Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and the Democratic Party

1st-a-gabbard-1
Tulsi Gabbard in NH.  Yes, she can snowboard

W.J. Astore

In 2016, Bernie Sanders had a winning message and Hillary Clinton didn’t.  But Bernie’s message favored the working classes, not Democratic donors, so he was blocked and then sidelined.  Even so, Bernie loyally campaigned for Clinton, who lost to a political novice, celebrity TV host, and lifelong con man.

In 2020, Bernie Sanders has a winning message and the other leading candidates (Biden, Warren, Buttigieg) don’t.  Bernie’s message still favors the working classes, not the Democratic donors, so efforts are underway to block him again.

Consider Tom Perez, head of the DNC, and his selections for various committees for the convention.  They are the usual suspects: Clintonites, Obama followers, members of the military-industrial complex, big pharma and insurance companies, and so on.  Here’s a useful and funny video from Jimmy Dore that breaks it down:

 

Polls project that Bernie will win Iowa (Feb. 3) and New Hampshire (Feb. 11).  What will the DNC do next to torpedo Bernie’s chances?

Small wonder Bernie advocates for a political revolution.  But we’re not going to have one of those in America, not with the Democratic-Republican Party in charge.

A few more items.  Consider these two articles at Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR):

Corporate Media Are the Real ‘Sanders Attack Machine,’ by Julie Hollar

It’s Media—Not Bernie Sanders—That Have an Antisemitism Problem, by Alan MacLeod

The latter article details the mainstream media’s efforts to paint Bernie Sanders — who, if elected, would be America’s first Jewish president — as an anti-Semite!  Here’s an excerpt:

Have you heard the news? Democratic presidential frontrunner Bernie Sanders is antisemitic. Yes, yes, he’s Jewish, and has a long history of anti-racist activism—but that doesn’t matter.

So goes the story in several prominent media outlets, who accuse him of leading “the most antisemitic [campaign] in decades” (Washington Examiner, 12/13/19). While unable to point to Sanders’ own actions or words, the national press has associated him with hatred of Jews by attacking those around him. Throughout 2019, for example, Sanders supporter Rep. Ilhan Omar was constantly labeled antisemitic across the media for comments she made about the undue influence of the US/Israeli lobbying group AIPAC on American politics (e.g., New York Times, 3/7/19; Wall Street Journal, 7/12/19; Washington Post, 8/20/19).

Fox News (1/9/20) claimed Sanders would be “the most anti-Israel” president ever, conflating criticism of Israel and/or the Netanyahu administration with antisemitism.

Of course, corporate Democrats aren’t just against Bernie Sanders.  They’re against any candidate that threatens their privileges and power.  This includes Tulsi Gabbard, who is being boycotted by CNN even though she’s polling well in New Hampshire.  Consider the following:

NORTH CONWAY, N.H. — Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii says she’s still waiting to hear from CNN about why she wasn’t invited to take part in a series of town halls the cable news network is holding next week in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.

“We have reached out, I think, more than once, and we received no explanation. I don’t even think we’ve gotten a response to date about why they’re excluding the first female combat veteran ever to run for president, the only woman of color in the race,” the four-term congresswoman and Iraq War veteran said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News.

Could it be any more obvious?  The fix is already in.  It’s always in.  The Democrats will do anything and everything in their power to block real change.

I know it’s unlikely, but I would love to see Bernie/Tulsi create a third party and run against Trump and whichever corporate tool the Democrats nominate.  Please, Bernie, if the DNC screws you again, don’t be a “team player.”  Give us a real choice — and pick Tulsi or someone like her as your running mate.

38 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and the Democratic Party

  1. Not so fast, WJAstore, in your last paragraph, of an excellent essay. I think it’s VERY ‘likely’. Tulsi’s refusal to be part of the impeachment circus is becoming more publicly acceptable day by day. As for a senior citizen – who also happens to be Jewish & a Senator – blasphemed as “antiSemitic”, would cause even a well respected comedian to be fired on the spot by management. Free drinks & apologies for all patrons.
    Saw an interesting video by Arron Maté with Scott Ritter. Biden better hope THAT never sees high viewings! Check it out: the WHOLE truth in 1/2 an hour.

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    1. A true observation, BMCKS, regarding the staying power of Tulsi Gabbard’s principled refusal to get sucked into the ongoing impeachment farce. The actual vote in the House of Representatives conformed to what dialecticians call a “false dichotomy” where only two possible responses are permitted, even if neither addresses a subject fairly, and though other, more plausible alternatives exist. Like demanding to know of someone: “Do you beat your wife on Tuesdays or Saturdays?” Such a phony “question” (1) assumes that one beats one’s wife and (2) the only question concerns on which of two weekdays the beating takes place. In reality, one may not beat one’s wife at all, or if one does, the beatings could occur on one or more of the other five days of the week. Or the wife could administer the beatings each and every day (the usual situation in America).

      So Tulsi Gabbard, alone of all the House members — of both corporate right-wing factions — refused to go along with the meaningless nonsense. Good for her.

      As a matter of fact, the so-called “two party system” — or duopoly — itself constitutes a false dichotomy, since the Constitution says nothing at all about political parties — or “factions,” as James Madison called them in Federalist No. 10 — any number of which can and do exist offering alternative policies and programs that a truly modern and developed nation would wisely adopt. The United States badly needs to ditch this corporate [i.e., legally incorporated] duopoly and institute a more pluralistic, i.e., more “democratic,” electoral structure in its place. The civilized world contains many such systems from which the United States could draw instruction and inspiration.

      Let this year begin The Restoration of Democracy in the United States. And a Second Political Party (“None of the Above”) might really help, just for starters.

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      1. As another example of the false dichotomy on display at the ludicrous impeachment proceedings in the U.S. Senate. Answer, please: Do you prefer John Bolton savaging Democrats for the political advantage of Republicans (as he has for his entire political lifetime), or John Bolton savaging a Republican president for the political advantage of the Democrats (as he recently decided to do as a means of selling a book that he hasn’t even published yet, and may never get to do)?

        Jimmy Dore from a recent live-stream video says:

        “Why do the Democrats keep turning for help to disgusting people they used to hate?”

        Or a few observations by my favorite Australian lady journalist, Caitlin Johnstone. See #Resistance Hero John Bolton: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix (January 28, 2020):

        Liberals should definitely get their hopes up very, very high that John Bolton is going to provide the information needed to bring down the Trump administration and restore order to the universe. Definitely put all your eggs in that basket and invest all of your emotions in it.
        . . .
        Friendly reminder that you aren’t actually required to care about the impeachment show or have any opinions about it whatsoever.
        . . .
        The difference between the totalitarianism of dictatorships and the inverted totalitarianism of “free” societies is that in totalitarianism they allow one ideology which supports the status quo, while inverted totalitarianism allows two ideologies which support the status quo.

        So mark your ballot with either an “R” or a “D” and get inverted totalitarianism one way, or the other way, or both ways — but never neither way, the only answer that would make any sense.

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      2. Thanks for the compliment MM, but if you back few weeks on this site, I stated the same: Tulsi’s bravery to be “present”. No responses or discussions. So now let’s move on…
        Tulsi’s Suing Billary for 50Mil$! I think that’s GREAT also! If you want to change a system, you must be wise-not manipulative-which Tulsi is. Billary refused 2x to accept the warrant. Clinton’s, used to corruption, finally had to accept warrant – in NY – corrupt yes, but not as bad as Arkansas. I hope her lawyers NAIL her for Deformation of Character!

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        1. “Deformation” of character, oh I like that! Whether it was intentional on your typing fingers’ part or not. Since they’re both lawyers themselves, I guess the Clintons know every trick in the book for trying to dodge papers being served!

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  2. Sadly, a Sanders and/or Gabbard third party run in 2020 would more than likely give us four more soul-eating years of DT. Not a satisfactory outcome.

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    1. Perhaps. But Bernie/Tulsi might pull a lot of Trump voters.

      Lord knows we need more choices in our political process.

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      1. As much as I like Bernie, him running against Trump and the GOP ad campaign that would paint him as a crazy socialist who would destroy The American Way, would be the political equivalent of Pickett’s Charge…a glorious failure.

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    2. Two things that used to be taught in 8th grade “Civics” classes as (the implied) proof of the superiority of our form of democracy were (1) it was protected from ever becoming an autocracy by a system of checks and balances and (2) a two-party system which provided voters with a choice of candidates for any and all elected offices. What could be more fair or just than that?
      Of the two, the only one that two nieces and a nephew (recent high school graduates) were familiar with was (2). The notion of mythical third party challengers was dismissed out of hand because “we have a two-party system.” Silly me.
      As for (1), the President can do what he wants “because he’s the President.” Again, silly me.
      Years ago, one of my younger sister’s teachers told me that there simply wasn’t time to go into any depth on such things. I had to understand America’s history covered quite a span of time. Oh. That was in 1980.
      So it may well be that, through no fault of their own, recent generations haven’t a clue as to how our political system could and should work, which means the ideas of any serious “resistance” or viable third parties – at least at present – “don’t have a Chinaman’s chance” (Isabell Jewel in “Lost Horizon”).

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      1. Yes, “checks and balances” has been tossed out the window thanks to GOP majority in Senate. They are endorsing Nixon’s assertion that “If the President does it, it can’t be illegal.” If the younger generations haven’t been taught the alleged wonders of “our” System of government, I can only guess it’s because they have to spend most classroom time these days prepping for standardized tests? The better the test results, the more funding the school can obtain, or at least it minimizes the threat of slashed budgets? Pardon my cluelessness, it’s “been a while” since I was in school!

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        1. Yes, standardized tests: the nieces & nephew referred to spent part of their junior year and their entire senior year of high school preparing for “the Big Test.” And you are correct, got to keep the graduation rate up to keep state funding coming in because, as Randy Newman once sang, “It’s Money That Matters.”
          That most of the money goes toward the athletic department (the high school equivalent of the DoD when it comes to budgets) doesn’t seem to bother anyone.

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  3. Yes, ever since Bernie started overtaking Biden in polls I started bracing for the smear campaigns that would inevitably appear. And so they do. Starting with Hillary who once more proves that she not only is a loser, but a bad, vindicative one at that.
    Bernie’s reaction showed me that in addition to his other qualities, he has a wonderful quick repartee (about his wife liking him on good days) but what’s more important, he brushes off such attacks as a waste of time in which he will not let himself get insnared.

    Then there was this NYT op-ed, with ‘agressive Bernie Bros’ receiving a new life, re-heated in history’s microwave: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/opinion/sanders-bernie-bros.html It inspired me a rare comment to the NYT.
    Today they publish a fact-check which I do not read for fear of my health.

    When increasingly depressed by the world we live in, I dive into Bernie’s FB page with its loads of positive energy. Last night I watched most of the meeting in Iowa (on C-Span, available in Europe !) and discovered a new and amazing Congress woman about whom I never even had heard : Pramila Jayapal. The right policies and subjects, evidently intelligent and with a well organised mind, but in addition an excellent speaker. No doubt a real asset for Bernie and who knows what more we will see from her in the coming years.
    Finally, to lift our spirits, ‘Grandpa’ Bernie out of touch with price of sneakers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqpYry9vS5c :-).

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  4. Though I always vigorously dispute the claim by the ill-informed that “Israel controls the US,” the fact is that Israel’s perceived crucial value to the US Ruling Class has produced a mainstream media environment where ANY criticism, no matter how mild, of Israeli policies and actions leads to an effort to “take down” the utterer of such heresy. If Bernie’s very mild support of the seemingly alien notion that Palestinians should be accorded human rights would make him “the most anti-Jewish” POTUS in history, what does this make Donald Trump, openly endorsed by today’s crop of Nazis?? Finally, though I too ache for a viable “third” party here, a Bernie/Tulsi ticket ain’t gonna be it. Viable at the polls, that is. And it would, indeed, firmly guarantee Trump’s re-election. Here’s a rhetorical question to ponder: What is the future of the GOP post-Trump? Will its candidates for sundry offices fight among themselves to try to be more hideous than The Donald? Or will a modicum of sanity infiltrate that gang of hyenas? The significance of this question is that we better resign ourselves to the fact that there WILL be future GOP presidents. Yes, the Dems are venal and despicable themselves, but I reckon there hasn’t been one quite as bad as Trump since Strom Thurmond called himself a Democrat!

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    1. There hasn’t been a “Democratic” President “quite as bad as Trump”?

      On the contrary — and not to excuse Trump’s own brand of bungling, inept “Reality Television” awfulness — I say that America has had at least two of them in very recent times. Take it away Jimmy Dore:

      Trump is a symptom of a larger problem
      Jimmy Dore Show (youtube)
      Introductory Rant

      Jimmy Dore: “I understand why people are afraid of a Donald Trump presidency. But Trump is not the problem. He’s a symptom of the problem. Why do you think people voted for Trump? Because everything is going great in their lives? Trump didn’t take us to Iraq. Trump didn’t pass NAFTA. Trump didn’t bail out the banks and screw the homeowners. If people actually knew what Bill Clinton and Barack Obama actually did, they would be screaming bloody murder. The Democratic party completely turned their back on workers, they got in bed with Wall Street and Silicon Valley. This is the result [Foreclosure]. In order to get better, we have to come to terms with this. We have to come to terms with what’s wrong. People are hurting. Half the country’s poor, you assholes. When both parties turn their back on the workers, they’re going to go to a demagogue. Which is why Hillary Clinton lost to an orange clown. You know, her slogan wasn’t “I’m With You.” Her slogan was “I’m With Me,” “I’m With Her.” What the f…? You’re supposed to be with us you stupid jag-off.”

      [Shows DNC chairman Tom Perez: “When we lead with our values as Democrats” …]

      Jimmy Dore: “What? What are your values? What the f… are they?

      [Shows DNC chairman Tom Perez: “We have to expose Donald Trump” …]

      Jimmy Dore: “No. We have to expose the Democratic party. Bill Clinton did stuff that Republicans could only do in their wet dreams. He exploded the prison population, gutted Welfare [a.k.a., Aid to Families with Dependent Children], and then repealed the New Deal banking regulations. Barack Obama repealed Habeas Corpus, shored up the surveillance state, and the people who exposed war crimes inside of our government, he put them in jail and tortured them. The Democrats are a grass-roots party the same way Monsanto is an organic food company. We should do a program where we just make fun of the Democratic party. But it’s important to respect the dead. And everyone is still saying: “You gotta vote for us, “BECAUSE TRUMP!” You tried this before. You’ve got to beat Trump with something. Where’s your platform for getting us out of the seven wars Obama got us into? Where’s your platform for ending fracking? Where’s your f…ing platform? How about a living wage? Free college. Single Payer so sick people can get healthcare in America. That Bernie’s crazy. How can we afford less-expensive drugs? I say, the establishmentif you can’t join them, let’s f… ing beat them. We need a f…ing revolution.”

      For my part, I would only take issue with the word “revolution.” In its place, I would prefer the term “Restoration,” as in a return to the trust-busting days of President Teddy Roosevelt and the Depression-Era programs of FDR, such as a Works Progress Administration, Glass-Steagall banking controls, and so forth. Single Payer National Health Care (such as we have here in Taiwan) and Student Debt Forgiveness, should become the nation’s two foremost priorities. The United States has had such salutary policies and programs in the past, and most truly developed countries in this world already have these sorts of programs today. So before blowing up the entire rotten edifice — as it richly deserves — we might consider one last attempt at a restoration of the working-class to political influence and power.

      That will, most obviously, require a political party dedicated to the economic and educational betterment of the working class. The so-called “Democratic” party does not qualify, and hasn’t for decades. But I’ll let renowned research economist Michael Hudson take it from here with one of his most recent analyses: “Breaking Up the Democratic Party”, which originally appeared at The Unz Review (September 12, 2019). The bottom line:

      The Democratic Party’s role is to protect Republicans from attack from the left, steadily following the Republican march rightward. …”

      The effect has been to make America into a one-party state. Republicans act as the most blatant lobbyists for the Donor Class. But people can vote for a representative of the One Percent and the military-industrial complex in either the Republican or Democratic column. That is why most Americans owe allegiance to no party.”

      So let the dismantlement and reconfiguration of the historic Democratic Party — which has already gifted us with Trump in the first place — get underway. A lot of weeding, pruning, and purging of the corporate Clinton-and-Obama factions will need to happen. The Bernie/Tulsi ticket will need to get cracking on that vital project without a second’s hesitation. Otherwise, the Clintons and Obamas will gift us with another four years of Donald Trump whom they would prefer to any genuine “working-class” leadership, irregardless of race, age, gender, or animistic spook preference (singular or plural).

      What Jimmy Dore and Michael Hudson said …

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        1. You’re welcome, Eddie. Relevant to this discussion thread, consider another of my amateur transcripts:

          “Why Tulsi’s Vote On Impeachment Was Correct”
          The Jimmy Dore Show (January 27, 2020)

          For reasons of space and taxing demands upon the attention, consider this instalment Part I

          Michael Tracy: “Having watched Tulsi’s campaign progress, what I find is that she has gotten increasingly radical as the campaign goes on. Maybe ‘radical’ is not the right word. But more penetrating, more incisive, more unwilling to put up with nonsense. For example, at some of the events I’ve been to, usually someone will bring up Israel. And Israel is one of the points on which she has engendered some left-wing skepticism, because she had that vote on BDS which you asked her about a few months ago, et cetera. But now, when she’s asked about Israel, she’s essentially denouncing what she calls “the continued illegal occupation by Israel of Palestinian territory.” Which I think is even farther than Bernie goes. Bernie will call the settlements illegal, but I don’t know if he has called the entire occupation framework illegal. So that’s not going to get Tulsi any more invitations to, like, AIPAC soirees.Right? Or, you have her going on tirades against the corporate media as she did just last night. Or, you have her talking about genocide in Yemen. She is just using starker terms and putting it all into a coherent message. The impeachment stuff being a perfect example. Her ‘present’ vote I think is going to be looked back on – and I don’t want to be melodramatic or too sycophantic about it – but I think the ‘present’ vote that she took will be looked back upon as a true profile in courage.”

          [2:13] Jimmy Dore: “You know, Michael, when people say her vote of ‘present’ was an act of cowardice, and I’m like ‘Well, Do you see the unbelievable, over-the-top, universal smearing and pounding she’s taking? It would be cowardice if she voted another way to avoid that kind of pounding. So, whatever you want to say, like Bill Maher when he talked about the terrorists. They weren’t cowards. They flew their fucking plane right into the building knowing it was going to kill them. So she’s not a coward. Because she knows making this ‘present’ vote is going to get her a world of shit. And she did it on principle.”

          [2:33] Michael Tracy: “She was the only person who voted the way she did in the entire congress. And she had a separate rationale from every other single Democrat and every single other Republican. So, she’s obviously exposing herself to an extreme amount of condemnation and criticism. And people call that ‘cowardice.’

          [2:56] Jimmy Dore: “It’s the exact opposite. So you can disagree with the vote, but it’s the exact opposite of cowardice.”

          Michael Tracy: “But on the merits of the vote, it was totally correct. And one reason was the answer that I gave before about the elevation of National Security State functionaries as somehow being the guardians of American foreign policy, who are not susceptible to any kind of democratic checks. I think a democratic check ought to be exerted against Trump such that in November he is voted out of office. Right. But I’m not also going to accept that these long-standing bureaucrats have any kind of metaphysical right to be the sole determiners of what U.S. foreign policy consists of. That’s not how you achieve reform. That’s capitulation to vested interests who are responsible for making it such that American foreign policy stays roughly the same across bi-partisan administrations. And that’s exactly what Tulsi is campaigning to upend.”

          “So, it was 100% in keeping with her overall campaign themes. And it’s very frustrating for me that in the media in particular, don’t have any sophisticated enough understanding – not that you need sophisticated understanding, I’m not sophisticated, and I’m sorry to say that you’re not sophisticated, either, Jimmy. But you and I get it. These journalists who just want to create buzz and create phony controversy, they can’t even bother to look a few levels deeper to understand what the broader implications of this impeachment stuff are. How it could potentially backfire, as it already is. And what it’s going to do in terms of American governance going forward. And impeachment is a precedence that is now going to be with us for the remainder of U.S. history. I know it sounds a little crazy to put it that way, but it’s true. There now have been only three impeachments since the founding of the country. So when you take as dramatic a step as that, it’s going to dictate how future presidents are going to behave and are constrained by.”

          [5:06] “So I think that vote is going to be looked upon as courageous, at least in my mind it ought to be. Again, because it was a repudiation of Trump for not just mentioning Joe Biden in the phone call, which is sort of trivial, but also his many other abuses. I mean, one of the things that she mentioned in the censure resolution that she proposed simultaneously when she voted ‘present’ was that Trump had taken the country to the brink of war with Iran. And sure enough, a couple of years later, he does it. I mean, we’re not at full-scale war yet, but we’re in a state of war because we have direct state-to-state warfare between Iran and the United States for the first time since 1917. And so it’s encouraging to me in a way, that she has gotten more radical.

          There was an event – again, ‘radical’ might not be the word for it but she’s gotten more penetrating in her critiques – she had this event last week in Concord New Hampshire with Dennis Kucinich. So when people tell me that she’s this right-wing plant. You get that narrative sometimes. She’s this right-wing plant. She secretly wants to help Trump with these stealth conservative views or something. Yes. She has a conservative temperament, a conservative, sort-of, familial background, but what she’s proposing is not in away recognizably conservative. So when she appears on stage with Dennis Kucinich, one of the other anti-war candidates who was exiled and demeaned, portrayed as nuts in two earlier presidential cycles. She appears with him, and has the endorsement of a Mike Gravel, for instance. She’s the only person who Ron Paul says has an acceptable approach to foreign policy. These are all people who staked their entire political identities on an anti-war platform. And all of them are backing Tulsi to one degree or another, so when I hear that she’s this right-wing plant, I have to ask ‘What are you talking about in terms of ‘right-wing’?

          … [continued Part II] …

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        2. [Conversation between Jimmy Dore and Michael Tracy on Tulsi Gabbard’s “present” vote at the House Impeachment proceedings — Part II]

          Michael Tracy: “And if you haven’t done it, go and listen to the live-stream that she did last week with Kucinich, Stephen Kinzer, and Lawrence Lessig, where they get into the history of U.S. regime change, how a coup was fomented in [1953] and how it kind of plays into this kind of crazy inertia that the United States policy apparatus operates on. And now we get to a point where they just manufacture crises with Iran. So someone needs to state with a degree of foresight and discernment how that model can be uprooted so we’re not just lurching from crisis to crisis over and over and over again.”

          “Even just today, and if I sound like a Tulsi sycophant at this point, so be it, even just today, she was at the Martin Luther King Day kind-of commemoration in South Carolina. And what did she do? She just didn’t recite the generic, superficial homages to Martin Luther King that you can just turn on the TV and see on any corporate media channel. No. She emphasized that Martin Luther King was staunchly anti-war, opposed the Vietnam War, and said what an affront to justice it was that they were spending billions of dollars a year in Vietnam but couldn’t spend a fraction of that to eradicate infestation of impoverished communities in the United States. That’s what she was talking about today.”

          “So, I’ve totally lost patience with people who kind of want to portray her as this cryptic infiltrator who has some kind of ulterior sinister motive. Especially since she’s the one Democrat who stood up for Bernie once again when Warren launched her sleaze-fest attack. What more does she have to do?”

          [9:07] Jimmy Dore: “She’s an anti-war vegan for Single Payer Health Care and she sticks up for Bernie Sanders at every turn. WTF?”

          Michael Tracy: “Most of her staff and volunteers sand even like really committed supporters are like these lefty, peacenik, anti-war Vegan types. So we’re talking like they’re all complicit in some kind of right-wing infiltration conspiracy theory? I mean she talks about Trump needs to go every single time she speaks. And so its just insane. So when I talk about the trajectory of Tulsi’s campaign [heading] toward the radical, granting the inadequacy of that word ‘radical’ to encapsulate what she’s doing, I contrast that with Bernie who does make, over and over again these really awkward and almost certainly unnecessary concessions to establishment Democratic party thinking. And so it’s a useful contrast to bear in mind as things shake out.”

          Jimmy Dore: “I really want, if I vote for Bernie in November, I want it to be a vote for a revolutionary. I mean, you want to upend how we do 20% of our GDP which is Health Care. You want to totally upend that. You’ve got to be a revolutionary. You’ve got to ruffle some f…-ing feathers. And people are ready. People were ready, Michael, I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember, but people were ready in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected. They were ready for big, structural change, as Elizabeth Warren likes to say. They were ready. They were ready for him to undo the Health Care system. They were ready to undo our banking system and give us a new one. They were ready for him to stop all the wars. They were ready for all this shit. And he did none of it.”

          [11:16] Michael Tracy: “I was here in New Hampshire twelve years ago at this very time, in January of 2008, I was here as a private citizen campaigning for Obama. Canvassing. Knocking on doors. Phone-banking. That type of thing. Because that was what I thought he was going to do. And I still feel like there was something correct about my instincts at the time as a nineteen year old. But the lessons of the Obama presidency – or should we say the Obama-Biden presidency? – show that you need a little more than rhetoric that seems attuned to the prevailing sentiments of the time. Even Trump shows that. I mean, go and listen to some of Trump’s speeches at the climax of the campaign in 2016, when he’s talking about all the trillions of dollars squandered in the middle east and how that needs to be directed home towards infrastructure kinds of things. They all say it. But nobody actually does it.”

          [12:10] “One of the very first interviews I did with Tulsi, almost a year ago when, by the way, she said the exact same thing about her meeting with Bernie in December of 2018 that she said last week. So she didn’t invent that out of thin air for political opportunism. You can go check the record where she said the exact same thing over a year ago. In contrast with Lyin’ Liz who obviously fabricated something and was just sitting on it to use at the right moment to drop a bombshell when Bernie is getting a couple of good polls in Iowa.” .”

          [12:37] Michael Tracy: “I asked her in that interview: Obama sort of said he wanted to take on the foreign policy establishment, Trump in his own way said it. What about you? What would enable you to actually take on the establishment and change something. And she says that you need to actually install the correct personnel: people who are not going to undermine you at every turn. And what this impeachment has done, it has created an obstacle to actually dislodging those entrenched interests that perpetuate the status quo in terms of foreign policy. Now, it can be seen as a High Crime or Misdemeanor to override their will. And so it’s going to make it even more difficult in the future. So, you’d think that somebody who is the standard-bearer for Socialism or left-wing activism in the form of Bernie would think about that kind of thing on a little bit of a deeper level. Or at least have somebody in his orbit who could relay that to him. But, unfortunately we haven’t seen it. Instead, we get him on a live-stream talking about Lev Parnas.”

          Jimmy Dore: “I mean, it’s pathetic. Again. His people are great on policy. He’s great on policy. Bernie has won elections. I’ve never won an election. Right? But it seems painfully obvious that at best they are putting out a muddied message. And they are fucking themselves by doing this time and time again, by having one foot in the establishment and one foot in the revolutionary camp. Become a revolutionary. Get those hundred million people who didn’t vote last time out to vote. That’s all you’ve got to do. And they’re going to come. They’ve been waiting for someone to vote for. I know this. How? I used to be a bricklayer. I’m going to suppose that most of the people voting for Bernie grew up in cul-de-sacs. I don’t know what’s wrong with them. They don’t have any grit. Why they roll over at every god-damned turn. I don’t get it. I used to be a bricklayer. I used to get my head beat in just to go to work. And so maybe I have more grit, or something, and I can see this clearer than they can. Because they can certainly see clearly on policy. But it seems like at every opportunity to fall down on the job strategically, the Bernie campaign does so.”

          Michael Tracy: “And if you don’t think, if Bernie himself and the people around him don’t think that – last week it was sexism. This week, who knows what it will be.? But on some week they’re going to bring up the fact that in the Mueller Report – remember that? – there’s a whole section about how the Russian trolls were infiltrating the American political system to ‘Boost Bernie,’ Right? And if he’s reciting Maddow talking points, how is he going to have the standing to refute or rebut that line of attack. He’s sort of forfeiting his credibility when he gives in to aspects of this narrative, because this narrative is inevitably going to boomerang back on him. The Trump campaign which exists now as a campaign, just last week I believe, put out a rapid-response e-mail saying that Bernie is parroting Russian talking points by criticizing the Solemani assassinations. And how is Bernie going to be equipped to deal with that style of attack from a Democrat or whether it’s from Trump or anyone in between when, for years, he has basically been giving progressive legitimacy to this insane hysteria which everyone warned from the beginning was eventually going to come back to bite him.”

          [end video transcript]

          This should help fill in some background context as the Democratic party primary progresses into the first voting.

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  5. Again in reference to BMCKS’s observation above about Tulsi Gabbard’s “present” vote at the conclusion of the House Alice-in-Wonderland “impeachment inquiry” (i.e., “Sentence first. Verdict Later”), I had a few lines of verse occur to me. I think that watching the Tom Cruise science fiction movie “Oblivion” probably factored in here, as well. Anyway:

    Lemming Heroism at the Impeachment
    (with apologies to Thomas Babington Macaulay’s “Horatius at the Bridge”)

    Then out spoke brave Somebody, from the shadows of the herd:
    “I voted with the others, like a timid, loyal turd.”

    And how can one fare better, than facing zero odds
    For the asses they call “leaders” and their petty, sloppy frauds?

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2019

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  6. From the Communist Manifesto :

    A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.

    Today the Spectre of Democratic Socialism is haunting the Corporate Democratic Party. The members of the “Holy Alliance” are different from Marx’s Era. The Corporate Democrats represent the same interests: the wealthy establishment, and multi-national corporations and toss in the Defense Establishment. Although, the Evangelicals are housed in the GOP, they share the same fear of Democratic Socialism.

    Almost everyday there is a new “hit job” or drive-by shooting at Bernie Sanders in the media from a variety of sources. Hillary delivered her just in time “Hit” on Sanders in front of the primaries. When someone counterattacks Hillary suddenly that in the Corporate Media Speak becomes divisive. There are Clintonites, I have met that still harbor ill-will bordering on hatred toward Sanders for challenging Hillary in 2016. (It was Her Turn).

    Robert Reich has a good article: Why Democrats share the blame for the rise of Donald Trump.
    Democrats did nothing to change the vicious cycle of wealth and power that had rigged the economy for the benefit of those at the top and undermined the working class. As Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg concluded after the 2016 election, “Democrats don’t have a ‘white working-class’ problem. They have a ‘working class problem’ which progressives have been reluctant to address honestly or boldly.

    “The fact is that Democrats have lost support with all working-class voters across the electorate.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/01/donald-trump-impeachment-trial-state-of-the-union

    Robert Reich is never invited on as panelist to the so-called Liberal Outlets of MSDNC or CNN.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting. I posted my own article on my website a few months ago about “the spectre of ‘democratic socialism’ haunting America” (not just the Dems). FDR saved Capitalism (with a big boost from industrial activity preparing for the world war, of course), for which he’s been reviled by Libertarians to this day. But, really, should anyone in this day and age express the least surprise that the Dems DON’T wave the red flag of revolution in the streets (like Chaplin’s ‘Little Tramp’ does unwittingly in “Modern Times”!)?? The Dems have been that “other side of the same coin” for a long, long time.

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  7. Just one more article:
    It Should Be Easy to Defeat Trump, But Corporate Democrats Look Ready and Willing to Blow It
    Trump should be the most defeatable president in history.
    by Ralph Nader

    Nader writes:
    Let’s start with the labels. Why are overdue and overwhelmingly popular proposals put forward by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren labeled “extreme?” What is extreme is the greed and power of the plutocrats and Wall Street, not advocates cracking down on corporate crime and ending corporate welfare. There is nothing extreme about supporting a living wage, universal health insurance, or big infrastructure investments funded by reforming the tax system.

    There is nothing radical about preventing the super-rich and giant corporations from using tax havens and other tax escapes. The proposals to close the tax loopholes and properly enforce the tax laws would collect trillions of dollars over a decade and fund necessary government spending for the benefit of the American people.

    What’s so “radical” about de-bloating the vast waste and redundancy of the military budget that now takes over half of the operating federal budget? Or opposing endless criminal wars of aggression like destroying Iraq?

    Why does Joe Biden’s history of coddling banks and credit card companies rather than protecting consumers make him a “moderate” or “centrist?” It is time to poll those retrograde, corporatist positions. What about Biden’s support of the Iraq war and other costly, brutal adventures of Empire?
    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/02/01/it-should-be-easy-defeat-trump-corporate-democrats-look-ready-and-willing-blow-it

    Nader is another person who will not make the cut to appear on MSDNC or CNN.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t say I’m a “fan” of Nader, but yes, the Dems appear headed toward another defeat in November. It should have been “easy” to defeat Trump in 2016 (and by popular vote, a certain someone did), except for two “little” problems: 1.) his revolting RACISM (above all, and it’s a huge element in xenophobia of course) and misogyny appealed to a rather sizable chunk of our benighted electorate; and 2.) the perversity called the Electoral College magnified the votes of the yahoos in places like Idaho and Wyoming enuf to put Trump over the top. What to do about either of these phenomena? Haters will be haters, and they love to feel empowered further by a very public figure; and I doubt the EC will be discarded in my lifetime. Shall I slash my wrists? Not ready for that!

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  8. Tulsi has obviously decided to define herself in opposition to the DNC and its “malarkey,” to use Joe Biden’s word. And she’s paying the price by being attacked as a Russian stooge, among other slurs and smears and slights. If you judge her by the enemies she’s made, she stands very high indeed.

    Bernie has a far better chance of winning, so I think he’s trying to use the Party to his favor. This is probably the wrong strategy, but it might work in the near term, i.e. up to Super Tuesday in early March.

    Bernie, I think, needs to take a page out of Trump’s playbook and start running against the Party — and perhaps he will as the shenanigans and malarkey of the DNC worsen.

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    1. A little technicality–If I’m not mistaken (and by Gump, such a thing is possible!), Bernie still sits in Senate as an Independent. (I believe that holds for Rand Paul as well.) But, as they say, “He caucuses with the Democrats.” Of course it IS the nomination of the Dems he is seeking. He has to walk a thin line in terms of criticism of the Dem. Establishment, therefore. He is the only one vying for that nomination who consistently calls for “a political revolution” and a crackdown on the greedy corporate rule of the country. Time will tell how much longer the Dem. Establishment will “tolerate” such “wild-eyed radical talk”! (And “Get a haircut, Bernie!” I wish I could insert a laughing emoji here!)

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      1. The Corporate Courts have decreed that the Democratic Party, Inc., can — as a legally recognized private entity — conduct its affairs as it sees fit, with transparency and fairness not necessarily a factor in their proceedings. So the DNC has chosen to “nominally” (i.e., for show) accept the Sanders and Gabbard campaigns while simultaneously undermining them in favor of whatever establishment tool they eventually wind up nominating (and any one who will lose to Trump will do). Does the name “Hubert Humphry” and the year “1968” ring a few bells here? For members of our generation, they should.

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        1. Once experienced, never to be forgotten! The DNC’s true choice, the last gasp of the Old Guard about to be swept away by RFK until the unpleasantness in California. Humphrey-Muskie, a ticket for the ages. “Dump the Hump!”
          “The more things change …”

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          1. Oh, the memories!! Let’s see now, who was that guy who whupped the Dems in ’68??…Oh yeah, Nick Dixon. Or something like that. Oy, oy, oy.

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    1. Again, as I pointed out above, the Corporate Courts have decreed that the DNC may choose the Democratic party’s candidate for President (in 2020 as in 2016 and previous election years) in any manner they see fit. This includes, obviously, simply selling the nomination to the highest bidder. In recognition of this ugly reality, then, I propose changing the name of these shameless and meaningless farces from “primary” to “auction.” There. Fixed the bad semantics problem. See how easy?

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  9. I caught this on a recent podcast interview with Daniel Lazare, by Scott Horton of antiwar.com:

    [4:40] Scott Horton. “I saw where Tulsi Gabbard, there was a tweet that someone sent me a link, she did a push-up contest with some guy at some event and the first response of the tweet was, ‘Yes. But she’s a Russian agent.’ And there is no sense of irony there, whatsoever. It’s just: ‘I heard that somewhere that, yeah, the Russians are running a Democrat in the primaries this year. And I don’t know why the F.B.I. isn’t keeping her off the Armed Services Committee.’ But, hey, there must be something to it, Dan, because I heard it on a tweet somewhere. And they all re-tweet it and they all believe in it. They will believe in it. Like your Uncle Bob who still thinks that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. They’re never going to let this go.

    For those interested in the entire transcript, I’ve saved a copy on my website:

    The Kookery Underlying Impeachment – 1/25/20 Daniel Lazare on the Democrats’ Paranoid Ukraine Fantasy, The Scott Horton Show (January 28, 2020)

    It looks like the Democratic party has so disgraced and humiliated itself over the past three years — with this lunatic “Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Gate-gate” all-purpose scapegoat narrative — that their presidential nomination this time around may approach the usual value of the Vice Presidency: i.e., “Not worth a bucket of warm piss,” as John Nance Garner once crudely put the case.

    And now on to the next garage-sale venue of the Democratic Party Presidential Auction.

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