In my post from two days ago expressing my puzzlement about the Washington and Republican establishment’s strategy against Donald Trump, I concluded with the following prediction.
Trump will be the Republican nominee and be selected on the first ballot. Most of the anti-Trump forces who are now screaming loudly will eventually give in and support him because they do not want a Democrat to win. You can seen the equivocation already taking place, with some in the party suggesting that maybe Trump is not so bad after all and laying the groundwork for eventual total capitulation. At the last debate, after calling Trump a conman and fraud and clown and suggesting he has a small penis, Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich all said that they would support Trump if he were the nominee. That shows that all this anti-Trump rhetoric is mostly sound and fury, signifying nothing.
While I said that ‘most’ of the anti-Trump forces will eventually come around to supporting him, I did not specify those who would not and this post will elaborate.
There are two groups that do not have a mass following and thus do not have any actual voter power but are extremely influential in American political life and if they have to choose between Trump and Hillary Clinton, I expect them to choose Clinton.
One group is Wall Street and the financial and investment bank community generally. The ties of this group to the establishment of both parties are long and strong and to the Clintons particularly so. The financial sector has invested heavily in both Bill and Hillary and you can be sure that despite her new-found fervor about being tough on the banks that she has been forced to adopt because of Sanders and the populist surge, once she is in office she will go easy on them and even favor them, just like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton before her.
In a long essay in the March 2016 issue of Z Magazine (subscription required) titled The Clinton Dynasty and the Shadow Government, Laurence Shoup traces the long history of influence-peddling of the Clintons going back to their days in Arkansas. The main vehicles they used to get money from wealthy influence seekers were writing books, giving speeches, serving on corporate boards, and getting donations to their election campaigns and to the Clinton Foundation. For example, Hillary Clinton served on the board of WalMart for six years even as that corporation was engaged in vicious anti-union policies. He points to the strong links that the Clintons have created with billionaires like Haim Saban and George Soros and a host of others and to solidly conservative establishment entities like the Council on Foreign Relations and they are all eagerly looking forward to a Clinton presidency.
The Clintons, over the past three and a half decades, have taken influence peddling and corruption (the self serving use of public power for private ends) to a new and destructive level by serving the shadow government in a variety of ways. They have provided a convenient cover and means for wealthy and powerful interests to directly and indirectly influence governmental policies.
Shoup points to an article that appeared in the Washington Post on November 19, 2015 that looked at the network of connections that the Clinton have built over the last 41 years and the vast amount of money that those connections have made from them.
They made historic inroads on Wall Street, pulling in at least $69 million in political contributions from the employees and PACs of banks, insurance companies, and securities and investment firms. Wealthy hedge fund managers S. Donald Sussman and David E. Shaw are among their top campaign supporters, having given more than $1 million each.
Over her political career, she has maintained close relations with the financial sector, which tops the list of industries that have supported her, according to The Post’s analysis. Other major sectors that have backed her include the entertainment industry, health care and real estate.
Since 2000, Hillary Clinton has raised $29.2 million from the PACs and employees of banks, hedge funds, securities firms and insurance companies, according to The Post analysis. During his political career, Bill Clinton raised $39.7 million from the same sector.
In her current campaign, Clinton has pledged to rein in Wall Street. She has proposed higher taxes on high-frequency traders and an end to special tax breaks for hedge fund managers, and recently called for more aggressive enforcement of criminal statutes that govern the finance industry.
But her rhetoric has not alarmed her backers in the financial sector. So far, donors in the banking and insurance industries have given $6.4 million to her campaign and allied super PACs, behind only those in communications and technology, The Post found.[My emphasis-MS]
Of course they are not concerned by her rhetoric. They have bought her and they know it. They are confident that once in office, she will return to the fold, making up some story about why this is now the right thing to do. If the Clinton’s have a talent, it is the ability to manufacture high-toned reasons to justify naked political and financial expediency. But Trump has not been feeding at the Wall Street trough like the Clintons. This is why Wall Street is planning a big campaign against him.
The other group that is likely to support Clinton over Trump are the neoconservatives. These people are firmly ensconced in the Washington beltway and media and in magazines like the National Review magazine and think tanks like the The American Enterprise Institute. This group advocates a belligerent and aggressive US foreign policy that seeks to dominate the world even if it risks destabilizing it, and especially supports waging war against any nation that Israel thinks must be destroyed, in addition to condoning the oppressive policies of the Israeli government against the Palestinian people. For neoconservatives, this takes precedence over everything else.
Clinton has shown herself to be a warmonger and fervent supporter of Israel’s aggressive policies against the Palestinians so she is a natural choice for neoconservatives. Her support for the debacles that are the current Iraq and Libyan wars is well known and the Nation recently ran an article about her less well known role in the military coup in Honduras where the leaders are now picking off opposition leaders. Clinton is a true pupil of Henry Kissinger, so her pleasure at being praised by her mentor, someone who really should be in prison as a war criminal, is not surprising.
Both the financial sector and the neoconservatives want and expect unconditional adherence to their agenda and they will get it from Clinton. But Trump is a shaky prospect. He has not received huge sums from the big Wall Street donors and the neoconservatives and so he is not beholden to them the way that Clinton is. His populist rhetoric that the government has been bought by big money influence peddlers and that he opposes the US’s military adventures in the world and will take a more neutral stance on the Israel-Palestinian issue must be alarming to them. This explains why the National Review devoted an entire issue to attack Trump.
So it is highly likely that in a matchup between Clinton and Trump, Wall Street and the neoconservatives will end up supporting Clinton.