The Clinton Campaign’s Desperate Trump/Putin Attack

by William Skink

Over the weekend what many believed to be true was proven conclusively, thanks to Wikileaks: the DNC colluded with the Clinton campaign and select media to squash the Sanders insurgency. Coming out the weekend before the convention in Philadelphia, Democrats could appear more divided than Republicans after last week’s incoherent hodgepodge of mixed messages and fear mongering.

While Clinton has smeared critics of her reckless criminality and corruption as conspiracy theorists, the deflection strategy ahead of the convention is to insinuate a conspiracy that Russia was behind the DNC hack, and that Trump is literally a Manchurian candidate controlled by Putin.

What has the establishment so terrified is Trump’s twin assaults on free trade and imperialism. My favorite economist, Michael Hudson, puts it into context with this interview. Here’s a taste:

Until his speech, the whole Republican Convention, every speaker had avoided dealing with economic policy issues. No one referred to the party platform, which isn’t very good. And it was mostly an attack on Hillary. Chants of “lock her up.” And Trump children, aimed to try to humanize him and make him look like a loving man.

But finally came Trump’s speech, and this was for the first time, policy was there. And he’s making a left run around Hillary. He appealed twice to Bernie Sanders supporters, and the two major policies that he outlined in the speech broke radically from the Republican traditional right-wing stance. And that is called destroying the party by the right wing, and Trump said he’s not destroying the party, he’s building it up and appealing to labor, and appealing to the rational interest that otherwise had been backing Bernie Sanders.

So in terms of national security, he wanted to roll back NATO spending. And he made it clear, roll back military spending. We can spend it on infrastructure, we can spend it on employing American labor. And in the speech, he said, look, we don’t need foreign military bases and foreign spending to defend our allies. We can defend them from the United States, because in today’s world, the only kind of war we’re going to have is atomic war. Nobody’s going to invade another country. We’re not going to send American troops to invade Russia, if it were to attack. So nobody’s even talking about that. So let’s be realistic.

Well, being realistic has driven other people crazy. Not only did Krugman say that Trump would, quote, actually follow a pro-Putin foreign policy at the expense of America’s allies, and he’s referring to the Ukraine, basically, and it’s at–he’s become a lobbyist for the military-industrial complex. But also, at the Washington Post you had Anne Applebaum call him explicitly the Manchurian candidate, referring to the 1962 movie, and rejecting the neocon craziness. This has just driven them nutty because they’re worried of losing the Republican Party under Trump.

In economic policy, Trump also opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the TTIP trade and corporate power grab [inaud.] with Europe to block public regulation. And this was also a major plank of Bernie Sanders’ campaign against Hillary, which Trump knows. The corporatist wings of both the Republican and the Democratic Parties fear that Trump’s opposition to NAFTA and TPP will lead the Republicans not to push through in the lame duck session after November. The whole plan has been that once the election’s over, Obama will then get all the Republicans together and will pass the Republican platform that he’s been pushing for the last eight years. The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement with Europe, and the other neoliberal policies.

On trade, Hillary Clinton doubled down with her VP pick, Tim Kaine, the Virginia Governor/Senator who voted to fast-track TPP and ignored abortion rights activists. The message from the Clinton campaign is pretty clear. Progressives: fuck off. Women: fuck off. You have no where else to go. What are you going to do, vote for the orange-haired Putin robot?

Tim Kaine is just the Clinton campaign being practical, the apologists will say. Virginia is a swing state. Tim Kaine is a safe choice. blah, blah, blah. And did you know Putin has implanted a chip in Trump’s brain and literally controls his every movement? It’s true, because Paul Krugmen said it in the New York Times.

Ok, he didn’t exactly put forth the microchip theory, but he did pen a column a few days ago calling Trump the “Siberian Candidate“. From the link:

If elected, would Donald Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House? This should be a ludicrous, outrageous question. After all, he must be a patriot — he even wears hats promising to make America great again.

But we’re talking about a ludicrous, outrageous candidate. And the Trump campaign’s recent behavior has quite a few foreign policy experts wondering just what kind of hold Mr. Putin has over the Republican nominee, and whether that influence will continue if he wins.

I’m not talking about merely admiring Mr. Putin’s performance — being impressed by the de facto dictator’s “strength,” and wanting to emulate his actions. I am, instead, talking about indications that Mr. Trump would, in office, actually follow a pro-Putin foreign policy, at the expense of America’s allies and her own self-interest.

I’m sure Democrats will eat this up. A hydra-headed Trumputian monster threatening everything the west holds dear. Be afraid, Democrats, be very afraid.

While our domestic charade continues piling on absurdities, across the pond Germany is gearing up to declare Russia its enemy. This information, like the confirmation of anti-democratic DNC corruption, is coming via a leak:

According to a report issued on June 6th in German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN), the German government is preparing to go to war against Russia, and has in draft-form a Bundeswehr report declaring Russia to be an enemy nation. DWN says: “The Russian secret services have apparently thoroughly studied the paper. In advance of the paper’s publication, a harsh note of protest has been sent to Berlin: The head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, Alexei Puschkow, has posted the Twitter message: ‘The decision of the German government declaring Russia to be an enemy shows Merkel’s subservience to the Obama administration.’”

This may seem insane, but considering Germany, the engine of Europe, has a bank drowning in derivative debt amidst a European Union in slow motion collapse, reviving the Russian menace might be one of the only plays left for a desperate Merkel to play. And if you want to know how bad the situation with Deutsche Bank is, just read this:

On June 9th 2015, Deutsche Banks holdings were downrated to BBB+, even lower than Lehman immediately prior to their collapse.

And what makes all this so scary? Deutsche Bank’s derivatives holdings are the largest in the history of the planet. Even larger than JP Morgan’s by $5 trillion. We are talking $75 trillion, that is 20 times more than the entire GDP of Germany.

In other words, any major loss of confidence in the global stock market to which DB is exposed could result in an even larger recession than 2008. Given the fact that the % of GDp made up by this kind of financial speculation is even higher than pre-2008 in most western countries, it could result in global economic collapse.

Insolvent western banking behemoths like Deutsche Bank lurk in the background of this escalating path toward war. Merging the demonizing of Russia with the establishment’s demonizing of Trump makes a disturbing kind of sense when the scope of systemic insolvency is understood.

When it comes to money and supporting the Kremlin, what’s implied with Donald is actually explicit with Hillary. I’ve been trying to drive this point home with my Pops, who is adamant about voting for Hillary despite my delightful rants and chants of ‘blood on your hands’ when the spirit moves me. With regard to Billary doing the bidding of the Kremlin, here are two words I wish we were hearing right now: Uranium One. From the link:

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

I wonder if Paul Krugman remembers this piece, published by the same grey lady that provides his platform to push the conspiratorial insinuation that Trump is a Putin puppet. Is he angling for Secretary of Treasury?

The answer to that question is not important, just like most of what we will hear this week will be equally not important. And while Democrats do damage control as the convention kicks off, one has to wonder how a huckster like Trump, with virtually no ground game in swing states or substantive ad-buys, can be polling neck-in-neck with the anointed one.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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10 Responses to The Clinton Campaign’s Desperate Trump/Putin Attack

  1. JC says:

    I guess this is as good of time as any to link to Putin’s annual speech at the Valdai International Discussion Club in 2014. It’s a good reminder that not everybody in the world is enamored with the shit show we call American politics.

    Dimitry over at ClubOrlov had this to say about the speech:

    Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over

    Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin’s speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago [October 2014], and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn’t get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don’t think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.

    In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out. Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.

  2. Big Swede says:

    “Democrats could appear more divided than Republicans”.

    Surely you jest.

    • JC says:

      It’s pretty obvious that Hillary has positioned herself to not just take up the centrist independent vote, but to center the new Dem party around a coalition of “moderate” republicans, centrist indies, and blue dog dems, with a sprinkling of corporatist, right-to-protect, and banker-supporting “liberal” dems.

      My prediction for the election is: 1/5 vote democrat, 1/5 vote republican, 1/5 vote green/libertarian/3rd party/write-in, 2/5 (registered and eligible to register voters) stay home and don’t vote.

      The stay-homes will win, which means that we should throw the system away and start over.

  3. So we are at Justice or Bust.
    DWS has conveniently been placed into time-out for doing what the system was set up to do. Justice or Bust
    Please sign the petition to get Jill On the November Ballott

  4. This we know from Cold War days, that at the highest levels there was no rivalry, only a need to manage disparate populations with lurid tales of skullduggery by the other side. It was all fake. There were no bombs or missiles. Russia and the US are at the highest levels best of friends. Then and now. And with China, Iran, EU and even little lonely North Korea.

    Dave Budge used to call this sort of bloggery “hand wringing.” My god, the worry warts you folks must have. You need to adopt the Muslim bead system. There’s no crisis, the world is fine, no wars in store, politicians are mere actors who should be ignored, and all is as well as we can hope for. Perhaps you should all consider membership in a 7th Day Adventist type church with a defined end date. It allows for planning.

    • perhaps you should take the hint when someone tells you to fuck off, troll. or, better yet, come down from your entitled mountain of privilege and go spend some time in downtown Denver where the street people live and tell them that everything is fake and the world is just fine.

      at this point I am pretty comfortable describing you as an insufferable piece of shit. go away.

  5. Greg Strandberg says:

    Keep the good posts coming.

    So, how’s everyone going to vote? I like Gary Johnson’s ideas and I like a lot of Jill Stein’s. I don’t see either winning, however, though Johnson might take a couple states. I guess there’ll be a couple other choices, there usually are. In 2012 we had the Constitution Party pick up 122,000 votes, the Justice Party pick up 43,000, and the Socialism & Liberation Party pick up about 8,000.

    Even in 2012 the Greens and Libertarians failed to take 1%, and in 2008 it was worse, with both getting about 0.5%. Even if we go all the way back to 2000 we see the Greens took just 2.7% of the vote. If you add up the total vote of the 5 parties that ran in 2000 that aren’t part of the two-party system they got 3.75% of the vote.

    With those kinds of numbers we can be confident that Trump or Hillary will be president. I think its clear from this site’s articles that Hillary as President would be terrible.

    I’m not sure why so many think a Trump presidency would be so terrible. I watched his convention speech and agree with many of his points. He’s talking about our terrible trade deals, and even today Obama/Hillary said they’d renegotiate NAFTA when they do TPP, though I fully expect this will hurt workers more.

    I think voting Trump is the way to go for people that are pissed and feel nothing will change. Trump seems like he’ll shake things up, and personally, I’d like to see things shaken up.

    It’s pretty well given that Montana will go for Trump, as we typically go GOP. We don’t really matter in the presidential race as the popular vote doesn’t count and our 3 electoral votes aren’t very impressive.

    Maybe Hillary could work really hard and take the state, but I don’t see the local Democratic infrastructure in place to do this anywhere outside the cities.

    Lots can happen in the next 100 days, however. Lots of stuff happens in the news now, and something really, really big could happen. I think that if anything happens, it’ll favor Trump. He seems to be outmaneuvering Hillary on everything.

  6. JC says:

    Looks like Congressional reps got the IRS to start investigating the Clinton Foundation over a lot of alleged wrongs, including Uranium One. I guess this will set the stage for the first round of impeachment hearings to get underway as soon as Hillary is elected. Got to keep the spotlight off of the real workings of the empire!

  7. Pingback: Conventions, elections and messaging – Intelligent Discontent

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