New Southern Strategy — 6 — Arizona: Clintonism Strikes Back
March 24, 2016
Yesterday, I shared a petition to President Obama calling for an investigation into Arizona’s Democratic primary. I am told by a friend in Flagstaff that “Maricopa County (30% of the state) “stopped counting” after less than 2% of the vote was tallied, 8.30 pm, with thousands of people still standing in the streets — where they had been waiting for hours, in good faith, to vote!”
I think it is clear to any reasonable person that this was voter disenfranchisement on a massive scale. It certainly looks as if this foulness was orchestrated by Clinton people. What I expressed to my friend was the hope that the parties responsible were overzealous local officials and that the Clinton campaign, nationally, had nothing to do with it.
If that is the case, I believe we have every right to expect that Clinton herself will call for an investigation and recount. Poll after poll has shown that Clinton will be a much tougher sell against Trump than Sanders would. The LAST thing she needs are things like this to delegitimize her campaign. These are votes she cannot afford to lose.
Or so one would think. Except…
Except that Hillary Clinton was an integral force in the administrations of her husband. She was a co-animus of the ‘new’ Democratic Party. And the ideological and strategic underpinnings of that Party were to jetison the Labor Movement and Black people. The Clintonites, like the Reaganites, believed that the time had come to abandon Keynesianism and the ‘social pact’ with the working class that Keynesianism was premised upon. Clintonite and Reaganite alike looked at Keynesianism as a failed experiment which, while greatly expanding the working class’ base in bourgeois politics, had failed to make the US safe for corporate rule.
Bill Clinton’s ‘inspiration’ was that the Republican rightwing shift had opened up an opportunity for the Democrats. Clinton believed that his party could shave off just enough moderate Repubicans to beat the GOP. By doing so, the Party could free itself of the ‘drag’ of the Labor Movement and the Black community. When asked about the likely response of these two key constituencies, the Clintonites responded by cynically asking, “who else are they going to vote for?”
The Clintonites underestimated the Labor Movement and the Black community, neither of which — strangely — was ready to go back to the status of second-class citizens. Labor today is much stronger politically than it was twenty-five years ago, while the success of the recent Black Radical Tradition conference in Philadelphia shows that a new alignment is emerging in the Black community as well. Certainly, the activism of Black Labor in Philadelphia was the key force behind the election of the city’s new mayor, Jim Kenney.
Elsewhere I have pointed out that the Sanders campaign is one branch of the reflowering of this Black/Labor alliance. One flowering, not THE flowering. What is beyond doubt, though, is that the root of all the branches of this yet timid tree is Labor’s rebellion against the Clinton coup of the 1990s. Where by ‘Labor’ I mean both white Labor and Black Labor.
So I have to ask: which is it — is Arizona a local aberration or is it the most recent indication that the Clintonites still see things the same way: that their objective, in moving leftward, is that of Harry Truman in 1948, when he co-opted the agenda of the American Labor Party to block that party’s forward movement (and pave the way for McCarthyism)?
I would like to believe it is the first. I fear it is the second.