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Off With Their Heads! Why Change Demands Progressive Hearts, Not Centrist Brains


#1

Off With Their Heads! Why Change Demands Progressive Hearts, Not Centrist Brains

Peter Bloom

The Iowa caucus is only a week away and the Democratic race for the presidency has seemingly been turned upside down. The once inevitable nominee Hillary Clinton is experiencing déjà vu from 2008 as her poll numbers continue to slide. Yet this year her upstart challenger is not the hopeful Barack Obama but the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.


#3

Said it before, but I'll repeat it. The only thing Hillary Clinton is absolutely committed to is her own ambition. She has NEVER led on ANY progressive issue. She has never been out in front of any issue or movement and only moves after triangulating the political terrain ahead. Truth be told it was Bill Clinton and his crew of "centrists" that administered the kill shot to the remnants of the New Deal and the Great Society.

I honestly don't know why Hillary doesn't run as a Republican. She would be the dream candidate for that floundering circus. The only thing barring that is that if she jumped and they caught her then the last veils of the charade known as the duopoly would be forever torn away and Americans would have to look full on the cancer-ridden face of American politics. Poor Hillary. As the old knight told Indiana Jones: "She chose poorly."

Yes, I'm venting. I guess witnessing the slime of the establishment backlash to Bernie's populist movement has got me a little more outraged than usual. And it is telling that the existential threat to sanity, morality, and sustainability - THE ESTABLISHMENT - is once again a rallying cry for rebellion.


#4

Bernie is running for his grandchildren. Hillary is running for herself. It is that fucking simple.


#5

Then why would you vote Democrat for Bernie?

He would get my vote under these conditions:

  • The Working Families Party has endorsed him running as a Democrat, so he would get my Working Families vote (my state allows fusion voting). That would help build the Working Families Party.

  • If he loses the Democratic primary and strikes an alliance with the Greens to run as their candidate.

I agree with your recommendation to 'get voters out of the "duopoly" box'. A direct vote for an R or D (even if it's Bernie) is not a possibility for me.


#6

It's said that money itself is not the root of all evil. The LOVE of money is what's keynoted. That makes money fairly neutral and so is experience. So when Mrs. Clinton's experience is touted, one should rightfully ask: And what does this experience present?

Ultimately, Mrs. Clinton lusts for power. That objective is no prettier in a man than it is in a woman, and long ago, Shakespeare depicted how it works in the story of Macbeth. It was his wife who found the gravitas to murder the sitting king... in his sleep. (She was forever haunted by that act, too.)

In any case, placing the so-called edge of experience aside, there is a massive duplicity factor that many sense about Clinton even if they don't know the details of her record.

For those who didn't have the time or inclination to read Robert Parry's long piece yesterday, he reveals something significant about Mrs. Clinton AS chameleon and how dangerous this kind of lack of moral standing is:

"Gates also reported on what he regarded as a stunning admission by Clinton, writing: “The exchange that followed was remarkable. In strongly supporting the surge in Afghanistan, Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary [in 2008]. She went on to say, ‘The Iraq surge worked.’

“The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.” (Obama’s aides disputed Gates’s suggestion that the President indicated that his opposition to the Iraq “surge” was political, noting that he had always opposed the Iraq War. The Clinton team did not challenge Gates’s account.)

"But the exchange, as recounted by Gates, indicates that Clinton not only let her political needs dictate her position on an important national security issue, but that she accepts as true the superficial conventional wisdom about the “successful surge” in Iraq."

Like many Feminists, I would love to see a woman President and like the forum's Jill Stein supporters, I think she is worthy. What I would not like to see is a woman trying to out-man a man in the martial field of warfare. Unfortunately, that, and war by economic means are Mrs. Clinton's areas of expertise.

Susan Sarandon and a number of female actresses are supporting Bernie Sanders. Intelligent women understand that more than gender is at stake, nor does Hillary represent humanists.


#7

There is a very real strategy at work and the Clintons were the magicians who implemented it.

How can the national agenda move so far to the right that the Supreme Court would endorse the equivalent of purchasing elections and Big Money would gain access to all sorts of former government agencies and functions under the guise that privatization would prove more efficient than government-run operations?

Someone had to FEIGN Left in order to shift the basic political gravity by moving the center so far to the right that positions formerly in the Republican camp now are held by "Centrist Dems" or, of all inanities, "Liberal Interventionists" or "Liberal Hawks." I mean, as someone else reminded (in a comment thread), this is a Barry Goldwater girl! This is a Wal-mart Board former attorney as much as others in the Dem. Cabinet have represented entities as odious as Monsanto!

It's all about illusions.

Remember, too, that Michael Moore made the comment that Bill Clinton was the nation's best Republican President.

His complicity was needed to rescind things like the Fairness Doctrine (which enabled 6 mega media giants to gain control of just about all of the MSM), and push NAFTA (allowing jobs to slip over the border and thereby decimate the power of U.S. unions), and eviscerate the Glass-Steagall Act (allowing Wall St to dream up its own faux representations of wealth).

By doing these deeds under the Dem. Brand Name, Dems. could gain more traction (in the form of political campaign funds) from all the Big Donors, and short of being a millionaire, that became the only way to function in this new political theater.

Big Money runs the show.

And for the show to maintain the faintest semblances of a Democratic Process, although both teams were essentially forced to become beholden to big money; one still had to PRETEND to stand for the public's interests.

We see how far that got.

Thank God Bernie Sanders has said, "Enough!" How many families have to be made homeless, how many Hispanic families torn apart, how many Muslims seen as terrorists, how many rivers rendered toxic, how many wars fought for nothing, how many more billions sent UP the fiduciary food chain while so many go hungry... before Shift Happens?

As some have pointed out, we don't yet see Bernie standing up to the War Machine... but EVERYTHING about his domestic policies is a long-overdue plus.

And that is a heckuva good start.

To those who want revolution, if you looked seriously at the numbers whose idea of revolution is a Donald Trump or NRA rally... you'd certainly amend your view of where this nation IS in this particular dangerous hour.


#9

We know from the beginning that the oligarchs will not give up without fighting to the death. They have there high paid serfs on main street media doing the nothingless of promoting status quo and condemning socialism even though this is a democratic socialist country and has had a rich history in socialism which is being destroyed by the right and oligarchs and left if you want to call Hillary part of the left. We have been under attack for 40 years and thru ALEC and citizen United it is about complete, they will destroy us either slowly with Hillary or the likes of Donald Trump quickly.


#10

" The underlying assumption is that Sanders surging popularity is fueled primarily by emotion." Paul Krugman.

Just whose assumption are you talking about Paul? YOURS! You know the saying about assume: it makes an a**hole out of you!

Let me reword that to: the lying assumption is that Bernie's surging popularity is fueled by emotion!


#11

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#13

Krugman, the economist, is totally against austerity. He sees it as destructive - ruining economies instead of helping them. Bernie is also anti-austerity.

Hillary supports implementing austerity measures. She lauded Greece for imposing them.

Krugman supports Hillary, who disagrees with him, over Bernie, who agrees with him.

What's wrong with this picture?


#14

By Sanders running for president people can see the real divides. The wealthy elite vs. the 90%-and the elite don't get it! This past weekend all I have heard from corporate media is that Bloomberg will run if Sanders is the nominee-----are these people(democratic establishment,1% and corporate media)clueless?

And who are the candidates these establishment democrats have been selecting to run for office?--Some Senator who oversees Ferguson Mo. is saying what?

We need a thousand Bernie Sanders!


#15

Too many progressives and liberals buy into conservative propaganda and demonize themselves, joining the shills that elevate authoritarian regressives that drag the world backwards in the oligarchy's war on liberals.

Republicans argue over who is more conservative while progressives shun the label "liberal" and defend the modern conservative and its neoliberal kin, responsible for every war, murder, pollutant and financial disaster.

The money-power can't beat the people by sheer numbers, but it can win the war for people's minds.


#16

Lots of people are thinking outside the Fox.

Mainstream Media's like printed encyclopedias:
They're no one's go to for news anymore
('cept slow ones, old folk, and conservatives galore).

Bernie's winning the internet.
Hillary's no there yet.
That's why in the nomination race
she's heading for second place.


#18

Like the corporate cowards on the board of the League of Conservation Voters, who endorsed Madame Keystone Pipeline over Bernie, despite his opposition to the pipeline right from the git-go.


#19

I have been paying attention to politics off and on for fifty or so years and I have not once seen those with a centrist position or those who would accept one accomplish a damn thing but waste money and eat at the public trough. Incremental advances of a position are for those with long range plans and not for those to whom a decade is a long time. Those who have been working to further disparity of wealth have been at it full tilt boogie for almost seventy years and they are becoming impatient. The last election got them another consensus maker and we see how well that turned out. Remember social concerns and hot button issues have no meaning to these personages except to distract the electorate while they have consolidated their power. Citizens United is an example of one of their big achievements. They waited until they had a stacked activist court and then after the court asked them to reword the case were successful in getting one of the most egregious decisions in the entire history of the court. This cartel of multi billionaires and big multinational corporations is poised for this election to slam the door on the democratic principals that began the United States. I am hoping that they have jumped the gun but a centrist at this juncture, either Republican or Democrat will seal our fate.
Trump's energy and showmanship are definitely generating a response but it is extremely negative. Its primary message is one of fear and loathing. Trump is building walls when we need bridges. he is denigrating people when he should be encouraging them to work for a better future. He has demonstrated for his entire life that as a president he will be unable to work with others and will Be the Boss not a leader.
Ever since the sixties Sanders has supported those who need to be allowed to build a future. He has supported so many social reforms that they would take days to do the research. His ideas of social equality are well known by those who follow him even for a short while and haven't deviated since he was a young man. His fiscal policies are also well known and are shared by most progressive economists. As a statesman he has held his own for decades and his foreign policy is one that promotes a world consensus and the furtherance of peace without exposing the nation to more unwinnable quagmires that the last Republican't administration jumped into without a freakin clue as to what would happen once the Middle East was destabilized.
As the headline says the winds of change are driven by hope and conviction not by fear and moderation.


#20

I hate to say it, because I appreciated his insights up until now. But I'll say it.

He wants an administration position and he thinks he'll get one by supporting Clinton.


#21

It is a shame that we only have your word for these attacks on the locals by the refugees, quotations or not.


#22

The Progressives that I know or read do not shun liberals as being too left they consider them Republican't lite or weekend warriors.Phil Ochs sang it best with "Love Me I'm a Liberal".


#26

This opinion piece seems to confuse Socialism and Progressivism.

Bernie Sanders is a socialist exposing a particular political ideology encompassing social ownership. Ownership and control of the means of production of goods and services out of the general concern for the social problems that are associated with capitalism.

Progressivism is a broad philosophy which asserts that advancement in science, technology, economic development and social organizations are vital to improve the human condition. Progressivism is an outgrowth of the European and subsequent Scottish Enlightenment having universal application to all societies.

Socialism is related to collectivism and progressivism is related individual actions and accountability. Vastly different views in their orientation and what each strives to achieve.

There are no centrist brains nor progressive hearts in the above definitions. Just highly mis-used words.


#27

My point personified.