October 10, 2016

Why I don't subscribe to The Nation

I read some of The Nation's broader socio-political pieces. But, when it comes to actual candidates, and actual politics, and ...

Actual political parties ...

I refuse to give it my dinero.


Because it refuses to give third parties the time of day.

The mag's Hillary Clinton endorsement is laughable. And laughably wrong.

After a hat tip to Bernie Sanders, the first 40 percent or so is an explicit acknowledgment of lesser-evilism and an admission that it's the primary reason for the Clinton endorsement.

It's ended with the traditional left side of the duopoly's "Oh, the SCOTUS" cry. That is, of course, a cry that ignores that Supreme Court justices consider more than two hot-button social issues and that, on labor rights, financial issues beyond Citizens United, and more, Democrat-appointed justices, while "liberal" in general in the American sense, have each, from time to time, missed the boat on specific issues in specific rulings. (It also ignores that Hillary Clinton's own sense of civil liberties is so warped she wanted to criminalize flag-burning even after the Johnson ruling.)

The mag really stumbles, though, when it claims a positive case can be made for Clinton, not just fear and lesser-eviilism.

First, we have:
And while we may disagree with some of her solutions, Clinton has been a forceful advocate of health-care reform since her husband’s administration.
Note how the lack of “single-payer” as part of alleged reforms is ignored? Note how the fact that Hillarycare is little different than Obamacare is ignored?

But now she seeks the presidency as a supporter of action to address climate change, criminal-justice reform, LGBTQ equality, respect for immigrants, debt-free public higher education, the expansion of Social Security, a public option to challenge health-care profiteering, and a great big hike in the minimum wage.
OK, let's deconstruct.

Dems on climate change are like Nero fiddling while Rome burns. Yes, Republicans are worse, claiming Rome's not burning. But, in terms of necessary actions, a difference that makes no difference is no difference.

As I've said before, the Paris accords, being voluntary, are aspirational bullshit. Carbon tax + carbon tariff is the only real answer. And, this ignores Clinton's support of fracking.

LGBTQ equality? Like Bill, on things like DOMA, she was against it before she was for it. Debt-free public higher ed? Where has she mentioned that?

A public option, getting back to health care? Where? When? Don't believe I've heard that.

Great big hike in the minimum wage? Only under Bernie pressure, and like TPP, soon to be disavowed. (This sets aside that $15/hr is too high an increase in “flyover America.”)

Meanwhile, on foreign policy, The Nation self-deludes that it can push Clinton left, after giving a partial, but incomplete and turd-polished laundry list of her warhawking:
Even as we endorse her, we understand that it will be incumbent on us to challenge President Clinton to break her hawkish habits and move toward a new and progressive realism.
Yeah, right. These are positions she's held for 20 years.

And, thanks to Wikileaks giving us notes about her Goddam Sachs speeches, we also know:
1. She wants to cut Social Security
2.  Per that same link, she thinks Wall Street should regulate itself
3. Also per that same link, is an avowed hypocrite, saying politicians should have a "public position" and a "private position" on issues
4. Opposes single payer
5. Officially declares herself a "moderate"

You still support her, Nation folks?

Finally, The Nation moves on to throwing Jill Stein under the bus. (After giving the Green Party zero space in the mag for four years:
And while we share many of the views that Stein has advanced, her cause has not been helped by the Green Party’s reluctance, or inability, to seek, share, and build power, with all the messy compromise this often entails. Instead of the patient—and Sisyphean—task of building an authentic grassroots alternative, the Greens offer a top-down vehicle for protest.
First, this is a strawman in several ways.

Dems, as well as Republicans, at the level of statehouses, have killed fusion slate and candidate laws over the past 20 years. So, the refusal to compromise starts with the duopoly.

As for “ building an authentic grassroots alternative,” the Greens have had local candidates — and gotten them elected — for nearly 20 years.

Finally, The Nation says that “ 2016 is not an ordinary election.” We've heard that bullshit every four years this century. Back of the bus bullshit.

And, comes from a mag that's been tepid on true, radical campaign finance reform, let alone constitutional reforms like electing some House candidates from a "national list" and more.

The Nation, 20 years ago, helped me move beyond my parents' Republicanism, but I've since moved beyond, maybe well beyond, it.

Hey, Katha Pollit? The times HAVE changed and you moved in the wrong direction. At best, your mag in general has stayed static and failed to move in the right direction.