Saturday, May 7, 2016

Bernie Sanders: Old and In the Way

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)
I'm surprised no one of any note, influence or consequence has accused Senator Bernie Sanders of being old and in the way. If they ever do, then he should take that as a compliment and keep shuffling his way to Philadelphia.
     I could be accused of simplistic, one dimensional thinking when I say this but it bears repeating in plain, unvarnished English: Bernie Sanders has exceeded the expectations of his own supporters, the DNC and especially Hillary Clinton's campaign. Without relying on corporate donations or those from any special interest groups, 527's, Super PACs or the like, the Vermont Senator has regularly outraised Hillary's reborn juggernaut and her countless corporate investors and bundlers. In other words, his campaign is entirely publicly financed.

     If you count the regular delegates, you can see Sanders is keeping pace with Clinton, being just 321 delegates behind her, still putting him well within reach of the Democratic nomination. It's only when one looks at the collusive, ultra corrupt super delegate vote count when you see the true tale of the tape. Hillary's chances of getting the nomination would be very jeopardized if it weren't for so-called super delegates (of which her husband is one) made up largely of Blue Dog party insiders and corporate lobbyists that dog every Clinton campaign like Zig-Zags follow the Grateful Dead.
     In other words, in order to have even a chance at winning, the Clinton campaign, true to form, has to rely on collusion from Debbie Wasserman Schultz's DNC, over $15 million in Wall Street money, crooked primaries and voter purges and lobbyists and specially interested entities pledging their super delegate votes to Hillary before the first primary or caucus had even been run. And despite this massive hamstringing, Bernie still keeps pace with her, especially after his win in Indiana, hanging on like grim death.
     He has had to endure his own Deflategate-esque voter data base "scandal" that turned out to be pure bullshit. Despite her shadow-boxing with Wall Street, Clinton still took in by the end of last year over $21,000,000 in bribes from hedge funds, banks, insurance companies and other self-interested parties who plainly see in Hillary a much better bet in terms of investment dividends. She'd had her paid trolls take down Sanders Facebook walls by posting kiddie porn on them the night before the five state mid Atlantic primary last week and her lobbyist surrogates are writing hit pieces on Sanders and acting as ghost writers for big city mayors.
The Not So Silent Right Wing Majority
     Hillary's surrogates on Twitter and elsewhere are becoming as desperate, scared and unhinged as the Bushbots over a decade ago when Junior was beating back the possibility of being a one termer like his wimpy Dad. They use the same tactics, the same twisted brand of "logic" previously peculiar only to right wing nut jobs and regard those providing them with facts about their crooked Goldwater Girl as "arrogant."
     Suddenly, Bernie marching with Dr. King during the famous March on Washington is a bad thing as was his stand against segregation that got him arrested in Chicago. Hillary backers are so desperate to disparage the Vermont Senator they openly question with sneers on their faces why, if he's an Independent, he's running under the same Democratic banner as Hillary. These are the very same people who, up until this election, had no problem with Sanders running, and winning, as an Independent as a Senator as long as he caucused with the Democrats.
     When I hear that, I hear, "How dare someone give our Blue Dog a workout?"
     But Sanders running as a Democrat isn't mere triangulating, a vulnerable old politician's desperate attempt to run under a legitimate banner. Sanders speaks of a revolution, one that needs to germinate from within an astoundingly and shockingly corrupt Democratic Party that, as per Joe Overton, has moved so far to the right as to become indistinguishable from the Republican party of 40 years ago.
     But when Sanders speaks of a revolution, Hillarybots snort and say that he's a dreamer who's unmoored from reality, they point accusingly to his proposal to raise taxes and resort to the tried-and-true Republican tactic of scaring people by claiming Bernie's out to get your money. (In point of fact, recognizing the middle class and poor are on life support, Sanders' tax hike would, as one should expect, most conspicuously affect the 1%).
     And since when did dreaming of a better United States become a bigger evil than simply maintaining the status quo that Hillary so capably represents? And since when were such dreams not financed by tax increases? To name just a few large and basic examples, this is how we fund Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, public education and the Eisenhower Highway System that literally changed the face and history of America.

You May Say I'm a Dreamer. But I'm Not the Only One.
      Hillarybots, taking the Queen Bee's cue, openly sneer to Bernie backers that dreaming is too hard and we should learn to be "pragmatic". If pragmatism in HillaryWorld means being unquestionably and obediently complacent about a ruinous status quo that always, always, always works for the enrichment of the 1%, then yes, we should be pragmatic and not waste time on silly dreams of a better world that will actually, you know, take some elbow grease. Because dreams aren't wishes or rights magically and automatically granted by a leprechaun or genie just out of a bottle. Dreams require hard work and sacrifice and are privileges that have to be earned. Hillarybots all too blithely forget this when contemptuously dismissing Sanders' plans and dreams. But the young haven't forgotten. And they're the ones most often rolling up their shirtsleeves.
     It would be a legitimate question. should anyone have the nerve to ask it: How many of Bernie's Millennials would have still voted for him during this shambles of a primary and caucus season if he had decided to run as a Independent? The answer is almost surely, "Not as many." Hillarybots strenuously ignore the fact that the 20somethings and first-time voters coming out in droves for Bernie Sanders streaming into the Big Blue Tent could possibly represent the party's future. And, for unknown and unknowable reasons, that scares them out of their wits.
     Perhaps, in their reptilian brains, Hillary backers are just smart enough to know that true revolutionaries (and not the mere self-aggrandizing banana republic kind) think well beyond their own lifetimes and are content with establishing the framework for a lasting and constructive revolution that will upset if not outright eradicate the cherished status quo of aging Hillary voters.
     And depending on the shade of blue of your political stripe, Bernie Sanders is both all right and all wrong for the office for which he's running. If he has to return to the Senate, he should do so with his disheveled head held high regardless of who wins the presidency. Because everything worth achieving begins with a dream.
     What Hillary wants to achieve will begin with a carefully calculated scheme, midwifed by focus groups and steering committees made up of the right wingers whose support she's even now seeking.


At May 7, 2016 at 7:17 PM, Anonymous CC said...

Clinton's camp is already considering the (remote) possibility of making Sanders her running mate.

Sanders had better not accept her invitation if it materializes.

He ought to know that making him an insider makes him easier to control.

At May 7, 2016 at 9:20 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

From a purely philosophical point of view, wouldn't electing him President make him the ultimate insider?

At May 8, 2016 at 5:42 PM, Anonymous CC said...

It would, but he'd answer to himself (and the voters) instead of to someone else, even though the mainstream Dems would try as hard as they can to steer him in their direction.

That's one of the knocks on Sanders from the Clinton camp: if he's elected, he's expected to have virtually no allies in Congress.

But, if Clinton were elected, the Republicans would come out gunning for her - perhaps more than they'd gun for Sanders. If they retain control of Congress, she'd have trouble passing legislation, too.

With Sanders, if he's serious about his revolution and is willing to have his feet held to the fire by the people, then his adversaries in Congress may at least back down.

With Clinton, unless she undergoes a radical attitude adjustment, she'd have trouble inspiring many people. Her party can also expect further midterm losses in 2018.

That's just my intuition.

At May 8, 2016 at 7:20 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

As usual, we concur.


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