Category: Campaign 16

After the Cult of Sanders

bernie_gandalf02When he was campaigning in New York, Bernie Sanders visited an art gallery in Brooklyn hosting a show dedicated to works that he had inspired. They were, as you’d expect, creative and iconic (see the video here). While Senator Sanders is human, and no doubt humbled and flattered, he should also have been more than a little worried because these artists, like so many of those who have been swept up in his campaign, clearly have lost the plot. The very worst thing that can happen to Sanders’ “Revolution” is exactly what is happening- instead of building a viable political movement, it’s become a hero worshiping cult of personality.

The most surprising thing about Sanders’ astonishing rise to national prominence has been how disciplined he was been on his message, speech and demeanor. Like him or not, you have to be impressed by this, how a man who toiled in almost abject anonymity, and essentially regarded as a crank and a crackpot over a career of fifty odd years suddenly became a media superstar, going from speeches in strip mall parking lots and the back rooms at Denny’s to stadiums filled with tens of thousands of rabid fans. Few of us can even begin to imagine what it’s like to be him right now, which is what makes his ascent and iron discipline all the more incredible. And even the most rabid Hillary Clinton supporter, to say nothing of the Clintons themselves, must know that beyond the network of “the establishment” of the Democratic party, the calendar is their primary weapon. Like a boxer on the ropes who is ahead on points, the sound of the bell can’t come soon enough, and fortunately for Ms. Clinton, it is about to sound.

The real question then for Bernie Sanders is, then what? He has far too much money and momentum to just quit the race, but he is clearly not going to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, and never really had a serious shot at it. Not only has Sanders never been a member of the party, declining its many invitations to join, but Ms. Clinton and her husband have spent twenty five years reshaping the party- and its donors and power networks in their own image. Her success in the southern red states with African American voters, for example, was less about her connection with voters per se than about her long connection with the pastors, churches and local politicians and their get-out-the-vote networks. There are no art galleries doing Hillary Clinton installations.

At some point, Sanders will hopefully realize he really has only one path moving forward and it’s one that is not about him but about the longer term. A third party run is out of the question however tempting it may appear to anyone involved in his campaign. Even the optimistic prospect of draining support equally from Clinton and Trump, still leaves the prospect of none of the candidates getting to 270 electoral votes, which would throw the presidency to the House- and literally Paul Ryan- to decide, which would create a national constitutional crisis. Sanders’ options are further narrowed by having joined and sworn allegiance to the Democratic Party in order to make this run for the party’s nomination. To turn back and bail back out now to start a new party would look opportunistic to put it mildly.

And herein lies the rub with any “revolution”- moving past the revolt stage to creating a functioning establishment of its own, which Sanders had hoped he could do from the OVal Office. Historically this transition has never gone well, as most revolutions tend to end up in totalitarianism, more often than not around the cult of a charismatic leader, from Napoleon onward. Those that lacked charismatic leadership, such as the recent events in Egypt’s Tahrir Square for example, fizzle out.

Sanders not going to be president and has to choose between four bad options. He’s already ruled out a murder-suicide pact third party run, for the White House, so there’s the first down. He’s not just been an outsider from the Democratic Party for his entire career, he’s been at public odds with the party and virtually everything about it. Were he forty-four instead of seventy four, he might have been able to lead a revolution inside the party, but he simply does not have the time to do that even if he could manage the organization that would be required. At 74 years old, Sanders is clearly not going to be that leader if transforming the Democratic Party along the model of his own campaign and ideas- a long and grinding job of sacking the money changers from the temple, even if it were possible- is the goal. There’s number two down. He could turn and back away from the Democratic Party with a Trumpesque declaration of “unfairness” and indeed start a new party and engage in a generation-long war of attrition with the Democrats, which would require all of the nuts and bolts of establishing a party structure. There is option three, but it would be a gargantuan undertaking.

Which brings us back to the Brooklyn art gallery. Bernie Sanders has indeed created a movement, but the reality is that it is not a political revolution, at least not yet. While he has been joined by several organizing groups such as Democracy for America, the big crowds, the Facebook posts, the bumper stickers and yard signs did not translate into actual votes, even accounting for the shortcomings of the primary system- which should not be surprising given he was not just taking on the Clinton machine but was not even a member of the party he’s running in- but it is the case nevertheless. Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee short of an indictment over her email server, and with no third party option or other avenue, Bernie Sanders will assume the loyal role of campaigning for her, and then he will go back to being the senator from Vermont. Most of his supporters will be deflated and probably vote for Clinton to avoid Trump or worse, and the whole “Berniemania” episode will shrink in our national rear view mirror as it will be eagerly encouraged to do as it is trivialized by an entrenched establishment from Washington to Wall Street to the the six major corporations that own the mainstream media. The only question left is will it have made any difference in the long run, and that will be answered by anyone who steps up to continue his Democratic Socialist movement- and his model of direct funding by actual people- and to grow it into a functional political entity, almost certainly a new political party. It would mean new leaders willing, ready and able to reject the system as it currently runs- and reject the many monetary and other offers that will be offered to sabotage them as they emerge- to build it. And it will require Sanders himself stepping up to help in that process.

 

 

Reagan Redux

reagan-trump_cropThere was a reason those who negotiated the founding of the United States of America limited the vote to those men who owned land- they didn’t trust those who didn’t, to say nothing of women and slaves. Their biggest fear was some pamphleteering rabble-rousers who threatened them and their wealth accessing power. But it was more than just a threat to their material wealth, they also believed that the common people lacked the sophistication to understand the issues of the day, and were the last people that should have decision making power. In the two hundred and fifty plus years since the nation’s founding there have been many who have continued to echo that sentiment. But had you suggested to members of the Constitutional Congress that an actor might capture the imaginations of the public and the voters, such was the low general regard for the acting profession, they would certainly have laughed. It was writers they worried about because writers are thinkers and pamphlets were the media of the day.

But that is exactly what happened in the California governor’s race in 1966. An actor named Ronald Reagan with no political experience at all used his celebrity, the generous backing of the many corporate interests whose favor he ingratiated, and most importantly his visual media skills to become the governor of the state. He came to the job equipped with a few rough outlines of ideology and years of practice in front of a camera and microphone and from day one on the job, he had no idea at all what he was doing. Actual public policy was not just far beyond his intellectual grasp, but also his interest. He rarely read anything and happily delegated the part of the job that required thought and study, but always had his scissors ready for the ribbon cutting photo op.

Fourteen years later he was ready for the biggest stage of all, the presidency of the United States, and he brought his well honed skill set to the race- he memorized his lines and pithy one-liners and acted the simple but convicted tough guy in front of flags and balloons. But in the years as governor of California, he had learned almost nothing about the dry business of actual governing and public policy.  He promised to make America “Great again,” but not surprisingly, with no understanding of the actual systems of governing, he had no idea what to do. Instead, his self-interested backers took over and ordered billions of dollars worth of military equipment the country didn’t need, paying themselves handsomely, and even going so far as to con him with a cartoon about a futuristic “Star Wars” missile defense system that was pure fantasy. They then borrowed from the Social Security fund to subsidize dramatically cutting their own tax burden. The deficit, predictably, skyrocketed. Without a manager cat at the top of the organizational chart, corruption blossomed as the mice began financial, ideological and illegal rogue operations that defied the law to launder money, and among other things, trade arms to Iran in return for hostages and illegally fund the Contra rebels. All of this resulted in the investigation, indictment, or conviction of over 138 administration officials, the largest number for any US president. But, of course, he is not remembered by the American public for his blank stares and fumbling for words or the epic corruption and graft, he is remembered for the flags and the balloons. That is his great legacy, and this willful negligence is what paved the way for worse.

Fast forward to 2016 and now the bar is being lowering still further from a dimwitted actor who had at least occupied a governor’s mansion to a game show host who wants to stride directly from the sound studio into the Oval Office like a colossus. Like Reagan, Donald Trump brings his media skills and a simplistic view of governance to the presidential contest. Modeling himself on Reagan, Trump claims to be a strong “I’ll show ’em who’s the boss” style leader who can “make America great again,” but offers only the vaguest of generalities for not only how to achieve that goal, but what that goal even is. What “greatness” has America lost? What “great things” would he bring, and how would he bring them? Trump complains about “trade deals” endlessly, for example, but has yet to propose any solutions or changes. Like Reagan, Trump doesn’t see the need to actually understand public policy, that’s the sort of tedious work you hire people like tax accountants and plumbers to do.

Like Reagan, only with even less subtlety, Trump expresses the vile idea that what made America “great” in the past was its domination by “white” people of European descent in a mythical land of two car garages and milk and cookies after school. America was “great” when people of color lived on their own sides of town and were only seen carrying trays and railroad luggage- or not seen at all as they labored in the fields and orchards. Where Reagan used coded terms like “welfare queen,” to express his racism, Trump comes right out and claims Mexican immigrants are drug dealers and literally “rapists.” Trump either has zero shame, or he is a very shrewd judge of the character of much of the American electorate. An exceedingly ugly proposition either way given his astonishing success.

But unlike Reagan, who was not only a pedestrian intellect to start with but was almost certainly suffering symptoms from Alzheimer’s virtually throughout his presidency, Trump is a shrewd operator and a control freak. Where Reagan’s administration, and life, was heavily and infamously managed by his controlling and domineering wife, Trump runs his own show like a mafia don. Where Reagan rarely read any briefing materials and paid little attention during policy discussions, and relished his more ceremonial roles, Trump actually believes in his own intelligence and likely his own infallibility. This should scare people, and scare them deeply.

While it is highly unlikely that Trump will prevail in November, if he does, America may learn a very hard, perhaps even tragic, lesson in democracy and the increasingly widening gap between what it takes to become president versus what it takes to actually be president.

 

Scalia and a Democratic Rock and a Hard Place

scaliaMURRAY POWERS

The sudden death of Justice Anton Scalia has dropped an already bizarre and surreal presidential election season into warp speed into the Twilight Zone. Whereas the Supreme Court has always been a peripheral issue in presidential politics, it’s always been one step removed and too abstract for the average voter. But that is no longer the case because suddenly the politics of the court for the next generation is on the line. Like it or not, the American electorate is about to get a Civics lesson.

The most important dynamic for both parties is now the status of their leading outsiders. With Trump soaring and Hillary floundering, the prospect of a Trump versus Sanders November showdown is becoming closer and closer to reality- helped along by a gleeful press corps that can already taste the ratings boon it would be. No one can possibly predict the outcome of a Trump versus Sanders final- so much relies how either of them would win and on the wildcards of what happens around the world. With Trump looking increasingly likely to emerge from the Republican circus of losers, the real question for Democrats is what do to about Hillary. Scalia’s death should give many Democrats ready to roll the dice and jump on the Bernie Revolution Bandwagon pause. What if he turned out to be like another Democratic candidate that rode to the nomination of his party on the backs of enthusiastic young people- George McGovern- who got historically crushed once the general election season came? The very thought of Donald Trump in the Oval Office reviewing Supreme Court candidates- let alone anywhere near any sort of nuclear trigger- is the stuff of night sweats and Pepto-Bismal. It would trigger a flood of  passport applications.

But the sobering question for Democrats also has to be- would Hillary really be a better, safer or stronger candidate than Sanders? It might seem absurd to Democrats over 40, but it is a real and valid question. Just weeks into the primary season, Bill Clinton is again grinding his teeth and his wife’s campaign is- once again- embroiled in discord and sending out mayday signals. Her attempt to replay the ’08 campaign is yielding the same results- “inevitability” dissipating to reveal a deeply flawed candidate. Perhaps even a hopeless one. To make matters worse, there is the additional investigations of her private email server- another showing of inexplicably bad judgement on her part- compounded by her Nixonian responses which illustrate nakedly exactly why so many people do not trust her, and even detest her. Her like/don’t like and trust/don’t trust- always essential readings into a presidential candidate’s viability- are horrendous. Could she put all of this behind her, and could the party activists move over to her camp from their Democratic Socialist dream? Could the Democratic party, with a smiling and supportive Sanders, stage a Hillary Love Fest at their convention, complete with Fleetwood Mac and go into November unified and formidable? As unlikely as that sounds, is this even the party’s best- and only- real hope to keep the presidency in Democratic hands to be able replace not only Scalia, but also Ginsburg’s seat which will sadly undoubtedly become vacant in the next few years?

The reality of 2016 for even the most partisan Democrat is that the party does not have a solid and reliable nominee available. That is the stark reality. What it is is a party now torn in half by two opposite candidates and camps- and increasingly bitterly so. Sanders has the radical politics- and his detractors are right that no one has even begun to unload the heavy, negative “crazy communist” artillery on him yet. But he has personal integrity and even those opposed to his politics, and even who dislike his cranky old man “get off my lawn” demeanor, concede that he is an honest man who believes what he says. Ms. Clinton is the diametric opposite, a tested poll watcher who guards a zealously vague and middling political course that reveals as little as is possible to maximize her potential support- and more importantly to minimize vulnerabilities. She is the quintessential stuff of the opaque, big money driven presidential politics of the past- but startlingly few people trust her personally or believe she has integrity. That’s a problem. Sure, one could argue, no one “trusts politicians,” and even so oily and repellent a figure as Richard Nixon won the White House, so she’s not that bad.

The answer for Democrats will become apparent in the next few weeks- and the question will not be about Sanders or Clinton- it will about about where the American electorate is. Have those who supported Barack Obama had their appetites whetted for real reforms by his mixed result presidency? Are they now ready to push forward boldly with Bernie Sanders? And are Republican voters so alienated from the establishment of both the government and their own party that they are also ready to get behind a more radical candidate- even if it’s a goon like Trump? And will the Supreme Court really matter all that much to these voters? With every passing day, the answer looks more certainly to be a bipartisan shunning of everything establishment and the impulse of both party establishments to try to engineer a safer, more traditional presidential candidate to have the chance to reshape the Supreme Court for a generation- or it could well be the real path to defeat in November in an America they no longer recognize.

Iowa or Bust

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JUST SAY “NO,” HILLARY

hillary-no02In October of 1980, Muhammad Ali came out of retirement to face the reigning Heavyweight Champion of the World, Larry Holmes. Ali was 38 years old and the relationship between his body and his brain was already seriously deteriorating. Holmes was just 30 and not only in his prime, but was already clearly one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time. He had a left jab that kept opponents at bay, battering their faces until his right hand finished them off. But for Ali, a victory would have been history making, an unprecedented forth win of the heavyweight title. He had already beaten a heavily favored, big punching opponent in George Forman by simply laying on the ropes and letting the bigger and stronger man punch himself out- on Ali’s own head and body. He thought he could do it again and took the terrible risk not only to his image as a winner and titan of the ring, but of further damage to his already troubled brain. Most of those around him, and in the press, knew how it would turn out, including his long time doctor Freddy Pacheco who walked away in protest. But as is usually the case with celebrities and ego ventures, sycophants fed the bonfire of vanity and we all watched one of the most pitiful and sad episodes in sports history. Holmes not only physically battered the legend, to the point where he was not only overtly avoiding knocking him out, but was literally begging Ali to throw in the towel to spare them both further embarrassment. From that day forward, Ali became a figure not just of triumph, but more of terrible sadness and even pity.

Today, Hillary Rodham Clinton finds herself today in what could be the very same place- considering lacing up the boxing shoes one more time to chase history. And if she does it, like Ali, she will very likely lose not only the contest, but could seriously damage her stature as a respected icon and public figure. Here are the four reasons why.

1. The Hate

Like Ali in 1980, Hillary is an extremely controversial figure. But unlike Ali, she is hated in more than equal measure than she is loved. While she would have more than enough money and a famous name, the hate within her opponents burns much deeper than her support does. The very utterance of that name still sends blood pressures soaring in great swaths of this country, and does so on both important levels- politically and personally. Sure, you might say, she has “Hillary’s Army” of women and misty eyed old school liberals and her candidacy would begin very strongly with thousands of eager supporters knocking on doors and registering voters. But she had most of those same people in 2008 when she crashed in burned in breathtaking fashion.

Yes, you would be right in pointing out that much of the Hillary hate is about old white men who remain uncomfortable with a woman in charge, and but it’s more than just that. Fairly or not, Hillary remains the last representative of the old Fleetwood Mac School of liberalism that held “if it feels good, do it.” It is the notion that so many Americans now feel is responsible for the lack of decency and accountability that plagues our society and culture. She remains the embodiment of 1970’s feminism who denigrated housewives across the land when she alerted the country that she didn’t “sit around baking cookies.” She remained with a husband who, like him or not, clearly and openly had affairs with other women throughout her marriage. On most wives, and especially political wives, sticking with philandering husbands looks like strength, and endurance and commitment. On Hillary it just looked like a calculation and worse, even suggesting that her marital vows were more about political partnership than about love or family. Her cool demeanor throughout the Monica episode, as with the Gennifer Flowers or Paula Jones before that, did nothing to dispel this image. If she hurt, as she surely did, America didn’t see or feel it. As a result, for many Americans, she and her pussy hound husband represent- are literally the faces of- the dissolution of “family values,” and the disruption of the social order upon which so many Americans perceive the nation was built- abortion on demand, and the premeditated trade-off of handouts to illegals and welfare kings and queens who don’t want to work for votes. Naturally, these “family values,” are mythic and the Clintons are hardly to blame for the 1960s and 1970s but the point is that they are the face of those times and those values- a point that would be hammered home endlessly by opposition advertising. Far from being the victory lap some foresee, the great reservoir of bitter vitriol awaits a Hillary presidential run lay just below the surface and it will be very, very easy to tap. It would be a nuclear and divisive culture war that a fresh face from the Democrats would not ignite in anything approaching the same scale.

2. Whitewater, Vince Foster…and Benghazi.

Those who love to blame the opposition that President Obama constantly faces on the color of his skin need to take a serious look at the archives from the Clinton years. While his skin is obviously at the root of much of the hatred he faces, the truth is that Mr. Obama has never faced anywhere near the unprecedented onslaught of lies and negative media garbage that the Clintons were subjected to. No sooner had Bill Clinton become the Democratic nominee than the right wing pet “Arkansas Project” was formed by conservative stalwart and resident sleazebag Ted Olsen and his cohorts. Their job was simply to dig for and throw as much dirt at the Clintons as they possibly could possibly could. And they took the novel step of gleefully bypassing anything even remotely resembling verifiable truth opting instead for the Richard Gere and the Gerbil Principle, that a lie told often enough becomes public truth, thus establishing the playbook. The two great examples were Vince Foster’s suicide and the mess that came to be known as “Whitewater.”

Ludicrous political absurdities are commonplace today, just ask our African born, illegal immigrant communist president, but they all have their origin with Vince Foster. The films and stories surrounding Foster’s death created on nascent technology were breathtakingly bizarre-and what was so amazing was that so much of it actually got traction in the public mind. Millions of Americans were fully able to accept the idea that Hillary and Foster had a long term affair for which Foster had to die. Or that Foster was a lynch pin in a vast conspiracy at the Rose Law Firm, and had to die. Or that Foster was part of the greatest drug smuggling and distribution cabal in the history of the world, one headed by Bill and Hillary Clinton along side their child prostitution ring, and before he could talk, he had to die. It was all there, all unfathomable, but to this day various strains of this virus persist- but more importantly, the puss infused boil burst over all of us, spawning the vast cesspit of wingnut websites that prey on the stupid and sell teeth whitening scams and opportunities to view arrest records and mug shot photos of celebrities.

Less bizarre was the Whitewater fiasco, where the Clintons had hooked up with some fairly unsavory, yet pedestrian by Arkansan standards, characters to develop real estate. Prior to finding any improprieties, the Arkansas Project declared it “a scandal” assured it would only be a matter of time until it actually became one. It never was, at least until Bill sat down for a deposition and was ambushed by Lewinsky’s soiled dress.  But that is a very different story. Nothing else ever came all the years and investigations into the Whitewater investments and dealings- far worse a witch hunt than anything Mr. Obama has ever endured.

The point here being simply that should Hillary lace up the boxing shoes for one more bout, ALL of this stuff will reappear like a backed up toilet and it will flood our airwaves and Internet space all over again. And, needless to say, add a meteor turd shower from the Benghazi Universe to the sewage flood. The same amoral, bloodthirsty woman who lured Vince Foster to Fort Marcy Park dressed as a homeless to surprise him with a gunshot into his brain also sat gleefully planning the death of Ambassador Stevens and as many other Americans as she could possibly kill in Libya. Instead of a respected former Secretary of State, the very second she declares her presidential candidacy, a biblical flood portraying her as the most vile, reptilian figure in American political history. It will dwarf anything we’ve ever seen before.

3. A Bad Candidate

Unlike her exceptional husband, who got away with the previously unthinkable with hardly a dent in his popularity, Hillary proved beyond a reasonable doubt in 2008 that she does not possess his skills or charm. From her ill-advised online announcement video forward, she amazingly fumbled the ball every time she touched it. “Let’s have a conversation?” Cue eye-rolling…pah-leeeze.  Her second gargantuan mistake was the hiring of the toady hack Mark Penn, whose ideas and strategy was as obviously wrong as could be. She, and he, showed terrible judgement when facing a charismatic upstart, in deciding not to even contest Iowa. At every stage afterwards, they inexplicably neglected to count delegates or contest caucuses and had effectively lost the race before it really got started. Obama’s win in the Hawkeye state lit the fuse that would leave her vaunted “can’t lose” campaign in rubble.

Strategy blunders aside, Hillary is also simply not a good candidate in public. She is not good at giving a prepared speech- she sounds wooden, coached and inauthentic. But more importantly she is just not good with people. She can’t walk into a room and shake hands comfortably, you can almost feel her gritting her teeth until she can get a squirt of Purell. She cannot appear relaxed and genuine in any setting. Take, for example, her ridiculous attempt to hang with folk at an Indiana bar and take a shot of whiskey as though she were one of the them. It was a terrible media moment which only reinforced her image as pandering and inauthentic. At every turn in campaign mode, at the podium or in the crowd, Hillary comes across with forced smiles that for too many voters feel borne of calculation. Where she a more lovable figure, able to pull of one-liners and be authentic and charming, she might be able to counter the sewage explosion her candidacy would face. One of candidate Barack Obama’s lowest moments came during a debate when he so ungentlemanly noted that she was “likable enough.” It stung because it was not true. Sadly, she just isn’t.

4. The Opposition

One of the things that makes the pro-Hillary forces giddy is the prospect of an easy campaign against an opponent from the mouth foaming, wingnut faction of the Republican party. Conventional wisdom currently holds that, having lost twice in a row with pseudo-moderate candidates McCain and Romney, this time the Republicans will offer up a “true conservative,” along the likes of Rand Paul or Rick Santorum. Such a candidate, the Hillary camp believes, would be easily vanquished and even dealt a Goldwateresque massacre at the polls that would assure her leverage in her first hundred days in office. But the problem is that this is not who she is really likely to face. There is a reason McCain and Romney dispensed with their dimwitted, wingnut party opposition to gain the nomination, and that reason is money- and not just cash, but the power behind those who give it. After the Obama presidency, and the spectre of Elizabeth Warren and the scrutiny of Dodd Frank financial reforms, the power and money in Wall Street, from hedgefunds and anywhere else a CEO makes more than a few million a year, will get behind the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. But wait, you might well say, Christie can’t win the Republican nomination. Do the math. Yes, Christie will probably not win in Iowa, but he won’t avoid it and he won’t be facing anyone with charisma, let alone the first viable black candidate. He will be facing the same turd assortment that Romney did. He will rebound with at least a strong showing in New Hampshire, and will pile up several folksy media moments and quips along the way. And then the money will flood the airwaves and when Super Tuesday rolls around the tin-foil-hat brigade will be scattered like cockroaches when the light comes on. Rand Paul will hang in there to the end to make his family point, that stupid is modeled, but it will be a slimmed down Christie who will be accepting the Republican nomination. And his Vice Presidential pick? How about New Mexico governor Susana Martinez? Two Republican governors of blue states, both with clean hands from outside the Washington establishment?

Chris Christie is Hillary’s Larry Holmes. He will be in his prime and as a very successful Republican governor of a blue state, will embody the future. He’s pragmatic and he’s bold. As a candidate, he’s the very opposite of Hillary, he could take a shot and slam the glass upside down on any bar in this nation with no problem. He can wear a suit and talk policy or he can wear a flannel coat and hunt deer. But most of all, he can walk through a room with relaxed genuineness and connect with folk. He can talk to a single person, or a television camera with equivalent ease. And most importantly of all, he can quip and deliver one-liners the way Reagan could. The contrast between the two could not be more stark. Being the very embodiment of the tired veteran of the Washington that the country now rightly finds so detestable, lumbered with decades of putrid personal and political baggage, she would have little chance against Christie. Seriously, imagine the dismal likes of Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, the stooge gallery of union leaders and other hacks from the grimy Washington establishment waving from the Hillary parade float. Christie could ride up along side with fresh vigor as a genuine outsider, alone in a pickup truck, and point at them all with one clear message- “it’s time to get rid of these assholes.” Hard to argue that point, isn’t it?

And so this is very likely the choice before Hillary. Will she listen to those around her tell her “she’s the champ?” Will she slide her tired legs into the boxing shoes one last time to face a potential pummeling that will be the public’s lasting memory of her- not just as a loser who should have stayed home, but as the Butcher of Behghazi? Or will she be content to be who she is now, a much respected, if not necessarily loved, figure in American culture. Rather than get into the ring herself, she could add weight to a representative of the next generation of Democrats and remain a champion and venerated elder statesman of all times, and as a woman who blazed the trail for American women for evermore. But will she resist the temptation? No, of course she won’t. No one, it seems, ever does.