Rad Infinitum Podcast #1: Jesus and the Power-Elites, Trump and the Tea Party Populists

There were a few more things we might have mentioned, so stay tuned for Episode 2.

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Martin O’Malley Plans Revolt Over Democratic Debate Rules | TIME

Martin O’Malley can’t catch a break.  Even this piece from TIME leads in with the conceit that anyone not named Hillary Clinton is one of “Hillary Clinton’s challengers.”   Last time I checked, there’s no such thing as an incumbent in an open primary.  “Incumbent frontrunner” doesn’t count.

The degree to which this primary is open, though, is precisely the point.  The DNC sets the rules.  The DNC may as well stand for the Democratic National Clintonites.  Talk about establishment.

Martin O’Malley Plans Revolt Over Democratic Debate Rules | TIME.

Gary Hart and Killer Mike: Use the Ballot to End American Political Dynasties

Earlier today I talked about Lyman Beecher and, obliquely, the role Yale University (then Yale College) played in the Second Great Awakening which, in turn, helped end slavery.

I just read a story about rapper Killer Mike’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders.  H.A. Goodman says:

Polls are ever-changing, but Americans will never long for a king or queen. When Run the Jewels rapper Killer Mike tweeted “I cannot support another Clinton or bush ever,” he echoed the sentiments of Americans throughout the country tired of entrenched political factions in Washington. As for why political dynasties are ruinous to any democracy, the Atlanta rapper says, “I am beginning to see American political families like monarchs and I have no affection for monarchs.” This sentiment, in addition to the reasons Killer Mike has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president, can’t be accurately assessed by opinion polls or political wonks.

Then:

In fact, it could spell trouble for the Clinton campaign and Democratic strategists enamored with poll driven forecasts. When a recent analysis says that Bernie Sanders is popular primarily among “white liberals,” the aggregate data used to make such a claim ignores the fact that black children face a 38% poverty rate and African-Americans as a group face a 27% poverty rate. This analysis questioning Sanders’s appeal to minority voters also ignores a finding from Pew Research that states, “In 2011, the typical white household had a net worth of $91,405, compared with $6,446 for black households.”

Gary Hart, who graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1961, says this:

If the presidency were to pass back and forth between two or three families in any Latin American nation we would call it an oligarchy…

Our Founders created a republic and, being keen students of the history of republics beginning with Athens, they knew that placing special and narrow interests ahead of the common good and the commonwealth was the corruption that destroyed republics. They feared this kind of corruption as the greatest danger to America’s success and survival…

By this standard, today’s American Republic is massively corrupt. Every interest group in our nation has staff lobbyists and hires lobbying firms…

The net affect of the money machine — lobbyists, fund raisers, and campaign consultants — is to severely narrow the field of those who can compete for office, especially national office. If the national presidency were to pass back and forth between two or three families in any Latin American nation we would call it an oligarchy.

Goodman also reminds us that it took Hillary Clinton three full weeks to issue a statement about Ferguson.  She’s just that awful.  She’s a Clinton, and as much as we love to remember her husband’s time in office fondly, Clintonism has always, always equaled cynical opportunism.

Here’s the thing. Hillary Clinton, as a progressive, is a fraud. Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, et al are still fighting culture wars that have no bearing in the present or future. To say they are entrenched in the past is an understatement. Hillary, as a politician, and, I dare say, as a political specimen, is, too. The New Democrat Clintonism of the early 90s is stale; it is the old Democrat garbage of Ed Rendell and the cadre of cronies that the Clintons have collected over the past 25, 30 years.  All their old moves and tricks and talking points and number crunching.

People don’t want candidates.  People want leaders.  Monarchs do very little leading these days.  British kings and queens were famously made beholden to the barons in the 12th century and now function in mostly ceremonial and symbolic capacities.  In America, political royalty are beholden the what our newspapers used to call oil barons, banking barons, transportation barons, and, collectively, robber barons. They’ve hammered out their own Magna Carta with our interchangeable cast of power-elites; political legacy types are like so much Monsanto fare: bland, identical, bad for us.

An aside: Before anyone comments about how Killer Mike should expect black America to struggle as long as they embrace representatives with names like Killer Mike, let us not forget that one of the best white bands on the planet are called The Killers, and Jerry Lee Lewis was the Original.