This is the “man” we Americans probably deserve, and no, he is not without precedent (three words: George. Walker. Bush.).
Slate.com this past week published an awful, condescending, fundamentally misguided piece by one Darby Saxbe, who incredibly stupidly compared Bernie Sanders’ current run for the White House to Ralph Nader’s in 2000.
In the year 2000, fresh out of college, I cast my second-ever presidential election vote for Ralph Nader. Later that night, I watched in horror as the contest between Al Gore and George W. Bush ended in an unprecedented electoral college toss-up, leading to a messy recount battle and the infamous Supreme Court decision Bush v. Gore.
The chosen successor of a popular incumbent administration, Gore should have sailed to victory on the strength of the economy alone, yet he conceded the election to Bush, a candidate initially considered too unserious to be a true contender.
Gore lost Florida by 537 votes. Nader received almost 100,000 votes in Florida. And he actively campaigned in swing states, including Florida, in the lead-up to the election. If Nader had quit the race and thrown his support to the Democrats, we might be reminiscing about a Gore administration right now.
And I share the blame. Now, before you post mean things in the comments, let me clarify: I voted in New York state, which went blue in 2000, so my individual vote did not help swing the election. But I still feel complicit. I jumped on the Nader bandwagon and bought into a set of beliefs that seemed right to me at the time but were proven very wrong over the eight years that followed. …
“Now, 16 years later, I look back on my young, Nader-voting self and see plenty of parallels with the college students who are feeling the Bern,” the writer continues, and it doesn’t get any better from there.
The writer admits early on that she voted in New York state, and of course in 2000 New York and all of its electoral votes went to Al Gore. So the writer’s vote for Nader didn’t contribute to Gore’s loss at all. Nor did my vote for Ralph Nader here in California in 2000 contribute to Gore’s loss, since all of California’s electoral votes went to Gore.
Duh. Right in the opening paragraphs, the writer pretty much negates her entire piece.
Other than the fact that they’re both fire-breathing progressives — whom we sorely need in office in order to reverse decades of damage wreaked upon the nation and the planet by the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — comparisons between Bernie and Ralph usually are lame.
Bernie is running for president from within the Democratic Party. Ralph ran for president from without the Democratic Party — which was his constitutional right to do, but to hear the Democratic Party hacks tell it, only certain people (that is, anointed members of the Democratic Party establishment) may run for the presidency. (Fuck democracy!)
And, of course, a huge difference between Bernie and Ralph is that Bernie is running in the Democratic presidential primary race; he’ll make it to the general election in November as the Democratic Party presidential nominee or he won’t (he probably won’t [I give him about a one-in-three chance of swaying the super-delegates to his side]), whereas Nader ran in the November general election in a third-party (Green Party) presidential bid, something that, again, fully was within Nader’s rights to do, but that I’m 99 percent sure Bernie won’t do (run as an independent or as a third-party candidate, that is; I’m pretty sure that it’s too late for him to do that even if he wanted to, which he has shown zero signs of intending to do).
The only apt comparison between Sanders and Nader, besides the fact that they’re progressives (and thus, ironically, true Democrats), is that the Democratic Party hacks’ mindset of refusing to be analytical and, if necessary, actually critical of their own milquetoast, center-right, corporate-ass-licking party hasn’t much changed at all.
Al Gore was a weak candidate who didn’t win even his home state of Tennessee in 2000. The vote in Florida never should have been close enough for George W. Bush & Co. to be able to steal the 2000 election with the help of then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Given that the recount in Florida was stopped by the court, we can’t say that Gee Dubya actually won the state by 537 votes. We’ll never know the actual, accurate vote totals for president for Florida in 2000. So no, we can’t blame Ralph. We should blame ourselves for not having rioted in the streets when BushCheneyCorp just fucking stole the White House in late 2000, the greatest blow to our so-called democracy in my lifetime. We, the people, just fucking let that happen.
Gore ran a weak presidential campaign — true, to be fair, he probably was hamstrung to at least some degree by Bill Clinton’s late-1990s sex scandal (replete with semen-stained blue dress) and impeachment — but the Democratic Party hacks never have owned up to Gore’s weakness (and how Bill Clinton contributed to it). Instead, they’ve continued to shit and piss on Ralph Nader to this day.
You don’t improve if you fucking refuse to admit that you even have a problem, and so now we see a replay: The Democratic Party hacks refuse to own up to DINO Billary Clinton’s inherent weaknesses. They don’t want to talk about how she’s upside down in the favorability polls of the nationwide electorate by double fucking digits (or how Bernie is right-side up in the favorability polls by or almost by double digits). They don’t want to talk about how while the widely nationally despised Billary beats Donald Trump by only around 1 percent to 4 percent, Bernie beats Trump by around 10.8 percent to 11.2 percent.
But if we just don’t mention how weak Billary is, then everything will be OK! Magically, her weakness only exists if someone who is left of center dares to utter something about it! Loose lips sink ships!
And when Billary loses to Donald Trump in November, we won’t blame her, but we’ll blame Bernie Sanders. That’s The Way of the Democratic Party Hack/Billarybot.
If it even can be done at all, it’s probably going to take many more years to convince Democrats and Democratic leaners to stop voting against their own best interests by supporting self-serving, center-right, multi-millionaire sellouts like Billary Clinton, actually believing that that’s the best that we can do.
After all, the Democratic Party didn’t degrade overnight, but over the course of many years. The Clintons, in cahoots with the center-right/Repugnican-Lite Democratic Leadership Council, ruined the Democratic Party in the mid-1980s and 1990s, and Caretaker in Chief President Hopey-Changey has done precious little to nothing to reverse the damage that the DINO Clintons have wreaked upon the party (and the nation and, by extension, the world).
If we progressives don’t take the Democratic Party back* with Bernie Sanders, we’ll take it back with someone else — with Elizabeth Warren and/or with whomever else emerges in a leadership position or positions.
We are patient.
In the meantime, Bernie Sanders is right to continue to fight for as many delegates as he can get (of both the pledged/democratically earned and the “super” kind), and it’s his right to contest the convention in late July.
Right now Billary has an estimated 1,770 pledged delegates, still more than 600 short of the 2,383 delegates that she or Bernie needs to sew up the nomination; it’s still too early to coronate her. Bernie right now has an estimated 1,500 pledged delegates, which is 46 percent to Billary’s 54 percent.
Given how poorly Billary has polled against Trump for months now, and given how upside down her favorability has been for months now, Bernie is close enough in the pledged delegate count — 0nly 8 percent behind Billary — to make the compelling case to the super-delegates at the convention that if they want the Democratic Party to win the White House in November, he’s their better bet, hands down.
Not that the super-delegates will do the right thing; most of them pretty much by definition are bleating party hacks, after all, and, after all, when they do the wrong thing and nominate Billary and she loses to Donald Trump in November (which is easy to see happening — especially after dumbfuck “President” George W. Bush took the White House), they always can blame Bernie, right? They certainly won’t be to blame!
I hope that Bernie fights for absolutely everything he can get, and that he doesn’t continue to accept the token scraps that the Democratic Party hacks throw his way, such as how he has been able to pick only five of the 15 members of the committee that will put together the party’s platform for the convention.
Bernie should get at least 46 percent of the membership of platform committee (which calculates to seven of the 15 members), but he’s getting only a third of them. Think about that. Think about that and how the Democratic National Committee/Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Team Billary and the Democratic Party hacks/Billarybots have been rejecting claims that Bernie has been screwed throughout this entire process, yet while he has garnered 46 percent of the vote thus far, he gets to pick only five platform committee members, Billary gets to pick six, and Wasserman Schultz, who is a Billarybot, gets to pick four, which means that 10 of the 15 platform committee members, two-thirds of them, are on Billary’s side — despite Billary’s having garnered only 54 percent of the vote thus far.
True, the party platform is mostly bullshit; like evil corporations have their lovely mission statements but continue to do whatever the fuck they want to do anyway, the Democratic Party (certainly under a President Clinton II, anyway) won’t hold itself to its own platform, but I’m disappointed that Team Bernie apparently has settled for only five members on the platform committee — token that the whole exercise of the creation of the party platform is anyway.
Finally, it strikes me that we — all of us, Democrat and Repugnican (and everything else) — don’t deserve a President Sanders but fully deserve a President Trump.
Of course the whole thing was a fucking hoax, but it has illustrated beautifully how the average Democrat has the maturity and the intellectual level of a junior-high-school student, and it illustrates that identity politics, along with its twin, political correctness, have fucking paralyzed the members of the Democratic Party, who mostly ignore larger, much graver issues like climate change and insane income inequality and focus instead on relatively petty bullshit like violations (real or perceived or even faked) of their precious “safe space.”
We’ll ignore Billary Clinton’s war hawkishness (including her vote in the U.S. Senate for the unelected Bush regime’s disastrous, illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War and her slavish devotion to the right-wing, mass-murderous Israel), we’ll ignore Billary’s love of fracking (fuck/frack the planet!), we’ll ignore her being a Wall-Street-lovin’ multi-millionaire who supports only a $12-an-hour federal minimum wage, we’ll ignore her missteps in Libya and her keeping her government e-mails on her own home-brewed e-mail server (which aren’t just Repugnican-stoked scandals, that “vast, right-wing conspiracy 2.0,” you know, but which are indicative of her character and her judgment) — but we’ll go ape shit over false reports that a song with homophobic lyrics (horrors!) was played at a Bernie Sanders rally!**
Again: We fucking deserve a President Trump. Like attracts like, and we on the “left” are attracting Donald Trump right to us like a fucking mega-magnet.
*With Ralph Nader’s run in 2000, I had had high hopes that the Green Party would grow and have electoral significance, but, unfortunately, it has been rather moribund since then.
Yes, I switch my voter registration back and forth between the Green Party and the Democratic Party, and I voted for Nader in 2000 and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in 2012, but I did vote for John Kerry in 2004 (in the high hopes of denying “President” George W. Bush a second term) and I did fall for the ubiquitous, relentless promises of hope and change in 2008 and vote for Barack Obama, which I just couldn’t bring myself to do again in 2012, given how ineffective and mostly inconsequential he has been.
If it’s between Billary and El Trumpo in November, I probably will vote for Jill Stein again. I certainly won’t for Evil or for the “Lesser” Evil.
Anyway, my point is that it’s easier for us progressives to take back the Democratic Party from the center-right hacks who hijacked it than it is to create a third, progressive party or to grow an existing third, progressive party (such as the Green Party), and Bernie Sanders has laid a strong foundation for us progressives to take back the Democratic Party, which is where we should put our time, money and energy.
I mean, the buzz is that Democratic National Committee boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz might be booted even before the convention in July, so we’re making progress. (But Wasserman Schultz’s head on a silver platter, as nice as that would be, won’t make Billary Clinton an acceptable Democratic Party presidential candidate — just making that crystal clear. Wasserman Schultz is just one of many rotten apples in the Democratic Party barrel.)
**Don’t get me wrong; I’m a gay man and of course I’m all in for equal rights, human rights and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, but I recognize that there are larger issues, such as climate change and income inequality. (These issues are larger in that an uninhabitable planet will render all of our other problems rather moot, and in that income inequality harms many more people than does oppression based upon sexual orientation and gender identity, although, of course, we can and we must walk and chew gum at the same time. That we can and/or should focus on only one or two issues at a time is incorrect; we must be multi-taskers.)
I have no doubt that Bernie Sanders solidly is on the side of us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, and so even if a song with homophobic lyrics had been played at one of his rallies, it certainly wouldn’t have been at his direction, and it very most likely would have been a stunning oversight by a staffer, not an intentional slight.
That people (Billarybots, mostly) jumped all over the false report speaks volumes about them and their craven mindset, including how desperate they are to ignore the largest issues in this campaign, because Billary is awful on all of them.