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Does the Hillary, Bernie Battle Matter That Much?


#1

Does the Hillary, Bernie Battle Matter That Much?

Les Leopold

Tension are flaring as the New York primary approaches. The candidates are getting tough with each other, and their supporters are getting even tougher. The New York debate was almost too painful to watch.

But is the fighting really that warranted? Is there something at stake that runs deeper than personality differences, the first woman president, Clinton fatigue, or pie-in-the-sky Bernie? Since both candidates are so much better than the Republican crazies, does it really matter all that much whether Hillary or Bernie gets the nod?


#2

Trying to make me throw a clot with this headline? Good job, Came close. The "Yes it matters." sub-headline relaxed my blood pressure a bit.

Yes, it matters! Should be another Bernie slogan!

Bern on Bernie! Show the country what is what.

"Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. Ah, so you shall be misunderstood? Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstoon, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


#5

No. She spouts rhetoric like that but what she really wants to do has nothing to do with that, as her and her intended co-president's actions over the years show. In fact she and he have worked against people of color with the crime bill, against LGBT people with DOMA and DADT, and against women with ending welfare.

She has no concern at all for these people or increasing fairness. She is a liar, she is all pretense, and she is a scam artist using these issues.


#6

But none of this stands a chance of success unless Bernie supporters keep at it after the election, win or lose. - Les Leopold

Exactly. Thank you Les.

I understand that some people may support Hillary Clinton because they agree with her plutocratic friendly economic platform and hawkish/militaristic approach to foreign policy.

What I find unsettling is growing numbers of people who used to be opposed to such positions - people who once spoke out against citizens united, people who once spoke out against income inequality, people who once criticized US military intervention and bombing - are now arguing that there is no problem with multi-million dollar donations to candidates and PACs by wealthy individuals, corporations, and Wall Street. Many are now expressing support for drone killing, crowd killing, Lybian style interventions, military aid to Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu, etc.

Just as Sanders has been a force moving political debate to more progressive concerns, Hillary Clinton has been a force pushing for acceptance of the plutocratic status quo and a hawkish militarism.


#7

Of course it matters. But for a real change in direction the Congressional election matters much more. If the Democrats can take back the Senate that matters. And if the Democrats win the House also that will be a game changer. In that case the only thing preventing real change will be a Republican filibuster in the Senate. If the Democrats have a least 60 seats in the Senate then the Republican's will have little ability to prevent things from changing. So while we are mesmerized watching the presidential campaigns we shouldn't forget that it is Congress that actually passes the laws. The president signs the laws or uses a veto. If Congress does not go along with change proposed by a president it is not going to happen.


#8

It matters, because. among other things, for what a President Sanders won't do.


#9

It's great to see the neoliberal doctrine increasingly defined and consequently exposed as the destructive force it is. Deregulation, privatization, globalization: these are the arms of this neoliberal golem that we now find ourselves with.

" . . .sources say once the golem had been physically made one needed to write the letters aleph, mem, tav, which is emet and means "truth," on the golem's forehead and the golem would come alive. Erase the aleph and you are left with mem and tav, which is met, meaning "death."

-Jewish Virtual Library:


#10

You misdiagnose the problem. Democrats in control means spit when the Democrats are still DLC Democrats, as the 111th Congress proved in '09 and '10.


#11

I sometimes wonder if progressives have grown so used to being on the losing end of the neoliberal corporate coup that they haven't the confidence to fight to win. Leopold makes valid points but you can tell he feels like we will lose. Like Ghengis Khan (Khan of Khans) whose mere mention of his approach caused whole cities to surrender, the left is being convinced that they can never win against the powers that rig the game. The sixties were not about asking for the powers that be to change for the better and when they didn't respond for everybody to give up and stop marching. I get that sense from this article that is what Leopold expects may happen and we all go back to being unhappy about losing our freedoms and ranting about Citizens United etc. but doing little else. To paraphrase Descartes - We complain therefore we are progressives!

We won in the sixties because we thought of ourselves as a free people who knew justice and the powers that be hadn't yet tamed us! We were involved, we were in the streets and that scared them because they knew they lied and were still lying. They knew that segregation was unfair and that all people should have equal civil rights and they realized that people would not stop until segregation was over!

That will for justice hasn't changed but the streets have been empty a long time. It takes some tragedy like a young man shot 59 times by police but who hadn't committed a crime to get people into the streets. Here and there a march about the war in Iraq or the environment but nothing prolonged. So the powers that be kept pushing and taking away our freedoms because they weren't afraid anymore that people would resist them. That process is nearly complete but then along came Bernie. And for the first time in a long time they got a bit scared that they just might not have a free hand in setting up a fascistic oligarchy that they control.

In America today there is being set up a new class structure where equality is something for the little guy! There is an oligarchy class which is taking control and exerting that control over other citizens which never existed before. History had robber barons etc who were wealthy and corrupt but we have a corporate fascism being set in place which will exist independent of individuals. A class with privileges that is based on super wealth and they make it legal. For example six banks too big to fail and why doesn't anti-trust laws come into play?

Maybe we should call it the - Wealth and Everybody Else class system. Who owns the corporations who data mine your every move? Who controls the daily total information awareness aspect of corporate surveillance in the Surveillance State? Corporations do that's who. Not you. Add to that government surveillance (the government of the ruling elite class that can rig elections) and what can a poor guy do? That is what they count on... The Con of Cons, the mere mention of which causes surrender.

They can do this because they have IMPUNITY ( and often legal immunity too). They fear nothing from the public. They believe that we have been tamed or soon will be. The step by step isn't yet complete. A few more steps to go. They believe in money and power and wave the flag as they send you to fight! You to pay taxes and they to stash theirs offshore in tax havens. They close factories and outsource jobs as if their making extra profits somehow was patriotic. They do all these things because they don't fear any penalty from doing them. The rigged game extends beyond this election.

They never would have even tried to do this kind of stuff in the sixties because people wouldn't have stood for it!

Will we? If we let them get away with rigging this election right under our noses and in full view of the population then they will come away knowing two things... One that they won the big one - the one last chance for someone honest enough to reverse the decline of American democracy ( and roll back the advancing corporate coup) and secondly... They won't let it ever get so close ever again! They could still lose now and they know it! That is why the oligarchy that is subverting democracy is going all out to keep the people's choice from winning this one last time. That scenario won't happen again. They aren't fools.

It is now, Mr. Leopold, that people must fight if they would be able to fight later. If the rigged game gets away with denying the obvious people's choice then we will not get another chance like this. Forget worrying if we will fight in the future because the fight is really and truly now. They have made Americans afraid of their own freedoms and taken power unto themselves instead - beyond patriarchy and close to undemocratic autocracy except in name. If we let them get away with this rigging the game then there will be sad and serious trouble that always comes whenever people feel badly cheated. They have gone too far and we have seen too much. Those are risky seeds to have planted for any nation.

Those who have rigged the game are risking far more than they have honestly let themselves see. They reek of denial of the risk they create for trouble and unrest that they have been so openly disdainful of the ideals of democracy and justice. They believe they have tamed the wild beast and abuse it like a dog. A mistake that.


#12

Sanders is pioneering organizational movement building alongside myriad non-profits, I so hope it all connects up. This article is excellent, although long, in describing long-haul organizing as compared to movements, and the shift happening in the US among organizations trying to merge organizing with movement building. Sanders is most definitely capitalizing on this moment, and I hope his many supporters catch on, before it's too late, what he is asking us of us. Supporting him means more than voting or donating. It means getting out into your community and making change happen--now and well into the future.

Find a grassroots democracy organization online that provides tools and resources to novice and experienced organizers to start organizing where you live!


#13

No the Lrx troll knows exactly what he/she is saying. Just ignore them.


#14

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#17

Thanks EnemyofWar. Everyone should read this. These people don't even know how to stay on the good side of their al Qaeda allies. What incompetence.

Po


#18

Yes, a double down on neoliberalism, war and austerity, or a turn toward humanity and moral economics.


#20

This happens because the oldest rule of political science--the one rule that actually qualifies as real science--is too often ignored. Those letters mean everything. Everything. And any dissonance can be dismissed simply with the changing of the letters.

It should unsettle you. It terrifies me. This is why Democrats are so ridiculously dangerous right now--even more so than the GOP. It's because that D might as well stand for "Demobilization", which is what always happens when a D takes power. And the worst thing we can ever do is lay down our signs, or shoes, our passion because we falsely believe that one of our "team" is working for us.

We can't afford another 8 years of a completely neutered popular protest movement like we've had the last 8. And if it takes a Republican to bring people back out and wake them up, so be it.


#21

Terrific comment. Along with everything else you said, this especially resonates for me: " If we let them get away with this rigging the game then there will be sad and serious trouble that always comes whenever people feel badly cheated." We've seen foreshadowing of this in the crowds for Trump.


#22

Trump has cut the cord between the Republican Party ( a party that always represents the rich and the corporations ) and the working class American. That was a long time coming. It was not supposed to happen and it is ironic that a billionaire is the cause of that break away. The Tea Party has become the No Party ( the republican convention will be a circus). A case where all those years of manipulation and propaganda against liberals bore fruit ( they still can't support liberals ) but went off in an uncontrolled direction (to back Trump) because they didn't want or trust the Republican Party anymore. What will happen if Trump is kicked out by a brokered convention? The powers that be and the media have created the Trumpenstein monster and we may all regret that in days to come. In any case the Republican Party has lost its aura of invulnerability and its influence with the right wing Archie Bunker working class types.

The Dems have lost their Identity as liberals ( except maybe with republicans). The Dems have associated themselves more with being republicans except in name. From trade deals to the endless war, corruption and rigging the game, they have lost touch with their liberal base. They are the artsy fartsy status quo elites who are to the left of the republicans only because the republicans are to the right of everyone else. These are the Wall St democrats, the trade deal democrats and the rich SOBs that have the utter gall to tell poor working people that $12 is more than enough when $15 is already being enacted by states. The democrats that oppose free public colleges yet say they want to help poor people to better their lives. Public colleges were free when I went to school and America led the world in the number of professional and advanced skills people in our work force. Now we are dumbed down and told we are supposed to have skin in the game while the wealthy skin people alive and use corruption to do it. What utter hypocrites.

Both parties ended up being like the fairy tale of the Emperor's New Clothes... and they stand there exposed and naked for all to see. They are the parties of the rich and they've made the mistake of going too far and letting people see it. They were that greedy that they took away people's trust in their institutions. Trust in democracy and fair play. American democracy stands naked and people are wondering if we still have democracy anymore. The party elites act like they have the right to decide who gets elected. A risky thing to dismiss the aspirations of people. We tolerated so much but consoled ourselves that at least we as a united people had voted for whomever was elected.

Now what? What happens now when the denial hits the fan? How outrageous that they trash people's pensions, outsource their jobs, bail out banks with trillions but still foreclosed on the little guys houses in millions, hide their taxes in havens, bribe and corrupt and all the rest and yet they were arrogant enough to rig the game so openly that virtually everybody sees it.

Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of history...are usually the people making them.


#23

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#24

A second Clinton Administration will institutionalize the corporatization of Murka.


#25

It is believed that Elenore was the socialist ...lol. Franklin came in mainly to avoid the socialists getting in during the depression and he was too rich and too old money elite to scare people that he was a socialist so he could get away with enacting social programs. They are among the greatest in our history because during the war Franklin understood that capitalism alone would not defeat the Axis. War profiteering was ruthlessly stamped out (contrast that with what happened during the Bush/Cheney administration in Iraq). People never talk about that much but during the war years Franklin was running a state directed capitalism.

It is pretty clear that Elenore sits at the progressive table ...lol. She was one of us!