The Democratic Party Allies with the CIA Reply

By Renee Parsons

Counterpunch

It is nothing short of a massive paradox, bordering on the ridiculous, for the CIA to allege that Russian cyber attacks had influenced the outcome of the recent Presidential election “to favor one candidate over the other” and sought to “undermine confidence in the US electoral system.”   Seriously?

For the CIA, of all ‘intel’ sources to make that claim; the least credible, the most culpable of indiscriminate destruction of sovereign nations throughout the world since 1947, some while struggling to become democracies, is directly out of their “How to Initiate Regime Change 101” playbook which has proven so effective in the last sixty years.  (See “Legacy of Ashes: History of the CIA” by Tim Weiner)  That is sixty years of some of the most unhinged elements in the intelligence gathering world, sixty years of malicious skullduggery as well as unbridled murders and treasonous assassinations including JFK for his efforts to dismantle the Deep State.  (See The Devil’s Chessboard:  Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government” by David Talbot)

And now the CIA has added a new, politically-motivated Chapter entitled ‘Regime Change at Home” including those democratically-challenged Democrats who refuse to accept responsibility for the election loss they themselves created, are now publicly identified as willing pawns and co-conspirators with the CIA.  What a way to rebuild the party!

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Trump and the Decline of American Liberalism 1

By Eli Zaretsky

Verso Books

According to Hillary Clinton, her defeat was caused by two interventions by James Comey, Director of the FBI. The first, eleven days before the election, announced the discovery of a new trove of emails. The second, two days before it, stated that they did not change his original view that Clinton should not be indicted. This explanation is reminiscent of historians who say that World War One would not have occurred if the Serbian carriage driver had continued past the pub in which the Archduke’s assassin was sitting. It erects a minor factoid into an explanation, at the cost of thinking historically and structurally about an epochal event.

Clinton’s shallow, instrumental, and non-reflective response exemplifies the thinking of American elites and intellectuals at the present time. It is not only that every columnist or so-called expert predicted the election incorrectly. More importantly, they had no idea of what was going on in the country. Paul Krugman described the Obama Presidency as a smashing success that had eliminated poverty and saved the economy. Charles Blow and Frank Bruni described the country as moving toward a multicultural, multiracial democracy, white people as an out-of-fashion retrograde minority. In general, all the commentators on the so-called progressive side seconded Obama and Clinton’s theory of “baby steps,” constantly repeating that the President can’t do much. Now just wait and see how much the President can do.

The fact that a fairly ignorant amateur like Donald Trump had a better sense of where the country was at than columnists and reporters reflects the dramatic weakness of the public sphere. Most striking is the absence of any critical or historical perspective — any understanding of where the US is at in terms of the history of the twentieth century and the dynamics of world capitalism. The New York Times — supposedly the national paper — has done many terrible things before, such as legitimating the war in Iraq, but they set a new low in their coverage of this election. They simply functioned as a mouthpiece for Clinton; nearly every headline for a year was a putdown of Trump’s personality or business record, in terms quite similar to those of her campaign, based on the idea that Trump had a bad temperament. This tactic, which proved dramatically ineffective, replicated the news coverage provided by MSNBC — supposedly the progressive answer to right wing talk radio and FOX news — which invariably spun its coverage of any news into a moral lesson of how stupid the right was.

The ignorance of the supposedly progressive elites reflected the transformation of American intellectuals in the 1970s. Earlier organic intellectuals, to use Gramsci’s phrase for intellectuals who performed a function within the capitalist system, had been critics of capitalism from within the system. But the rise of identity politics was associated with a rejection of the tradition of the left and an embrace of an essentially moralistic emphasis on language and behavior to the neglect of impersonal, structural forces. The leading force in the new emphasis on identity was the women’s movement. To be sure, the emergence of women’s liberation and gay liberation has been a signal advance of our time, but these movements are no substitute for a left. Naomi Klein has observed brilliantly that the defeat of Hillary Clinton should not be taken as a defeat of feminism, since Clinton was a Davos-centered neoliberal to whom most women could not relate. Yet the marriage of 70s feminism to neoliberalism was no accident and is only now beginning to be effectively undone by socialist-feminist women.

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