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Obama, You’re Wrong About Sanders


#1

Obama, You’re Wrong About Sanders

Brent Budowsky

On Monday, President Obama scolded journalists for not covering the substance of the presidential campaign. I entirely agree.


#2

“When people put their faith into someone who can’t possibly deliver his or her own promises, that only breeds more cynicism.”
Obama should certainly know about that. Too bad he didn't understand that back in 2008. If Trump supporters want to believe he can do all he claims to be able to do without the approval of Congress that is just the way it is. If Sanders supporters want to believe the political revolution that he has been talking about for more than 40 years is going to materialize that is just the way it is. People who think we need a politician who can bring about incremental change can support Clinton or Kasich depending on their political views. People who basically want to get rid of the much of the federal government can support Cruz.


#3

This qualifies as a hybrid between Herman Hesse's "Steppenwolf" and a Saturday Night Live episode.

Picture the "voice-over" stating these lines while Obama stares into a hall of endless mirrors, and then goes crazy from hearing his own fraudulent LINES while viewing his own reflection in that unending prism (or perhaps I should say prison) of mirrors!

"Where I disagree with the president is when he criticizes Bernie Sanders and his supporters, as well as Donald Trump, by saying: “When people put their faith into someone who can’t possibly deliver his or her own promises, that only breeds more cynicism.”

An eerie laugh echoes the word "cynicism" over and over again.


#5

Obama is confronted by the knowledge of how will he be remembered (which isn't very good) and so he is concerned by how his term in office will be compared to that of whomever follows him.

If Hillary gets elected Obama won't look any worse than he does now (which isn't very good x2) and if Trump gets elected Obama would look better than he should.

If Bernie gets elected then Obama will look pretty damn bad. He wouldn't stand up to the comparison between him and Bernie. In fact he is already worried about how little he accomplished (how many Americans think the bank bailouts were an accomplishment?) and how little he actually tried to accomplish! That is why he is now suggesting that nobody can accomplish much because he couldn't!

I think historians will comment that Obama did accomplish one very huge and seemingly impossible task at the time which was the restoration and resurgence of the Republican Party after Bush/Cheney. It isn't just that the Repubs have taken over now...it was that they were down to virtually single digits in popularity and Obama literally and voluntarily returned them to power with his bipartisanship baloney (which may have been what he had had to promise to get all that Wall St money for his campaign.

Obama would have a lot to be embarrassed for if someone came in and did the things that were promised to voters by Obama but which Obama never even tried to do. Obama's true legacy is of empty promises just to get himself elected. Guess who he is endorsing?

Go Bernie...Americans deserve a break finally!


#6

A thoughtful article except when Budowsky admonished Sanders to avoid negative attacks on Clinton, with no mention of Clinton stopping negative attacks on Sanders, when the record shows that Sanders has not gone negative and simply lets facts get in the way of Clinton's fantasies, whereas some of Clinton's attacks ARE negative, distorting the facts or outright fibbing.


#7

“When people put their faith into someone who can’t possibly deliver his or her own promises, that only breeds more cynicism.” - B. Obama

Not delivering on campaign promises is a major problem in US politics.

Politicians there can promise anything during the campaign, and then do the opposite after being elected - with impunity. Are you listening Mr President?

For democracy to function properly it is necessary for politicians to do as they promise. If they do not, their campaigns are shams and stupid wastes of time.

There is presently no way of compelling a politician to do as s/he has promised.

This could be remedied if laws existed making it illegal to violate a campaign promise.

But what politician would vote for a law restricting his ability to lie to get elected?

Probably few at present, but if there existed a powerful citizen's organization whose purpose it was to have all politicians agree to vote for such legislation, or have their names publicly displayed as refusing to do so, this might work to have no-fake-campaign-promises legislation passed.


#8

Obama should know all about promising things you can't deliver. We never got our Hope and Change he promised. He turned into a Republican as soon as he became the nominee. The Democrats have hidden behind the Republicans all along. They really don't mind some of their policies because they believe in them too. They just can't believe that the public, many of us, see through the empty talk. They aren't the party they used to be and will not get the votes they used to get. Obama and Hillary are so far to the right of the American people it's a joke but they like to talk as if they are progressive. NOT
Hillary used to be a Republican and Obama admitted that a while back he would be called a Republican. And we're not supposed to see that? They try to have it both ways and it's old and tired.
I won't play their game anymore, especially since the DNC media blackout of Bernie. I won't vote for Hillary out of fear of Trump. That scare tactic is supposed to keep us voting for Dems even though they are not who they say they are. No more. Either get it right and be a Democrat in policy or join the Republicans and quit lying.


#10

Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton is the probable nominee for the Democratic Party, and if she is nominated I will work like hell to get her elected.<

That's it. No need to read further this article - those who intend to vote for HRC if Sanders is successfully pushed away by the DNC are no better than HRC and the entire present Obama administration. Trump is miles away the preferred candidate.


#11

Ever since the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) was formed in 1985, the job description, and mission for establishment Democrats is to sustain the flow of corporate money into Party coffers.

I recall the lesser of two evils myth being introduced by the Democrats during the 1964 election cycle. Look where we are after more than a half century of lesser of two evils.


#12

There is no amount of "fighting for Hillary" that will change public opinion about this deep rooted establishment candidate in the year of the outsider, and nobody will have a bigger smile than Trump on the day Clinton is nominated. He will probably symbolically tie one of his hands behind his back to demonstrate how easy it will for him to win in November. If Bernie is nominated Trump knows he will actually have a challenge in the general election.


#13

Sanders is not proposing anything that is not possible with an engaged electorate. Unless you are so cynical that you believe what other countries have done to provide health coverage to all citizens are impossible here? The richest nation in the history of the world? Really? Unless you believe public education, Medicare and Social Security too radical? Because status quo cynics said these ideas were too radical before we got them, too.
Sanders is offering what we have not seen in many decades - a chance to elect a president who is able to work with the people to help pass laws that will benefit everyone, not just a handful of rich. Obama was never able to do this because in spite of his rhetoric he, too, succumbed to superpacs to get campaign financing. Bernie is the first to walk the walk.


#14

I agree that Obama is wrong about Sanders. He is also wrong about Clinton and DWS. His effort to support the 'third way' triangulation of policy development has failed so far, despite his many achievements. The main reason it has failed is that he and the party 'leaders' have allowed the Republicans to move the Democratic party out of the center and to the fiscal and social right. Every triangulation has eaten away at the confidence of Democrats that their votes would make a difference in their future or the future of their families.

If the super delegates listen to Clinton, Obama, Schultz and Schumer and over ride the earned delegates they, not the Sanders supporters, will be the cause of a Trump victory. Independent voters supporting Sanders will see that switching their registration to Democrat was a mistake and many of the newly reinvigorated and newly voting Democrats will be dispirited again and will, as many true FDR, Carter and Johnson democrats have for the past decade, just stay home.

"I am not Trump, so vote for me" will not work as a successful meme for Clinton anymore than "I am not a Republican so vote for me" has for the last four elections worked for all of the defeated democratic office holders and candidates for House and Senate. Unless both Clinton and Obama reach out with positive and substantive policy and program efforts to the many new voters and many of those who have felt disenfranchised till Sanders came along, America stands a very good chance of a Trump presidency.


#15

This Primary has already changed everything.

Bernie is not just ANY candidate but a once in a century opportunity that we will never see again. Because he is a very viable and even more electable candidate in a general than Hillary, it is unacceptable to allow the people to be robbed of our ONE chance to reclaim our government from big money interests.

Understand that I am a 57 year old lifelong Democrat and was one of those angry with Ralph Nader and never supported 3rd party tickets. Understand that I started off this primary process a "vote blue" no matter what. I was even kicked out of a Bernie group for saying I would vote for Hillary if she were the nominee. But, after all I have witnessed and learned, I have gone from Vote Blue, to Bernie or Bust, to I will leave the party and actively campaign against Hillary and the Democrats to launch a new party that actually represents the interests of the working people IF Hillary is the nominee.

Understand that my 78 year old mother and many of her friends (all lifelong Democrats) are also going Bernie or Bust. My mother has been a leader within the Democratic party, a past president of 3 local League of Women Voters, inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame in San Diego, a lifelong activist on women's rights and civil rights. After decades of always voting blue - no matter what - the line has been finally been crossed with this primary election. The Democratic establishment's red-baiting, lying about Sanders platform and votes, have gotten so outrageous that it's clear it no longer represents the interests of working people. The Arizona election fraud was the last straw for my mother. The only exit polling done showed Bernie winning by 62% and this is a clear indication (according to voter fraud software expert testimony) of flipping the votes. The countless reports of Bernie supporters who had their registration's changed from Democrat so they would not be given a voice, is another indication of rigging. If voters accept this and allow it to stand, we become enablers of corruption and we have lost our democracy. This election is the line in the sand.

We also believe Hillary's corporate agenda unopposed (yes, she would get the support from Dems and Republicans in congress to "get things done" - things for big insurance, big phama, big media, big banks, big oil, big money ) for 8 years, would do more harm than any Republican who would be actively opposed and out of office in 1 term or less. Hillary Clinton is no true Democrat, much less a progressive, because no true Democrat pushes and pretends that market, industry friendly reforms are good for people. This makes her more of a danger in the longrun. So, yes, we would rather see a President Trump or Cruz, which would awaken and mobilize the public - and even most in congress - in opposition, than allow Hillary the ability to stealthy move our country even deeper into the oligarchy quicksand with the Democratic banner. The status quo has become untenable so shoring it up is not an option. If we can't have Bernie in the white house, it's better that we just bring the revolution on fast, rather than die slowly under 8 years of Clinton. If the party is so blinded and corrupted by it's corporate donors that it can't be moved back to its working class roots from within, it doesn't deserve to survive.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable." - President John F. Kennedy


#16

Had Obama done nothing during the past 7 plus years I would rate him a 5 out of 10.

Based on his corporate welfare program disguised as health care reform, his Dodd Frank that expanded too-big-to-fail banks, his Simpson Bowles grand bargain sell out (that was fortunately shut down by the GOP), and his TPP, TTIP and TISA I would give him a 1 or 2 out of 10 seeing how his his Iran treaty, expansion of exchange with Cuba, and LGBT rights are positives.


#17

You are echoing what I heard from many participants in the past week's caucuses, most frequently summed up by "In voting for Democrats, I was actually just voting AGAINST Republicans, now I am voting FOR Sanders."

All of these folks are over age 40 and are as enthusiastic about Sanders as the younger voters who get all the media coverage.


#18

Thank you, Sally. You have said what I have heard many people saying. I am 73, have been a Republican till the Reagan ugliness took over the integrity and justice of our party. I then became a Democrat, proudly working within the system, even as a party official for several years and voting blue consistently right through the Obama elections and up till this election. What the far-right wing war mongering, corporate controlled oligarchs did to the Republican party, they have now clearly done to the Democratic party.

Where I disagree with you, though I understand and emphathize with your position, is that I will at least vote for and work for Clinton if she is nominated by the earned delegates of the Democratic party. If, however, she is, without compromise and making true coalition with the Sanders wing of the party, nominated by the super delegates, I will simply vote one more time for the party selected Democratic candidates.

So, if Clinton is imposed on the public by the Democrat party 'leaders', then I will be joining you in an effort in my remaining years to establish a political party that represents the democratic social and human values of FDR, and Johnson and the foreign policy values of Jimmy Carter that advocate negotiation before war and reason and discussion before threats and violence..


#19

Exactly where I was stopped cold in my reading, LarryD3...

Ironically, Budowsky (who started off so well, with this idea) did much the same thing as he's complaining about with Obama!

While he may not have shown contempt for Sanders, with only slightly more than half the primaries completed, he's certainly so dismissive of all us voters who've yet to get to the polls in our own state primaries that it borders on contempt -- particularly in light of recent election fraud activities & the understandable outrage of all whose votes are being stolen... the credit for which all must go to HRC & friends (including the status quo DNC).

I'd ask of Budowsky to please butt-out-ski of a political cause he clearly doesn't understand! It's particularly obvious when he talks about getting right on board with a candidate so far removed from the ideological ballpark of real Progressives that she is in every way as bad as (if not more dangerous than) any Right Wing nut job on the Repub side.

Talk about "insult[ing] the intelligence and idealism of Sanders supporters"! This is the kind of -- unfounded -- negativity & resignation that we do NOT need in folks who purport to support Sanders.


#20

Maybe one or two points more for opposing the invasion of Libya and Syria, opposing the bombing of the poison gas supplies, reaching the Iran agreement, opening Cuba at least a bit, saving the economy by limiting his adoption of the austerity insanity that is collapsing Europe, ending DOMA and his persistence in pressing for economic change and his executive decisions on energy and the environment.

Those actions and decisions that you condemned are all part and parcel of the 'third way' triangulation led by the oligarchs and their minions that began with the Republican 'southern strategy' and blossomed in the Democrat party with Bill Clinton. A true democrat at the time, a former governor, began the reversal of those policies and got Clinton elected, but Clinton fired him and hired a DLC troll to lead the party.

Those third way policies, adopted by Obama with the appointment and endorsement of DWS are a large part of what has driven democratic candidates out of office or into the right wing ever since and at every level of politics. Talking heads are correct. Nomination of Clinton or election of Clinton, will set back progressive democratic values for decades in the Democratic party. It will tell both parties that austerity, destruction of the middle class, the rise of the oligarchs, the privatization of public trust resources and dismissal of the concerns of the working poor, those drowning in relentless poverty and rejecting the American dream of millions both in our country and around the world.


#21

I thought that I had a pretty good sense of the depth and breadth of Obama's villainous, self-serving, tyrannical arrogance. It seems I didn't know the half of it. And as to Budowsky's gushing promise to work like hell for Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee -- give me Susan Sarandon (that's a political statement).


#22

It isn't that he didn't understand in 2008, it is that he never had any intention of delivering on his promises. They were made just to get votes from those who believe words rather than looking at actions.