Monday, June 27, 2016

Finally I Get It - Why Bernie Must Stay In The Race Until The Convention

It took The Young Turks to explain it to me... well, them and the short Bernie clip they play in this segment. Bernie cannot drop out now and accomplish his most significant goal, specifically, shifting the Democratic Party... the party platform and Clinton's expressed positions... leftward far enough to make a difference.

Bernie is not stupid, far from it. And I understand he would make a great president... if there were a way for him to get from here to there. But there's not. Any honest American (and that certainly includes Bernie) knows that the president who takes office in January will be the candidate of one of the two major political parties, Democratic or Republican, not anyone else. Bernie will not be one of those candidates... but even so he has a real opportunity from his current position to influence the behavior of one of those parties, by staying in the race all the way to the Democratic convention. If he withdraws earlier, he loses that power. If he announces a third-party presidential run, he becomes Ralph Nader writ large, almost certainly assuring a President Trump (about whom, not so incidentally, I agree with Bernie: America would collapse in chaos within a year if Trump became president).

So Bernie, smart guy that he is, does the one thing open to him that accomplishes the most significant of his goals. In support of his run... even if its success in the usual sense is certainly unrealizable... I continue to endorse him, on this site and in personal conversations, until he and his surrogates have accomplished what they can at the convention. At that point, if I'm still alive, you can anticipate a "Clinton for President" banner in the left column of this blog. Politics makes strange bedfellows, a fact that in this case I willingly accept.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Two Must-Read Posts From Staff

I've come to believe that no one has assembled a more astute team of political analysts than Bill Moyers. In these posts, my belief is reinforced; both are well worth your time:
  • What Will The Democratic Party Stand for in 2016?
    Analyst John Light begins
    Last week made clear that Bernie Sanders won’t be the Democratic nominee. But a meeting of the Democratic Platform Committee in Washington also made it clear that the Vermont senator will wield considerable influence over the party’s future.
    and follows through with an examination of the role of the Democratic Platform Committee, including excerpts from testimony before it.
  • The ‘Truth’ According to Trump
    Prof. Todd Gitlin (jounalism, sociology; Columbia U.) examines how Trump uses a vituperative personal style to convey half-truths and unprovable outright falsehoods to stir up a base that is all too ready to believe the worst about anyone but themselves:
    After the weekend’s carnage in Orlando, Donald Trump didn’t wait long before launching yet another guided missile full of insinuation. He didn’t exactly say that the massacre was the doing of an unreconstructed Mau-Mau descendant born in Kenya. Trump is craftier than that. Monday morning, he told Fox News:
    Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on… [Obama] doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable. [[Gitlin's] italics]

    Later he told NBC’s Today’s Savannah Guthrie:

    … There are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn’t want to know about it. I happen to think that he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. He doesn’t want to see what’s really happening. And that could be. [[Gitlin's] italics]

    Something else in mind… Can’t believe it… There’s something going on… Maybe he doesn’t want to get it… People cannot believe… A lot of people think… These are Trump’s characteristic high-frequency whistles, repeated and restated and re-repeated to make sure he gets through to the feebler dogs out on the periphery of his adoring crowd. [Final boldface SB]
That is precisely what Trump is doing. If the American electorate buys into it, we are, in the words of George H.W. Bush, "in deep doodoo." And even if they don't, we're in for a campaign season as unpleasant as any we've ever seen, facing perhaps the most vulgar man ever to run for President.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bernie Sanders For President Admirable Person Of The Year

I understand how difficult it must be for Bernie to step aside. But I hope he faces this inevitability as he has courageously faced so many others: the delegate counts simply aren't there for him, and Secretary Clinton, FBOW, will be the Democratic Party's candidate for POTUS. Considering the likely catastrophe threatening our nation if Trump should become President, Sen. Sanders would best serve our nation by ending his own run for that office.

What we progressives owe him is incalculable: the public dialog on traditionally progressive/liberal issues has moved noticeably leftward thanks to Sanders's run, and he has surely made Clinton a better candidate by engaging with her on those issues.

As ambivalent as I am about Hillary Clinton, I admit Hillary is easily the most qualified candidate between the remaining two who have a realistic chance of winning (or, in Trump's case, stealing) the presidency. I'd like to give Sen. Sanders a day or two to make his own endorsement of Secy. Clinton before I remove my own endorsement of him from this site and (as seems likely at this point) begin my advocacy for Hillary Clinton.

More as it happens...

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