from Peter Radford
So where are we?
Nowhere further forward. Except, perhaps, that we now know about half of the Democrats in Iowa think Clinton is an extension rather than a repudiation of the past.
And I think that matters.
The time has come for us all to assess just where we are. There is way too much confusion and anger in that air for this bizarre election simply to be an oddity. I think it has meaning. Deep meaning that we need to understand if we are to venture into the future with anything other than bemused silence.
I really think this matters.
Let me venture to say that Clinton’s lost gloss – a truly accepted ‘presumptive’ nominee would not have lapsed into a tied race in Iowa – is cause for reflection amongst all those who profess to be well versed in American politics and government. She simply cannot resonate with a message for the future. She has no message of the future. In one of her last rallies before last night’s caucus she waxed lyrical about pressing on with the current agenda. Yet, surely, the electorate is no mood for continuation. The post recession muddle and thirty years of neoliberal economics have eroded voter’s confidence in our economic institutions, in our leadership, and even in our capability to get anything done. The electorate is losing both its nerve and its patience. Bad things happen when that occurs. Bad things like Donald Trump.
The problem with Clinton is that she cannot project an upbeat image. She cannot tell a grand story or sell a vision people can be excited about. Her idea of a great speech is an endless monotonous recitation of technocratic graft and detail the end result of which is a series of supposed minor steps forward. There is no leap. No great imagination. No hoopla. There’s just stolid in the weeds committee meeting boredom wrapped as policy. And all such policy is tentative.
Paul Krugman attacks – yet again – Bernie Sanders for selling an illusion. The illusion, apparently, is that in these dark days of gridlock no one is supposed to imagine a better way. Imagination is not the ally of action, it is the precursor to action. Clinton’s problem is that all her imagination has been blunted by forty years of grind and infighting. She no longer believes in transformation. She believes in nudging. And the people need more than nudging.
Nudging will not undo the decline in our middle class. Nudging will not re-invent a future of prosperity. Nudging will not combat climate change. And nudging will not inspire our younger people to aspire or explore or achieve beyond what now seems like ever hardening limitations.
Nudging is inadequate.
Which means that Clinton is inadequate. No matter how ‘realistic’ she appears to the likes of Paul Krugman.
And that we confirmed last night.
Let’s see how she reacts. Because a tie with Sanders was as good as a defeat.