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Sanders and Corbyn: There Is An Alternative


#1

Sanders and Corbyn: There Is An Alternative

Robert Borosage

Jeremy Corbyn, a sexagenarian socialist and vegetarian teetotaler, and for 32 years a prickly, independent backbencher in the British parliament, has been elected in a landslide to lead the British Labour Party. The victory of the “British Bernie Sanders” raises the obvious question: Could that happen here?


#2

My problems with Bernie Sanders is that he has already stated that if elected he will continue Slick Oily's death by drone program, and he seems willing to allow congress to keep throwing unlimited amounts of our tax dollars at the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in a never ending attempt of getting the airport in Burlington as the fighters home base! That, and then there is the question about how friendly a Sanders administration would be to the rogue state of Israel! I haven't been persuaded, I'm still going to vote for Jill Stein!


#3

2 Billion for Hillary and more billions from Republicans will buy a lot of bad publicity for Bernie. Wouldn't it be great if he won anyway?


#4

Before you let the perfect become the enemy of the good, you could check out Bernie on the issues. He is by far the best chance Greens will have to get electoral reforms like the proportional representation that has given European Greens decisive power:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Bernie_Sanders.htm


#5

Well-argued, Mr. Borosage:

"But one thing is already clear: The center will not hold. The old consensus is collapsing in the wake of its failures. People are casting about for a new course." Indeed!


#6

I no longer believe that all these supposed Green Party supporters are what they claim. They never say a word about Hillary or the Republicans but whenever there is anything said about Bernie they pop up with the same standard talking points. They never talk about the other things that Greens talk about but only the one issue of foreign policy. Odd how suddenly the Green Party is all about foreign policy and ONLY mid east foreign policy too. Who knew that the Green Party was so concerned about this one issue.

What is interesting is that along with these anti-Bernie types (pretending to be Greens) we also get a number of extremely dedicated folks who are so very passionate about getting other people to not vote. Evidently it is part of their principled stance to get other people to do what they do? How does that work? Your principles are affected by someone else's? What does our not voting matter to you if you don't want to vote?

Our former Secretary of State has a foreign policy position (as you might imagine a Sec of State would have) yet these supposed Greens are apparently unconcerned that she may win. Odd that. The anti- Bernie/anti-voting crowd sure seem okay with either Hillary or the Repubs winning.

I read how Hillary's dark pac money will reach two billion and Jeb is way off the charts and neck and neck with her.

Anybody else here on this progressive site find it surprising the number of anti-Bernie types (so what if they claim they are Greens there is no way to check of course) and even more surprising is the many impassioned "Don't Vote" types who want to make converts... geez!

They want to start a don't vote movement... only for progressives... funny that huh?


#8

Sanders on drones:

"There are times and places where drone attacks have been effective. There are times and places where they have been absolutely counter-effective and have caused more problems than they have solved. When you kill innocent people, what the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been," he said. "So I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case."

Sanders on the F-35 basing:

"The F-35, whether one may like it or not, is the plane of choice not only for the U.S. Air Force, but for the Navy, Marines and much of NATO," Sanders said in a statement issued by his Washington office. "If the F-35 ends up not being located here, it will end up at a National Guard base in Florida or South Carolina. I would rather it be here."

Sanders on using cuts to military spending to finance college education:

"If the federal government were to invest $18 billion a year, with a dollar-for-dollar match from state governments, we would slash college tuition in the United States by more than half. Many of my colleagues in Washington would look at that number-- $18 billion a year--and tell you that we can't afford to make that kind of investment in our nation's young people. To put it simply, they are wrong. In the budget proposal President Obama released two weeks ago, he requested $561 billion for the Department of Defense--$38 billion over budget caps that are currently in place. If we were to reduce the President's proposed increase in military spending by less than half, and instead invest that money in educational opportunities for today's college students, we could cut tuition by 55%. So I challenge all of you. ask yourselves, where should our priorities lie?"

Sanders on Israel and Gaza:

"Sen. Sanders is deeply troubled by the outbreak of violence in Gaza. It is extraordinarily depressing that year after year, decade after decade, the wars and killing continue without any apparent progress toward the creation of a permanent peace. While the summer of 2014 was a particularly contentious time in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Sen. Sanders’ hope is that the United States will, in the future, help play a leading role in creating a permanent two-state solution. To achieve that outcome the U.S. must work with the international community to support a settlement that respects the legitimate claims and grievances of both sides, lifts the blockade of Gaza, resolves the borders of the West Bank, and allows both the Israeli and Palestinian people to live in peace.

The bottom line is that Israel must have the right to exist in peace and security, just as the Palestinians must have the right to a homeland in which they and they alone control their political system and their economy.

Sanders believes the Israeli attacks that killed hundreds of innocent people – including many women and children – in bombings of civilian neighborhoods and UN controlled schools, hospitals, and refugee camps were disproportionate, and the widespread killing of civilians is completely unacceptable. Israel's actions took an enormous human toll, and appeared to strengthen support for Hamas and may well be sowing the seeds for even more hatred, war and destruction in future years.

The U.S. can and must play a more constructive role in promoting diplomatic efforts to achieve a lasting peace in Gaza. Sen. Sanders believes the ceasefire agreement that was reached is an important step in the right direction. He believes strict adherence, by all sides, to the tenets of international humanitarian law is necessary in order to avoid the escalation of this conflict."


#9

Most leftists don't waste time discussing the Republican flavor of bacon, because the Republicans are not worth discussing, any more than the Nazis are.

We all know what both groups stand for, how evil they are, and that they are irredeemable. In both cases, their warmongers have caused untold suffering of innocents, although Democratic collusion has prevented the necessary war crimes trials in the case of the Republican war criminals.

Most leftists are more than happy to attack the Megathatcher and the slide, hard right, by the Democratic Party, on the grounds that at least that Party once stood for the American Worker and the poor, albeit not in a substantive way for almost fifty years now. Clinton, in particular, is indistinguishable from the most reactionary Republicans when it comes to Neocon war, offshoring, and domestic spying. And that warsow needs to be called out by people of conscience, every chance we get.

Personally, I think that Sanders is another phony, and that it's not just his (horrible, Neocon) foreign policy that proves it. Sanders vote for cutting food stamps in 2014 was the dealbreaker for me, although his previous record of collusion with Democratic rightists on domestic policy was pretty damning on its own. If any bill demanded press conferences and a publicity-making fillibuster, it was the Farm Bill of 2014. Yet Sanders, no real socialist, no real populist, colluded with both D & R pigs to take food from the mouths of poor, hungry kids.

It's an indicator of the lowered expectations among Democrats (particularly younger Democrats who have never tasted liberalism) that criticism of Sanders cannot be seen to come from leftist principle, but must be assumed to be a paid effort from the Right. As if the Right would ever argue against their One Percent masters and the MIC for the purposes of low-level "sabotage".


#10

You are full of it. So vote for Hillary or Jeb if you want but spare me this game. A filibuster? Yeah okay, sure. So which would you rather see in office if not Bernie? The former Sec of State who devised much of the foreign policy you claim to dislike? Or Jeb who will just ramp up the war machine and simplify matters?

I'd rather Bernie win but there are only four candidates who stand a chance of winning >>> Bernie or Hillary or Jeb and then Trump.

Pick one because one of them WILL get picked and you know it.


#11

I note, with sadness, your predictable focus upon me, and your even-more-predictable inability to address what I actually wrote...


#12

Well said. These single-issue 'Greens' are popping out of the woodwork.

You're absolutely correct that the Green Party Platform covers many other issues:

http://www.gp.org/what-we-believe/our-platform


#13

All I did was ask (since you constantly trash Bernie) just who among those with a realistic chance of winning would you vote for? You can trash Bernie all you want, I was just curious as to whom would you pick.


#14

I doubt that they are all Greens because they only focus on foreign policy to the exclusion of all else and focus only on Bernie. I doubt that it is a coincidence that so many have the same modus operandi.


#16

Debbie Stabenow, the ranking member on the Ag Committee agreed on the compromise cut. Bernie could do nothing about it. His choice was to vote for the Ag Bill which contained the Food Stamp program, or vote against the Ag Bill, and have no food stamps, if the Bill were to fail.


#19

Robert Borosage is sadly wrong. You see, the harsh reality is this: No matter whom we elect in the U.S. and in Britain, it makes little difference. Both systems have been carefully fine-tuned to negate the influence of the public majority. That's why nothing ever changes significantly -- behind the welfare-state façade, the big capitalists keep on pillaging our economies and launching their imperialist wars regardless of who's in power. Remember how giddy with excitement we all were when Obama was elected president? Remember how reasonable and intelligent Tony Blair seemed when he took power in Britain? We learned bitter lessons from those two -- or we should have.


#20

You bow to the two default sides in this election and for that are well rewarded with top billing right under the article. Congrats for being so acceptable to the LIBERAL/left line.

Those who have voted Green or will vote Green are only choosing the most principled of three choices; and are also choosing the platform most in sync with their own held values. Voting Green obviously does not indicate membership in the Green Party.


#22

Yep.

I think of quotation marks like that as 'air quotes'.


#24

While it's not going to happen, I really want to hear someone ask Sen. Sanders this question: Not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there aren't jobs for all. The US shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, Clinton ended actual welfare in the 1990s. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 people who need one right now. What should we do about the three who are left out?

This matters, and not only to the poor. When Reagan was first elected, launching the long campaign against the poor, the overall quality of life in the US was rated at #1 -- in spite of its many shortcomings. By the time Obama was elected, the US had already plunged to #43, and we can no longer compete in the modern world market. America is sinking.

This year alone, Democrats responded to our poverty crisis by agreeing to virtually end food stamps to the elderly poor and the disabled. I didn't catch what Sen. Sanders said about this.


#25

Why do you keep repeating that canard about cutting off food stamps. You've been corrected several times by different people yet you still make it sound like the democrats (you used to blame just Bernie) wanted to cut food stamps instead of the republicans attaching that as a rider on the farm bill. The republicans forced the cuts yet you never mention them.

Do you not realize that the regulars in CD have all seen that you continue to repeat the falsehood?


#29

That's weird. Comments are listed as they are submitted, and not according to content. That said, I wish we did have a legitimate left in the US, or perhaps more accurately, a forum for the left. Common Dreams is a site essentially for the liberal middle classers. There is a big difference between the liberal bourgeoisie and the actual left. (Hint: Those on the left recognize the grave flaws in our economic system that created a poverty crisis, and do not stand with middle class workers alone.)

Ideals are nice, but realistically, a Republican or a Democrat will win 2016. Voters have options. They can pick from among the array of third party candidates, they can withhold their votes, or they can vote R/D. Unfortunately, those who are not on the right wing have no unity today, no shared platform, no consensus about priorities and policies. We are even more deeply divided and subdivided by class and race since Obama was elected (though that wasn't Obama's doing).