Another Plea To Bernie Supporters

Okay. I have been having a debate in the comment section with Tige Gibson, a Bernie Sanders supporter who thinks I am making a mistake in judgment by supporting Hillary Clinton. You can see Tige’s latest response here, but let me sort of summarize from Tige’s remarks what I see as the biggest objection to my support of Mrs. Clinton and the present Democratic establishment, an objection that I find a lot of people on the left share:

This weakness of the Democratic Party leads people to support someone like Clinton who is to the right enough to appeal to people in the middle…. Supporting Clinton is just dragging out the conservative era for another term as she has always been comfortably center-right.

Because I am worried about what is happening among Democrats, I responded this way:

Tige,

Let’s try to get something cleared up. Did the Democratic Party, after losing to Richard Nixon in 1968 and getting trounced in 1972 (with an extremely liberal Democrat on the top of the ticket), turn a bit to the right with Jimmy Carter? Yep. And guess what? They won an election.

Then, Carter lost for a host of reasons and the unimaginable presidency of Ronald Reagan suddenly was upon us. Then came the 1984 whoopin’ of a fairly liberal Mondale and then the 1988 defeat of a northeastern liberal named Michael Dukakis. Thus it came to pass that a group of Democrats, tired of losing the presidency, sought to figure out a middle way to victory. Alas! Enter Bill Clinton from Arkansas, which was heavily Democratic at the time, even if those Democrats were quite conservative and would later become, like the rest of the conservative Democrats in the South, Republicans.

The results of the effort to move toward the middle in 1992 was two presidential victories that had some important consequences, not only for the economy (millions of jobs and budget surpluses) but for the courts (some horrific shit has been stopped by Clinton-appointed judges, and let’s don’t forget Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, who are still on the Supreme Court and are fairly solid liberal votes). If you don’t think any of that matters, if you don’t think it is important to figure out a way to win the White House, then I don’t know what more I can say that would convince you.

Now, I can understand why some lefties didn’t and still don’t like the Clinton years, in some important ways. Take the crime bill for instance. That turned out to be a big mistake, as Bill Clinton has now admitted. But Bernie voted for it and used it as a campaign issue. So, was Bernie a squish? A tool of the establishment? Did he stray away from leftist orthodoxy and is now unfit for office?

Finally, in some ways Hillary Clinton is more conservative than my tastes prefer. But I much prefer winning with Hillary over losing with Bernie because, as I have tried desperately to point out, losing not only has negative consequences for a lot of people we Democrats have pledged to help, it deprives Democrats of the ability to appoint judges to the bench who can help in the future fight for economic justice, for voting rights, for immigration reform, and for any number of causes that you and I would certainly join together to support.

Just being mad at the Democratic Party for its past “concessions” or for its lack of a “strong leftist position”—and therefore voting for a likely lost cause named Bernie Sanders—isn’t enough to win in a country as divided as our is. I hate to keep pointing this out, but about half of the country doesn’t share our vision of the future or see things the way you and I want them to. We have to figure out a way to win and make at least some progress. In this current political environment, only the Republicans are in a position to have control of the entire government. We aren’t in that position. Bernie, as I have pointed out, even if he was miraculously victorious, will still not bring with him a solid left-wing majority of Democrats in the House or Senate. He will face the same phalanx of obstructionism that has bedeviled Mr. Obama. So, it’s just not worth the risk of nominating someone so self-admittedly outside of the mainstream of our current politics. Again, there is just too damn much at stake to take that chance.

Duane

 

20 Comments

  1. King Beauregard

     /  February 16, 2016

    “Bernie, as I have pointed out, even if he was miraculously victorious, will still not bring with him a solid left-wing majority of Democrats in the House or Senate. He will face the same phalanx of obstructionism that has bedeviled Mr. Obama.”

    This is the part where I think Bernie is being dishonest with his followers: most of the time he talks of “political revolution” or “the people telling Congress what to do”, but he is generally damn unclear on specific directions (“vote Republicans out of office”) or how many election cycles it will take to build a single-payer-ready Congress (“probably three if we’re very lucky”). The “political revolution” he speaks of, if it’s not sheer gobbledy-gook, is nothing more or less than the process of voting consistently. Bernie’s revolution doesn’t even involve him … and I don’t think he wants to admit that.

    Wanna hear Bernie’s most ludicrous idea on how he would overcome Republican obstruction? Check out this link (including some top-flight discussion in the comments):

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/10/is-bernie-sanders-naive.html

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  2. Anonymous

     /  February 16, 2016

    I second that!

    Like

  3. Republicans aren’t in a position to control all of government. They’re telling us that right now, they know they don’t have a chance to win the presidency so screw it and nominate anybody. There’s nothing to lose when you know you’re going to lose. Since they’re not going to win the presidency, we have the choice: Clinton or Sanders. Personally I find these two options really disappointing, especially the fact that there are only these two, but a lot of people are rallying around Sanders so it doesn’t seem quite as stark a choice.

    No one is rallying around Clinton, but Clinton has always been presumed to win. It’s her race to lose and barring her getting indicted she would probably win. This is the climate. Sanders is a storm, but Clinton is the climate.

    But Duane, you feel it necessary to react to me personally, and you come across as panicky. The sky is falling. And that was where this all started. After a long hiatus, you suddenly come out telling people not to vote for Sanders. You feel that the presidency is won by a thread (and it usually has been) so the only way Democrats can win is to be as far to the right as possible, which amounts to winning at any cost. Winning at any cost has such a bitter Republican taste to it, doesn’t it? The good guys always lose? We have to adopt dirty tricks if we want to win? No we don’t.

    Maybe if Democrats weren’t so far to the right, Republicans would ease up and not be so extremely nuts. Face it, Democrats need to move way to the left. It will be better for everybody. Hell, even if a Republican won, if the Democrats pulled far enough to the left it might actual deter a lot of the things you’re afraid of. You know the Overton window? It isn’t controlled by extreme right wingers, the Democrats let it by leaning right. We need to work way more to pull the public to the left than to win the presidency with a right winger in sheep’s clothing. That window is moving, it already moved, but it’s going to move a lot more. And as it moves, Republicans will become more reasonable because they have policy room to breathe. Hell, Obamacare was originally a Republican plan. Let them have their toys back.

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    • King Beauregard

       /  February 16, 2016

      “Face it, Democrats need to move way to the left.”

      It’s funny how the Democrats’ tune changes depending on whether they have the numbers to ignore the Republicans or whether they have to bargain with them to get things passed.

      That’s the sort of reality a more honest version of Bernie would be talking about. There is of course a more honest version, he’s known as Barney Frank.

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      • Thanks for reminding me of how wise Barney Frank has been, especially regarding the frustration some of us have with those on the left who don’t fully appreciate what it takes to get something done when the other party has votes, too. I saw him on MSNBC some time back talking about Bernie Sanders and if I can find the video clip I will post it. As I recall, it was spot on.

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        • King Beauregard

           /  February 17, 2016

          It’s funny how Bernie has been in Congress all this time, witnessed Republican obstruction firsthand, and yet seems to have walked away with no appreciation of the problem. He talks about obstruction the way an 18-year-old does: if the people demand change then change will happen, a President just has to use his bully pulpit, and then Congress will simply do what everyone tells them to do. (And by “everyone” I carefully leave out all the input in the other direction.)

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          • I don’t know if he doesn’t have an appreciation of the problem or if he has been deluded by his own rhetoric and the crowds that adore him. I don’t want to bash Sanders, mainly because he holds positions that I favor, but I am a bit put off by the fact that he just became a Democrat recently so he could use the party as a vehicle for his presidential run. And he has done nearly nothing to raise money for the party itself, which would help with down-ballot races. It is really something people should know, although at this point, I don’t think there is any chance of convincing some folks.

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            • King Beauregard

               /  February 17, 2016

              I don’t genuinely think Bernie never noticed the obstruction; I think he is an opportunist who sees a chance to whip up some crowds and then get knocked out of the running, like Herman Cain the other year. Why should he care about the ill will he’s fomenting towards Hillary and Democrats in general? That’s someone else’s problem, isn’t it?

              Now let’s contrast with the comments of someone who is actually presidential material — if by no other virtue than, he understood the President’s job is to be the President of the United States and not just of his supporters:

              http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2016/02/barack-obama-on-john-roberts-nomination.html

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              • You know, that was one heck of an article Obama authored. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. It shows you not only what a first-class thinker he is, but what a first-class writer he is. Man.

                I would offer one contemporary correction, though, of the whole “tone and truth matter” thing. Yes, of course they should. But any fair observer has to admit that since Obama assumed office in 2009, the tone and truth have both deteriorated, even further than they did the last time a Democrat was in office. It just seems that Republicans, since the conservatives took over the party with the election of Ronald Reagan and then purged it of moderates, will not tolerate any Democrat, particularly a black one, in the White’s House. And it seems sort of silly for us to keep pretending that we should play by rules that no longer govern our politics. Tone and truth do still matter, of course, but our tone should keep up with the times.

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      • Ah! Found it! Up it goes. Thanks.

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    • Tige,

      Systematically, I will try again, but with little hope of persuading you. At this point, we are both locked into our analyses, and time will prove one of us right and one of us wrong. I hope I am the one who gets proved wrong, by the way. For the country’s sake.

      In any case, here goes my response in the order you presented some of your points in rebuttal:

      “Republicans aren’t in a position to control all of government,” you said. You further said they “know they don’t have a chance to win the presidency.” I’m trying to be kind here, but that is such utter nonsense that I don’t know what to say to it. You just continue to ignore the fact that large swaths of this country don’t agree with us. I personally know people in my union, I am talking about union members with a union job and benefits, who won’t just walk to the polls in November to vote for any Republican, no matter who he is, they will absolutely run to the polls to vote for any Republican. As a union officer, I would estimate that 60% of my local branch are Tea Party-type Republicans. Now, you can say that is just here in the hinterlands, in a rural area, and so on. But nationwide, about 40% of union households will cast a vote for a Republican this fall (as they did in 2012). If Trump is the nominee, it may even be higher than that. Let me remind you of something important. Let’s take the state of Ohio, ever so vital for Republicans to win this November. In 2012, Obama—who literally saved the auto industry there and is directly responsible for bringing that state’s economy back from disaster—Obama won the state’s electoral votes with a mighty slim 50.67% of the vote. That should tell you something. So, I don’t think you have a firm grasp of the composition of the electorate nationwide.

      “No one is rallying around Clinton,” you say. Come on. She is the establishment candidate and been around a long time, thus, she will not generate the kind of crowds that Sanders does, who was almost unknown before this race began and who is offering young people pie in the sky that he cannot possibly deliver. He is in a way deceiving them, making promises that aren’t even in the realm of possibility at this point. He has to know that, unless he is deluded by his own revolutionary rhetoric.

      ♦ You say I reacted to you “personally” and come across as “panicky.” Sorry about that. I thought the purpose of this forum was to react to people personally. My bad. In any case, I certainly don’t want to present panic just yet, but I am obviously concerned. Too many young people are being fooled by Mr. Sanders and his unkeepable promises, nearly all of which I wish would come true but none of which have even the slightest possibility of happening even if he wins.That is just reality and I am sorry that you, and other sincere folks like you, can’t see that.

      ♦ Then you accuse me of believing that “the only way Democrats can win is to be as far to the right as possible, which amounts to winning at any cost.” What bullshit that is. I’m sorry to be so blunt. You are talking to a man who used to be a far right conservative who has traveled a long way from Ronald Reagan through Pat Buchanan and then to embrace my first Democrat, John Kerry, then on to Barack Obama. I am about as liberal on most social and economic issues (national security is a different matter; I’m not always an isolationist dove and I don’t worry about the government warehousing my telephone records) as anyone you are likely to meet. I don’t want the Democratic Party to become the Republican Party just to win an election. The two parties are vastly different and that should be obvious to anyone. The point is that you keep suggesting that the Democratic Party is essentially a conservative party. That is patently and demonstrably false. The party’s platform is progressive and each of its candidates are progressives, one more so than the other on certain issues, but still we are talking about gradations of progressivism, not right-wing conservatism.

      ♦ Additionally, I want to address the following, which suggests an error that you have asserted more than once now: “We need to work way more to pull the public to the left than to win the presidency with a right winger in sheep’s clothing.” You call Hillary Clinton a right-winger? Huh? Have you read her actual policy positions, most of which were presented before Bernie was a superstar among college kids? Have you seen her bank plan, which Paul Krugman says is tougher than Bernie’s? Or is it that Paul Krugman is also a right-winger in sheep’s clothing? I’ll bet you can’t name me one thing, either on the social issue front or having to do with the economy, that this Hillary Clinton, the one running for president this year, has proposed that could remotely be considered right-wing. It is utter nonsense to suggest such a thing, no matter what you think of her policy positions relative to Bernie’s. And it is rather off-putting for you to use the “in sheep’s clothing” dodge as a way of saying she is lying to us, not to mention that it contradicts your assertion that the Democratic Party is trying to move right to win an election. Your suggestion with that phrase is that she is pretending to be a progressive when she really isn’t while you simultaneously claim that the party is openly and nakedly a right-wing party. So, which is it?

      ♦  Finally, you rightly say that ObamaCare “was originally a Republican plan.” Yes, of course it was. But it was originally a response to a much more Bernie-like proposal, including one that Hillary Clinton fought for and got pummeled for in 1993. Thus, it at least represented, and today represents, progress—progress!—from where we were. We all knew at the time it passed, as hard as it was, that it represented only a step toward where we wanted to be. But that’s the way things work in this country, as I have tried to say. Most of our family, friends, and neighbors aren’t ripe for the kind of revolution that would usher in the system most progressive Democrats want and that the country sorely needs. It will take some time and that is the point of my pro-Hillary stand because she understands that.

      ♦  As I read back on this response, I realize it sounds a little less polite than I normally try to be. But, as I say, I am concerned about the possibility that too many young people will be disillusioned by a Bernie defeat in the primary and thus their numbers will drop in the general, dooming any chance we have to win. Or, even worse, that Bernie will somehow overcome the huge odds against him and be our nominee this summer, thus making it much, much easier for the true right-wingers, the ones who can and will do real and lasting damage to the working class, to have all the power.

      Duane

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      • with little hope of persuading you.

        I’m not sure what you’re trying to persuade me to believe. From the outset my only concern was the fact that you appear to be quaking in your boots for no apparent reason.

        For the country’s sake./

        This attitude that everything is at stake is actually what makes the Republicans crazy. It’s cowardly. It’s desperate. And it’s you right now.

        You just continue to ignore the fact that large swaths of this country don’t agree with us.

        This has always and will always be true, yet in spite of this things can and do change. You don’t seem to recognize how this happens. You mistakenly believe it’s slow, baby steps. This is actually very untrue. People make the mistake of going slow because they think that people going backwards will be able to catch up. The people who don’t agree will never agree, so waiting for them benefits literally nobody.

        I would estimate that 60% of my local branch are Tea Party-type Republicans.

        Congratulations on your little anecdotal evidence, but this is not actually how elections are decided.

        But nationwide, about 40% of union households will cast a vote for a Republican this fall (as they did in 2012).

        Honestly, I really want to know how you know this! And I’m sure lots of other people involved in the election would too.

        If Trump is the nominee, it may even be higher than that.

        Who you are sure is going to vote for Trump is one thing, but who is NOT going to vote for Trump is another. I know your main problem is fear, but a little bit of information might help you. Trump actually alienates people. All of the Republican candidates do, but especially Trump. This has never been a problem for Democrats, but as Republicans get more desperate they push further into outright social warfare. This is their language actually. Your “40% of union households” may find Trump appealing for his talk, but there is no converse to this on the Democratic side. Let me try to emphasize this to you: there are only two candidates on the Democratic side, but even if there were 12, none of them would be trying to alienate anyone on the Republican side. I wonder if you understand what that means or how much of an effect it really has?

        Republicans feel about both Clinton and Sanders the same way you feel about Sanders alone. It’s not alienation. If you could actually analyze your own personal fear, you might being to understand my position.

        In 2012, Obama—who literally saved the auto industry there and is directly responsible for bringing that state’s economy back from disaster—Obama won the state’s electoral votes with a mighty slim 50.67% of the vote. That should tell you something.

        What it tells me is that if you want to know the future, you need a time machine, not numbers from the last election. If every election turned out the exact same numbers as the previous election your logic might make sense.

        He is in a way deceiving them, making promises that aren’t even in the realm of possibility at this point. He has to know that, unless he is deluded by his own revolutionary rhetoric.

        Wow, so you mean, like politicians lie and stuff? They make promises they can’t deliver? That must be why I’m so incredibly disappointed in Obama, then, right? And somehow Clinton will be better with her promises to do nothing because it’s honest? I’m blown away by this logic!

        Too many young people are being fooled by Mr. Sanders and his unkeepable promises, nearly all of which I wish would come true but none of which have even the slightest possibility of happening even if he wins.That is just reality and I am sorry that you, and other sincere folks like you, can’t see that.

        The whole point is for Sanders not to get his way, but to deal with it in a different way than Obama or Clinton would (oh, well, remember that?). Have you not been paying attention for the last 7 years? What in your view has been happening in Congress for the last 7 years? And the product of the last 7 years is the crop of Republican candidates. I’m very interested in what is about to be wrought from that, and I don’t understand why you are so afraid of it because it looks very good to me.

        The Democrats are extreme right wing compared to pretty much any country on the planet. You accuse me of bullshit because you have no idea what goes on in literally any other country in the world. Any country. Even Saudi Arabia has public health care. “ObamaCare” is the right-wing wet dream of a health care plan. The only reason Republicans oppose it is because it was instituted by a black Democrat. That’s it. Democrats may become progressive in the next four years, but up until now they are extreme right wing. This is fact, not bullshit.

        Have you seen her bank plan, which Paul Krugman says is tougher than Bernie’s?

        Clinton’s husband was responsible for the unwinding of the banks in the first place. Hey, you know what this reminds me of? It’s just like when Dubya became president so he could fix Daddy’s mistake in Iraq! Things like this turn out lovely. I should totally trust Clinton now!

        Unlike you, I don’t think it would be the end of the world if Clinton won. The wars would still drag on, along with military spending, she won’t be able to pass any more bills than Sanders, but she just wouldn’t do anything about it as she has shown us before.

        Your whole Clinton doesn’t lie track just sounds like it came from some bizarro universe. I was right wing in the ’90’s too. I watched Rush Limbaugh bake the Clintons on TV regularly. Suddenly now Clinton is supposed to be a bastion of Truth?

        Thus, it at least represented, and today represents, progress—progress!—from where we were.

        It’s progress for the right! It was the right’s response. And the Democrats picked it up, dusted it off and ran with it, leaving the Republicans with nothing. That’s why they’re peeved! That’s why they backed off from progress. Republicans didn’t work with Democrats to get that plan. Democrats should have taken the ball back to the left when they had it. Who the fuck takes the ball to the opposite teams end? Democrats, that’s who.

        I am concerned about the possibility that too many young people will be disillusioned by a Bernie defeat in the primary and thus their numbers will drop in the general, dooming any chance we have to win.

        Old people vote consistently because churches bus them in and tell them to vote Republican. Young people usually don’t vote, but when they do they make this bump in the numbers. Democrats will win either way, Clinton will win by 51% like Obama, but Sanders will win by 55%. The difference is the young voters.

        the true right-wingers, the ones who can and will do real and lasting damage to the working class, to have all the power.

        Which one of the dopes on the Republican side can do this? Every Republican candidate is McGovern this year, not Sanders. Losers play like they have nothing to lose. Trump is the leader and he looks like the biggest loser I’ve ever seen. When Democrats lose, they’re like “oh, well” and look at their shoes, but when Republicans lose, they go batshit crazy, talk about shooting people in the street.

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        • Tige,

          You would make a great general in straw-man warfare, that’s for sure.

          ♥ Just let me start with this whopper:

          Your whole Clinton doesn’t lie track just sounds like it came from some bizarro universe. I was right wing in the ’90’s too. I watched Rush Limbaugh bake the Clintons on TV regularly. Suddenly now Clinton is supposed to be a bastion of Truth?

          You can, I suppose, cite an instance where I said Clinton doesn’t lie or that she is the bastion of truth, right? Oh, that’s what I thought, you can’t. Never said it. Don’t believe it. I own Hitchens’ book on the Clintons and I can give you plenty of examples where her behavior is less than admirable, believe me. As I’ve tried to tell you, my support for Clinton isn’t because of her purity, but because of her experience and my perception of her electability. Period.

          ♥ Next:

          You accuse me of bullshit because you have no idea what goes on in literally any other country in the world.

          First, regarding this amazing line, you don’t have the slightest idea what I know or don’t know about what goes on in any other country in the world. Second, I accused you of bullshit because you said I believed that “the only way Democrats can win is to be as far to the right as possible, which amounts to winning at any cost.” That was, and still remains, utter bullshit, just like your attacks on me for things I didn’t say and don’t believe. It is irrational to believe that Hillary Clinton is a right-wing candidate and your insistence upon it, against all evidence, is strange.

          ♥ Next, I appointed out that I do have some knowledge about unions, since I belong to one, work for one, and know a lot of union members, especially in rural areas like most of my state. Sure, that is not scientific in itself, but coupled with the fact that about 40% of union households voted for Romney last time, it is quite rational to expect about the same thing this time. If you have some evidence that somehow Bernie Sanders will miraculously change the minds of those 40%, most of whom vote Republican because of social issues having to do with abortion and homosexuality, please share it with us. I’m sure that is something “other people involved in the election” would want to know also.

          ♥ Next:

          Who you are sure is going to vote for Trump is one thing, but who is NOT going to vote for Trump is another.

          No shit. But first, I never said I was “sure” who is going to vote for Trump. My point was that his position on trade has some appeal to the working class and to some misguided union members. That’s all I meant. And I have repeatedly said that I don’t even think Trump will be the Republican nominee, let along have enough appeal to win a general election, because I agree a lot of people won’t vote for him. Unless, of course, they are presented with a choice between him and Bernie Sanders, who has enough ideological history out there to facilitate a devastating Republican attack on him and give even a buffoon like Trump a chance to, God forbid, become the goddamned president.

          ♥ Next:

          Let me try to emphasize this to you: there are only two candidates on the Democratic side, but even if there were 12, none of them would be trying to alienate anyone on the Republican side. I wonder if you understand what that means or how much of an effect it really has?

          Thanks for lecturing me on how politics works. I sure appreciate that. But before you offer me more wisdom, perhaps you should at least understand that the natural byproduct of any political campaign is to alienate someone with your philosophy or policy positions, unless you think there is a chance that one of the candidates can get 100% of the vote. And my point is that I believe because of Bernie’s ideological history, he will, after toxic attacks from the right during a general election, tend to alienate more people than Hillary will.

          ♥ Finally,

          If you could actually analyze your own personal fear, you might being to understand my position.

          Again, thank you for diagnosing my psychological state. I suppose I should pay you back by diagnosing yours: If you could actually analyze the mostly misplaced anger and frustration you have for the Democratic Party, perhaps you might be able to understand my position.

          Duane

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          • King Beauregard

             /  February 19, 2016

            I count two big election problems with Bernie: either he wins the primary and will be easy pickings for the Republicans, or he loses the primary and his base refuses to vote for Hillary. The only way around the latter is if Bernie takes an active role in bringing his supporters around on Hillary, but I have seen precious little evidence of his leadership skills; he does a fine job of promising what people want to hear, but any con man can do that.

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            • I have worried about that a little bit, too. But I was in Boston in July of 2008 when Hillary, after that bruising and bitter primary with Obama, came to our convention and gave a great speech on his behalf, one of the first she made supporting him that year. So, it appears to me that should Bernie go on to lose, as it looks like he will even if he drags it out, he is the kind of person who can exhibit leadership on the issue and offer up genuine and enthusiastic support for Mrs. Clinton, because he can also see how devastating a Republican win would be. At least I hope I’m right about that.

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              • King Beauregard

                 /  February 21, 2016

                I think Bernie would at least make some perfunctory speeches about how his supporters should back Hillary. What I doubt is whether he is capable of reining them in. Lord knows he did an ass job of it with regard to BLM and the BernieBros; he may know how to get his fans worked up but has no idea how to tell them to knock it off when he ought to.

                Which gets us to Hillary. Talk to most Sanders supporters and you will learn she is Satan but more off-putting. I don’t see Sanders being able to contain what he has unleashed any more than the GOP can contain Trump. So we won’t be able to count on Bernie supporters in general, but the good news is, they’re the soft of people who typically wouldn’t vote anyway.

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                • There is truth to what you say, I admit. But I think he will make an honest effort to join in the fight against Republicans on behalf of Hillary. The truth is, though, that there isn’t much evidence so far that Bernie is bringing in new voters to the party. He gets a lot of college kids to his rallies, but in terms of getting the numbers up in caucuses and election, not so much. So, it appears Hillary and the machine will have to go out and convince young folks, especially young women, that a Marco Rubio (especially) or a Donald Trump (who knows what position he will hold in August!) would be very bad for their reproductive freedom.

                  Duane

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          • I was being a bit tongue in cheek here, but you took it quite seriously which gave me my initial concern for your sanity. I didn’t reply at the time because I wasn’t sure how you’d handle it.

            I absolutely do not believe your claim to support Clinton based on “electability”, (not then and not now) because it’s a rather pathetic buzzword excuse for feeling like you don’t have a choice when you certainly should have, basically you’re a coward. You believe your excuse and that’s part of the problem, you don’t understand your own state of mind or motivation. You have no authority to tell anyone else what to do.

            There are only three criteria for considering someone right-wing: pro-bigotry, pro-war/gun, and pro-wealth (anti-tax). Sander’s holds superior consistent positions on all of these. Clinton still supports modern-day lynching which is surprising and surprising that no one cares. Clinton still supports war and does not support any serious prevention of weapons getting in the hands of the mentally ill, and she still funds her campaign primarily from the most wealthy to ensure that taxes and interest rates stay low. Health care is important but few understand that it’s a red herring when wars are fully funded and taxes are kept low.

            You seem to not be able to see the union forest for its trees. Unions are in a situation right now where churches were in the ’70’s. I don’t know if you can make sense of that since you do a poor job of making sense of anything I tell you.

            I still don’t think you understand alienation because what you said there ain’t it, not even close. If I were you I would have worked to show that, but you didn’t, you did do the opposite though. You and I seem to be alienated from one another on ideological grounds, but it actually isn’t the case. What you’re feeling is actually too much like what bigots feel towards the people they hate and I’m not sure you understand what that means. You just want to think I’m a troll because I feel like I have to give you a hint, that it’s fear. I’m sorry you’re afraid but not because I’m Canadian, but because I think it’s pathetic.

            I’m not nor was I ever angry at or frustrated with the Democratic party. The reason I can’t feel this way isn’t because I’m Canadian either, but because I understand the psychology of both parties in general as the different factions in each and what the underlying dynamic is. I know that Sanders represents the future left in general and I see resistance such as yours merely as ignorance and cowardice. Nothing else.

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            • Okay. You can call me an ignorant coward. Big deal. Maybe that’s just how Canadians conduct themselves on the Internet, I don’t know. But let’s agree on something you said: “I don’t know if you can make sense of that since you do a poor job of making sense of anything I tell you.” You are absolutely right about that. I plead guilty. I can’t make sense of nearly anything you tell me. Maybe it is the case, you should at least ask yourself, if that is because what you say doesn’t make any sense.

              Let me take just one example of many. You wrote,

              There are only three criteria for considering someone right-wing: pro-bigotry, pro-war/gun, and pro-wealth (anti-tax).

              Only three? Huh? But anyway, I know plenty of left-wing bigots. They aren’t as numerous as right-wingers, I’ll grant you, but they exist.

              And what the hell does “pro-war/gun” mean? I know plenty of left-wingers who think it was right to go to war against the Nazis. Was Roosevelt a right-winger because he fought the Germans or the Japanese? Is using our military under any circumstances wrong? Then why do we have it? Is Obama a right-winger, too? He is prosecuting an air war against ISIS. Is that wrong? Should he not be doing that? Should we just let the bastards take over the entire region without so much as a drone strike? You’re the reason why many people don’t trust people on the left to handle real power.

              And about guns. What does pro-gun mean? If you own a hunting rifle, are you pro gun? Does owning a gun make you a right-winger? IF so, then Bernie Sanders is a right-winger. He likes guns. A lot. He even voted to protect the manufacturers of the things from liability.

              Oh, and you listed being “pro-wealth,” with which you parenthetically included “anti-tax.” What? You’re not pro-wealth? Is being in favor of increasing wealth right-wing? Then Bernie, too, is a right-winger on this account. He says he wants to increase wealth for those who don’t now have it. Jesus. As far as anti-tax goes, you are right that right-wingers hate taxes. They want to cut them all the time. Mostly on the rich. But guess what? Obama cut them, too. He extended, permanently, the Bush tax cuts on those in the middle class. Is he a right-winger for doing that? And if he is, then you must consider Bill Clinton a flaming commie. Why? Because Clinton signed into law (in 1994) all the taxes that Bush cut and the  middle-class taxes that Obama allowed to stay cut.

              Finally, here is what really doesn’t make any sense: “Clinton still supports modern-day lynching which is surprising and surprising that no one cares.” Now, you can write another thousand or ten-thousand words trying to support that statement, but it will never make any sense to me or, I bet, to anyone else you might say it to. In fact, I question whether you even know what the word “lynching” means, or has meant, historically in this country.

              So, as I’m sure you can’t see, what you say just doesn’t make any sense. At least the way you are saying it. You can blame it on me for not being able to decipher what you are saying, but maybe you should reexamine your way of expressing yourself or the ideas which you are trying to express.

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              • After nearly 20 years of trying to help Christians understand, I can sense that you are just deflecting back at me your lack of understanding. There’s a simple way to tell the difference: you, like Christians, do not acknowledge the facts, over and over again, your response avoids the facts and when I point out that you avoided a fact, you deflect, as you just did again.

                The thing about bigotry is that conservatives are proud of it. Yes, most people are actually bigots and racists, but most people don’t want other people to think they’re racist. This applies far less to conservatives.

                The thing about war is that conservatives see it as a primary property of international identity, leading to pre-emptive attack and go-it-alone attitude, whereas liberals see it as a defensive tool, to be avoided whenever possible, and with UN support (not NATO), meaning the country being attacked asking for help instead of the US proposing to go in.

                When it comes to guns, the political dynamic is more complex and ridiculous, but the objective facts aren’t, what to do about it isn’t. Manufacturers aren’t liable for how their products are used. Sane people should be allowed to own guns, hunt, etc. People in Canada are allowed to own guns too. I’ve shot guns myself with friends who own guns. Any one major city in the US has as many gun crimes as all of most any first world country you could name. Most liberals know this yet seem resigned to patronizing the most insane conservatives. How do other countries avoid the problems the US has? The solution really is not complicated, you just have to stop being a whiny coward leaning to the right all the time.

                How can you not know what wealth means? If people made a few extra bucks an hour, they will NOT be wealthy. Wealth bias is one of the three basic forms of discrimination, but few if any people recognize it because we don’t have official aristocracy. Tax policy and interest policy is what makes the wealthy more wealthy and makes the poor more poor. A lot of people don’t get the interest policy because they think it benefits everyone and would harm the economy if raised. This is simply wrong. Low interest rates discourages investment in general by setting a low bar for return and divert what investment there is into bad or low-grade business endeavors with low risk-reward profiles and has a side effect of driving up real estate prices through speculation.

                I’ve said that you come across as a racist and this only reinforces that. Clinton is the one who put up the expression “super-predator”. Have you not heard that before? I’m sure I mentioned it to you and you had no response. It’s a racist rationalization for execution. You have your juries and your judges literally deciding that black people disproportionately deserve to be executed so that means it’s not lynching because it’s all legal and formal. This is the modern manifestation of lynching, polished up with a bow on it.

                We can’t expect black people to stand up against it because it would make them look like they defend murderers and crime in general, but Clinton is actually for it which is a different matter entirely. This same fear is what allows conservatives to chip away at rights like abortion. No one wants to look pro-abortion. How can you defend abortion without looking like a baby killer? How can you oppose capital punishment without looking soft on crime?

                Executing people makes crime worse for the simple reason that people will do as much as they can if they know there’s only one penalty. You should be able to see this also applies to drug crime and has been proved everywhere drugs have been decriminalized. Threats have a way of getting commitment, turning people who merely made a mistake into a full-time criminal. The more disproportionate the punishment the more crime you must expect.

                Government wastes its resources fighting crime, which is committed by people who are part of your community instead of helping people in the community avoid crime in the first place. As long as you project crime as your problem, people will seek guns to protect themselves out of desperation, as desperation gets worse those same guns eventually get used for crime. Pro-gun people pretend that guns get into the community by magic as a rationalization for not restricting “law-abiding” people from carrying them. There are clear racist implications in these sorts of claims. Who is “law-abiding”?

                Perhaps most importantly, when a gun crime occurs, people rally against the possibility that the perpetrator is mentally ill. They do this because they want the perpetrator to be executed or receive whatever is the maximum punishment. They have no interest in the real cause of the shooting at all and therefore no interest in preventing it in the future. They certainly have no interest in reducing the major widespread problem of mental illness, especially considering many of them are mentally ill.

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