YOU REMEMBER CHRIS TROTTER don't you? He's the guy who pops up in the blogosphere all the time and on radio and TV occasionally. The corporate media like to describe him as being a representative of the left. The problem with that description is that he hasn't been part of the left for quite some time and he knows it. He's trading off a distant past when he actually believed in something other than defending the political status quo and padding his own undeserved political reputation as some kind of spokesperson for the left.
Unfortunately he won't go away and he continues to do the left a great disservice careering from one embarrassment to the next.
How about his attacks on all those good folk who had the good sense not to vote for his Labour-led coalition at the last election? While Trotter bizarrely described wealthy internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom as a 'revolutionary' he dismissed those who would not support his neoliberal Labour Party as 'ultra-leftist'. Those of us who warned that Labour was heading for a fall were dismissed by the man who always knows better than everyone else - that's why the right wing Paul Henry calls him "New Zealand's leading left wing commentator".
We all know what happened. Labour's vote collapsed and nearly a million people decided they didn't much like what was on offer at the polling booths and decided not to vote. Clearly there were a lot us 'ultra-leftists' about. But don't worry folks, because you didn't ask for it, Trotter will be back again next year with his clapped out Labour Party. Good times!
Or how about last year when Trotter attacked the anti-TPP protest group Real Choice - who had the temerity to engage in peaceful direct action. He not only accused the group of being "parasitical' but claimed they were a police invention designed to discredit the anti-TPP movement. He later apologised for his comments but the protests were over and the damage had been done.
But, because he is "New Zealand's leading left wing commentator", Trotter can jump into his next embarrassment with reckless abandon.
And here we are. Chris Trotter making a fool of himself in public. Again.
This time 'New Zealand's leading left wing commentator" is heaping scorn on the Sanders movement for not getting in behind cuddly Hillary Clinton. Trotter quotes approvingly the liberal-lite Sarah Silverman who, at the Democratic Party national convention, described the Sanders movement as 'ridiculous' for opposing Clinton.
Earlier the same Sarah Silverman said: “This Democratic primary was exemplary. No name calling … that stuff is for third graders.”
Having forgotten her own instructions not to engage in name calling, she also clearly had a brain fade when she described the Democratic primary process as "exemplary". Perhaps we should cut her some slack and assume that she just didn't know that Debbie Wasserman Schultz had resigned as head of the Democratic National Committee after the release by WikiLeaks of DNC internal emails showing compelling evidence of Wasserman Schultz and her fellow DNC cronies conspiring against Sanders.
But Trotter can't plead ignorance. While Julian Assange of Wikileaks has rightfully accused the DNC of 'naked conspiracies' against Sanders, Trotter's feeble defence is that 'Clinton beat Sanders fair and square".
Such casual dismissal of the blatant rigging of the primary process is breathtaking. Trotter is entirely relaxed about such corrupt behaviour aimed at kneecapping the Sanders campaign. Which makes it all the more astounding that Trotter accuses the Sanders movement of, wait for it, ‘undemocratic behaviour’! Apparently showing dissent on the convention floor is not only undemocratic, its dangerous! Everyone should just shut up and clap politely while the corporate candidate of perpetual wars is praised to the skies. We can't have accountability and democracy actually breaking out at the convention. What would Hillary think?
In the end, Trotter tries to shore up his support of Hillary Clinton by claiming that Sanders has bound her to the most progressive platform ever in the Democratic Party's history. This is a straightforward and uncomplicated lie. The platform binds neither Clinton nor any of the party’s candidates once they’re in office.
In reality by picking conservative Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate, Hillary Clinton revealed her true politics and shown that her sidestep to the left on policy issues during the primaries was simply a tactical move to defeat Bernie Sanders. It’s not what you say, it’s what you do. Clinton can parade her so-called 'progressive' credentials at the convention but her choice of Tim Kaine has laid bare her cynical rhetoric.
It is Chris Trotter who should stop being ridiculous. But, given his poor track record, expect more ridiculousness in the future.