Democracy


#925

There was an op ed in the guardian the other day positioning Warren as the sweet spot between “corporate feminism” and (ahem) “macho socialism.” Makes me want to rip my hair out.


#926

Wow. I guess it’s time to pull this one back out:

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#927

the coming dem primary blood bath is not something i’m particularly looking to participate in, but i’ve heard from a lot of people who are lukewarm on sanders running again, and i don’t super get it. i think his case is pretty strong. i get liking someone else more, just don’t understand actively not wanting him to run.

He has consistently polled as the most popular politician in America since the primaries, and while everyone else has been tweeting (or following up with 23andMe) Bernie pressured Amazon into raising wages, followed up by going after Walmart, condemned Saudi Arabia and sponsored the resolution to end support for the war in Yemen, introduced the No Money Bail Act, committed to a federal job guarantee, campaigned so powerfully for Medicare for All that he shifted the entire Democratic Party, and saved a woman from being hit by a car . Not only is he the best candidate politically (as in, the only social democrat ), he has the best chance of giving the “pragmatists” what say they want: a presidential win.

There’s no reason to believe that a goody-goody technocrat would fare better in 2020 than fellow neoliberal loser Hillary Clinton did in the prior presidential cycle. And yet here’s Hamilton Nolan in Splinter , who titles his anyone-but-Trump political polemic, “Bernie Don’t Run.”

I don’t really give a damn who it is. Warren, or Kamala Harris, or Sherrod Brown, or whoever. Pick one and get behind them from the very beginning. Any solid top-tier true left-wing candidate should, barring a serious fuck-up, be able to win the Democratic nomination if Bernie Sanders hands them all of his supporters on a platter.

I hate to break it to you, HamNo, but the voters actually do give a damn who it is, as evidenced by the fact that Bernie was previously unable to hand Hillary “all of his supporters on a platter.” They didn’t want Hillary, or really any neoliberal. And why should they?

Barack Obama was the very last “horoscope candidate” — a politician who manages to speak so vaguely that his platform could mean anything to anyone. It’s not going to work this time around; the Democratic Party is not going to be able trick people into believing that Liz Warren is a social democrat. Ditto for Kamala “Cop” Harris, a woman whose duplicitous record as a prosecutor includes the defense of the death penalty, three strikes laws, and the imprisonment of single mothers for the truancy of their children. You really think you can convince anyone that Kamala Harris is a woman of the people? Sherrod Brown has gone all in with Russiagate hysteria (also he signs his tweets). And before you even think of it, don’t even bother with Beto, who is to the right of all of the aforementioned, and votes to the right of the median Democrat. His district is majority Democratic, so he could plausibly vote to storm the Winter Palace and still keep his seat, but he joined the New Democrat Caucus in order to advance business interests. You can’t just astroturf any shitty neoliberal hack into the hearts and minds of the Bernie voter; if you could, we’d have President Hillary right now.
The coming election cycle will be an extremely difficult and fraught one. The Democrats might not be able win with any candidate; even the worst presidents seem all to serve for two terms now, and frankly, a lot of people have very little faith in electoral change. And despite all the #resistance hysteria, for the time being, the majority of the electorate haven’t seen the sort of plummet in quality of life that inspires droves of voters to cast a ballot for Anyone But Trump. The Donald hasn’t actually deviated that much from the neoliberal trajectory of his predecessors (remember, Obama shot tear gas at the border too), and you can’t expect people who don’t spend all day on Twitter to feel that motivated to combat what is essentially the gradual continuation of previous administrations. (Hell, he’s already more anti-war than Obama.)

And even if we could get a President Gillibrand in 2020, another lukewarm Democratic presidency will not only further impoverish and destabilize the working class and its suffering institutions; it will also all but guarantee that 2024 brings us POTUS Hamburglar in an SS uniform.


#928

If we are in for another primary bloodbath, then I suppose we’re likely to see a Trump 2nd term. Guess we haven’t hit bottom yet.

Michael Moore warned us.


#929

Speaking for myself, the main reason I have reservations is the animosity a lot of HRC supporters had about him. People are still claiming she would have beaten Trump if the primary hadn’t turned people against her, still claiming that socialists in the US are sexist, etc. I don’t think those are valid criticisms in themselves – in fact they’re demonstrably false – but I fear the resentment could work against him.

Already I’ve had to block the politics tags on MetaFilter because of the toxic spew of anti-Bernie and anti-socialist hate… even though most of those doing the spewing are in favor of the policies he’s running on (aside from gun control). It’s disheartening.

So the sinking feeling I had was that I’ll have to brace myself for another two years of being called a “brocialist” and so forth by the very people who I think would benefit most from a Bernie win.


#930

Also I’m very glad I left Facebook so I don’t have to kick another dozen people off my friends list.


#931

I like Bernie. I like his policies.

Some of his supporters are truly awful people. Most of them aren’t.

Doesn’t take a lot of bad apples to ruin the bunch. Bernie could do more to disavow horrible behavior.


#932

I just want to point out that there is a truly massive space of viable and generally potential positive changes to our healthcare system that fall short of a universal single-payer system.

I know the current groundswell is moving towards “fuck half-measures, let’s just do this thing”, which is something I generally agree with, but the government stepping in and implementing universal price controls for all healthcare without stepping into providing direct universal care is neither a single-payer system nor a “market-based reform”.

More than anything, if democrats find themselves in charge of most of the government in 2021, I absolutely don’t want to spend another 2 years working to pass just a healthcare reform bill (even single payer) at the cost of all the other things that need to get fixed.


#933

I understand the impulse, but we do need as a society to remember the meaning of compromise. Representative democracy depends on it.


#934

Ughhhhhh, it is so frustating. Bill Clinton’s Stone Mountain address in front of shackled prisoners…Steve King’s blatant declared support of white supremacy. To pick just a couple examples from a seemingly endless array.

Some bunches are apparently ‘spoiled’ more readily than others. Funny, that. Beyond frustrating.


#935

Yeah, life isn’t fair. Sucks.


#936

More about acquiescing to a narrative that makes any candidate on the left liable for the actions/attitudes of any self-professed supporter. That framework isn’t a given to be written off, fatalistic-like, with “life’s not fair”(!)


#937

What’s your suggestion then?

People are behaving badly, and causing a reaction, and this impacts polling numbers. What do you want me to do about it?


#938

I am not expecting you to personally solve anything. I apparently have no communicatipn skills. My apologies.


#939

Well, I’m sorry if I implied anything negative about your communication skills. And I apologize for my fatalism (I blame my northern German ancestry for that). But it’s hard to claim that life IS fair.


#940

I would imagine we can all agree that life isn’t fair.


#941

Pretty sure that’s a plot pitch for the Twilight Zone reboot.


#942

So I’m probably a bit of an outlier here. NYC-classical liberal type with some fondness for Wall Street who spends his days basically pushing against NIMBYism and trying to build better spaces in the city. Kind of the product of what is functionally a southern state and then having spent some time in the Midwest before arriving in NYC ten years ago.

I just can’t get behind Bernie. His policies have little depth and if anyone really wanted those policies to be actionable, they’d just vote for Warren (which I’m likely to do). Bernie will cement the Midwest in bright red. He is a divisive figure and he turns off moderate Ds and moderate Rs with his rhetoric.

He traffics in classicist hate. I cannot be certain that Bernie would not drive us into a recession to achieve what he perceives to be a just system (punish the rich) even in the face of data indicating that outcome, but I’m sure Harris, Warren and Booker would not.

There are two people in that primary that would make sit out the election: him and Tulsi “Assad is my homeboy” Gabbard.


#943

I dunno, I grew up in the Midwest and I think this is a totally overblown take, to say nothing about whether the more broad claims are true. The reason Hillary lost (key states in) the Midwest was because she never spoke to them. Granted, I didn’t follow the campaign excessively once it boiled down to those two sides of the same coin (pardon my politics), but she didn’t visit, and in her debates she didn’t address concerns of people in the Midwest and she didn’t use any language designed to speak to them.

On the other hand, Bernie does speak to the loss of jobs and the feeling that something has been taken away from them.


#944

Eh, re: HRC narrative I think we can simplify it. She lost the Midwest because Comey’s letter turned off enough voters (as reflected in polling data) and the Russians targeted black voter turn out and… well… propaganda works.

Pinning it on her partially exculpates the real guilty parties here.