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- Trump, Biden and Choosing The Lesser Evil Wednesday, 2 September, 2020
- Bernie Sanders and the Irony of Independence (or Why you should not listen to Bernie now) Monday, 24 August, 2020
- Callin’ out around the world … Support for the American people grows overseas Wednesday, 3 June, 2020
- Should Frustrated Progressives Look to the Republican Party? Wednesday, 22 April, 2020
- Why Trump is NOT “The Most Dangerous President” Sunday, 19 April, 2020
- What Kind of Socialism Will We Have? Wednesday, 8 April, 2020
- The Speech Bernie Needs to Give – NOW Friday, 13 March, 2020
- Anti-Bernie Smear #28: “Bernie Will Hurt Democrats Running Down Ballot” Tuesday, 25 February, 2020
- Anti-Bernie Smear #25: “Bernie wants to let prisoners vote – even the Boston Bomber!” Monday, 3 February, 2020
- Anti-Bernie Smear #26: “Bernie is like Trump and/or his supporters are just like Trump’s” Sunday, 2 February, 2020
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Human evolution taught us to work with each other.
Neoliberalism teaches us to compete with each other.
The screwy accusation of “bank fraud” started by right wing smear merchants and now pushed by anti-Bernie Democrats.
This is a handy guide to beating back the ridiculous and vile smears that are being leveled at Bernie Sanders, and in particular those that may compare him to Joe Biden.
*UPDATED: February 25, 2020
For almost 2 years, the Democrats have pushed a narrative purporting that Russians, operating at the direct orders of Vladimir Putin, have been working to subvert American Democracy and install a puppet in power in the form of Donald Trump.
Updated 20 October 2017
Bernie Sanders needs to form and lead a new party in order to effect badly needed change in American politics. This is very clear to some, perhaps less clear to others, and oftentimes seems to be a nebulous topic when the Senator himself talks about the issue.
Bernie has said that he wants to “transform the Democratic Party” in order to make it more representative of working people and the poor. This is Bernie’s way of saying that he wants to reverse the 30 years of neoliberalism that has reigned since Bill Clinton and the DLC hijacked the Democratic Party and abandoned unions and working people in favor of Wall Street and Corporate America.
This is simply not possible.
Reason 1: The Reagan Democrats are not coming back
To put Bernie’s struggle into an historical context, and to understand why the Democratic Party needs to be “transformed”, we first need to look at Ronald Reagan.
The so-called “Reagan Revolution” itself transformed the American political landscape. Reagan’s goal was, essentially, to roll back all of the populist advances of the Democrats’ New Deal socialism, which had started with FDR (Social Security, banking regulations) and progressed through Truman (who fought for universal health care) and culminated in LBJ’s “Great Society” legislation of the 60’s (Medicare, Medicaid, the Civil Rights Act, etc.).
Reagan managed to convince middle class and working class Americans that government had grown too big, and government was no longer a solution but rather the cause of society’s ills. Indeed, Reagan famously quipped: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
Bernie Sanders is trying to reverse Reaganism. He wants people to realise that the government can be a source of strength and support in people’s lives; that the federal government, with its vast power and wealth, can be a force for good, and a way for us to, as Bernie says, “come together”.
But Reagan was able to effect his “transformation” by seizing power in a party that was already opposed to what he wanted to change. The Republican Party had always been the party of limited government, conservative policies, and — certainly since the time of FDR — had always represented the rich and the powerful. Reagan’s “revolution” then consisted simply of extending the ideas of limited government and lower taxes to the middle class and working people — those who had traditionally been staunch Democrats. These so-called “Reagan Democrats” voted for Reagan because he was able to convince them that their growing economic insecurity was not due to corporatism and a rapacious upper class who was grabbing more wealth for themselves, but instead was due to a federal government who was robbing them of their money in the form of taxes and “wasting” it on the “underserving” poor and minorities. In other words, Reagan argued that middle class wages were not stagnating because of corporate greed but because of “welfare queens” who were being coddled by an “overreaching” federal government that simply did not care about hard-working people.
Bernie wants to reverse the Reagan Revolution and bring those Reagan Democrats back into the fold of the Democratic Party. But this is a fool’s errand; an impossible task. This is due in no small part to the fact that the Republican Party has now become the party of the working class.
I know many may scoff at such an idea, but consider this: in the 2016 election, Trump received 53% of his total campaign contributions from small donors (those who gave less than $200), while Hillary Clinton only received 21% of her money from such donations.
And the trend is continuing. So far, Trump has raised 59% of his re-election campaign money from small donors.
The fact is, the Democratic Party is perceived by the majority of Americans as the Party of the elites, of the 1%, and increasingly there is a wealth of empirical evidence to show that this assessment is correct.
Moreover, many Democrats are happy to ignore working class voters, and there seems to be an actual resistance to the idea of “recapturing” the working-class vote. Joy Reid, the most prominent Democratic pundit (after Maddow) recently explained the thinking of the Democratic intelligentsia regarding the working class voting block she dismissively described as the “Pabst Blue Ribbon voter” and the mistake that some Democrats — including Sanders — are making in trying to court them:
“[Some] Democrats don’t understand that the voters they long to have back, the sort of Archie Bunker who was a Democrat in the 70s is now a Republican. So they can long for them all they want; they’re not going to convince them by saying ‘We’re going to give you free college.’ That’s not why they’re voting … They’re not voting economics; they’re voting because the Republican Party represents their values. They don’t care about the economics. So Democrats keep trying to use economic lures to pull them back in, but that’s not why they’re voting that way.
The question here is not whether Reid is correct. The important thing is that many Democrats think that way, and the working class “Pabst Blue Ribbon” voters think that way as well.
Reason 2: The Democratic Party is Incapable of Change
The Reagan Revolution lead to the rise of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). This was a group of conservative Democrats who saw what had happened with Reagan, and rather than fight to regain the American middle class, decided to pursue a “Third Way” of neoliberalism, which embraced corporations, Wall Street and “market based solutions” when it came to economics, but still paid lip service to social justice in terms of civil rights, gay rights and women’s rights (including abortion).
Over the past 30 years, the Democratic Party has become a money machine. From its HQ in Washington, the DNC raises money and spends it — with no internal or external controls. Unbelievably, the Budget of the DNC is secret; not even the Board of the DNC have access to the books. No one knows how or where the Democrats spend their money. But what we do know is that much is spent on consultants, pollsters, media companies and other “vendors.”
The Democratic Party has become like Byzantium or the Ottoman Empire — a sclerotic organisation based on baksheesh and payola, where everyone is more interested in keeping their jobs and their lucrative contracts than they are in actually effectuating policy.
Upton Sinclair wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” This is the problem that Democrats face. And it is not a problem that is going to go away anytime soon. The fact is that the Democrats would rather lose to Republicans than win with Progressives who would turn off the spigot of corporate cash that keeps the Party going.
A case in point: the 2016 elections were an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions. Not only did the Democrats cede the White House to a grossly unqualified baboon, they lost the House and the Senate as well. And presently, nearly 80% of all Americans live in States that are partially or completely controlled by the GOP (legislatures and governors). AND YET — no one has been fired. No one has done a mea culpa, there has been no introspection, no post-mortem analysis. In short, everyone still has their jobs, and that is all that matters. The money still flows; the gravy train still runs.
As I mentioned above, Reagan was able to transform the political landscape by seizing power in the Republican Party. He was able to grab the wheel and take the party in a new direction by expanding its base. For Bernie to change the Democrats, however, he would need to completely change the very nature, the baseline priorities and the raison d’être of the Party. It would not be like taking over the wheel — he would have to throw the car in reverse. And that is just not going to happen.
Reason 3: Bernie’s strength and appeal lie in his independence
Let’s face it — Bernie Sanders has never won an election running as a Democrat. He has been elected and re-elected 12 times as an Independent. This alone would seem to indicate that he is most successful when running outside of the two parties.
As an example: in 2000, just barely over 50% of Vermonters voted for Al Gore, but Bernie won re-election with over 69% of the vote. Would he have done as well had he been running as a Democrat? The answer is most likely a strong NO.
Bernie and others argue that one needs to be part of the two-party system in order to compete effectively, and yet Bernie himself has proven — time and time again — that it is possible to win elections as an Independent.
Sure, Vermont is a small state, but that should not make a difference. Indeed, unless you buy into that hokum about Vermont’s “homogeneity” you must admit that if Bernie can win with 69% of the vote in an election where 40% of those voters also chose George Bush for President, he should be able to do well on a national level as well.
Ironically, Bernie himself is quick to quote his phenomenal success as an independent running against both Democrats AND Republicans. “No one knows more about running as an Independent than I do,” he says. And yet he uses this experience to argue against a third-party Presidential run. This argument however rings hollow, as it is belied by the very record of success that he cites.
Reason 4: “Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah!”
Those close to Bernie have often said that his visceral opposition to running as a third-party candidate is his abject fear of becoming “another Nader.” Now, those of us who know the reality of the 2000 election know that Nader was not to blame for Gore’s loss (the man could not even carry his home state, after all), but the Democratic Establishment has excoriated Ralph Nader ever since the election, turning him into a pariah and using him as a talisman to ward off any would-be third-party candidates and to dissuade progressive Democrats from voting Green or Libertarian. “Remember Ralph Nader!” they cry, “third parties lead to catastrophe!”
In 2016, Bernie did not want to be the cause of a catastrophe, and so he dutifully ran as a loyal Democrat, even stumping for Hillary Clinton after he lost the Primary.
Well — Bernie did the honourable thing; the cautious thing; the prudent thing. He agreed not to upset the apple cart, not to challenge authority — all in the hopes of avoiding a disastrous win by another dangerous Republican.
But Trump won anyway.
In Monty Python’s Life of Brian there is a scene in which a man has been sentenced to death for saying the Lord’s name out loud. Just as the public stoning is about to begin, the prisoner starts shouting “Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah”.
“You’re only making it worse for yourself,” says the official presiding over the execution.
“How can it be any worse?” asks the condemned man.
This is the situation we find ourselves in today. Trump has been elected. The catastrophe that we sought to avoid has happened. The nation has survived. The scare tactic used to squash third party campaigns has lost a lot of its power, because indeed: How can it be any worse?
NEW – Reason 5: THE FIX IS ALREADY IN FOR 2020, AND YOU AIN’T IT
Updated 20 October 2017
My social media accounts are blowing up with two stories, which are related in a very troubling and ominous way.
1. Shake-Up at Democratic National Committee, Longtime Officials Ousted
– This week Tom Perez conducted his own “Night of the Long Knives” by pushing several progressives out of their positions within the DNC. Those purged range from Bill Buckley, currently head of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, to Alice Germond, former DNC Secretary. What did these purge victims have in common? They are all supporters of Bernie Sanders and/or Keith Ellison. This means that Bernie will have no support among the upper echelons of the DNC,and indeed the mightiest forces within the DNc will be arrayed against him.
Moreover, Perez is stacking the DNC deck with Clintonites and lobbyists – The most telling aspect of this purge is that Perez is placing Clintonites in key positions in the Executive Committee and the Rules Committee and Lobbyists in the At Large delegation. This means that Clintonite Establishment Dems will continue to have control over the budget and – more importantly – they will decide the rules for the next Presidential Primary. And in a brazen show of chutzpah, Perez has named the disgraced yet arrogantly unrepentant Donna Brazile to sit on the Rules Committee.
This does not bode well for any challenger to the next Anointed Establishment Candidate (cough, Kamala Harris). Even Bernie – despite his popularity – could find himself at a disadvantage again by the way the DNC runs the Primary. And of course the Clintonite Establishment Dems like Brazile will not change the Superdelegate rules, so whoever the darling of the DNC will be, they will have a huge advantage in the delegate count even before the campaigns start.
2. DNC resolution pressures Sanders to join Democrats
– The DNC is trying to force Bernie Sanders (as well as Angus King, another Independent) to become “official” Democrats in the upcoming race in 2018 “and beyond.” Clearly, the DNC are trying to get their hooks into Bernie and to try to make him toe the Party line. The timing of this resolution, coming as it does concurrently with the Perez move to assert full Clintonite control over the DNC itself, make sit clear that the Democrats consider Bernie Sanders to be a major threat to their corrupt, money-based regime, and they are trying desperately to contain that threat,
I say, let Bernie be a threat. Bernie needs to be a threat. And he needs to threaten the DNC from without. This latest move to simultaneously pull Sanders in while pushing those who support him out is a clear statement of the DNC’s intent to de-fang, de-claw, de-motivate and ultimately destroy both Bernie and his supporters.
We cannot let this happen. Bernie MUST form a third party, and the sooner the better.
Neoliberalism is the idea that the Market is the Mother of all Things.
I’m not saying anything, except that there is some weird shit going on around this Seth Rich story. I guess the most interesting aspect is that the DNC, the DC Power Elite, the CIA and John Brennan personally, as well as other Intel officials, would all have a very powerful vested interest in keeping this story squelched.
Indeed, if it were ever proven that what Assange is saying is true (imagine that) and WikiLeaks did indeed get the DNC emails via an inside leaker — IOW, the same way they get ALL their information — then a LOT of very powerful and influential people would have a lot of ‘splainin to do.
The Democratic Party would collapse on itself for lack of a raison d’être; there would be a rash of defenestrations at the DNC as well as the Podesta Group.
At the very least, when it comes to the matter of Seth Rich, it would be wise to acknowledge that there IS indeed a mystery, that it is a very unusual case, and that there are a LOT of open questions surrounding the whole affair.
- Why did the DC police define the murder as a “botched robbery” when nothing was stolen? A “botched robbery” usually means that the robbers ended up unintentionally killing or hurting someone in the course of the robbery. This would have to be a “botched robbery” that was itself .. well, botched. I mean, what kind of robber shoots someone twice in the back and then just runs away?
Why did Donna Brazile, DNC chair, intervene in the case to ask the DC police to “freeze out” the private investigator hired by the family?
Why did the DNC assign one of their own PR consultants (Brad Baumann of the Pastorum Group) to the Rich family to manage their public statements and dealings with the media?
How is it that a murder, occurring in a part of town where there had never been a previous homicide, can remain 100% unsolved a year later, with “no leads” and no visible progress being made in finding the killer?
Why is it that Seth Rich’s laptop has been disappeared and no one knows where it is? The police say the FBI have it, the FBI say the police have it.
Why is the FBI involved in this homicide if it was simply a run-of-the-mill “botched robbery”? The fact that FBI ARE involved indicates that there are federal or national aspects to the case, no?
Why is the so-called “mainstream media” so obsessed with the “politicisation” of the Seth Rich murder? Why are they spending so much time and effort to debunk this PARTICULAR story – much more than they ever spent on debunking other “conspiracy” stories?
8.Why is Twitter suspending the accounts of people and journalists that publish stories about the Seth Rich murder?
- What makes this particular story SO incredibly toxic and dangerous?
These are all open questions, but we should refrain from jumping to conclusions. Still, when it comes to the theory that Seth Rich was the “leaker” who gave the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, there are also some questions to be asked:
- Former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, famous as the WikiLeaks whistleblower who exposed the CIA torture and rendition program, has claimed for a year that he actually met the DNC leaker in DC and accepted the emails from him. He has maintained this story from the beginning. Julien Assange has never disputed Murray’s story. And no media outlet has debunked Murray’s assertions or even questioned him seriously about it. He has been completely ignored. He is a serious person, a former Ambassador and has never been discredited in any way. He is credible; why are his claims not being taken seriously?
Julien Assange offered a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the killer. So far, no one has stepped up. That seems strange; you’d think at least some crank somewhere would want to try and get the money.
It is also strange that Assange would offer such a reward for some random DNC data specialist who was murdered in DC. Why would he do that?
- Before he retracted his story, Rod Wheeler claimed that Seth Rich had sent 44,000 emails to WikiLeaks (which happens to be the exact size of the eventual DNC email leak). Julien Assange actually RETWEETED the story line. Why would he do that?
These are all open questions, showing that we must remain sceptical until some actual evidence surfaces. For the time being, however, I would maintain that there is more “hard evidence” for the Seth Rich leaker story than there is for the “Russian hacking” story. At least with Seth Rich we have a former UK Ambassador claiming to have first hand, eyewitness testimony to support the “leaker” narrative.
The Democratic Establishment has become an Orwellian nightmare – but more like Animal Farm than 1984.
To put it bluntly: it was not our fault that Hillary was the worst candidate ever.
Tired of the MSM and Clintonista trolls talking smack about our guy? Wish you had some statistics and facts – or maybe just some snappy comebacks – to combat their bullshit attacks and dismissive smears?
A lot of people are talking about “Neoliberalism” and I think many wonder: what does it actually mean?
I had a revelation today about the on-going debates between Hillary and Bernie supporters in the wake of the 2016 Election.
In the late fall of 1990 a friend and I made a cross country trip from Connecticut to California. We decided to travel via the Southern route, which took us through Arkansas, where Bill Clinton was halfway through serving his second term as Governor.
First, let me say that I am NOT advocating that any Progressive EVER vote for Donald Trump. The purpose of this article is to elucidate reasons why, as Progressives in a duopolistic system with only two viable candidates, we should not fear to see Donald Trump win the Presidency rather than Hillary Clinton. Continue reading
My dear cousin: as you know, I take exception to your assertion that politics is “persuasion” and that Jill Stein has made her case to the American people and “failed to persuade” enough of them. I have been thinking about your statement and realised that what really bothered me about it was the fact that you were proceeding from an assumption that somehow the US political system was functional and, in its own way, logical and fair – at least to some extent.
I am here to tell you that this is a completely false and demonstrably incorrect assumption.
Trump won the nomination by garnering the votes of 6.89% of registered Republicans. Clinton won her nomination with the support of approx. 7% of Democratic voters. Altogether, 9% of the voting population delivered us these two horrible and dismally, disastrously and uniquely unqualified candidates. These facts alone show that the “system” we have does not function in any way that even remotely resembles democracy.
I give you proof: if you look at only the two major party candidates,
there is no way for you to vote against the excesses of Wall Street;
there is no way for you to vote against fracking, fossil fuels and worsening climate change;
there is no way for you to vote against the Military Industrial Complex and perpetual war;
there is no way to vote against worsening income and wealth inequality;
there is no way for you to vote against a for-profit healthcare industry that literally enriches itself by letting our citizens sicken and die.
These were all Bernie’s fighting themes, and I know you supported Bernie. But Bernie fell victim to the party duopoly which is designed to prop up the status quo, not tear it down. We now know his “revolution from within” was doomed from the start.
Cousin, we have finally arrived at a state of true fascism by Mussolini’s definition, namely a society in which the power of the Government is exercised solely for the benefit of Corporations, and the elites of Government and Business are inextricably entwined by what everyone so blithely and unthinkingly calls “the revolving door.” This metaphor of the “revolving door” amazes me. Everyone acknowledges its existence, but no one ever seems to appreciate its implications – namely, that when you live in a State where the Government and Big Business are run by the same people, you are living in a fascist state.
Fascism has been defeated in the past, cousin. But it was never defeated “slowly” or “incrementally.” It was only defeated by a revolution that overpowered the apparatus of the fascist State.
Many people smarter than I believe such a people-powered revolution can succeed, and I take hope and solace in that thought. But we have to start somewhere, and it starts with getting the Green Party to 5% in the polls, so that they will qualify for Federal Election Funds in the next cycle. That will be the first step towards truly changing the system, and the Corporatist elites know this. That is why they are working overtime to bamboozle you and so many others into thinking that they MUST vote for Hillary regardless of where they live. If The Greens qualify for Federal Funding in the next election cycle, then they have a beachhead, a toehold, a foot on the ladder leading to political viability, and this is something the power elites simply cannot allow.
I therefore urge you and every progressive in California to vote for Jill Stein. Do not listen to the corporatist claptrap about having to vote for Clinton. Help us reach the 5% threshold to qualify for tens of millions in Federal Election Funds in 2020. Jill Stein and the Green Party are our only hope for fighting the fascistic power structure that currently controls all the levers of Government, and we have to start somewhere. That somewhere is California and every other ‘safe” State in which a vote for Jill Stein will not affect the election outcome this year, but will help us effect needed change in future elections.
To Know Hillary, Look at Her Husband and Barack Obama
“Only Nixon could go to China.” This is now a maxim of American politics, a metaphor for the political phenomenon I call “inoculated immunity”. This is when a politician is deemed by the public to have a set of political “credentials” that prohibit criticism that might otherwise be brought to bear to block certain political objectives. In the case of Nixon, his history of red-baiting and anti-communist rhetoric put his political détente with China beyond reproach. A commie-hater like Nixon would never “sell out” to Red China – that was the common wisdom at the time. And so Nixon’s efforts to normalize relations with China were immune from what should have been a tsunami of criticism and condemnation from the conservative Right and his own Republican Party.
On the other side of the spectrum, the first and most prominent case of inoculated immunity for Democrats was found in Bill Clinton. As a Democrat, he was able to “end Welfare as we know it” with his 1996 Reform Act without having to fight the progressive Left over the effects that bill had among impoverished communities. Because he was a Democrat, only Clinton could pass the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill that led to the mass incarceration of blacks and Hispanics while militarizing police forces across the country. And because he was a Democrat, people did not question his pro-business legislative milestones like bank de-regulation and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which led to unprecedented industry consolidation, massive income inequality, sky-high profits and incredible wealth consolidation among the Corporate class. Perhaps the best example of Clinton’s inoculated immunity was when he, as a Democrat, was able to do what his predecessor, Bush 41, was unable to get accomplished: he got NAFTA passed through the Democrat-controlled Congress, thereby fulfilling Reagan’s vision where Bush could not.
In many ways, however, Barack Obama is an even more profound example of inoculated immunity. Because he is not just a Democrat but also an African-American, Obama was immediately and automatically credited with fighting for all sorts of progressive objectives, from taming Wall Street excesses to ending racism; from providing universal health care to stopping climate change – and of course he was going to end America’s wars and bring about World Peace. The last item was only furthered by his (some say premature) winning of the Nobel Peace Prize.
And yet, as Bruce Bartlett and others at The American Conservative have pointed out, Barack Obama has acted as a true Republican while in office.
Liberals fought bitterly against the Bush Tax Cuts of 2001 and 2003. The cuts were passed despite the protests of the Left, who could only console themselves with the fact that they were temporary and scheduled to sunset in 2010. Obama, however, first extended the Bush Tax Cuts by 2 years, and then, in 2012, Obama made the Bush Tax Cuts permanent. Conservative representative Dave Camp (R-Mich.) summed up the situation by saying, “After more than a decade of criticizing these tax cuts, Democrats are finally joining Republicans in making them permanent.” Indeed, in many ways these are now Democrats’ tax cuts as much (if not more so) as they are Republicans.
The reaction from the Left about Obama’s extension and subsequent permanent adoption of the Bush Tax Cuts was at most “muted.” Bernie Sanders famously filibustered the extensions on the Senate floor for 8 hours. But Sanders was almost alone in opposing Obama – the measure passed with majority Democratic support.
So while Bush was able to pass the tax cuts, it took Obama, a Democrat with his inoculated immunity, to make them permanent. Nixon and China all over again.
Obama has also pursued a very quiet but determined pro-business agenda. Last month we found out that the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), a panel set up to examine the causes of the 2008 meltdown, actually submitted in their final report a recommendation that criminal charges be filed against 14 banks and their top execs personally for causing the great financial crisis. The Obama Department of Justice did nothing, and buried the committee’s report.
The reaction from the Media and the Left to this bombshell of a scandal? Crickets. Elizabeth Warren kicked up a fuss, but the whole issue has been swept under the rug, and Citigroup Board Chairman Robert Rubin (a top Democratic operative and donor named in the criminal referral) has nothing to fear. Again, had a Republican Administration given all these banks and bankers a free pass, the outrage would have been powerful and pervasive. But Obama’s inoculated immunity ensures that the Media and the Left will keep mum about it all.
And of course, Obama is touring the world touting the virtues of the TPP, and seems determined to see this trade deal passed in the waning days of his Presidency. In this he has shown himself to be a true friend of Corporate America and the Chamber of Commerce.
Even in the area of national defense and border security, inoculated immunity helps Obama pursue a Conservative agenda without incurring opposition from the usual Leftist groups. Take deportations, an area where Obama has far, far exceeded anything GW Bush ever did. Between 2009 and 2015 Obama’s administration deported more than 2.5 million people – 500,000 more than Bush did, and Obama still has another year to go. And then there are the Central American refugee families and children languishing in ICE “detention centers” – which are really more like prisons. Thousands of others are being turned away in order to “send a message” to their friends and relatives in Honduras, El Salvador and elsewhere. This “tough love” policy is worthy of even the most conservative policy maker, and, amazingly, seems designed to antagonize the same Latino demographic that helped Obama win the Presidency in the first place.
And yet there are no mass demonstrations, no congressional opposition … the Left and the Media seem fine with this situation. Because Obama is a Democrat.
When it comes to war, Obama has acted as a principled conservative. He has doubled-down on the Bush foreign policy initiatives, and so far he has carried out 10 times more drone assassinations than did Bush. He has increased our troop presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has abandoned all rhetoric that talks about ever withdrawing. The PNAC vision of having a permanent US military presence in the Middle East is quietly becoming a reality under Barack Obama, and the Left is nowhere to be seen or heard.
Clinton Guarantees Us More of Obama’s Brand of Conservatism
Hillary Clinton has already telegraphed her intention to carry on Obama’s conservative corporatist agenda. Indeed, it could be argued that she already has even deeper ties to Wall Street and Corporate America than Obama does, and when it comes to foreign policy, she is widely recognised as being to the Right of Obama. Indeed, policymakers behind the Iraq invasion such as Robert Kagan, Max Boot and Paul Wolfowitz have all publicly declared their support for Hillary Clinton, as have Henry Kissinger, John Negroponte and George HW Bush. The fact that Clinton can “proudly” publicize these endorsements with no blowback is proof positive of just how strongly Hillary has been inoculated. The “Right Wing Witch Hunts” that she and her team constantly complain about have inculcated a view in America’s mind that Hillary must, beneath it all, be the Liberal that Rush Limbaugh says she is.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Indeed, Clinton is so much more conservative than Obama that she should have been more difficult to “inoculate”. Enter the Mainstream Media. The six major media companies owe their very existence to Bill Clinton and the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which allowed them to gobble up the other 44 media outlets that existed at the time. These media conglomerates know whom they have to thank for their power and their wealth, and they are repaying it with interest. Clinton is by far the biggest recipient of contributions by Media company employees, and the owners of the New York Times, Thompson Reuters, 21st Century Fox and Newsmax have all given over $1 Million to her campaign. Other companies like Comcast (NBC), Time Warner (CNN), The Washington Post, Viacom, NPR and Knight-Ridder have also given generously.
Online “liberal” Media outlets such as RawStory, Vox and The Daily Beast – on whose Board Chelsea Clinton sits – have all been pushing Hillary’s “liberal” bona fides on the Internet. These online ‘zines have savagely attacked Bernie Sanders and his proponents, and have now turned their attention to Jill Stein and the adherents of the Green Party – always pushing Clinton’s self-proclaimed characterization as a “Progressive who likes to get things done.”
The result? Hillary Clinton is now widely perceived as a liberal candidate, a stalwart Lefty who may not be as wild-eyed as Bernie Sanders but whose liberal credentials cannot be questioned. This positions her ideally to continue Obama’s priorities regarding conservative, pro-business and traditionally Republican economic and foreign policy issues.
A Trump Presidency Would Be a Disaster for Republicans and Conservatives
We cannot talk about the reasons for Conservatives to vote for Hilary Clinton without discussing the many very valid reasons for Conservatives to vote against Donald Trump. Ben Howe of RedState has been telling anyone who will listen that if Donald Trump wins, it will destroy the Republican Party, and could even cause the GOP to lose control of the House in 2018. There is already an internecine battle within the GOP between the traditional Republican elites and the Tea Party extremists at the grass roots level. A Trump victory would turn this conflict into a full-on war that would fracture the Republican coalition completely, setting the Party back decades. Moreover, with Trump as the leader of the Republican Party, conservatives will be tarred with the same tainted brush for years to come. Indeed, the current thinking among many Republican pundits is that a Trump loss is the only thing that can save the GOP.
Adding to these worries is the potential for Trump to move to the Center or even the Left once he is in office. Conservatives like Joe Scarborough have been saying all along that Trump is really a “big government liberal” at heart. And Tom Nichols at The Federalist openly worries:
“Trump will be every bit as liberal as Hillary—perhaps more so, given his statements over the years. He is by reflex and instinct a New York Democrat whose formal party affiliation is negotiable, as is everything about him.”
At the very least, everyone agrees that Trump is narcissistic, vain, malleable and open to suasion by others. Everyone also agrees that Trump has championed everything from Single Payer Healthcare to Abortion Rights in the past. Should large protests break out around liberal issues, he may well take steps to mollify the liberal Left in an effort to make himself more popular. And of course Trump has made his absolute opposition to the TPP a cornerstone of his campaign.
The message from all of these strategists and pundits is clear: A Clinton win will allow the GOP to regroup and remain viable as the Party in opposition to another “liberal” Democratic President, and further allow them to retain control of the House and possibly even regain the Senate in 2018.
Certainly these are all very good reasons for Conservatives and Republicans to vote for Clinton and ensure that Trump never gets to the Oval Office.
Now I know many Conservatives may feel nervous about voting for a candidate who is openly campaigning on “debt-free college” and “higher taxes on the wealthy” – but remember the lessons of Obama. His two most popular campaign promises, which he introduced to thunderous applause throughout 2008, were to (1) offer a public healthcare option and (2) close Guantanamo Bay prison. Needless to say the Left are still waiting for those goodies. Clinton will “deliver” in the same way.
COMING NEXT: The Progressive Case for Donald Trump
I love Bernie Sanders. I maxed out my donations to his campaign ($2500) and have now added my name to the list of complainants in the class action suit against the DNC to get my money back after he was robbed of the nomination. I was banned for life from the Daily Kos for writing articles that were deemed to be too pro-Bernie and anti-Hillary. I was a true believer, I was #BernieOrBust all the way – right up until the Convention, when the DNC made it clear that they preferred “bust.”
Now I am voting #JillNotHill and supporting Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party with my money, my time and my enthusiasm.
While I will always be thankful to Bernie for having inspired me, and millions like me, to question the Establishment and to fight against the corruption that dominates our national political system, I have come to the realisation that Bernie is simply not the man to lead us into a true Revolution.
The reason is simple, actually: Bernie believes in the 2-party system; he does NOT believe in third parties nor does he believe in the possibility to have a Revolution that takes place outside of the political duopoly that currently has a stranglehold over our body politic. This is a shame, given that it was Bernie who always told us to “think big” and to “think outside the box.”
It was a sad day when I realised that what Bernie actually believed was that we should think outside the box, but we should mobilize inside the box. The “box” in this case being the Democratic Party and our current 2-party political system.
That simply doesn’t make sense to me.
Much has been made by both supporters and opponents of Bernie Sanders that he is an independent, and Bernie himself proudly asserts that he is the “longest serving independent” in Congress. That fact, however, belies the reality that Bernie has caucused with the Democrats for over 30 years. That he has raised money for the DCCC and the DSCC. That he has supported and voted for the Democratic Leadership in both the House and the Senate, and he has voted with the Democrats 98% of the time. Indeed, one criticism often levelled at Berners by Clinton supporters was the fact that Bernie and Hillary had virtually matching voting records while they served in the Senate together. Yes, they both supported the “Democratic Agenda.”
I have come to realise that Bernie is not the maverick that we might wish him to be. He is, in the end, a Company man, a Party Man. Harry Reid is notorious for running a tight ship in the Senate. He does not give you a plum Committee assignment unless he knows you will toe the Party line, and he certainly does not make you the Chair of a high profile committee like the Veterans Affairs Committee (as he did with Bernie in 2013) unless he knows you are a loyal partisan for the Democrats.
Bernie believes that the Democratic Party can be turned around. That we can reverse the decades of DLC-driven corporatism and remake the Democrats into the Party of FDR. This is simply not possible. The “pay-to-play” corruption that the Clintons and their New Democrat allies introduced in the 90’s has, over the past 30 years, completely taken over the Democratic Party. We are now on the 3rd or 4th generation of Democrats who literally grew up thinking that it was OK to take corporate money and to do the bidding of your donors as long as you stood on the righteous side when it came to civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights and other social issues. These Democrats actually believe that they are doing good work by supporting LGBTQ causes and defending abortion rights even as they support Wall Street criminality, fracking, for-profit healthcare, TPP and other noxious issues pushed by their corporate donors.
Mind you, these are not all bad people. They are simply playing the hand they have been dealt, in a game that they did not create. They are making their way within an organisation that is so systemically corrupt that they do not even perceive the corruption for what it is. Cenk Uygur once described this phenomenon with an old joke: if you ask a fish “how’s the water?” he will answer “what water?” So it is with Democrats and the ocean of corruption in which they live.
You cannot ask today’s Democrats to change both themselves and the system in which they have thrived. They like the game as it is, because they are winning at it. And even if they wanted to change, their Corporate masters would never let them do so. The DNC is rotten to the core, and their actions during the 2016 Primaries show them to be a corrupt, well-organised and almost criminal enterprise willing to engage in illegitimate if not illegal activities to achieve the results that they and their Donors want. There is no way to rehabilitate this organisation, and there is no way that the DNC will countenance a “revolution” within their ranks.
BERNIE, I love you, and as I said at the top I will always revere you for what you did to start this Revolution. But you cannot lead the Revolution. The Democratic Party has been your adopted “home” on Capitol Hill since Bill Clinton first entered the White House in 1992. We cannot expect you to abandon the organisation that you have supported for 25 years. But neither can we hope to build our Revolution within the sclerotic ranks of the DNC. As Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant has rightly said, any progressive movements “will reach a graveyard in the Democratic Party.”
That is why we must part company. You will push for Clinton to win the election, because you genuinely believe that once she is in the White House, she will bend toward the progressive causes that she has so studiously avoided all her career. You believe that she will be forced to listen to the Progressive wing of the Party, rather than the centrists and moderate Republicans she is currently courting for votes. You believe that we do not have the “luxury” of voting for a third party.
Sorry, Bernie. I do not believe those things that you believe about Clinton, nor do I believe that voting for my candidate of choice is a “luxury.” Indeed, in a representative democracy, I believe that voting for one’s chosen candidate is a duty.
Bernie, your personal political hero is Eugene V. Debs, the American Socialist who maintained that it is better to vote for what you want and not get it, than to vote for what you don’t want and get that.
I plan to vote for what I want. I will vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party.