Who could imagine, despite the shallowness of past campaigns, that even if a lead Republican ran ads nationwide calling himself, "The Mr. Nothing but Brag and Blather Candidate," he might win anyway? He certainly enjoys that kind of ad hominem-based campaigning,and suffers little, to not at all, for it. Indeed it often makes his numbers soar. Between name calling and all the, "It's going to be so wonderfuls," and the, "there will be so much winning you'll be tired of winnings," sometimes Donald Trump almost makes carnival barker seem to be a Mensa-worthy intellectual pursuit.
 Meanwhile, over on the other side of the 2016 equation...
 Right now it sure as hell looks like it will be Hillary, but politics being what they are, I refuse to put my bet down either way. Far stranger things have happened, including the ascendancy of Trump. Indeed the Donald's Teflon-ic rise is bad news for either Dem candidate.
 We know the nonsense, the not quite completely nonsense and the very fair critiques of Hillary Clinton. The problem is, if she becomes the candidate, the usual will happen: it will be a, um, constant "mud storm:.." just substitute the crasser version of the phrase for most of what will be tossed up against the wall.
 The Clintons have been great at jujitsu-ing these kinds of campaign tactics in their favor... when it's not coming from their own base. But that was, at best, more than 10 years ago, almost 20 if we're talking about Bill. I'm not sure how well that will work now. Nope: Trump, and his antics, seem to be the new "Teflon."
 Some Hillary supporters live in the past, thinking that jujitsu will work again. I think they may be in for a rude awakening.
 Also in for a rude awakening if he is the candidate; some Bernie supporters think Bernie's great message will sweep him into office...
 Despite how Occupy was ignored, even covered as if they were all the homeless and looking for a hand out. That was after: unmentioned by same said media, the homeless and the mentally ill were directed by authorities to join the protest because "that's where you can get food..." "get help..."
 Despite how they got pepper sprayed for just sitting there while the Bundy Gang was allowed to occupy and make threats while pointing guns at authorities...
 Despite how the largest protest ever pre-Iraq was ignored...
 Despite how much Bernie's candidacy was ignored while Trump's every utterance and movement was covered...
 Despite all that, Bernie supporters think none of that reluctance will have any effect and Bernie will be swept into office.
 Sigh. And for Hillary... a second sigh.
 What we have is a Teflon candidate who the media loves. I know people think his many nasty, cruel and atrocious utterances will take him down. They keep thinking the next one will be the magic bullet. I'm not sure there's any such thing as some "magic bullet" when it comes to Trump, especially when the media follows him like loyal puppies.
 A few weeks ago I was in the gym on a treadmill, then a cross-trainer. Ten minutes each and all four stations, four TVs right in front of me, had Trump on for more than the full 20 minutes. After that Hillary was on one for about 4... at best. Bernie might as well have not been born, coverage-wise. NBC, CNN, MSNBC and FOX. On other dates I've seen the same time allotment on CBS and ABC...
 So it makes me wonder, with the media so in love with Trump, does Hillary, or Bernie, have a chance in hell? I fear by 2017 I'll need a blind and earplugs just to block out all the bragging and the blather.


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years.Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
©Copyright 2016
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all right reserved


ronsears 3 years 38 weeks ago

Well written angst. But I already know Trump, and for that matter, any Republican candidate, is an existential threat to our stumbling Democracy. I already know that twenty years of a Koch / Oligarch controlled Supreme Court is the LAST step in the coup.

Not to be mean or anything, but I don't need to hear any more introspective hand wringing. As Thom Hartmann says "Despair is not an option."

What do you, as a patriot with many years of experience observing politics and society and uncovering surprising twists and insights, suggest we should actually DO to reverse this slow motion disaster?

So far the best answers I can come up with are to continue to support Bernie and his Progressive revolution through to the Convention and thereafter. I will also vote for Hillary if she is the Democratic candidate, because there is no other rational choice. But I will continue to work to help Progressives take over the Democratic Party and follow Bernie's lead on how to react to Hillary's every move if she is President. I will also continue to punish as best I can any Democrats that betray Progressive issues, like contributing to Canova's campaign against Wasserman Schultz.

Please use your experience to add to the list of actions we can take.

ken carman's picture
ken carman 3 years 38 weeks ago

My advice, as a former Communications/Mass Media major, would be public drama, circus and the unexpected. Be unpredictable and unavoidable.The press may be bad, the reaction of police worse,but the wallmust be broken. Attempts at this haver had marginal results, true. But, other than that, take it right to the major news sources.

I think Gore's Current and Link were nobe attempts to counter some of this corporate press dominance, abandoned far too early and sometimes poorly run. Doesn't matter. Like the right who funded Limbaugh and FOX through years of failure, we need to have kept up with this every year. Not just wring our hands election time.I admit this column was wringing, as you suggest,but it's meant to wake up over confident Dems, and other supporters.

The "we'll beat ____________ even if we ran a dog" bravado often is folowed by "WTF?????????????????"

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 3 years 38 weeks ago
Quote ronsears: I will also vote for Hillary if she is the Democratic candidate, because there is no other rational choice.

Before pulling the lever for Hillary give this essay a few minutes of your time:


Ten Reasons Why Bill and Hillary Clinton Do Not Deserve a Third Term in the White House

By Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

Global Research, April 16, 2016

Trump, in my opinion, would do far less harm than Hillary.

ronsears 3 years 38 weeks ago

Hello Alberto Ceras 2

I certainly don't like Hillary and I like Bill even less. They are throwbacks to old Third Way politics and Bill at least should have retired from politics out of embarassment years ago. Unfortunately, political power brokers with big egos are often not inclined to act for the greatest good.

That said, Hillary at her worst, or even at the worst you can possibly imagine, will be a veritable Progressive hero compared to what a Koch / Kleptocrat controlled Supreme Court would mean to our country for the next 20 years, if not forever. Elect any Republican as President, and their coat-tails will keep the Senate and House in Republican hands with all the horrors that implies.

If she is the Democratic candidate, hold your nose and vote for Hillary. Obviously not the best choice, but it is the only rational choice. Note that this approach is what our Progressive political wizzard, Bernie Sanders himself, has recommended. If you don't trust Bernie's judgement and political savy at this point, you might want to ask yourself how we got to this point in the Progressive political scene where we can even have this conversation.

ronsears 3 years 38 weeks ago

Thank you Ken Carman, for the suggestions and humor. I would add that something in the tradition of "yippie street theater" would idealy also be easily replicated and contageous and legal and inherently unblockable. The Green Peace protesters against Shell, hanging from the bridge and using kayaks to block the arctic oil exploration rig, hit many of these requirements and that seemed to work quite well. As you suggest, perhaps the biggest challenge would be to bypass the media blockade with something that has such high visibility it simply can not be ignored.

To try and understand in practical terms the power of the oligarch / corp-monopoly infestation of our Democracy, I use the analogy that we are like fire fighters going after an arson-for-profit gang. It's a real challenge because we have to simultaneously put out the most destructive fires they set, while at the same time figuring out a way to take out the arsonists themselves. And our arsonists constantly set more and more fires to keep us busy and distracted. Voter suppression, Planned Parenthood defunding, deport all Muslims, Ginger Hitler, the Kardashians dog is the anti-Christ, whatever...

Moving half-way to a solution, with an intermediate challenge, the best general approach I have dreamed up so far to getting rid of the "arsonists" would be to set up conditions that take the profit out of their political bribes. Even better would be tactics that cause political bribes to have an immediate negative financial impact on short term profits and stock values and the personal careers of those ordering and taking the bribes.

A few weeks ago I heard someone estimate the the Return on Investment (ROI) for every $1.00 in corp / oligarch political bribes was ~$200 in tax breaks and ~$2,400 in direct corp welfare benefits from the government in the form of contracts, and other financial advantages, direct dollar transfers, laws, regulations, etc. So the goal would be to figure out a way to turn their current ROI completely negative, at a cost of roughly the same amount of dollars, quickly and publically associated with each new bribe.

Tall order, but given what's at stake and the presumption we are supposed to be smart and creative, let's get on with the job.

ronsears 3 years 38 weeks ago

duplication removed...

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