I can’t let 2016 slip away without offering a final thanks to Hillary Clinton and the corporate-funded, 50-plus, go-along neoliberal DNC establishment machine for ushering in a Donald Trump victory, and in so doing permitting the worst catastrophe since 9/11 to be visited upon the U.S.A. Seriously….thanks, guys! Thanks for refusing to recognize what was going on during the primaries (Trump and Bernie Sanders tapping into the same angry, fed-up voter pool) and willing yourselves into believing that Hillary would somehow marshall that anger and use it to win because it was time for a woman in the Oval Office, when in fact she represented, however ignorantly, what these angry voters were fed up with and wanted to get rid of. Yes, I voted for Hillary in order to deny Trump, but I never liked her, not really. And too many angry, fact-free dumbshits hated her, and that’s why she lost. And now we’re in hell. Thanks, genderists! And thanks, low-information African-American voters for torpedoing Bernie in the southern states because he didn’t have a black-enough vibe…good one! And thanks, Elizabeth Warren, for not challenging Hillary in the primaries — you could’ve been the female Bernie figure and a winner to boot. (Would Jill Stein have run if Warren had landed the nomination? I doubt it.) And thanks, Hillary, for choosing Tim stodgy Kaine as your vice-president instead of Warren or somebody with serious anti-corporate credentials.
Almost exactly a year ago, on 9.17.16, I predicted that if Hillary Clinton loses to Donald Trump “she will NEVER, EVER BE FORGIVEN. Hillary will singlehandedly redefine the definition of pariah if Trump wins. She’ll be like O.J. Simpson — she’ll have to leave the country and live in southern Spain. Or just hide in her house in Chappaqua and never come out. When she visits Chelsea in Manhattan people will scowl and spit when her car drives by.”
Maybe things aren’t quite that bad today, but people are certainly angry. Everyone has been fuming for nearly a year now. Clinton has obviously noticed this and decided that her image needs burnishing. Hence her new book, “What Happened“. I’ve only read excerpts (I certainly don’t plan on buying it), but reviews are calling it partly an explanation, partly an apology and partly a grief-counselling session.
Thanks for that but I know what happened. I’ve been explaining it chapter and verse for months. This excerpt captured it pretty well:
Echoes of this are contained in a 9.25 New Yorker interview/analysis piece by David Remnick, called “Hillary Clinton Looks Back In Anger”. Asked to suggest questions for the former Secretary of State, a political soldier who worked on Clinton’s 2008 campaign says, “Ask her why she blew the biggest slam dunk in the history of fucking American politics!” A top Democratic donor says Clinton “should just zip it, but she’s not going to.” When asked about the book, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, says “Beg your pardon?” and walks away.
The following passage from Remnick’s piece summarizes the basic mistakes and blind spots in Hillary’s campaign:
“Trump, who lives in gilded penthouses and palaces, who flies in planes and helicopters emblazoned with his name, who does business with mobsters, campaigned in 2016 by saying that he spoke for the working man, that he alone heard them and felt their anger, and by branding Hillary Clinton an ‘élitist,’ out of touch with her country.
“The irony is as easy as it is enormous, and yet Clinton made it possible.
240 miles below and across the seas and continents, Donald Trump and his gang of thieves, robber barons and ideologues are preparing to fleece and pollute this blue planet for the enrichment of themselves and/or the fulfillment of their rancid philosophies. Really. Right now. No joke. (This is real-deal livestream video from the International Space Station. Crewed by NASA astronauts, Russian Cosmonauts and a mixture of Japanese, Canadian and European astronaut-tecchies.) Also: The title of this post in no way dilutes or argues with what I posted on 12.28 — it complements it. Also: Hollywood Elsewhere supports Kevin Sessums and deplores Facebook’s banning his posts for the sin of “using the term fascist to describe the Putin/Trump/Pence triumvirate and its supporters,” in Kevin’s words.
HE to Parasite-Dissing Trump: “You’ve made me look bad by speaking ill of Parasite‘s Best Picture win…thanks. I don’t want to be on your side of any issue. It’s a terrible look. Besides you haven’t even seen it, for God’s sake — you just resent the idea of a South Korean film winning the top prize because it strikes you as un-American. But I guess I should be grateful you were speaking from ignorance. If you had seen it and complained that it was nonsensical for the drunken family of con artists to let the fired maid into the home during that rainstorm…if you’d said that I’d be in real trouble right now.”
HE to Trump About Gone With The Wind: “I’d also be in trouble if you said you really like Green Book. Thank you for not saying that and praising Gone With The Wind instead. Is it possible you never read Lou Lumenick’s seminal 6.24.15 piece that more or less equated Gone With The Wind with D.W. Griffith‘s Birth of a Nation? Or are you praising Gone With The Wind with the cynical knowledge that its romanticized view of the Old South is regarded as a hurtful relic of a dark era for African Americans? And that your followers…well, are more or less okay with that old-school, misty-eyed David O. Selznick memory?”
A little less than five years ago, or on 7.29.14, Jeffrey Cavanaugh posted an essay that fanned the flames of nascent Elizabeth Warren enthusiasm. Titled “Elizabeth Warren’s 11 Commandments,” the subhead was “Everybody’s eyes are on Hillary Clinton, but Elizabeth Warren might be the one Democrats should be watching if a golden calf is what they hope to avoid.”
In Cavanaugh’s prophetic calculus Clinton was the golden calf — “the abandonment of the true faith and the elevation of materialist safety” — and indeed she proved to be the terrible dead weight that sank the Democratic ticket and took us all straight to hell.
Posted on 6.13.18: “Every day I wake up shattered by the spreading Trump miasma, but I also curse Hillary’s name — every damn day. She did this to us. She and her centrist, Democratic-establishment cronies.”
But Warren did this to us also. In a way. Because in late ’14 and early ’15 she listened to the Democratic elders who told her not to challenge Hillary. If she’d announced anyway Bernie Sanders wouldn’t have run (he plainly stated that he got into the 2016 presidential race to carry the progressive banner because Warren had opted out) and with the excited women’s vote there was at least a decent possibility that Warren might have won the nomination. Maybe.
If Warren had run against Trump…who knows? I’m telling myself that everyone who voted for Hillary would’ve also voted for Warren, except Warren wouldn’t have had Hillary’s negatives — no secret email server issues, no fainting at any 9/11 ceremonies.
I would have been delighted to vote for Warren three years ago, without the slightest misgivings. Passion, smarts, gutsy, wonky.
I realize that African American voters probably would’ve clung to Clinton like they’re clinging right now to Joe Biden, but Warren had the heat in late ’14, ’15 and ’16…she really did. Read Cavanaugh’s piece — it’s fascinating.
Consider this chart showing Democratic candidate support among South Carolina’s African-American voters. Right now Warren is polling a weak fourth, and poor Pete Buttigieg is doing even worse. Face it — because of tepid black support Warren almost certainly won’t make it. Am I wrong?
Thanks, older voters of color, for your resistance to Warren because…what, because she’s white and position-papery and bespectacled and professorial? Thanks also for your ingrained resistance to candidates who aren’t straight. Because you’re saddling us all with a candidate who gaffes and drools. Thanks so very much.
In a Thursday, 4.6 interview with N.Y. Times columnist Nicholas Kristof at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit, Hillary Clinton said the following about her loss to Donald Trump: (a) “Certainly misogyny played a role…that just has to be admitted”; (b) She characterized the mindset of Trump voters as “I don’t agree with him, I’m not sure I really approve of him, but he looks like somebody who’s been president before”; (c) she noted that many other factors contributed to her loss, including her own mistakes but that (d) part of her problem was that many voters were already struggling with tumult in their lives “and [when] you layer on the first woman president over that, and I think some people, women included, had real problems.”
The truth: It wasn’t misogyny as much as Hillary. Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren would have won. Hillary fucked herself with her private email server — fairly or unfairly it fed the notion that she was an elitist with a secretive, guarded nature — and then she double-fucked herself by choosing Tim Kaine, no one’s idea of a change agent, as her vp. The Russian/Wikileaks revelations about Hillary’s DNC loyalists doing what they could to screw Bernie over didn’t help. If Bernie Sanders hadn’t been deep-sixed by black voters and won the nomination, he would’ve squeeked through to a win over Trump. I voted without hesitancy for Hillary’s brains and maturity, but deep down not enough people were okay with the idea of a peevish substitute teacher who collapses like a sack of potatoes when she’s tired. Plus that braying speaking voice.
Stated a few weeks ago, bears repeating: The primary blame for the Trump catastrophe is born, of course, by stubborn, racist, pea-brained rurals, who’ve always been and always will be fearful and uncomprehending and gullible. But the real architects of the current horror are the corporate-suckling Democratic establishment machine types and particularly the evangelical genderists (“It’s time for a woman in the White House, even one as deeply unappealing as Hillary!”).
The fatal factor wasn’t that a woman ran for President, but that the woman who ran was the braying, testy, fainting-like-a-sack-of-potatoes Hillary Clinton, who promised nothing change-y, and nothing beyond the fact that she was highly experienced (which of course she was) and would handle her Presidential duties in a cautious, responsible way (ditto).
Variety to Michael Moore: Trump has been accused of harassment and was caught on tape bragging about assaulting women. Given those allegations, why did more than 40% of women vote for him?
Moore: I’ve had to listen to guys, liberal guys, all my life, when they’re single. One lament of the liberal, feminist, single guy is that women would rather date assholes. I’d say, ‘Don’t say that. That’s not true.’ But every heterosexual guy has seen this since high school. Guys will say, ‘I’m nice…they don’t want nice.’ Listen, I don’t know the psychology of this, but men have been running the show for a few thousand years, and it’s not unusual throughout history for the oppressed to come to identify with their oppressor.
Wells comment: One, a lot of women voted against Hillary because, like many of their hinterland husbands and boyfriends, they didn’t like, trust or want her, period. Two, an actor friend told me a long time ago that “women…not all women but many of them…will always kneel before the conqueror.” Because the conqueror is strong and provides security and protects women from the dark unknown. Mussolini had a lot of women in love with him. Hitler also. You’d think that 21st Century feminism would have eliminated or weakened that curious impulse in women, but even with that cultural current 40% of women voted for this fucking monster — which is also, I suspect, because they felt they couldn’t roll with Hillary. And three, when guys say women “don’t like nice,” what they mean is “they don’t like semi-passive, thoughtful, pale-complexioned, semi-wimpy types like myself.” Women like the rascal, the rogue, the gunslinger. Just ask Princess Leia.
With one of the worst Arturo Ui-like demagogues in the history of this planet moving into the White House in five days and the general terms of life for all but the well-heeled about to be profoundly degraded and perhaps even poisoned (God help us)…with the realization finally hitting most of us that this happened because too many left-of-center humanist types crawled so far into their own p.c. anal cavities that they told themselves that a palpable populist movement that was tapped into simultaneously by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders didn’t matter all that much, and that a fundamentally dislikable candidate with a checkered history, a braying voice, the vibe of an ex-wife and the manner of a testy substitute teacher could win the votes of Middle Americans…with all of that horror descending upon us like the furies, it hit me this morning that Oliver Stone‘s inches speech is something to meditate upon. Substitute the football terminology for the political-cultural stuff, and it all sounds exactly right.
“We can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back, into the light…we can climb out of hell, one inch at a time.”
Seriously, the real deal-sealer is the apparent likelihood that La La Land will end up cresting $100 million. As the New Years’ Eve weekend drew to a close the Lionsgate release was at $37 million. This inspired N.Y. Times reporter Brooke Barnes to call it “the No. 1 prestige release of the year” and to remind that La La earnings are “on par with films like Silver Linings Playbook, which went on to collect more than $132 million in the United States and Canada in 2012.”
HE commenter Bobby Peru, who predicted on or about 9.4.16 that La La Land would only do “arthouse-level business”, has never manned up and eaten his words, which any person of character would have done by now.
I still don’t understand the analogies between the national mood (i.e., widespread depression over the election of Donald Trump) and La La Land possibly winning the Best Picture Oscar…or not.
On 10.24 Cinemaholic‘s Gautam Anand wrote in an HE comment thread that “with Hillary Clinton winning the election, Hollywood will be in a celebration mood, [and] La La Land will hugely benefit from that. I know to many this may sound ridiculous, but imagine Trump winning the election and then Hollywood going for something like La La Land. It wouldn’t feel right.”
So now with Trump sending everyone into a psychological tailspin, it feels “right” to celebrate La La Land anyway?
Contrast this with Barnes declaring that “the moviegoing masses sent clear messages in 2016, [which is that] fantasy worlds of any kind, whether underwater or in outer space, are worth the trip to theaters. But reality? Not so much.” If you allow that voting preferences of Academy and guild members often bear some relation or resemblance to box-office popularity, as previously noted, a La La land victory would make sense.
But La La Land (to its considerable credit) is not a fantasy film. Well, it is in terms of resorting to song and dance escapism, but it’s mostly a film about downish career struggles, disappointments and rejections.
Back during the Telluride Film Festival Tom Hanks was so enthused about La La Land that he declared that “if the audience doesn’t embrace it, we’re all doomed.” So I guess we aren’t doomed then — not spiritually, at least.
The great Michael Shannon on last week’s election of Donald Trump, as quoted today (11.15) by Metro‘s Matt Prigge (and a hat tip to Jordan Ruimy for highlighting):
Shannon #1: “I’m on tenterhooks here. I have two young children. Basically [Trump] is probably going to destroy the earth and civilization as we know it. It’s kind of terrifying. [Talking about this] is unavoidable. It should be talked about constantly. It should be the only thing anyone talks about.”
Michael Shannon, star or costar of Nocturnal Animals, Loving, Complete Unknown, Frank & Lola, Midnight Special, Elvis & Nixon, Werner Herzog’s Salt and Fire and Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming The Shape of Water.
Shannon #2: “These protests are so moving, but ultimately what are they going to accomplish? I’m so glad these kids are going apeshit, but at the end of the day the guy’s still going to be president. Maybe you need a civil war or something.”
Shannon #3: The wall isn’t between the U.S. and Mexico — the wall is between people who voted for Trump and people who didn’t. And we’ve got to do something about it. I don’t want to live in a country where people voted for Trump. I want to live some other fucking country. But I don’t want to run away. So we’re just going to have to bust this thing up.”
If Joe Biden had won the Democratic presidential nomination last summer, he’d be president-elect this morning. I’m even telling myself that if Bernie had won the nomination he might have prevailed because at least he was addressing the same anger that Trump managed to exploit so well. The liberal instinct right now is to lower our voices, show a little tenderness, easy does it. The wife of a journalist colleague told me this morning to be extra-gentle with over-45 women today (i.e., don’t be an asshole). Thanks, wife of journalist colleague! But I can sense the mood as well as she can. Whatever grief is being felt this morning by over-45 women, I feel it also. Not “theirs” but “ours.” The fact is that too many Democrats and Millenials stayed home. The bumblefucks didn’t exactly say “no” to a would-be woman president, but they sure as hell said “no” to Hillary.
"The terrorists have won." — Keith Olbermann pic.twitter.com/CCrbWRDCxa
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) November 9, 2016