the inflation, the depression. They've turned off, shot up the American people want someone to articulate their rage." And how about this? "There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT, and ATT and DuPont, Dow, Union-Carbide and Exxon. The world is a business it has been ever since man crawled up out of the slime."

Change the historical events, change the names of the conglomerates, and these speeches could have been written yesterday morning about, or by, President-elect Donald J Trump. He is Network screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky's nightmare made real, his blistering satire come completely true just in time for the film's 40th anniversary this week. If Trump hadn't settled on Make America Great Again for a slogan, he could have easily run on "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more!"

Network is like a time machine: when it was released four decades ago this week it more or less accurately predicted the state of media as it is 40 years later. It mourns the original golden age of television – the 1950s – of which Paddy Chayefsky was a major and emblematic figure, but it partakes of all that era's shortcomings, too: overstatement, speechifying, ranting, self-indulgent writing, sledgehammer subtlety.

Trump could have easily run on a slogan of 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more!'

It also, nonetheless, looks startlingly like a work that would fit snugly into the current golden age of television alongside shows like The Newsroom and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The creator of those shows, Aaron Sorkin, even went so far as to invoke Chayefsky when he received his screenwriting Oscar for The Social Network.

Network's most famous virtue is its extreme and eerie prescience about where the news media would go in the next decades. Howard Beale, "the mad prophet of the airwaves", lurks behind any number of real-life media ranters and screamers of our own time, from Bill O'Reilly to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck to Alex Jones.

Faye Dunaway's carnivorous network suit Diana Christensen – Sammy Glick via Tracy Flick – is derived from young TV execs of the 1970s who were accused of infantilizing the medium. People like NBC daytime programmer Lin Bolen and Fred Silverman, who serially headed all three networks, in particular. Network takes the side of the old against the young, seeing youth as a destructive, insatiable, Darwinian force that will ultimately usurp William Holden's ageing newsroom chief Max Schumacher.

Nobody wants news any more, says Christensen, as she ruthlessly lays out a template for the coming age of "disinfotainment" and canned news-porn. The first step of which is to bring the independent news division under the heel of network entertainment programming. What Shumacher dreams up in a drunken haze as a joke, she makes reality – or reality television, as it had yet to be known.

'It is a pre-digital realm of rotary phones, filing cabinets, steno pads and typewriters; the newsroom is an exact match for the newsroom in All the President's Men '

Another of Network's accidental byproducts is the nostalgia one feels right from its opening shot of four TV network news anchors – three real, one fictional. In those pre-Fox years, of course, there were only three networks, and they underpinned what was left of the American consensus after Goldwater and Nixon, Vietnam and Watergate. It is a pre-digital realm of rotary phones, filing cabinets, steno pads and typewriters; the newsroom is an exact match for the newsroom in All the President's Men, also released during the bicentennial, and the idealistic yin to Network's pessimistic yang.

And the mid-1970s was almost insane enough to obviate satire entirely. Network is embedded in the very real world of 1975, satire notwithstanding. We hear of "the Lennon deportation", the two recent assassination attempts on President Gerald Ford, the Opec price hike, and the Patty Hearst kidnapping. Indeed, the movie mentions multiple heiress-terrorists and offers us one of its own, played by Kathy Cronkite, daughter of Walter, America's most trusted anchorman.

Forty years later, Network is half a masterpiece. At more or less the one-hour mark, right after the mad-as-hell speech and 60 minutes of very sure-footed satire, it loses all steam and caves in on itself. Chayefsky falls prey to all the spell-it-out vices of the golden age of television, and one can imagine it all in black-and-white, being broadcast in 1956. Character names aren't exactly subtle: Robert Duvall's shark-like executive, prone to budget-slashing, is named Hackett, while the affair between Dunaway and Holden plays like bad Philco Playhouse dross.

Everybody gets a chance to yell at great length, and with the exception of Duvall (who is here turned up to maximum Charlie-Don't-Surf!), few of them carry it off well. Even Mr Jensen's apocalyptic bollocking of Peter Finch ("Valhalla, Mr Beale, Please sit down ") seems faintly risible now. And the dialogue betrays a working-class autodidact's over-fondness for Big Words: "multivariant", "auspicatory", "eraculate", "intractable and adamantine"!

Chayefsky, a creature of postwar television, despises what it has become (he'd quit TV in disgust in 1960). The young are all vacant, amoral gargoyles. The black characters are near-racist caricatures puking up demented Marxist-Leninist verbiage while eating fried chicken and cradling machine guns. Satire repeatedly merges with spite and contempt – for characters and audience – putting Network up there with A Face in the Crowd in the never-ending war between Hollywood and upstart television.

But still, there is that breathtaking, unnerving prescience, which makes one sorry that three of Network's principal architects – Chayefsky, Finch and Holden – were dead long before it became apparent. And there is this, from Finch-Beale, a line that reaches straight across 40 years of time and grabs us by the throat: " This tube is the most awesome goddamn force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people! " Perhaps it's too late.

Four films that predicted the rise of Donald Trump

From Citizen Kane to Gangs of New York, cinema has been warning of the inexorable rise of the Republican candidate for years Read more

Trump v the media: did his tactics mortally wound the fourth estate?

From a bonanza of free airtime to an overt media campaign against him, Donald Trump was a candidate covered like no other. But were journalists unwitting accomplices in his election? And where does the industry go from here?

[Nov 20, 2016] The fundamental problem is the leftes are playing the game of the neoliberals for them. Especially in the area of immigration

Notable quotes:
"... The fundamental problem seems to be that the left / liberals are playing the game of the right for them and not being intelligent enough to realise it. ..."
"... Mass immigration is the case in point. The main beneficiaries from the movement of labour are the corporations and the capitalists. The losers are the incumbent population and the local workers. ..."
"... Mass low-skilled immigration (legal/illegal) is bad for working class people who are citizens of the US/UK. The "liberal" left are the ones who'd in the past naturally come to their defense. ..."
"... Multinational businesses love this mentality, because it allows them to indirectly harm billions of people, and get away with it. They push free trade (a very liberal concept) which cuts their taxes and makes them stronger than most national governments, so they wield vast, unaccountable power, and get away with massive levels of pollution. ..."
"... Mass immigration is the case in point. The main beneficiaries from the movement of labour are the corporations and the capitalists. The losers are the incumbent population and the local workers. ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
Stillgrizzly 3d ago

The fundamental problem seems to be that the left / liberals are playing the game of the right for them and not being intelligent enough to realise it.

Mass immigration is the case in point. The main beneficiaries from the movement of labour are the corporations and the capitalists. The losers are the incumbent population and the local workers.

The liberal left are confusing the cries of alarm from those losing out with racism and bigotry, which have been ingrained in their psyche due to identity politics.

RJB73 Stillgrizzly 3d ago

Well put. Mass low-skilled immigration (legal/illegal) is bad for working class people who are citizens of the US/UK. The "liberal" left are the ones who'd in the past naturally come to their defense.

Instead, they've labelled them racists and islamphobes etc. because they are not driven by (classical) liberalism but rather divisive identity politics focused on minority groups (e.g. transgender issues, which is not going to win many votes.)

greenwichite Stillgrizzly 3d ago 22 23 Liberals and the Left are not the same thing, though.

I think the liberals' horror at Jeremy Corbyn demonstrates this, as did the way liberals torpedoed Bernie Sanders in favour of Hillary Clinton.

To be liberal is to let people do whatever they want, so long as they don't directly harm other people.

Multinational businesses love this mentality, because it allows them to indirectly harm billions of people, and get away with it. They push free trade (a very liberal concept) which cuts their taxes and makes them stronger than most national governments, so they wield vast, unaccountable power, and get away with massive levels of pollution.

Jaisans Stillgrizzly 3d ago

Mass immigration is the case in point. The main beneficiaries from the movement of labour are the corporations and the capitalists. The losers are the incumbent population and the local workers.

you might be putting the cart before the horse a little bit there. the problem isn't freedom of movement (let's try not to use emotive terms like mass migration) is employers seeking cheap labour. better wages would attract more local labour, instead employers actively seek cheap labour from abroad. and that's a result of economic liberalism, which is very different to classical liberalism. classical liberals built houses for their workers to live in, rather than not paying them enough to live in their own house.

[Nov 19, 2016] The Democratic party lost its soul. Its time to win it back

Notable quotes:
"... For one thing, many vested interests don't want the Democratic party to change. Most of the money it raises ends up in the pockets of political consultants, pollsters, strategists, lawyers, advertising consultants and advertisers themselves, many of whom have become rich off the current arrangement. They naturally want to keep it. ..."
"... For another, the Democratic party apparatus is ingrown and entrenched. Like any old bureaucracy, it only knows how to do what it has done for years. Its state and quadrennial national conventions are opportunities for insiders to meet old friends and for aspiring politicians to make contacts among the rich and powerful. Insiders and the rich aren't going to happily relinquish their power and perquisites, and hand them to outsiders and the non-rich. ..."
"... I have been a Democrat for 50 years – I have even served in two Democratic administrations in Washington, including a stint in the cabinet and have run for the Democratic nomination for governor in one state – yet I have never voted for the chair or vice-chair of my state Democratic party. That means I, too, have had absolutely no say over who the chair of the Democratic National Committee will be. To tell you the truth, I haven't cared. And that's part of the problem. ..."
"... Finally, the party chairmanship has become a part-time sinecure for politicians on their way up or down, not a full-time position for a professional organizer. In 2011, Tim Kaine (who subsequently became Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 election) left the chairmanship to run, successfully, for the Senate from Virginia. ..."
"... The chair then went to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Florida congresswoman who had co-chaired Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. This generated allegations in the 2016 race that the Democratic National Committee was siding with Clinton against Bernie Sanders – allegations substantiated by leaks of emails from the DNC. ..."
"... So what we now have is a Democratic party that has been repudiated at the polls, headed by a Democratic National Committee that has become irrelevant at best, run part-time by a series of insider politicians. It has no deep or broad-based grass-roots, no capacity for mobilizing vast numbers of people to take any action other than donate money, no visibility between elections, no ongoing activism. ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

For one thing, many vested interests don't want the Democratic party to change. Most of the money it raises ends up in the pockets of political consultants, pollsters, strategists, lawyers, advertising consultants and advertisers themselves, many of whom have become rich off the current arrangement. They naturally want to keep it.

For another, the Democratic party apparatus is ingrown and entrenched. Like any old bureaucracy, it only knows how to do what it has done for years. Its state and quadrennial national conventions are opportunities for insiders to meet old friends and for aspiring politicians to make contacts among the rich and powerful. Insiders and the rich aren't going to happily relinquish their power and perquisites, and hand them to outsiders and the non-rich.

Most Americans who call themselves Democrats never hear from the Democratic party except when it asks for money, typically through mass mailings and recorded telephone calls in the months leading up to an election. The vast majority of Democrats don't know the name of the chair of the Democratic National Committee or of their state committee. Almost no registered Democrats have any idea how to go about electing their state Democratic chair or vice-chair, and, hence, almost none have any influence over whom the next chair of the Democratic National Committee may be.

I have been a Democrat for 50 years – I have even served in two Democratic administrations in Washington, including a stint in the cabinet and have run for the Democratic nomination for governor in one state – yet I have never voted for the chair or vice-chair of my state Democratic party. That means I, too, have had absolutely no say over who the chair of the Democratic National Committee will be. To tell you the truth, I haven't cared. And that's part of the problem.

Nor, for that matter, has Barack Obama cared. He basically ignored the Democratic National Committee during his presidency, starting his own organization called Organizing for America. It was originally intended to marshal grass-roots support for the major initiatives he sought to achieve during his presidency, but morphed into a fund-raising machine of its own.

Finally, the party chairmanship has become a part-time sinecure for politicians on their way up or down, not a full-time position for a professional organizer. In 2011, Tim Kaine (who subsequently became Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 election) left the chairmanship to run, successfully, for the Senate from Virginia.

The chair then went to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Florida congresswoman who had co-chaired Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. This generated allegations in the 2016 race that the Democratic National Committee was siding with Clinton against Bernie Sanders – allegations substantiated by leaks of emails from the DNC.

So what we now have is a Democratic party that has been repudiated at the polls, headed by a Democratic National Committee that has become irrelevant at best, run part-time by a series of insider politicians. It has no deep or broad-based grass-roots, no capacity for mobilizing vast numbers of people to take any action other than donate money, no visibility between elections, no ongoing activism.

[Nov 19, 2016] Men arent interested in working at McDonalds for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want is... steady, stable, full-time jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life

Notable quotes:
"... The economic point is that globalisation has boosted trade and overall wealth, but it has also created a dog eat dog world where western workers compete with, and lose jobs to, people far away who will do the work for much less. ..."
"... But neither Trump nor Farage have shown any evidence of how realistically they can recreate those jobs in the west. And realistically god knows how you keep the wealth free trade and globalisation brings but avoid losing the good jobs? At least the current mess has focused attention on the question and has said that patience has run out. ..."
"... Compared to the real economic problems, the identity politics is minor, but it is still an irritant that explains why this revolution is coming from the right not from the left. ..."
"... And what "age" has that been Roy? The "age" of: climate change, gangster bankers, tax heavens, illegal wars, nuclear proliferation, grotesque inequality, the prison industrial complex to cite just a few. That "age"? ..."
"... the right wing press detest one kind of liberalism, social liberalism, they hate that, but they love economic liberalism, which has done much harm to the working class. ..."
"... Most of the right wing press support austerity measures, slashing of taxes and, smaller and smaller governments. Yet apparently, its being socially liberal that is the problem ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | profile.theguardian.com
goodtable, 3d ago

A crucial point "WWC men aren't interested in working at McDonald's for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want is... steady, stable, full-time jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life."

The economic point is that globalisation has boosted trade and overall wealth, but it has also created a dog eat dog world where western workers compete with, and lose jobs to, people far away who will do the work for much less.

But neither Trump nor Farage have shown any evidence of how realistically they can recreate those jobs in the west. And realistically god knows how you keep the wealth free trade and globalisation brings but avoid losing the good jobs? At least the current mess has focused attention on the question and has said that patience has run out.

Compared to the real economic problems, the identity politics is minor, but it is still an irritant that explains why this revolution is coming from the right not from the left.

If you're white and male it's bad enough losing your hope of economic security, but then to be repeatedly told by the left that you're misogynist, racist, sexist, Islamophobic, transgenderphobic etc etc is just the icing on the cake. If the author wants to see just how crazy identity politics has become go to the Suzanne Moore piece from yesterday accusing American women of being misogynist for refusing to vote for Hillary. That kind of maniac 'agree with me on everything or you're a racist, sexist, homophobe' identity politics has to be ditched. Reply

EnglishMike -> goodtable 3d ago
Funny, I've been a white male my whole life and not once have I been accused of being a misogynist, racist, sexist, Islamophobic, or transgenderphobic. I didn't think being a white male was so difficult for some people... Reply
garrylee 3d ago
"Are we turning our backs on the age of enlightenment?".

And what "age" has that been Roy? The "age" of: climate change, gangster bankers, tax heavens, illegal wars, nuclear proliferation, grotesque inequality, the prison industrial complex to cite just a few. That "age"?

Bazz Leaveblank -> garrylee 3d ago
I agree hardly an age of enlightenment. My opinion... the so called Liberal Elite are responsible for many of the issues in the list. The poor and the old in this country are not being helped by the benefits system. Yet the rich get richer beyond the dreams of the ordinary man.

I would pay more tax if I thought it might be spent more wisely...but can you trust politicians who are happy to spend 50 billion on a railway line that 98% of the population will never use.

No solutions from me ...an old hippy from the 60s "Love and peace man " ...didn't work did it :)

aronDi 3d ago
I have come under the impression that the right wing press detest one kind of liberalism, social liberalism, they hate that, but they love economic liberalism, which has done much harm to the working class.

Most of the right wing press support austerity measures, slashing of taxes and, smaller and smaller governments. Yet apparently, its being socially liberal that is the problem.

[Nov 19, 2016] The fundamental problem is the leftes are playing the game of the neoliberals for them. Especially in the area of immigration

Nov 19, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
Stillgrizzly 3d ago 85 86 The fundamental problem seems to be that the left / liberals are playing the game of the right for them and not being intelligent enough to realise it.

Mass immigration is the case in point. The main beneficiaries from the movement of labour are the corporations and the capitalists. The losers are the incumbent population and the local workers.

The liberal left are confusing the cries of alarm from those losing out with racism and bigotry, which have been ingrained in their psyche due to identity politics. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report RJB73 Stillgrizzly 3d ago 48 49 Well put. Mass low-skilled immigration (legal/illegal) is bad for working class people who are citizens of the US/UK. The "liberal" left are the ones who'd in the past naturally come to their defense. Instead, they've labelled them racists and islamphobes etc. because they are not driven by (classical) liberalism but rather divisive identity politics focused on minority groups (e.g. transgender issues, which is not going to win many votes.) Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report greenwichite Stillgrizzly 3d ago 22 23 Liberals and the Left are not the same thing, though.

I think the liberals' horror at Jeremy Corbyn demonstrates this, as did the way liberals torpedoed Bernie Sanders in favour of Hillary Clinton.

To be liberal is to let people do whatever they want, so long as they don't directly harm other people.

Multinational businesses love this mentality, because it allows them to indirectly harm billions of people, and get away with it. They push free trade (a very liberal concept) which cuts their taxes and makes them stronger than most national governments, so they wield vast, unaccountable power, and get away with massive levels of pollution. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Stillgrizzly greenwichite 3d ago 9 10 The liberals "horror" at Corbyn is because he is bringing out reactionary "hard" left elements amongst other things, which are destroying what was a kind of consensus.

This is fracturing the opposition and driving people towards the right or "protest" parties. Corbyn is the best recruiting tool UKIP never had. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report icansee Stillgrizzly 3d ago 6 7 If you think that this was a universal backlash to the effects of immigration on jobs , then you are missing the point .
My advise is for you to check the archives of mother jones and other blogs to find out how this faux rage developed .
Trump's primary voters have an average income of $70,000. They are not affected by mass migration .
This is a rage against Marriage equality ,Seperation of the church and state ,continuation of the war against affirmative action ,environmental protection ,union etc .

The faux rage was engineered by l

1 Remnants of Koch brothers tea party
2 Fox news
3 Alt right
4 Evangelicals
5 Gun manufacturers

They created an hurricane and carried other unwilling groups like blue collar democrats with them .
However , they wouldn't have stand any chance if progressives had turned up . Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Jaisans Stillgrizzly 3d ago 0 1 Mass immigration is the case in point. The main beneficiaries from the movement of labour are the corporations and the capitalists. The losers are the incumbent population and the local workers.

you might be putting the cart before the horse a little bit there. the problem isn't freedom of movement (let's try not to use emotive terms like mass migration) is employers seeking cheap labour. better wages would attract more local labour, instead employers actively seek cheap labour from abroad. and that's a result of economic liberalism, which is very different to classical liberalism. classical liberals built houses for their workers to live in, rather than not paying them enough to live in their own house. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Stillgrizzly icansee 3d ago 2 3 Trump is allied with the Republican party, people seem to have overlooked that. Therefore, shock horror, a lot of Republican voters voted for him.

Also in the US, the level of non voting is huge, suggesting a level of ignorance / disillusionment with either of the choices. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Stillgrizzly Jaisans 3d ago 3 4 You're arguing for protectionism, just like Trump, effectively state subsidy of the incumbent population via tarriffs / subsidies / buy British / American campaigns / increased welfare etc, the net effect is the same.

If you're arguing for better "welfare" for the incumbents also, you'd have to discriminate between the incumbents and migrants, something which is anathema to the left in particular and the EU. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Jaisans Stillgrizzly 2d ago 0 1 You're arguing for protectionism

isn't controlled immigration also protectionism? employers exploiting foreign workers at the expense of local labour is just plain wrong, it's not market forces. and it's not the fault of freedom of movement. and it causes trouble...even keir hardie saw that

better welfare would be a good idea. a better one would universal credit. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report Its_me Stillgrizzly 2d ago 3 4 Yep, they hate Corbyn because he's rocking their cosy boat where they could wear Red while having Blue policies. The people who hate Corbyn are the same ones who were vociferous against UKIP, for the same reasons - they threatened to disrupt their LibLabCon club and the opportunities they think they deserve.

[Nov 14, 2016] Clinton betrayal and the future of Democratic Party

Nov 14, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
weejonnie Intheround 11h ago ...In the last 8 years the Democrat party.

Lost control of the Senate
Lost control of the House of Representatives
Lost control of dozens of state legislatures and Governorships.
The Republicans control 36 States of America - One more and they could in theory amend the Constitution.

In Wisconsin (notionally Democrat) the Legislature and Governor are both Republican controlled. And Clinton didn't even campaign there when it was pretty obvious the State was not trending towards her.

[Nov 14, 2016] Working class wages destroyed. The wages of the low paid lowered. Ordinary people robbed of holiday and sickness pay

Most commenters do not realise that it is neoliberalism that caused the current suffering of working people in the USA and elsewhere...
Notable quotes:
"... Working class wages destroyed. The wages of the low paid lowered. Ordinary people robbed of holiday and sickness pay. Working people priced out of ever owning their own home. Our city centers socially cleansed of the working class. Poor people forced to fight like rats in sacks with even poorer foreigners for jobs, housing, school places and social and health services. ..."
"... Keep going mate. Continue to pump out that snobbish attitude because every time you do you've bagged Mr Trump, Mr Farage and Ms LePen another few votes. ..."
"... I recall a time when any suggestion that immigration may be too high was silenced by cries of racism, eventually that label was misused so often that it lost its potency, one gets the sense that this trend for dubbing those who hold certain opinions as somehow unintelligent will go the same way. People are beginning to see through this most hateful tactic of the Modern Left. ..."
"... Which is why I think Mr D'Ancona and many others are wrong to say that Farage and Trump will face the whirlwind when voters realise that their promises were all unachievable. The promises were much less important than the chance to slap the political world in the face. Given another chance, a lot of voters will do the same again. ..."
"... I think the author completely misses the most salient point from the two events he cites: simply that the *vast* majority of people have become completely disenfranchised with the utter corruption that is mainstream politics today. ..."
"... It doesn't matter who is voted in, the status quo [big business and the super-rich get wealthier whilst the middle is squeezed and the poorest are destroyed] remains. ..."
"... The votes for Brexit and Trump are as much a rejection of "establishment" as anything else. Politicians in both countries heed these warnings at their peril... ..."
"... The majority of the people are sick and tired of PC ism and the zero hour, minimum wage economy that both Britain and America have suffered under "globalisation". And of the misguided "[neo]liberal" agenda of much of the media which simply does not speak to or for society. ..."
"... People in western democracies are rising up through the ballot box to defeat PC [neo]liberalism and globalisation that has done so much to impoverish Europe and America morally and economically. To the benefit of the tax haven corporates. ..."
"... Globalisation disembowelled American manufacturing so the likes of Blair and the Clintons could print money. The illimitable lives they destroyed never entered their calculus. ..."
"... I have stood in the blue lane in Atlanta waiting for my passport to be processed; in the adjoining lane was a young British female student (so she said to the official). The computer revealed she had overstayed her visa by 48 hours the last time she visited. She was marched out by two armed tunics to the next plane home. That's how Europeans get treated if they try to enter America illegally. Why the demented furor over returning illegal Hispanics or anyone else? ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

IanPitch 12h ago

Surely the people who voted for Trump and Farage are too stupid to realise the sheer, criminal folly of their decision...

thoughtcatcher -> IanPitch 12h ago

Working class wages destroyed. The wages of the low paid lowered. Ordinary people robbed of holiday and sickness pay. Working people priced out of ever owning their own home. Our city centers socially cleansed of the working class. Poor people forced to fight like rats in sacks with even poorer foreigners for jobs, housing, school places and social and health services.

But yeah, they voted against the elite because they are "stupid".

attila9000 -> IanPitch 11h ago

I think at some point a lot of them will realize they have been had, but then they will probably just blame immigrants, or the EU. Anything that means they don't have to take responsibility for their own actions. It would appear there is a huge pool of people who can be conned into acting against their own self interest.

jonnyoyster -> IanPitch 11h ago

Keep going mate. Continue to pump out that snobbish attitude because every time you do you've bagged Mr Trump, Mr Farage and Ms LePen another few votes. Most people don't appreciate being talked down to and this arrogant habit of calling those who hold views contrary to your own 'stupid' is encouraging more and more voters to ditch the established parties in favour of the new.

I recall a time when any suggestion that immigration may be too high was silenced by cries of racism, eventually that label was misused so often that it lost its potency, one gets the sense that this trend for dubbing those who hold certain opinions as somehow unintelligent will go the same way. People are beginning to see through this most hateful tactic of the Modern Left.

DilemmataDocta -> IanPitch 11h ago

A lot of the people who put their cross against Brexit or Trump weren't actually voting for anything. They were just voting against this, that or the other thing about the world that they disliked. It was voting as a gesture.

Which is why I think Mr D'Ancona and many others are wrong to say that Farage and Trump will face the whirlwind when voters realise that their promises were all unachievable. The promises were much less important than the chance to slap the political world in the face. Given another chance, a lot of voters will do the same again.


Sproggit 12h ago

I think the author completely misses the most salient point from the two events he cites: simply that the *vast* majority of people have become completely disenfranchised with the utter corruption that is mainstream politics today.

It doesn't matter who is voted in, the status quo [big business and the super-rich get wealthier whilst the middle is squeezed and the poorest are destroyed] remains.

The votes for Brexit and Trump are as much a rejection of "establishment" as anything else. Politicians in both countries heed these warnings at their peril...

NotoBlair 11h ago

OMG, the lib left don't Geddit do they?

The majority of the people are sick and tired of PC ism and the zero hour, minimum wage economy that both Britain and America have suffered under "globalisation". And of the misguided "[neo]liberal" agenda of much of the media which simply does not speak to or for society.

People in western democracies are rising up through the ballot box to defeat PC [neo]liberalism and globalisation that has done so much to impoverish Europe and America morally and economically. To the benefit of the tax haven corporates.

The sour grapes bleating of the lib left who refuse to accept the democratic will of the people is a movement doomed failure.

Frankincensedabit 11h ago

Malign to whom? Wall Street and people who want us all dead?

Globalisation disembowelled American manufacturing so the likes of Blair and the Clintons could print money. The illimitable lives they destroyed never entered their calculus.

I have stood in the blue lane in Atlanta waiting for my passport to be processed; in the adjoining lane was a young British female student (so she said to the official). The computer revealed she had overstayed her visa by 48 hours the last time she visited. She was marched out by two armed tunics to the next plane home. That's how Europeans get treated if they try to enter America illegally. Why the demented furor over returning illegal Hispanics or anyone else?

I likely wouldn't have voted at all. But all my life the occupants of the White House represented the interests of those nobody could ever identify. The owners of the media and the numbered accounts who took away the life-chances of U.S. citizens by the million and called any of them who objected a thick white-trash bigot. Whatever Trump is, he will be different.

[Nov 13, 2016] As any macro economist will demonstrate, working lower/blue-collar men, predominantly white, born from the 1960s to 1980s have experienced virtually no prosperity, no 'American dream'.

Nov 13, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
Sulphurman 4d ago 18 19 As any macro economist will demonstrate, working lower/blue-collar men, predominantly white, born from the 1960s to 1980s have experienced virtually no prosperity, no 'American dream'. Their incomes have not kept up with the cost of living, their job sectors have crumbled in the face of outsourcing and technology efficiencies, they are usually debt laden and increasingly angry. Trump captured all of that vote. His team actively targeted that demographic in their state visits.

These voters have been labelled 'off the grid' by the idiotic pollsters, because they dont engage in social media particularly.

The most useful statistic about this victory comes from the Federal Reserve survey in 2013 that found an astonishing 47% of respondents would struggle to pay for a $400 emergency car or heating repair. That breeds disillusion, and gave Trump his majority.

The sexism, racism, misogyny and dark behaviour of Trump made no difference to the fact his winning votes came from people on the wrong end of the distribution of wealth, millions and millions of them. They'll let him continue that behaviour if theres a financial improvement in their lives.

[Nov 12, 2016] Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there

Notable quotes:
"... The party elites--the superdelegates--committed to Clinton from the beginning. They decided it was her turn. And despite all the evidence showing they were supporting a weak, vulnerable, and heavily disliked candidate, they stuck with it anyway. This Trump presidency, and the Republican sweep in the House and Senate, is entirely on the shoulders of 300 insider Democrats. ..."
"... Clinton's supporters among the media didn't help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation's papers, but it was the quality of the media's enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. ..."
"... But she was exactly the wrong candidate for this angry, populist moment. An insider when the country was screaming for an outsider. A technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine. ..."
www.theguardian.com

thetowncrier -> NathAldridge 4d ago

No shit, Sherlock. Sanders would have beaten Trump. We are living in extreme times, and in extreme times centrism and political 'triangulation' doesn't work.

This result will be repeated next year in France with the National Front. Mark my words. And when it does, France will vote to leave the EU and the house of cards will come crashing down.

You can thank the Democrats, a party that used to represent working people, for at least part of that. Their billionaire backers picked Clinton because she'd ensure their wealth would remain untouched. I wonder what they're feeling now?

Aaron Jackson -> NathAldridge 4d ago

How do you figure? Clinton won the Democratic primary by less than the margin of superdelegates. She had a MASSIVE lead in funding, institutional support, and (at the least) insider bias--though it was likely more than that, given that nearly every single election anomaly in that primary bounced her way.

The DNC intentionally limited the debates and scheduled those they did have for off times to try to limit the damage Sanders could do to Clinton, and big media refused to cover Bernie Sanders except in the context of Clinton.

And even with all of that, Sanders pulled within 300 delegates of winning the Democratic Nomination by working through a grassroots, positive campaign. The momentum was entirely on his side, too! And national polls showed him performing MUCH better against Trump than Clinton. And, of course, he had no scandals (real or imagined) to leverage.

The party elites--the superdelegates--committed to Clinton from the beginning. They decided it was her turn. And despite all the evidence showing they were supporting a weak, vulnerable, and heavily disliked candidate, they stuck with it anyway. This Trump presidency, and the Republican sweep in the House and Senate, is entirely on the shoulders of 300 insider Democrats.


NathAldridge 4d ago

The Guardian in a nutshell!

Clinton's supporters among the media didn't help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation's papers, but it was the quality of the media's enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here's what it consisted of:

  • Hillary was virtually without flaws. She was a peerless leader clad in saintly white, a super-lawyer, a caring benefactor of women and children, a warrior for social justice.
  • Her scandals weren't real.
  • The economy was doing well / America was already great.
  • Working-class people weren't supporting Trump. And if they were, it was only because they were botched humans. Racism was the only conceivable reason for lining up with the Republican candidate.

dynamic22 4d ago

"But she was exactly the wrong candidate for this angry, populist moment. An insider when the country was screaming for an outsider. A technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine."

You said everything really.

Watchman80 -> dynamic22 4d ago

Yup.

Also, see this. Note the date (and the imagined Trump speech)

http://static.currentaffairs.org/2016/02/unless-the-democrats-nominate-sanders-a-trump-nomination-means-a-trump-presidency


Choller21 4d ago

Maybe it's time to consider whether there's something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.

I couldn't have put it better. I could have put it with more swear words in though.

BigBlue80 4d ago

Maybe there is a bright side to a Trump victory. After all, there was a reason that tens of millions of good people voted for him yesterday, and maybe he will live up to their high regard for him.

If you assume that election victory (not even a majority as apparently Clinton will win the popular vote) legitmises everything, you are right. But if you believe that there are western values that should not be sacrificed than you are wrong. Eventually, this will be the end of democracy - it will kill itself by electing a fascist. I happened before and it looks ever more likely. The you US with ist overbearing nationalism, its leader-orientation and glorification of the military was always close to fascism, but now it might have taken the final leap into the abyss.

atuocool 4d ago

"[Neo]Liberals" are a type of conservative who never convince me of the sincerity of their "progressive" values. What was progressive about Hillary? What would she have actually done for the poor? How would she have moved America away from being a corporate plutocracy? We all know the answer is nothing. Trump is a nightmare, but he represents a bizarre, retrograde change while Clinton represented a vacuous status quo.

John Hunter 4d ago

with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station


Correct, it is censorship and suppression of contrary opinion and enormously biased towards "The Chosen One"

Once again it proves that the Guardian is against the tide of History.

It is not bad to be contrarian or representing an alternative opinion or "voice" however provided you still maintain some sense of integrity and journalistic professionalism, providing content, news and information that is fair, balanced without indulging in gratuitous character assassination, presenting controversial issues of public importance in a manner that is honest, equitable, and balanced.

The Guardian during the American election as with Brexit and many other controversial issues has consistently aligned itself with policies and opinion that many would consider left-wing or liberal yet is neither as the viewpoints they support betrays the liberty and freedom of the ordinary citizen.

As I said before the election regardless who win or lose the media has already lost by showing its hand and exposed itself as not a true independent source of news and information, but pursuing definite agendas and siding with corporate news media's opinions and politics.

According to the Guardian's own view liberalism will have to be remade in a post-liberal age. It is their own peculiar set of values they believe that is important and not the very principles the left originally defended. Pursuing a certain "metropolitan liberal creed".

An metropolitan liberal elite who believe they are more educated, more intelligent and talented, more enlightened, more able to comprehend what society needs than the slow, slobs, the wasters and good for nothings with their prejudices, that do not know what is good for them.

Their brand of Liberalism has been the complete antithesis of allowing people to take control of their lives. It has been a dictatorial imposition of the beliefs of the least liberal nature.

Equating the tendencies of so-called "social justice warriors" and so-called "identity politics" and equating them somehow with liberalism you're a long way from the truth have little to do with liberalism and no, that's not "left" either.

The establishment in the mainstream media believe they are economically liberals - though privately they look more kindly on monopolies than old school liberals would have. Yet these "liberals" want to happily embrace Brussels' legalistic regime of rules that range from the petty and impractical to a punitive and autocratic dictatorship.

Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedom.

It is no secret what the problem is, lack of jobs, lack of opportunities, people who feel they have no future or rights in their own country anymore.

Ask yourself is what you identify with or support contributing towards a more peaceful, harmonious society where all have a sense of having a place and a future in their own country where they feel they fit in and contribute towards a more safe, secure and prosperous society?

Jerome Fryer John Hunter 4d ago 14 15

An metropolitan liberal elite who believe they are more educated, more intelligent and talented, more enlightened, more able to comprehend what society needs than the slow, slobs, the wasters and good for nothings with their prejudices, that do not know what is good for them.

This is not a new problem. The social elites (self-appointed) of all political persuasions are always bemoaning the stupidity of the plebs in not bowing to their superior understanding of all things. That this unfounded hubris is an amazing exemplar of denial of reality (who just won this election, for example) doesn't seem able to take root in the bubble of acceptable thought in their minds. How could they possibly be talking out of their bottom when it comes to damn near everything? (All evidence aside.)

We need the voice of the 'common people' to be heard, without being filtered by the elites. Fake democracy is not going to work -- we'll end up with a bigger fiasco, such as Jamie Dimon vs Kim Kardashian in the next US Presidential contest. Way past time for those in power to wake up to the fact that they're not in control, and real change that involves the great unwashed in the process is necessary. Trump is one dumb guy, but he has managed to figure out how to use this frustration to get his misogynist, racist, backside into the chair in the Oval Office.

Wise up, 'smart people'. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report _jhfta_ Jerome Fryer 4d ago 10 11

We need the voice of the 'common people' to be heard, without being filtered by the elites.

I give you: Boaty McBoatface. trp981 , 9 Nov 2016 11:2>
Concluding Unscientific Postscripts (*)

- Election of Trump is not just another routine changing of the guards in the US two-party system (although it is that too). This is a significant deviation in the business-as-usual model of politics, and there will be substantial repercussions that will explicitly manifest themselves somewhere down the line.

- The Founding Dudes and the Framers of the US Constitution had set up the system so as to preclude the possibility of ascendance of someone like Trump.

- The Founding Dudes and the Framers of the US Constitution had set up the system so as to eventually make possible the ascendance of someone like Trump.

- Sanders was right. That having had had been said, he would have still lost to Drumpf if he were the D's nominee instead of HRC.

- That is because RealAmerica_a spoke more vocally this time around, overwhelming the voice of RealAmerica_b.

- Judging by geographical size alone, RealAmerica_a is Real America.

- It is simply unimaginable that the enlightened citizenry will elect someone as destructive and unqualified as Reagan in 1980. Such a possibility is not conceivable in any logical space, and even fiction writers are wary to contemplate such an impossibility.

- Election of Reagan is not just another routine changing of the guards in the US two-party system (although it is that too). This is a significant deviation in the business-as-usual model of politics, and there will be substantial repercussions that will explicitly manifest themselves somewhere down the line.

- Trump's victory is a repeat of the interplay of the socioeconomic forces that made Dubya's presidency possible in 2000. Eight more years of this worldview and we will have another Obama-type candidacy afterwards to clean up the mess and make the world safe again for the staggering-but-still-dominant neoliberal order.

- People will be just too exhausted after eight years of Trump's presidency, and they will be so relieved after the election of the next Obama-type president as to retreat to their homes and let the new savior continue cuddling the big economic players and attempting to reach a Grand Bargain with the Republicans to further erode the threadbare social safety net holding up the people, of course for the good of the people themselves and in the name of Serious Politics.

-The dominant position in our society will continue to be the generalization of Alan Grayson's observation: Don't fall down, if you do disappear quickly.

- Setting aside the status quo status of Clinton's policy prescriptions (she a competent steward of the Washington Consensus), Trump's victory also signals the provisional victory of the manly men of RealAmerica_a (and the women who love them) over women (and minorities, and the LGBT, and immigrants, and etc).

- The same way that most people don't know or care about the wavelengths associated with colors, they don't know or care about the underlying forces affecting their lives as long as the politicians put on a good Reality TV show and pull effectively at their heartstrings.

- In other words, F science, F reality.

- In other words, long live Realty TV, the rule of Kardashians, the Apprentice, WWE/WWF , etc. Constant exposure to these things matter.


- Constant exposure to these things don't matter.

- Tomorrow the Sun will come up as before, and the Earth will go around it at a steady pace as before, and the already enfeebled welfare state will continue to fray as before, and millions of US citizens will continue their steady fall into precariousness as before (especially Trump supporters in RealAmerica_a), and millions will continue to lose steady jobs and be pushed into the the gig economy, and the 1% will continue raking in the loot as before under the benevolent gaze of their new leader.

- If HRC had won, all above would still occur, but probably at a lower rate (except for the Sun and Earth thing).

- Drumpf was the Smoker to HRC's Atoller .

(*) Yesyes, I know.

rasnip , 9 Nov 2016 11:2>
I feel lots of parallels can be drawn with brexit, particularly the points made at the end. amazingly people dont like being insulted and talked down to by party elites, the gop base has been totally transformed by trumps campaign.

that said has anyone else noticed that trump supporters only ever say 'hes going to do so much for us' and trump says we are going to reopen the mines/factories/get a better deal but never said how. he has promised unicorns and rainbows to people dealt a shit hand by the economic changes of the last 30 years.

spotthelemon usini , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
The political class amongst US liberals are neo-liberals

Neoliberalism from Reagan to [Bill] Clinton .
written in 1998 the review of this book ends with
" Michael Meeropol's damning indictment of the economic direction of the Clinton presidency demonstrates that nowhere is the need for a new movement more pressing than in the United States".

Well Bush & Obama & Hillary, had she been elected, were continuations of that economic direction. If America has needed a new movement to win since 1999 then I guess they got really desperate which is why they voted for something as bad as Trump. Yes , the liberals or more specifically neo-liberals an be held responsible

Musicismath usini , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
Frank has been making exactly this point since 1997. Others worth reading on this issue include Walter Benn Michaels and Adolph L. Reed, Jr.

Unfortunately, in a lot of fora where this message sorely needs to be heard right now, this article would be summarily dismissed on the basis that Frank used the word "shrill," which is out of bounds in liberal discourse. Which of course just illustrates Frank's point.

Aboutface , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
The DNC put President Trump into the White House. The DNC, fixated on the anointed, untouchable HRC, lost its moral compass and the good work of Bernie and Warren, now amounts to a big fat ZERO.
Laughable, how out of touch - meaningless motherhood cliches cannot pay the bills.
Pinback71 , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
It is a case in point that the MSM have completely lost touch with a population that often relies on the internet for its news. In the old days, the newspaper that was closest to your political viewpoint was delivered to your door as your primary source of information, now every news outlet, blog and forum in the world is delivered directly to your tablet.
The media, like the Government has considerably less influence than a decade or two ago.
Ummmmm , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
Good article and, as one poster put it, encapsulates the Guardian's editorial line in a nutshell.

The FT seems to be to the left of this paper these days, forced to be more hard nosed about the world. This from its columnist Wolfgang Munchenau some days ago:

"What led the centre-left on to such a self-destructive path? The answer is a combination of the following: a false belief that elections are won from the centre; the lure of ministerial limousines; an inferiority complex about not being able to run "responsible fiscal policies"; and a belief that voters of the left have nowhere else to go. .. The main issue is not whether a Keynesian policy response would be economically correct. The more important point is that if the centre-left does not offer it, the populists will. Unless the centre-left returns to its Keynesian roots, I think there is a good chance that the politics of insurrection will succeed."


https://www.ft.com/content/dba252f8-a29c-11e6-82c3-4351ce86813f

Same trends at play in UK, US and Europe. Any lessons to learn?

Omoikani , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
Excellent article. Perhaps the Guardian needs to do a whole lot of soul-searching.

The one thing left out of the article is what Michael Moore said, which is really worth reading in full , but the nub of which is the following:

You live here in Ohio, you know what I'm talking about. Whether Trump means it or not, is kind of irrelevant because he's saying the things to people who are hurting, and that's why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human molotov cocktail that they've been waiting for. The human hand grande that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them.

Persianwar , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>

the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station.

That's a very accurate summary. The first step to winning next time is to understand why you lost this time. The establishment view was that people were going to get Hillary Clinton whether they liked it or not. Next time try listening to people who are angry that their pay has fallen in real terms for 10 years. Try listening to people whose views you disagree with rather than 'no platform' them lest your delicate sensibilities be offended.

MacWolf , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
The list of celebrities and pundits and surrogates taking his side on the campaign trail was extremely short.

I often wonder is having a celebrity endourse you counter productive. I saw many celebs appear on TV and social media telling people they shouldn't vote for Trump. Some went as far as to call people who might vote for Trump idiots. How many people got fed up with rich, famous people telling them how they should vote? If you're someone sitting in America's rust belt, no job or low paid crap job, being told by someone you think probably owns a Hollywood mansion and does very little work, would you not feel a little resentful being told by them how to vote? Wouldn't you take a dislike to a candidate who appears on stage with these celebs and yet you feel ignores you? Just a thought.

dizzyalien MacWolf , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
Rights come with responsibilities.

If you have the right to vote, the responsibility is to think through the implications of using that vote for X or Y candidate, to work out for yourself what will happen to you, your family, your community and your country if you vote for X or Y.

If you vote for Y because you feel "resentful" that someone is using their freedom of speech to urge voting for X rather than Y - perhaps you shouldn't really be voting at all. Just a thought.

SqueakEMouse MacWolf , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
More than just an odd thought my friend. The sight of a procession of wealthy, smug and self entitled celebs, often utter hypocrites, expecting to deliver their Facebook followers to a politician is nauseating and angers more than a few. Few of these celebs are famous for their brains so being called an idiot by a halfwit with money hardly endears them. But still society is in thrall to the concept of celebrity following. It begs the question of what all these followers are actually following. Perhaps Lady Gaga et al have confused the pathological need for an entertainment fix with an adoration of their thoughts and outlook.
MatthewRendall 4d ago

Killing off the neo-liberal virus in the Democratic Party would be a start, but won't be enough, if the Democrats simply put the American equivalents of Jeremy Corbyn in its place. What's desperately needed here are fresh ideas--something analogous to the Keynesian ideas that gave intellectual underpinning to the New Deal.

eken92 , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>

The American white-collar class just spent the year rallying around a super-competent professional (who really wasn't all that competent) and either insulting or silencing everyone who didn't accept their assessment. And then they lost. Maybe it's time to consider whether there's something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.

I think this is a very succinct assessment and goes most of the way to explaining this result, and the Brexit result too. People don't want to be lectured, they want to be listened to (yes, even if you think they're wrong).

MaoriSideStep , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
'Liberals' created the grounds for Brexit too.

You see, their sneering attitude to the British working class, their name-calling, their bogus judgements about the working class for not wanting any more of their rights and opportunities taken away from them.

The 'liberals' are hated as much as the toffs. Brexit was a great example of the bile and hatred the 'liberals' spew out at the disadvantaged working class.

It wasn't the 'liberals' housing and schools, communities and healthcare, employment rights and opportunities that was being eroded though was it? No. But that didn't stop the 'liberals' branding the working class as 'racists' and 'stupid' and 'blind' did it.

Maybe you now can see yourself, on this poxy 'liberal' website and see how YOU have created a situation where the working class want ANYTHING other than more of your poison.

Look at the people bleating about Brexit: the 'liberals', the politicians, the bankers, big business, the judges...my goodness, doesn't that tell a story of the haves and have nots. All the bleaters are the scum that have never had the working class' best interests in mind and yet you think we, the working class, should take heed of their fatuous, aquisitive, vile, whimpers? Really?

It's only just beginning. Toodle pip.

BayOfGiggs MaoriSideStep , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>

The 'liberals' are hated as much as the toffs.

Why you think you'll get a great deal from....

Multi-Billionaire Media Barons controlling the news on both sides of the Atlantic (the same Baron in the case of Murdoch) and they in turn backed by the Trillionaire old and true establishment who are the exact same families as a hundred years ago and hundreds of years before that in many cases.

....baffles me however.

Designcycle MaoriSideStep , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
Very well written and I agree to a large extent - the problem is.. are people like Trump and blood Boris Johnson going to be any more cognisant of the lives and problems of the working class than the liberals? And are they likely to do anything about those problems unless they simultaneously line their own pockets? If, and it's a very big if, the interests of the working class and the interests of Trump et al align somehow then there is a silver lining. If not, then the best we can hope for is that liberals start to reconnect with the people they purport to represent.
westcoaster Designcycle , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>

the problem is.. are people like Trump and blood Boris Johnson going to be any more cognisant of the lives and problems of the working class than the liberals?


No. But maybe, just maybe, the 'left-wing' parties will wake and remember what they are supposed to be for.
Omoikani , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
Here's the other thing. Clinton and her mates at the New York Times and the Guardian are always lecturing us on the need to be compassionate and welcoming towards refugees from faraway places who would like to come and live among us, but there's never a moment of compassion for the people who are already here and suffering miserably on the margins of our already unequal societies - the unemployed and badly employed, the badly housed and homeless, those working sixty hours a week on the minimum wage for some crappy agency. So, guess what. That's why people are voting for stuff like Brexit and Trump.

If you lot in the metropolitan elite can't see this then you are doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes.

Voltaire21 , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
Just like Silvio Berlusconi, Trumps opponents were incapable to escape the trap of trying to sling shit at a candidate made out of teflon.

The Clinton camp tried to fight a war in the trenches...but Trump feeds of negativity, they should have learnt early that nothing was too outrageous or controversial to tarnish him.

The closest they got was the misogyny accusations and even they didn't stick. Just like Berlusconi, Trump the lover of pageantry and beautiful women was being portrayed as a woman hater but he cleverly made it sound like he was hater of feminists instead of women.

The problem with Clinton is that she tried to play the integrity card but that was easily debunked by Trump with email gate.

hashtagthat Voltaire21 , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
"The Clinton camp tried to fight a war in the trenches.."

Very apt, considering she's a warmonger.

finnja , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
The voice of sanity. Thank you, Mr. Frank.
The Democratic Establishment didn't give a hoot about what Bernie had to say, because his presidency would not have served their ambitions. They're more interested in getting nice jobs at Goldman Sachs than controlling the finance industry. And their sons and daughters will not fight in all the wars Clinton&Co see as great business opportunity.
The Dem establishment has failed the people, and now we all reep the whirlwind.
Geoff Conway , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
I agree with Frank's analysis though not his use of the word 'liberal' which has confusingly different meanings. I think the same analysis could be used to explain Brexit.

The problem is a political class which wishes to maintain the status quo of a neo-liberal, globalised economy. For 35 years this economy has redistributed wealth from the poor to the rich and massively damaged the environment. It has thus disadvantaged the great majority of the people in the USA, the UK and indeed people across the world. People are quite reasonably fed up with the lies behind this 'trickle-down' economics. They are angry and want something different. The vacuum created by the failure of the left to recognise this, and come up with a new solution, has resulted in Trump, UKIP, Marine LePen etc.

shooglebunny forkintheroad , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
No. I really think liberals have been their own worst enemies during this election.

They have treated ordinary white Americans as if they are shit, spoken about them in ways that should make them hang their heads in shame and behaved as if they are living in a oligarchy where they can call the shots instead of a democracy and now they are paying the price.

You can only kick a dog so many times before it turns around and bites you.

I would also question the term"liberals" to describe people who are happy seeing jobs moved offshore, causing unemployment at home and slave labour conditions abroad; encouraging mass immigration to bring wages down and create a powerless and easily exploitable servant class and globalisation that provides them with a luxury lifestyle on the cheap while making it harder for just about everyone else.

The only "liberal" thing about these people is their attitudes towards trivial personal issues like sexuality and lifestyle choices.

NathAldridge , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
Wise words from Frank - I hope the Guardian opinionators are made to read it

Clinton's supporters among the media didn't help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation's papers, but it was the quality of the media's enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here's what it consisted of:

Hillary was virtually without flaws. She was a peerless leader clad in saintly white, a super-lawyer, a caring benefactor of women and children, a warrior for social justice.
Her scandals weren't real.
The economy was doing well / America was already great.
Working-class people weren't supporting Trump.
And if they were, it was only because they were botched humans. Racism was the only conceivable reason for lining up with the Republican candidate.

Craig Ross , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
I hope all the Democratic Party insiders who rigged the primary elections are happy now.
SixHeads 4d ago

Absolutely right. And I'm willing to wager the liberal response to this will be to double down on the identity politics, double down on the victimhood narratives, double down on the march toward globalism, and double down on the cries for open borders and ever-increasing levels of immigration. They simply never learn.

It's very clear what happened this morning. Trump won because he picked up the white working class vote in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, all of which had previously voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012. The people in these states didn't magically become racist over the past four years. They saw a candidate (Clinton) who represented "business as usual", and they rejected her.

mrsmiow , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>

Excellent article. Summarises both Brexit as well as Trump's victory.

The stats are showing that Trump polled higher amongst African and Hispanic Americans. I am not surprised. The Democrats, like the UK Labour party, like to think they OWN ethnic voters and they are merely another 'special interest' group alongside women, gays, etc. They don't and us ethnic voters have the same concerns as any other working or middle class voters. And NO ONE appreciates being told they are wrong, racist and unintelligent.

This shows Social liberialism is dead and rotten. Well past its used by date, time to chuck it out. It went off when supposed social justice warriors got into business with big business and fickle finance.

The elites may be well educated but that they couldn't even bare to bring themselves to understand the perspectives of another reveals how broadminded they really are - the journalists, academics etc. They believed in democracy where only one way of thinking and the status quo could be permitted to flourish. This is the most intelligent article to capture the social change that far too many liberals are denying. How are they going deal with reality, ie. Are the majority of Americans and British really racists? The greatest irony is this article is published within the vanguard of what ordinary people are democratically retaliating against.

Dustbowler , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
When you reach rock bottom the only way is to look up. The problem for the Liberalism of the Democratic Party of the last three decades is that it has become a social scientific morality of the well connected and completely unable to deal with the naked populism of Trump let alone the half baked morass of crony capitalism of George Bush.
Lets be opportunistic. This gives it a chance to wipe the slate clean and at the very least rid themselves of the influence of the Clintons who from the removal of Glass-Steagal Act demonstrated their only concerns were with the needs of the Super Rich rather than the majority of the population. Unfortunately you have that feeling that they are not even capable of doing that.
George Pratt , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
"Trump... a folly so bewildering, an incompetence so profound ..."

Har, har, har, the foolish and incompetent Trump is now president elect and you are a wise and competent journalist who foresaw the future clearly.

Maybe you're the foolish incompetent, not Trump. Maybe you should examine the foolish certainty which made you write your Guardian article headlined "With Trump certain to lose, you can forget about a progressive Clinton" and many others based on foolish and incompetent assumptions, reasoning and conclusions

Maybe you and all the rest of the useful idiots on the left should examine all of your convictions about the world. You might discover how often you have been hoodwinked by your own folly into believing trash like Trump will lose to Hillary, AGW is a real problem which can be corrected by funneling trillions to crony capitalist alternative energy companies, fracking is dangerous and the unlimited immigration of millions of young, able bodied, violent, low IQ men is a good thing.

babyboomer1957 , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
Hillary can console herself with a new job at Goldman Sachs, rather like Barosso, Global ambassador sounds nice.
notacarboncopy babyboomer1957 , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
And that is precisely a big part of why she lost.

People are sick of that merry-go-round, proof of the cabal that rules over us.

jennyjl90 , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
Trump will achieve nothing of what he's said he wants to do. Reversing the 'reverse colonisation' of the white western world will fail, especially in the USA where, after all, the Afro-black population didn't ask to move to in the first place (though I'll bet tend dollars dollars not a single Afro-black American would opt for emigrating back to Africa, however much they complain about racial prejudice in the USA - the financial advantages of living in the developed world are FAR too valuable for that!).

As for the Hispanics, I doubt even a wall would stop them. The mass population of Central and South America is far, far greater than that of 'white western America' and their third world economics keep the USA and the developed world a desperate magnet for them (and I can't blame them - I'd fight tooth and nail to get in to the rich west as well!)

Nope, the Trump victory is a sad, hopeless rearguard action against the triumph of twenty-first century 'reverse colonisation' and that is that. The white western world is finished - the only question is, can it 'westernise' the immigrant population in time to save the developed world, or are we doomed to another Dark Ages of Global Third Worldism? (Maybe China will take over as Islam did post Roman Empire, while Europe went savage...)

White Western World - it's game over. Accept it.

queequeg7 , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
When you separate identity politics - race and gender - from inequality and class, which is what Obama and Clinton both did, you end up with Donald Trump moving into the White House ......
queequeg7 Joelee73 , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
The liberal argument has always been about the equality to exploit not an end to exploitation. It was at the heart of New Labour as well as Obama/Clinton Democrats ...
tedthetopcat queequeg7 , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>
For the last 30 odd years the liberal left have claimed class no longer mattered. Now the "white" working class have twice given them a kicking in 2016. When you're at the bottom class really matters!
MereMortal , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>

And so Democratic leaders made Hillary their candidate even though they knew about her closeness to the banks, her fondness for war, and her unique vulnerability on the trade issue – each of which Trump exploited to the fullest.

I really like Thomas Frank, but I wish in this diatribe that he wouldn't cheapen the countless (because the Americans don't count them) who have paid the price for Hillary's 'fondness for war' by referring to it like that, in passing, as if it was a fondness for muffins.
I wish that he had a bit more righteous fury about how the crazed neocon warmongers who effectively rule America and for whom Hillary was the latest acceptable face, with her almost total sense of entitlement, based on the fact that she was a woman, acted like she was heading for a coronation.
Yes it would be great if a woman had been elected president, I can think of at least two others one running, and one not, but doesn't even the most basic tenet of critical thinking require us to ask searching questions, about the specific woman ?

callaspodeaspode , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
He has run one of the lousiest presidential campaigns ever. In saying so I am not referring to his much-criticized business practices or his vulgar remarks about women. I mean this in a purely technical sense: this man fractured his own party.

But did he really 'fracture' his own party? From the superficial point of view, one might have thought so. Many Democrats hope so.
But I'll suggest this. Anybody who is holding out the faint hope that he will work badly with the GOP in Congress is going to be very disappointed. He's going to put his signature to virtually everything they want. They're going to have a lot of fun together.
Even stuff which directly contradicts what he ran on and which upset many in the Republican establishment. I'm thinking foreign policy and trade agreements.

And those in movement conservatism who didn't like him, like Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson? Watch them do a 180 over the next six months.

I'll bet on it.

Designcycle , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
Excellent article, about six months late, but hopefully not too late for liberals everywhere to wake up to the idea that if you claim to want to help improve the lives of the working class you better listen to them first, and connect with them second. I always thought laughing and sneering at Trump and particularly his supporters was never going to work. And sure enough it didn't. Nobody likes being patronised.
fragglerokk , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
Sanders would have breezed it.

The Democrats ultimatey feared change

The Republicans didn't.

Sometimes you've got to have the courage to move beyond a rotting status quo and into a brave new world. If you don't you leave the door open for something potentially much much worse to take that opportunity.

How about doing a piece on how the press keep getting it wrong all the time, how you keep misjudging the mood of the people, the zeitgeist, how afraid you are of change and how as a result you keep siding with the establishment when the vast majority of people are fed up with its incessant inaction and bullshit?
Youre letting the fascists in through the open door because youre too afraid to give up your priviledges and go towards healthy change. You deserve what youre going to get because you spent too much time on here waffling bullshit and not enough time on the streets listening to what people want. Total cognitive dissonance. Social media is no good for assessing the mood of the people, its for pussy cat photos and selfies.

Franz Habsburg fragglerokk , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
Would have? He could not even beat Clinton in the primaries! Americans overthrow democratic socialist governments, they don't elect them.
edhemingway fragglerokk , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
The republicans feared change, but winning was more important to them. As incongruous as it may seem, a billionaire businessman reached out to voters disenfranchised by some 30 years of partisan parlour games. Maybe it'll dawn on the Democrats who they should be reaching out to and maybe it'll dawn on the Republicans that there's more to being a politician than banging on about God and being against abortion.

I don't like the guy and find some of his views abhorrent and would even have preferred HC, but... but... this may be a wake up call for politics in America. Not sure it will be because after Brexit, the finger was pointed at the London middle classes and older voters whereas the strength of the vote came from the post-industrial heartland destroyed by Thatcher and virtually ignored by both parties ever since. Still, we'll see.

Steve Giess , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
"With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. "

Spot on analysis.
Let the soul-searching amongst the mainstream journalistic elites begin.

People have rspecially started to notice the "with nuance and all contrary views deleted" part. That is part of the problem and part of the reason Trump got elected as a sort of collective middle finger to the establishment by ordinary people who are sick of being told what to think and how to think by unelected elites whose job it is supposed to be to report the FACTS, and not to dictate what people are allowed to say or think. Because as a great person once said "Facts are sacred." And as JS Mill said in his famous essay 'On Liberty' - we should not censor unpopular views because even though the unpopular view may be incorrect we may come to a better understanding of why our own view is correct by seeing its collision with error. (Quite apart from the fact that the unpopular view is not always correct and by suppressing it we may never know the truth.)

I hope the mainstream media learn from this disaster and start living up to the ideals of the intellectual founders of our liberal democracies such as JS Mill who would no doubt be appalled at the lerhaps well intentioned but counterproductive censorsgip of views which run counter to that of the prevailing orthodoxy.

MustaphaMondeo Steve Giess , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>
It's because they believe we are stupid. The intellectual snobbery of the oxbridge set, think they are better than us. Little suspecting that most of us can't be arsed with that shite.

I blame education. It's turned their heads.

AlpineJoe 4d ago

The thing that keeps coming back to me with this election, as with Brexit, was the established candidates ignoring what people were saying. In Brexit, the remain side utterly ignored immigration, whilst the leave side focused on it. I don't think the remain side realised that immigration wasn't just conjured up by Daily Mail headlines but was a genuine issue for many people.

In the US, Trump spoke openly about jobs; bringing them back and preventing outsourcing. Looking again at trade deals to make sure American jobs were protected. Clinton's team ignored this.

Take heed for the future, politicians. Listen to what people actually say, not just the bits they say that you agree with.

Stillgrizzly AlpineJoe , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>

Indeed, that's the problem, a narrow political elite expecting the population to vote as they think, rather than as the population think. The disconnect between the consensus and the politicians is wide, the left in particular withdraws to the safety of it's narrow agenda when threatened leaving the centre wide open.
Louis Raine , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
"Cold War propaganda station. Here's what it consisted of:

- Hillary was virtually without flaws.
- She was a peerless leader clad in saintly white, a super-lawyer, a caring benefactor of women and children, a warrior for social justice.
- Her scandals weren't real.
- The economy was doing well / America was already great.
- Working-class people weren't supporting Trump.
- If they were, it was only because they were botched humans. Racism was the only
conceivable reason for lining up with the Republican candidate."

Funny how all of these points were constantly touted in the Guardian... oh the ironny

SlumVictim , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
The neoliberals weren't listening and probably still aren't listening. They will be blaming the white working class rednecks but there isn't enough of white working class rednecks to cause this upset. Professional neoliberal policians have neither the insight nor the intelligence to figure out they are the problem, they alienated the people they ignored while looking after the rich.

We see the same problem in the Labour Party here. The neoliberal Blairites spent 13 years using identity politics as a way to pretend to be radical while showing utter contempt for the white (and black) working class. When they lost two elections and Scotland, they blamed the left, as though no one could reject neoliberalism. Sorry professional neoliberal politicians, your days of your front trotters in the trough are almost up, you are being rejected and anyone but you seems to be the preference.

Inversnaid SlumVictim , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
You, Sir or Madam, are a genius. Your analysis - like the analysis of the article - is spot on and your prose is punchy, concise and grammatically correct. You should be pick of the day.
SlumVictim , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
The neoliberals weren't listening and probably still aren't listening. They will be blaming the white working class rednecks but there isn't enough of white working class rednecks to cause this upset. Professional neoliberal policians have neither the insight nor the intelligence to figure out they are the problem, they alienated the people they ignored while looking after the rich.

We see the same problem in the Labour Party here. The neoliberal Blairites spent 13 years using identity politics as a way to pretend to be radical while showing utter contempt for the white (and black) working class. When they lost two elections and Scotland, they blamed the left, as though no one could reject neoliberalism. Sorry professional neoliberal politicians, your days of your front trotters in the trough are almost up, you are being rejected and anyone but you seems to be the preference.

Inversnaid SlumVictim , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
You, Sir or Madam, are a genius. Your analysis - like the analysis of the article - is spot on and your prose is punchy, concise and grammatically correct. You should be pick of the day.
Spacebanj0 , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Very interesting, and striking, parallels with Brexit. A disaffected majority, who don't believe they are listened to, rally round people who speak their language, engage with their fears and concerns and give them easy solutions to difficult problems.

Both decisions are tragically wrong, in my view, but its clear there is a huge disconnect between those on the left (notional or otherwise) and their usual target voters.

catherine Spacebanj0 , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
The description of the Democrats is reminding me of New Labour...
iruka , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Absolutely spot on. And broadly applicable right across the western world. It wasn't Hillary the personality, or Hillary the crook, or Hillary the incompetent who lost the election.

It was the Hillary the archetypal representative of the smug 'n' shabby liberal stitch-up that's done us all over, basking in its meritocratic delusions, and raising all the ladders (and greasing the sides) to the lifeboats in which those delusions were acted out to delusional acclaim...

...even as it was busy handing the world over first (greedily) to transnational capitalism and now (stupidly) to the marauding squads of pinhead fascists that'll be everywhere in the US within weeks, maybe days. A couple of million George fucking pinhead Zimmermans.

"Socialism or Barbarism" (rings truer and truer!) is a choice that excludes liberalism only because liberalism is too morally and aesthetically insubstantial to make the cut. Imagine the choice in the form of a movie, and liberalism would be the twitching little grass who betrays the hero for the price of a bottle of White Lighting.

(In real life it's not a bottle of cider, of course: it's more likely a nice old house in a gentrified area that still holds on to the charming character of the people it displaced, some of whom spend 5 hours a day on the bus to come back and work in the charming shops and eateries, or as nannies and cleaners....).

Musicismath , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
This is a very good piece (as you'd expect from a cultural critic as smart as Frank is), but it really needs to be read alongside Adolph L. Reed's excoriating article in Harper's from 2014, "Nothing Left: The Slow Surrender of American Liberals":

The left has no particular place it wants to go. And, to rehash an old quip, if you have no destination, any direction can seem as good as any other. The left careens from this oppressed group or crisis moment to that one, from one magical or morally pristine constituency or source of political agency (youth/students; undocumented immigrants; the Iraqi labor movement; the Zapatistas; the urban "precariat"; green whatever; the black/Latino/LGBT "community"; the grassroots, the netroots, and the blogosphere; this season's worthless Democrat; Occupy; a "Trotskyist" software engineer elected to the Seattle City Council) to another. It lacks focus and stability; its mιtier is bearing witness, demonstrating solidarity, and the event or the gesture. Its reflex is to "send messages" to those in power, to make statements, and to stand with or for the oppressed.


We are in a very bad place right now, in terms of ideas and arguments. The opposition, in pretty much every western hemisphere country, has been colonised by the same people: professional politicians, upper-middle-class in social background, educated at the same small group of elite universities, reflexively committed to meritocratic ideology. They're very good at expressing sympathy for the marginalised, at saying the right words, at, as Reed says, "sending messages" and engaging in representational politics. But all those gestures do nothing for the constituencies they supposedly represent. They're ultimately selfish -- focussed on their own career advancement and the narrow class interests of the meritocratic-professional elite itself. The opposition, as Frank himself once said, "has ceased to oppose" in any economically meaningful sense. (Although they're very good at symbolic forms of opposition on cultural and historical issues.)

And now their constituencies have noticed and have withdrawn their votes.

sarahsmith232 , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
according to exit polls every section of white America, old, young, affluent, low-income, educated/not voted Trump, all bar 'young college educated white females', older college educated white females also voted Trump.
Same here with Brexit, voting patterns show the all white groups voted out, nothing to do with education levels, income or age.
The pundits write about 'the crisis of liberalism',, hhmmm, I think it should more be 'the rejection of illiberal openess'. When we say 'immigration needs to be reduced' the 'elites' reach for the favourite fall back 'you're a white that's racist/fascist/backward/uneducated' etc etc etc response. Well, turns out, the white part is right, the rest is just class based ignorance. Clinton was the absolute embodiment of this type of ignorance and arrogance. That basket of deplorables thing was disgusting, I felt personally insulted by it myself (i'm in the UK). Absolute standard 'elite' arrogance and hatred of those that don't agree with you. She's just paid for that hate by alienating absolutely EVERY SINGLE section of white America.
Trump's politics is a rejection of a globalism that has damaged the interests of so many, we're all far far too open to the forces of the world coming in at us from all directions, Catholics in Eastern Europe are not allowed their Christian values, are smeared as backward and ordered by foreign 'elites' in Brussels to drop all that they hold dear or face fines. We've all watched as the Remoaners showed to the world just exactly how 'tolerant' and 'accepting' they are of those they don't agree with, erupting into a torrent of class based ignorance and venomous hatred.
Well, they've all been at all this for far too long, and we're all pushing back against it. Spew race based hate at those that don't agree with you, BBC journalists shouting 'Nazi, fascist, racist' at any slight tightening up of immigration, Hilary Clinton labelling most white working-class a basket of fascist deployarables and hey presto, you lose to a repulsive cartoon like Trump.
They need to start thinking on about just exactly who it is in reality that's the race haters. Most are on the Left.
alanredangel , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>

A technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine.

Good writing.

Mr Baker , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards . Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs .
hflashman , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Given that Republicans have been opposed to intervention by Big Government at least since the Great Depression if Trump gets the go ahead for some of his ideas it will be a case of 4 legs good 2 legs better.
Omoikani , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>

With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station.

Quite so. And now the elitist corporate media which got everything wrong, including their highly confident predictions about the result, will now tell you in a highly confident manner all the things that are going to happen as a result of the thing they said wouldn't happen. First to dash off a thousand words of hyperventilating predictions? Jonathan Freedland , so top marks to him for speed, if nothing else.

gipsymermaid , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Interesting article, and in a way I sensed it coming unfortunately, at least in the meaning that I have always felt that certain liberal and "progressive" thoughts are just too alien from basic human nature, and are being forced to enter the mainstream a bit too fast, and that this is a huge risk in the sense that when people decide they are not ready for these and it's time to reject them properly, then all the valuable, truly liberating and forward-thinking ideas will be drained along with them and that means dark times ahead indeed.

I am from Eastern-Europe, and, while I don't have a lot of personal memories of the communist times myself, most of the liberal bits of my cultural heritage comes from the counter-culture, a lot of the things we value today in my country were, albeit not necessarily all illegal as such, certainly more of the taboo sort, than they would have been in the West. Now it looks like that with all this Brexit and America, the West will have to learn to use the liberal thinking to serve as meaningful criticism of the system that will be built in the future by these new people. It's the Westerner's turn now, to learn to read between the lines and produce culture with purpose other than entertainment (if there is any positive side to this, then it should be the rise of new, creative movies and the end of the high-budget superhero era, and the birth of music with lyrics worth listening to lol, that's what I keep telling myself as my silver lining for now at least.)

It's obviously difficult to compare, nothing, in the entire world at the time was this commercialised and business and technology and life and everything was obviously very different. And, crucially, whilst the commies declared themselves to be ruling in the name of the common working people, they had their own breed of intellectuals, at least in my country, there was an approved bunch of scientists, artists etc, who could stretch it and provide some sense. So, worryingly enough, from this point of view I wouldn't say they were comparable to the type of anti-intellectualist mob rule seemingly putting these people into power, and that is my real fear, that these new rulers will not even have their own bunch of approved scientists who might not approve the views of atheists or feminists or whatever, but would at least be ready to provide these new governments with sound advice on the environment, education, health, etc.

I'm not sure how avoidable this could have been in reality, but it should have been, because we have no time for such ideological bullsh*t games (excuse my words), the damage we are doing to our own, living planet is becoming irreparable, and we really, absolutely, from all backgrounds and cultures must work together to basically stay alive.

bobkolker , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
The arrogance and snotty mindedness of the progressive liberal establishment has be dealt a righteous slap in the face which they have been asking for, for decades. The Revolt of the Deplorables. This was the winter of our discontent. Now it is our turn.

Time will tell whether this upset is the beginning of a much better era in the U.S.

I voted for Trump not because I like him (personally I find him repulsive) but because he was a wrecking ball and a sledge hammer to be used against the liberal progressives that have been running the U.S. into the ground for decades.

This the Moment of the Ticked Off Deplorables.

This is also a surprise. This is the most exciting time since Truman defeated Dewey.

Jamozki , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Except it was the Republicans (not the "white collar liberals") who deregulated the Wall Street banks. It was the Republicans who gave tax breaks to the wealthy 1% and it was the Republicans who got rid of welfare. The biggest con of all? That the majority of uneducated Americans who just voted Republican, think that the GOP represent thier interests and it's all the fault of the "liberals". We are without doubt witnessing the beginning of the end of the American empire...
Down2dirt Jamozki , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Clinton kept all Bush Senior's 'experts' , loonies like Greenspan. Obama's candidate?

Wake up! They are two cheeks of the same arse.

grauniadreader101 Jamozki , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>

We are without doubt witnessing the beginning of the end of the American empire...

And about time, too! That said, you are right about the GOP being the party of deregulation, tax-breaks for the rich etc. but since in the 35 years since Reagan, when bank deregulation began in earnest (I know, Nixon repealed the Gold Standard), we have had 16 years of Democratic rule, and NOTHING has been done to reverse it; in fact, quite the opposite. Most of the damage was done between Clinton (who repealed Glass-Steigel) and his chairman of the Fed, Alan Greenspan.

Thomas Fr

grauniadreader101 Jamozki , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>

We are without doubt witnessing the beginning of the end of the American empire...

And about time, too! That said, you are right about the GOP being the party of deregulation, tax-breaks for the rich etc. but since in the 35 years since Reagan, when bank deregulation began in earnest (I know, Nixon repealed the Gold Standard), we have had 16 years of Democratic rule, and NOTHING has been done to reverse it; in fact, quite the opposite. Most of the damage was done between Clinton (who repealed Glass-Steigel) and his chairman of the Fed, Alan Greenspan.

Thomas Frank is right on the money. People voted for Trump precisely because both parties represent business as usual and people are sick of it. Same with Brexit.

ank is right on the money. People voted for Trump precisely because both parties represent business as usual and people are sick of it. Same with Brexit.

ProperEnglishman 4d ago

The silent majority,the ones who go to work pay their taxes and quietly get on with life have spoken. Don't underestimate us. We're intelligent, humble and caring. We're entitled to a view. We've had enough, we don't have to bully scream and shout to get our way, we go down to the polling station and we put a cross in the box we feel passionately about and we go home back to our quiet lives-job done.Well done the people of America,you have had the equivalent to our Brexit and now let's get the world back to how it should be. One of the most satisfying parts is listening to the Lefties,Luvvies and BBC crying their eyes out. The times they are a changing.

mouchefisher , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>

It is a liberalism of the rich, it has failed the middle class, and now it has failed on its own terms of electability. Enough with these comfortable Democrats and their cozy Washington system. Enough with Clintonism and its prideful air of professional-class virtue. Enough!

Amen to that. Thank you, Thomas Frank, for articles such as this one. A lone voice of progressive reason at the Guardian (neo)liberal circus.

We need to overhaul the DNC, as well as the Guardian and NYT editorial boards.

HenryGeorgeFan , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>

She was the Democratic candidate because it was her turn and because a Clinton victory would have moved every Democrat in Washington up a notch.

Spot on. And this is exactly the misery that infects both wings of the Labour Party.

People in politics jostling for power and status, like it's a hobby for them, a kind of shoot-em up where the consequences of policy affect only other people.

Cameron and Johnson and all the slime of the Tory party suffer from the same disease.

Why do you want to be prime minister, you spam faced Tefal foreheaded dilettante?

"Well, I think I'd be rather good at it."

Well, you weren't. You were awful at it, because you had no basic guiding principles, just like all the other dilettantes from Eton and all the other posh boy Petri dishes where hubris is cultivated.

Buggin's turn.

Well, bug off.

[Nov 12, 2016] Voting for Clinton is like eating the fork, and only a complete moron would do that.

Nov 12, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
Anya2358 4d ago 17 18 More about Clinton and the Washington establishment than Trump. Just as Brexit was about Wasteminster's Elitists and not the EU. I saw wonderfully funny cartoons sent to me by my American friends, the best one said:

Voting for an independent is like eating a salad, it's the right thing to do, but will it really make much difference. Voting for Trump is like eating a spicy, greasy Burrito, fun at first, but then you have to digest it. Voting for Clinton is like eating the fork, and only a complete moron would do that.

[Nov 11, 2016] I ve been reading the Grauniad , as it used to be affectionately known because of its frequent misprints, for nearly fifty years, and I don't think I've ever found it as unreadable (not to mention smug and self-righteous) as it is today. Its earnest and hectoring tone was always easy to parody

Nov 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
David November 10, 2016 at 4:49 pm

I've been reading the Grauniad , as it used to be affectionately known because of its frequent misprints, for nearly fifty years, and I don't think I've ever found it as unreadable (not to mention smug and self-righteous) as it is today. Its earnest and hectoring tone was always easy to parody ("Guardian Woman" had become a standing joke by the 1980s) but over the last few years of reading it on the internet from abroad I am no longer sure what I actually read and what my subconscious invented in the form of parody (was there really a headline like "Why is the Football Association Failing Transexual Goalkeepers?" or did I just dream it?") If you want a classic example of a once distinguished publication ruined by identity politics, that would be my nomination. (To be fair, the Independent 's coverage has been an order of magnitude worse.)

The real French equivalent of the Guardian by the way is Libιration which has followed a similar, but even worse trajectory, and specialises these days in front-page vilification of anyone who transgresses correct identity group thinking – most recently the philosopher Michel Onfray who dared to make a few critical remarks about radical islam. Le Monde is a neoliberal and neoconservative rag these days, but less unreadable than Libι.
Oh tempora, oh mores!

Synoia November 10, 2016 at 5:12 pm

I now feel the same about The Economist, I used to read it for education, starting at Uni in 1967. It appears to me now to be a Neo Liberal mouthpiece.

craazyboy November 10, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Surprise! Under "new" management.

The Economist Group is owned by the Cadbury, Rothschild, Schroder, Agnelli and other family interests as well as a number of staff and former staff shareholders.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economist_Group

makedoanmend November 10, 2016 at 5:25 pm

I'll take your word about the French newspapers. I fled from the Lib after about 2 minutes perusal recently – it had been years (many, many) since I read it.

And I just don't see that much difference between the guardian's neoliberalism and Le Monde's but, then again, I only dip into Le Monde about once a week. Science articles are the only thing I read in any depth.

best

[Nov 11, 2016] Pepsi and Cola neoliberal wings of the same Grand American Imperial Party

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats don't represent the blue collar class anymore, but neither do the Republicans. Republicans supported NAFTA, CAFTA and China joining the WTO. They were the architects of the modern economy. The forerunners that the Clinton Democrats emulated. They were major advocates of deregulation of the financial sector, weakening of anti-trust laws, the destruction of the social safety net, and the crippling of labor unions. They created the wealth gap under Ronald Reagan. TPP might be considered Obama's project, but a Republican Congress fast-tracked it. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
MooseMcNaulty 6h ago

The Democrats don't represent the blue collar class anymore, but neither do the Republicans. Republicans supported NAFTA, CAFTA and China joining the WTO. They were the architects of the modern economy. The forerunners that the Clinton Democrats emulated. They were major advocates of deregulation of the financial sector, weakening of anti-trust laws, the destruction of the social safety net, and the crippling of labor unions. They created the wealth gap under Ronald Reagan. TPP might be considered Obama's project, but a Republican Congress fast-tracked it.

This was less about which party better represents the working class than it was about which personality and rhetoric the working class preferred. Trump was talking about illegal immigration, trade policy, manufacturing jobs, rigged politics and sycophantic media, while Clinton was talking about incremental changes to subsidize childcare. If it had been Sanders and Jeb! it would've gone the other way, for much the same reasons.

[Nov 11, 2016] the issue here is class , the Republicans and Democrats are the two wings of the same party

Nov 11, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

Justanotherwageslave

, 10 Nov 2016 12:3>
The analysis is correct more of less , the issue here is class , the Republicans and Democrats are the two wings of the same party. The party of property and money and the powerful , the vote for Trump is one of those events that happens much like Obama being elected twice after the Republicans stole the two previous elections via the supreme court and election fraud. It can happen but the system remains the same , there is no serious challenge to the supremacy of the ruling class.

The one analysis you will not hear in the media is a class one and if it is then it will be howled down lest it gain currency and the wage slaves realise they have been conned yet again , Trump is not unusual in his attitudes or views , it's just that the campaign gave them wide publicity.

In the UK the same kind of thing has happened to Labour , they lost Scotland and the 2010 election and the remain vote because ordinary working people are tired just as they are in the US of seeing the rich get every richer and their own living standards fall and nothing in the future but more pain and misery. They vote UKIP/SNP here as a cry in the wilderness and they voted for Trump for the same reason because they aren't what they've had before , the real problem will come when the right wing populists have been in power for a while and nothing has really improved.

[Nov 11, 2016] Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more by Robert Reich

Notable quotes:
"... At the start of the 2016 election cycle, this power structure proclaimed Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush shoo-ins for the nominations of the Democratic and Republican parties. After all, both of these individuals had deep bases of funders, well-established networks of political insiders, experienced political advisers and all the political name recognition any candidate could possibly want. ..."
"... Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don't reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience. Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money. ..."
"... Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. ..."
"... Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it. ..."
"... Bill Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated. The unsurprising result of this combination – more trade, declining unionization and more industry concentration – has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. This created an opening for Donald Trump's authoritarian demagoguery, and his presidency. ..."
"... The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn't wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

What has happened in America should not be seen as a victory for hatefulness over decency. It is more accurately understood as a repudiation of the American power structure.

At the core of that structure are the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and fundraisers; the major media, centered in New York and Washington DC; the country's biggest corporations, their top executives, and Washington lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their lackeys in Washington; and the wealthy individuals who invest directly in politics.

At the start of the 2016 election cycle, this power structure proclaimed Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush shoo-ins for the nominations of the Democratic and Republican parties. After all, both of these individuals had deep bases of funders, well-established networks of political insiders, experienced political advisers and all the political name recognition any candidate could possibly want.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the White House. The presidency was won by Donald Trump, who made his fortune marketing office towers and casinos, and, more recently, starring in a popular reality-television program, and who has never held elective office or had anything to do with the Republican party. Hillary Clinton narrowly won the popular vote, but not enough of the states and their electors secure a victory.

Hillary Clinton's defeat is all the more remarkable in that her campaign vastly outspent the Trump campaign on television and radio advertisements, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Moreover, her campaign had the support in the general election not of only the kingpins of the Democratic party but also many leading Republicans, including most of the politically active denizens of Wall Street and the top executives of America's largest corporations, and even former Republican president George HW Bush. Her campaign team was run by seasoned professionals who knew the ropes. She had the visible and forceful backing of Barack Obama, whose popularity has soared in recent months, and his popular wife. And, of course, she had her husband.

Trump, by contrast, was shunned by the power structure. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, actively worked against Trump's nomination. Many senior Republicans refused to endorse him, or even give him their support. The Republican National Committee did not raise money for Trump to the extent it had for other Republican candidates for president.

What happened?

There had been hints of the political earthquake to come. Trump had won the Republican primaries, after all. More tellingly, Clinton had been challenged in the Democratic primaries by the unlikeliest of candidates – a 74-year-old Jewish senator from Vermont who described himself as a democratic socialist and who was not even a Democrat. Bernie Sanders went on to win 22 states and 47% of the vote in those primaries. Sanders' major theme was that the country's political and economic system was rigged in favor of big corporations, Wall Street and the very wealthy.

... ... ...

The power structure of America wrote off Sanders as an aberration, and, until recently, didn't take Trump seriously. A respected political insider recently told me most Americans were largely content with the status quo. "The economy is in good shape," he said. "Most Americans are better off than they've been in years."

Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don't reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience. Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money.

Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Workers without college degrees – the old working class – have fallen furthest. Most economic gains, meanwhile, have gone to top. These gains have translated into political power to elicit bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, special tax loopholes, favorable trade deals and increasing market power without interference by anti-monopoly enforcement – all of which have further reduced wages and pulled up profits.

Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it.

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in "swing" suburbs.

Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of Congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and economic security. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

They stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with simple up-or-down votes. Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22% of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to less than 12% today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy's gains.

Bill Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated. The unsurprising result of this combination – more trade, declining unionization and more industry concentration – has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. This created an opening for Donald Trump's authoritarian demagoguery, and his presidency.

Now Americans have rebelled by supporting someone who wants to fortify America against foreigners as well as foreign-made goods. The power structure understandably fears that Trump's isolationism will stymie economic growth. But most Americans couldn't care less about growth because for years they have received few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.

The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn't wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump.

gloriousrevolution , 11 Nov 2016 15:5

I'm in agreement with RR, as far as he goes. He could have gone further, but it's probably not the time or place for that, anyway, that road is depressing.

Trump's an opportunist, certainly, but a very, very, successful one indeed. He has, after all, made an awful lot of money that way, so he's not that lacking in intelligence and ruthlessness. If only Sanders had been more ruthless and willing to stick the knife into the Democratic Party when he had the chance.

Trump, essentially ran as an independent. First he needed to defeat the Republican Party's establishment, which he did, take over the party and only then was he ready to challenge the Democrats and beat them down. He succeeded in his strategy, beating both of them, which is an astonishing feat, historic in character.

It actually gets worse for liberals. Trump also took on the liberal media and despite their best efforts to destroy him, brazenly supporting Clinton and ridiculing Trump and his supporters... Trump didn't just survive the onslaught, but crushed the media as well. Vast swathes of the population hate and despise the media as much as they loathe the political elite. People simply don't believe the media anymore, so most of their attacks on Trump were useless and ineffective when they came.

And it really isn't Trump that's important here. It's the character of the wave he surfed on and lifted him into the White House. But the media ignored the wave and have done for years and years. Now, the fascist chickens have really come home to roost and much of the responsibility lies with the incredible ignorance, arrogance and mind-numbing stupidity that characterizes so much of the media.

zootsuitbeatnick , 11 Nov 2016 15:5
"Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more."
And they haven't since Bill Clinton had his way with the party in the 90s.
As much as the right enjoys calling the Clintons liberals, they're not.
They're neo-liberals, which is a whole different philosophy.
The Dems abandoned those who supported them for generations and we are all living in the ever-worsening result of that betrayal.
judyblue , 11 Nov 2016 14:2
So Robert Reich spent the past year enthusiastically encouraging us to vote for a candidate who embodied every last bit of the formula that he now tells us was a sure loser. Should he perhaps have warned his long-time good friend Hillary that she was on the wrong road? That being the servant of Wall Street and promising the status quo with incremental progress was a recipe for failure?
Dave Hobbs judyblue , 11 Nov 2016 15:4
Except Reich was a Sanders supporter...
twitty , 11 Nov 2016 14:1
As you say, sir:
"The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn't wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump."
This includes Obama's role as enabler.
Ironic, that Obama was a charismatic campaigner who failed entirely to become a charismatic president. And he lost to a candidate who had another sort of charisma: That of a lying, sneering, insulting, self-important clown.
Shows how bad things have become for a once hard-working & productive middle class now set adrift.
newsfrommars twitty , 11 Nov 2016 15:0
The same power structure that has for decades ignored the plight of millions in favour of it's own elitist wealth building, little wonder this election result. The neo liberals by their arrogance and lack of empathy have brought us to this setting us back decades. Clinton was definately does not hold any sympathy for the downtrodden, she cannot, she's in another class, the billionaire type. That is why we must never trust them or ever look again to people with this background to help us. They are responsible for the descent towards fascism and the people are responsible for their utter gullability in believing them in the first place.
morphy smith twitty , 11 Nov 2016 15:3
Obama is the worst president and most divisive. he is the master race baiter as well.

Nov 11, 2016 | Pinterest

How the 2016 US election night unfolded

The power structure of America wrote off Sanders as an aberration, and, until recently, didn't take Trump seriously. A respected political insider recently told me most Americans were largely content with the status quo. "The economy is in good shape," he said. "Most Americans are better off than they've been in years."

Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don't reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience. Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money.

Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Workers without college degrees – the old working class – have fallen furthest. Most economic gains, meanwhile, have gone to top. These gains have translated into political power to elicit bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, special tax loopholes, favorable trade deals and increasing market power without interference by anti-monopoly enforcement – all of which have further reduced wages and pulled up profits.

Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it.

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in "swing" suburbs.

Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of Congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and economic security. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

They stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with simple up-or-down votes. Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22% of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to less than 12% today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy's gains.

Bill Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated. The unsurprising result of this combination – more trade, declining unionization and more industry concentration – has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. This created an opening for Donald Trump's authoritarian demagoguery, and his presidency.

Now Americans have rebelled by supporting someone who wants to fortify America against foreigners as well as foreign-made goods. The power structure understandably fears that Trump's isolationism will stymie economic growth. But most Americans couldn't care less about growth because for years they have received few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.

The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn't wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump.

ga gamba , 11 Nov 2016 13:0
I give Mr Reich his due. He recognised the the issue and foresaw this outcome when he wrote about it on 25 Jan 2016 .

I've known Hillary Clinton since she was 19 years old, and have nothing but respect for her. In my view, she's the most qualified candidate for president of the political system we now have.

But Bernie Sanders is the most qualified candidate to create the political system we should have, because he's leading a political movement for change.

The upcoming election isn't about detailed policy proposals. It's about power – whether those who have it will keep it, or whether average Americans will get some as well. [...]

Which explains a paradox I found a few months ago when I was on book tour in the nation's heartland: I kept bumping into people who told me they were trying to make up their minds in the upcoming election between Sanders and Trump.

At first I was dumbfounded. The two are at opposite ends of the political divide. But as I talked with these people, I kept hearing the same refrains. They wanted to end "crony capitalism." They detested "corporate welfare," such as the Wall Street bailout.

They wanted to prevent the big banks from extorting us ever again. Close tax loopholes for hedge-fund partners. Stop the drug companies and health insurers from ripping off American consumers. End trade treaties that sell out American workers. Get big money out of politics. [...]

You don't care about the details of proposed policies and programs.

You just want a system that works for you.

If you click his name at the byline you'll see how many articles published in 2016. Now think about the number of pieces published that pushed the pro-Clinton argument of more of the same.

Paul Eichhorn , 11 Nov 2016 12:4
"Third-Way" Democrats made an art form of triangulating a position between the old-line liberal Democrats the positions made by the mainstream corporate Republican party. By tacking as far right as possible, these corporate Democrats could scrape off enough of the business friendly, socially progressive Independents and Republicans to stymie any sort of Republican Presidential bid. Corporate America gave to both parties, but loves first and foremost to be on the side of the winner, where its influence can manifest itself in business friendly legislation, politically friendly appointments, no prosecutions for criminal behavior. no enforcement of labor or business legislation and no break-ups of monopolies using the still existent anti-trust legislation.
One of the things that made Republicans furious during Bill Clinton's term was that he was skilled in the extreme at taking issues the Republicans were pushing and getting out in front of them and making the issue his own, making the result at least somewhat palpable to the old liberals of the world.
The Democrats became the other war party, the other big business party, the other big banking party, the other big agriculture party, the other big oil party, the other big communications party, the other international exploitation party, the other anti-union party the other big medical party, the other big pharmaceutical party, the other international trade deal party.
Bill Clinton sat down with Alan Greenspan and agreed to be the other austerity party. He supported low tax rates on the billionaires and corporations and low tariffs. That led to lower services for the public and small businesses and the tax burden being borne by the long suffering middle class and working poor. The non-working poor suffered as well with no welfare, more stringent unemployment benefits, and a stagnant job market for meaningful jobs. At the same time, law enforcement was focusing on them, putting them in prison for extreme amounts of time for often trivial matters.
But Bill had an overall good economy because of the Computer Generation, so the economy grew and he was able to deliver to George W. Bush a budget surplus, which, if maintained, would have entirely paid off the national debt by now.
Unfortunately all those economic gains were being funneled to the top. Overall wages of working people actually declined since Ronald Reagan came in to begin the austerity measures while the wealth of the top 1% quadrupled. Working people were losing good paying jobs and having to have both wage earners in a family work lesser jobs to make up for hemorrhaging income. These lesser jobs not only had less wages, they had less benefits. Against an out of control health care industry, banking industry, communications industry and investment industry they were being sucked dry well before retirement. No amount of savings could stand up to catastrophic illness. People's 401K plans were repeatedly slaughtered while the big guys who precipitated the mess ended up owning more and more of the means of generating wealth in our country. Remember the absolutely sinful Republican law that made student debt unforgivable at the same time that school costs were skyrocketing? It was so unpopular, Republicans needed help from Joe Biden and other corporate Democrats to get it passed.
Never mind the corporate media and Republican lies about Barack Obama being a "Liberal", he was, in fact, another version of corporate Democrat. Since he was black, the racist Republicans could do the unprecedented in America politics: they decided to block everything. For no good reason. Other than he was black and no one would hold them accountable. He went along with the austerity plan because he had no other option. Able enough manager, he was able to drastically reduce the national deficit virtually on his own. But he kept up the wars. Hell, he and Hillary Clinton started wars for oil and natural gas. Just like the Republicans. Along with the very expensive war and secret intelligence budget and police state budget. He has restarted the nuclear weapons program, never mind that we already have enough nukes to destroy the world 100 times over. He also longed for hanging his hat on another record-breaking Trans Pacific Partnership international trade deal encompassing 40% of the world's Gross Domestic Product. Like Bill Clinton/George HW Bush's NAFTA on steroids. Jobs would be flowing out to low wage countries and waves of filthy international profits would come flowing back in to: the top 1%, where presumably the fraud of trickle down economics would waged on the American worker once again.
Iron Mike , 11 Nov 2016 11:1
Yup the elites got hammered Tuesday. Even though they say they are for democracy, they aren't. The elites want open borders and the people at the bottom of the wage scale are having to compete against these low wage border jumpers.

How can the elites say they are for open borders and for raising wages. It isn't possible. It is the law of supply and demand. Sure the government could pass minimum wage increases but that will drive businesses to automate as much as possible. That ain't going to help these people either!

Rick LaBonte , 11 Nov 2016 09:3
Wikileaks proved that the Democrat party is the party of the ruling class elites, no question. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders? Give me a break, These two phonies are owned lock stock and barrel by Wall Street and the Big Banks. Warren's Consumer Protection racket is like Dodd-Frank - a Potemkin village of fake reforms designed to kill off any competition to the ruling class oligarchs.
molemen , 11 Nov 2016 08:2
A better analysis than the hysterical white/kkk/racist/woman hater etc pieces that have been flooding the pages lately.

Its "dont piss on my back and tell me its raining" stuff, Obamacare has stung those in work, in some cases badly, and those out of work see no hope or change either.
No-one went to jail for screwing the world economy.
Even the government agencies who had oversight, and failed to see one single indicator of trouble saw no-one demoted, just a call for more power.

And lastly importing more people to compete for low skilled jobs from overseas does keep downward pressure on wages, and make jobs harder to find for the native born. Pretending otherwise in some misguided sense of international "solidarity" is punishing your own people for outsiders advantage.

maryB_USA , 11 Nov 2016 08:0
The roles of the two parties have been interchanged over the years, but they both ended up the same way -- serving the Davos community.

Some have suggested the formation of a third party as a possible remedy. I don't think that is the solution. As long as campaigns are financed through private contributions, the politicians elected would be beholden to the rich, regardless of the number of parties involved. The voice of the less privileged voters will not be heard. To have a truly representative body of elected officials, private (including corporate) campaign contributions should be eliminated from politics. Candidates should disseminate their message and platform in publicly funded campaigns. So I would say don't worry about the number of parties. Just get rid of Citizens United and limit spending for political campaigns to public funding.

The present Republican-controlled government will not do that. HRC had promised to get rid of Citizens United. The only remedy now is to organize and try to give the House in 2 years to whoever will do so.

Matt Dillon , 11 Nov 2016 08:0
If was the duffus you worked for Mr. Reich who repealed the Glass-Steagall Act ushering in the tech bubble, the housing bubble and now the 'everything' bubble. A financialization of our economy that has benefited only the top 10 to 15 percent of the population.
valwayne , 11 Nov 2016 08:0
I don't usually agree w Sex Reich but he mostly right here. The Democratic Party has been corrupted & a tool of Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, Big Banks, & Corrupt Democrat billionaires ...

Wall Street does care if the kill growth & jobs as long as they keep interest rates at Zero & Print trillions to fuel the market & fill their pockets. Same w the banks.
The Democrats have Total comtempt for working Americans out here in what they call flyover land. You know... IW WI MI OH. So Reich is right there but more Gov, more socialism is not the answers. Economic growth & free Enterprise w sound monetary policy to crest jobs & raise incomes is what we need & what Trump will provide.

Maurith , 11 Nov 2016 06:3
There's definitely a failure of government to do its job: to ensure that the market economy works to improve the lives of all people (they instead ensure that they get a job at a Goldman Sachs or a Morgan Stanley once they leave government). Robert Reich points out in the article that the government never steps in to prevent anti-monopoly practices. To his point, one has only to look at the over-valued market capitalizations of the financial and pharmaceutical sectors to see that these guys are getting a free ride. Since not everyone can be a Paul Volcker, one may have to raise the pay grade of civil servants to attract the best talents.

Whether he's a Democrat or a Republican, the white voter is a bit lost, unable to find his way in a world where the white man no longer dominates. This doesn't apply to the working or middle class.

This said, it's not because we want change that we're going to cast our vote for a monster like Trump. We know what happened in 1933 in Germany, in 1917 in Russia. Whether it's gas chambers or the Goulag, these psychopaths (Hitler, Stalin) can go very far. The worst ones are the toned-down versions: a Hitler Light. I sure won't vote for Marine Le Pen.

frankelee , 11 Nov 2016 05:5
It's truly a worrying time for the intelligent citizen. Democrats fail the middle class, yet for all my life there's only been one party who would throw their own mother on hot coals and walk over her body to give a rich man a tax cut: the Republican Party. I hope it's true that Trump represents their defeat just as much as the Democrats. They've sold out their base for decades now, peddling condescending lies and culture war excuses for their greed and cronyism. Not a single Republican used to be an expert scientist until reducing pollution was going to cost their donors a few dollars, then all of sudden they all knew better than a PhD how the climate worked. Their last President started a war and gave no-bid government contracts to his friends, and even tried to privatize Social Security so business associates could skim off the top of that too, consequences be damned. When neither side is either willing or able to save you, what can you do?
Joe Daigle , 11 Nov 2016 05:5
Mr. Reich, you can't see the forest for the trees. Hillary promised that AFTER you lost your job to bad trade deals, she'd help you to retrain to become a 7-11 night clerk. In essence, she was offering to bury your job in a fine casket. Donald offered to fight for your job and shake up America's trade deals if he had to in order to level the playing field and keep our manufacturing here. And oh yea, bring some jobs back home too. He also said he would protect them from cheap labor pouring across the border legally and illegally. Illegal Latinos don't all work picking lettuce - some drive trucks, do construction, are plumbers, carpenters, electricians, shipyard workers, you know - jobs our own citizens want. It's not about whether you can strangle another company with union demands, it's about the lack of jobs period. So in essence, Hillary wanted open borders and all of our jobs going to Latinos. Donald wants the opposite.
BizaaroLand , 11 Nov 2016 04:4
Wonder what makes you Einsteins think the republicans are now suddenly for the working man? Republicans have always been on the side of big money interests, and nothing has changed. Trump is just there to placate the mid western rubes. 'Mericuns are so naive. (no tolerance for propaganda like the Euros or Russians seem to have.) Trump is just a head fake. Its business as usual. He's just gonna pick up where Obama and Shrub left off. Seen this trick before.
ceclas , 11 Nov 2016 03:5
The Guardian needs to publish an editorial apologizing for being part of this problem. During the Sanders-Clinton race, the Guardian was nothing but derisive towards Sanders, and elevated Clinton as the responsible and adult choice to stop Donald Trump. They even compared Sanders to Nader as a spoiler from 2000, not realizing that all the warning signs were there that Clinton would play the role of John Kerry in 2004.

There were comments in the comment section with people saying "I still don't fully understand the difference between Clinton and Sanders, can someone please explain it to me?" That was the Guardian's job. For the record, here is the correct explanation.

For decades the Democratic Party has abandoned working people and embraced globalization at their expense. Clinton was the candidate of continuity with that policy, Sanders was the candidate of "Hey, that was actually a bad idea, our mistake, we'll start caring about your issues as well." It was obvious that Clinton would be vulnerable in a general election against anyone who ran a populist platform, which Trump was doing.

This train wreck was obvious from a mile away. The DNC and the media need to own this blunder.

DoyleSaylor ceclas , 11 Nov 2016 04:3
You are correct. I would add that electing trump has ended the dlc Democratic party. Of course my conjecture remains to be proved by events going forward. Still this rightwing shift has a real chance now to remain in power like the collapsed dlc Clinton Obama clique for a considerable period ahead. And besides that a restive U.S. working class is in motion with little obvious direction to the left right now. I would expect though a left opposition is coming rather soon.
PATROKLUS00 , 11 Nov 2016 03:1
The US is a country with a lot of very angry and unhappy people. The nation is in decline and the people are fearful; they know something is terribly wrong but they do not have the political acumen to deal with the situation. The two political parties, co-opted if not largely owned by the plutocracy-, offer no respite from the oppression of which, in fact, they are the instruments being vassals of their plutocratic masters.

Unfortunately, the plutocracy and their subservient mass media have convinced about half of the population to vote, to their own destruction, for continual transfer of wealth and power to the corporations and plutocrats-. The Trumpers, arguably less educated, politically ignorant and naive, easily manipulated, and riddled with fear fueled with bigotry, are the leading edge of the discontent and fright. However, their blindness to reality is a severe obstacle to any possibility of getting that nation back on the track. The plutocrats-, like all parasites, will drain the nation of its lifeblood and then move on to another country to exploit.

As long as the Trumpeters and those of their ilk can be so easily duped and manipulated, it is unlikely that there will be any common ground. In fact, common ground is not what is needed. Rather, what is needed is an aggressively progressive agenda to restore democracy, economic recovery and re-establishment of a rapidly disappearing middle class.

ViewFromTheUSA , 11 Nov 2016 03:0
Politicians like Clinton and Obama give paid speeches behind closed doors on Wall St, whom they bailed out at the expense of the people. They throw $10k-a-plate fundraisers with celebrities, and cozy up to the profit-over-people industries like big pharmaceutical and big oil. They are for hedge fund managers, payday lenders, defense contractors, and credit card companies. Then they have the gall to send out "tweets" saying we must overturn Citizens United.

I realize the Republicans are no better, in fact, they're even worse, but everyone knows who and what they are. They make no bones about it, they don't dress up in wolf's clothing and pretend they are for the working man.

Democrats do. Democrats are like the Republicans from 30 years ago. Over the last 3 decades, the left has moved to the right and the right has moved into an insane asylum. So now it's the Democrats who do the red-baiting (see their treatment of Sanders) and the RNC are accusing neoliberal centre-right politicians like Obama of being a socialist. Socialist? He's not even a liberal.

Julie Mendelsohn ViewFromTheUSA , 11 Nov 2016 05:4
You are forgetting to add in the "for profit' colleges. How much did Debbie Dearest get from *that* lobby? How many millions did Bill get to sit on their boards? These political grifters got paid big money by the very entities which were foreclosing on homes, suffocating kids with student loan debt, and tanking the economy via Wall Street schemes. The Dems thought we weren't paying attention?
mike1798 , 11 Nov 2016 02:0
Trump is offering a solution, that's all. Can he implement it, probably not, but no one else is even talking about re negotiating NAFTA, penalizing China or anything else to bring back millions of good paying factory jobs.
Our politicians are out of touch, and corrupted by the oceans of money thrown at them. The 58 million people who voted for Trump want anyone to talk to them about what has happened to their lives and opportunities and address their problems.
Hillary may in fact be the most competent politician, but that is the problem. She never came across as a leader who would lead us out of our problems. So we elected a lying misogynist who is, at least, not a politician!
rauch47 , 11 Nov 2016 02:0
Reich debated Chris Hedges on democracynow before the election, Hedges pointed out
to him that under Ronald Ray-Gun the levers of power were given over to all the
corp's of the world, there isn't a DNC or a RNC, it's a less than one percent secure hold
on all power, Trump is just another puppet --
BehindBlurredLines , 11 Nov 2016 01:4
The last two paragraphs are absolutely dead on with what happened. You can't cater to minorities and expect the majority to stick with you forever as they suffer. The Democrats are so blind they didn't understand why Bernie surged or why Trump won but this writer has real clarity and speaks the truth absolutely on it. If you ignore the majority, which is mostly working class or rural citizens, you lose election after election with never ever holding total power for long. Trump truly needs to be a Teddy Roosevelt up there and set the barn on fire to chase all of the rats out and rebuild it.

That's what we need and at least there is the tiniest sliver of hope he will, whereas with Hillary we would have received more establishment politics which always include purposeful half-truths and omissions at the working class's expense. Seriously, Schumer and Pelosi need to be investigated with Hillary Clinton because the way they act up there is exactly what made America a stagnant decaying landscape.

I think it's time we get to the real issues the majority and minority citizens face together and stop beating to death your four issues that are inconsequential to the other 90 % of us in one way or another. That goes for both parties too. It makes me wonder if they ever talk to anyone but the people who have money. It would seem so and it needs to change now because them people live in a bubble and bubbles always burst. Drag the swamp Donald on both sides of the isle and you will be my hero forever. Fail and you will be my most hated president yet.

And on a final note, thank god the Guardian has pulled back from the left some now and is being a good news source again. Thank you for this article and a big thank you to this writer for telling it like it

Imperialist , 11 Nov 2016 00:5
The parties are realigning.

Once the Democratic Party was the party of the working man. The union member. Blue collar. Trying to get higher wages for the working man.

The Republican Party was the party of capital. Bankers. Corporate types. Millionaires.

The Democrats abandoned the working man for the underclass.

Now it seems to becoming that the Republicans are the party of people who work for a living at a private job, along with the business owners.

The Democrats represent those who either don't work, or those who work for the State: welfare recipients, students, public union members, most every staffer in DC. Hollywood types. Millionaires, especially dot com ones.

Despite calling it racist over and over, unfettered immigration holds wages down. Free trade with China and Mexico guts unions and makes the proposed $15/hr minimum wage a joke when factories have all moved to Mexico or China. It's a fine thing with Britain, Germany or Canada, but a big loser with low wage countries. Especially with China who puts barriers in place for OUR exports.

It also didn't help when Katy Perry, Madonna and J.Lo endorsed Hillary. It sent more people towards the Republicans looking for people who looked like them. Who got up in the morning to go to work.

Bill Gorrell Imperialist , 11 Nov 2016 03:4
They are both the party of capital. The unleashed Repubs while destroy the working class.
SomethingU8 Imperialist , 11 Nov 2016 04:0
If U.S. Democrats have any sense, they'll kick the DNC leadership losers out and let Bernie and Elizabeth Warren lead the Party. Then we'll have at least one party that represents the interests of Workers.

Trump has two years to make the lives of his supporters substantially better. Looking at the people around him, that's not likely to happen. I can't wait to see him make the case that more tax cuts for Huuge corporations will somehow help Working People! If they try more of the same, then the market crash will happen on their watch.

Good luck in 2018 then. Dems re-take House & Senate, with Bernie & Elizabeth Warren leading the way...

djsunset , 11 Nov 2016 00:5
Robert Reich, the author of this article, fronted an excellent documentary in 2013 called "Inequality for All". It's well worth a watch.

There's a ropey/poor quality copy on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-MmIV_JBRg , but it's definitely worth getting hold of a good copy.

shazza618 , 11 Nov 2016 00:2
OFFS Robert.. STFU... after Bernie bowed out you shilled for Hill all the way to the election singing her "imaginary" praises. Fecking hypocrite.
sandyssanders , 11 Nov 2016 00:1
We are living through the death of "growth", the death of capitalism. The 1% are using the 99% as human shields to buffer themselves from the collapse of their religion and their Gawd, horded wealth. Trump will sellout his Chumps worse than Obama... And the idea that the TwoParty will ever move to meet the social needs of humanity is a pipe dream. The only way we will get this is by Direct Democracy. The 99% votes policy. The government are employees who implement those policies... or they are fired.
netizenk , 11 Nov 2016 00:0
Nearly every single elected politician currently in office on both sides is bought and paid for and works in the best interest of large corporations, not in the best interest of we the people. A complete purge, a system flush is required if we are to take our country back.

It seams like a monumental task, it looks like an impossible mission when you look at the sheer amount of money and power in play but it is actually simple and it's all on us, all we need to do is stop voting for Repocrats and start voting for people of integrity outside of these two establishment parties.

That is the only way to quickly affect real change and if everyone did that we'd have our country back in no time. So stop bashing the people who are voting third party and independent, stop telling them that their vote is wasted or a vote for the "other side", realize that there are no two sides really and join them in voting the Repocrats out of everything and voting in the people who will overturn Citizens United, outlaw lobbying and pass a new campaign finance law that will take the money complete out of politics and allow us to elect the congress and the president that will work for us, not the Wall Street or MIC.

Will Morgan , 10 Nov 2016 23:2
Is Trump's election really a rejection of the "power structure"? How could that be since that power structure, whether Democrat or Republican, remains intact decade after decade? I don't think Trump's victory is a rejection of the power structure. The rejection of the power structure was embodied, if anywhere, by the Sanders campaign, but it was defied by the Clinton's and by actors like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and by the fraud employed by those actors during the primaries. In a system of only two parties voting for one or the other can simply be a vote based in anger about an excluded middle, or a non-existent "left". These frustrating complaints tell you more about the result than does "the power structure" who could care less which party wins, so long as their interests are served.
ram Posthumus , 10 Nov 2016 23:1
Some sanity at last amidst the demented ragings of the identity politics crowd that STILL does not understand that it was them who put Trump in the White House. Not white male rage. Not the shy white female vote. Not any other race/gender/sexuaity category that you wish to dream up.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
And no.

What put Trump in the White House was a deeply dysfunctional political system. The fact that the symbol of this deeply dysfunctional political system happened to be female is neither here nor there. Understand this. Understand this and learn.

Ditch the identity politics. Become a real progressive, not a fake progressive deriving fatally deluded ideas from exclusio

raskolnikov88 , 10 Nov 2016 23:1
Robert Reich is also no friend of the working class so why bother listen to him point his finger
Gary Reber , 10 Nov 2016 23:1
Robert Reich actually gets this right. Well stated.

"Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it."

Mikael Carpelan , 10 Nov 2016 22:2
Reich has some points, but is ignoring several key circumstances, such as the 72K$ median income among Trump supporters, but mainly hostile legislators blocking anything more than incremental changes as to wealth redistribution such as the ACA. Neither Obama nor Clinton have supernatural powers to get progressive measures passed through republican congress.
TheMediaSux , 10 Nov 2016 22:1
The Guardian once represented the working class. Not any more.

The next president had been decided. The elites, the lobbyists, the corporate bosses, and the media all decided the next president. Only one thing missing. The voters. They weren't playing ball! Those pesky working class voters! Now the media get to pretend they were with us all along!

ImaHack , 10 Nov 2016 22:0
Could Bernie Sanders have beaten Trump?

https://newrepublic.com/minutes/138665/bernie-sanders-beaten-trump

"In an article out today at The Washington Post, Freddie DeBoer makes this case. He points out that Sanders during the Democratic primary won in key states, like Michigan and Wisconsin, that Clinton lost in the general, and that Sanders was able to attract independent voters. He also notes Sanders's higher favorability and popularity ratings. Of course, such arguments are entirely speculative. We don't know how Sanders would have fared under Republican attacks. And we can't forget that Sanders lost the primary, by a not insignificant amount.

"But one of the biggest arguments made by Clinton and her supporters was that she was pragmatic and electable-the safe candidate. Sanders's campaign, with its proposals for a $15 minimum wage and universal health care, was derided as pie-in-the-sky, and the candidate himself painted his platform as an electoral disaster. I suspect that more than a few Democrats went with their heads instead of their hearts when casting their votes for Clinton. But we found out that playing a safe and moderate campaign (i.e., picking Tim Kaine, the most forgettable man in existence) doesn't necessarily translate into a winning one. Clinton failed to pick up moderate Republicans and white women. And many of her supporters skated over her extreme unfavorability ratings and her inability to generate excitement.

"There is no concrete evidence that Sanders would have won. But we were sold a candidate who we were told was electable, when most of the signs pointed to the fact that she wasn't."

freeandfair , 10 Nov 2016 22:0
Democratic party turned into a party of identity politics painting by the numbers. Here is how they assemble their base by pandering to each group specifically:
*women - check
*blacks - check
*latino - check
*lgbt -check
*millenials - check
*educated white collar progressives - check

But then it turns out these groups are not one-dimensional and their voting is not based on just a single identity. They are complex people. And this is how the Democratic voting base splintered. There was no message unifying them.

ID8584281 , 10 Nov 2016 21:5
First Brexit, now Trump ... world politics are not going the way that Guardianistas envisaged!
So where has it all gone wrong for the left?
What Rubin says about the democrats abandoning the working class in the US could equally apply to Labour in the UK.
Serves the Washington and London elites f***ing well right, you might say.
But whereas the Washington/New York democrats will just have to lump it, the London elites don't want to accept Brexit because they didn't get the result they wanted, and they will try to do anything to stop it.
If they do, and they might because they will stop at nothing, it will destroy any fleeting idea of democracy in Britain.
And for what?
To remain a member of a corrupt and bankrupt euro project that is running off the rails?
The euro elite is as bent as they come. What they did and are doing to the greeks is unforgivable.
Yanis Varoufakis was against Brexit not because he supports the Brussels autocrats, but because he thinks that the best way to combat the world's biggest threats - i.e., climate change - is through combined efforts (not much point in one country trying to combat climate change on its own if no one else bothers).
The euro project is doomed. The 28 or 30 countries can agree on nothing (response to refugee crisis?), except to punish those that dissent
ID8493055 , 10 Nov 2016 21:5
Trump & the GOP don't represent the working class [either]. All the misguided "uneducated, poor white folk" will find that out soon enough when the new regime is allowed to ride roughshod over all the gov't support programs they've relied on.
yelzohy gomarj , 10 Nov 2016 21:2
Think he served one year and resigned. He was too much of an idealist as came from educational system and could not enough accomplished to justify himself being in that position as per what I saw him say many years ago.
Theodore Svedberg gomarj , 10 Nov 2016 21:5
Yes Reich was a Clinton appointee. He wrote a book about his four years as Secretary of Labor. It is an interesting read. My take from that book was how Bill gutted labor influence inside his admin.
EsKiusmi , 10 Nov 2016 20:3
The Clintos and Obama watched as their fellow blue-class and middle class workers were gobbled up by larger and larger corporations, and now they are surprised that they refuse to vote for them? Trumps message to African Americans was simple and so painfully true: "Vote for me, what do you have to lose?". In the end, most voters decided "what do I have to lose?"
Beatsong EsKiusmi , 10 Nov 2016 20:3
And now they're about to find out . . .
Gorgon Mashovic ID8493055 , 10 Nov 2016 22:2
Because four million people voted for someone even more right wing then trump. If you think Gary Johnson is a supporter of expanded government services, then you're entirely unfamiliar with his career as new mexico's governor.
Bogdanich , 10 Nov 2016 20:2
Thomas Ferguson granted an interview this morning. In it he said,

(in a paper from 2014 he predicted that) "Hillary Clinton would have a lot of trouble putting together the old coalition of effectively Wall Street and if you'll allow me to speak quickly and directly for the sake of communication, identity politics. They're really interesting to study. You can see for example in the white college age women that Hillary only got 6% more of those than Trump did which is sort of unbelievable. But let me come to what I think is probably the heart of the matter. I think we really are at the end of the classical democratic formula of the Clinton period which was Wall Street plus identity politics. I think this is it. You're never going to be able to put that humpty dumpty back together again. If the democrats want to win they're going to actually have to make a strong appeal to working class Americans. Now you know the problem this is going to create. There's a ton of money in the democratic party. It is not going to sit there and tolerate candidates like Sanders. They just really despised and hated Sanders. So we're now going to have a very interesting situation where you've got a top heavy party with cash at the top and no mass at the base at all, or very little."

The interesting thing about Ferguson is he doesn't speak or write that often as he dislikes arguing, but when he does come to a conclusion he is willing to share he is seldom wrong.

Theodore Svedberg Bogdanich , 10 Nov 2016 20:5
I think you, Reich and Ferguson are spot on. It is very hard to argue against "identity" politics since it is basically arguing that minorities (racial, sexual, religious, whatever) have rights. Unfortunately these "identity" groupings somehow left out the working class. So the Democratic Party ended up representing a coalition that involved Wall Street (at its center) and many other small minority groups. What was left out of this coalition was any voice for the working class. Now that is a classical example of divide and conquer. And yes this is a case of the big money of capitalism dividing America's workers.

Fifty years ago organized labor unions had a seat at the table who could speak for American workers (whatever small group the individual worker may have belonged to). Today that is gone. Hopefully in the coming years the Democratic Party can restore its roots and begin to represent that class of Americans who actually work for a living. These workers can be divided into hundreds of different groups -- white, black, male, female, straight,gay, wonks, blue collar, hispanic, many others. But together they can have a voice in the national dialogue. If electing Trump is the way to educate the Democratic Party honchos on what is required then perhaps Trump's win will serve a useful purpose.

macmarco , 10 Nov 2016 19:5
Bill Clinton moved the Democratic Party to the right. Although rejected by the GOP (racism) Obama continued that move. Hillary could have easily won the election by reaching out to the millions disenfranchised for more than 30 years, but failed to do so. What and who made her stick to a campaign of 'Not Trump' and elitism is puzzling but not an enigma.

My guess is Bill and Wall Street created the plan, and it went down in a blaze.

murnau , 10 Nov 2016 19:4
"Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more".

A good article which explains the route the Democrats have taken over the years. Faced with the Republican victories of Ronald Reagan from 1981-1989 the democrats chose to move to the right, the party having a previous lineage with ordinary workers back to FDR and further. Bill Clinton in 1992 took onboard the third way calling itself the New Democrats. In the UK Tony Blair copied this following on after the tories Margaret Thatcher and John Major with his New Labour transformation of the party into a virtual copy of the tories.

Just like the 2010 election in the UK with Labour, many people who would have voted Democrat simply did not turn out for Hilary Clinton and did not vote at all. With complete establishment backing including Wall Street and the MSM she lost to Donald Trump. Many would have voted for him anyway but a sizeable percentage must have used him as an anti Clinton vote. Jill Stein called Hilary Clinton corrupt. Clinton is a war hawk she supported the Iraq war and doesn't appear to have learnt from the disaster as she was mainly responsible for the catastrophy in Libya. She loves to boast, we came, we saw, he died, meaning Col. Gaddafi she is more reserved about the later deaths of the ambassador Christopher Stevens and some of his colleagues in the Libyan embassy as a direct result of supporting the jihadis. While still secretary of state she said that she would arm anyone fighting against President Assad thats turned out well. She supported the coup in Honduras and was instrumental in laying the ground out for the coup in Ukraine. The recent wikileaks indicated she knew the Saudis were financing ISIS but she said nothing as they were contributing to the Clinton Foundation.

Hillary Clinton Lies About Attending Bilderberg While In Denver

http://wearechange.org/hillary-clinton-lies-attending-bilderberg-denver /

Trigz , 10 Nov 2016 19:1
An excellent analysis. Clinton was an awful candidate. She represents the establishment in every possible way; the same establishment that has stood shamelessly by while the US working and middle classes have been abandoned.

She offered precisely nothing other than not being Donald Trump. Her campaign resembled a coronation. This sheer hubris and arrogance cost the Democrats the presidency. Forget the tiresome shrieks of racism and fascism for a minute: Trump won because Clinton failed to get support among the masses of underemployed and unemployed industrial working class in the Rust Belt; because she offered nothing new, no answers other than more of the same.

They failed to address the very real concerns and fears of everyday Americans. They have no one to blame but themselves for this disaster.

Mohammed Wong durable13 , 10 Nov 2016 18:3
Nonsense.The article nails it. A failure to address the Economic Vampirism that Clinton champions.Sure, there are plenty of racists and misogynists in the GOP, but willfull ignorance couched in identity rhetoric is how the party lost so much.until establishment dems realize that, things will continue to get bleaker for them.
Stefan Mochnacki , 10 Nov 2016 18:2
This is a very good article, but it doesn't pay enough attention to the human, emotional aspect of political leadership. The really sad thing is that the Democrats had somebody in Bernie Sanders who could have beaten Trump, as all polls earlier this year indicated, but the determination of Hillary to be President combined with the vast web of Clinton connections led to the result we have. Everybody knew about her problems going into the primary campaign, but the attraction of electing a female President combined with unease with Sanders' roots and radicalism (actually, not such big difficulties) led to her rock-solid "super-delegate" support and sufficient voter support in the primaries. I doubt the DNC "dirty tricks" were quite enough to cause Sanders' defeat, but the Party establishment support no doubt swayed some voters, too. Unfortunately, Sanders will be too old to carry the torch, as is Elizabeth Warren; they should now lead the battle in the Senate and write the books so needed to shape American progressive thought in the coming years. The Democrats need to completely rebuild, so that in eight years they can be ready again for executive power, with the essential support of Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress. It's not worth their while winning the Presidency without control of Congress. It means building a real party, a social movement and organization, not just a label, with leaders who can connect emotionally with citizens.
voxusa , 10 Nov 2016 18:1
"Bill Clinton and Barack Obama helped shift power away from the people towards corporations..."?

What about the landslide shift of power to corporations, lobbyists, and the rich under the Bush and Reagan regimes?

I always agree with you, Mr Reich, and gain insight from your writings/columns, but I think you're really missed the boat here. A demagogue told the big lie to people, and many bought it!

For all the Democrats' (many shortcomings), the BLAME for the sad state of the middle-class, working class, and non-1% is on the Republicans' heads!

And the war on unions is one of the right-wing's key rallying points

Tucsonian OptPrime , 10 Nov 2016 19:3
You need to explain that assertion.

But let me make a related one:

Clinton is at least partly responsible for Brexit.

1) She led the US into invading Libya. Persuaded Obama, who was initially against it, and now calls it his biggest mistake as president.

2) As Gaddafi predicted, his regime was the "cork in the bottle of Africa" (Assange's words) since Libya was patrolling the region. Removing him opened the first front of the European migrant crisis.

3) Destabilizing Libya provided a base for ISIS and other factions, which helped destabilize Syria, opening the second front of the European migrant crisis.

4) The European migrant crisis was one of the primary drivers of Brexit.

dongerdo , 10 Nov 2016 16:4
Well regular Joe Blow has been mocked and ignored for years. Joe Blow might not live in a trailer park, he might have some nice house but he and Jane Blow are working double shifts to pay for it. Joe and Jane have long given up on politics because 'it does not change a thing anyways', they have never seen a politician outside the election phase to descend to their rather unremarkable town in the middle of nowhere. Unions are nowhere to be seen, no one actually gives a damn about them and no one listens to their concerns.
But they understand. They do not have a college degree so those people from NY or Detroit might be right that they do not understand the big picture, watching the news they see that their elected officials have much more important things to take care of. Gender neutral bathrooms, organizing community hours to paint the safe space at the nearby college, giving debt and tax reliefs to the same banks threatening the two of them to foreclose their house, apparently they are really busy.
But now, after years, someone is coming around and listens. He might not really care and only pretend to but he DOES listen. For the first time ever.

And we really wonder about the outcome of this election?!

tigerfisch , 10 Nov 2016 16:3
Reich's article pretty much nails it. The Democratic bigwigs preferred the company of corporate fat cats, facilitated their greed and lost touch with their base....
Bob999 , 10 Nov 2016 16:1
This is one of the few articles that provides any insight into the 2016 presidential election. The reality is that Americans don't like either political party and don't trust politicians. American voters identify with political parties far less than voters in other countries, and most Americans assume that politicians are crooks. That's just the way it is.

Presidential candidates hire consultants to provide marketing expertise to their political campaigns. Trump, by contrast, is himself a marketing expert. As a young man in his twenties, he had the insight that he could increasing the value of real estate by branding it, just as luxury automobiles are branded.

The people who have been mocking Donald Trump for being a real estate magnate and reality show TV impresario fail to realize that those are pursuits where it is impossible to succeed without understanding what the consuming public wants. Many people find Trump to be outrageously offensive, but that is part of a persona he has developed over decades in his property development and TV enterprises in order to attract large numbers of people to his golf courses and hotels, and to attract viewers to The Apprentice.

In politics, Trump's persona translated into a vicious political style that led his opponents to focus on his persona rather than his message. The message was that the increasing deemphasis on national borders (in the form of globalized trade, illegal immigration, and arguably even international terrorism) should be dialed back because it is changing America for the worse. That message resonated with a large number of people and resulted in his election.

Throughout the 2016 election cycle, Trump's opponents failed to address his message and focused instead on his persona. Every opponent who tried to take out Trump by attacking his outrageous and offensive persona was destroyed in the process. During the Republican primary, candidates were talking about Donald Trump so much that they were defining themselves in terms of Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton made the same mistake the 16 unsuccessful Republican primary candidates made. Her campaign was a social message that used Donald Trump as a bogeyman.

The appeal to social interest groups did not address the objective and important issues that Trump was (arguably inarticulately) articulating, which are the issues that really attracted voters to him attracted voters to him. Like Britain, America has a lot of towns where the local economy has been destroyed by the closing of, for example, a steel mill. Trump knew how to address the voters in those towns, and that's how he got elected.

TettyBlaBla Bob999 , 10 Nov 2016 21:1
The missing piece from your comment is Trumps use of media that was relatively new compared to prior presidential elections. In Trump's case this was Twitter and Twitter bot accounts re-tweeting messages to smartphones. Obama did well harnessing social media, just as Reagan used taped video feeds appearing to be live (have to remember how primitive color transmissions were not that long ago), Kennedy used television, and earlier presidents won harnessing radio.
Bob999 TettyBlaBla , 11 Nov 2016 15:2
That is true, as well. Trump's campaign was arguably the American equivalent of the Twitter revolutions that swept North Africa and the Ukraine a few years ago. One question is whether that use of social media is why Trump won or whether it is more narrowly why his win was not predicted by pollsters. This may also be relevant to the unexpectedness of the results of the Brexit referendum.

It's also a reminder to those who shout "power to the people" in the expectation that empowered people will return a particular result. With Trump, and with Brexit, the people appear to have repudiated those who see themselves as empowerers of the people. It's worth some reflection.

saltchunkmary , 10 Nov 2016 16:1
This is an excellent article. In a perverse way it was those zealously anti Trump wailers who unwittingly made him the 45th president of the USA.

Words of wisdom for those disappointed by the result: Understand why those who voted for Trump did. Don't just write them all of as racist/xenophobic. The majority are not. They are angry because politicians, including and especially those Democrats who were supposed to be on their side, sold their souls to the devil - globalisation, big corporations etc.

In fact one may argue that Bill Clinton signing the NAFTA free trade agreement back in 1994 sowed the seeds for this current situation. Think about it

David Perry saltchunkmary , 10 Nov 2016 16:2
Exactly! These people are suffering, and instead of getting help from the Democratic Party they were just all labeled as a bunch of racists, xenophobes. homophobes, etc. Most people who voted for Trump didn't vote for the man. They voted for the hope that they could take their country back from a bunch of elitist, corporatists, and rich bankers who have stolen it from them. You aren't going to win them back by denigrating them further.
Michael McBrearty , 10 Nov 2016 16:1
Yet the mainstream media will persist in explaining the Trump disaster in terms of race or gender issues, never in terms of economic class.
This is how they keep us divided.
Dunbar1999 , 10 Nov 2016 16:0
Yes. I live in rural Missouri, and I absolutely agree with this analysis. The bit that worries me is that none of the embryonic "plans" suggested by Trump -- the wall, the deportations, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act -- will do anything but make the less well-off less well-off in every way. Does anyone really believe, for example, that lowering the tax on business will induce any businessman with any sense to rebuild an old factory in a small, crumbling midwestern town with an uneducated workforce? Let alone allow a union to form, provide decent salaries, pensions and healthcare like their grandfathers had from companies like Ford, General Motors, Caterpillar, John Deere etc? Of course, there's always a war as a last resort: that used to get the economy going, using up lots of materials and lots of surplus young men, didn't it? But I'm afraid the Chinese don't want to fight us, they want to buy us. There's still so much useable, badly-tended space in the middle of America ...
Thatoneguyyouknow Dunbar1999 , 10 Nov 2016 16:1
"The bit that worries me is that none of the embryonic "plans" suggested by Trump -- the wall, the deportations, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act -- will do anything but make the less well-off less well-off in every way."

Actually, GETTING ELECTED was the best thing he could have done. At least it's a CHANCE for the Democratic Party to wake the **** up and see the working class (not the WHITE working class, the WHOLE working class) has been slipping away from them and at an accelerating rate. And they are FURIOUS at getting the shaft while their union "leaders" ORDER them to "vote blue no matter who" and are bullied and browbeaten if they so much as DARE to ask what happened to all those empty promises from last campaign season that have been DOWNGRADED yet again into something even smaller and less ambitious, only to be silenced with "the other guys will be the apocalypse so don't you dare ask any questions you dirty racists!"

Laborequalswealth , 10 Nov 2016 16:0
My husband and two friends and I traveled from SF to Philly to protest the DNC convention.

The protestors - most of whom were under 35 - were corralled in FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT PARK. The delegates lounged in WELLS FARGO CENTER. They even shut down the subway station used by both groups so that only delegates could use it. They did this even though at the end of the day a torrential electrical storm was drenching the protesters. Nope, folks. That PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS FOR THE DNC ONLY.

Did Hillary really think we didn't NOTICE?? Did she think that making FIVE TIMES the average annual income of Americans for a 45 minutes speech to Gold In Sacks would be ignored? That we didn't care that she and Bill RENEGED on the deal with Russia that Bush One made re NATO is pushing Europe to the brink of war? That she loves loves loves the TPP?

Just how fucking stupid did Hillary think we were NOT to notice her Wall Street/MIC worshiping history and positions?

Trump is a domestic disaster. We'll have to deal with that. But I am at least slightly comforted that he wants to stop this war machine (bon chance) and does not support the treasonous, sovereignty-killing TPP - which Hillary SUPPORTED.

The only one who got Trump elected was HILLARY CLINTON and her arrogant followers.

rentierDEATHcult , 10 Nov 2016 15:5
i hope mr reich can help to clear out the faux liberal power elites from the democratic party ... the wall street apparatchiks and senior officials that preside over the various electoral 'plantations' for the clintons: millenials, blacks, lgbt/trans and hispanics

this type of politics is regressive because it provides cover for vested interests (that derive their wealth through ownership of capital) to colonise democracy against the vast majority of people that depend upon wages for a living

the power structure at the top of the democratic party is corrupt and corrupting ... the way this organisation has sought and cultivated minority votes (not in the pursuit of some higher class goal) but to enhance the career prospects of an 'out of touch' political class on capitol hill is the ultimate form of betrayal

in particular, the way impoverished black communities across america have been used by a 'praetorian guard' of senior black democratic leaders to support the dynastic ambitions of the clinton family must come to an end

it is down to enlightened thinkers like mr reich to ensure that the democratic party transitions from being the 'last plantation owner in america' (and trader in chief of minority votes) towards a champion of working people and their class interests

this would be a good start: i would fire most senior black leaders in the democratic party ... (you know, the likes of donna brazile!) for activities incompatible with representing the class interests of working americans - period

LeonardPynchon , 10 Nov 2016 15:5
One problem the left has to overcome is the sheer seductiveness of the argument that the Farages and Trumps of this world put forward - they tell those who have not fared well under capitalism that the fault is not their own, that the real problem is immigrants - it is a cynical but effective lie that those who feel left behind find hard to resist.

In truth the problem is that the system they - Trump and Farage - actually favour is utterly dependent on workers who will work for very little whether they are immigrants or not. The tragic irony is that the right has absolutely no intention of improving the lot of the poor fools who vote for them.

ehmaybe , 10 Nov 2016 15:5
In a multi party parliamentary system the US labor unions and the US' left-leaning social justice voters would not be represented by the same party.
Too many people make the mistake of thinking labor in the US is a left-wing movement. It hasn't been for decades. US labor unions don't fight for workers rights, they fight for their workers pocketbooks and nothing else.
In 1972 labor abandoned the Democrats when they chose a too-progressive candidate for president. Since that time the relationship between progressives and the working class has been a nothing but a marriage of convenience. That marriage seems to have broken up.
Paul Loucks ehmaybe , 10 Nov 2016 16:0
17% of American indusrtry is union. There wasn't much of a marriage to break up. Factory mechanization was accompanied by moving out of the rust belt into anti-union Southern states. Later, they left for China.
ehmaybe Paul Loucks , 10 Nov 2016 16:2
The value of unions to Democrats has little to do with the voters in their ranks. Unions have long been the Democrat's counterbalance against Republican wealth - they can't buy as many ads but they can provide nearly unlimited free labor to the Democrats canvassing and telephone campaigns.
WIthout unions the Democrats would have even fewer seats in the House and Senate and Woodrow Wilson would probably have been their last president.
60boy , 10 Nov 2016 15:4
No, the democrats no longer represent the working classes in the US . As the Labour party here no longer does. I listened to Ed Miliband this morning on the radio and when asked whether he supported Brexit he said he was worried about coloured people, Muslims, transgender and almost everyone else, but he didn't mention the working class at all.
This is why the Tories can get away with doing whatever they want, because Labour is finished in most working class areas. They became a party for minorities and encouraged mass immigration. Now they mean less than nothing to most ordinary, indigenous people in this country!
We don't need a Trump, we've got the Tories and UKIP instead!
KrautOliver 60boy , 10 Nov 2016 16:0

but he didn't mention the working class at all.

That would be because the classical working class is an 1860s-1970s phenomenon. It's not describing any meaningful "class" of people anymore. Some people may "feel" working class, but the truth of the matter is that for everyone who feels that way, there's someone with similar living conditions who doesn't.

ene Adair , 10 Nov 2016 15:4
While I find much to agree with in analyses like Reich's and Frank's, I find that they tend to romanticize the white working class and ignore the elephants in the room, those being racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and the rest. I feel I can say this because I come from a white working-class background in small-town Arkansas (Bill Clinton's hometown and mine were thirty-five miles apart). Believe me, Robert, there is a virulent strain of racism among many of those folks, and It's something that needs to be better addressed by analyses such as yours and Tom Frank's. It's not just something that GOP fear mongering conjured out of thin air. It has deep historical roots and cannot be brushed easily aside by discussions based solely on economic arguments. (See, for example, Stacy Patton's article: http://www.damemagazine.com/2016/11/01/why-i-have-no-sympathy-angry-white-men .)
IamDolf Gene Adair , 10 Nov 2016 16:0
My GF comes from a similar background. I posted this earlier on this thread.

I know the "working classes" in the USA, especially the midwestern variety. Dumb, ill informed, incurious. Obsessed with macho posturing, weapons, military exploits.
Rampant racism, misogyny, extreme religiosity. Birtherism, creationism, paranoia, you name it. You have to read the anti-Obama and Clinton vitriol from people lke that to believe it. From people who do not have a pot to piss in.
My GF hails from some dot in the middle of nowhere in IA. She describes being raised there as living in a cult. She had to come to Long Island to realise that there actually were still jews alive today. She more or less thought they were like the Hittites and the Sumerians, something you read about in the bible. To this day she loves to watch documentaries on TV because the education she received in school was so poor and narrow minded.

Duggi390 Gene Adair , 10 Nov 2016 16:0
A lot of that rascism, xenophobia, homophobia etc is born out of the frustration that the working class find themselves in. Many believe, rightly or wrongly, that foreigners, the LGBTQ community, Arfrican Americans, Latino's, Asians and so on, are given special treatment. These groups have jumped to the front of the cue to reach the American Dream, while the working class have been stuck in line at the back for years and they have become frustrated and angry. It doesn't excuse those views, but if you look at it from their perspective you can see why they hit out.

Additionally, these views are held right across the demographic makeup of the US, not just the Working Class.

VinceDaFox , 10 Nov 2016 15:4
hopefully once the dust has died down this is the sort of considered writing that we will see in the Guardian - not the ludicrous outpourings of bile we have seen in the past few days.

I listened to the live radio account from the BBC and noted the evident discomfiture as the result differed from the script. At the end of a presidential election the assembled studio experts should have more to say about a candidate than bewailing perceived racism, perceived misogyny (I doubt that Trump is a true misogynist!) and Mexican walls yet listening to the BBC since then it's as if the programme presenters are working to a script. Likewise. I'm afraid, The Guardian.

What I find truly remarkable is the analogous positions of Trump and Corbyn: both outsider candidates who relied on votes from outside their respective Establishments to win through. Trump had little to do with the Republicans in the past. Corbyn was best known for voting against his party. Both have been reviled by their own party elites (and by the Guardian). Corbyn has faced a coup rumoured to have been organised from outside the PLP. Leading Republicans wore the fact that they had not voted for their own candidate as a badge of honour. Of course this was solely intended to save their political necks, but in the event did no harm whatsoever to Trump or Corbyn - indeed it may have positively assisted them. Had Corbyn been positively endorsed by say, Harriet Harman, he would possibly never have survived.

The US and UK political elites set great store by their acceptance of other faiths and ethnicities yet seem curiously intolerant to the outsiders in their own milieu.

BigPhil1959 , 10 Nov 2016 15:4
Clinton, Blair and Schroeder came up with the third way. Snake oil salesmen that all profited from sucking up to the corporations and selling their influence. Schroeder signed a deal with the Russians supply gas to Germany before joining Nordstream the company set up to do so. As for Clinton and Blair the list is long a sto how they have lined their pockets. The third way has never been about the ordinary working man. Wages have not risen in Germany in real terms for years as they havent in the US. In the UK easy credit has masked the real situation and now peple are suffering.

What Robert Reich has written has hit the nail on the head.

KrautOliver BigPhil1959 , 10 Nov 2016 16:1

Schroeder signed a deal with the Russians supply gas to Germany before joining Nordstream the company set up to do so.

Except he merely served on the supervisory board.

The third way has never been about the ordinary working man. Wages have not risen in Germany in real terms for years as they havent in the US.

"The working man" is waffling. Contrary to propaganda, Schroeder's reforms have contributed massively to Germany not being hit as hard by the financial crisis as others - and contrary to legends, it has improved the situation of the poor. It's the people peddling those legends, devoid of any understanding how the situation was before, who contribute to the unemployed feeling outcast.

It's the 21st century. Wake up. Waffling about the "Working Man" is the same as waffling about Cowboys and believing cattle farming is still being done like in 1850.

Loafervandross , 10 Nov 2016 15:4
Democrats are as much a part of the elite as republicans.
muttley79 , 10 Nov 2016 15:4
Guardian columnists such as Hadley Freeman, Lucia Graves, Wolff, Abramson, Freedland and company should be forced to read this article. These columnists very rarely if ever talk about the Gilded Age style inequality levels in the West, and the USA in particular. Instead it is all about identity politics for them. Can these individuals start writing about the disastrous chasm between the very rich and the rest please?
hexotic muttley79 , 10 Nov 2016 15:5
Definitely. Identity politics has been coopted by the neoliberal technocracy to divert attention from wealth inequalities, the operation of big corporations in politics and the general lack of democratic accountability in governance.
feenix07 , 10 Nov 2016 15:3
Thank you Mr Reich. Best article I have read for months.

The vote for Trump was a protest vote. It was a non violent revolution. A significant part of the US electorate were angry. They saw their quality of life eroded. They saw little change of their children having a chance of a better life. Trump was the perfect outsider. He was not part of the "corrupt system". If you are living on your knees why not vote for someone who might bring the whole corrupt rotting edifice crashing down?

THe usual media suspects have been trying to explain what happen in their normal closeted, university educated, urban, smug, condesending manner. But when people are angry, when they are protesting they want action, they want change , they don't want the status quo. During the French revolution the mobs didn't ask "whats your policy on gender based minorities?"...they just shouted "off with their heads"

Until the media, the politicians, the policy makers, the wealthy elite start properly listening to the people left behind, then we will continue to see more Trumps and Brexits.

Ahnaf15 , 10 Nov 2016 15:3
Excellent analysis . Mr Reich was Labour secretary under Clinton and so she shares the responsibility of his policies. Of note is media complicity including so called liberal progressive media no heavy weights. It seems that 'generating ' money / growth/ markets etc etc seem to be the all important factors . Citizens' solidarity and the needs of the most vulnerable are at the bottom of the checklist if it is ther at all. These progressives have fallen or perhaps fallen into the trap of believing that talking about 'progressive' topics e.g. misogyny and gender etc is enough to earn the badge of 'progressives and liberals '.

It is very strange indeed in the midst of all this ther is no mention of JC and McDonnel and co and their ' old 'foolish' 'defunct' types of policies that no one wants to vote for because .......

Finally it is curious to note that many US citizens voted for Trump because of the disillusionment with political establishment. The odd thing is that ' those in the know ' did not know about their anger -- To complicate matters further and using this an example does US and the West really know what ordinary citizens in Afghanistan, Iraq and the rest of ME Asia and Africa really think about the ruinous roles of the West in making their lives and their children's lives and their countries and their future a waste . Just because ther are strategic and national security and economic interests of West and their local reps. Do we have to believe the stories and features of the natives and their 'backgrward ' oppressors or just believe ( as US election showed ) what we want to believe that the natives, want , deserve and should get --

And yes we are in 21 st century and using all the powers of Internet and modern society to be acquainted with the outside world -- Doh --

corund , 10 Nov 2016 15:3
This article and simon Jenkins article on trump are the best two articles I've read in the guardian for a long time! Spot on .keep reminding people that gw bush supported h. Clinton ,bush whose personal vendetta against Saddam cost thousands of lives ,Iraqi ,us ,UK ,etc! And how million american workers were put on the dole by bill clinton !ill
JacktheNat , 10 Nov 2016 15:3
Thanks for that, Robert.

The Clintons also helped corrupt the Democratic party to deny Bernie Sanders the opportunity to put many of these popular views to the test on Tuesday.

That also meant denying the voters the chance of having someone like Tulsi Gabbard as vice-president:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzYoDOXsNm8

jeanshaw1 , 10 Nov 2016 15:3
Exactly. Messrs Thatcher/Major/Blair/Cameron followed the same path here and that is why we have decided that we , the people , want to take back control and showed it by voting to recover our sovereignty by leaving the EU .
letrightbedone , 10 Nov 2016 15:3
Remember, Trump used to be a Democrat. The fact that he has led the Republicans to peers suggests very little difference between establishment parties, as in the U.K. Trump is a savvy enough schemer to play to the fears and feelings of the dispossed. Let's see what he can deliver. I doubt much. All I can hope is that he recruits right wing Us Supreme Court justices in the vein of Scalia.
Hopeabandoned letrightbedone , 10 Nov 2016 16:0
Mr Justice Scalia, by his verdict in the Citizens United case, sold US politics to the highest bidder. He and his devout followers have done more harm to their country than any other supreme Court Justice. A man who supposedly believed in the 10 commandments, but who lacked the integrity to hear any death penalty cases. A hypocrite.
kjjng1 dvdmartin , 10 Nov 2016 15:4
Glass-Steagall, which was used to protect ordinary savers from high risk investment banking, was removed by Clinton, not GWB. Sure, Congress and House were dominated by Republicans, but the Democrats had Bill Clinton and could have filibustered (see how effective the Republicans have been since). Instead, Gramm-Leach-Biley passed with bipartisan support. And let's not even talk about NAFTA.
FilthyRichBanker , 10 Nov 2016 15:2
The Socialist bread van resprayed in a liberalism, neoliberalism, multiculturalism, political correctness, globalism and liberal interventionism pretty colour by the Blairites, the Clintonites and EU political elites, was still the same old failed product under the bonnet.

Guaranteed whenever it is taken out on the roads to breakdown and take a Nation or Federal Superstate to the brink of bankruptcy before the passengers(electorate) see it for what it really is - they had been sold a clapped out old banger with a new coat of paint!

UK Socialists, memorably described by Margaret Thatcher as people who when in power always run out of other peoples money, are mostly a well meaning lot, but their bread van which crashed spectacularly in the 1970's and got taken to the scrap yard as beyond repair, was years later deviously bought(hijacked) as a 'damaged repairable', by a small group of liberal metropolitan elite scam artists who had quietly infiltrated the Labour Party.

After a little tinkering under the bonnet(parachuting their own candidates into Labour heartland seats) and a new touchy feely PR paint job, they relaunched it onto the streets as a New Model 'Green' Socialist vehicle, when in reality it just a bunch of second hand car dealers in sharp suits operating an industrial scale 'cut and shut' job scam of Madoff proportions on hoodwinked buyers(the electorate).

Working hand in glove with Goldman Sachs and big business, they made themselves extremely rich but now have a lot to answer for, as they're responsible for the rise of the left and right wing populist genie out of the bottle. Once out, like the inflation genie it is a devilishly difficult task to put back in.

As evidenced by the latest utterances of a beaming Nigel Farage, aka Mr Brexit, following the Trump Presidential winning campaign:

"Brexit, and now Trump, and now the wagons roll on to the rest of Europe for all the elections next year," Farage said, smiling like a cheshire cat. "This is a really exciting time. As someone who has now become a demolitions expert I'm thoroughly enjoying what's going on."

With bold, brash, crass, in your face characters like Trump and Farage at the forefront of the political stage, the next few years, like a fairground ride could be rather wild and bumpy, but never dull.

We live in interesting times --

Bilge FilthyRichBanker , 10 Nov 2016 15:3
What so you're saying Trump and Farage lied? ....They're not going to protect our lifestyles and western living standards using left wing socialist protectionism? ....who woulda thunk it?
Sal2011 , 10 Nov 2016 15:2
It may be a repudiation of the American power structure, or the result of building certain perceptions in the American public over the years by the mainstream media that Trump pounced upon and crudely exploited to the hilt. The US media couldn't steer the beast it had created when it wanted to. Think it's wishful thinking that we're not in for a period of great upheaval, possibly tragedy. We saw what happened during the Bush presidency, an ugly war with a tally of tens of thousands of lives and global financial meltdown. This time it could be much, much worse.
Ummmmm , 10 Nov 2016 15:2

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in "swing" suburbs.


Change "Democratic" for "Labour", "Washington" for "Westminster", "Wall Street" for "the City", and it still rings true. Corbyn and the swing to the left isn't the cause of the crisis, it's a response. What happens with Sanders and his base next will be pivotal.
CaptainHogwash Ummmmm , 10 Nov 2016 15:3
Change globalisation of "Trade" to "Rightwing Politicies" and I think you've hit a home run
evaelbee537 , 10 Nov 2016 15:2
Compulsory reading for all who formed & remain part of what is described with forensic precision, including many contributing journalist to this paper. To be taken seriously, not immediately denounced, Robert Reich could only put pen to paper with confidence after Trump won so decisively, & why we are still reeling from reality about to unfold from success of the Brexit campaign. Fundamental change in reactionary maverick hands.
Both Trump & UKIP/Farage/ Tory right engaged willingly, without shame, in a campaign of authoritarian demagoguery, with elevation of racist, xenophobic sentiments to being new national virtue of saying it as it is.
Existing power structures with their intricate connections, web of back rubbing fundraising, & legislation to enable profit accumulation to continue unhindered by challenges from 'shopfloor' labour groups, failed to see what was under their noses. Insulated, blinkered privileged they dismissed as unelectable what was coming down on them like a ton of bricks.
Great piece, well worth reading more than once.
Kurwenal , 10 Nov 2016 15:1
It is more an indictment of the mainstream political parties than the electorates that politicians like Trump, Farage, Le Pen and all the other hate preachers are attracting so much support. It is equally an indictment of the leftist media that they cling to the discredited leaders of the so called centre left parties. But then they have personally done very nicely out of the cozy relationships they have with leaders who are held in as much contempt by the ordinary voters as the misnamed liberal media holds them.
Maitreya2016 , 10 Nov 2016 15:1
Democrats were once for slavery as well.
leadballoon , 10 Nov 2016 15:0

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in "swing" suburbs.

That is the most relevant paragraph I've seen here in recent months. exactly the same for the UK Labour party, Nobody with any real prospect of power represents the working class. The only shadows left are the unrealistic promises of Trump, or Brexit that we know will be ignored once the vote is cast. But what else is there?
IamDolf leadballoon , 10 Nov 2016 15:2
The "lumpenproletariat" that brought the social democratic parties in europe to power and made the european communist political parties a force to reckon with no longer exist. The old working classes have been superseded by an underclass who do the truly unskilled work, and a middle class, the successful children of the former workingclass who now are nurses, administrators, middle managers, etc.
Steel, mining, ship building, car manufacturing, etc, used to employ thousands or even tens of thousands of people in a single plant. Those days are over. Everywhere. To exclusively focus on the 20% of the population that are truly left behind is political suicide. And why a guy like Corbyn will never see an electoral win.
And then one needs to keep in mind that the American working class are much more right leaning than their european counterparts.
goto100 , 10 Nov 2016 15:0
Fuck all globalist hellspawn. Fuck all neocons. Fuck all neoliberals. All of them.
SoccerPundit WorrierQueen , 10 Nov 2016 15:2
First past the post does have benefits e.g., stable governments that last 4-5 years, manifesto's printed up-front rather than debated behind closed doors, prevention of extremist parties achieving influence via balance of power.
UK, USA main two parties are actually 'large tents/broad churches' where multiple views exist rather than narrow dogma.
Democracy is not perfect - but the peaceful transfer of power - in the UK, US is to be commended and not taken for granted.
(ps I agree with gerrymandering in US but that's a result of the States vs Federal system. Also one more thing - FPTP is the only way to choose a President whether by Electoral College or popular vote).
BarrieJ SoccerPundit , 10 Nov 2016 16:2
Stable governments that don't represent voter's views or needs. Manifestos that are manifestly ignored at the earliest convenience, policies that were never announced or publicised, pursued in the interests of political lobbyists, donors or corporations. Politicians whose default position is to lie if it serves them better than the truth and the electorate offered the only opportunity to dismiss them at the next election, when they can reliably expect to be rewarded with a seat in the Lords or any number of sinecures in the form of directorships and consultancies.
The system is not fit for purpose and that's just the way our political class likes it.
PerspectivesPlease , 10 Nov 2016 14:5
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Secy. Reich. I cannot say enough!

Yes, Sir no one can fool all the people all the time. The Clintons were masters at this game and believed they could get the people to believe that 2+2=5 assisted with their unlimited corporate money, Wall St. influence, and the dissemination of misinformation aided by the media.

There would not have been any need for organizations like Wikileaks, if journalists had a modicum of integrity.

As for the Guardian, it had to have their favorite, and the most corrupt, candidate defeated at the elections resoundingly in order to have voices, the like that of Secy. Reich express his views in this otherwise skewed newspaper. With the increase in corruption in public office, journalistic integrity followed that same path.

The frustration of the people with establishment politics rose to such a level where they did not care even if the opposing non-establishment candidate was Donald Trump or Donald Duck who groped other ducklings.

Omoikani , 10 Nov 2016 14:4
The Guardian was one of Clinton's loudest barking dogs, following the Goldman Sachs playlist to the letter. Adverse comments BTL about her or the Guardian's election coverage were deleted.
CaptainHogwash , 10 Nov 2016 14:4
"Democrats once represented the working class. Not anymore "

Republicans never represented the working class but the working classes continued to vote them into office.

The destruction of the trade union movement has always been one of the highest priorities for Conservatives – the success they have had in large part due to the concerted efforts of Ronnie and Maggie (who are now engaged in a torrid posthumous affair).

In the UK there is a sinister parallel between zero hour contracts and workers during the depression standing in the streets hoping to pick up a day's work.
Apparently "job security" is a threat to the prosperity of the nation and so it goes on.
Now that the unions have been dealt with the Tories in the UK have set their sights on dismantling the NHS (by incrementally starving it to death) and there is presently nothing to stop them.

Trump clearly tailored his message to reach the disenfranchised but unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any evidence that (a) he really cares about them and (b) anything substantial is about to improve their lot.

sylvesta34 , 10 Nov 2016 14:4
Its quite ironic that right-wing, neo-lib ideology, created what we have now, and at the same time its the right and far right that are getting all the gains. The popularity of Trump. Farage and this movement tells you how utterly and totally the left and liberals in general have failed in connecting with the working classes and offer something different.
Biblio , 10 Nov 2016 14:4

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama helped shift power away from the people towards corporations. It was this that created an opening for Donald Trump

Sums things up succintly. If you're concentrating on stealing their clothes, they can steal yours, especially when you only wave them about listlessly yet refuse to wear them.

Trojans08 Biblio , 10 Nov 2016 14:4
That's been happening since Reagan. I get the blame on Clinton & Obama in the context of "Dems played the same game as GOP", but not in a more open context. This has been happening for 35 years with trickle down economy. It also happens to "coincide" with the widening of wealth gap...
Light_and_Liberty , 10 Nov 2016 14:4
It was a repudiation of President Barack Obama and his leftist [neoliberal] policies that decimated middle class jobs, health insurance and the respect for the rule of law.

A valid point can be stated in one sentence.

Karl Holder , 10 Nov 2016 14:3
Obama just nailed the whole working class with a massive Obamacare rate hike. What did they expect was going to happen? You cannot provide free healthcare to the poor on the backs of the working class while the upper mids and wealthy pay nothing. The upper mids already have employer insurance, people, and they do not get an opinion. OCare is hitting me for $400 a month for insurance with a $13,000 deductible! That is fraud! I am a working class liberal- Obama broke every campaign promise he ever made to us, and Clinton has done nothing to shed her 'corrupt DNC insider' image or distance herself from Obama's treacherous policies. ALL of the reasons the Trump people are giving for voting for Trump are VALID and we can blame this one on THE DNC. BERNIE WOULD HAVE WON.
PDXtoNOLA , 10 Nov 2016 14:3
I find it poetic that the Guardian, which seemed this past year to be competing with the other US majors in the grotesque sidelining and marginalizing of Bernie Sanders, is now On their hands and knees with their contribution drive. I will never give a dime to these hacks. What's funny is that had they stuck to their principles of fearless reporting I have no doubt a huuuge number of readers would have jumped at the opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution. Like the DNC, they had a clear thoroughbred in the stable and they drowned it in the backyard. i have no sympathy for this rag. I have contempt for it.
Bilge , 10 Nov 2016 14:3
Trump + brexit means the right have control. OK guys what happens next, what's the plan?
RationalGuardianMan , 10 Nov 2016 14:2
Just as after Brexit, this paper is flooded with articles claiming how 'minority' groups, BMEs, LGBTQ...s, and even women, are now being attacked in numbers and how vulnerable they feel.

I follow the MSM and have seen nothing of substance that backs this up.

Nor do I feel that Trump is going to mount major campaigns against such groups.

Interestingly I believe it true that 29% of the 'Hispanic' minority actually voted for Trump.

Similarly was the figure for white women not c.50% ?

Many fewer blacks did, but should Trump's economics actually bring back jobs for the 'working class' why would blacks in this group of both (all ?) sexes not benefit also and if that is the case watch how their voting patterns change next time.

NoSerf , 10 Nov 2016 14:1
Thankfully there are articles like this.
Media other than Guardian who don't care to give this thought the time of the day, slip into irrelevance. I mean the MSMs here who all embody Trotzkism.
Trotzkism dictates that the livelihoods of people ought to be taken away to make them pliable. China bought US-TBs (for US government aggrandizement) upon US shipping jobs over there. Feeding the hungry? With the Fed going into overdrive. Banks together with govt concocted the financial crisis to profit off bear strategies that mortals can't do. In following years, the elite coined high-flying ideals such as globalization, which is good for them because they sit in govt, teach in universities or are detached ueber-owners of businesses. Joe Blow was screamed at when he would ask: How am I gonna pay for stuff that the big wigs have now manufactured overseas, when we now make, or get as welfare, $10 instead of $25 an hour?
Hard to reverse the destruction, but worth a try.
Willbeck , 10 Nov 2016 14:1
I never thought I would be in agreement with Robert Reich but I am today. Every election cycle the Democratic Party spouts happy talk about being the people's party and the worker's party (in contrast to the supposedly blue blooded, monied Republican Party.) While that may once have been a somewhat accurate portrayal, it has long since become a sham of an image.

Today's Democratic Party is the party of the corporate billionaires, the tech titans, and the globalist elitists who don't want a simplistic notion like that of national borders to get in the way of their profit seeking. Naturally, the entertainment and media stars gravitate toward their corporate masters and shill for the Democrats. Throw in a fixation on divisive identity politics and the Democratic establishment and its less loud and proud Republican counterpart thought that the authentic voice of the American people could forever be drowned out. The success of Bernie Sanders (done in by the rigged Democratic Party rules) and Donald Trump demonstrates that the people will no longer be silenced.

biologixco , 10 Nov 2016 14:1
Hey GUARDIAN, where is that 99% chance of Hillary winning???
I personally know three people that didnt vote because they thought she had a win in the bank.
Shame on the Guardian.
Those pollsters along with GUARDIAN should be summarily FIRED.
And don't let the door hit them in the a$$.
meggo56 , 10 Nov 2016 14:1
Thank you for your voice of intelligence & grounded wisdom. As I read elsewhere, the treaties that Mr. Clinton & Obama have backed have unravelled the middle class. And let's not forget Mr. Reagan who reversed high tax rates on the wealthy and broke the back of unions. Neither party represents working people anymore. Certainly Mr. Trump does not. And playing to that disenfranchisement won him the election---but I fear that he has no interest in redeeming the middle class. He was interested in getting elected and telling people anything they want to hear.
Bilge , 10 Nov 2016 14:0
The western first world dominance is coming to an end. People in the west like to think they are the top of the food chain but reality is the second world of Asia and the far east is rapidly stepping into their shoes. Capitalism dictates that maximum profits are returned for minimum outlay so if you can make a product for minimal cost i.e. wages, and sell for the maximum price then you have a successful business model. Protectionism has been tried before and Trump's version trying to roll back globalisation will be no more successful. ..same applies to brexit. It'll get even worse as robotics take over more and more, the only solution will be social control mechanisms to ensure that suppliers have consumers to sell their products to. It's going to take a while for this realism to sink in...but it's unavoidable.
eminijunkie Bilge , 10 Nov 2016 14:1
Protectionism is working great in China, and it once did wonders for the US.

Free trade is the pathway to poverty for all but the [already] rich.

MalleusSacerdotum , 10 Nov 2016 14:0
Sense at last in a Guardian article.
But still not enough sense to say clearly what a weak campaigner and what a poor choice of candidate Hillary Clinton was.

Oh well... maybe the Guardian will use the period between now and January 20 to reflect on how they cheer-led for a candidate who didn't have what it takes to win an election.
Or maybe not. Maybe they will continue to print and post stories that are tinged with hurt surprise that democracy means one -and only one- vote for every citizen who cares to cast it. How can democracy function if all those white unemployed and immiserated vote against the candidates that the rich have prepared for them?

LibertineUSA , 10 Nov 2016 13:5
As is usual Mr. Reich hits the nail squarely on the head.

The working class had long been the backbone of the Democratic Party electorate. They no longer are because the Democratic Party is no longer the party of the working class. The banks, the upscale suburban liberals, minorities and specific issue oriented groups are the people that matter most to the Democratic Party. The working class support has been taken for granted for far too long by the Dems. I can't remember how many times I have heard said, or seen written, by Democratic insiders "where else do they have to go (for candidates to support)?"

The working class has to be a part, and an important part, of the left's coalition going forward or risk seeing more shock election results like this. Their lots have not improved in this brand new global economy championed by both parties. And while their numbers aren't as large as when Reagan was elected (and before) there are more than enough of them to be an election decider.

It also will be helpful to choose candidates who will not to insult them like who, for example, call them all a "basketful of deplorables".

coolook , 10 Nov 2016 13:5
the biggest factor in the Trump victory,and in the Brexit mayhem,is quite simply Globalization. it is Globalization that has exported jobs,and skills out of the western world. it is responsible for ghost towns in the industrial and manufacturing heartlands. western governments have had no strategy for regeneration on anything like a great enough scale. unless the consequences of globalization are addressed and reversed, the West faces ever falling living standards and huge unrest.
simpledino coolook , 10 Nov 2016 19:0
Yes, what we call "globalization" is quite simply the universalizing of a certain set of relations between capital and labor -- it's clear that if the process is allowed to proceed without proper safeguards, capital will be greatly favored, while labor will be reduced to the lowest possible level. Marx pointed out a long time ago that the tendency of capitalism is to squeeze the greatest amount of "surplus value" out of the workforce while granting them only as much money as necessary for them to scrape by from day to day. Essentially, under capitalism, he wrote, people exist to produce things and are less important than the things they produce. Marx may have been wrong about the viability of "scientific socialism," but he was often spot-on as an analyst of the way capitalism works and who it really benefits.

Trade is wonderful, but only when it doesn't proceed by reducing us all to wage slaves. Maybe Dems who keep supporting bullshit neoliberal trade deals need to go read some of old Uncle Karl's delightfully sarcastic works. Capital, Vol. 1 would be a fine start: see in particular the chapter, "The Fetishism of the Commodity and the Secret Thereof." It's a masterpiece.

blackrocket2000 , 10 Nov 2016 13:4
Can anyone turn back the tide of globalisation and power of the corporations? What is the role of MSM? Are they all part of the problem? Interesting times. Maybe Trump will be force for good. We certainly need stronger leadership from our politicians, on both sides of the pond.
simpledino stupormundi , 10 Nov 2016 14:1
Yes, I think of lot of that sort of stuff is misplaced. True, there are some despicable people supporting Trump -- the Klan, neo-Nazi types, and so forth. But most people who voted for him aren't like that. It's probably more the case that they put aside considerable disdain for Trump's wretched behavior and voted for him based on his promise to "unforget" the working class. Personally, I think he's a brazen demagogue who doesn't give any more of a rat's bottom about the poor and the working class than Hitler did in Germany, what with all his "national socialist" promises of "two chickens in every pot." But it isn't hard to understand the appeal of such populist rhetoric when people are suffering and insecure. The American Left needs to rediscover its proper role as a moderator of the harsher side of capitalism -- it has forgotten that role, and the bill for that forgetfulness just came due. I don't blame Hillary personally -- Secretary Reich is right to frame the problem in much broader terms, i.e. as having to do with the Democratic leadership as a whole.
Aboutface , 10 Nov 2016 13:3
The business of government has morphed into the government for businesses.
Take a hint from what President Xi of China is doing, in managing the PRC. A good yardstick of good governance comes from the analects of Confucius.
Pyrophyte , 10 Nov 2016 13:3
What an excellent article.

It's the same almost everywhere.

For instance, once upon a time in Germany, social democrats represented the working class. Not anymore. People couldn't care less about Germany's wonderful economic growth either, as most of the surplus goes to the top.*

The "social democrat" Schrφder demolished the welfare state and introduced a new low wage sector, much beloved by his corporate buddies. Thanks to his and Angela Merkel's efforts, numbers of working poor and food banks are increasing. So is the wealth gap.* Thanks to an ongoing media hate campaign against the meritocratic losers, most people suffered in silence. And now everyone acts shocked and confused that a right-winged populist party is on the rise.

Well, thank you Angela Merkel, these are the fruits of your beloved austerity. The next vote in Germany is going to be interesting. And just for the record: austerity was employed by Brόning to boot. And that turned out so well, didn't it?

http://www.dw.com/en/study-income-inequality-reaches-new-high-in-germany/a-36009472

trundlesome1 , 10 Nov 2016 13:2
Capitalism is the best economic system we have but it becomes increasingly self destructive and unstable if it is not managed properly. The moderate left and right would both agree on this normally but the left would prioritise the interests of workers and the right the interests of capitalists. However both, self interestedly, would support policies and institutions that kept the system stable and growing.

Unfortunately hubris and market fundamentalism has turned the right's head and allowed the rich and greedy to destructively run rampant. This is in no-one's longer term interest as the impoverishment of the middle class and destruction of a prosperous mas market will eventually undermine even most of the wealthy. The economic elite need to be dragged back under control. Theodore Roosevelt broke up the trusts in the 20s and Franklin brought in the New Deal in the Great Depression. It has been done before. It needs to be done again.

Russ Bestley , 10 Nov 2016 13:2
Now Americans have rebelled by supporting someone who wants to fortify America against foreigners as well as foreign-made goods. The power structure understandably fears that Trump's isolationism will stymie economic growth. But most Americans couldn't care less about growth because for years they have received few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.

Exactly, and the parallels with the Brexit vote and against an EU corporate bureaucracy set up to benefit the wealthy are stark. You could apply the same phrasing here in the UK:

Now British voters have rebelled by supporting a campaign that wants to fortify the UK against foreigners as well as foreign-made goods. The power structure understandably fears that Brexit's isolationism will stymie economic growth. But most British workers couldn't care less about growth because for years they have received few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.

trundlesome1 , 10 Nov 2016 13:0
Great article.

The Democrats have more or less sold out the working class to the rich and powerful. They are, in large part, the rich and powerful as this article points out. If the left wants to counter right wing populists such as Trump it will need to address the growing anger of the white working class towards policies that have put them in a position where they will be a minority in their own country where they have historically been a large majority. It will also have to look after the unemployed, working and middle classes at the expense of Wall Street, big tech and big business generally. Ironically the right needs to do exactly the same thing. And both need to do these things while protecting the well-being of minorities. Will these mainstream politicians be able to escape the orbit of the rich? It is difficult to be optimistic.

ThomasD , 10 Nov 2016 13:0
Maybe so, but the only solution offered here is more Unions... if you think that's a solution to the stagnating earnings of the bottom half of the population then I'm afraid you are way off the mark.

The problem, and it's one that Trump will utterly fail to address and strikes at the heart of our beliefs, is that a modern economy has little use (and places little economic value) on low and unskilled labour. There is not a thing that can't be done cheaper by foreign factories and machines (computers/robots/automation). This is deeply unpalatable and I do not like it, but without a solution to how we ensure fair treatment of people who are, day by day, becoming less economically valuable to the modern economy, this issue will not go away. Trump is a reaction, but he is not the solution but he will set out to blame every minority, foreign government, trade agreement he can because he can't or won't address this issue, and that will be very bad for everyone.

epidavros ThomasD , 10 Nov 2016 13:2
Its much worse than that. The modern economy places no real value on labour at all. Over the coming years about 1/3 of all jobs are considered at risk of automation, including doctors, lawyers (already happening), journalists (already happening) etc. The liberal elite in some of these jobs are like lobsters in a slowly heating pot - they are too busy congratulating themselves on how toasty warm their situation is to realise what is going on, and so all too happy to applaud the status quo.
ThomasD epidavros , 10 Nov 2016 14:1
Certainly it's a rising tide that threatens to wash away at everyone, though the higher skilled the safer you are likely to be, at least for now.

I think the challenges are ultimately going to affect everyone, the question is going to be who benefits politically. The left (which is where my political sympathies lie) is currently in a real funk and lacks meaningful answers, the right is reducing it's message to 'blame the others, they take your job, benefit at your expense etc'. No real answers.

P.S. I think your reference to the 'liberal elite' is misplaced, I'm not sure if the local GP or bloke who writes wills in the local high street really count as an elite, just ordinary people doing relatively well for themselves. The risk in this kind of language is that the tendency is to think they are some kind of other who are to blame for all this, when what's happening is actually far more wide ranging and fundamental.

epidavros ThomasD , 10 Nov 2016 14:2
Liberal elite is a slight. Its not misplaced at all. Wikipedia gets it spot on:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_elite

And the liberal elite are by definition to blame for this because they are the ones whose privilege got them the managerial and leadership positions they hold yet whose ideology and political views have meant they have carried out these roles so badly.

I agree that neither side has the answers because both sides are in effect faces of the same coin, cut from the same metal, imbued with the same flaws. Corbyn no more has answers than Trump.

What Trump has done is prove that no politician can go forward ignoring the questions. Hillary firmly expected to.

Josh Graver , 10 Nov 2016 13:0
Mirrored exactly with the new labour. Billionaires and celebrities rubbing shoulders with the political elite, little wonder why we became disillusioned with them. For years now, the government neglected the working class. Industries and jobs vanished ever since replaced with ZHC jobs and low pay, keeping the broken system going on the back of a 'trickle-down effect' lie.

The Democrats had their party, Perry turned up, endorsed by lines of celebrities, we are looking back with perplexed bemused expressions. If we elect her, it would be more of the same. The free market shite started off a few decades ago, heavily entrenched by corporations and billionaires, the scandal of offshore trust funds, we are dumped and forgotten.

basalte , 10 Nov 2016 13:0
What struck me as a tourist to San Francisco in 2014 were the sheer numbers of very visible homeless on the streets, begging or just looking beaten . Yet all around them there were mass preparations for the annual Gay Pride celebration. Obviously I am not decrying Gay Pride but the sense of priorities seemed strange and I was forced to think that America is a pretty insane place. It is going the same way here, a lot easier to celebrate identity than to tackle systemic injustice. That used to be Governments` job but they have largely abandoned their historic responsibilities. Time for Labour to bring those fundamental responsibilities back --
TettyBlaBla basalte , 10 Nov 2016 22:0
All told, San Francisco spends close to three quarters of a Billion dollars every year on "homeless" of which close to $200 million is a specific department and budget item. As such, many flock to San Francisco, which is also well known for lack of enforcement of many laws. Many of the beggars are already housed at taxpayer expense and prefer to generate additional income outdoors on a schedule of their choice, which is where they also purchase and consume items never sold in stores.
lotusblue , 10 Nov 2016 12:4
The working classes have been stripped of their dignity, whole communities have become wastelands and virtual ghettos. The working class don't trust the left to sort things out for them and that is why and how a figure like Trump can come along and say 'I will save you all' and become President. Meanwhile, the socialist left sit around scratching their heads, unable to work out what has happened and squabble about the spirit of socialism and ideology that in all honesty, most working class people don't give a toss about. They just want jobs that pay a decent wage, a nice house to own, nice food on the table, two cars and nice holidays. They want to be middle class in other words.
marjane52 lotusblue , 10 Nov 2016 12:5
But democrats are not left. They right wing too. If Americans think that Democrats are left, they don΄t know what left is at all. And what socialist goverment has USA had. I see Americans saying tthat Democrats are socialists, really?.Hillary left and socialist?. Trump and Hillary are both right wing, only that Trump is more extreme.
BlessedCheesemaker , 10 Nov 2016 12:4

A respected political insider recently told me most Americans were largely content with the status quo. "The economy is in good shape," he said. "Most Americans are better off than they've been in years."

The political elite of *both* parties are completely out of touch with the citizenry. The economy has been restructured over the last 20-30 years to completely de-value labor and prioritize the rich and corporations.

Having said that, I believe people just want to be heard. Voting for Trump was seen as voting against the status quo, and voting for Hillary was voting for the big establishment. Much like Brexit, I don't think voters were thinking through the long-term consequences of their decision.

petermhogan , 10 Nov 2016 12:3
Monday morning quarterbacking of the worst kind. That the Democrats have lost the white working class is obvious. But to blame the Democrats, such as Hillary, is misplaced. It is the Dems who have attempted to help the working poor and propose improvements in health care and child care and tax redistribution. It is not a lack of concern that is the issue. What Reich ignores is that voters are voting an ideology and not self-interest. They have bought into the notion that getting rid of immigrants and taking care of the rich will solve all problems.
The voters had a clear choice and they chose the demagogue peddling a non-solution. They wanted to believe that they are wonderful people and problems can be solved by a wealthy idiot who promises to turn the clock back. In Democracy sometimes it is the voters who get it wrong.
Justanotherwageslave , 10 Nov 2016 12:3
The analysis is correct more of less , the issue here is class , the Republicans and Democrats are the two wings of the same party. The party of property and money and the powerful , the vote for Trump is one of those events that happens much like Obama being elected twice after the Republicans stole the two previous elections via the supreme court and election fraud. It can happen but the system remains the same , there is no serious challenge to the supremacy of the ruling class.

The one analysis you will not hear in the media is a class one and if it is then it will be howled down lest it gain currency and the wage slaves realise they have been conned yet again , Trump is not unusual in his attitudes or views , it's just that the campaign gave them wide publicity.

In the UK the same kind of thing has happened to Labour , they lost Scotland and the 2010 election and the remain vote because ordinary working people are tired just as they are in the US of seeing the rich get every richer and their own living standards fall and nothing in the future but more pain and misery. They vote UKIP/SNP here as a cry in the wilderness and they voted for Trump for the same reason because they aren't what they've had before , the real problem will come when the right wing populists have been in power for a while and nothing has really improved.

Minorityreported , 10 Nov 2016 12:1
For the last thirty years, there has been no left or right wing governments - not economically or fiscally. Third way centrism (liberal progressiveness) embraced the primacy of unfettered market capitalism and corporate globalism, and focused exclusively on using political power as a tool to win the culture war instead. That's fine if you've done materially very well out of unfettered market capitalism and corporate globalism, and all that therefore matters to you is social justice issues. But if you were once in a secure job with a decent income and decent prospects for your children, and all of that has been ripped away from you by unfettered market capitalism and corporate globalism, and the people responsible for preventing that - or at least fixing it when it happens - are more concerned with policing the language you use to express your fears and pain, and demonstrating their compassion by trying to improve the life chances of people on other continents, then social justice issues become a source of burning resentment, not enlightenment. There has been a crushing rejection of globalism and corporate plutocracy by Western electorates. The Western progressive left will only survive if it has the courage to recognise that, and prioritises the fight for economic and fiscal policies that promote the interests and prospects of its own poor and middle class, over and above the cultural issues that have defined it for a quarter of a century. We should always remain vigilant, but the truth is that the culture war is won. It would be tragic beyond words if that victory was reversed by an explosion of resentment caused by the left's determination to guard old battle fields, while ignoring the reality that its thinkers and activists are needed to right new injustices. Trump's success doesn't represent the victory of hate over hope, it just represents the loss of hope. The left has to see that or its finished.
HHeLiBe , 10 Nov 2016 12:1
The Guardian had a very interesting article on Bill Clinton's culpability for mass incarceration of drug users, mainly Afro-Americans.

It is really questionable whether they represent liberalism.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/15/bill-clinton-crime-bill-hillary-black-lives-thomas-frank

ECullen DrMcNounVerber , 10 Nov 2016 16:4
It's not quite as simple as that. Some things like clothes are certainly still made by people (in horrific conditions for terrible pay) but more and more factories are automated with a bare skeleton staff running the show. The BBC series 'Inside the Factory' was an eye opener for me. The UK food manufacturing industry for example is heading toward almost full automation - I'd imagine the US industry is even further down the automated road. This is why the UK and US have moved to services and these areas are the vast bulk of unskilled jobs now.
Quint Red , 10 Nov 2016 12:1

The Democratic party once represented the working class

Now it sneers at them as a "basket of deplorables". The same has happened in the UK; only this morning Owen Jones was asking the left to reach out to the working class, and in the very same article labelled them as racist, misogynist homophobes.

The consequences of this disdain are entirely predictable

Bootsy_Collins Quint Red , 10 Nov 2016 12:3
Re: "basket of deplorables" -- if you care about accuracy, she didn't sneer at them as a basket of deplorables; she sneered at *half* of them as a basket of deplorables. In the same paragraph, she described the other half as having legitimate concerns that weren't being addressed.

As far as her criticisms of half of Trump's voting base -- politically, stupid as hell. But valid? Well, what do carefully-taken public opinion polls from the 15 months before the election tell us? 2/3 of Trump supporters believe Obama is a Muslim who was born in another country. 63% want to amend the Constitution to eliminate citizenship for people born in the U.S. 40% consider African-Americans lazier than white people. A third of Trump supporters believe that the internment of Japanese-Americans during WW2 was a good thing. 31% believe in banning homosexuals from entering the United States. A quarter of them believe that Antonin Scalia was murdered in a conspiracy. A quarter believe that vaccines cause autism. 16% believe that whites are a superior race, and another 14% just aren't sure.

I don't see a very strong case that she was wrong.

EdmundLange , 10 Nov 2016 12:1
It's the same problem the UK had with brexit. People feel squeezed, invariably because of neoliberalist policies that benefit the wealthy, and the rising wage and wealth gap drives resentment because of it.

Suddenly, you get populists who spring up with "solutions" to such problems, but rather than being actual solutions seem to scapegoat totally unrelated factors, such as immigration, free trade, power blocs, specific groups of people who may be out of favour at the moment, rather than the actual correct causes in the first place.

PSmd Captain_America , 10 Nov 2016 13:0
Your post actually chimes with what I've been saying. There was a big moment for the left, that came in 2008 in the USA. A mixed race opponent of the Iraq War, sounding plausibly leftish leaning, praised public healthcare, accused relentlessly by the right of being a communist/socialist, of being a muslim, of not born in the USA. And he won. So only 8 years ago, there was a moment where American electorate shifted left, it'd seem. But instead Obama brought back Rubin, Summers, Geithner, same old 1990's wall street cabal. FDR he was not.

There'll be a moment within a decade for things to move left, who will head 'the left' (Clinton and Blair types?) will tell whether things actually do move in that direction.

[Nov 11, 2016] It was the Democrats embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump by Naomi Klein

Nov 11, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
People have lost their sense of security, status and even identity. This result is the scream of an America desperate for radical change

They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.

But this leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake?

Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.

At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who make the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their growing debts and powerlessness.

For the people who saw security and status as their birthright – and that means white men most of all – these losses are unbearable.

Donald Trump speaks directly to that pain. The Brexit campaign spoke to that pain. So do all of the rising far-right parties in Europe. They answer it with nostalgic nationalism and anger at remote economic bureaucracies – whether Washington, the North American free trade agreement the World Trade Organisation or the EU. And of course, they answer it by bashing immigrants and people of colour, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women. Elite neoliberalism has nothing to offer that pain, because neoliberalism unleashed the Davos class. People such as Hillary and Bill Clinton are the toast of the Davos party. In truth, they threw the party.

Trump's message was: "All is hell." Clinton answered: "All is well." But it's not well – far from it.

Neo-fascist responses to rampant insecurity and inequality are not going to go away. But what we know from the 1930s is that what it takes to do battle with fascism is a real left. A good chunk of Trump's support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal. Such a plan could create a tidal wave of well-paying unionised jobs, bring badly needed resources and opportunities to communities of colour, and insist that polluters should pay for workers to be retrained and fully included in this future.

It could fashion policies that fight institutionalised racism, economic inequality and climate change at the same time. It could take on bad trade deals and police violence, and honour indigenous people as the original protectors of the land, water and air.

People have a right to be angry, and a powerful, intersectional left agenda can direct that anger where it belongs, while fighting for holistic solutions that will bring a frayed society together.

Such a coalition is possible. In Canada, we have begun to cobble it together under the banner of a people's agenda called The Leap Manifesto, endorsed by more than 220 organisations from Greenpeace Canada to Black Lives Matter Toronto, and some of our largest trade unions.

Bernie Sanders' amazing campaign went a long way towards building this sort of coalition, and demonstrated that the appetite for democratic socialism is out there. But early on, there was a failure in the campaign to connect with older black and Latino voters who are the demographic most abused by our current economic model. That failure prevented the campaign from reaching its full potential. Those mistakes can be corrected and a bold, transformative coalition is there to be built on.

That is the task ahead. The Democratic party needs to be either decisively wrested from pro-corporate neoliberals, or it needs to be abandoned. From Elizabeth Warren to Nina Turner, to the Occupy alumni who took the Bernie campaign supernova, there is a stronger field of coalition-inspiring progressive leaders out there than at any point in my lifetime. We are "leaderful", as many in the Movement for Black Lives say.

So let's get out of shock as fast as we can and build the kind of radical movement that has a genuine answer to the hate and fear represented by the Trumps of this world. Let's set aside whatever is keeping us apart and start right now.

xpxpxp , 11 Nov 2016 14:5>

Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously.

You forgot to mention identity politics. Neoliberalism and identity politics go hand in hand. I don't think it's a surprise that after the 50's and the Second Red Scare, HUAC, McCarthyism and the John Birch Society the socialist, communist and other left-wingers were gone from the US and identity politics became ascendant.

We don't see SJW being dragged in front of Congress and them losing their jobs, nor do we see the National Guard coming in to break up Slut Walks. Instead, we see them in the highest positions of power and with governments and corporations embracing their ideas. The reason is simple; identity politics and SJWs are no threat to people in power.

Keep people divided into ever smaller identities and they can't fight back. Keep demonizing people for objecting, calling them sexist and racist for speaking up, and you muzzle the opposition. If someone wants to take on neoliberalism then they need to abandon identity politics.


ngonyama , 11 Nov 2016 12:5>
Glass-Steagal was repealed, Wall St. stole itself rich, people wanted change (Yes we can!). But not a single bankster megathief was even investigated and in the rust belt and elsewhere millions suffered. They were told that they needed to shut up because they were evil privileged white males who needed to be HRC's blue wall because she owned them. Refusal to comply meant they were racist misogynists.

So now they are racist misogynists and proud of it.

And why all this? Because Hillary's ego is so large that it bumps into the edges of the universe. She calls that her class ceiling.

Thanks Hillary. You brought us Trump. You and that bunch of privileged DNC-ers that are in bed with Wall Street.

Mark Linley , 11 Nov 2016 12:3>
The left's reflections are getting closer, but we're still not quite there it seems.

... ... ...

The visible, real-life consequences of globalisation and modern capitalism are those targets picked out (hardly by coincidence) by Trump and Farage. The most obvious sign of globalisation is not a billionaire's yacht, but that when you call to sort out being overcharged or crappy service, you finally get through to an outsourced offshored call centre. And when the right attacks them and the left inevitably and correctly defends them - that immigrants do contribute to the economy, but are still disadvantaged economically, that women are paid less for the same work, that muslims face discrimination every day - we're infact subliminally reinforcing Trump/Farage's blunter message: that the left's priority constituents are immigrants, people of colour, muslims and women.

And then we criticise a 50 year old white unemployed or zero-hour-contract man for being "selfish" and "stupid" when he votes for the only candidate who *appears* to put him first, when we seem to ask him to put everyone else first.

The left is losing the argument because our answers to modern problems are removed from everyday experience. Correct, but complex. Trump and Farage understand KISS. If we think the solution is to just keep saying the same thing louder, like an English tourist abroad, we'll carry on losing.

Quistal , 11 Nov 2016 11:5>
"It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump"

Yes indeed, I have seen this coming since the mid nineties, when the -fairly high tech- Company, where I worked for at the time, became a victim of globalization, 120 people got fired, a.o. me.

Gladly I was able to still find a job at 50, a hell of a lot of others did not.

Besides, I have been active in International business since the early 1960's until recently, so I know what I am talking about.

We are spoiling 200 years of social economic improvement to the short term interests of capital at supersonic speed. (modern communication and transport, the free movement of capital)

Both the republicans and the democrats made that happen (as their followers did in Europe)

The Globalizing, Outsourcing, Monetary, Laissez-Faire, Supply side economy.

That is the one thing that I was in agreement with, with Trump, for the rest, by the way he is talking now, it looks very much as if we will be having to deal with a liar. (and a cheat?)

After all he did say a lot of different things while selling himself in the campaign from the image that he seems to depict now..

The worst things are in my opinion his wish to destroy the livelyhood of lots of people world wide by not accepting the human influences on the climate, this besides lots of others things is in my opinion extremely selfish, especially seen the fact that a green economy can be -at least- as profitable (in work and money) as the fossil one was.

And of course the repeal of Obamacare, one of the few successes that Obama could materialize in his mainly obstructed time in office.

wariquari MarkAWilliams , 11 Nov 2016 10:5>

What is 'Neoliberalism'
Neoliberalism is a policy model of social studies and economics that transfers control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector. It takes from the basic principles of neoclassical economics, suggesting that governments must limit subsidies, make reforms to tax law in order to expand the tax base, reduce deficit spending, limit protectionism, and open markets up to trade. It also seeks to abolish fixed exchange rates, back deregulation, permit private property, and privatize businesses run by the state.

Liberalism, in economics, refers to a freeing of the economy by eliminating regulations and barriers that restrict what actors can do. Neoliberal policies aim for a laissez-faire approach to economic development.

Investopedia

Also: Steve Keen

"It's a belief that the human social system works best if there's almost no government, and almost everything is done through markets... and also it says there should be no trade unions, no tariffs, remove all the controls and the economy will work better.

Now that's only true of a system if it is inherently stabilizing, it's like saying 'this ship will go a lot faster if you take off all the stuff that's there to stabilize it.' Yeah it will but it'll go upside down at some point and sink."

Jim987 , 11 Nov 2016 08:4>
From the British perspective this is true here as well. After a number of high powered meetings over a fifteen year period, the Labour Party embraced NeoLiberalism and paid when it failed. Those meetings where pretty big and millions turned up. Those meetings took place in 19779, 983, 1987 and the final one was in 1992. The general public announced that no one would elect anyone who did not support wholesale privatisation, free markets at every turn with a special emphasis on labour market laws. Any devience, under any circumstances from Tory ideology was punished at the ballot box. Labour was forced to drop clause four as a sop to get elected.

And when this neo liberal wet dream started to crumble in the form of crippling PFI schemes, light touch banking, zero hour agency work and possibly bigger than the light touch banking collapse, the free movement of Labour for the biggest companies in the UK. Who did the public blame for these Tory driven Liberalism? The Tories? Themselves for forcing the Labour Party to adopt these flawed policies? The Newspapers who condemned anything other than free market ideology? Nope, the blamed the very people who had been campaigning against Tory policies all along. The people who got blamed for the banking collapse was not the people who DEMANDEDbanks be deregulated, not the Party who carried out the deregulation, but the poor saps in power when it blew up.

Who gets blamed for the importing of labour? The political ideology that people had supported for thirty years? Nope, again the Party that bent over backwards to accommodate the Tesco, ASDA and sports direct et al.

And guess what? After punishing anything to the Left of Reagan or questioning free trade at the ballot box, and dismissing it as 'Socailism' it turns out they voted for a protectionist who is opposed to free trade and multi Nationals. The Party who are opposed to free trade, multinationals and 'What is good for GM is good for America'? The protector of jobs and regulated labour markets? Why the GOP of course. The Party whose DNA has all this time been at the heart of protecting jobs who shun free trade agreements and are at the very heart of the socialist movement are the Republican movement. And nobody even said anything. We all just moved into a parallel universe where the Republican movement have been campaigning against free trade for two hundred years.

Jeff Miller , 11 Nov 2016 08:0>
"The indisputable fact is that prevailing institutions of authority in the West, for decades, have relentlessly and with complete indifference stomped on the economic welfare and social security of hundreds of millions of people. While elite circles gorged themselves on globalism, free trade, Wall Street casino gambling, and endless wars (wars that enriched the perpetrators and sent the poorest and most marginalized to bear all their burdens), they completely ignored the victims of their gluttony, except when those victims piped up a bit too much - when they caused a ruckus - and were then scornfully condemned as troglodytes who were the deserved losers in the glorious, global game of meritocracy."

- Glenn Greenwald

Lily Ng , 11 Nov 2016 07:1>
"Neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade..." Are you sure those are neoliberal policies? They sound exactly like conservative Republican mainstays to me. Didn't Trump run on these very things?
phil100a Lily Ng , 11 Nov 2016 07:4>
Exactly, they are virtually the same, with the difference being that the GOP adds "nostalgic nationalism and ange