Friday, June 17, 2016

Unity or Mutiny?

It was better than I'd meagerly hoped: Bernie Sanders is bloodied but not bowed, vowing in an address to his supporters last night that the revolution will continue.

 His first order of business: work with Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump. That's a no-brainer. Despite the predictions of the establishment press, the percentage of Bernie supporters defecting to Donald Trump will be minimal. The guy is that grotesque and dangerous.

 Second order of business: reform the corrupt Democratic Party from within, by insisting that all Bernie's proposals make it into the "plank." This is a noble but disingenuous demand. The filthy rich donors and predatory corporations who run this show will not give up their elite privileges without a sustained fight against the weak, the suffering and the marginalized. They'll cover up their class war agenda by championing "diversity" -- the rights and interests of better-off members of the LGBT community, professional women, middle class meritocrats, the icons of the Black and Latino bourgeoisie -- while effortlessly lampooning made-to-order racist misogynist cartoon villain Donald Trump. The Democratic plot not only doesn't thicken, it's been reduced to such thin rancid gruel that even the malnourished masses feel nauseous at the mere whiff of it.

Bernie's final order of business: urging his supporters to effect change themselves, from the bottom up. He urged people to get started by running for office, right in their own communities: school boards, planning boards, town councils and county legislatures. Now he's talking sense. Change never comes from the top down, regardless of who's elected president. This goal is actually achievable.

The people who gave millions of dollars and cast millions of votes for Bernie Sanders have enormous political power, and they should use it. Whether they will be welcomed with open arms to the Democratic Party is another story. The Sanders movement could just as easily implode. Or, it could evolve into third, fourth and fifth parties, or a coalition of activists from the Fight for Fifteen, environmental justice, Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements.

Because when the Secret Service announces the building of a literal wall around the perimeters of the Wells Fargo convention center in Philadelphia in order to keep regular people out, this doesn't exactly signal inclusion. It has been officially designated a National Special Security Event. Aspirational participants in the democratic process have been transformed into potential terrorists. Just as the Democratic establishment ripped the welcome mat out from under working class feet a long time ago, so too will they continually strive to throw all things joyfully Bernie out with their tepid identitarian bath water.

But:(from the transcript of Bernie's pep talk)
I recently had the opportunity to meet with Secretary Clinton and discuss some of the very important issues facing our country and the Democratic Party. It is no secret that Secretary Clinton and I have strong disagreements on some very important issues. It is also true that our views are quite close on others. I look forward, in the coming weeks, to continued discussions between the two campaigns to make certain that your voices are heard and that the Democratic Party passes the most progressive platform in its history and that Democrats actually fight for that agenda. I also look forward to working with Secretary Clinton to transform the Democratic Party so that it becomes a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors: a party that has the courage to take on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the fossil fuel industry and the other powerful special interests that dominate our political and economic life.
Now, that was the sop to unity that I would answer with mutiny. Bernie has always been way too nice to Hillary Clinton, beginning right in the first debate when he rescued her with the specious claim that we're all "sick and tired of hearing about your damned emails." While he did eventually hound her on her Wall Street speeches and campaign contributions, he only addressed her family foundation slush fund very late in the campaign -- when it was too late to make an impact. So, will Bernie continue his knight-in-shining armor role when Donald Trump drags out his anti-Clinton oppo research and Bill's sordid history with women? We shall see.

To his credit, Bernie is standing firm on insisting that single payer health care, opposition to the TPP, the $15 minimum wage, expansion of Social Security and other "radical" policies make their way into the official party plank. However, Hillary is certainly under no legal (and obviously no moral) obligation to honor the wishes of minions. At best, she'll be forced to keep talking the populist talk until August at the latest, when her presumptive status will be safely in the rear view mirror and Bernie's convention speech has been smudged into a misty water-colored memory in her steel trap of a mind.

Given the rigged duopolistic system, Bernie is right that any struggle during this particular election season will have to be waged at the local level.

In what is very likely the template of his rousing party convention speech, he continued:
I hope very much that many of you listening tonight are prepared to engage at that level. Please go to my website at to learn more about how you can effectively run for office or get involved in politics at the local or state level. I have no doubt that with the energy and enthusiasm our campaign has shown that we can win significant numbers of local and state elections if people are prepared to become involved. I also hope people will give serious thought to running for statewide offices and the U.S. Congress.
 And when we talk about transforming America, it is not just about elections. Many of my Republican colleagues believe that government is the enemy, that we need to eviscerate and privatize virtually all aspects of government – whether it is Social Security, Medicare, the VA, EPA, the Postal Service or public education. I strongly disagree. In a democratic civilized society, government must play an enormously important role in protecting all of us and our planet. But in order for government to work efficiently and effectively, we need to attract great and dedicated people from all walks of life. We need people who are dedicated to public service and can provide the services we need in a high quality and efficient way.
These words are anodyne enough so that even the Empress-in-Waiting can politely, if not enthusiastically, applaud them as she awaits Bernie's official endorsement. Stay tuned for lots of camera-ready hugs, kisses.... and the usual cascades of balloons and confetti. Keep the barf bowls ready as Hillary pays regal and shallow homage to Bernie and the Bros, welcoming them with only figurative open arms --  given that most of them will be stuck outside, watching a Jumbotron screen from behind militarized police barricades.

Meanwhile, the corporate media remains dismayed that Bernie refuses to officially and prematurely concede.  They'll be asking "what does Bernie want" long after Bernie has stopped patiently answering their hundreds of inane questions to the point of hoarseness. My favorite was when a New York Times reporter asked Bernie if his failure to endorse a war hawk and Wall Street puppet makes him a "sexist."

The Atlantic sniffs:
Sanders risks losing leverage by remaining in the race. That is particularly true if it seems like the movement he has worked so hard to build is beginning to dissipate. Some of his closest allies are already giving up on his fight for the White House. On Wednesday,, a progressive organization that endorsed Sanders, offered its congratulations to Clinton. On Thursday, Raul Grijalva, the first member of Congress to endorse Sanders, announced he was ready to support Clinton. The congressman made clear that he wants Clinton to embrace the ideals Sanders has fought for, but the declaration was an unmistakable sign that the end is near.
This is the parochial coverage of identity horse-race politics in a nutshell. If "progressive" for-profit veal pen organizations like MoveOn are ready to give up, then it naturally follows that millions of Sanders voters, lacking independent minds of their own, are also ready to cave. If one lone congressman switches sides in favor of Hillary, then all the weak and wobbly dominoes will soon come tumbling after. And my goodness, if even "rising progressive star" Elizabeth Warren (aged 66) is endorsing Hillary, why isn't everybody enthusiastically following suit?  Since the "end is near," we must all stop greedily sucking up the oxygen and just die graciously already. Why prolong the agony? We proles are not deserving of care, especially that offensive end-of-life care which is anathema to all good neoliberals, for whom "efficiency" and "best practices" replace the common welfare.

One final thought. We've actually come a long way from last year's "narrative," which was all about political dynasties and a boring contest between a Bush and a Clinton. This election season is anything but boring.There's no guarantee that the campaigns of either leading contender will even survive until election day For the first time in modern history, both candidates are under active law enforcement investigation. And for the first time in a long time, socialism has gone mainstream. The neoliberal project has been well and truly exposed.

And still the pundits wonder why Bernie isn't bowing out gracefully. Keep your fingers crossed, and the popcorn ready. We may end up dead, but it promises to be a thrilling roller coaster ride to the finish nonetheless.

The revolution is on.


Pearl said...

The most vital part of your important column is "the revolution is on." I have no doubt that Bernie will fight to the last after the Convention to continue to make his mark inspiring citizens to push for change. We can also hope that many great progressives will win or keep their seats in Congress which will send a strong message to the next president.

As you have said we can no longer put the toothpaste back in the tube and I hope that Bernie will receive the support and deep appreciation from the people that he deserves for his efforts. Time will mark what his contribution has been to the country he truly cares about. I found his speech you quoted deeply moving and profound and I remembered the timely quote you recently had in a column about FDR's prophetic warnings to us back in 1938.

Jay–Ottawa said...

On the important business of organizing on the local level, here's Ralph Nader's most recent post explaining his efforts and that of many others at reinforcing the local organizing that has long been underway. He links to names and organizations who are there on the ground already doing practical things to better life for everybody around the US. Perhaps we would do better to invest our time, money and hopes in those people, not anyone connected to the Duopoly.

Not one of the 535 Congresspeople, who were given personalized invitations, attended the Nader conference blocks away from the Capitol. If Bernie were serious about organizing locally, he might have dropped in to pat people on the back or at least said hello via Skype, at least for a few moments, on any one of the days the big congress of local organizers was meeting. But Bernie was just another one of the 535 who ignored the event.

More and more, as I listen to Bernie Sanders as he inches towards the Democratic Convention, it appears he is profoundly naive––or he thinks we are.

Anonymous said...

"Not one of the 535 Congresspeople, who were given personalized invitations, attended the Nader conference blocks away from the Capitol. If Bernie were serious about organizing locally, he might have dropped in to pat people on the back or at least said hello via Skype, at least for a few moments, on any one of the days the big congress of local organizers was meeting. But Bernie was just another one of the 535 who ignored the event."

I don't know, Jay, I think it's entirely possible that a 74-year-old man, who just wrapped up an exhausting primary campaign run, and who has the President and the Clintons breathing down his still-formidable neck, might be excused for not high-fiving every last hand in the last lap before he has to, once again, present a case for real change at the convention.

He's an old man, and a great old man, but he ain't a superhero, and he can't be everywhere at the same time. And in my experience working with septuagenarians, even really healthy ones like Bernie, he's got to pace himself.

He's of no use to anyone if he works himself into a cardiac event or a stroke.

Not one of the activists I've admired has been able to "do it all" - it's a group effort. And I think over the decades Sanders has done more than his fair share. I'm honored to have donated some monies, even if I couldn't donate my time. Ralph Nader's event also looked great, but let's be frank, we weren't getting the time off, and didn't have the monies to travel there.

Looking forward to watching Sanders in action at the convention. And really grateful he's staying in the fight.

Tired Bar Girl

Jay–Ottawa said...

Had a Skype session myself with a friend overseas recently. Never broke a sweat.

A couple of technicians on Bernie's end and at Nader's event could have set up a jumbo screen connection in no time. Bernie could have saluted them with a five-minute pep talk, that's all. I doubt his heart would have been taxed into the danger zone by a few minutes before a studio camera.

But, if such a minor effort would have overstressed Bernie, what on earth is he doing in a big political campaign, and what on earth are we doing in cheering him on into "the fight"?

I hope, despite your tired days, you had a look at Nader's post. It's not long. I wonder whether you are aware that Bernie has refused to pick up when Ralph dials him. Maybe it's because Bernie knows Ralph is about 82 and maybe the stress on Nader's heart, if they got to talking, would be too much. And that was way back before the campaign got hot. Fortunately, everything on the Democratic side is getting real cool again, which should be good for Bernie's ticker and whatever else ails him.

Perhaps, in Bernie's lofty segment this week about us common folk linking up with grassroots reformers, he might have put in a plug for Nader and encouraged people to check out the record of the event and the leaders who attended. Or would including a sentence or two in his speech along those lines have sent Bernie to the ER?

I never realized until now that by sending Bernie money we were just pushing his ticker into the zone of cardiac arrest. Let's make the second car in his convoy one of those big, boxy yellow ambulances. That will probably garner him a few sympathy votes, although talking about his health with this mindset may make people wonder if he's fit enough for the job at the White House.

Hush! If supporters of Hillary overhear such talk, they will amplify it and remind us that, unlike Bernie, she could, on short notice, kick a bear to death.

Mark Portier said...

Thank you, Karen.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jay,

I don't know that anything I wrote, or that Bernie accomplished, warranted the acidic level of sarcasm you exercised in that comment. Could all that bitterness really be a result of your contempt for Sanders, or is there something else you're vexed about?

As for your plaint, I would suggest the obvious: It may well be that Sanders, having been continually and unfavorably compared this past year to Nader's supposed sabotage of Gore's 2000 election, is not necessarily going to have a stronger position at the convention if he pushes people toward the Nader event. In fact, I think it is obvious that it would be counter-productive. Add to that the entirely reasonable moment of rest that Sanders has earned, and I think your agitation over this is a bit over the top.

That does not mean his supporters don't support Nader's efforts, or honor his contributions.

But what Sanders has achieved is singular: he's not only bridged a generational gap amongst activists, but he's pulled in far more younger voters than Nader could. And they're the future, Jay. Not you, not me, not Karen, but the young, who won't have the opportunities your generation had, or even the opportunities that my generation had.

That's no insult to Nader - it's merely to recognize what Sanders achieved, and why it is important going forward.

Now Sanders has a chance to move an agenda forward at the convention. Is it really so significant that, at this exact moment, he endorses the Nader event? Possibly not.

I do wonder if it is a trait of the left to cannibalize itself. It seems really a luxury, doesn't it?

As for your contention that Hillary could "kick a bear to death" (and "on short notice", no less)? My goodness, I don't think so. But even as satirical metaphor, it's extraordinarily violent. Why so angry, Jay?


Pearl said...

I agree with you Anonymous but I do believe Hillary could kick a bear to death.
And I seem to recall that I did not care for Nader's role in the past nor comments in the present.
However I also do not understand some of Jay's criticism of Bernie and lack of better support of his agenda. But time will tell.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Headline in today's NY Times dig ed:

"Sanders Says Defeating Trump Is Priority"

The guy has "the lesser of two evils" stamped all over him.

Hillary's involvement with drone strikes, for example, or what she set up in Libya for Gaddafi personally––We came, we saw, he died.––and then the population at large is at least one degree more ugly than the image of her kicking a bear to death. She's bloodless, and Bernie has now turned, as he promised from the beginning, to helping her take the highest office in our country.

Don't worry, be happy.

Karen Garcia said...

As readers of this blog know, I'm of two minds about Bernie. How can a self-professed democratic socialist be such a tepid critic of American imperialism? How can a guy who has fought for social and economic justice his entire life be O.K. with the drone assassination program and not be speaking out vociferously against the CIA and NSA?

Still, I have written in support of him, even sent him a couple of bucks. His domestic policy goals are what we need. I would have held my nose over his dismal-to-crappy foreign policy ideas. I can be a pragmatist too.

As far as Bernie's priority of defeating Trump, that could well turn out to be moot. Trump is imploding by the day, now that Hillz is the presumptuous Dem nominee. Her Twitter campaign may have to be directed against Kasich or even Ryan or Romney. Yes, it can get even scarier, because the Trump replacements could actually end up salvaging the GOP by virtue of their more "reasonable" sounding tone.

I don't know what it is with Nader and Bernie. I guess even grumpy old men can act like a high school clique at times. As Hillary would say, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

I don't get why Nader is considered so toxic. That whole "spoiler" epithet is just so bogus. Bush was elected by enough Florida Democrats who couldn't stand Al Gore -- who lost his own home state.

Jay–Ottawa said...

I too would have voted for Bernie, warts and all, if he had beaten Hillary for the nomination. Half a loaf (sound domestic economic program) would have been better than nothing. Nothing will be Hillary's gift to the average American.

Now, despite the so-called fight talk of this septuagenarian revolutionary, he's all but conceded the top spot to Hillary. I can live with that, even with a shout out to Bernie saying 'Good job!" while I simultaneously cast sheep's eyes over to Third Parties.

But when Bernie begins to back Hillary in the general, what is he doing? She will never adopt his half loaf about putting an end to economic disparities. If Bernie works for Wall Street, but through an intermediary (Hillary) who works for Wall Street, is he still working for Wall Street? And if we back Bernie backing Hillary backing Wall Street, are we good with Wall Street?

And, of course, Hillary will still be sailing full-steam ahead into more little wars and maybe a big one too with the Russian Bear in Ukraine. What Bernie's telling us, and acting accordingly, is that we should accept the DNC's stale bread, the whole loaf, all over again, for the next eight years. That may well be the future, but do you want to be complicit in that deal?

Time to forget the Berne and become a booster for Jill Stein so the Greens can get at least 5% of the vote for the sake of future funding. That should be extremely easy in 2016, unless sheepdoggers in both parties have their way with naive voters, young, middle-aged, or old.

annenigma said...

I'm with you, Jay.

Bernie is now sheep-dogging for the Democrats. He's also fulfilling his promise to support the Democratic nominee with no conditions attached, merely "because I always have".

He's not saying a word about Jill Stein, never mind joining with Ralph Nader to rally the troops. If anyone knows how to get things done, Nader does. He's been instrumental in the creation and passage of more important legislation* than Bernie has even dreamed of.

Bernie should have taken off the gloves to win but he didn't. He wouldn't have had to get dirty, he just needed to tell the whole TRUTH. He's a half-truth teller, truth be told.

I voted for him and even sent him a couple of average size contributions because as Karen said, he was best at domestic policy although I disagreed with his immigration policy. His foreign policy is essentially Obama's. He was also fundamentally inconsistent about bottom-up change, running a top-down campaign of political pros who created essentially an Obama retread/knockoff, right down to the slightly modified slogan, colors, and logo. As far as I know, he ignoring the original, creative ideas of of young people across the country who were developing web features to promote his campaign, which could be a model for the future just as his online campaign donations were. Bernie may be too stuck in old-school mode of thinking to have capitalized on all that free creative and passionately committed talent, or maybe at his age he couldn't handle the real excitement of a truly original, bottom-up campaign.

So now Bernie has put his hopes and faith, as well as our movement, in the dirty hands of the corrupt corporate Democratic Party. I don't think I've ever been more demoralized politically. The Dems aren't going to practice his policies even if they agree to them just to shut him up.

Bernie has preserved, at least for now, his own standing within a rigged, corrupt party and his status on committees within a rigged, corrupt system. He may be in for a rude awakening. His power does not exist without his supporters and they aren't allowed near the convention hall nor the halls of Congress and he's about to give his list of supporters to the DNC - after Debbie is thrown out I'm sure. Now that he's challenged Hillary and tarnished her godless, I mean goddess, image, there could be a special hell to pay - even if he's not a woman. They just need that list first!

There is so much he never said but could have, and he had a once in a lifetime opportunity to do so. That's his greatest failing as far as I'm concerned. Nevertheless, good has come out of it. Tis better to have run and lost than never to have run at all.

Re: Nader - There were 6 other third party candidates in Florida who each gained enough votes (>500 margin) to be considered the 'spoiler'. Also, wooden corporate stooge Al Gore selected war monger and dull-as-a-rock Joe Lieberman as his running mate. Those two duds were the real spoilers. We could have had President Nader and a whole new country by now if Democrats voted 'in their own best interest'.

* Clean Air Act
Clean Water Act
Consumer Credit Disclosure
Consumer Product Safety Act
Co-Op Bank Bill
Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Freedom of Information Act
Funeral Home Cost Disclosure
Environmental Protection Agency
Medical Devices Safety
Mine Health and Safety Act
Mobile Home Safety
National Automobile and Highway Traffic Safety Act
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act
Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act
Nuclear Power Safety
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
Pension Protection
Safe Water Drinking Act
Tire Safety & Grading Disclosure
Whistleblower Protection Act
Wholesome Meat Act
Wholesome Poultry Product Act

Flame Thrower Pearl said...

There is no way Bernie could have beaten Hillary for the nomination under the Democratic party's delegate setup and the best way to gain part of an agenda is to fight for it without muddying the waters with hateful rhetoric against those you cannot dislodge. He is pledged to spend his life fighting for what he stands for and I beg to differ about his foreign policy. I wonder if anyone has seen or heard his speech sent to membership about the Middle East which was delivered to George Town University, and a several page official document summing up of his record regarding foreign policy I read a while back, plus his public stance about Israel's treatment of Palestinians and building on stolen land, as well as his anti Iraq vote plus others. I am afraid sometimes that the ignoring of various items of his history has had an unbalanced effect on many progressives who have to face the fact that political revolutions succeed with time if supporters do not pull away with attacks that unravel the larger mission especially when it is in its infancy.

Bernie is an unexpected gift which has succeeded so far beyond even what he predicted and we should accept what he is offering to all of us. We can finetune many questionable things for which there was not enough time to take on, especially in the midst of continual confusion about the true facts of events unfolding daily. The only way the Democratic party can become the voice of the people as it once was, is to work from within and from the bottom up and maintaining oneself on minimum speaking terms with the enemy can keep doors open to strike when the time is ripe on many issues ahead, We have a whole country to educate and Bernie is planning to enlist the best minds to help in this gargantuan task. Already reports coming in of progressive people running for Congress is showing success due to his efforts.
And there is no one as politically left in the political spectrum as I am as proven by surviving McCarthyism by the skin of our teeth. You learn a lot in such a situation and recognize how to do battle when the time is ripe. And it is now if it is not destroyed.

Pearl said...

I want to correct one item about the video of his speech on foreign policy to George town University. It covered many areas and countries, not just the Middle East and I am sorry he did not bring it up again. He may have felt it was too controversial to get involved in before his position was more positive and clear.
It was a very gloves off speech which could have been attacked by the media and done damage and I felt it was a strong statement that was made.

Pearl said...

Yes, I do have questions about items he did not discuss or challenge but as a registered Democrat will bring them up when the Convention is over. Hopefully he will have enough clout to respond and consider how to deal with it.

Pearl said...

Correction: The speech at Georgetown University was about Democratic Socialism not foreign policy. I do not recall the name of the one on Foreign policy but he spoke openly about his views at another time which content I have not heard him repeat and would be interesting to bring up if it can be found. It could exhibit another side of Bernie about his views which is not well known.

Pearl said...

There are several detailed reports on Bernie's stand regarding foreign policy around the world in 'In the Issues'

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : In the Issues

Steve S said...

To me, at this point in this election cycle, the action question has become how to move HRC left. Put differently, how to move the Democratic Party left,so HRC cannot go too centrist. Having credible primary threats for current Democratic office holders forcing them left would probably do the trick. If Sanders quietly announced the plan and began to actively work to make it happen, the unrest within the minds of the office holders would likely do more than an aggressive challenge would. Implementing the policy might be difficult, but Sanders has the necessary base. Finding credible candidates would be the main difficulty.

Pearl said...

Steve S: As an example, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is losing ground in her Florida ward running again for Congress when progressive Tim Conova was supported by Bernie in challenging her, and money and voting support is having an effect. I think as you said, Bernie has the base and if as I hope he continues his inside battle of the Democratic party, may well have much effect on forcing Hillary to respond better to the voters. And his influence and vision will continue to be vital for changes in the future.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Thanks, Annenigma, for that list of legislative accomplishments credited to Ralph Nader. Talk about a civic educator, grassroots organizer, and lawyer of great integrity, active and successful over decades of American life. Not since President Johnson has any legislator or executive come close to the accomplishments of Nader and his associates, like Sidney Wolfe.

It's no mystery why the Washington crowd can't stand Nader: he makes them look so bad by comparison.

PEARL said...

The problem is that a third party in our country cannot survive the present system as has been proven many times in the past and especially with Nader's one man approach. Only someone like a Bernie Sanders who has already infiltrated a major party and will continue to do so can affect change from within. Nader was always seen as a dangerous outsider and like it or not his approach could not survive the current atmosphere. Surprisingly, Bernie has succeeded in overcoming the challenges by a lifelong proven commitment to change and connections to the powerful and has the best chance of succeeding despite attacks on him by many progressives who do not understand the only methods used that can succeed. I predict that he will not go to a third party but have great influence with others
within the Democratic fold and I believe his supporters understand this and do not view him as a sheepdog.
I strongly feel some of you are throwing away the only opportunity we have to create real change at a critical point in our history and closely watch what happens and is happening to affect the Congressional structure which can bring down the establishment house more rapidly. Then, a voice like Nader's can join in the chorus.

Karen Garcia said...

Bernie definitely has clout. Were it not for him, the Democratic leadership (Obama included)would never be touting an expansion of Social Security. They were still talking about cutting benefits as recently as the last party convention.

Then there's Debbie Wasserman Schultz, getting thrown under the bus by the Party and even bursting into tears over the weekend after relentless coverage of her and Hill's orchestration of the debate schedule. Bernie helped raise the profile of her primary challenger, Tim Canova, in the process.

So we'll have to see whether the Left (what's left of it) can finally get its act together and coalesce around some common progressive goals. As I wrote in a previous post, we have to make the Clincher flinch at every opportunity. It even worked with Nixon, once upon a time. (EPA, Title X, for example.)

Jay–Ottawa said...


You argue that third parties can get nothing done, given the entrenched two-party system, and should therefore be put out of mind by practical people going to the polls. Serious voters must pull the lever for the Democratic Ticket in 2016 because change can only come about by a reformer within a major party and that Sanders has "great influence with others within the Democratic fold." The reason: "Only someone like a Bernie Sanders who has already infiltrated a major party and will continue to do so can affect change from within."

Bottom Line: Are you telling us that we should vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton in November––or at least that you intend to vote for her––not because you like Clinton, not because she is the lesser of two evils (compared to Trump), but because Clinton and her party will never be able to shake off the good bulldog influence of committed reformer Bernie Sanders who continues to work within Democratic ranks?

annenigma said...

Activists Plot ‘World’s Largest Fart-In’ During Hillary’s DNC Speech

'Far-left activists aren’t going away quietly — or with a pleasant aroma.

Cheri Honkala, head of Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, is organizing the world’s largest ‘fart-in’ to be held on July 28 at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center during Hillary Clinton’s anticipated Democratic nomination acceptance speech.

"We will be holding a massive bean supper for Bernie Sanders delegates on American Street in my Kensington neighborhood on the afternoon of July 28," Honkala says, TruthDig reports.

“We are setting up a Clintonville there, modeled on the Hoovervilles of the 1930s where the poor and unemployed built shanty towns. The Sanders delegates, their bellies full of beans, will be able to return to the Wells Fargo Center and greet the rhetorical flatulence of Hillary Clinton with the real thing.”

Leftist author Chris Hedges will be offering a “nondemoniational” prayer at the dinner.

“I am happy to bless a meal that will be put to such effective political use,” Hedges says, according to TruthDig.

Pearl said...

Jay: for you to think that I would vote for Hillary is shocking. I plan to vote for Jill Steinem if there is no place to officially vote for Bernie. And I have urged everyone to not vote for Hillary even if Trump gets in and said so many times here. And that defeat of Trump is Hillary's problem if she gets the nomination.

Your bottom line paragraph makes no sense whatever no matter how I try to figure out what you are saying.

And I never told anyone (quite the contrary) to vote for the Democratic party if Bernie is not the nominee.

Third parties may succeed once we clean up the Democratic party but looking at countries with more than two parties don't seem to fare much better than a 2 party system at the moment. I would like to see a truly liberal progressive party develop in the Democratic Party which has happened before and now has a lineup of great people fighting to get into its offices. How about joining in their support Jay.
Surely there is someone running whose principles meet with your demands and perhaps if things move into the right direction, people like Jill Stein can join the political revolution happening within a changed Democratic party.

Kat said...

Karen-- great comment on Nik Kristof. He had no change of heart. Same old, same old "for their own good" crap. Of course he totally ignores the fact that there are many in poverty who are working jobs. Long acting birth control? How offensive! It is clear that he continues to believe that the the chief problem with poorpeople is that they are not properly inculcated with middle class values. He does mention a jobs program. But it is kind of secondary to his behavioral control policies. Sorry to say, Bernie screwed up big time when he did not make that the very center of his platform. I tend to agree with Anne that there was too much Obama retread going on in his campaign.

Karen Garcia said...

Thanks, Kat. I usually don't comment on his smarmy helicopter journalism, but this one made me mad enough to respond. As I noted in a follow-up comment to a reader who took issue with my critique, the piece smelled like just another concern-trolling whitewash of Clintonian sadism. Most others were amazed, simply amazed, that Kristof deigned to compassionately spend a few hours with a poor family.

Kristof claims that welfare "reform" (discontinuance of direct cash aid to the poor) was a huge mistake, since it sent millions of people into extreme poverty. Then he turns around and prescribes the same "solutions" currently being touted by Hillary herself. And I read "long-acting birth control" to mean permanent birth control. Why not just go one step further with mass sterilizations of the poor and "feeble-minded" like in the good old days? (The only reason that that policy fell out of American favor was because Hitler ruined it, going way overboard with its ideology) So the way I see it, Kristof is essentially selling 21st century eugenics cloaked in some really nice euphemisms. And, just like the Rockefeller Foundation-funded eugenicists of days gone by, he cares about poor people. He really, really cares.

I hope to expand on these thoughts in an upcoming post.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I think we can give up on the pipe dream of "change from within" the Democratic Party. They might give lip service to taking some of Bernie's ideas on board for consideration, just like Obama did, but the minute Hill is elected, she will go right on doing her corporate masters' bidding.

It is all words, people!

I am tired of voting for the Lesser of Two Evils. There is no TLOTE, evil is evil. This is the time to vote our conscience and to NOT cave in.

I have always been disgusted with Bernie (and Elizabeth Warren for that matter) for the arrogant way they have treated Ralph Nader. You are so right, JayOttawa. What would it have hurt Bernie to have said a few words of encouragement to the Ralph Nader group? And the get involved in local politics is pure Nader.

I appreciate that Bernie helped normalise the word socialism and that he got a lot of the important issues out in the political dialog but he made his pact with the Devil AKA the Democratic Party.

He'll cave in the end because he doesn't have the moral courage to be a Ralph Nader.

Jay–Ottawa said...


Sorry to have shocked you with my awkward question. I should have known better. It's just that with your despairing comments about the contribution of Third Parties, plus your low view of Nader's involvement in politics, combined with your unshakable belief that Bernie can wring meaningful reforms as an insider in Hillary's Democratic machine, I thought you had gone over to the dark side.

Good to hear you intend to vote Green. As for Bernie's influence on the Clinton administration, there, we part company: you down the path of hope, me the opposite way. Care to bet a Loonie that within four years of today you'll have lost the Berne:-)

Pearl said...

Jay: I would lose my loonie because in four years I would be 97 and between the stress of dealing with foreign and domestic difficult people I marvel that I am still breathing.

I hope you are still alive in 4 years and inherit either the misery or joy of what will transpire and be able to share it all with me.

I think I was a member of the Liberal party many years ago and watched as they fell apart due to arguments among each other. I have to check my facts on this one.

Pearl said...

If it was the New York Liberal party I was thinking about it indeed had endless drama of many backstabbings among its ever changing membership and finally passed away. Not surprising that when many well known people ran for office with its support, they did not make it. The more things change the more they seem to
remain the same.

Interestingly, during the early changes to a Liberal party, David Dubinsky, my former next door neighbor of the Amalgamated cooperatives in the Bronx, cleansed the party of its so called communist membership when first formed under his leadership. And it went from bad to worse until its demise.

General Jinjur said...

For Jay and Valerie