Tag Archives: United States

Keeping Sanders in the White House would be harder than getting him there

Associated Press photo

Leftist Jeremy Corbyn yesterday won the leadership of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party by a larger margin than the center-right Tony Blair won in 1994 when he became the party’s leader. Corbyn won the election despite the predictions of doom by the center-right assholes who use the Labour Party label, much as how the center-right assholes here in the United States who use the Democratic Party label predict doom should democratic socialist Bernie Sanders win the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

It’s interesting how the political climates of the United States and the United Kingdom so often mirror each other.

Right-wing, pro-plutocratic, anti-working-class U.S. President Ronald Reagan of the Repugnican Party was in office from early 1981 through early 1989, and right-wing, pro-plutocratic, anti-working-class UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the Conservative Party was in office from mid-1979 through late 1990. They were two fascistic peas in a pod, and the socioeconomic (and other) damage that they wreaked upon us commoners in the U.S. and the UK remains today.

Probably at least in part due to how long wingnuts had reigned (recall that Reagan was followed by four years of King George Bush I), “Democrat” Bill Clinton, part of the small movement to move the Democratic Party to the right (namely, the now-thank-Goddess-defunct Democratic Leadership Council) — the “thinking” apparently was that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em — turned the Democratic Party into the Repugnican Lite Party, or, as I like to think of the two duopolistic parties, the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party. (If you can’t tell the difference between the two, don’t worry; many if not most of the rest of us can’t, either.)

Tony Blair, UK prime minister from mid-1997 through mid-2007, apparently was quite inspired by Bill Clinton’s electoral success from having politically triangulated the United States and dragged the Democratic Party to the right. Given Blair’s blindly obedient support of King George Bush II’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War, you would think that Blair had been affiliated with the UK’s Conservative Party, but nope, he was affiliated with the Labour Party.

It’s no shock that Tony Blair, who had sold the Labour Party out just as the Clintons and Barack Obama have sold the Democratic Party out — I mean, it’s awfully interesting that Billary Clinton in October 2002 voted for the Vietraq War, so she was in lockstep with Tony Blair as well as with the unelected, fascistic Bush regime — had warned hyperbolically that the election of true progressive Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party would mean the party’s “annihilation.”

For all of Blair’s self-serving blather, Slate.com notes that yesterday Corbyn “won 59.5 percent of the more than 400,000 votes cast, meaning he won leadership of the UK’s main opposition party by an even larger margin than Tony Blair’s historic 1994 victory, when he got 57 percent of the vote.”

The Washington Post’s Dan Balz notes of Tony Blair that:

To American audiences, it is difficult to overstate the degree to which Blair is now an outcast in British politics. He may retain some affection here in the United States, but not in Britain. If there were any doubts about his current place in the politics of his country and particularly in the party he restored to prominence in the 1990s, it became clear with Corbyn’s landslide victory.

The Labour Party has been in turmoil since the general election in May, when Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party scored a surprising victory, securing an outright, if narrow, parliamentary majority when almost all polls predicted another hung Parliament and the possibility of a back-door path to power for Labour under its then-leader, Ed Miliband.

The election proved a wipeout for the Labour Party. Miliband resigned immediately, and as the party began the search for a new leader, it was plunged into a tumultuous debate about its future direction — a debate that hardly will be settled with the Corbyn election.

Blair weighed in days after the general election, warning that Labour had veered too far left under Miliband and that the road back to power required the party to recapture the center ground it had held from 1997 until 2010. As polls showed Corbyn rising, Blair warned of the potentially fateful consequences of an even sharper left turn. …

Again, Blair is like the Clintons, arguing that to succeed, the Labour Party/Democratic Party must mimic the Conservative Party/Repugnican Party. And like the self-serving Clintons, the self-serving Blair very apparently is wholly untroubled by how repulsive many if not most members of his party (the party that he claims but whose ideals he has sold out) find this ongoing “argument” to be.

And, of course, the comparison of the leftist Corbyn to the leftist U.S. presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders inevitably has been made, because Sanders now faces what Corbyn also has faced: being a member of a formerly progressive, formerly pro-working-class party that was taken over by self-serving, center-right assholes who over several years turned the party into a shadow, a husk of its former self — indeed, into a paler imitation of the opposition right-wing, anti-working-class, pro-plutocratic party to the point that the term “opposition party” no longer has meant much of anything.

For all of Blair’s self-serving blathering and for all of the self-serving, center-right conventional “wisdom” in the UK that making the Labour Party progressive again would mean its DOOM!, Corbyn has prevailed.

The self-serving, center-right conventional “wisdom” here in The Mirror Land of the United States of America also is that making the Democratic Party actually progressive again would mean its DOOM! Therefore, for Democrats to elect democratic socialist (gasp!) Bernie Sanders instead of Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton as their 2016 presidential nominee would Destroy the Democratic Party!

Except that the Democratic Party was destroyed long ago.

Ever since the 1990s, the Democratic Party, first under the Clintons and now under Caretaker in Chief Obama (who, even when he was running for his first term couldn’t say enough about how great Ronald Reagan was [again, there is no meaningful “opposition party” in the United States anymore]), has served the plutocrats and the corporate fat cats more than it has served the working class and what’s left of the decimated middle class.

The Democratic Party talks about caring about us commoners, but for years now that’s all that we commoners have received: talk. Talk, lots and lots of talk, such as of “hope” and of “change.”

So when Billary claims to wuv us so much, against the mountains of evidence to the contrary, it rings hollow.

But the game is up, which is why those who benefit from playing the center-right game for some months now have been ignoring and dismissing how well Bernie Sanders might do and indeed how well he is doing.

Nationally, Sanders remains in second place to Billary, but her national numbers have been falling for weeks now. Talk of Joe Biden perhaps jumping into the fray apparently has lost both Billary and Sanders some support in the nationwide polls (in which Biden now comes in at third place), but I don’t expect two-time presidential-contest loser Biden to jump in, not with Iowa and New Hampshire less than five months away.

(If Biden does jump in, one must ask which group he appeals to more: those of us who are beyond sick and tired of the Democratic-in-name-only establishment and thus who are going to stick with Bernie Sanders, come hell or high water, or those who still plan to hold their noses and stomach the DINO establishment, of which Biden and Billary are huge parts, believing that that is the best that they — and we — can do against the Repugnican Tea Party fascists.)

Sanders has been leading Billary beyond the margin of error in New Hampshire, and for weeks now Sanders’ polling numbers in Iowa have been going up while Billary’s have been going down. It seems to me that if Sanders wins both Iowa and New Hampshire in February, Billary’s campaign most likely will collapse like the house of cards that it is.

Team Billary has been jabbering about its supposed “firewall” in the South (the fourth state and the first Southern state to weigh in is South Carolina, in late February, and then in March, almost all of the rest of the South weighs in), which is awfully interesting, because is the Democratic Party really supposed to be about Southern values? What does it say about Billary Clinton that she would do better in the South than in the actually Democratic states?

And if Billary were so strong, why does she need a “firewall”?

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t predict a cakewalk for my chosen candidate, Bernie Sanders.

Now that Jeremy Corbyn has won the leadership of the Labour Party and is poised to return it to its roots, he will face certain opposition not only from the Conservative Party, but also from the center-right supporters of Tony Blair and his ilk who will do their very best to politically cripple Corbyn and who then will blame it on the supposed inherent unworkability of his political ideology and practices.

This is what the United States of America long has done to the sovereign socialist nation of Cuba, for example: Do everything possible to cripple it and prevent it from succeeding and then blame any and all of Cuba’s problems entirely on its leaders’ political ideology and practices, entirely ignoring the blatant sabotage of Cuba by the wingnutty, capitalist swine in the U.S.

This dynamic is most likely what a President Sanders also would face: opposition and sabotage not only from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, which goes without saying, but also opposition and sabotage from the embittered center-right DINOs whose years of privilege (gained by blatantly having sold the rest of us out) had ended with Sanders’ election and who now wish to show that their center-right way of doing things is the best way of doing things, as evidenced by the failure of the Sanders administration, which they have done their best to bring about.

Seriously: It’s bad enough to face opposition from the fascists on the right, but to have to face opposition also from the Fascist Lites who also use your party’s name is a special insult to injury.

Again, this is what Sanders is up against.

Not only is it going to take an all-out political revolution to put Bernie Sanders into the Oval Office, but it’s going to take an ongoing revolution to keep him there.

A truly populist revolution — a revolution in which a government that truly reflects the best interests of the majority of the people (that is, an actually democratic government) is established — always is vulnerable from attacks by those who benefited, at the expense of the many, from the old way of doing things.

Again: Getting Sanders there would be, in the scope of things, the easy part. Keeping him there will/would be the real battle, as we Americans have a tendency to show up for presidential elections every four years and that’s it (if we even do that much).

I, for one, am ready for the long haul.

Years and years of damage by center-right party sellouts aren’t reversed in one election.

In the meantime, I am inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s win, and I see it as indicative that the winds in the West are blowing leftward.

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Cubans have much more to lose in closer ties with the United States

FILE - In this July 31, 2004 file photo, Cuba's President Fidel Castro, left, and his brother, Minister of Defense Raul Castro, attend a Parliament session in Havana, Cuba. The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union devastated the Cuban economy, but the country limped along, first under Fidel and then, after he fell ill in 2006, under his brother Raul, head of the Cuban military. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, the U.S. and Cuba agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War. (AP Photo/Cristobal Herrera, File)

Associated Press photo

The 88-year-old Fidel Castro won’t live forever, and Cuba is about a lot more than Fidel Castro. (Castro is shown above in 2004 with his brother, Raul Castro, who took over as the leader of the island nation in 2008 due to Fidel Castro’s failing health.) The United States should have restored diplomatic relations with Cuba decades ago, and the tiny but loud minority of right-wing Cuban Americans need to shut the fuck up and for once put the greater good of Americans and Cubans above their own bitterness and selfishness — and humble themselves and remind themselves that the majority of the American people twice elected President Barack Obama to represent the United States on the global stage.

One of U.S. President Barack Obama’s best moves is his decision to open diplomatic relations with the government of Cuba after more than 50 years of a pointless cold war with the island nation.

For all of the selfish whining of the tiny but loud minority of Cuban-American wingnuts — who always have been a bunch of fucking ingrates who believe that they should control U.S. foreign policy — ironically, Cubans have a lot more to lose than do Americans should the United States and Cuba ever become super-cozy.

The typical Cuban, after all, has better access to higher education and health care than does the average American. The typical Cuban’s life expectancy is close behind the typical American’s and Cubans’ life expectancy ranks No. 1 among the Latin American nations.

Cuba has universal health care (yes, health care is a human right, and shouldn’t be an opportunity for profiteering) and Cuba’s literacy rate of 99.8 percent beats the United States’ rate of 99 percent.

Not that Cuba is perfect, perhaps especially on the measure of freedom of speech, but, of course, the United States, which, among other things, calls torture “enhanced interrogation” (someone recently remarked that that’s like calling rape “enhanced dating”) and slaughters scores of innocent civilians by drones in the name of “democracy,” isn’t exactly a paragon of human rights itself, is it?

However, would it benefit most Cubans for American corporations to muscle back into the nation and turn most Cubans into wage slaves, like most Americans are? (Capitalism is, after all, wage slavery that of course creates insane socioeconomic inequality.) Are Cubans really just itching for such wonderful imported American “freedoms” as crushing student-loan debt, wage slavery and bankruptcy from insane health-care costs?

You’d think the rabidly wingnutty Cuban Americans would salivate over the idea of turning Cuba into a cash cow for the corporations again, as it was when darling-of-the-right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista, who couldn’t sell out the people of Cuba enough to American corporations for his own benefit and the benefit of his fellow elites, was in power.

But what’s up the right-wing Cuban-American ingrates’ asses is that they expect the U.S. government to maintain a cold war with Cuba on their behalf for eternity. They believe that their bitterness against Fidel Castro, who overthrew dictator Batista in the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s, should be reflected by U.S. governmental policy toward Cuba in perpetuity.

(Batista, by the way, fled Cuba on January 1, 1959, with hundreds of millions of dollars he’d taken through obscene corruption and after having slaughtered as many as 20,000 of his political opponents. This is the kind of man, like murderous Chilean dictator Agosto Pinochet, who gets the support of the right wing.

If you think that I’m full of shit, know that President John Kennedy said of Batista that his was “one of the most bloody and repressive dictatorships in the long history of Latin American repression” and that Kennedy wrote this:

I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.

Um, yeah.)

To open diplomatic relations with another nation is not to agree with everything that nation does and has done. Certainly the U.S. government and the governments of China and Russia don’t agree on everything, but they maintain diplomatic relations nonetheless.

The teeny-tiny minority of right-wing Cuban-Americans and their supporters (including, of course, the craven politicians who want right-wing Cuban-Americans’ money and votes, such as right-wing Cuban-American scumbags U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida) need to shut the fuck up and put the greater good of the American people and the Cuban people above their own selfish political agendas, and they need to wake the fuck up and stop expecting the rest of us, the vast majority, to maintain their insane cold war of more than five decades.

I support diplomatic relations with Cuba because Cuba has much to teach the United States, which, of course, just might be just what the Cuban-American wingnuts fear most.

But, again, it is Cubans, not Americans, who have the most to lose in significantly close ties between the two nations.

The specter of Cubans once again being oppressed by the craven corporate America is, in fact, the only reason that I would or could oppose diplomatic relations with Cuba.

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