Obama Hope Beating Clinton Help
by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Hope mongering has been working much better than experience mongering. Now, the
rest of the story….
As befits American culture, politics is all about slick selling to the masses. Hillary Clinton is selling Day-1 help to victims and sufferers. Barack Obama is selling effervescent hope to yes-we-can dreamers. This media hyped horse race is like a fight between diet Coke and diet Pepsi, artificially sweetened candidates devoid of real nourishment.
The least educated, least sophisticated and least wealthy along with Hispanics
are sipping Clinton’s fizzled-out drink. The most educated, most privileged,
and most financially successful along with African-Americans are gulping down
Obama’s charismatic pick-me-up.
As to who is buying what, consider these data: Clinton won the
non-college-educated voters by 22 points in California, 32 points in
Massachusetts, 54 points in Arkansas, and 11 points in New Jersey. In a Pew
Research national survey, Obama led among people with college degrees by 22
points. In Connecticut, Obama beat Clinton among college graduates by 17 points
and in New Jersey by 11 points. And note this: 39
percent of Virginia and 41 percent of Maryland Democratic primary voters
reported incomes of $100,000 or more – clearly well educated people
that would favor Obama.
A simplistic conclusion is that the dumber you are the more likely you prefer
the first woman president because you believe this experience-selling status
quo, corporate candidate. And the smarter you are the more likely you prefer
the first black president because you embrace the change-promises and platitudes
from the more authentic, inspirational candidate with the short resume. Clinton
supporters appreciate the 10-point-plan-for-every-problem political pragmatist.
Obamatons swoon over the big-picture, unity-promising political messiah.
Working-class Clinton supporters are like weary shoppers seeking decent food at
low prices at Safeway and good coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. Obama
yes-we-can-happy-facers gladly pay exorbitant prices for the Whole Foods
experience and Starbucks shtick.
Here are some realities that neither group wants to face:
Both candidates are establishment insiders.
Both are corporate-state politicians. Note that Robert Wolf, the CEO of UBS
Americas, a major banking company, has raised more than $1 million for the Obama
campaign. Large sources of Obama money are law firms, investment houses, and
real estate companies, and 80 percent of his donors are affiliated with
business, compared to 85 percent for Clinton.
Neither are true progressives or populists, like Kucinich and Edwards.
Both Clinton the fighter and Obama the talker will sell out once they confront
presidential realities. Why? Because plutocracies know how to retain power
AFTER elections. After two years it will be clear that the new president will
have failed to extract the US from Iraq, will have failed to deliver universal
health care, will have failed to address illegal immigration, will have done
nothing to get a new and serious 9/11 investigation, will have done nothing to
stop middle-class-killing globalization, and will have utterly disappointed the
vast majority of Americans. The president’s most pressing priorities will be
lowering expectations and getting reelected, despite raising taxes. The only
people truly surprised at all this will be those lacking what the Greeks thought
is a virtue: cynicism.
Finally, for those seeking serious political system reforms, it is troubling
that neither Clinton nor, especially, Obama have the courage to advocate needed
constitutional amendments, such as replacing the Electoral College with the
popular vote for president, getting all private money out of politics, making
universal health care a right, and preventing presidential signing statements
that undermine laws.
Knowing that Congress is unlikely to propose such amendments, these candidates
could advocate using, for the first time, what the Founders gave us in Article
V: a convention of state delegates that could propose amendments, as described
at www.foavc.org. If Abraham Lincoln and
Dwight D. Eisenhower could support using the convention option, certainly
Day-1-Clinton and new-direction-Obama should.