On August 31st, the Republican political site Politico bannered “Wall Street Republicans’ Dark Secret: Hillary Clinton 2016,” and Ben White and Maggie Haberman delivered a blockbuster report about the big-money Republican donors they had talked to, who confided (not for specific attribution, though) that they might finance Hillary Clinton to become President, if Jeb Bush announces after November’s mid-terms that he won’t run for the Republican Presidential nomination. Ms. Clinton is so appealing to Republican aristocrats, many of them will back her if Republicans won’t nominate Bush.
Of course, virtually all Democratic aristocrats are already pouring money into the place-holding fundraising campaign for Clinton’s expected entrance into the Democratic Presidential contest.
This means that virtually the entire aristocracy will be flooding Clinton’s Presidential war-chest, unless Jeb Bush seeks the Republican nomination.
Where, then, does this leave the public?
Obviously (barring some unimagined scenario of a progressive running against Hillary for the nomination and beating her), both of the two people who will be the major-Party nominees are going to be running in order to go farther than NAFTA, and farther than deregulating Wall Street, and farther than re-invading Iraq, and farther than financing Ukraine’ s ethnic-cleansing operation ousting the ethnic Russians out of that country’s southeastern region, and farther than threatening to bomb Assad’s forces in Syria, and farther than arm-twisting the EU to weaken their anti-global-warming regulations so that the EU can import the Koch brothers’ dirty oil from Alberta Canada’s tar sands — in other words: farther than Obama has gone, or is yet aiming to go.
Does it make much of a difference, then, which of those two people, Clinton or Bush, will be doing these things for America’s aristocrats?
Not enough to make Republican aristocrats back the other Republican contenders instead of Hillary if Bush doesn’t enter the race. They’ll then be joining with the Democratic aristocracy, who have already thrown in their lot behind her. Aristocrats don’t much care whether its name is “Clinton,” or is instead “Bush.”
Either one would make an acceptable king (or queen) for them during the following eight years.
Of course, the two candidates will pander to their respective voting-bases: Hillary will pander to women, etc.; and Bush will pander to ‘job-creators’ etc.; but that’s basically just squabbling about how to decorate the aristocratic cake, not about what the cake will consist of, from the aristocrats’ viewpoint. Either way, it’ll be a tasty dessert for them, custom-made for their delectation.
On the other hand, White and Haberman are also clear that there is now emerging a war between two main portions of the Republican aristocracy, regarding which of these two Republican factions will control the White House beyond 2016.
Haberman and White, perhaps being Republicans themselves, don’t mention this internal conflict explicitly (since doing so would emphasize their Party’s split), and they don’t even mention the word “Koch,” not even once (even though the Kochs are the Party’s biggest fundraiser by far); but these Politico journalists do indicate that the very same Republican moneybags who are demanding that Bush become the nominee are threatening to bolt to Clinton if Ted Cruz wins the Republican nomination.
Haberman and White don’t so much as mention, at all, that Cruz is the invention of the Koch brothers’ wing of the aristocracy, and that he had had his political career financed via the Kochs’ agent Jim DeMint, who recruited Cruz into the Senate and who raised the money to get him to knock off the Republican Establishment’s Kaye Bailey Hutchison and become the new Republican U.S. Senator from Texas.
(That was a Rove-versus-Koch contest, and the Kochs won it in far-rightwing Texas, whose far-rightwingism was a chief reason why the Kochs chose that state to mount their big assault against their Party’s ‘moderate’ Establishment.) So: this is actually an intra-Republican war over which faction of the Republican aristocracy will own (or else co-own) the next White House.
Bush or Cruz would then be leasing it – either (if Bush or else Clinton) from the Rove (that is: the Bush or — if shared with the Democratic aristocracy — Clinton) group; or else (if Cruz) from the Koch group.
During the 2012 “election,” the Kochs and their friends poured at least $400 million into Republican coffers; and, so, even if the majority of the traditional Republican aristocracy end up financing Hillary’s campaign, there will still be plenty of money going into Cruz’s campaign, at least until he gets beaten — if he gets beaten. (The Kochs are so extreme that even Hillary isn’t acceptable to them. If Cruz looks like he’s going down, then they’ll back a different ‘Tea Party’ favorite. They created the ‘Tea Party.’)
Also, the traditional wing of the Party told Haberman and White that Rand Paul would be unacceptable to them if Hillary gets the Democratic nod. Rand Paul hasn’t yet sold out enough to the Koch brothers, though they are the big financial backers of “libertarianism,” the philosophy to which Paul declares his allegiance.
So, if Paul enters the race, then his candidacy is currently expected to be much like that of his father, Ron Paul: purely a “movement” phenomenon, not a part of serious U.S. politics (which has come to be increasingly about transactions, and less than ever about ideology).
However, if Paul does ultimately sell out to the Kochs, and if Cruz fails to do well in the primaries, then again, there might yet be a real battle for the Republican nomination within the Republican Party. Already, Paul is making his pitch to the Koch crowd; so, Cruz will probably have at least one serious competitor for Koch money. (I’m expecting Cruz to fade in the primaries, and Paul to become the Republican nominee, and President — but only after first selling out to the Kochs.)
The general expectation is that Clinton is going to take the Democratic nomination in a walk, so that her gargantuan corporate-backed campaign war-chest — filled with cash from both the Democratic and a large portion of the Republican aristocracies — will be the heavy favorite to win the White House in 2016. The only things that might upset that expectation are:
1) Someone like Alan Grayson enters the Democratic primaries from the progressive side and somehow makes the nomination a real contest without selling out to the aristocracy.
2) Bernie Sanders enters the race as a progressive-movement independent after Hillary wins the Democratic nomination and he draws off enough Democrats for the Republican nominee to win.
3) The $30-billion Mike Bloomberg, former Mayor of Wall Street, spends $3 billion on his own independent Presidential campaign and draws off enough votes in the general election so that for the first time there will be a “third party” (actually no-party) winner of the White House. (He’s like Hillary Clinton on almost all issues — if he was Wall Street’s Mayor, then she was Wall Street’s Senator.)
4) Jeb Bush runs, and turns out to be an even more-skillful politician than he has been cracked up to be, so that he wins the Republican nomination and goes on to beat Hillary Clinton.
5) Rand Paul wins the Republican nomination and unites enough conservatives and libertarians to win the White House (my expectation).
As for the Democratic aristocrats, they already love a candidate, Clinton, who is acceptable to most Republican aristocrats.
So (unless #1 on that list turns out to be the case), the aristocracy, led by some faction of it, will be partying with cake and champaign on Election Night 8 November 2016, no matter which “side” wins: it’ll be themselves. They’ll have beaten us, yet again, in this ‘democracy,’ via these ‘elections.’
Not all that much different from Ukraine, really; and we’re getting closer and closer to that all the time. Let’s hope we’ll avoid the civil war part of it. That could turn out to be even worse than our last one. Next time, it wouldn’t be over slavery versus non-slavery; it would be over nazism versus fascism. Democracy, it seems, is already nearly dead here.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.