janan.ganesh@ft.com on ‘Conspiracist fans of Mr Sanders’ and other pressing political questions. Political Observer comments

Mr. Ganesh gives the game away with his first sentence:

‘Excuse the postmodernism here but the Iowa caucuses did not happen.’

What Mr. Ganesh ‘knows’ about Post-Modernism is a matter of conjecture, but does provide an au courant opening for his political chatter. This ‘hipster’ loves to salt his essays with what reads like a knowledge that spans the breadth of the zeitgeist.

But not content to travel, merely on his immediate knowledge of that zeitgeist, he offers this :

Still, Iowa was useful insofar as it put one idea to rest. There is no conspiratorial elite of political centrists. Or at least not a competent one. If liberals really were the knaves of socialist and conservative demonology, they would not allow their vote to splinter so inefficiently among duplicate candidates.

Ganesh presents his myth of a conspiratorial elite of political centrists as indicative of what?  What in fact is a cadre of Neo-Liberals led by Clinton and her political minions: Buttigieg declared himself the ‘winner’ of Iowa with 62% of the ballots available for count, using the ‘Shadow’ app created by Clinton and Obama loyalists! A New York Times report of 02/05/20

Headline: Iowa Still Unresolved, 2020 Candidates Move On to New Hampshire: Live Updates

The Iowa Democratic Party released a new set of partial caucus results late Tuesday night, but it didn’t change much from the first wave of numbers it put out earlier in the day. With 71 percent of precincts in, Pete Buttigieg still held a narrow lead over Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren was in third, and Joseph R. Biden Jr. was in a distant fourth.

This followed by some political embroidery that presents preliminary data as definitive of political viability of  that ‘centrism’. Not content with this he presents the case for the triumphalism of this centrism:

Because it was so imperious for so long, centrism did not have to define itself. It was whatever the government of the day was doing, whether led by Bill Clinton or Barack Obama in the US, Tony Blair or David Cameron in Britain, Romano Prodi or Matteo Renzi in Italy. Once it found itself in opposition, the centre had to set out what it believed from first principles. And there were no spoils of power with which to finesse any differences.

Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Tony Blair were and are Neo-liberals, the Italian context I’ll refrain from comment. Mr. Ganesh is the fellow traveler of the above leaders. So his ‘Centrists’ are in fact Neo-Liberals, the subject of historical/political re-write.

But Mr. Ganesh can’t resist this pronouncement:

Conspiracist fans of Mr Sanders read into Iowa’s delayed results obvious chicanery by the Democratic elite. Would that it were so feline. An establishment that cannot settle on a favoured candidate of its own, or even two, is unlikely to have the rest of the party on marionette strings. If its problem were just a lack of guile, it might be fixable. But beneath that is genuine confusion over the meaning of moderation today. Is it closer to liberalism or to social democracy?

‘Conspiracy Theorist’ was the weapon of choice used by the CIA, to attack the credibility of the critics of the Warren Report. Its was terrible day when the Church Committee found that there was more that one assassin in the Kennedy Murder. Mr. Ganesh is, of course, unaware of that, and many other inconvenient facts of American political history. Or that Clinton loyalist Debby Wassermann-Schultz is to lead the ‘investigation’ into the Iowa. The caucus was small enough to use a manual count of votes, why was ‘Shadow’ used instead?

Political Observer




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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