Tag Archives: progressivism

Familiar 54-46 intraparty split should humble new DNC chair Tom Perez

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Tom Perez, right, and Keith Ellison, left, speak yesterday after members of the Democratic National Committee fairly narrowly picked Perez as the party’s new chair. Perez immediately asked Ellison to be his deputy, and Ellison accepted.

My pick for the new head of the Democratic National Committee was progressive U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, but I probably more or less can live with Tom Perez, who won the contest yesterday — depending upon in which direction he goes (namely, right or left).

Ellison was endorsed by Bernie Sanders and by Elizabeth Warren, and so of course the Ellison-Perez race became a proxy for the Sanders-Warren/actually Democratic wing of the Democratic Party and the Obama-Clinton/center-right sellout wing.

The vote yesterday was close — 235 votes for Perez to 200 votes for Ellison, or 54 percent to 46 percent — so no, the election of Perez, who was President Barack Obama’s labor secretary in his second term and considered to be the more establishmentarian Democrat of the two front-runners for DNC chair, was not a resounding endorsement of the outdated, corporate brand of the Democratic Party that brought us “President” Pussygrabber.

I find yesterday’s vote percentages for DNC chair interesting, because in the 2016 Democratic Party presidential race, actual Democrat Bernie Sanders garnered 46 percent of the pledged delegates (delegates earned in the primary elections and caucuses) to DINO Billary Clinton’s 54 percent.

That’s actually rather stunning, given that Billary already had run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2008 and that few even knew who democratic socialist Bernie was before he ran for president. (Actually, that Billary lost to Obama in 2008 when Obama had been on the national stage for only four years demonstrated how widely disliked she is even within her own party.)

With Perez’s win yesterday, the establishmentarian, Repugnican-Lite “Democrats” apparently retain their small majority of power over the party.

The question, however, is whether they can have lasting success without the strong support of the other 46 percent of the party. Billary’s loss/”loss” in November certainly suggests that they no, they can’t.

That said, it’s also possible — no, probable — that given the historical unpopularity of “President” Pussygrabber — he is the first president in modern history to begin his term with a net negative favorability rating* — the corporate Democrats, under Perez’s lead, will claim that because Democrats picked up a bunch of seats in Congress in November 2018 (as the opposition party almost always does anyway), this is evidence that their brand of “Democratic” politics actually works when, in fact, they’re just the political beneficiary of the fact that now we have the most-hated new president/”president” of modernity and of the fact that the opposition party almost always picks up seats in Congress in the midterm after a new president/”president” is elected/”elected.”

But let me find some silver lining here: Perez, who had been considered for Billary’s running mate last year and who had the backing of Team Obama, including Joe Biden, is the first Latino head of the DNC.

It’s a victory for Latinos, who increasingly are a vital part of the Democratic coalition and who deserve the increased political representation, perhaps especially now, while they are under attack by the fascist, unelected, illegitimate, treasonous Pussygrabber regime.

But let me find the dark cloud in the silver lining: Unfortunately, even as labor secretary and even after Billary Clinton flip-flopped on it, Perez still dutifully supported the now-dead Trans-Pacific Partnership, which suggests that he’s not as far to the left and as much on the side of the poor and the working class as he should be.

But another silver lining: Before he became Obama’s secretary of labor, Perez was, during Obama’s first term, the assistant U.S. attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

That’s a plus, as while the Democratic Party must focus more on the working class and the poor and the insane income inequality that has plagued the nation for decades — Billary’s unpardonable loss of the once-reliably-Democratic Rust-Belt states makes that crystal clear — and must disentangle itself from its and our corporate overlords, it must also keep a strong focus on defending the civil rights of everyone, especially now that our civil rights are under siege by the Pussygrabber regime.

Hopefully, Tom Perez is humbled by the fact that 46 percent of the members of the DNC voted for Keith Ellison** and the politics that he represents. We haven’t seen much humility in the members of the Obama-Clinton coalition thus far — even after Billary’s defeat in November.

Hopefully, Perez’s immediately having made Ellison his deputy chair was more than just political optics; hopefully, it means that Perez knows fully well that the Democratic Party can’t keep ignoring the 46 percent who want it to go in a different direction than it has been for several decades now.

P.S. “President” Pussygrabber characteristically tweeted:

The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally “rigged.” Bernie’s guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!

Why Pussygrabber used quotation marks around “rigged” I’m not sure; I suspect that like much, much, much else that he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t understand the correct usage of quotation marks.

It hasn’t been in dispute that the Clinton camp backed Perez, but there is to my knowledge no evidence of the vote for DNC chair having been “rigged.” I have read and I surmise that plenty of political pressure was applied on the voting members of the DNC to support Perez or Ellison, but “rigged”? I’d have to see evidence of that to give it any credence.

What’s the closest to the truth, methinks, is that the establishmentarians die hard. They hold onto their power for as long as they humanly possibly can. Unseating them takes a concerted, sustained effort — and it takes time.

But it’s hilarious when Pussygrabber pretends to care about Bernie Sanders being mistreated by the Democratic Party establishment, as though corrupt billionaire Pussygrabber truly cares about a democratic socialist.

And, of course, when he isn’t claiming to care about Bernie’s treatment by the Democratic Party establishment, Pussygrabber is referring to him as “crazy Bernie.”

Yeah.

Pussygrabber apparently still thinks that he’s actually going to pick up the support of the Berners. He’s not. Anyone who remotely understands what Bernie Sanders stands for never could give the likes of Pussygrabber a shred of support.

*”President” Pussygrabber’s favorability rating has been stuck around only 40 percent — with more than 50 percent of Americans disfavoring him — for some time now. See here and here.

**To be fair and balanced, Ellison’s only potential weakness for DNC chair, that I can think of, is that he is a sitting U.S. representative. The last chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was and still is a sitting U.S. representative, and as chair of the DNC she did a shit job (her resignation in disgrace in July was overdue and was a relief).

Not to say that Ellison couldn’t have handled the two jobs at the same time, but at least Perez will be able to focus solely on being DNC chair and not have to run for re-election every two years.

Some would say that Ellison’s having been the first Muslim elected to the U.S. House of Representatives is a mark against him, especially in the current political climate of bullshit hysteria that the unelected Pussygrabber regime is trying to stoke in typical fascist style, but even as an atheist I have no problem with Ellison being a Muslim. He has shown no indication of trying to shove his own religious beliefs down others’ throats, and so he’s fine by me.

P.S. Since I wrote the above paragraphs, I have read that Ellison had pledged to resign his seat from the House had he won the DNC chairmanship. (This indeed quelled the criticism from the Clinton-Obama camp that he wouldn’t be able to do both jobs, even though they never made that criticism of Wasserman Schultz, of course.)

I have not read that Ellison plans to resign his House seat to be the deputy chair, and I doubt that he will.

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Mini-Scalia Neil Gorsuch indeed would be the recipient of stolen property

As I noted at the time, then-President Barack Obama had had more than 11 months left in his second term to appoint a new U.S. Supreme Court justice after fascist piece of shit Associate “Justice” Antonin Scalia keeled over a year ago this month.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors — who now, of course, uber-hypocritically cry bloody fucking murder at any whisper of a hint of Democratic obstruction — for almost a year spectacularly denied Obama’s right to nominate a new justice, claiming that the people should decide.

“The people” whom the Repugnican Tea Party traitors claim to wuv so fucking much had fucking decided, when they voted in November 2012 to keep Barack Obama in the White House. When they voted for Obama a second time, they knew fully well that during his next four years in office a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court might come open.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ history-breaking refusal to fill a vacant seat on the nation’s highest court when the sitting president still had almost a year left in office was yet another serious blow to our democracy, not far enough behind how the Supreme Court in 2000 voted 5-4, along party lines, to put George W. Bush into the White House, even though, jut like “President” Pussygrabber, he had lost the popular vote.

This is how much the Repugnican Tea Party traitors truly love the American people: They’ll gladly shit and piss on the U.S. Constitution and wholly ignore presidential (and other) election results if they can get away with it. True to their fascist roots, pure, raw power — no matter how they get it — is all that they fucking care about.

Of course “President” Pussygrabber’s nominee to the vacancy on the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, whose fascist mamma had to quit her job as head of the Environmental Protection Agency because she was destroying the agency for the benefit of her polluting, plutocratic, fascist buddies* — is yet another fascist piece of shit, but to me, his record is (almost) entirely irrelevant.

Anyone whom the Repugnican Tea Party traitors nominate now to the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t deserve the seat because it will have been a stolen seat.

Yes, not just that you come to power, but how you come to power, fucking matters.

Just as I never will consider Pussygrabber to be the legitimate president of the United States of America because he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes and because he very, very apparently treasonously had a considerable amount of help from the enemy nation of Russia, I never will consider Scalia’s replacement to be a legitimate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, because the anti-democratic, power-grubbing, wholly honor- and decency-free Repugnican Tea Party traitors deprived Barack Obama — and, by extension, the majority of the American people, who had voted for Obama in November 2012 — of the rightful right to name that justice.**

*Wikipedia notes of Ann Gorsuch Buford:

Gorsuch based her administration of the EPA on the New Federalism approach of downsizing federal agencies by delegating their functions and services to the individual states. She believed that the EPA was over-regulating business and that the agency was too large and not cost-effective.

During her 22 months as agency head [which spanned from part of 1981 through part of 1983], she cut the budget of the EPA by 22 percent, reduced the number of cases filed against polluters, relaxed Clean Air Act regulations, and facilitated the spraying of restricted-use pesticides.

She cut the total number of agency employees, and hired staff from the industries they were supposed to be regulating. Environmentalists contended that her policies were designed to placate polluters, and accused her of trying to dismantle the agency.

This is pretty much everyone whom “populist” “President” Pussygrabber has appointed to his cabinet: fascist plutocrats who want to destroy — for the benefit of themselves and their fascist, plutocratic buddies — the federal agencies that they’re supposed to strengthen.

Yet millions of mouth-breathers actually voted for Pussygrabber, incredibly stupidly believing the billionaire fascist’s lies that he actually gives a shit about us commoners.

**No, I’m not an Obamabot. I voted for Obama in 2008, believing his ubiquitous promises of “hope” and “change,” but not in 2012, since he didn’t fulfill his campaign promises in his first term, and as I don’t believe in rewarding broken campaign promises with another vote.

I frequently have criticized Obama here, and that’s because he campaigned as a progressive but actually presided from the center to the center-right. (To paint his record as better than it is because he’s black is to be racist, just as to paint his record as worse than it is because he’s black is to be racist, so the self-defeating identity politicians, most of whom stupidly supported the widely despised, faux populist, Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton and whose obnoxious, hypocritical, self-serving bullshit helped to put Pussygrabber into the White House, can go fuck themselves furiously.)

All of that said, just as I had voted for Ralph Nader and not for Al Gore for president in 2000, knowing that Gore would win all of my state’s (California’s) electoral votes no matter how I fucking voted, and just as I fully recognize Gore as the rightful winner of that presidential election, although I voted for Jill Stein instead of Obama in 2012, of course I recognize Obama as the rightful winner of that election.

(And the pattern continues: I voted for Jill Stein again this past November, knowing that Billary Clinton would win all of my state’s electoral votes anyway, and I recognize only Billary as the rightful winner of that election [the fact that she and the Democratic National Committee worked closely together to fuck over the actual Democrat, Bernie Sanders, aside]).

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Billary moves closer to losing to Trump

Fivethirtyeight.com right now puts the chance of the above occurring at only 52 percent and the chance of the below occurring at 48 percent. Prolly too early to celly Billary Clinton’s Democratic presidential nomination, methinks.

I was listening live to NPR this afternoon when it was announced from the Democratic National Convention that it’s official: Billary Clinton is the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee, and is the first woman to receive the presidential nomination of the Coke Party or the Pepsi Party.

I truly wish that I could celebrate that, but I just can’t, and I cannot for three main reasons:

  • Billary Clinton isn’t a progressive. She herself not even a year ago proudly publicly proclaimed herself to be “moderate and center.” This has morphed into her more recent claim that she’s “a progressive who likes to get things done” (or something very close to that), but no, that bullshit rhetoric was deployed just to secure the nomination. She is center-right, which is why so many millionaire and billionaire Repugnicans, like Michael Bloomberg, support her for president. If it were Bernie Sanders’ convention, the likes of billionaire Bloomberg would not be speaking at the fucking Democratic National Convention.
  • Billary didn’t become the nominee fairly and squarely, but had the help of the “neutral” Democratic National Committee at the highest levels. We have e-mail evidence of that fact (and DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz would not have resigned if there had been nothing there), and Yahoo! News reports that both Bernie’s campaign manager Jeff Weaver and WikiLeaks have indicated that more DNC e-mails and more details of the DNC’s chicanery meant to help Billary and to harm Bernie are forthcoming. The corrupt DNC’s hope and wish, I’m sure, is now that we actual Democrats have DWS’s slimy head on a silver platter, we’ll stop there, but the DNC still needs to be disinfected and decontaminated from top to bottom. And no, blaming Russia won’t cut it. As Bernie supporter and former NAACP head Ben Jealous has pointed out, the Russians didn’t write those DNC e-mails.
  • There is a very good chance that Billary Clinton will lose to Donald Trump on November 8. Yes, it might be a bit of a post-convention bounce, but Trump is now ahead of Billary by 0.9 percent in Real Clear Politics’ average of nationwide polls between the two of them. In a four-way race, RCP’s average of nationwide polls puts Billary at only 0.2 percent ahead of Trump. This isn’t surprising when you consider that in the Democratic Party primary elections and caucuses, Bernie won 45.6 of the pledged/democratically earned delegates and Billary won only 54.4 percent of them. Team Billary’s (Team Billary, of course, includes the DNC) cheating aside, had Bernie garnered only 4.5 percent more, he’d have reached 50.1 percent, beating Billary in the pledged delegate count. Billary is pretty weak within her own fucking party, or she’d have done much better than 54.4 percent, especially in her second run. Hell, even with the DNC’s body-slamming the scales, Billary didn’t do very well. If you’re not convinced yet that Billary is a weak candidate for the Democrats to have put forward as their champion, know that fivethirtyeight.com reports today that “Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Are Now Equally Unpopular” and that fivethirtyeight.com right now puts Billary’s chance of beating Trump at only 52.4 percent.

The fact is that throughout the primary season Bernie did much better against Trump in the match-up polls than Billary ever did, yet the incredibly stupid and/or deluded Billarybots from within their bubble long have been calling for us Berners to rally behind Billary, an obviously weak candidate.

Well, the Billarybots got their wish today; it will be Billary on the ballot in November.

When Billary loses to Donald Trump on November 8, the Billarybots will blame Bernie Sanders for having had the audacity to run for the nomination also; they’ll blame us “Bernie bros,” I’m sure, for not obediently and blindly having handed over our hearts, our brains and our testicles and dutifully supported Billary, the obviously weaker of the two candidates (and she’s not even a fucking Democrat, if you define a Democrat as a progressive); and they’ll even blame Russia.

This is as far as their “vision” will allow them to see.

Their blinders will cost them (and those of us who are actual Democrats) the White House. Whether the Democratic Party — and maybe even the entire nation itself — ever will recover from their blindness after Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office remains to be seen.

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Billary blew it with ‘safe’ Tim Kaine

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia greet the crowd during a campaign event on July 14 in Annandale, Va.

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Billary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine campaign in Virginia last week. Today Billary announced a Clinton-Kaine ticket.  Wake me up when this snoozefest is finally over. Zzzzzzzzz…

Queen Billary Clinton’s No. 1 requirement in a running mate, I am confident, was that he or she must not overshadow Her Highness. 

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, her pick, certainly fits that bill.

An adjective often used to describe him is “boring.” (He even calls himself “boring.”Yahoo! News notes that Billary’s selection of Kaine is “a safe, centrist choice that will likely disappoint some in the progressive wing of her party.”

“Some”?

The No. 2 requirement in Billary’s running mate had to be that he or she is a centrist, that is, a fellow Democrat in name only — certainly no Bernie Sanders, and not even an Elizabeth Warren.

Billary’s pick of a moderate Democrat/Repugican Lite from the South is wholly in line with her and her husband’s political start in Arkansas — and their long history of giving the party’s left-of-center base the middle finger.

In having picked Tim Kaine, Billary in effect picked herself — as a man who is a decade younger.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate Tim Kaine. Indeed, I (and millions of others) know little of him, pretty much only that he personally opposes abortion, given his Roman Catholic background, and that he has been supportive of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which even Der Fuhrer Donald Trump opposes.

But Tim Kaine (whom I might come to hate in the future, as I learn more about him) is wholly uninspiring. His political philosophy, like Billary’s, appears to be stuck in the 1990s.

I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick as her running mate New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; he’s an empty suit, a Barack Obama wannabe.

And while we’re long past due for our first Latino or Latina president or vice president, neither U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez nor U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro has the experience to be only a heartbeat away from the presidency. Perez’s only elected office was a seat on a Maryland county council, and Castro’s only elected offices were a member of San Antonio’s city council and then the city’s mayor.

In my book, if you want to be president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, and if you want to be vice president you had better have been a governor or a U.S. senator, since as vice president you might end up as president.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, like Kaine, was a governor, so he has vice-presidential chops, but, like Kaine, Vilsack isn’t an exciting or an inspiring person, so I’m glad that Billary didn’t pick him.

Billary should have picked as her running mate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Why?

Billary, I believe, with her choice of running mate sorely needed to excite her party’s base more than she needed to try to assuage any fears of the voters of the flyover states — states that are going to go for The Donald anyway — that white men are losing their grip on positions of power to women and to non-whites.

(This was, methinks, Billary’s No. 3 requirement in a running mate: that she pick a white man in order not to spook too many centrist, center-right and even right-wing voters, to whom she always has shown more allegiance than she has shown to the Democratic Party base.

I mean, these are fragile voters, and after we’ve had our first non-white president, we can’t have a two-woman ticket or a ticket of a white woman and a non-white person!)

Even Donald Trump picked yet another milquetoast white man to be his running mate. Billary couldn’t do better?

Had Billary picked Liz Warren, she would have excited the hell out of her base. She would have excited progressives and women.

Instead, Billary picked Tim Kaine. Yawn.

To be fair, maybe Billary asked Liz and Liz said no. (If Liz were smart, and she is smart, she would have said Oh, hell no! to playing third fiddle in the Clinton White House 2.0.) I don’t know.

I do know that the addition of “safe” and centrist Tim Kaine to the ticket gives me and millions of other progressives (most of us Berners — and Bernie won 45.6 percent of the pledged Democratic delegates, let me remind you) zero reason to vote for Billary.

I mean, I’d had no intention to vote for her anyway — I still most likely will vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein — but the addition of an actual progressive to the ticket was the only thing that, coupled with the looming fascism of Der Fuhrer Donald, perhaps could have induced me to vote for Billary.*

And a two-woman ticket wouldn’t have been a bad idea; it would have been a brilliant idea, after having had nothing but two-man tickets throughout our nation’s history.

But instead of making a bold, visionary — even revolutionary — move, the utterly uninspiring, charisma-free Billary played it “safe.”

We’ll see what and where “safe” gets her on November 8.

*Queen Billary is going to win my state of California and all 55 of its electoral votes anyway, so it doesn’t really matter for whom I vote for president or whether I even vote for president at all, but I will vote for president.

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Cornel West, fresh from Democratic platform committee, endorses Jill Stein

Cornel West, who is supporting Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in his presidential run, at a fish fry on Saturday in Charleston, S.C., organized by Representative James E. Clyburn.

New York Times photo

Cornel West, whom Wikipedia describes as “an American philosopher, academic, social activist, author, public intellectual and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America,” recently finished his stint as one of the 15 members of the 2016 Democratic Party platform-drafting committee (he was one of Bernie Sanders’ only-five picks to the committee) — only to endorse Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. West, shown above campaigning for Bernie in Charleston, South Carolina, in January, correctly calls Stein “the only progressive woman in the race” for the White House.

Here is Cornel West’s piece for The Guardian, in full (the links are the original links, not mine):

A long and deep legacy of white supremacy has always arrested the development of U.S. democracy. We either hit it head on, or it comes back to haunt us. That’s why a few of us have pressed the president for seven years not to ignore issues of poverty, police abuse and mass unemployment. Barack Obama said it very well, following the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, that some communities “have been forgotten by all of us.”

And now – in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and beyond – this legacy has comes back to haunt the whole country.

Obama and his cheerleaders should take responsibility for being so reluctant to engage with these issues. It’s not a question of interest group or constituencies. Unfortunately for so much of the Obama administration it’s been a question of “I’m not the president of black people, I’m the president of everyone.” But this is a question of justice. It’s about being concerned about racism and police brutality.

I have deep empathy for brothers and sisters who are shot in the police force. I also have profound empathy for people of color who are shot by the police. I have always believed deliberate killing to be a crime against humanity.

Yet, Obama didn’t go to Baton Rouge. He didn’t go to Minneapolis. He flew over their heads to go to Dallas. You can’t do that. His fundamental concern was to speak to the police; that was his priority. When he references the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s to speak to the police. But the people who are struggling have a different perspective.

The very notion that Dallas is the paragon of policing is something that needs to be interrogated. The Dallas mayor said we have done nothing wrong, but look at your history. Ask people in southern Dallas about the police. Ask Clinton Allen, an unarmed black man fatally shot by the Dallas police in 2013. I was with his mother, Collette Flanagan, the founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, last year. Countless people came up and told us about all the struggles black communities are having with the Dallas police.

Unfortunately, Obama thrives on being in the middle. He has no backbone to fight for justice. He likes to be above the fray. But for those us us who are in the fray, there is a different sensibility. You have to choose which side you’re on, and he doesn’t want to do that. Fundamentally, he’s not a love warrior. He’s a polished professional. Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Ella Baker – they were warriors.

Obama’s attitude is that of a neo-liberal, and they rarely have solidarity with poor and working people. Whatever solidarity he does offer is just lip service to suffering, but he never makes it a priority to end that suffering.

Obama has power right now to enact the recommendations made after Ferguson: better training, independent civilian oversight boards, body cameras. But he has not used executive orders to push any of these changes through.

This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between [Donald] Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and [Hillary] Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation. I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an “outstanding president.” Her militarism makes the world a less safe place.

Clinton policies of the 1990s generated inequality, mass incarceration, privatization of schools and Wall Street domination. There is also a sense that the Clinton policies helped produce the right-wing populism that we’re seeing now in the country. And we think she’s going to come to the rescue? That’s not going to happen.

The American empire is in deep spiritual decline and cultural decay. The levels of wealth inequality and environmental degradation is grotesque. The correct response to this is: tell the truth about what is going on. Bear witness. Be willing to go to jail to fight for justice if need be.

When the system is declining, it can bring despair. That’s why Black Lives Matter – and all other young people of all colors who are mobilizing – is a beautiful thing. We are having a moral and spiritual awakening. It gives us democratic hope. Its not about having hope but being hope. It’s time to move from being spectators, to being actors.

Among his many other points, I share West’s contention that Barack Obama hasn’t done enough for black Americans, irrespective of Obama’s race.

In fact, I’ve long speculated that Obama has done even less for black Americans than would a president of another race even with a similar political ideology — out of Obama’s fear of being accused of doing too much for black Americans because he is a black American himself.

And yes, of course all lives matter and of course Obama is supposed to be every American’s president, but these assertions often if not usually are made to whitewash the fact that black Americans still struggle mightily — by most socioeconomic measures more than any other racial group — in a largely racist, white supremacist nation.

As I’ve noted, I don’t hold it against Bernie that he endorsed Billary. Because he ran as a Democrat, he pretty much had to. But he didn’t have to do so wholeheartedly, and he didn’t do so wholeheartedly. In my view, he did it with a major wink-wink.

And, of course, we Berners are free to vote for whom we wish, and like Brother Cornel (who, again, helped to write the Democratic Party platform, for fuck’s sake), I intend to vote for Jill Stein, who is not only the only progressive woman in the presidential race, but is the only progressive, period, who still is in the race.

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Sick of Bernie? You’ll miss him when he’s gone and it’s only about Donald

27DARCY-SANDERS4.jpg

No, despite Slate.com’s recent snarky headline “Bernie Sanders Officially Announces He Will Run for President Forever,” he won’t actually run for president forever.

Bernie’s last chance to be able to sway the Democratic Party super-delegates to his side at the party convention in late July was to have a big win in California’s primary election on June 7, but he lost California (which, despite the conspiracy theorists’ angst, is not shocking, as Billary Clinton also beat Barack Obama in the 2008 California primary; I don’t know what’s wrong with Californians [well, I do have an inkling, actually, but that’s another post…]).

Even that plan (to win over the super-delegates after having won California) was a long shot for him, but now, Bernie’s only hope for the presidential nomination would be if Billary, say, had a major stroke or a major heart attack or died in a plane crash or bus crash or was indicted for some crime.

Bernie won’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination unless one of those kinds of scenarios comes to pass, but he does have the right to continue through the convention. He has more than earned that. Against a deck stacked against him, he garnered 45 percent of the pledged delegates (the delegates more-or-less-democratically elected in the primary elections and caucuses).

Think about that: a 74-year-old self-described democratic socialist from Vermont with glasses, wild white hair and a Brooklyn accent whom most Americans have known for only about a year now garnered 45 percent of the vote against Billary Clinton, who has been around longer than has dirt, and whose resume includes first lady, U.S. senator, U.S. secretary of state, and two-time presidential contender. (She is great at holding titles, but interestingly, she sure doesn’t have any real accomplishments to list on her resume.)

The Democratic Party establishment didn’t go down this time, but next time, it certainly can (and probably will); from having blatantly ignored the needs and the desires of us, the people, because for decades now it has been too busy catering to the desires of the corporatists and the plutocrats, the Democratic Party establishment is weak and is ripe for toppling.

For Bernie to drop out now would be to forestall that long-past-due toppling, which he apparently recognizes. (See this pretty good piece on Vox.com on this topic.)

An associate of mine has the theory that Bernie won’t drop out between now and the Dem Party convention because he wants to prevent another Dem convention conflagration like we saw in 1968. Maybe, but perhaps such a conflagration is unavoidable anyway; it has, after all, been that kind of presidential election cycle.

Although this protracted primary battle has been a bit fatiguing, I’m not mad about Bernie taking it to the convention, and if you’re mad at him, reflect upon the fact that not even a year ago, Billary Clinton proudly publicly proclaimed that she is “moderate and center.”

Were Bernie to go away now, Billary would return to the center-right even more quickly than she most likely is going to do anyway. At the very least, Bernie can force her to have to at least pay lip service to progressive values, beliefs and ideas at least through the convention.

If Billary were trustworthy and had integrity and didn’t have a center-right, Democratic-in-name-only, Repugnican-Lite record, Bernie could have exited already, knowing that she’d keep any promises to be more progressive.

So blame Billary for being a DINO, and don’t blame Bernie, for his hanging in there for as long as possible.

If Bernie if nothing else successfully changes the party’s presidential nominating process, such as by eliminating super-delegates and requiring open primary elections in all of the states that hold primary elections (that is, allowing at least independents as well as registered Democrats to vote)** — as he is trying to do — then with his presidential campaign he will have achieved something significant.

Bernie Sanders has run a valiant campaign, and the nation owes him gratitude that he probably never will receive (Americans aren’t very good with the gratitude thing).

The weeks before and the months after the Dem Party convention are going to (continue to) be dismal. As the Democratic Party establishment has done next to fucking nothing for us commoners over the past many, many years, their only “message” will be a message of FEAR of DONALD TRUMP!!!

I’d say that we deserve better than that, but since we don’t fight for more than that (true, some of us do, but most of us don’t), it probably is exactly all that we deserve.

*California doesn’t certify its June 7 primary election until July 15, but as I type this sentence, Bernie has 44.5 percent of the vote that has been counted thus far in California, which is in line with how he has done nationwide.

Alas, California is a reliably blue state, but it isn’t as far to the left as are the other two Left Coast states (Oregon and Washington), both of which went to Bernie.

**The caucuses probably should go, too, as they are open to too much chicanery and don’t allow people who must be at work and people who can’t easily leave their homes to have their voice heard. The caucuses should be replaced with primary elections, and I’d rather that we have one nationwide primary election day rather than spreading the primary-season voting out over several months, but these two latter reforms are more unlikely to occur any election cycle soon than are the reforms that Bernie is suggesting now.

Also, of course, the Electoral College needs to be scrapped. We should have scrapped it long ago and replaced it with a simple popular vote. If it’s good enough that we choose our governors and U.S. senators by a popular vote, then it’s good enough that we choose our presidents with a popular vote, too.

If we chose our presidents by a popular vote, you could say with at least some credibility that when I don’t vote for Billary in November (I’ll probably vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein again) I have helped Trump, but since we have the winner-takes-all Electoral College, my not voting for Billary in November won’t matter at all, since I live in a solidly blue state and all of its 55 electoral votes already are assured to Billary.

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Billarybots want Liz Warren to be a spoonful of sugar to sweeten the ordeal

Senator Elizabeth Warren listened to testimony during a Senate committee hearing in 2013.

Getty Images photo

The call of many Billarybots for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to be Billary Clinton’s running mate at least is an admission of how weak a presidential candidate Billary is. But while such a team-up would benefit Billary, how would it benefit Warren and her future political career to be a probably-invisible vice president with probably little to no influence within the second center-right Clinton administration?

There is chatter among the Billarybots now that Queen Billary making Elizabeth Warren her running mate would be the spoonful of sugar that would help the rest of us choke down the bitter horse pill that is Billary.

Billary booster Michelle Goldberg of Slate.com, for instance (although she’s not nearly the Billary booster that Salon.com’s mega-Billarybot Amanda Marcotte is), recently wrote this (links are Goldberg’s):

On Thursday we learned, via Politico, that had Joe Biden run for president, he would have asked Elizabeth Warren to be his running mate. According to reporters Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni, Biden has “recently told associates that Warren would be an equally smart pick for Hillary Clinton.” The Huffington Post reported that several people in the Clinton campaign are also pushing for Warren.

They are right. Choosing Warren would be an uncharacteristically bold and thrilling move for the cautious Clinton, one that would help unite Sanders supporters behind her candidacy while throwing its feminist promise into high relief. Clinton is already playing the woman card; now, to belabor a metaphor, she should double down.

One of the many dispiriting things about this primary season is the degree to which Clinton’s baggage has dampened excitement over the prospect of our first female president. She’s been near the center of power for so long that her possible presidency seems less like a breakthrough than a wearying inevitability.

Further, in order to get close to power, she’s consistently subsumed idealism to realpolitik; her career is littered with grim compromises, from reluctantly backing welfare reform to voting to authorize war in Iraq. Thus some progressive women who enthusiastically support Clinton feel like they have to apologize for it.

Other progressive women who’d like to vote for a female president feel like they can’t enthusiastically support Clinton. Obama’s campaign created an incandescent sense that America was on the cusp of history. That magic is missing from Clinton’s long slog.

If you haven’t said it yourself, you’ve surely heard it: “Of course I want to see a woman in the White House, but…” Warren on the ticket would annihilate many of those “buts.” She would help to neutralize some of Clinton’s very real flaws; it would be harder to accuse Clinton of doing the bidding of big banks while running with Warren, the scourge of Wall Street.

Warren’s presence would give disappointed supporters of Bernie Sanders a reason to rally to the Democratic banner. And by Clinton’s side, she would make it blazingly clear what an epochal moment this is for American women. She’s a choice who could electrify both Clinton’s fiercest progressive critics and her most devoted acolytes.

Of course, an all-woman ticket carries real risk — that’s the flip side of its audacity. Already, Clinton is likely to face misogynist headwinds, and Warren would make them stronger. People sometimes claim that the deep, widespread antipathy to Clinton, particularly among men, is unique to her and has little to do with her gender.

Warren’s political career shows us that this is not the case. When she ran for Senate in Massachusetts four years ago, she was regularly disparaged as both a liar and a crone; the Boston Herald referred to her as “Granny.” We were constantly reminded that while people admired her competence, they weren’t sure they liked her. (One poll found that even Democrats found her opponent, Scott Brown, more likable.) Warren won thanks to a large gender gap: According to a CNN exit poll, Brown won 53 percent of the male vote, but Warren carried 59 percent of the female vote, and women were the majority of the electorate.

It’s possible, then, that Warren could exacerbate rather than ameliorate some people’s — particularly some men’s — resistance to Clinton. As T. A. Frank points out in Vanity Fair, social science research shows that when minorities team up to form a duo, they are judged in more stereotypical terms than they are individually. “If this is a reliable dynamic, then it means that Clinton is seen by voters first and foremost as a Democratic presidential candidate, and not simply a female,” Frank writes. “But if she were to pick Warren as a running mate, gender could start to color many people’s views much more.” …

[Clinton] is not going to win this race by persuading white men who are uncomfortable with women in power. She will do it by turning out the Obama coalition, probably adding more married white women to it. Warren can help her do that. She’s shown that she’s eager to, leaping into the Twitter fray against [Donald] Trump.

If a vice presidential candidate’s job is to attack, Warren is ready. Watching her go after the short-fingered orange chauvinist from now until November will be a pleasure. The fight for the first female president should be a joyful feminist crusade, one that progressives can join without reservation. Warren can make it one.

I agree with some of what Goldberg has to say, and it’s refreshing to witness a Billary supporter actually publicly acknowledging that Billary is not an exciting candidate. Billary’s being an uninspiring candidate — demonstrated by the fact that thus far democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has won 19 states and has won 1,437 pledged delegates to Billary’s 1,717 (45.6 percent to 54.4 percent, a gap of only 8.8 percent) — long has been the elephant in the donkeys’ room.

What is disappointing about Goldberg’s piece is that she apparently primarily attributes the lack of enthusiasm for Billary to the fact that Billary has been around so long (well, if Goldberg’s primary attribution isn’t actually supposed misogyny, that is; charges of misogyny are peppered, predictably, throughout her piece). But Billary Fatigue is only one piece of the puzzle.

Hell, I’ll even ignore the piece of the puzzle that I could label the “Clinton Scandal Fatigue” piece. A much larger piece of the puzzle than how long she has been around on the national stage is Billary’s long history of political opportunism and flip-flopping, such as how she publicly called herself “moderate and center” just back in September 2015, but now calls herself a “progressive” since she’s running against the actually progressive Bernie Sanders, who has done quite well for a “fringe” candidate.

(A more concrete example of Billary’s famous flip-flopping is her miraculous embrace of a $15-an-hour minimum wage only after both New York and California adopted a phased-in $15-an-hour state minimum wage when her current presidential campaign always has supported only a $12-an-hour federal minimum wage — and still does on its website.)

Billary’s being a multi-millionaire who certainly wouldn’t want to even try to try to try to live on $12 an hour herself and who demands hundreds of thousands of dollars per speech and her having been part, with her hubby, of the now-thank-Goddess-defunct Democratic Leadership Council, which turned the Democratic Party from the people’s party to the corporate weasels’ party, are other huge pieces of the puzzle as to why so many of us who lean left of center don’t like and don’t trust Billary.

Billary has said that Bernie isn’t a real Democrat when she really should look into the magical mirror that she surely possesses like a Disney villainess. (Actually, I’m sure that she has, and when she asked the mirror, “Who is the most Democratic of them all?” the mirror answered, “Bernie Sanders,” which no doubt sent her into a flying-on-her-broomstick rage.)

But the Billarybots don’t like to discuss these inconvenient truths.

Instead, they frame quite-legitimate opposition to Billary as misogyny, which apparently does a lot to relieve their cognitive dissonance that their “heroine” actually is just yet another self-serving political asshole, but which harms the cause of feminism because the so-called “feminists” defend abject slimebags like Billary Clinton, whose center-right socioeconomic politics harms women and families here at home and whose right-wing war hawkishness harms women and families abroad — yeah, that’s really feminist!

Indeed, the “lean-in” “feminism” of today is “feminism” that has become twisted into women demonstrating that they can be just as big as assholes as can men; they can be just as selfish and ruthless, just as financially and politically corrupt, and they can kill just as many innocent people in military actions in a show of “strength.” Woo hoo! “Feminism”!

Since liberalism became warped as “neo-liberalism,” which actually is just conservatism masked as something good, we can call today’s “feminism” “neo-feminism.”

And dragged into this stinking mess should not be Elizabeth Warren, whom I consider to be a true feminist, not a neo-feminist.

Sure, Warren could help Billary greatly in the likability and progressive credibility departments, but what would Warren and her future political career get out of it?

Most of us Berners — and again, thus far 45.6 percent of us who have participated in the Democratic Party presidential primary elections and caucuses have chosen Bernie over Billary — would be disappointed, I surmise, were he to become Billary’s running mate (something that I don’t see happening, as I really don’t see Billary asking him, and I rather doubt that he’d accept even if she actually did ask him).

Most of us Berners would, I surmise, view Bernie’s agreeing to Billary’s running mate as his selling out — big time — on his progressive principles and promises.

Why, then, would we feel much, if any, differently about progressive Elizabeth Warren joining Billary on the ballot?

Leave it to a neo-feminist to see it (a Billary-Warren ticket) as an issue of matching biological sex rather than of matching political philosophy; Warren should join Billary because they’re both women, you see.

And this also gets to how much power the vice president of the United States of America actually has, which is not much; the vice president pretty much sits back and either hopes or dreads that the president dies or otherwise no longer can serve in the capacity.

It gets to the public visibility of the vice president, too. We’ve seen little of Joe Biden over the past seven-plus years. He wonderfully wiped the floor with Pretty Boy Paul Ryan’s limp body in the vice presidential debate of October 2012 and he vowed to take on cancer in his last year in office after his son died of brain cancer a year ago this month at age 46, but other than that, how much influence Biden has had on the Obama presidency has not been very clear. If he’s had significant influence on Obama, it’s been behind the scenes, for the very most part.

There is no reason to believe than any vice president to a President Billary would have the power to induce her to run a progressive presidential administration, given Billary’s center-right record, given how power-driven and stubborn she is (except, of course, when political expediency induces her to flip-flop, but of course, no matter what she says, she always acts within the center-right, and given how not even a year ago she proudly publicly proclaimed herself to be “moderate and center.”

Given all of that and the historical weakness and the historical invisibility of the vice president, no, for this Berner, Billary picking Liz Warren as her running mate would not “be a reason to rally to the Democratic banner,” as Goldberg conveniently and magically believes.

It’s not that simple, and we Berners are not that simple and stupid. That Team Billary would believe that adding Elizabeth Warren to the ticket would be the magic bullet only further demonstrates the contempt and the condescension that the Billarybots have for us Berners — who are progressives before we’re Berners and who reject Billary Clinton for very good reasons, paramount among them the fact that she’s not even an actual (that is, progressive) Democrat, but is a Repugnican in sheep’s clothing.

To be clear, I have no problem with two women, even two white women, on the ballot for president and vice president. One, I care primarily about a candidate’s politics; his or her demographics are secondary or tertiary or even further down than that on my list. And two: Fuck, the Obama administration marks the first time in our nation’s history that both the president and the vice president were not white men. (When I voted for Obama in November 2008, it felt good to be part of that history, even though Obama turned out to be only a Caretaker in Chief, the one thing that Sarah Palin actually has been right about: that he’s been President Hopey-Changey.)

If two white men on the presidential and vice presidential ticket were OK for more than 225 years of our nation’s history, then I’m fine with two women and even two white women on the ticket, even though the conventional wisdom as of late is that you mix up your demographics; in 2008 John McCainosaurus picked a woman as his running mate and Barack Obama picked a white man, for instance. (Mittens Romney for 2012 reverted to the historical pattern of two white men, of course; my guess is that his patriarchal and historically white supremacist Mormonism was the largest factor in that retrograde choice.)

In a nutshell, again, my primary problems with a Billary-Warren ticket are that Vice President Warren wouldn’t have nearly enough influence to ameliorate President Billary’s deep neo-liberal tendencies and that Warren would harm her reputation and credibility as a progressive by agreeing to be the center-right Billary’s running mate.

Better for Warren to run in 2020 or 2024 or 2028, methinks, at the top of the ticket, than to run with Billary now.

I’d be fine with Elizabeth Warren being Bernie Sanders’ running mate. (Well, probably more like “ecstatic” than just “fine.”) Their genitalia don’t match, but their political philosophies do. Not only would President Sanders allow Vice President Warren much more of a voice and visibility than the vice president ever gets (exempting grand puppet master Dick Cheney, of course), I surmise, but she’d be his natural successor.

Billary would just use Warren to get into the White House, and then, after that, do you really think that Queen Billary ever would allow Princess Warren even the opportunity to step on her regal cape? No, Billary would treat Warren like Cinderella; she’d keep her tucked away from public view as much as possible.

Unfortunately, we apparently are quite unlikely to see a Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren ticket, because the blind, self-serving Democratic Party hacks are poised to incredibly stupidly make Billary Clinton the party’s presidential nominee, even though presidential match-up polls show Bernie doing twice as better against Donald Trump as does Billary.

Real Clear Politics’ average of the presidential match-up polls right now has Billary at only 5.7 percent ahead of Trump, with Bernie 13 percent ahead of Trump. The Huffington Post’s average of presidential match-up polls right now similarly puts Bernie at 13.4 percent ahead of Trump and Billary at only 5.8 percent ahead of Trump.

If beating presumptive 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee Donald Trump in November is the goal, then Bernie Sanders has a compelling argument for the super-delegates to pick him over Billary during the party’s convention in late July.

Unfortunately, I fully expect the lemming-like super-delegates to follow Queen Billary right off of the cliff at the convention. She is, after all, the rodents’ Pied Piper.

And also after all, Queen Billary never really can lose. If nothing else, we always can ascribe her predictable loss in November entirely to “misogyny.”*

P.S. It’s worth nothing that Elizabeth Warren is the only Democratic woman in the U.S. Senate who hasn’t endorsed Billary Clinton. One writer argues that this is why Team Billary wouldn’t pick Warren, but I disagree; if Team Billary viewed Warren on the ticket as being beneficial enough, they’d ask her.

The real question is whether Warren, if asked, would say yes or no. Hopefully, she would have her wits about her, realize that Team Billary only wants to use her, and say no. Even Oh, hell no!

P.P.S. Jeff Greenfield, writing for Politico, points out that whoever would be President Billary’s vice president would be “the most marginalized vice president in a generation.” (Ditto for President Trump’s veep, he writes.)

“Neither Trump nor Clinton is likely to allow his or her vice president anywhere near the center of power,” Greenfield posits, adding:

… The challenge is different for a prospective Clinton running mate — and one that no past veep has ever faced. Yes, past vice presidents have found themselves in a battle for the ear of POTUS with key White House aides and Cabinet members.

But they’ve never had the challenge of competing with a presidential spouse who also happens to be a former two-term president.

Indeed, in many ways, Bill Clinton would be a near-perfect choice to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. His political skills are unmatched; he knows the dangers that confront any White House as no one else possibly can; he’s even got a track record of working with an opposition Congress — something that neither of his successors can match.

Yes, there’s a pesky issue of whether the 22nd Amendment bars a two-term president from running for veep, and one of the Clintons would have to move back to Arkansas to avoid risking the loss of New York’s electors (constitutionally, electors can vote for only one of the two national candidates from their own state).

But the point is that Bill’s credentials — even as first spouse — make him a formidable power source that would confront any real-life vice president. …

The issue isn’t Billy Boy’s supposed greatness (and speculation of him being Billary’s veep is ridiculous, although he very well might end up as her de facto veep) as much as it is how much he would let Billary’s actual veep have any power. And that is not much.

Elizabeth Warren would want to stay far, far away from this fucked-up drama.

*A post-mortem “analysis” of a Billary loss in November also, of course, quite predictably would put blame on Bernie Sanders for having “weakened” Billary when she’s obviously inherently weak. The neo-feminists would continue to ignore Billary’s glaring weaknesses and blame “misogyny” instead.

And most of the neo-feminists’ attacks on Bernie Sanders and on us “Bernie bros” is, ironically, flat-out misandry — it’s just the flip-side of misogyny. How dare a man run against Queen Billary? How dare he criticize her at all, even though that’s what you do in a competitive political campaign? How dare any man — or especially any woman — support a male presidential candidate over the female candidate? (That was a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it anyway: For pretty much the same reason that a man or a woman rejected Sarah Palin.)

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