Monday, February 29, 2016

Sanders, The Confederacy and Super Tuesday

Light the Candle So Hope Can Find You
We knew this was coming...

As the prospect of electing Sanders as the 45th President began to "enter the realm of the possible," the sense of promise and relief was delirious and out rightly inebriating. A few of us may have indulged in the fantasy of imagining an electoral "ground swell," a clean sweep of victory after victory right into the Oval Office.
Super Tuesday states [RealClearPol]

Instead, we're eating cold corn on a chilly February, winter morning as we watch Mrs. Clinton racking up one primary success after another. Worse, this trend of events isn't going to let up any time soon. Super Tuesday is coming.

Surely, the responsible reaction to this is what might be generously labeled utter despair. And if utter despair is still not a grave enough companion for our dismal resignation, we can all just light our self-immolation torches and add "hair on fire."

Well, MeanMesa isn't having any of this. First of all, we'll put this post writing "on hold" for a few minutes to make another contribution to the Sanders campaign.

Done! It's painless. MeanMesa always contributes $10. Hopefully, $10 is enough. We are legion.

Steady. Steady. Hold your fire! [source -gif]
We haven't even joined the fight, yet. This is no time to lose our nerve. The stakes are even higher than ever before.

Now, back to business.

The Networks and the Confederacy Primaries
Necessary to elect a Democrat as President?
Evidence of a "Clinton surge?"

When we look over the map [above] in the cold light of day, we may want a "second opinion" about just how hopeless things have become for Sanders. Why should we be looking to states such as these Southern Republican basket cases for the future direction of the country? 

Further, what does it tell us when one of the Democratic candidates rushes headlong to "capture" the most beaten down, desperate voters in primaries which will have no particular influence on the November election? It's glitter. The electoral college votes from the Confederacy will be for the Republican nominee, not the Democratic nominee.

 2012 Presidential Election [map]
Thanks to Howard Dean's "50 state strategy," Obama actually pulled some of the Confederate states, but that occurred before the right wing media had an eight year window for "poisoning the soup." MeanMesa doubts if any Southern states will be casting their electoral college votes for anyone with a "D" on the 2016 ticket.

Rising to the occasion, the media narrative has also been predictably out of date. For weeks every pundit with access to a microphone has been relentlessly repeating the "dire prediction" that the minority vote -- in particular, the black vote -- in these "all important" early primaries in the Confederate states would surge blindly toward Hillary. Although this "prophecy" was about as risky as predicting that the sun would rise in the morning, all these "cutting edge," paleolithic, political wonks have taken great pride in the "astonishing" accuracy of these forecasts of theirs.

In other words there can be absolutely no doubt that these ossified political "experts" are frantically promising that they have their "fingers on the pulse" of the very latest political trends. At the very least MeanMesa assumes that this is the "claim to fame" the network marketers are plying with the toothpaste commercial corporate advertising crowd.

The reporting on this has become surreal in the last few weeks. The "background stories" accompanying these insightful predictions have grown so awkward and grotesque as to merit a teeny bit of straight thinking -- Short Current Essays style. No matter how embarrassingly tilted the corporate narrative becomes, there is always room for a little common sense and fresh air.

We can consider the implications of what is being "produced" as the media narrative by focusing on a few, obvious questions.

1. Why are the pundits insisting that the Confederacy's minorities are so hell bent on blindly supporting Mrs. Clinton? How permanent is this trend? 
2. Is there any reason to expect the 2016 electoral pattern to be appreciably different this time from the results of the Obama/Romney election? The hill billies and bigots of the GOP base remain in roughly the same electoral locations as they inhabited in 2012 -- i.e. the tumble weed, fly over zones.
3. How can we characterize the suffocating specifics of this unilateral media narrative? Why is the chorus of various voices in the "progressive" media all so suspiciously citing the same explanations and drawing the same conclusions? [Have they adopted persuasive, soporific unanimity of the right wing's "morning talking points" emailed from their network Owners' personal think tanks?]

There are, no doubt, plenty of questions which could be added to the list, but let's take a look at these three in a little more depth.

The Clinton Lock on the Southern Minorities
It may sound reasonable at first, but is it real or just convenient?

1. Why are the pundits insisting that the Confederacy's minorities are so hell bent on blindly supporting Mrs. Clinton? How permanent is this trend? 

MeanMesa suspects that this "imaginary inevitability" has deep roots in the racist milieu which defines the black experience in the Confederacy. Those of us fortunate enough to live almost anywhere else in the country have difficulty understanding how incredibly awful racial conditions in States such as Alabama and Mississippi can become. [Sanders' Super Tuesday Problem - DailyKOS]

States Under Complete GOP Control
Conditions for minorities there are aggravated even more by the catastrophic, reactionary economic policies which have been shoe horned into state law by these red state governments.

Most of these states have been gerrymandered by order of whichever Republican billionaire happens to hold sway locally. Voter suppression is rampant after the Republican controlled Supremes demolished most of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. [Voting Rights Act - ACLU]

When we isolate the Confederate states below the Mason-Dixon Line, we can see precisely where Mrs. Clinton hopes to "absorb" these minority voters. MeanMesa uses the term: "absorb" because these primary victories are largely attributable to "default" -- they are largely based on political factors other than specific or difficult to interpret campaign policy proposals. These "default" votes may derive primarily from name recognition and a quite informal consideration of her record.
Mason-Dixon Line [map]
[Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia
 are sometimes included.

The Southern minorities have been screwed repeatedly by both the national and state political systems in the past. They are understandably inclined to support the candidate, in this case Mrs. Clinton, which seems to offer the "safest bet" with respect to remaining loyal to their interests once elected. Because of this, these voters are less likely to be swayed by the "establishment vs. outsider" argument than the more urbane voters elsewhere.

Southern state minority voters are suffering from a beaten wife syndrome with a little Stockholm Syndrome added in for flavor. This is not an editorial conjecture. In this context the Clinton primary victories are an almost inevitable outcome. They will continue to roll in during the Super Tuesday contests, further menacing Sanders supporters who were hoping for "against the odds" outcomes.

Have Romney's Voters Moved to New Districts?
Not really. They're just now getting around 
to removing the MITT signs from their front yards
 so they'll be ready for Trump.

2. Is there any reason to expect the 2016 electoral pattern to be appreciably different this time from the results of the Obama/Romney election? The hill billies and bigots of the GOP base remain in roughly the same electoral locations as they inhabited in 2012 -- i.e. the tumble weed, fly over zones.

No matter which line of wishful thinking is the most tempting for the Pollyanna crowd among Sanders supporters, indulging the myth that Trump's meteoric ascension will spontaneously deflate from its own weight is reckless and politically dangerous. There are tens of millions of radios and televisions perpetually tuned into the wild, hateful broadcasts from FOX and the dithering, confused, feckless voices of the darling, well dressed "news" anchors employed by the industrial networks.

There is a huge population of Americans who are still wandering around in media induced confusion. We know what they have been led to think, what ideologue propaganda they consider to be absolute fact and what hateful, "post-Biblical" religious fears they are experiencing at the hands of savagely political, tax exempt preachers and priests.

17.5% of the delegate count it takes to win.
[Clinton Confederate Primary Victories 270toWin]
However, on the brighter side the vast majority of these lost souls are still precisely where they were when the Mittens was rambling fast and loose in the 2012 election. This doesn't mean that we can look over the electoral college map which showed Obama's election victory and breathe a sigh of relief, but it does tell us that the Democrats' "blue wall" is still there.

The point here is that Democratic Confederacy primaries and Democratic "blue wall" primaries will produce results as different as wrist watches and alligators. When "blue wall" primary voters have had their chance, Hillary's "big wins" in Super Tuesday primaries will slide back "into perspective."

The media narrative will almost certainly flash these primary results from the Confederate states to promote the idea that Sanders is essentially "out of the race."

This is probably fine. It may very well entice the Clinton machine to "take a break" between Super Tuesday and the start of the "blue wall" primary elections.

Mrs. Clinton's Wet Dream:
Converting Really Bad Media Coverage
Into Democratic Convention Delegates
Sure, it IS tricky, but the stakes are high.
Happily, NO ONE can remember the role of the Fourth Estate.

3. How can we characterize the suffocating specifics of this unilateral media narrative? Why is the chorus of various voices in the "progressive" media all so suspiciously citing the same explanations and drawing the same conclusions?

The media narrative is like the seven minute video tape which films continuously at the all night Quiki-Mart. It's only stopped when there's a robbery. If any of the blog's visitors are masochistic enough to "sample" even little nibbles of the corporate medias' "coverage" of this primary race, expect to encounter one "talking face" after another to be breathlessly spouting literally the same words over and over as quickly as possible.

The experience will offer a chilling indictment for the growing assertion that the industrial US broadcast and cable media is utterly useless. Still, we can catalog exactly what this "message" is and the motivation leading to it being so expensively packaged, delivered, re-packaged and redelivered ad nauseam.

This recent media "treatment" is alarmingly racist. The US corporate media has never been visibly interested in much "fair and balanced" reportage when it comes to minority interests, but -- for some reason -- this latest episode is careening off even those shaky tracks. Ferreting out the political motives behind this becomes more than a little nebulous right away, but the massive, coordinated repetition of this narrative has definitely "sparked MeanMesa's curiosity."

So, let's get a little more specific about this unilateral, cross media narrative's content and implications.

The central theme of this narrative was based on three assumptions. It is an unpleasant expedition into the realm of "really?" and cleverly disguised racism.

1. Minority voters -- especially blacks -- will automatically vote for Clinton, and they will automatically not vote for Sanders. Really?

This ugly narrative implies that minority voters don't know who Sanders is, what his platform proposals are and how these ideas might relate to their lives -- and, that they never will. This is an astonishingly "palatable," yet also astonishingly racist profile of black voters. The quiet implications continue.

Black voters aren't sufficiently interested to research the policy alternatives between the opposing Democratic candidates? Really?

Black voters are incapable of understanding Sanders' populist platform proposals and are not "sophisticated enough" to relate those proposals to possibly improving their conditions of life? Really?

Black voters are unable to pin point the obvious social inequities -- and the respective GOP legislative and economic reinforcements -- which reach into their lives daily? Really?

And finally this twisted "media picture" includes the charge of "automatic voting" reducing the black voters to blindly obedient automatons.  Really?

2. Super Tuesday early primary victories will almost guarantee Clinton's nomination.

In the "analytical" minds of the political pundits those successes in the Confederate primaries will "prove" this, and the political inertia of winning the Confederate primaries will steadily inflate to ultimately become an unstoppable [inevitable? -- BTW, she's been here before...] path to the Convention. Within days following Super Tuesday the media narrative will effortlessly slide into one constantly referring to Clinton as the presumptive nominee.

It will become an ugly case of media bias acting to determine the outcome of what should have been an open primary election. MeanMesa expects this narrative to flood the broadcast airwaves -- on both the reactionary networks of the right wing and the curiously willing voices of the progressive side.

"Now, with the Super Tuesday victories under her belt, all questions as to the Democratic choice have finally been settled." Really? With 20% or 30% of the primary votes cast?

3. Mrs. Clinton has the "message" that black voters want.

Don't be confused. Mrs. Clinton may enjoy some solid name recognition, and her record is, at least conveniently, mixed into the confusing memories of the prosperous times of her husband's administration. However, so far as her "message" is concerned, what is it?

In many respects it is as "detail free" and "proposal free" as the "message" employed by her opponent, Donald Trump. Further clouding the utility of this "injury proof" vagueness is her growing problem of trustworthiness. Granted, there are minority voters willing to "eat the dog food" of Clinton's substantial Wall Street money, reconciling their uneasiness with the prospect of "things improving" and "doing better" even with another abjectly soiled President.

Repeatedly selecting a "safe" establishment candidate who has essentially promised yet another "safe, establishment" Presidency may appeal to voters who have now lost all expectations of anything ever changing, but it is irritatingly cynical to cast minority and black voters as desperate nihilists crushed into a state where they will happily fight for ever so slightly more of the scraps while calling it prosperity.

This media narrative implies that minority and black voters will demonstrate no appetite at all for the possibility of a social/cultural/economic revolution. Perhaps unhappily for Mrs. Clinton's shockingly awkward, out of date campaign strategy, that social/cultural/economic revolution option is going to be on the same primary ballot.

And, Finally...This

If any of you have missed this little jewel, the link is posted here. Relevance-wise, it is both not relevant and relevant. Chris Matthews is the voice of the establishment past painfully leaking into our present.

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