There’s trouble in
Hollywood Washington this year.
Buying into Frank Zappa’s axiom that “Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex” also means reconciling the role elections — and theoretically, independent-minded voters — play in this metaphorical value chain.
Therefore, extending Zappa’s logic would likely lead you to conclude that America’s two major political parties, unwitting or otherwise, are Hollywood studios — subjected to the designs of a Board of Directors that place considerable leverage on these studios to produce the finished products we call political candidates.
Another comically important task is to throw tons of money into media marketing so that consumers can be influenced to “buy” a product that’s already been bought.
Which brings up the peculiar problem this election season: It appears to be a tough year for the board to write a script which angry American citizens will like!
30 years of fundamental economic changes for the worse can create this kind of problem. Voters have been simmering over an increasingly elusive American Dream, rising costs and shrinking paychecks.
Millions of pissed-off Americans have aided to the rise of anti-establishment Presidential candidates — namely, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump — who have presented dramatic ideas to fix the country’s challenges.
And while The Board knows how they want the Presidential Election Show’s season to end — that is, with the triumph of Hillary Clinton — it’s hard to believe our show producers could’ve scripted the kind of backlash we see today.
There’s also the problem of those dozens of FBI agents who are combing through the evidence of Hillary Clinton’s alleged email crimes, offenses which would’ve landed people like you and me in jail by now.
And therein lies Deep State’s challenge: marketing a favored candidate disliked by a large number of people while keeping her out of jail.
Four outcomes can happen from the latest version of Hillarygate: nothing at all, a possible but excessively outrageous event through the eyes of many; a very strong and embarrassing reprimand; forced withdrawal from the presidential race; or jail time, which brings us back to outcome #3.
Plus, there’s the distant but real risk that the voting public will become fed up with Hillary privilege and reject the candidate altogether.
So, is Deep State going to double-down on its favored politician, or will it consider a hedge candidate?
While choosing a hedge is easy in most years, 2016 is proving to be a year of slim pickings.
Deep State isn’t giving Trump any level of serious thought — for now. Remember that incredibly stupid act which would’ve sunk his nomination chances, but appeared increasingly remote? I could be wrong about that.(x) Plus, the ramped up press coverage intensity around all things Trump will work to turn any stupid act of his into a spectacularly stupid one. It remains to be seen if Trump’s brand could erode considerably before the Cleveland convention this summer.
In any case, Trump is not a hedge candidate.
The remaining choices on the GOP side aren’t much better. Since when is treating an epidermal infection on your leg with a shotgun blast considered a rational, establishment-based solution to an anti-establishment problem?
If Studio GOP’s answer to stopping Donald Trump’s ascent to their party’s nomination is to support Ted Cruz’s screen test for the Big Chair, then you now understand why I call these guys the Party of No Brains.
GOP’s mental flatulence aside, I don’t believe Deep State views Cruz as a strong option.
Oligarchs, not to mention the pissed-off masses of voters who’ll need plenty of media-based coaching between now and November, don’t typically throw their support behind religious zealots.
And Cruz’s zealotry makes him Islamic State-level crazy.
Deep State wants candidates with just enough God in ’em to make voters feel good inside, but not so much where lathered up spiritual tangents get in the way of empire-building and maintenance. Besides, America’s general electorate becomes a bit spooked by the idea of religious fanatics in office.
So, what’s left for Deep State to do? Y’know, just in case they can’t keep Clinton’s stay-out-of-jail card active.
They could back the left-winger Bernie Sanders for President and try to Borg him the same way they allegedly did to Obama almost eight years ago.
(Laughing) A possibility, but moving on …
Another option — albeit adorned with unknown risk — is to roll without a hedge and keep pumping as much life as possible into Clinton’s stay-out-of-jail card.
I’ll write about Clinton and jail in my next post.
Or, try something sneaky during the PoNBs convention this summer and pull a surprise nominee from under Trump’s nose.
Perhaps we now know why Gov. John Kasich hasn’t been admonished to drop out of the race … ?
Even with all his policy warts, Kasich has been the most sane candidate of the 2016 PoNBs actors.
The downside is that Kasich doesn’t get Deep State as innately as Clinton does. Also, suddenly making Kasich the PoNBs nominee would still lead to all-out civil war, and there’s still the fundamental challenge of making him a compelling proposition to a large number of voters.
At the same time, I don’t think Deep State cares about the implosion of a major party. Another studio can always be found, right?
But the reality remains: Deep State is caught up in its own plot, and now suffers from writer’s block …
song currently stuck in my head: “give in to me (4hero remix)” – shades of soul feat. marylin david