Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
A Suds Opera

This Is Obscene


So, Sigourney Weaver portrays Elaine who is portraying Hillary. Bud, Elaine’s husband, is a former U.S. president and an inveterate philander who Elaine divorces. Bud’s a caricature of Bill Clinton. Well, maybe he isn’t. We don’t have documented evidence of Bill’s having said, “There’s about five things I do well and one of them is fart.” But Bill Clinton is one of those larger-than-life guys who probably is ultra noisy when he does five particular things—fart, lie, whine, leverage U.S. interests, fundraise, self-aggrandize, and fuck. Sorry, that’s seven. And sorry to Laura and Erma who prefer I say Grandma Fletcher instead of fuck.

Here’s the deal: I’d told Laura and Erma I wanted to watch something scary. This miniseries, Political Animals, they found on Netflix is the scariest, because it presents a kinder, gentler Hillary, a kinder, gentler Bill—a promo for Hillary and Bill’s 2016 ambition. The plot congeals when Elaine decides that President Paul Garcetti, of Italian descent, isn’t fulfilling his lofty campaign promises. Bud agrees that Garcetti is a weak man, one who needs to be challenged, despite the rule that no insider opposes an incumbent. Elaine must resign, so she can run. The world needs Elaine. The world deserves Elaine. Oh, I forgot to mention that the man portraying the president is actually portraying Obama. So we have an actor portraying an Italian American who’s really portraying a black man. But wait, Garcetti refuses to accept Hillary’s, I mean Elaine’s, resignation and coaxes her to stay, to run as his VP. He’ll dump the guy who portrays Joe Biden. Settled. This is good for the country. Elaine’s the voice of strength and wisdom. And best of all, she has Bud’s guidance.

Then, then, then—SPOILER ALERT—Air Force One goes down.

Okay, keep in mind that I’m not a prude. I know people my age and Hillary’s, I mean Elaine’s, really want sex—lots of sex. Elaine appreciates Bud’s brilliance, has never stopped loving him despite his insatiable womanizing, but GET this: there’s a scene where Weaver as Elaine as Hillary is driven by a Secret Service agent to … a motel. She opens the door, enters the room, and there’s Bud. Yes, Elaine turns to Bud during stressful times. They DO IT, but we, the audience, don’t see her atop him, bouncing up and down, as we’ve watched the young and supple-fleshed cast members doing IT, even the way they show Bud’s young lover, a TV star whose breasts are so hugely famous they’re insured by the studio, riding him. Instead of seeing Secretary of State Elaine as Hillary astride Bud, we’re privy to their pillow talk, when Bud boasts that they must’ve broken a couple of mattress springs. Imagine those agents (each luminary has one), standing outside the door when those springs sprung from that thunderous rumpus-ruckus.

Believe me when I tell you that this is one hideously delicious suds opera. Obama’s body, I mean, President Garcetti’s, hasn’t been recovered after the plane crash. The VP is itching to take the oath but all-knowing Elaine cautions and prevails that he must serve as acting president until a body is found. What does this mean, this plane crash, for Elaine’s aspiration to save the country and therefore the planet? She doesn’t like the VP—thinks he’s one mean son of a bitch, and Bud agrees. The VP isn’t a real liberal, like Elaine and Bud. WHOA, the series abruptly ends, cancelled. No resolution.

Oh, well, there’s the seemingly never-ending nonfiction horror of the Clintons and right now the HILLARY 2016 spectacle that may gain momentum. Plus, Jeb Bush is “digesting the idea” of occupying the White House. I suppose it doesn’t matter. One candidate is just as bad as another—endorsing the same inhumane agenda that defines U.S. Empire. Whatever (?), the noise will be awful. Progressives will swoon over a female president, demand this female president, support this female, regardless of her awfulness, just as they promoted and continue to make excuses for a black president. It simply can’t be articulated by a good percentage of them that some of their heroes are corrupt and corroded. If you criticize Obama, you must be a racist. If you don’t support Hillary, you must be a misogynist. This is obscene.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com.