Our Revolution

Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuple
“Onward: Man the Hillary Watch!”

A lot of Berners are upset Sanders is backing Clinton.  Some even feel betrayed. But betrayal is a word that should never be associated with Sanders.  Hero is more like it.  Bernie Sanders is a hero; for his patient, Herculean effort to swing Hillary Clinton left, towards the true lode-star of traditional Democratic values.   After 40 years in the moral wilderness, the Democratic Party may finally be heading home, past the granite cliffs of FDR’s Gibraltar to port at the teeming city of a Brand New Deal, where generations of tired, poor and hungry huddled masses await the Party’s prodigal return.   Or, Hillary may continue to lead the party down Wall Street’s yellow brick road as she courts anti-Trump Republicans, in which case the corporatist Democrats may replace the rapidly disintegrating GOP, leaving an opening for the Green Party to assume the mantle of the New Left.  This is the choice Clinton faces.

In the meantime, we need to acknowledge Sanders’ victory and hope it isn’t Pyrrhic.   After all, he leveraged his base to get Hillary to renounce the TPP in its current form, in addition to Citizens United, while supporting a public option and free college for families making less than 125 grand a year.  Fellow Berners, these big wins should be celebrated, not seen as a sell-out.  Yes, our movement will need to walk not-so-softly and carry a big stick whether Hillary gets amnesia or not.  The stick, of course, would be a 2020 primary challenge against an incumbent president, and/or an alienated mass of millennial voters in November.  I’m sure the threat of her bluff is why Bernie pushed to purge the rigged primary rules at the Convention.

While manning the Hillary Watch, we can begin to reform the Democratic Party from within by using Bernie’s new campaign (Our Revolution) to pressure Congress on progressive issues.  We can simultaneously apply party pressure from without by supporting affiliated organizations like Brand New Congress (BNC).  This group will use the Bernie model to back progressive candidates for every seat in the land through small donations, volunteering, and yes, vetting volunteers to run for office (this means you!). So BNC could be the conduit for the Green Party, Progressive Party, Labor Party, or “Whatever” Party to fill the void left by the Democrats if they decide to go AWOL on their promises to Bernie’s revolution.

For the time being, keep in mind that Bernie and his army of grass roots delegates on convention committees have produced “the most progressive Democratic Party platform ever”, including a $15 dollar minimum wage.  It’s entirely possible the Platform Committee only failed to denounce TPP because establishment members didn’t want to damage Obama’s “legacy”, but remember, if it isn’t just lip service, Hillary no longer supports TPP, so it appears she’s not afraid to buck Obama on this.  Who knows?  Maybe Hillary Clinton will do more than make history as the first female President, and, unlike Obama, actually be a great president.  The only way she will achieve this though is to continue to embrace the progressive values our movement has thrust upon her.  The Hillary Watch starts with her acceptance speech tonight.

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Our Revolution

No More Next Years:

1955_next_year
Was Brooklyn-born Bernie in the stands with the rest of “dem bums” . . . ?

It’s become increasingly apparent that the most vital plank in the 2016 Democratic Convention Platform will be reforming the entire nomination process.  For starters, Bernie wants to “open up” the primaries to parties of every political persuasion, including Republicans and Independents.  The standard argument against this is that it opens the door for the GOP base to vote for a “weaker” candidate in the primary so they can beat him/her in the general election.   Well what does “weaker” candidate really mean anyway?  Someone who truly represents old school Democratic values?  Someone like Bernie Sanders?

History of the Hijack

Back in ’72, George McGovern got blown out by the incumbent (Nixon) because the economy seemed strong and Vietnam was winding down, yet McGovern’s loss is commonly cited as a rationale for the Democrats current super-delegate system.  Question:  Is this when the Democratic Party lost its way, selling out instead of taking one on the chin and regrouping?  Apparently, party leaders couldn’t swallow such a bitter pill, namely Tricky Dick winning in ’68 with the Southern Strategy and in ‘72 by dumping the Gold Standard, which saved jobs in time for the election but bred inflation for Ford and austerity for Carter.  Pretty clever huh?

Then Reagan beat Carter in ’80 with more Southern strategy, tax-cuts for the rich and deregulation, but this time with the incumbent battling both a brutal recession (thanks to Nixon’s fuzzy math) and a Ted Kennedy primary.  That’s a triple whammy folks, and maybe Carter pulls it out if Ted waits his turn, but, typical of politicians faced with losing power, party panic set in.  Instead of reframing, rebranding, and offering alternatives to Reaganomics, these self-appointed super-delegates inherited dictatorial powers while silently shifting Right.

Rather than saving fast-fading unions, they scattered to every K-Street corner, rattling their tin cups at the well-heeled boots of a vast lobbyist army marching on Capitol Hill.  Presto!  The stage was set and the road paved with gold for the “New” Democrats, Republican Lite, Blue Dogs and Purple People-eaters to hijack the Party.  Big Business never had it so good, and the rest is history.

Clinton Coronation

Fast forward to 2016:  Now the super-delegates have morphed into a gigantic Coronation Committee for Clinton, even after she loses primary after primary down the stretch and polls half as high as Bernie vs. Trump.  This is anti-democratic (and counter-intuitive), yet the lame-stream media continues to serve as an echo-chamber for the Clinton campaign by refusing to acknowledge Sander’s momentum.  Of course, it all makes sense when you consider that television, radio and print media were gobbled up and consolidated by corporations around the same time Democrats sold us out thirty years ago.  Do you really think some talking head will expose the charade and risk losing star status, a 1% income, and a really cool job over truth?  Think again.

Bernie’s Big Fix

So here’s the bottom line:  Bernie’s call to trash the super-delegate system targets the Achilles Heel of the Democratic Party, namely, its inability to differentiate from Republicans.  It forces the Party to return to its roots by opening up the primaries, the platform and nomination process to outside campaigns fueled by small donations, not corporate capture.  Otherwise, the system will continue to operate like a modern day Tammany Hall; a churning, burning, old fashioned political machine where instead of passing bags of money around, Party Bosses nurture a complex system of legalized corruption.

Bernie’s political revolution is the antidote to this grand illusion; this Matrix where the appearance of change cons us into believing it’s right around the corner, when in reality the base is teased like Brooklyn Dodger fans (“dem bums!”) every cycle with front office promises of: “Wait ‘til next year!” Meanwhile the bank-rolled Bronx Bombers (a Wall Street dynasty) keep winning, year, after year, after year . . . and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, year, after year, after year, and the middle class disappears, year, after year, after year . . . and the climate gets hotter and health care more costly, year, after year, after year . . .

No More Next Years

Well guess what?  Berners aren’t waiting ‘til next year, next week, or even tomorrow.  We want real, big, bold, change NOW!  And like it or not, the party powerful WILL hear our VOICE at the Convention in June, because we’re sick of the con, and because, most important of all:  We are the real Democrats.

FDR
Fellow “bums” . . . I mean Democrats:  You have nothing to fear but fear itself!  Sooooo . . . squash those pesky Super-delegates and return to your ROOTS!

 

No More Next Years:

Masters of the Universe

Panel moderator Chris Matthews of MSNBC, left, hugs Senator

 

The Washington Post, New York Times, and NY Daily News just won’t give up.  Bernie keeps winning while they keep whining, ignoring him in coverage and bashing him on the back page, even after he hammered Hillary in eight out of the nine last contests.  These jaded pieces are so strident they border on the boorish, painting the first populist since John Edwards and Howard Dean as a delusional, lying lunatic bent on sending the U.S. straight to Stalinist Russia.  Did these papers rip that other Democratic Socialist (and top-tier POTUS Hall of Famer) FDR like this when he ran for Prez?  Doubt it.  Yet it’s quite clear this Clintonite crew is experiencing a visceral, knee-jerk reaction to Bernie’s New-New Deal, but why?

Tom Wolfe coined these types “Masters of the Universe” in Bonfire of the Vanities, his classic fictional case study of elite hubris.  This current cast of vain-glorious characters recoils at the notion of Bernie’s revolution, which challenges business-as-usual in the corporate media establishment.  Heck, if Bernie’s elected they might have to cover future elections on substance rather than gossip, gotcha-questions, and horse-race politics. Or cover corporate corruption the way their predecessor Walter Cronkite did instead of soft-pedaling it from their pedestals.

In their quest for harvesting eyeballs and cheap profits, mass media has contracted mass amnesia. Mainstream news has completely forgotten its sacred mission and public duty to constantly QUESTION the status quo rather than shamelessly and vigorously defend it as they do with Clinton.  For the Washington Post, the case is hopeless so long as Amazon magnate Billionaire Bezos owns that dying paper.  Honestly folks, would the current Post have pulled out all the stops to expose Watergate under its current regime?  Pleeeease . . .

And we don’t need to read tea leaves to see that citizens on the left AND the right are fed up with a system that’s been ripping them off for two generations.  The People are demanding change NOW, not next year, or next month, or next week, but NOW, so it’s high time the tone-deaf media started challenging the status quo instead of coddling it.  Not only that, they should thank their lucky stars they live in a country where they still can.  These guys should know journalists around the world get murdered every day for pushing back against power, yet they insist on denigrating Bernie’s revolution against a system that, ironically, gets less democratic by the day.

Granted, some Clintonites genuinely fear big change might disrupt the overall economy, but Bernie’s answer is:  What economy?  The current system may be working for them, but not for 99% of their fellow citizens.  The bottom line is, despite all the elite media’s kicking and screaming, we really do need an FDR redux to fix forty years of disastrous, neo-liberal economic policy, and Bernie brilliantly fits the bill.

So when Hillary’s henchmen like Chris Matthews bitch that Bernie “makes promises he can’t keep”, it’s not just a lie but an insult to any American, liberal or conservative, demanding real change.  Statements like these assume the American people aren’t capable of freeing their government from corporate tyranny, even via a grassroots groundswell of political pressure not seen since the Sixties.  Apparently, Master-of-the-Universe-Matthews and other media honchos just don’t believe the American people have the juice to get the job done.  Well, I don’t know about you, but I take that as a challenge, especially when it comes in the form of a patronizing dictum hurled at me (a mere mortal) from the lofty heights of Mt. Olympus.  In fact, it makes me damn mad.

 

 

Masters of the Universe

Citizens United to Kick Congress in the Can!

PinkSlipAnother current critique fomenting Bernie bias is that Sanders would be a lame duck president, with tone-deaf pundits trashing his aggressive agenda as “D.O.A.”, “down for the count”, and “dead as a doornail” in our cash-infused conservative Congress. These egoist establishment naysayers argue that if centrists like Obama couldn’t push “pragmatic” policy past the GOP, how will a hard-hurling lefty hit the strike zone in the Land of No? Well, if that’s your attitude folks, why not just vote Republican so we can “get stuff done” like Hillary keeps hollerin’?

But such maximal measures may be moot, because if Bernie wins the nomination turnout tallies will explode, sending a stampeding storm of victorious voters to the polls, not for charity (as red baiters believe), but to destroy disastrous disparity in America.  This history-making horde will flip the sinister Senate, even that hellacious House of horrors, back to our Democratic damsels in distress. Bernie’s message will energize these voracious voters as will the prospect of triumphing over a tirading Trump, the demonizing demagogue who fosters fear and strikes terror in trans-migrant hearts.

But wait! What about those Democrats who danced on Bernie’s coattails all the way to D.C., sizing up their shiny Senator seats on Inauguration Day? Won’t they be bought-and-paid-for with cold, hard campaign cash? How will Bernie dissuade these dishonest Dems from lapping at the well-heeled loafers of lascivious lobbyists?  Answer:  By boarding T.R.’s train to the Bully Pulpit and bellowing, from sea to shining sea:  PURSUE THE PEOPLE’S PROGRAM.  PRONTO!

But this won’t do the trick, even in tempestuous times, if the Almighty Dollar rules the roost.  Will unsatisfied citizens in a sickly system have the power, or the means, to circumvent the High Court’s campaign-cash cabal?  Unless these judicial figureheads of finance frustrate their overlords by finding religion on the true frequency of free speech, Bernie’s bellows will fall on deaf ears.  So how will the people confront this confounding conflation of the First Amendment franchise and Big Business-backed bucks?

With diminutive democratic donations of course! Bernie’s bastion of small contributors will continuously crash our occupied offices like waves at Normandy Beach.  Voters will recoil at repugnant Representatives reneging on (and reigning in) the People’s promise.  Millions of Mr. Smiths will “go to Washington” to chastise craven Congressional charlatans hooked on corrupt campaign cash, and cry:  “KICK ‘EM TO THE CURB!” on Capitol Hill.

And we will!  No mid-term melancholy here folks; no reprise of those dreaded days when oscillating Obama cobwebbed his campaign until Term Two. Sanders will keep the fire BERNing while we brazenly boot irreconcilable Representatives off the reservation.  Not with virulent violence as Trump would tout, but by virtue of VOICING OUR VOTE.  That’s right!  Bernie-backers will blast the blithering bums into oblivion, re-setting the mid-term that laughed its way to the bank in lieu of lighting Lady Liberty.

So Citizens Unite!  After all, according to the Court’s munificent majority, money equals speech.  Right?

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/bernie_sanders_political_revolution_still_can_transform_america_20160317

 

Citizens United to Kick Congress in the Can!

Mo’ Message

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Turnout trounces Trump in a general election.

Keep heart Bernie-backers! The revolution continues. He (we) may not have done as well as expected Tuesday, but as long as we feel the Bern, this movement will hound Hillary to the convention (and beyond).

First, Clinton won Florida because that primary was CLOSED, shutting out Independent voters more likely to vote for Sanders. Many of these voters were also older, comfortably retired, died-in-the-wool Clinton fans who aren’t looking for a revolution. Trust me, if you’re retired in Florida, you’re probably doing OK and won’t rock the boat (I mean yacht).

Second, exit polls revealed voters in Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois and Missouri believed 2 to 1 that Clinton has a better shot at beating Trump than Bernie, even though a Hillary nomination will depress turnout and serve the White House to Trump on a silver platter (he loves silver platters).

So it behooves Bernie-backers to knock these folks off the fence (gently please) and get ’em to feel the Bern again. Look: 8 in 10 exit-polled voters on Tuesday trusted Bernie more than Clinton, which means those uncertain citizens wanted to VOTE FOR BERNIE, but feared (wrongly) he’d lose in the general. This is a disturbing development, and I’m even hearing it from friends, but it’s a scam, rooted in the illusion of “electability” – a synonym for status-quo.

These folks need to know that, unlike Hillary, Bernie excites the base and INCREASES turnout, because he’s already won the message. Witness Hillary’s sudden stance on unfair trade agreements (TPP), her out-of-left-field anti-corporate talking points, and her 180 pivot on whether Michigan’s governor should resign over the Flint water crisis. But like the old 80’s hit, Hill is just “talk-talk” while Bernie’s all walk-walk, even though her new songs spawn side-splitting SNL skits.

Why does Bernie walk while Hillary talks? Because the American people know lobbyists can’t buy him, which is why 80% of those exit-polled voters trusted Bernie more than a finger-to-the-wind flip-flopper. Now all we need to do is get ’em to vote for the candidate (and the movement) they trust instead of against a false fear.

The convention is in June, so time is on our side. More time means more democratic donations, more voracious volunteers, and above all, mo’ message.

Two months is a lifetime when information (and a donation) travels at the speed of light.

Mo’ Message

Gettin’ Stuff Done In Bernie-Land

Establishment media pundits keep blabbing that Hillary is a “pragmatic” politician who will “bargain” with the bad guys, “get things done”, and avoid “pie-in-the-sky” progressive programs. These Bernie Bashers whine that Sanders’ bold platform (universal healthcare, free college, construction jobs, etc.) would be “dead on arrival” in the party-of-no (GOP) Congress.  Okay . . . but anyone who reflects on the past 5 ½ years will see that the ultimate pragmatist (Obama) accomplished ZERO with Congress anyway.

So what difference does it make? I mean if Congress will block everything, why not elect a REAL progressive with a REAL program for economic reform?  At least then the Democratic establishment would have to stop lying to us and give genuine progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren a chance to govern.  In fact, history shows (Bernie preaches this daily) that truly progressive politicians spur massive Democratic dashes to the polls (look at what happened in New Hampshire).  This means if Sanders is the nominee, a wave of Democratic Congressional candidates could coast on Bernie’s coattails into the House and Senate, retaking it from ossified, obstructionist Republicans (demonically possessed?).

Moreover, a true-blue Capitol Hill would empower a President Sanders to initiate the type of sweeping New Deal changes this tortured country sorely needs right now.  And there would be no repeat of what transpired during the Obama Care fiasco, when captured Democrats like Senator Ben Nelson sold the store to insurance lobbyists, leaving Americans holding the bag (with a crappy healthcare law inside).  Why?  Because conservative voters purged purple-state “republic-RATS” two years ago, purifying the Democratic Party of these imposters.  So the next crop of Democratic majorities in the House and Senate will be bull-proof, true-blue progressives who will not only endorse Sanders’ FDR-esque proposals, but whisk them through Congress with a minimum of sell-outs attached. (Side note:  Ben Nelson was rewarded for his Obama Care efforts with a job as chief of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.  Salary?  A million bucks a year).

So the next time the Washington Post, New York Times or Daily News crows that Hillary will “get things done” and Bernie won’t, don’t be fooled.  Bernie is the ONLY candidate who will get things done, because he’s the only real progressive running for president of the United States, which means he’s the only “Democrat” with coattails long enough to whip Republican majorities out of Congress.

Finally, code words like:  “pragmatist, deal-maker, compromiser, bargainer, etc,” particularly when applied to politicians, and especially these days, are euphemisms for “experts” extremely adept at creating the APPEARANCE of progress, while really just spinning the wheels of state.  These shibboleths should set off alarm bells for citizens who want real change instead of shadow dances, Kabuki theater, and puppet shows.  The status quo has been spinning its wheels (and pulling our chains) far too long for anything else folks.

Gettin’ Stuff Done In Bernie-Land