‘Does this mean we have to vote for Hillary?’ asked my wife. It was early morning 16 March, and the queen consort of the Democratic party had seemingly sewn up the presidential nomination — a coronation promised years ago by her king but thus far denied by unruly subjects. As I scanned the headline in the New York Times, ‘Clinton and Trump Pile up the Delegates’, I felt sick at heart. The Times has functioned throughout the campaign as court gazette for the Clintons, but there was no denying the basic accuracy of the story. Rebounding from Bernie Sanders’s stunning upset a week earlier in the Michigan primary — a victory that defied the polls and the Clinton propaganda machine — Clinton had won Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and, most depressingly, Ohio, where Clinton-ism has committed some of its worst ravages in the form of ‘free trade’ deals, bank deregulation and ‘welfare reform’. Sanders partly had himself to blame. Despite his denunciation of Wall Street chicanery and factory jobs lost to China and Mexico, the insurgent senator from Vermont has repeatedly failed to be specific, tactically flexible or appropriately critical of Hillary’s profound dishonesty. Beginning last October, when he gave her a pass on her use of private emails while employed in her public position as Secretary of State (‘the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails’), the self-proclaimed socialist insisted on placing politeness and decorum above strategic intelligence. This is no way to beat the Clinton couple, whose corruption and cynicism at times leaves me breathless. Over their long political careers, Bill and Hillary have been perpetually on the make and on the take — from Wall Street, from Walmart, from foreign governments via the Clinton Foundation — and Sanders can’t bring himself to say that clearly.