Howard Beale Politics

Article posted on August 26th, 2015 by WhatAmIMissingHere

Mad as HellBy Monty Pelerin

The early response to Republican and Democrat candidates suggests that there might be an overthrow of the old political order under way. The electorate seems to be having a Howard Beale moment (see explanation below). As a long-time observer of politics and its corruption, I certainly hope that is what is happening.

The public seems outraged, tired of being ignored. The early popularity of outsiders: Trump, Sanders, Carson, Fiorina and,to some extent, Cruz reflect the dissatisfaction. Bush and Walker, the original favorites, have dropped substantially. Hillary is being threatened by a Socialist, Bernie Sanders. Anyone seen as part of the establishment is being punished at least at this early jockeying stage. Whether this is an early season anomaly or whether it is a sign of a turn against professional politicians remains to be seen.

Howard Beale

Politics is going through its Howard Beale moment. Mr. Beale was the newscaster in Network played by Peter Finch:

I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy.

… All I know is, you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’m a human being, goddamn it. My life has value.

… I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.

Thus far, and it is way too early to reach conclusions, the electorate is behaving much like Howard Beale.

The Democrat Problem

Hillary Clinton Jailed

The paucity of qualified Democrats is apparent. Hillary Clinton is a bad candidate even without the trust issues. Many now desperately seek alternatives. Joe Biden, John Kerry and Al Gore have been mentioned but they are all retreads (as is Hillary). To stay with Hillary (for as long as she is viable) appears to be the Democrat strategy. No Plan B exists. The risk is especially acute when one considers that Hillary Clinton may eventually be found to be a felon. I don’t know how she might look in orange, but an orange pant suit might be in her future. 

Ms. Clinton has two serious problems that are beyond her control. The first is the involvement of the FBI. If they are truly treating the email problem as a criminal investigation, there is no telling where it leads and what they find. The second issue is the Obama — Clinton relationship. If Obama doesn’t want Hillary to run, his Justice Department can stop it. Or, he himself can end her involvement with his endorsement of a different candidate.

Overthrow of the Old Order

At this early stage politics is not following its standard script. The political class is under attack and may be losing control of the process. Outsiders, or at least those considered outsiders, are surging in popularity.

Is this next election shaping up as politics’ Howard Beale moment? One can only hope so!

If Obama unwisely empties out Gitmo, it can be used to comfortably accommodate the 90% of our political class who deserve residence there. Obama and Boehner can have their preferred cells.

Regardless of your political affiliation, it is difficult not to conclude that the bulk of your party belongs in Gitmo. That realization appears to be dawning on an increasing percentage of the electorate. Of course, given the intelligence of most voters, some of the incarcerated might still be re-elected.     (my emphasis)

By Monty Pelerin for Economic Noise

By permission Monty Pelerin

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