+ I’ve spent the week greedily consuming the treats offered up by Wikileaks’s excavation of John Podesta’s inbox. Each day presents juicy new revelations of the venality of the Clinton campaign. In total, the Podesta files provide the most intimate and unadulterated look at how politics really works in late-capitalist America since the release of the Nixon tapes.
+ There’s a big difference, though. With Nixon, the stakes seemed greater, the banter more Machiavellian, the plots and counter-plots darker and more cynical.
+ The Podesta email tranches show the inner mechanics of a much more mundane, petty and banal political machine. Instead of shaping a campaign around an ideological movement, the Clinton operation resembles the packaging of a political mutual fund, a balanced, low-risk portfolio of financial interests, captive NGOs and dependent demographic sectors.
+ The red meat in the emails can be found in the disclosures of the internal rivalries, self-aggrandizement and sycophancy of hired guns and consultants, especially as they gravitate toward Podesta, whose chilly presence looms behind the scenes like the ghost of Thomas Cromwell.
+ The three prevailing obsessions of the Podesta emails: raising money, containing the contamination of the Clinton Foundation and screwing Bernie Sanders. There’s barely any hint of anxiety over Trump. In fact, …read more