Associated Press photo
The Des Moines Register yesterday endorsed Billary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, but it also had endorsed her in 2008 and she came in third place there. To be this out of touch and out of step with those whose best interests you are supposed to serve is what it means to be part of the establishment. (Speaking of Iowa, where Iowans will caucus just eight days from now, Real Clear Politics’ average of recent Iowa polls right now has Billary up over Bernie by 7.2 percent, but the Huffington Post’s average has Billary up by only 3 percent. RCP has Bernie up over Billary in New Hampshire by 12.8 percent, and HuffPo has Bernie beating Billary in New Hampshire by 11 percent. The New Hampshire primary is on February 9.) Bernie Sanders is pictured above campaigning in Fort Dodge, Iowa, last week.
This past week the Billarybots once again attacked Bernie Sanders — the degree to which they attack him is indicative of how likely it’s looking that Billary Clinton might lose at least the early states in the Democratic Party primary contest — and this time it was over his having stated to Rachel Maddow recently that “Some of these groups [that have endorsed Billary Clinton for president] are, in fact, part of the establishment.”
Once again, Bernie just spoke the truth.
I should start by defining such terms as the “establishment,” “establishmentarian” and “establishmentarianism,” at least in terms of what those words mean to me (and I do suspect that “establishmentarian” and “establishmentarianism” won’t be found in any dictionary, but perhaps only on this blog and in a few cases elsewhere).
My definition of “establishmentarian” would be a description of an individual or a collection of individuals (an organization) that perhaps once started out being truly helpful to and representative of the common person, but that, over a period of time, became calcified, insulated and probably corrupt (I define “corruption” broadly, as the abuse of power, which may or may not involve actual technical criminality), and stopped being nearly as helpful to and representative of the common person it is supposed to be helpful to and representative of as it started being helpful to and representative of those relative few who are in charge of the organization (usually pulling in a hefty salary).
I can name many examples. The Democratic Party comes to mind immediately. Not all of its individual members are, of course, but its national apparatus, the Democratic National Committee, certainly is establishmentarian.
If it weren’t so out of touch and out of step with those whom it’s supposed to serve and represent, it (well she [DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz]) wouldn’t make such unpopular, tone-deaf decisions as to try to deprive the Bernie Sanders campaign access to its own voter data in order to even further rig the game for Billary Clinton.
My union, Service Employees International Union, stopped being representative of its membership long ago, as I have written. SEIU today is all about those at the top of its food chain. We dues-paying cash cows at the bottom remain — dues-paying cash cows at the bottom. SEIU endorsed Billary over Bernie without giving us dues-paying members a vote in the matter at all.
The Human Rights Campaign, to which I used to give money in the wake of the passage of Proposition Hate here in California — yes, on Election Day in November 2008 we elected our first non-white president, but here in California, my constitutional right to marry whom I please was voted down by haters — is incredibly establishmentarian.
I stopped supporting the Human Rights Campaign some years ago after it became crystal clear to me that it’s a group of pro-corporate hacks who don’t care whatsofuckingever what damage mega-corporations do to human beings or to the planet, as long as the offending corporations just say that they’re pro-gay — and, of course, give money to HRC. (If your initials are “HRC,” you are a whore for corporate cash. Just sayin.’)
In October 2009 I blogged an open letter to then-HRC President Joe Solmonese. (You can read it here.) In that letter I blasted Solmonese for HRC’s support of awful corporations, and I see from the home page of HRC’s website that things haven’t changed — on HRC’s home page are little ads for numerous corporations (I’d write “evil corporations,” but that’s fairly redundant), including Bank of America, British Petroleum, Chevron, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Northrop Grumman, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Prudential and Shell. (Its full[er] list of corporate sponsors [which it calls “corporate partners” — so they are partners in crime? — is here.)
It’s a rogue’s gallery of bad actors that HRC partners (in crime) with, and since HRC’s corporate sugar daddies (perhaps the diabetes-loving Coca-Cola and PepsiCo especially could be called “sugar daddies”) look just like a list of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s corporate sugar daddies, can it come as any surprise that HRC endorsed HRC?
The Human Rights Campaign is a bunch of gay fascists, by which I mean the dictionary-definition of the term “fascist” (mostly, in this case, a coziness with corporations out of a lust for power). The corporatized zombies of HRC are soulless sellouts and they’re most definitely establishmentarian, because they have zero conscience — and because their organization isn’t democratic, but is top-down.
In the wake of the latest establishmentarian smears on the daring-to-tell-the-awful-truth Bernie, the journalistic website The Intercept has published a great article detailing how organizations arrived at their decision to endorse Billary (over Bernie) for president. The aforementioned SEIU and HRC both are included in the helpful chart in the article. Here is a copy-and-paste of that chart:
How Organizations Endorsed:
|Organization||Who They Endorsed||Their Endorsement Process|
|American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)||Hillary Clinton||Executive council vote following polling of membership|
|Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)||Hillary Clinton||Executive board vote informed by membership poll|
|American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)||Hillary Clinton||Executive board vote after collecting member feedback|
|American Federation of Teachers (AFT)||Hillary Clinton||Executive council vote after non-binding survey of membership in summer 2015|
|Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence||Hillary Clinton||Did not respond to requests about how decision was made|
|Human Rights Campaign||Hillary Clinton||Board of directors vote|
|International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)||Hillary Clinton||Executive board vote|
|League of Conservation Voters||Hillary Clinton||Board of directors vote based on recommendation from political committee|
|NARAL Pro-Choice America||Hillary Clinton||PAC committee, staff, and president decision|
|National Education Association (NEA)||Hillary Clinton||Executive board and PAC council vote|
|Service Employees International Union (SEIU)||Hillary Clinton||Executive board vote|
|United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW)||Hillary Clinton||Executive board and president’s collective decision after focus groups and polling with members|
|American Postal Workers Union||Bernie Sanders||Executive board vote|
|Communications Workers of America (CWA)||Bernie Sanders||Three-month process involving meetings, discussion, culminating in an online vote|
|Democracy for America||Bernie Sanders||Open online vote|
|MoveOn||Bernie Sanders||Open online vote|
|National Nurses United||Bernie Sanders||Executive council vote after internal poll showed overwhelming support for Sanders|
|Working Families Party||Bernie Sanders||Open online vote followed by national advisory board action|
The apt title of The Intercept article that includes this chart is “Bernie Sanders Gets Group Endorsements When Members Decide; Hillary Clinton When Leaders Decide.”
When a democratic and inclusive process is used, Billary usually doesn’t win. What does that say about her?
Again, note that both SEIU and HRC made top-down decisions. There was no vote by the membership, by those who fund the salaries of those at the top. (Well, in HRC’s “defense,” apparently a huge chunk of their budget comes from their corporate partners in crime, but SEIU’s budget comes from members of the working class.)
SEIU and HRC weren’t going to risk an actually democratic process choosing the “wrong” candidate, you see. What does that say about SEIU and HRC (and the many other establishmentarian organizations that operate just like they do)?
Ditto, of course, for the also-anti-democratic Democratic National Committee, which is why we saw 25 presidential primary debates in 2008 (and 15 in 2004 and nine in 2000) but have only six in this cycle. (And three of the four debates thus far have been on a Saturday or Sunday night.)
Bernie Sanders specifically has been criticized for his having mentioned on Rachel Maddow’s show the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood (both of which recently had endorsed Billary over him) as being “part of the establishment.” He also mentioned them as having been cozy with Billary for years, and that’s absolutely true; if you check out my 2009 post about how craven HRC is, you will see a photo of then-President Solmonese being quite cozy with Billary.
I don’t know much about the internal workings of Planned Parenthood, but Planned Parenthood, which is not listed in The Intercept’s chart above, also apparently made a top-down decision to endorse Billary, its first-ever endorsement in a presidential primary contest. That certainly gives it a whiff of establishmentarianism to me.
That said, I have supported Planned Parenthood, as not only do I support women’s right to make their own reproductive choices, but population control is necessary for everyone’s quality of life. (As a gay man, I won’t be inseminating any woman soon, so my benefit from PP is indirect and not immediate, and for me my support for PP has been about the good of the collective. [Also, we gay men also are targets of the patriarchy, so I don’t see women’s issues as being detached from me, and while I detest the toxic identity politics that so many so-called “feminists” employ these days — such as to ignore Billary Clinton’s evil and to support her primarily or even only because she apparently possesses the XX chromosomes — I do consider myself to be a feminist.])
I have donated to Planned Parenthood recently — before its misguided presidential endorsement of Billary earlier this month. At least pretty much every time that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have attacked PP on the national stage, I have given PP a donation.
I don’t know when (or perhaps even if) I’ll donate to PP again, truth be told. PP apparently endorsed Billary primarily because she is a woman — not entirely unlike the Human Rights Campaign’s crime of ignoring the abuses of its corporate sponsors and just going with the selfish, short-sighted identity politics (if the corporate sponsors harm human beings and even the entire fucking planet as their business model, so what? They say they’re gay-friendly, and that’s all that matters!).
The hacks in charge of HRC, PP, SEIU, et. al. perhaps truly believe that Billary has the best shot at winning the White House. I disagree with them — and so do the polls, which find Bernie doing better against Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio than does Billary — and the fact that an organization would endorse a candidate who says she supports the commoner but does the bidding of her corporate sponsors makes me believe that the endorsing organization, too, is more about its corporate sponsors/partners in crime than it is about the welfare of those whom it is supposed to serve.
I will leave you with a final textbook example of establishmentarianism: The Des Moines Register, Iowa’s largest newspaper, yesterday endorsed Billary Clinton and Marco Rubio as their parties’ presidential nominees.
That might sound like a real fucking coup for both Billary and Bootstraps, until you read these little tidbits from Reuters: “Since beginning the practice [of endorsing presidential candidates] in 1988, only three of the nine candidates the newspaper has endorsed have left the state with the most votes” and “The Register previously endorsed Clinton during her 2008 presidential run … [but] Barack Obama ultimately won the Iowa caucus and Clinton finished third behind John Edwards.”
The Register very apparently is out of touch and out of step with Iowans. I mean, the proof is in the pudding.
Again, that’s what it means to be establishmentarian: To have lost your way somewhere along the way to the point that you no longer represent the best interests of those whose best interests you’re supposed to represent, but you represent only your own selfish interests.
When and if Bernie Sanders or someone else calls you out on it, you can counterattack and deflect all you want, but eventually, one day, the truth will set us commoners free of you and the harm that you have been causing us through your self-serving betrayal of us.
P.S. Kudos to the inclusive, democratic groups — like the Communications Workers of America, National Nurses United, MoveOn and Democracy for America (I belong to both MoveOn and Democracy for America, and I wish that I belonged to a real union) — that gave their membership a meaningful say in their presidential endorsements.
You can’t have just one or a relative few (or even a literal few) people at the top of an organization make the endorsement and then claim that that endorsement reflects the wishes of the membership as a whole.
Such oligarchic — establishmentarian — endorsements are meaningless. They are power grabs, not democracy.