CounterPunch’s website is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. We are supported almost entirely by the subscribers to the print edition of our magazine and by one-out-of-every-1000 readers of the site.
What’s happening now is that Bernie Sanders’ campaign is taking off nationally. His overwhelming victory in the New Hampshire primary (on 9 February 2016) has forced the media to focus on him because he is just so extremely popular that they cannot afford to ignore such a large audience for their TV and print channels (the whole point is to get their sponsors’ ads seen!). The media glare on Bernie only helps to make him more popular as more people become familiar with who he is and what he has done over the last fifty years.
One aspect of the media glare on Bernie is his role in the corporate narrative of him being a spoiler to the coronation of Hillary Clinton. But really, it seems to me that Hillary Clinton’s main problem is Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders. Hillary’s biggest liability is her own record, that is to say the actual record of what she has actually done, and who she’s actually taken money from. Increased knowledge of Bernie’s record tends to increase his appeal, while the opposite is the case with regard to Hillary Clinton.
Gaining knowledge of a candidate’s history is so much easier today with our personal electronics and easy-to-consume sources like YouTube. And, young people are so adept at sucking whatever information they need or want out of the world wide web. So, they are becoming instant experts on the candidates’ records, and — seeing the obvious implications to their future prospects — flocking to Bernie Sanders, and consequently hollowing out Hillary Clinton’s support. This shift is not just in New Hampshire but nationwide, and it includes every demographic category, except the older richer people who are swimming in the milk and honey of our neo-liberal status quo.
The stampede from Hillary to Bernie is also hollowing out the legitimacy of many establishment leadership groups which have endorsed Hillary Clinton, such as the Congressional Black Caucus, and the management people of several unions and mainstream advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood, and of course the Democratic Party itself (e.g., super-delegates). The apparatchiks of America are clinging to Hillary because she is supposed to continue the status quo in which they all have their secure, lucrative and comfortable roles. However, the rank-and-file is “feeling the Bern,” they don’t need their parasitic management to tell them how they should vote, they know the status quo is a raw deal, and they can do their own ‘googling’ and ‘youtubing’ to figure out who is really on their side in this election.
Hillary Clinton cannot squelch this popular awakening by sending out her sclerotic attack dogs and harpies — Bubba, Gloria, Madeleine, the tired old CBC, and numerous media minions — to scold youth, women and blacks back into obedience to Her Maximum Leadership, by sliming Bernie Sanders. The savvy wired worker-students of America easily see through such clumsy manipulations, rendering them ineffective and highlighting just how passé and pathetic the apparatchik class, and its bowsprit figurehead Hillary Clinton, have become.
The American political scene is like a lava lake that has crusted over but which a build-up of subterranean heat has set the hidden mass of lava into a roiling boil, and its pressure has begun bulging the covering crust and opening cracks in it. Will it explode and blow off the crust completely, or will the mass of that crust be able to absorb and drain off the heat from below, tamping down the fiery turbulence and pushing it back down into an unseen rigid confinement?
At the moment, the light of a ‘yuge’ buried fire is streaming out through widening cracks in our neo-liberal lid.