Feeling the Burn
Just to make sure I am fully understood, if you want to support Bernie, that’s your right. But when you spew ugly, divisive rhetoric, and proliferate GOP lies doing so, you cross a line. When you declare if your guy doesn’t get the nomination, you’re not going to vote, you’re being childish – specifically you’re the kid who declares: “This game is stupid and I’m not playing anymore,” and stomps off the playground after losing.
My problem is not with your support of Bernie Sanders; it’s your insistence I join you and become abusive when I demur. It’s a lot like…. No, it’s exactly like Christians insisting I live by the rules of their religion. If you want to join the cult of Bernie, then by all means do so. Knock yourself out. Drink all the Kool Aid you can hold. But leave me out of it! I am not throwing my reason on the pyre with yours and dancing naked in streets. Or a Bernie Sanders rally.
You’re the political equivalent of the Borg.
This election is the Democrats to lose and the BernieorBust crowd are doing their best to make sure that happens. The divisiveness, nastiness, childishness, mendacity, and dearth of critical thinking displayed by Sanders BernieorBust supporters has easily surpassed that of the typical teabagger. No Non-Christian self-described socialist can win the WH in this era. And the “you’re 100% with us or against us” mentality expressed ad nauseam by this subset of Sanders supporters is exactly from the GOP playbook.
So now I’m called a Republican because I care more about the Democrats winning this election than a phony revolution and a cult of personality while Sanders supporters are the ones acting like teabbaggers, attacking all who disagree, blaming the press, and coining their own version the term ‘librul media’ with ‘corporate media.’ Aside from all that, while Sanders talks a great game, his voting record does not support his rhetoric. What it does reveal is a penchant for misogyny and a love for all things NRA. And the Independent moniker is the kicker. Being an Independent means one of two things: He can’t choose a side, or he doesn’t play well with others, both being the stuff that makes for ineffectual presidents. And all the evidence is Sanders is a mercurial man quick to anger and known to be abusive towards employees, staffers and other elected officials with whom he must work.
I, too, am not immune to Sander’s rhetoric. His attacks on trickle down are cogent and valid, but making attacks and creating policy to put teeth in those attacks are very different things. Apparently, the BernieorBust crowd believes they’re choosing a king not a president; for having an agenda and being able to propel that agenda into the law of the land are not the same thing. As we have seen over the past seven plus years, even a rump movement can thwart any and all efforts to convert an agenda into legislation. Further, when pressed for details, Sanders comes up short. And when one has the foresight to consider how the Sanders agenda may be enacted legislatively – even ignoring many of his policy proposals are no more valid than Trump’s – it becomes clear that believing these wonderful things can be accomplished in a President’s span is naïve at best, fantasy at worst.
Sanders supporters like to point to certain polls that show Sanders has a commanding lead. Without exception these polls are marred by sampling errors, validity issues, and bias. In graduate school, professors informed me I have a gift for statistics and research design. I’ve completed 6 hours undergrad and 18 hours graduate level statistics with 6 hours teaching graduate statistics. I could explain all the defects in these aforementioned polls, but I’ve learned Sanders’ BernieorBust supporters, like teabaggers. seem uninterested in facts as long as they like the rhetoric. Besides, it would be over their heads anyway since BernieorBusters seem to have the intellectual and emotional development of third graders and – like our friends to the extreme right – ‘went to high school’ or the ‘school of hard knocks’ but apparently finished neither. Further Nate Silver’s 538 has already done the work and published the results. Barring some drastic unforeseen apocalyptic event Bernie cannot win the nomination! And in a matchup against Trump, the 538 has Hillary winning in landslide on par with the defeat of Barry Goldwater. Cruz fares only slightly better.
Many Democrats, myself included, want to reproduce the post war era prosperity our parents enjoyed during the Great Compression. Unfortunately, few BernieorBusters know and/or are willing to understand the historical context and the conditions of the global marketplace that made Unions and the workers so powerful. The USA was the only industrial game on the planet. Europe’s industry was laid to ruin during the war as was Japan’s. Britain’s industry was also greatly diminished. By 1974 Europe and Japan had rebuilt their industry via the Marshall Plan. In the US, the Unions had become so powerful and old liberalism so entrenched and intransigent – much like the GOP of the current era – American industry could not provide an adequate response to the changing market.
The American worker had become spoiled by the virtual monopoly they held over the world’s industry. They were fat, lazy, and apathetic. Quality was in the toilet. These conditions led directly to the economic woes of the 1970s, the election of the vile and vulgar GOP figurehead, Ronald Reagan, 35 years of right and center right hegemony, the hyper-accelerated War and Drugs and concomitant mass incarceration, as well as the decline of the middle class. It also opened the door for the union busting Reagan executed on behalf of his handlers in the 1% and shifting the tax burden from the richest among US to those who have barely enough.
Bernie cannot bring the conditions of the Great Compression about unless he bombs the rest of the world’s industry into oblivion. Pretending he can is naïve, mendacious, or both. There is middle ground between the prosperity of the Great Compression and what we face today. And that middle ground is achievable if – and only if – we keep our eyes on the prize and pursue it relentlessly in an incremental fashion. But Bernie is no middle ground or incremental politician. Thus, he cannot deliver it, especially given his status as an Independent. Not only would the GOP obstruct his agenda en masse – many if not most – moderate Democrats would also balk, especially those in purple states. As for your ‘revolution,’ if you knew anything about US history, you would know that in 240 years, only one has succeeded.
That’s why it disheartens me so to see Democrats squabbling over Clinton vs Sanders, especially the BernieorBusters who have vowed not to vote if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination. It’s childish, stupid, and self-destructive. There are many bad things about Republicans, but once the nomination has been made they fall in line behind the nominee. Democrats need to learn to do the same; for not doing so is so costly: George W. Bush costly. The BernieorBust crowd, and perhaps Sanders himself, display a poor understanding of how the presidential nominating process works and the function of ‘also rans’ in the primary season. The function of unlikely candidates is to broaden the conversation and to pull the platform in their direction. This is a good thing. The character assassination, divisiveness, and utter ugliness of Sanders and the BernieorBust crowd supporting him are harmful, infantile, and infuriating. They are net negatives for the Democratic Party, the USA, and the political process. But then Sanders is no Democrat. Further Sanders deceptive use of the Democratic Party’s infrastructure to hype his personality cult has been more than adequately demonstrated in many ways – especially his refusal to honor his agreement to support down ticket Democrats.
At this point, unless you believe math is a corporate conspiracy, Hillary Clinton clearly will be the nominee on the ticket come November. While Sanders is currently riding a wave of successes, they are not unexpected and have occurred in states demographically favorable to him with relatively small numbers of delegates. As the race heads back East – and to California – the going will get exponentially tougher for the Sanders campaign. Hillary Clinton will rack up huge victories in delegate rich states as the Sanders campaign fades into the dustbin of history.
The gravest concern any rational progressive may face is whether the BernieorBust crowd are a bright enough lot to fight for their own best interests by supporting the Democratic nominee in the general election. Or will they stay true to their petulant promises to stay home and sulk? The defectors to the Nader camp in the 2000 contest handed George W. Bush and his cohort of criminals an engraved invitation to the White House to plunder this nation’s reputation and its resources. This election is the most important of the current era. Ted Cruz or Donald Trump — among the most despicable human beings to ever walk the face of the earth — have promised to make it their first priority to undo every bit of progress painstakingly gained by Barack Obama over the past seven years with the aid of a gerrymandered GOP House and a Mitch McConnell led Senate. Any Democrat — even one with alleged corporatist leanings — is better than any Republican driven by greed, fueled by genocidal urges, and validated by superstition.
Sanders Over the Edge, Paul Krugman APRIL 8, 2016. New York Times.
Obama warns Dems against ‘Tea Party mentality,’ By Jordan Fabian – 04/07/16 05:24 PM EDT. The Hill