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Forget Bernie vs. Warren. Focus on Growing the Progressive Base and Defeating Biden.

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/21/forget-bernie-vs-warren-focus-growing-progressive-base-and-defeating-biden


Good on you, Naomi. Great column and thanks CD. Campaign finance and election reform are the biggest obstacles progressives face. End of story, imo.
I’ve supported both candidates in the past, financially. Currently I’m supporting Sen. Sanders in 2020. In 2016 I voted for Dr. Jill Stein. As a " pox on both your houses " dissent.
Keep in mind the Old Proverb: " Look four ways before crossing the street and five ways before crossing your friends. "
Just saying it’s a marathon to November 2020, not a demolition derby.


Great Article.

From my perspective Biden is more of a Warmonger and more dangerous than Trump.

I view Biden as a more discreet Bigot than Trump but a Bigot nonetheless.

The reason he got along with Senate Bigots is because he agreed with them and voted against the integration of public schools through Busing.

As Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee he wholeheartedly supported the invasion of Iraq.

Only a psychopathic idiot could have supported that War.

Did he not realize that there were millions of innocent Iraqi people being bombed to death under the insane Shock & Awe massacre?

I could never support an irrational politician like the mentally unstable Killer Joe.



I agree, we will get nowhere until our election process is restored for the people. There’s a group that’s doing just that. They recognize this is impossible at the legislative level, because of the money in politics. So they have taken a different approach, and so far is very agreeable to all Americans, left and right. They are addressing it at the constitutional level, and so far winning. Check out the link below, if you like what they’re doing consider signing the petition.


Hi SequoiaBison:

I remember seeing film of the first day in Iraq, and there was that "Shock and Awe,: headline. I remember looking the photo and thinking , it look like America just bombed out a whole city-----they did! How many men , women families and kids died in that city that day? Does anyone know that number?

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Warren is calling for a movement-------she is calling for people to be active-------and movements need more than one leader----Biden just had his turning point when he said Booker needed to apologize------and when Biden exclaims “apologize for what”??? Biden is in deeper hiding than Clinton in 2016.

And when I get the choice I will have too vote for Bernie ( Bernie is YODA)—But I think Warren will be the nominee------and then the idiots of this country will have a choice----pick a woman (one hundred yrs after they got the vote) who champions the common people-----or the ahole rich white male who champions the elite. I wonder who the people of Ohio will vote for??? And I’m not betting on the right choice.


Yes, I get their e-mails ( last 3 yrs ) and updates. I wholeheartedly agree with their goals.


I agree that progressives must not get overly obsessed with the electoral race. We must indeed organize and give appropriate attention to other priorities.

I’ve oft opined that we are now at a level of emergency wherein we must look beyond electoral politics to massive, growing, strategically considered and targeted and well coordinated public direct action…using the only real power we have left: our economic clout as represented by our labor, and what we do and do not purchase, etc.

But even so, we can’t (and in any case won’t) simply ignore the electoral process. And in that regard, I too, worry that progressives will all gather into a circular firing squad, resulting in a Biden nomination. I see far too many instances of comments around the 'net that impugn Sanders as not being pure and radical enough. (Given the nature of the remarks, I suspect that a fair amount of that is simply lingering resentment that he didn’t go back on his word to back the Dem. nominee in 2016 nor run as an independent or Green. (I admit, I too, cringed when he spoke so highly of and campaigned for Clinton; even though I understood the calculus.)

But a nomination contest is indeed a competition , a kind of fight. For me, the question is ultimately about who, if anyone, shares my values and has demonstrated alignment with and care for my (and the greater public’s) interests; along with elect-ability. In this regard, there can be no doubt that on both metrics, Sanders comes out far ahead; notwithstanding Warren’s willingness to push for Wall St. reforms (which are proposed in order to help save capitalism from itself).

Still, I’m observant enough to know that many who call themselves liberal or even progressive are still fixated on identity politics - and I don’t think they will be persuaded to set aside their desire for a woman in the White House long enough to contemplate whether they really are electable , much less what they would do if they did win in 2020.

And of course, another facet of identity politics is that it leads to a cult of personality. While that is probably true of many of Trump’s most diehard fans, it’s also true of those many who obsess with the horror of Trump. It is still in my view cult of personality …only the obsession is with the negative. And those whose main or perhaps only political concern is of defeating Trump seem to me to be also more persuaded by identity politics in general. For them, Warren, Buttigieg or Harris (to name a few) are more appealing than the “old white guy” (again, identity politics, but applied in the negative).

This is the sad reality of American politics. The same people who can post on FB about the climate emergency or the growing disparity between the wealthy and the rest of us will, when attention turns to the Democratic nomination, join back into whichever identity group (tribe) beckons; and policy and candidate history regarding same will be ignored. My own hope is that Warren will fold her campaign into Sanders’; perhaps as running mate. In fact, if for Warren the 2020 election is really about serving the public interest and not about personal ambition, I see no reason why she wouldn’t do that.

I think many CD patrons are well aware of these dynamics and most also care more about the issues a lot more than the social identity. And I’d venture a guess that many will simply once again refuse to enable a continuation of economic neoliberalism coupled with neoconservativism on the foreign relations front. Such a trend both brought Trump to the White House and is impeding our ability to solve the global existential emergencies.

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Excellent observation. Sanders and Warren are close on econ and social justice. That leaves just one major issue. Who will stop feeding the killing machine?


Sorry, Naomi. I usually find you very insightful. But you’re missing the boat here.

A vote for Warren is a vote for Biden or Clinton (yep, that may be what happens if the Convention goes to the 2nd ballot) is a vote for Trump.

Warren has proved (PROVED) that when push comes to shove she will bend over backwards to support the establishment centrist Clintonista mainstream of the party.

She signed a letter before the 2016 election was even a glimmer in anyone’s mind except the ‘Ready for Hillary’ professional campaign folk- a letter that begged Hillary to run.

Too many of us thought that Warren didn’t back Bernie in 2016, who we were convinced she wanted to endorse, because she was afraid that if she did and he lost that she’d be destroyed in the party and not be able to pick up from his loss and carry on his legacy. I even wrote a piece like that here, that she was keeping her powder dry, an insider strategy to complement Bernie’s outsider strategy.

But being reminded of this letter and her refusal to be the nominee that progressives wanted to face off against Hillary in 2016, thus forcing them to turn to Bernie, has woken me up.

What really happened in 2016 was that Warren didn’t endorse Hillary in 2016, who it turns out she really, really, really did want to endorse (remember that letter,) because she was afraid if she did she’d lose any ability to sheepdog lefties into supporting Hillary in 2016 and then herself in 2020 if, by some unforeseen chance, Hillary didn’t win.

Warren’s so called signature accoplishment, her Consumer Financial Protection Burea (CFPB)? It was a vaccine against doing anything real against Wall Street and the Big Banks- like at least breaking them up and more along the lines like actually undoing the privatizaiton of the Fed and nationalizing the big banks that were too big to fail. There was no new regulation in her CFPB, except its creation. What does it do? It operates after the fact, if a consumer is ripped off by the Big Banks or Wall Street and only if the consumer is plucky enough to file a complaint and then if the CPB finds sufficent cause, why it fines them.

That, my friends, is the epitomy of NeoLiberalism. No wonder it’s that, since Warren is the kind of person who stands up to applaud Trump saying we’ll never be a socialist country and who brags that she is a Capitalist who loves free markets.

The CFPB is to real regulation of the Big Banks and Wall Street what the Affordable Care Act is to Single Payer Improved Medicare for All. It’s a way to insure the real deal never happens. “What are you whining about? We got you the CFPB didn’t we? You get ripped off? File a complaint!”

Warren is a Zionist, a supporter of overthrowing Maduro (just not with US troops- anyone heard of Contras,) and someone who wants to ‘Green’ the Empire.

Warren has lots of ‘plans.’ Most of them are weak imitations of real things proposed or even introduced by Sanders or Gabbard, if not rip offs of plans of Dr. Stein. But Warren not only is loyal to the Clintonistas, she also has no back bone. So what the F if she proposes plans? SHE’LL NEVER FIGHT FOR THEM.

Remember when some reporter asked her if the 2016 Primary was rigged and she nodded and said ‘yep’ in her school marm manner and then just hours later, after her political handlers got to her, fully and totally, unequivacable, backtracked and said, ‘nope’ in her school marm manner?

If by some miracle she actually didn’t just act as a spoiler to hand over her delegates to Biden on the 2nd Ballot (or even worse to ‘ride in on a horse in shining armor savior untained by the Primary’ Hillary,) she’ll be played by Trump like Nero playing the violin while Rome burnt. We know that from the whole Pocahontas and DNA thing.

My God, the woman can’t even be honest on the Breakfast Club podcast and answer Charlemagne’s question of when did she realize she wasn’t native? She can’t say, “The DNA test.” She instead repeats the line, “I’m not a woman of color, I’m not a member of a tribe, but what I can say is that…” and then tries to pander with issues she thinks will motivate those ‘stupid’ black folk, turning to the only black woman there, when she has an issue she thinks will excite her. But those black folk were not stupid like she condescendingly thought and Charlemagne pressed the question. Again the same silly non-response, “I’m not a woman of color, I’m not a member of a tribe…” This time Charlemagne dismisses her with “You’re the original Rachel Dozeal.”

Charlemagne just wanted to discuss this; Trump will want to demolish her. But she doesn’t have the gumption to face a FOX audience out of fear on this. How in the world is she going to deal with Trump?

But even if some Alien Space Bats intervene and make sure she wins the election, she’ll jettison all her progressive ‘plans’ as soon as the lobbyists in the back room meeting explain things to her.

No, Naomi. The battle for Progressivism must include calling out the FauxProgressives and the NeoLiberal Lites of the Young Turks crowd and their attemp to foist this phony one us. If we don’t, if we act like she’s one of us, then we’re just holding the rope while the NeoLiberals tie the end into a noose to hang us with it.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. Warren is white Obama in a skirt.


I refuse to support any nominee that doesn’t make Single Payer Medicare for All a priority. This is my litmus test. So far Elizabeth Warren has failed the test.


Oy vey, enough already! I mean, you make an absolutely airtight case, which has been nagging at me ever since I found out she really did fraudulently claim indigenous lineage, for which she has never truly made amends in any manner satisfying to genuine indigenes… But, gad, LibWing! It’s painful for me to fully admit what you’re saying, I guess because Warren is rhetorically talented and can seem to have an appealing style until it dawns on you: it’s all just double-digested, washed-over reformism.

Reformist hypocrisy, though it ascend Obamaesque heights, always dumps us right back onto the fascist merry-go-round.


Brava to you for your comment and to Naomi Klein for her piece.

Thank you both.

Scott Brown would of been a vote for Trump/Romney from Massachusetts in 2012. Warren isn’t either of them.
I think your understanding of how gov’t regulations work replaces reactionary ( reflexsive ) responses with a type of crystal ball approach. All government functions are reactionary in nature in this political system. Yes, there’s a level of willful ignorance in regulations coming to the fore only after the fact. However, once put into motion, regulations have a cascading effect from the federal to the local level.
Your arguments would be better served if the political structure ( and consumer protections like Sen. Warren is known for advocating for ) were built from the local up to the federal level. But, that’s not how it works currently.
Guessing what could happen, in this regard, isn’t something a candidate can build a campaign on, unfortunately. Wishing it were so, even when it’s probably true, doesn’t make it so in 2020.
Just lamentin’, pretty much.

Let’s ditch the dim crowd and start talking about Tulsi Gabbard, Her anti-war platform, her ability to cut into Trump’s base, and why she is the only interesting candidate running.


Agreed mrsannhitts, but I do believe none of our problems will be dealt with properly until the corporate media and NPR are regulated for we the people, now 60 of population does not realize the dire straights we are in. 40% are the Trumpsters and other 20% of good democrats that listen to corporate media and don’t have a clue. It might be higher for the clueless corporate media watchers. I have good friends that are in that group and some in the Trumpster group. None are bad people but listen to corporate controlled media. We need a larger group of people who are informed citizens.

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Ok, but Liz was never sanctioned by the tribe for her claim of ancestry (which has some accuracy) it was the DNA test. What bothers you about this anyway?

Naomi’s post is fine, but looking at the comments it didn’t do any good. Beware the fools expecting perfection (or deliberately trying to help the GOP and the 1%) who on finding an issue to disagree with Warren (or Sanders) is enough to demonize them - and thus sell out all progressive causes.

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I am a big fan of Naomi Klein’s, yet was disappointed by this article. If you really want to grow the progressive base, you may want to look beyond the polarity being presented here. In his article about Marianne Williamson for New York Magazine, Ed Kilgore wrote, “At a time when the leftward drift of the Democratic Party is regularly in the news, she is by any measure the most rigorously progressive candidate in the field of 23.” MW is continually calling out how our society is being corrupted by a “sociopathic economic system based on short-term profits”, and is calling for a “fundamental pattern disruption” of this system. Most relevant to this article, she is appealing to a lot of people who have previously been turned off to politics. So, if you want to “grow your progressive base”, why would you ignore her or diss her, along with all the people she can bring? I thought we had learned that lesson last time around, with how Bernie was treated. MW is very clear that she is not running “against” anyone; she is running WITH a bunch of great candidates, most of whom collectively have the potential to catalyze a major shift in political consciousness. While there are a handful who are basically same-old same-old, we have the potential right now to educate and wake up the American people about the climate crisis, about reparations, about the Green New Deal – and truly build an inclusive movement. Coz ultimately, it’s not about what any single candidate will do… but whether “the people” are organized and woke enough – and able to create a large enough tent — to create a “push from below” to hold accountable whatever NON-neo-liberal candidate we manage to elect.


Forget this web site’s radical agenda. We need anyone who can get our fear-mongering, Third World president out of the White House. Then we’ll be ready to move forwards, rather than into the Twilight Zone.