Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Feeling the Heartbern

 *Updated below.

Hope you had your gallon jug of Mylanta handy for the capitulation:

To be fair, Bernie Sanders has succeeded in getting the Democratic machine to at least give lip service (for purposes of convention unity P.R.) to such initiatives as free public college tuition for working and middle class families, an increase in the minimum wage to $15, and reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act. He failed abysmally at getting them to recognize that Palestinians are human beings possessing basic human rights. He failed to convince them to turn against Party Leader Obama and oppose ratification of the brutal corporate coup euphemized as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

And the endless wars, of course, will continue. Bernie didn't even try at anything close to pacifism. War is the essential glue holding all the bipartisans together.

So.... about that "revolution."

  According to Bernie Sanders, no world event will be more important than electing Hillary Clinton president in November 2016. There will be as few as possible disruptions at the party convention in Philadelphia later this month, because the hope balloon has already been popped. That promise of "taking this fight all the way to the convention?" Gone the way of the rotary phone and the used car salesman.

Hillary was her usual grimly gracious self at today's rally in New Hampshire. She allowed that Bernie's "passionate advocacy hasn’t always made him the most popular person in Washington. But you know what? That’s generally a sign you’re doing something right.”

Not that Hillary and her minions in the press ever thought Bernie was actually doing anything right by espousing Medicare for All and other "happy dreams." Until he capitulated, he and the "Berniebros" were smeared with a whole paintbox  full of slimy colors, ranging from racism to sexism to delusion to radical extremism to utopianism. Now that's all in the past, and Hillary, too, is embracing rainbows and puppies and unicorns. She's even honoring you with her generous willingness to accept your paltry $27 donations to supplement the billion or so she's raked in and will continue to amass from Wall Street and the polluters of mass destruction.

Applause, applause. (although a few Bernie Sanders fans did walk out in protest.)

To paraphrase the Empress-in-Waiting, we have to build those bonds of mutual respect between the police state and the oppressed masses.  Hillary used the smarmy passive tone in describing the epidemic of shootings by cops: “the tragedy, the tragedy of black men, and women and children killed in police incidents.”

Murder becomes a "police incident" in which innocents simply "get killed." 

(The neoliberal status quo is starting to squeeze my gut in a vise. Taking my first slug of Mylanta.)

 And, she went on, we must take back "our democracy" from the wealthy special interests of which, for purposes of manipulating populism in the service of elitism,  the Clintons are currently to pretending not to be a part.  Last time, the pandering was directed against vulture capitalist Mitt Romney. This time, it's Trump, who to Hillary's benefit, is Romney on crack and steroids with a side of racism and narcissism topped off by the froth of a dull-normal IQ.

To be fair to Hillary, she did speak one sentence of great universal truth today: "Talk is cheap."

And Bernie's body language said it all. As Hillary began speaking, he immediately began wiping his brow (or was it his eyes?) with the white handkerchief of surrender. There was no heat wave in New Hampshire today.

Congeal the Bernary!
Sorry to cut this post so short, but I'm starting to feel the churn. For lunch today I'm having another double shot of Mylanta with an Alka Seltzer chaser.

* I thought I had agita, but it's nothing compared to the indigestion suffered by New York Times columnist Andrew Rosenthal. While regular people (or should I say independent voters of all ages and millennials) are upset about Bernie's endorsement of Hillary, Rosenthal is miffed that it wasn't "inspiring" enough.

It didn't quite reach the over-the-top levels of Barack's own soaring oratory last week, but neither was it unenthusiastic to the ears of most (regular) people who heard it.

Rosenthal bitched just a few weeks ago about Bernie not getting off the pot, and now that the Vermont senator has finally dumped his concession, Rosenthal is complaining about the quality of the offal. He whines:
Bernie Sanders went off for a month to contemplate life after the revolution, and this was the best he could come up with? “Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that.”
So said Sanders at a rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday, where he appeared on stage with Hillary Clinton as an ally for the first time. As big events go, it felt pretty small, with Sanders waving his arms around and offering up his usual list of shouted slogans.
His real concern is that Sanders doesn't have the magical power to force his fans to vote for a deeply loathed candidate. Bernie fans aren't proper little lemmings, it seems.

So still very much stuck in my digestive disorder metaphor mode, I published this reply to Rosenthal:
The New York Times's heartbern just won't go away, will it?

Long after the "flailing arms" and the "shouted slogans" and the rallies are naught but wispy white-haired memory clouds floating high above the Green Mountain State, the elite pundits will still be reaching for their Mylanta, thinking of all the democratic horror that might have been... had they treated Bernie with any respect to begin with.

The outrage of Medicare for All, the nightmare of free college tuition, the threat that there would be no Trans-Pacific Partnership to enrich the corporations even more than they already are, still linger like bad acid reflux, judging from all the "sore winnerdom" displayed by the pundits lately.

Bernie-bashing seems a bit moot at this point, wouldn't you say? Or will you still be demanding "What does Bernie want?!?" a decade from now?

 Actually, I thought Sanders was almost too enthusiastic in his endorsement of Hillary Clinton. He shouted so much that he was forced to wipe the sweat (or was it tears?) from his face with a symbolic white hanky the moment she finally got her turn to faux-enthusiastically praise her faux-nemesis.

I would have preferred that he keep his promise of "taking this fight all the way to the convention"- if only to make the confab seem a little more exciting. The suspense is gone, the uncorked wine drunk (and upchucked) before its time.

Hillary's greatest, most truthful line in her grimly gracious speech: "Talk is cheap."


Jay–Ottawa said...

I have this dog; his name Bernie. Would you believe he can count? Watch. Here, boy: how much is two plus two? "Woof, woof, woof, woof." Good boy! Sheep dogs are so smart.

paintedjaguar said...

I'd been holding off on making any judgements before the convention, but this is disappointing. I've thought of Bernie as a weak-tea politician for years, but hoped he might have been raised above that by the wave of support he received. It seemed to me that the only way for him to have any influence going forward would be to maintain his base as a discrete faction, whether inside or outside the Democrats.

To me at least, such a full-throated endorsement of someone like Hillary destroys any credibility he had to lead such a faction. In retrospect, one can't help but think that Bernie's gentle treatment of her during the campaign was predicated on an expectation that he would eventually be endorsing. The one real weapon Sanders had in this fight was the public perception that he was speaking the truth, and trying to paint Hillary as a progressive destroys that. I expect it will put finis to the "movement". I hope I'm wrong -- we'll see.

It's a gut-wrenching moment, even if the outcome is what one expected all along. Not least because I believe the phenomenon behind Sanders was real -- probably the closest thing to an actual political revolution in my adult lifetime. I'm not sure what Bernie could or should have done at this point -- only that this was the wrong thing, and a waste of a unique opportunity.

Erik Roth said...

Three words: vote Jill Stein.

Elizabeth Adams said...

Well, the mass exodus from the Democratic Party has started earlier than the July 28-29 target. Many of us really thought he'd wait at least until the convention. I and many others have already switched to Green and plan to vote Stein. She got my vote in 2012.

paintedjaguar said...

Anybody else note Bernie's incredibly uncomfortable body language when he was standing behind Hillary? Rapid shifting from foot to foot with his hands clasped in front of himself. Looked as if he needed to pee really badly -- or could barely restrain himself from taking off at a gallop.

Neil said...

Condolences to Karen and those who feel betrayed by Sanders. It’s one thing to loose an election in an unconstitutional party/primary system after a good fight. It’s another to see your candidate shilling for HRC. Disgusting.

Sanders is still accepting campaign donations.

What Happens to the Leftover Campaign Money?


I found this comment by sadiej14 interesting:

"Could he use him in his re-election Senate campaign that he already has going (as an Independent no less)?"

Is Sanders an "Independent" again?

Party affiliation since 2015 (Wikipedia)


"In November 2015, Sanders announced that he would be a Democrat from then on, and will run in any future elections as a Democrat.[162][163][164] On February 4, 2016, Sanders said, "Of course I am a Democrat and running for the Democratic nomination."[165] In 2016, many additional sources, such as PBS,[166] The Wall Street Journal,[167] and CBS News[168] described Sanders as a Democrat."

"The United States Senate website includes pages that refer to Sanders as an Independent[169] as well as pages that refer to him as a Democrat. Some of the pages calling him a Democrat are dated before 2015, possibly in error or in reference to his caucusing with the Democrats, not his later-declared affiliation.[170] In 2016, his official Senate press releases still referred to him as an Independent,[171][172] or omitted party affiliation.[173]"

So is Sanders an "Independent" again?

On June 30, 2016 at 9:24 PM I wrote,


"On its face I still find it odd that Sanders joined the Democrat Party last year, after spending most of his political career as an independent socialist outside the two party duopoly. By joining the Democrat Party, Sanders appears to have strengthened the party. Sanders is not naive. So what really happened? HRC was not going to take any chances this time, not after getting trounced in 2008 by an upstart named Barack Obama."

"Did HRC and the DNC make a deal with Sanders to join the party and play his bit in the kabuki theater, in exchange for something? Was Sanders threatened, as Nonni Muss suggested? Perhaps a combination of deal/threat, otherwise known as dirty politics as usual."

So is Sanders an "Independent" again, now that his bit in the kabuki theater is done? Does anyone who donated money to Sanders feel deceived?

Burn It Down! Sanders and the Politics of Illusion


Pearl said...

Letter from Bernie Sanders to his supporters (Part 1 of 2):

I am writing you today to express my deep pride in the movement – the political revolution – you and I have created together over the last 15 months. When we began this historic campaign, we were considered fringe players by the political, economic and media establishment. Well, we proved them wrong.

We showed that the American people support a bold, progressive agenda that takes on the billionaire class, that fights for racial, social, economic and environmental justice and that seeks to create a government that works for all of us and not just the big campaign donors.

We mobilized over 13 million voters across the country. We won 23 Democratic primary and caucus contests. We had literally hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country. And we showed – in a way that can change politics in America forever – that you can run a competitive national grassroots campaign without begging millionaires and billionaires for campaign contributions.

Most importantly, we elevated the critical issues facing our country – issues the establishment has pushed under the rug for too long. We focused attention on the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in this country and the importance of breaking up the large banks who brought our economy to the brink of collapse. We exposed our horrendous trade policies, our broken criminal justice system, and our people's lack of access to affordable health care and higher education. We fought aggressively to address the crisis of climate change, the need for real comprehensive immigration reform, the importance of developing a foreign policy that values diplomacy over war, and so much more.

We have shown throughout this election that these are issues that are important to voters and that progressive solutions energize people in the fight for real change. What we have accomplished so far is historic – but our work is far from over.

This movement of ours – this political revolution – must continue. We cannot let all of the momentum we have achieved in the fight to transform America be lost. We will never stop fighting for what is right.

It is true that in terms of winning the Democratic nomination, we did come up short. But this election was never about me or any candidate. It was about the powerful coming together of millions of people to take their country back from the billionaire class. That was the strength of our campaign and it will be the strength of our movement going forward in the months and years ahead.

Pearl said...

Bernie's letter, (Part 2 of 3: two parts didn't fit!)
In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the creation of successor organizations to carry on the struggle that we have been a part of these past 15 months. I hope you will continue to be involved in fighting to transform America. Our goal will be to advance the progressive agenda that we believe in and to elect like-minded candidates at the federal, state and local levels who are committed to accomplishing our goals.

In terms of the presidential election this November, there is no doubt that the election of Donald Trump as president would be a devastating blow to all that we are fighting for. His openly bigoted and pro-billionaire campaign could precipitate the same decades-long rightward shift in American politics that happened after the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. That rightward shift after Reagan’s election infected not just politics as a whole but led to the ascendancy of the corporatist wing of the Democratic Party – an era from which we are still recovering.

I cannot in good conscience let that happen.

To have all of the work we have done in elevating our progressive ideals be dashed away by a complete Republican takeover of Washington – a takeover headed by a candidate that demonizes Latinos, Muslims, women, African Americans, veterans, and others – would be unthinkable.

Today, I endorsed Hillary Clinton to be our next president. I know that some of you will be disappointed with that decision. But I believe that, at this moment, our country, our values, and our common vision for a transformed America, are best served by the defeat of Donald Trump and the election of Hillary Clinton.

You should know that in the weeks since the last primary, both campaigns have worked together in good faith to bridge some of the policy issues that divided us during the election. Did we come to agreement on everything? Of course not. But we made important steps forward.

Hillary Clinton released a debt free college plan that we developed together which now includes free tuition at public colleges and universities for working families. This was a major part of our campaign’s agenda and a proposal that, if enacted into law, would revolutionize higher education in this country.

Secretary Clinton has also publicly committed to massive investments in health care for communities across this country that will increase primary care, including mental health care, dental care, and low-cost prescription drug access for an additional 25 million people. Importantly, she has also endorsed the enactment of a so-called public option to allow everyone in this country to participate in a public insurance program. This idea was killed by the insurance industry during consideration of President Obama’s health care program.

Pearl said...

Bernie's letter, conclusion:

During the Democratic platform proceedings in St. Louis and Orlando, we were victorious in including amendments to make it a clear priority of the Democratic Party to fight for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, expand Social Security, abolish the death penalty, put a price on carbon, establish a path toward the legalization of marijuana, enact major criminal justice reforms, pass comprehensive immigration reform, end for-profit prisons and detention facilities, break up too-big-to-fail banks and create a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act, close loopholes that allow big companies to avoid taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens and use that revenue to rebuild America, approve the most expansive agenda ever for protecting Native American rights and so much more.

All of these progressive policies were at the heart of our campaign. The truth is our movement is responsible for the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of our country. All of that is the direct result of the work that our members of the platform committee did in the meetings and that you have been doing over the last 15 months.

But none of these initiatives will happen if we do not elect a Democratic president in November. None! In fact, we will go backward. We must elect the Democratic nominee in November and progressive Democrats up and down the ballot so that we ensure that these policy commitments can advance.

It is extremely important that we keep our movement together, that we hold public officials accountable and that we elect progressive candidates to office at the federal, state, and local level who will stand with us.

As part of that effort, we still have a tremendous amount of work left to do in the Democratic Rules Committee that will be meeting in the coming weeks. We have to enact the kinds of reforms to the Democratic Party and to the electoral process that will provide us the tools to elect progressive candidates, to allow new voices and new energy into the Party, and to break up the excessive power that the economic and political elites in the Party currently have. As with our fights on the platform committee, that will only be possible if we stand together.

You should know that I intend to be actively campaigning throughout this election season to elect candidates who will stand by our agenda. I hope to see many of you at events from coast to coast.

In conclusion, I again want to express my pride in what we have accomplished together over the last year. But so much more must be done to make our vision a reality. Now more than ever our country needs our movement – our political revolution. As you have throughout this historic campaign, I ask for your ongoing support as we continue through the fall and beyond.

On a personal note, I cannot say with words how appreciative Jane and I are of the kindness, dedication and love we experienced from so many people across the country. We are deeply touched by it and will never, ever forget it.

Please let me know that you will stand with me to defeat Donald Trump, and to elect candidates who will stand by our agenda as part of the future of our political revolution. Add your name now.

Forever committed, forever fighting, forever forward,

Bernie Sanders

kevinschmidt said...

Looks like Jill Stein's popularity just increased over the threshold needed for her to be included in the debates.

RIP 2016
Democratic Party
Republican Party
They drove over the cliff together.

Ken Wallace said...

The power of the "party" prevails. The democratic party with all its professional class support and, more important, deep pockets, will not be dismissed or manipulated by an insurgent interloper. No doubt contributors to Bernie's campaign have fallen off drastically showing him that he cannot sustain an attack in force with small donations from the precariat. The only way to fix this is to fix campaign financing and one can only do that with a well financed, sustained battle (from the inside). Hence the unseemly embrace.

Bernie is too smart and too dedicated to capitulate. Let's give his some room on this. Time will tell.

Pearl said...

Ken: the reaction I hoped for. Bernie working from the inside, keeping connections is what I see as a possibility for change and reading today that Trump and Hillary are neck and neck is indeed something to be reckoned with. As Bernie said we cannot afford to erase all our work via a Trump presidency. I will have other comments to make in what I see that are not being paid attention to in all the anger at his endorsement of Hillary and why.
There is more than meets the eye going on.

Jay–Ottawa said...

I'm not a fan of Robert Scheer over at Truthdig, not since he advised us all to vote for Obama once again in 2012; but, after Bernie's latest scene in the theater of the absurd, Scheer may have shaken off the spell of Obama and the advocacy of lesser evilism. Anyway, he came up with a zinger about Hillary's favorite sheepdog in his article entitled, "E Tu, Bernie?" Very first sentence, Scheer hisses that he never imagined Sanders would "descend so cravenly into the swamp of political sellout."


I've read Bernie's letter to his (former) followers explaining the rationale for his sellout. I've listened to the words he voiced in endorsing Hillary before that great big American flag. This must be how empires fall: words come to mean nothing.

I'm hearing people say, I believe without irony, that Bernie is playing deep chess by choosing to work on the inside. I doubt the way to clear a swamp is to dog paddle beside the moccasins and the alligators.

Leading a third party, Bernie could have made history AND WON by quitting the Dems at the right moment. So many polls confirm that assertion in the process of measuring the growing dissatisfaction with Trump and Hillary. Nevertheless, Bernie chose to stick with the Democratic Party. A political whiz? Say bye-bye, Bernie believers. He's about to sink in quicksand.

Pearl said...

In those negotiations surely between Bernie and Hillary, he extracted some iron clad promises from her in order to endorse her and most surely will be offered an important appointment related to his interests when she is in office. In the education area, or in an area of his choosing. That is how things are accomplished in the political arena and let us acknowledge the reality of our world in every corner of human activity and support the people who are on that firing line of change instead of demolishing them. It cannot happen overnight and let us honor any achievements they are able to provide.

You are underestimating the younger generations coming into place politically from everything I have been hearing from others and they want to hear words of hope and promise to do their part as Bernie and his like. I respect the differences between us, but is it not possible that you and others are damaging prospects of the future for others?

As Ken Wallace said:
'Bernie is too smart and too dedicated to capitulate. Let's give him some room on this. Time will tell.'

Jay–Ottawa said...

"Time will tell."

Wrong tense. Time has told us over and over again in brilliant technicolor, ever since Arkansas, about Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and their tight crowd.

The distrust factor is polling at record levels against Hillary. Bernie's endorsement hasn't put the brakes to those negative numbers. If this isn't the time to vote Third Party, WITH GREAT EFFECT, pray tell me when?

Who are the leading backers of Hillary? Let me count the wayans. You place hope in their Wall Street friends who continue to shovel money into Clinton pockets? You trust the Saudis, who do the same? You trust the neocons, whose policies she has championed? You trust Obama, who has delivered her unto us? You trust Netanyahu, AIPAC, NAFTA, TTIP, TPP? You trust Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC, which rules the Democratic Party? Do you really suppose Bernie has neutralized enough of those show stoppers for the middle and lower classes to be set right again over the next 4-8 years under Hillary and her gang?

Your answer is 'yes' when you follow Bernie's path and vote for Hillary. And you're encouraging us to do the same? Pearl, you're lifting the Cool-Aid too close to your lips....

Neil said...

A ruling is in on delegates and Trump,

Virginia law binding delegates to vote for Trump violates First Amendment, federal judge rules


Memorandum opinion (65 pages) by U.S. District Judge Robert Payne


Hanging on Pearl said...

I don't trust any of the above people and organizations you listed but there is a definite possibility that Tim Canova will rid the party of Debbie Wasserman Schultz for a good start. And there are others who will do likewise. Stay tuned.

I know a great deal about third party possibilities from past actual involvement and this is not the time to rely on their strength and ability to help destroy the establishment. I will vote for Jill Stein and hope she supports Bernie in the future.
And I am allergic to Kool-Aid.

Jamie said...

A man who voted to gift the MIC with 700 billion for the F35, decides to support a neoliberal warmonger ... who woulda thunk it!