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While distasteful for many, Clinton may represent progressives best path forward, at least in swing states...
By Ernest A. Canning
on 8/8/2016, 11:28am PT
After agreeing to serve as a Senior Advisor to the Veterans for Bernie organization over the past year or so, I have refrained from writing articles about the Presidential primaries here at The BRAD BLOG, so as to avoid any potential conflicts of interest for the site. With that disclosure out of the way, those primaries now behind us, and the general election just months away, it seems an appropriate moment to ring in with some personal thoughts, which may or may not be shared by Brad and the site itself, on the dilemma now facing many long-time Bernie Sanders supporters, including myself.
The Sanders-led "political revolution" has arrived at a political crossroad.
Progressive supporters of Sanders cannot go back. The U.S. isn't Austria. There will be no do-over of the Democratic Presidential primaries.
The road to the extreme right (Donald Trump) is unthinkable. It entails the very real and ominous prospect of the very thing so many fought and died to prevent during World War II --- a fascist America. In turn, unabashed Sanders supporters, such as myself, are left with a limited number of options as we struggle with the difficult choice of how to move forward at the ballot box this November in the Presidential race.
Petulantly standing in place (not voting) is akin to the child who takes his football and goes home because the others wouldn't let him play quarterback. It is not a viable option. A boycott of the voting booth by progressives would serve only to reinforce the goal of GOP voter suppression. It would also betray a core tenet of the Sanders-led political revolution --- genuine (small "d") democratic accountability that can only be accomplished via participatory democracy. "I understand that many of my supporters are disappointed by the final results of the nominating process," Sanders wrote in a newly published Los Angeles Times op-ed over the weekend, drawing stark contrasts between both the two major political parties and their 2016 nominees, "but being despondent and inactive is not going to improve anything."
While some may mistake it as progressive, the Libertarian Party ticket, headed by Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, New Mexico's former Republican Governor, does not offer a progressive alternative. To the contrary, libertarianism amounts to an oblique path that is nearly as right-leaning as the now Trump-led GOP.
As I explained in 2010, in "Rand Paul exposes Libertarian Blind Spots", libertarian philosophy focuses exclusively on individual liberty vis-a-vis the government. Many of its proponents fail to appreciate the threat to individual liberty posed by "the tyranny of a corporate controlled economy." Indeed they equate corporate liberties with the liberties of individual human beings. It was that twisted reasoning that led to the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United decision. Individual liberty without social responsibility, as many supporters of the Libertarian platform ultimately espouse, knowingly or otherwise, is destructive of community, an equitable economy and the environment. In 1980, David Koch, one of the infamous Koch brothers, became the Libertarian Party VP candidate. That selection alone speaks volumes about the party's core values.
With those options out of the way, we are left with either turning to the left --- where one can find a far more progressive platform than that offered by the Democrats, with the Green Party's nominee for President, Dr. Jill Stein --- or, moving directly forward with the now Sanders-endorsed Democratic Party Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton, a candidate who openly embraced an extraordinarily progressive Democratic Party Platform and many, but not all, of the core goals of the Sanders-led revolution during her DNC Acceptance Speech.
The path that thoughtful progressives choose should be guided by both their understanding of the scope of the Sanders-led political revolution and the wisdom behind Otto von Bismarck's astute observation that "politics is the art of the possible"...
Breadth of a political revolution
The Sanders-led political revolution was neither confined to a single election nor to the question as to who would be the next President of the United States. This point was embodied in the Sanders phrase "not me, us." Thus, during his Democratic Convention speech, Bernie observed:
Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent --- a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice --- that struggle continues.
During his DNC speech Bernie also underscored that a core goal was not only to secure active voter participation but to encourage progressives to run for public office --- a point reflected by the upcoming August 30 Florida primary where Tim Canova, a professor of law and economics, seeks to replace the incumbent Congresswoman and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL23). As The Nation's John Nichols recently observed in pointing to the number of progressives who have already secured Democratic Primary victories:
If there is to be a political revolution sufficient to usher in a new era of meaningful reform and people-powered democracy, Congress must change. A lot.
The effort to secure positions for those committed to our democratic revolution is by no means limited to federal office. For example, Tyson Manker, the national director of Veterans for Bernie and a former combat Marine, is the Democratic nominee for State's Attorney in Morgan County, IL.
Principled progressives understand both the breadth of the revolution and the fact that even Bernie did not envision its accomplishment via a single election cycle.
A dose of reality
In terms of substantive policy there can be little doubt that the presumptive Green Party nominee is a superior choice for progressives, especially when measured against the deeply flawed Democratic Party nominee. Many progressives welcomed Clinton's embrace of major segments of Sanders's policy positions during her Acceptance Speech at the Democratic National Convention. Other Sanders supporters, like Norman Solomon, remain skeptics. Citing Hillary's penchant for "triangulation" and the gap between her rhetoric and deeds --- such as the selection of Tim Kaine as VP and Debbie Wasserman Schultz to serve as an "honorary chair" to her campaign --- Solomon openly expressed doubts as to Clinton's sincerity. (Solomon notes that, in a mid-July straw poll of Sanders delegates, 88% regarded Kaine as "unacceptable;" only 3% as "acceptable.")
While Sanders aptly described what emerged from the Convention as "the most progressive Democratic Party Platform in history", there can be little doubt that it still falls well short of the positions contained in Stein's Green Party Platform, especially in the area of foreign policy where Stein offers a position that is significantly to the left of Bernie. She, for example, calls for a 50% reduction in military spending and the closure of more than 700 U.S. military bases overseas. Where Bernie and now Hillary have called for a break-up of the "too-big-to fail" banks, Stein additionally proposes the creation of "democratically-run banks and utilities." Where Hillary agreed to a compromise on healthcare in terms of a public option, Stein, like Bernie, calls for a single-payer healthcare system.
All other things being equal, on matters of simple, substantive policy, Stein is the far more progressive choice. But all things are not equal.
Sanders supporters have a right to be miffed by what took place during the primaries. Many of some 20,000 Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails confirmed what we'd known to be true all along. Operating behind the scenes, a duplicitous Debbie Wasserman Schultz allowed for a sharply tilted playing field by turning the ostensibly neutral DNC into an adjunct of the Clinton 2016 campaign. In particular, Wasserman Schultz, as then Presidential candidate Martin O'Malley charged, allowed for a "rigged process" that imposed severe restrictions upon the number and timing of primary debates. In doing so, she exploited the significant hurdles that were already in place via a hostile corporate-owned media that alternatively sought to marginalize, ignore and then distort the Sanders message.
But there are advantages Sanders enjoyed in the same cycle, because, as I suggested in a 2011 critique of Ralph Nader, Bernie chose to run as a Democrat.
The obstacles that Stein faces are far greater than those faced by Bernie. These include:
1) Where Bernie's name appeared on the ballot in all fifty (50) states, as of July 10, Stein and the Green Party had ballot access in only twenty-four (24) states and the District of Columbia.
2) Where Bernie's campaign was hampered by a constricted debate schedule, in the 2012 general election, Stein was both excluded from participating in presidential debates and arrested when she protested her exclusion. As Stein herself then asserted, "the Commission on Presidential Debates attempts to 'rig elections' in favor of the two major political parties by excluding third party candidates from debates." In light of the recent dismissal of a Green Party/Libertarian Party lawsuit which contested the the right of the Commission on Presidential Debates to exclude third parties, it is exceedingly doubtful that Stein will participate in so much as a single general election debate this year either.
3) As a third party candidate, Stein faces far greater hurdles than Sanders did when it comes to mainstream media coverage. The mainstream media did not provide meaningful coverage of either the Libertarian or Green Party Conventions. And, without debate access, Stein will have few significant ways by which she can pierce the national mainstream media's electronic curtain.
Gary Johnson, who appears to be polling around 10%, at least in national polling where his name is included, has a better shot at meeting the the threshold for debate participation. While the Koch brothers vigorously denied allegations that they've donated to Johnson's campaign, one can't rule out the possibility that either the Koch brothers or other right wing billionaires will see Johnson as an attractive alternative to Trump. If that occurrs, Johnson will have a better shot at piercing the ad money-driven, mainstream media electronic curtain.
Is lack of coverage and denial of debate access to a third party candidate, particularly those on enough state ballots to mathematically secure the Presidency either fair or democratic? Obviously not. The American electorate should have the ability to weigh the substantive policy positions of every such candidate. But such is the current reality.
4) By running as a Democrat, Bernie evaded the very thing that Stein now faces: "the lesser-evil paradigm". During the primaries it could not be said that a vote for Bernie was a vote for Donald Trump. To the contrary, supported by a raft of head-to-head public opion polls, including those on favorability, the Sanders campaign forcefully argued that he would have a better chance at defeating Trump in a general election match-up than Clinton would.
In that regard, it is perhaps useful to heed the thoughts of one of the Left's foremost intellectual --- thoughts that Noam Chomsky expressed long before Clinton publicly embraced many of Sanders' policies during her Acceptance Speech at the DNC:
I would prefer Bernie Sanders. If Clinton is nominated and it comes to a choice between Clinton and Trump, in a swing state, a state where it’s going to matter which way you vote, I would vote against Trump, and by elementary arithmetic, that means you hold your nose and you vote Democrat. I don’t think there’s any other rational choice. Abstaining from voting or, say, voting for, say, a candidate you prefer, a minority candidate, just amounts to a vote for Donald Trump, which I think is a devastating prospect.
Intellectually, those committed to the Sanders revolution should pragmatically ask: What is the best way to move the goals of the revolution forward?
Forward not back
While no one would suggest that progressives should blindly trust Hillary to adhere to all of her Acceptance Speech promises, we can be damned sure that the goals of the Sanders revolution would be significantly thwarted, if not permanently denied, by a fascist demagogue who The Nation's John Nichols suggests would take America on a path to madness.
Because the GOP has refused outright to confirm President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland --- and, indeed, with as many as three more seats that could reasonably become vacant during the next Presidency --- it isn't just the White House, but majority control of the U.S. Supreme Court which remains at issue. Swing state progressives might feel good casting a vote for Jill Stein, but if it leads to restoration of right-wing control of a majority of Justices on the Supreme Court, they would do well to heed the words uttered by Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy (D-MA) a quarter century ago during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings:
If we confirm a nominee who has not demonstrated a commitment to core constitutional values, we jeopardize our rights as individuals and the future of our nation. We cannot undo such a mistake at the next election or even in the next generation.
Kennedy has most certainly been proven right on that point in the decades since Thomas was granted his lifetime appointment to the high court.
And now, the stakes remain are similarly high. While the hashtags #BernieOrBust, #NeverHillary and #JillNotHill may be useful for trending on Twitter, the potential damage that could be wrought by that approach at the polls could be irreparable. Thus, progressives who live in swing states would do well to cast a vote for Hillary while continuing to support genuine progressives like Canova and Manker in their bids to supplant the corporate wing of the Democratic Party.
Ernest A. Canning is a retired attorney, author, Vietnam Veteran (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968) and a Senior Advisor to Veterans For Bernie. He has been a member of the California state bar since 1977. In addition to a juris doctor, he has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science. Follow him on twitter: @cann4ing
Reader comments follow below ad...
READER COMMENTS ON
"Revolution at a Crossroad"
(24 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 12:21 pm PT...
I agree with everything you say....everything except the conclusion....the time is long past for clever and incremental strategies, the Revolution is here, the Revolution is now, and acquiescence to a rigged system (hoping for table scraps) is not an option...
Hillary is a corrupt, venal, dishonest harpie who quite simply disgusts me as a human being....if she wins w/o my help, so be it....but if she should lose due to a Stein insurgency, we will then have accomplished our very worthy goal of destroying ONCE AND FOR ALL the cancerous Clinton / DLC transmogrification of the formerly admirable Democratic Party...
Trump cannot singlehandedly make the USA fascist....but the resulting mayhem of his election will FINALLY cock slap the comatose voters of this country into waking up and regaining their senses....chemo and radiation, baby, for a life-or-death patient...
Things actually STILL need to get worse before they can EVER get better....sorry, but most unfortunately true...
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 1:20 pm PT...
Only people who are very privileged and profoundly ignorant would believe that electing Trump would somehow lead to a broad-based voter "awakening." His presidency would only lead to suffering, hitting hardest among those Americans already suffering the most due to poverty, lack of economic and educational opportunities, and/or the many -isms. No good would come from his ascendancy to power, and certainly it would lead to no progressive changes now or after his term.
Only people who have come unmoored from reality would believe Hillary is some kind of blood-gargling gorgon. And calling a woman a harpie is misogyny.
Truth is Hillary will be in many ways the same kind of president Barack has been and in many ways the same kind Bernie would have been. She'll make some progressive progress in spite of the R's trying everything they can to thwart her (as with Obama), she'll make some decisions and choices that progressives won't like (as Obama has done and as Bernie would have done), and she'll overall be a success in making some changes in a progressive direction (as Obama has done and as Bernie would have done).
In America change happens incrementally. That's reality. People will believe want they want about the possibility of "revolution" leading to big sweeping changes just by electing Bernie, or some kind of shock-induced revolution leading to a good outcome by electing Trump, but those beliefs aren't reality-based. Trump's election would just be a disaster for all of the nation and the world. And Bernie's election would have led to the same scorched earth resistance from the R's as Obama has faced and as Hillary will face. Massive change doesn't happen in just four or eight years by the election of a "hero" to the presidency. Change happens slowly, incrementally. That's how it has been with Barack, that's how it will be with Hillary, and that's how it would have been with Bernie.
In fact in America looking to the federal level for sweeping social, economic, and societal changes is the wrong approach. In America change usually "trickles up" from communities to counties to states, and when enough states have reached a tipping point, change then happens at the federal level. All of the big federal changes --- Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Clean Air/Water Act, Obergefell v. Hodges, Brown v. Board of Education, etc. were actually the result of decades of grass roots work at the local, county, and state level. Most of the time that's how it is, and Bernie wouldn't have been able to change that no matter how hard we wish and clap our hands.
Finally, hyperbolic rhetoric about Hillary or anyone is just a waste of time and energy. There's certainly valid reasons to criticize her or any politician's past policies or decisions. But this stuff about her being an evil monster is just silly. She's not some kind of wicked demon.
Calm down. Step away from politics for a while. Buy some flowers. Kiss your partner or your kids. Pet your pets. Hang out with friends. Breath in slowly, deeply, and now hold it, hold it... and release. Repeat.
Feel better? Now try to stay calm.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 1:25 pm PT...
"Clinton, a candidate who openly embraced an extraordinarily progressive Democratic Party Platform" Is the writer high on something??
Hillary is a pathological liar and nobody cares about those platforms after they get elected!!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 1:34 pm PT...
David Brock, is that you???
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 8/8/2016 @ 2:22 pm PT...
Re ChicagoMel @1 & 4:
It is truly unfortunate that the level of hatred some feel towards the Clintons is so visceral that it prevents them from:
(1) recognizing the extraordinary dangers posed to the Republic by a Trump presidency and continued GOP control Congress.
(2) an unemotional examination of what is, at this point in our nation's history, the most effect strategy for realizing the goals of the Sanders led political revolution.
Your effort to focus on whether Trump can singlehandedly turn America into a fascist state not only underestimates the awesome power of the American presidency and the increasingly authoritarian corporate security state, but completely ignores the permanent damage that could be wrought to our political system if the extreme right recaptures majority control of the Supreme Court.
And it isn't just the courts. When it comes to global climate change, time is running out. If we elect a president who has the gall to suggest that the concept of global climate change is a Chinese plot, we place at risk the very survival of our species.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 8/8/2016 @ 2:28 pm PT...
versla2 @3 wrote:
"Clinton, a candidate who openly embraced an extraordinarily progressive Democratic Party Platform." Is the writer high on something??
Too bad you didn't read the rest of the article, where I added:
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 2:41 pm PT...
I truly believe the insane and over-the-top hatred of Hillary from some on the left is the opposite side of the same coin as the right's insane and over-the-top hatred of Barack Obama. No matter what Hillary or Barack do, say, accomplish, no matter what they've done in the past, no matter anything --- the hatred will continue. It's not rational and not based on any real assessment of them as people or of their careers. It's just hate. Pure-dee hate.
Those who intensely and viscerally hate Barack from the right share the exact same mindset as those who intensely and viscerally hate Hillary from the left.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 8/8/2016 @ 3:05 pm PT...
One more point. While there is a valid question as to whether Hillary will abide by the promises she made during her Acceptance Speech, the Democratic Party Platform that she claims to now support does not call for "incremental" change. The overturning of Citizens United, a reinstatement of Glass Steagall, break up of the "too big to fail" banks, etc., all entail revolutionary change.
And let's not forget that the success of Sanders delegates in significantly achieving a more democratic system within the Party re superdelegates.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 3:58 pm PT...
I don't hate Hillary, i hate what she believes in....what she REALLY believes in, not the disingenuous platitudes that she and Billy Boy and Barack have rope-a-doped and Lucy-footballed me with (and many many many many many many other cleareyed liberals# FOR THIRTY YEARS ALREADY...
That's not misogyny, Thorndike Barnhart, i'd say EXACTLY the same thing if she were a prick....hillaryous how consistently detractors of bogus politicians are berated rather than debated #not talking about you, brother Ern# almost as if privileged Hill bros were somehow on a payroll at the DNC dirty tricks basement boiler room....funny, dat!!
Una mas trenchant observation: the all-powerful Presidency somehow only seems to exist for R's, not D's....fuckface Bush #with ZERO electoral mandate# turned our entire fucking world upside down and inside out with complete insouciance....Barry #with a goddamned electoral LANDSLIDE which i payed and fought for!!) laid down, played dead and revived the moribund GOP into the raging beast we know today....profile in courage????....i don't think so....more like corporate handlers pulling the strings....many of us never saw or even believed such a possibility until waaaay too late in the fixed game...
Fortunately with HRC, her puppet strings are so egregious and perfectly visible that most calm and reasonable persons view her as a bowl of spaghetti...
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 4:10 pm PT...
The semi-coherent blathering hatred in comment #9 just proves my point.
Hate is hate whether it comes from the left or the right. How does this hatred afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted? It doesn't. It's just hate.
Hate can feel real good to the hater. Mmmm, I HATE him/her/them. Yeah baby! Hate! Rich, creamery hate. Luscious!
But does hate lead to any kind advancement of progressive causes? Nope. It just leads to more hate.
And perhaps worst of all, most unforgivable of all, haters are... boring. Dull. It's so predictable. "Hate, hate, hate, spittle-flecked hate!" Yeah, yeah, same old story. What else ya got? zzzzzzz
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 5:01 pm PT...
I rest my case, your Honor...
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 6:53 pm PT...
One thing Obama did, which saved us immeasurable suffering is the appointment of Kagan and Sotomayor to the supreme court. Those lady's have my total respect for treating the supreme court with respect and honor for a change.
If Hillary appoints even one person of equal stature to the court, we will be blessed.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 6:58 pm PT...
I've always said I was going with Sanders all the way. This is not the year to be careless. The Republican party platform is hideous. These people are crazy.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 8:02 pm PT...
Triangulation, brother Lar, good oldfashioned Clintonian triangulation....
JILL STEIN 2016
...because if Hillary enjoys dancing around the issues so much, let's just keep her dancing to the left....i am done done done with wishful thinking over promises loudly made and then quietly abandoned....with the 'lesser of 2 evils' false argument, which is fear-based rather than life affirming....i will be voting my conscience, quite consciously, and fully cognizant of everything at stake and on the table....Courage, my brothers, be not afraid, dismayed, waylaid or played in this staredown with the powers that be....they do not scare me....we are the ones they need to be afraid of...
GO GREEN !!!!!!
JILL STEIN 2016
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 8:13 pm PT...
My brothers AND sisters!!!
(i was addressing Ernie and Larry specifically, not intentionally overlooking anyone....please forgive my choice of wording)
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 8/8/2016 @ 10:46 pm PT...
ChicagoMel @4 and @9 said:
"David Brock, is that you???" ...[and]... "almost as if privileged Hill bros were somehow on a payroll at the DNC dirty tricks basement boiler room....funny, dat!!"
I'll stay out of this battle on this particular day, but just FYI, if those comments were directed at Steve Heller above, I'll just politely suggest you look up his name here at The BRAD BLOG. Just FYI...
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 8/9/2016 @ 6:08 am PT...
Well said, sir.
As a former Democrat living in Texas, I will vote for Stein. If I lived in California, or New York, or any of the other 40-something non-swing states, I would do the same.
If I lived in Ohio, I'd pinch my nose and vote for Clinton. Thus my advice to any progressives in swing states --- and the number of those is growing smaller with each passing day --- I would simply watch my state's polling up to the time I cast my ballot (early in my case, or on Election Day if that suits you).
And I would feel no remorse about any late-October surprise that occurred after I voted.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 8/9/2016 @ 7:12 am PT...
I've been saying for decades that we need to change everything. So Bernie was a dream candidate. I was amazed at how well we did, too, actually having a real shot at it despite the obviously tilted playing field.
I have also said in my life that I would never again support Hillary. But in this situation I will happily choose her over the Dumpster.
I think Hilarious is a mixed bag. I think she's truly accomplished good things and truly done great harm. Both are true. That she is the subject of so much vitriol from the left is weird and disturbing. Yes, she has supported terrible things. So have the overwhelming majority of our representatives in both houses from both parties.
So why does she get so singled out for such venom? It's hard not to think that all the shit she's been getting for decades that was WITHOUT merit has gotten intertwined with legitimate complaints against her to create this weird co-hating from right and left. That's how propaganda works. Just say shit over and over, leave out the other side of the matter. The shit insidiously sinks in.
It reminds me of that great alternative definition of the word calumny which I will now mangle, but is something like--"Singular attention to real faults; silence on merit."
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 8/9/2016 @ 9:23 am PT...
No Clinton, no Trump.
Since you mentioned the Supreme Court and specifically Clarence Thomas, Mr. Canning, you may remember that he was confirmed by a Democratic-controlled Senate. We all know how Thomas and the other conservatives on the Court paid the Democrats back in 2000.
Unfortunately the the Democrats, a Republican-controlled Senate won't be nearly as charitable. Obama's nominee, Garland, is quite centrist, but that's not good enough for the Republicans.
If Clinton is elected and the Republicans continue to control the Senate, she may be compelled to nominate a centrist for the Supreme Court, too. If not, she can expect her choice to be denied confirmation.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 8/9/2016 @ 9:42 am PT...
Ivanka Trump is right. Some people are "scared" of her father as President.
Those of us who were taught about the holocaust, while still in single digits, recognize a fascist when we see one. And having taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic," it is necessary to oppose the gentleman from New York out of a sense of duty, not fear since he does not display courage.
Neither Sanders nor Clinton adopted the key plank in my submission to the Platform Committee, designed to check despotism. But nevertheless the Democratic nominee will get my vote. The Weimar Republic scenario is unacceptable.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 8/9/2016 @ 9:53 am PT...
Guest @19 wrote:
If Clinton is elected and the Republicans continue to control the Senate, she may be compelled to nominate a centrist for the Supreme Court, too.
You missed the central point of this article, which entails strategic voting. The Sanders led revolution was never confined to the POTUS. As John Nichols observed:
If there is to be a political revolution sufficient to usher in a new era of meaningful reform and people-powered democracy, Congress must change. A lot.
The responsibility for changing Congress rests with the electorate. That would have been true even if Bernie Sanders were the nominee. Indeed, Sanders observed that no president could act alone to achieve revolutionary change. Such change must come from the bottom up.
Moreover, I disagree with your belief that Obama was "forced" to choose a "moderate" like Garland. One of the President's principal weaknesses is that when it comes to dealing with Republicans he's always been a lousy negotiator. There's no reason why he could not have nominated the next Thurgood Marshall.
And while Garland would not have been my first choice, he's a damned sight better than the right wing ideologues that Trump would foist upon us.
Guest also wrote:
No Clinton, no Trump
That would have been an excellent slogan for the primaries. Unfortunately, it ignores the present reality that the next POTUS will either be Clinton or Trump.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 8/9/2016 @ 12:00 pm PT...
One of the arguments that the "hold your nose" crowd hammers us with is that they assume that anyone not voting for Hilary will automatically vote for Trump. As Ernest Canning has written the Libertarians are already polling at 10%. The "anyone but Trump" in the establishment Republican crowd has put up a new "independent" candidate (according to Brad's recent podcast). It is becoming clearer that Trump’s support is waning and the conservative vote is being spread more widely. There might be more folks who jump the Trump ship and find other candidates worth voting for.
I have voted for third party presidential candidates ever since I learned my lesson by voting for Dukakis. I consider candidates on a case by case basis and choose to vote FOR the candidate that best expresses my views. My voting Green or Libertarian will not be a "loss" from support for Hillary, because she lost my vote ages ago (see many of the above critiques or Hilary as well as paragraph below). With the conservative vote becoming less focused this is actually the best time to vote for a third party because it will be a time when electoral thresholds can be reached, and third party messages can actually get out to the people. Bernie and Trump are a symptom of the fact that the public is looking for other messages than the ones that the two main parties are offering. If the smaller parties get to those thresholds, it gives legitimacy to one or more of them for debates, federal monies, and media coverage. Voting for a third party (even in a swing state) doesn't necessarily mean Trump will win, because its looking like he is losing favor across the board. It can happen without any worry of Trump taking the white house because fewer people are still supporting Trump even in Southern and other "red" states.
Why not vote for Hilary?
Like Obama Hilary will do the corporate masters' bidding and not work for expanding renewable energy infrastructure. She was supporting natural gas as a “bridge fuel” and endorsing the expansion of fracking around the world. We need green power and fewer/no more fossil fuels yesterday, not in 10-20 years. Her main "liberal" issue is women's rights (which should be an issue for all parties). She's a hawk militarily (see comments about taking out Khadaffi or her vote to invade Iraq), and an interventionist in other country's political systems (see Honduras coupe while she was Secretary of State), and her fondness of Henry Kissenger because he was such a peace loving individual (sarcasm). This is the mindset of the cold war and of a neoliberal who wants to control the world and in the process making multinational corporations richer. Her policies and track record are from the mid 20th century (so why don't the Republicans like her?). I would like a candidate that is concerned about issues of the 21st century. I would like this because our planet (not just our country) can no longer afford to have major leaders who are so far behind in the issues that matter most.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 8/9/2016 @ 10:16 pm PT...
For those who wish for a dystopian Trump presidency: It will not fuel an "Average Joe" uprising who throws his drink across the lawn and gathers his fantasy football buddies to march against the State. I know from experience that such a wish is born out of frustration and a sense of helplessness. Hoping for people to spring into action when the shit hits the fan will only result in a demoralized and shit-faced populace.
People who continue to complain about Bernie selling out are angry and hurt. I sure am angry about how the DNC constantly screwed us over. Except the difference between me and some others posting here is I know Bernie didn't sell out, kowtow, or any of that crap. It's pretty obvious when you take a long, hard, objective look. The game was rigged. He knows it, you know it, and I know it. Bernie complained about it constantly while people were telling him to shut the eff up. But he had to join the Democratic party in order to compete in our crapola two-party system. A third party run was a non-starter and would have gone nowhere.
Look what's going on with Jill Stein. She is basically going nowhere. The same thing would have happened to Bernie throughout this last campaign season. Jill Stein should have thrown in with Bernie back in April when it might have made a difference. Instead she was inviting him to join her. Really?! Kind of backwards, no?
Bernie is continuing the revolution he started in the spring of last year. It's not about him. Now I know you've heard that before. The revolution is not for one season where when it's over everyone packs up and goes home. No. We're in it for the long haul. This isn't something where if we don't win one battle we quit. No. This political revolution, Our Revolution, is a slow Bern where from the bottom up we will fill political offices--municipal, county, state, and national--until we can have a government that works for us, we the people. If you know that good things are more likely to happen to those who work for it, and this sounds like a worthwhile endeavor to you, then please join the revolution already in progress. After all, it's Our Revolution.
This just in from the Our Revolution campaign:
On the evening of August 24, we will kick off Our Revolution with a major live stream address from Bernie. Right now, hundreds of people have posted events around the country where our volunteers can gather to watch the stream. But we don't have enough people hosting events to accommodate all of the volunteers who want to attend. We need your help finding more hosts.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 8/10/2016 @ 6:48 am PT...
I never said brother Bernie sold out....why would i, i LOVE the guy!....spoken face to face a half dozen times....out of total nowhere he beat Clinton in this year's nationwide primaries, until the Clinton DNC redefined "beat" as "lost"....funny, dat!...
But my good brother Bernie is apparently not a blackjack player....although he took a YOOOOOOGE gamble running for President - which i will forever worship and thank him for - he balked when the chips were down....by chips "down" i mean "stolen from him in broad daylight, on overhead cam, by the house dealer, with a grin"....HE NEEDED TO FLIP THE TABLES AND GO ALL IN!...
I know he made a pledge at the outset to the Democratic Party for accepting his candidacy, but that pledge became null and void once the fucking DNC breached their contract by sabotaging him....ALL IN, BABY, LET'S TAKE IT TO THE WALL....Third Party, join forces with Stein, and actually BEAT!!! the other 2 miserable presidential candidates in a threeway....ALL IN, BABY, and whip the goddamn house at its own game....you players out there know exactly what i'm talking about....make or break....go for it!!
Every single dissenting comment i read sounds the same to me, one monotonous voice, "I'm so afraid..."
I am not afraid....and neither should you be....clinging to cynicism never got anybody ANYWHERE....Neil Armstrong at the tavern going "This is fucking INSANE!!!!"....no it is not....we're taking it to the streets....ALL IN, BABY!!
GO GREEN !!!
JILL STEIN 2016
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