Paul Craig Roberts
-- - If
reliable, Hillary will win the Democratic nomination. The
Democratic groups that prefer Obama are not sufficiently
numerous to give him the nomination.
Of course, anything can happen in a political campaign, but the
latest Field Poll of likely California Democrats and independent
voters gives Hillary a 39 to 27 percent lead over Obama. This
is bad news for Obama, because California is a progressive state
where race is less likely to be a handicap.
Obama is favored by those who rank the Iraq war and foreign
policy as the most important issues, by blacks, college
graduates, and those with higher incomes.
Hillary is favored two to one by women, two to one by lower
income groups and three to one among Latinos. Hillary has a
further advantage. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention
approximately 50 percent of the delegates were women. As
Democratic delegates are invariably feminists, they are not
going to miss the chance of putting a woman in the presidency.
Are the Democrats choosing Hillary because she has the moral
integrity to stop an unjust war and to hold war criminals
responsible for leading America into war based on lies and
deception? Are they choosing Hillary because she defends the US
Constitution from usurpation by executive power? Are they
choosing her because she is public-spirited instead of
No. The Democrats are choosing Hillary because of gender and
race. Despite all the efforts of Democratic activist groups,
the majority of Democratic voters are more concerned with race
and gender issues than with their country’s reputation and their
If elected president, Hillary will bring no more change than did
the Democratic congressional majority elected in 2006.
Obama might not bring any change either. But he is the only
candidate in the running who has expressed concern over Israel’s
mistreatment of the Palestinians and who voted against the Iraq
invasion. Clearly, he is a better bet for change than Hillary.
However, Democrats are more attuned to race and gender issues
than to war crimes and loss of civil liberties.
This is not to argue that Republicans are an improvement. Their
likely nominee is McCain, who has recently said that he is OK
with a hundred-year war in Iraq. McCain is as willing to attack
Iran as Bush and Cheney, and he would not be adverse to
conspiring with Israel and the neoconservatives to pull off an
attack. Republicans don’t even have a “change” candidate in
the running. They have worked to marginalize Ron Paul precisely
because he would be an instrument of change.
Even if Obama were elected and was sincere about change, what
could he do? Probably very little. The pool of candidates from
which he could staff an administration is not that much
different from that of any other candidate. He can pass over a
neocon architect of the Iraq invasion and settle on an architect
of President Clinton’s bombing of Serbia.
Moreover, Congress will still be controlled by the same interest
groups. If Obama were to appoint people opposed by the
military-security lobby, the Israel Lobby or the offshoring
lobby, the Senate would be unlikely to confirm them. No
president wants to nominate people who cannot be confirmed.
Presidents have to staff their administrations according to who
can get the approval of powerful interest groups.
This makes if difficult to change the status quo. It only takes
one senator to put a hold on an appointment. Change in
Washington requires breaking many iron grips.
In the presidential race, Hillary would defeat McCain, who
without any doubt is the war candidate. Hillary will get the
women’s vote, the minorities’ vote, and the anti-war vote.
McCain will get the vote of angry macho white males.
What Hillary has to worry about is a major terrorist attack,
whether real or orchestrated, that would revive the 9/11 fears
and send voters scurrying to put the presidency into the hands
of a war hero. As Hillary is not regarded as a threat to
Israel’s territorial expansion or to the interests of the
military-security complex, the only wild card is some terrorist
action that would require the failure of US security in order to
Of course, all of this ignores the salient fact: No one knows
how the Diebold electronic voting machines programmed by
Republican operatives with proprietary software will count the
If it hasn’t become a stolen affair, the American presidency has
become a family affair, one that is passed from a Bush to a
Clinton to a Bush and back to a Clinton. The interest groups
are satisfied, and nothing of importance changes.
After Hillary will we have Jeb?
Dr. Roberts was Assistant
Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan
administration. He is credited with curing stagflation and
eliminating “Phillips curve” trade-offs between employment and
inflation, an achievement now on the verge of being lost by the
worst economic mismanagement in US history
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