Okay, so even I occasionally get sick that doesn't mean I can't write a few paragraphs.
Indeed, here I am, feverish, coughing, and even a little delirious, but with plenty to write about: they're sure having fun up in Seattle, huh? Who would've thought green turtles had such strong opinions about the WTO?
Gail Sheehy's new book on Hillary Rodham Clinton is not something I would normally cover in this space, but one little item revealed in the text is a veritable blockbuster: it seems that Hillary hadn't spoken to Bill for quite some time after l'affaire Lewinsky, but that she finally broke down and phoned him to demand that he start the bombing of Yugoslavia tout de suite! In a chat with Dateline. Sheehy reveals that Hil refused to speak to the President for eight solid months but broke her silence, one day in March of this year, and took on her aspect as Hillary the war goddess demanding Serb blood as the price of their reconciliation. According to Sheehy, "The day after she said that, he [Bill Clinton] announced that he was informing his NATO allies that he was recommending a bombing campaign."
Hillary Clinton, bitch goddess of the Third Way, a bloodthirsty and vengeful witch whose malevolence is apparent even to her political supporters you couldn't ask for a better symbol of the War Party than old Hil.
The tidal wave of vituperation unleashed against Pat Buchanan seems to have died down, at least for the moment I mean, how long can they keep recycling the same old smears? So now they're moving on to his supporters in the Reform Party, notably Lenora Fulani, the first black presidential candidate to get on all fifty state ballots and a leftist who has nonetheless endorsed Buchanan's candidacy as a way to break up the two-party duopoly. Now, suddenly, we are being inundated with lurid magazine articles like the recent hatchet job in the New Republic which details the history of the New Alliance Party, the former name of Fulani's group: suddenly all the usual left-wing "anti-extremist" "experts" like the omnipresent Chip Berlet, are being trotted out to describe the Fulani group as a "cult" of (gasp!) "Marxists": the New Republic piece (which I'll deal with at length in a future column) literally seethes with contempt for Fulani, who, it seems, is not "legitimate" enough for the imperious David Grann. The whole point of the piece seems to be: how dare Fulani and her associates get into politics at all?! Who do they think they are? Politics belongs to the elites not to some black woman "with hoop earrings" (Grann notes) who is representative of "the fringe." Surely such arrogance is going to garner Fulani more sympathy than anything else, at least from ordinary people but, then again, what ordinary person ever reads the New Republic? (Which is why Marty Peretz or, more accurately, his rich wife, has to subsidize that rag to keep it going).
I also note that today's New York Times op ed page has yet another hit piece on the Buchanan-Fulani alliance, this time by Roger Pilon, of the "libertarian" Cato Institute. The spin is that campaign finance reform is a bad idea, because public financing has led to "the unholy alliance of Patrick Buchanan and Lenora Fulani. "These two politicians, who have garnered almost no public support of late, may be given a prominent platform next year." Of course, the chief backer of the Cato Institute, billionaire Charles Koch, buys Republican politicians by the dozen, and would like to be able to keep doing so but that, naturally, has nothing whatever to do with Pilon's article.
The irony is that Buchanan, and even Fulani, have more support than the wacko Libertarian Party, which nominated Koch's brother, David, as its vice presidential candidate in 1980. The Koch Combine poured millions into the LP and allied institutions, but turned to Republicans when it became clear that the GOP was a more reliable route to power. Contrary to Mr. Pilon who is described as Cato's "vice president for legal affairs" there is nothing in the least bit "libertarian" about allowing billionaires and transnational corporations to buy up every politician in sight.
How pathetic: Pilon, the servitor of Koch and his chief henchman, Cato President Ed Crane, cannot conceive that Buchanan could be going after the Reform nomination out of a sense of principle, or because he wants to build an alternative political movement oh no, it's because of "the $13 million pot of public money that will go to the Reform Party's nominee." But, somehow, Pilon doesn't mention that the two "major" parties get more than that just to run their presidential nominating conventions. Of course, libertarians are opposed to that, too but, somehow, Pilon forgot to mention it.
Pilon reminds the supporters of public financing that the original campaign reform legislation enacted in 1974 was "supposed to shore up the two-party system," and yet, horror of horrors, "Mr. Buchanan and Ms. Fulani, who stand to gain so much from public financing, recently called for breaking the 'iron grip' of the two-party system." If I were Pilon, I would ask my benefactor, David Koch, about the iron grip of the two-party system and how many legal hurdles, how many millions of dollars, how many tens of thousands of petition signatures, how many unreasonable deadlines it took to get his name on the ballot in all fifty states.
Why is Cato so hot on the God-given right of billionaires to buy up politicians? Your guess is as good as mine but maybe Cato's policy analysts should take a look at a few of their sugar daddy's special deals with the U.S. government, including the outright seizure of native American lands, and tell us how this is "libertarianism" in action.
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