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Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama – Similarities, Differences and the Mounting Media Hysteria Around the Sanders Campaign – a Few More Thoughts.

February 24, 2020

Medicare for all – at the heart of the Sanders’ campaign

Wrote  yesterday about my thoughts on the Bernie Sanders primary victory in Nevada, which was a kind of “watershed moment” in the Democratic primary campaign. Several other thoughts/insights have come to mind since that I want to share with blog readers. And will continue to do so time permitting and if/when I get this or that epiphany…

Today two points to consider – only the first of which I’ll get to… will deal with Sanders and foreign policy in a later blog entry

1. What is all this hysteria about the Sanders campaign about?

2. Sanders and foreign policy (which he tends to avoid)

Not meant to be long detailed torturous readings…just some ideas to throw out for friends to consider.

After Bernie Sanders resounding victory in the Nevada Democratic Primaries it is now impossible for the mainstream media to ignore his campaign as they did for the most part up until now.

Last night with family I watched the CBS “60 Minutes” Anderson Cooper interview with Bernie Sanders. Found Anderson Cooper basically the snotty turd I always thought him to be, asking the usual mainstream stupid questions that have become typical of the attacks on Bernie – your programs will cost too much, you are in an ineffective legislator, single payer (or whatever you want to call it) is too expensive and unmanageable, you’re dividing the Democratic Party, etc, etc, etc. etc. etc.)

CNN – CBS’s soulmate called Sanders’ interview “a disaster.” Nonsense. Sanders was excellent

Sanders responsive were spot on, short to the point deconstructing literally every nasty point that Anderson – and behind him – CBS – was trying to make. Bernie was mostly relaxed, succinct, quick on his feet and cut Anderson off at every ugly political pass he was trying to climb. He’s really quite good at this mainstream media game.

Others have pinpointed the source of the media hysteria and that among “moderate” Dems concerning the Sanders reach for the Democratic presidential nomination. Don’t need to go on about it other than to mention – many of those so-called “moderates” should be called for what they are – not so much moderate as “corporate” Dems, “finance industry” Dems, etc – those who circle around the Clintons and the stranglehold that the Democratic Leadership Conference with its Cold War foreign policy – even though the Cold war is now 25 years behind us – and buy into cutting social programs to feed the military.

Classic example of the anti-Sanders fear mongering appeared in the Sunday (February 16, 2020) edition of the Denver Post. Adding to the anti-communist hysteria rather than challenging it Doug Friednash, a partner with Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Scheck and former chief of staff for Governor John Hickenlooper wrote in an op-ed

Republicans are salivating over a Sanders nomination. Trump has already begun calling Sanders a communist, a the part will certainly label key Democratic Senate candidates across the country as socialists too!”

Ah if only it were true (that Dem candidates were socialists and communists)! Alas, hardly.

Rather than defending Sanders against slander, ineffective as it is since the end of the Cold War, Friednash, shamefully I would note, pours it on. He also suggests that it is the “Sanders team” that will “burn down” the (Democratic) party. More scare tactics. But then, no real surprise, is it? After-all the law firm in which he is a partner has a long history of shilling for energy companies, getting contractor-criminals off the hook (legally, but still) and playing a dominant role in the politics of Colorado.

Actually there has been far more acid thrown at Bernie Sanders from the Clinton Dems like Friednash – who are at the moment ratcheting up their attacks – than from Trump and the Republicans. Trumpty-Dumpty has done an occasional anti-Bernie Tweet but he’s been mostly restrained as compared with the Clintons and their ilk. Adding to the usual – ie, a grassroots Democratic insurgency against an out-dated and increasingly conservative leadership – I would like to add the following.

Up until the Nevada primary the Clinton-“moderate” Democratic attack against Sanders was to try to stop his campaign. It included a menu of “moderate” (meaning funded by big $ Dems) from Joe Biden to Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, playing down Sanders’ mainstream media time while playing up that of his competitors, adding that skunk billionaire Bloomberg (pardon the language but it’s accurate) to the list, short-changing Bernie on the debates, turning Warren against him, etc, etc. etc. Really dirty shit from day one to the Nevada primary.

My sense is that while the attacks continue, the goal has changed.

More and more – grudgingly the powers that be are coming to conclude that Sanders very well might win the nomination. There is some kind of debate going on among the power elite as to how to handle it.

Option one: on the one hand there is the Bloomberg scenario – prevent Sanders’ from winning the Democratic nomination on the first round at the convention, throw the process into a brokered convention which can then purge the great social democrat from Brooklyn’s nomination. Thus the fucking skunk Bloomberg’s effort toss around hundreds of millions of dollars (last I read it was $350 million – maybe it’s more by now) to cut into Sanders’ delegate count.

Option two: Pepe Escobar – Brazilian columnist par excellence – even though I occasionally disagree with him – recently let us in on this. His contacts in NY “high finance” – whomever they are – I couldn’t really care – have “made their peace” with a Sanders’ candidacy. As Escobar puts it – they would rather see a Social Dem like Sanders than another four years of Trump. The left wing of high finance? Mebbe. In the end these folk don’t see Sanders as particularly dangerous or radical to finance capital.

Of course they have a point. There are limits to Sanders’ “radicalism.”

What is this faction up to? 

They are negotiating with Sanders so to speak. Unable to stop his campaign, now the effort concentrated around attacking Sanders’ program and whittling down its progressive essence to the kind of pablum Obama gave us. Not necessarily directly although it is possible that is going on too, but certainly through the media (and other ways). They are looking for concessions from the Sanders’ camp on his main issues. Is he willing to “give ground” on his federally funded free medical care for all Americans? He is speaking of cancelling student debt? OK and how much? Will he – like Obama did – essentially dissolve or ignore his grassroots organization once in office.

Is he willing to follow Barack Obama’s example and essentially gut his administration of progressive voices in his cabinet appointments, closest advisers and turn the running of the country over to the whores of capital – Larry Summers, Hillary Clinton and the like – while being “permitted” from time to time – to make a vaguely progressive but meaningless speak as he did in Cairo – and take photo ops with his lovely (and they do look lovely) family.

How much of his program is Bernie Sanders willing to compromise – if any of it – to neutralize at least a part of the moderate Dem – corporate-high finance opposition?

Of course “in the real world” – which isn’t all that real filled as Congress is with more lobbyists than legislators, Bernie Sanders, should he be elected president of this country will have to “adjust”, and frankly to make certain compromises. Look at the Senate he’d inherit with a House of Representatives really not that much better.

To my mind the challenge for the Sanders’ base: how to prevent Bernie from being “Obama-ized”..

Without a highly organized mass base – the kind that he is building nationwide, the kind that in 1988 Jesse Jackson started to build before he too was cut off at the knees – Bernie Sanders’ programs will go nowhere. In fact, to get anything done –from now to when he is elected President – he’ll be more dependent upon his multi-cultural, multi-racial solidly working class base than he has been up and until now. We’re going to have to fight like hell to get him the nomination, win the presidency and then fight even more actively to get his programs – almost all of which are needed – implemented.

So let’s do it.

 

 

 

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Gene Fitzpatrick permalink
    February 25, 2020 9:18 am

    As a certified ‘worry wart’ I’m weighed down with pessimism that Sanders can avoid the lethal round-two of the convention. The DNC, MSM, Wall St 5%er juggernaut seems just too indomitable.

    Michael Hudson has a smashing piece on the matter in today’s (Tuesday) Counterpunch that I’m keen on recommending to the troops for their perusal.

    Gene Fitzpatrick

    • February 25, 2020 9:30 am

      Hello Gene…

      Yes, it will be a battle – between now and the election…and if Sanders wins, that is just the beginning. Your worries are my worries… as I wrote yesterday I see the Clinton faction having a Plan A and B…

      Option one: on the one hand there is the Bloomberg scenario – prevent Sanders’ from winning the Democratic nomination on the first round at the convention, throw the process into a brokered convention which can then purge the great social democrat from Brooklyn’s nomination. Thus the fucking skunk Bloomberg’s effort toss around hundreds of millions of dollars (last I read it was $350 million – maybe it’s more by now) to cut into Sanders’ delegate count.

      Option two: Pepe Escobar – Brazilian columnist par excellence – even though I occasionally disagree with him – recently let us in on this. His contacts in NY “high finance” – whomever they are – I couldn’t really care – have “made their peace” with a Sanders’ candidacy. As Escobar puts it – they would rather see a Social Dem like Sanders than another four years of Trump. The left wing of high finance? Mebbe. In the end these folk don’t see Sanders as particularly dangerous or radical to finance capital.

      Of course they have a point. There are limits to Sanders’ “radicalism.”

      So we gotta fight on our hands… What can “the young set” like you and I do about it? Not much but we do what we can, encourage the young folk to come together, the work with unions, people of color, people really serious about peace… to keep the grass roots coalition together and to throw a few well aimed darts at the Clintons and the Bloombergs of the world… and get a lot of exercise, keep moving and cut down on the wine drinking (in my case)…

  2. February 25, 2020 9:18 am

    Loved your very accurate description of the Cooper interview. Wondering about the sources your deep animosity to Blumberg. Agree about Clinton etc and about need for mass movement, but don’t see it happening beyond Bernie’s base. John

    • February 25, 2020 9:24 am

      short answer – he’s a billionaire…1. this country and the world shouldn’t have them – any of them. 2. he’s an arrogant fuck who knows far less than he thinks about society, politics 3. he has a history of racism and misogyny that is deep – the idea that if you’re that rich you can do what you want and not be answerable to the law or basic ethics 4. he is – and this is no exaggeration – viciously anti-labor. 5. He’ll literally destroy the Democratic Party, muzzle its insurgent base to silence.

      not saying you are coming from this particular position but those who think he’d be some kind of kinder-gentler alternative to Trump are mistaken.

      If I thought about it I could give you other reasons…

  3. Judy White - (Harrell) permalink
    February 26, 2020 7:24 am

    Hi Bob,
    I found your blog and find it news worthy, factual, informative and just down right interesting. I know you from back in the day – your 15 years at Red Rocks Communiry College. I want to say you have remained true to yourself. Reading your blogs I am so reminded of the Bob Prince I knew in the 70’s and early 80’s. FASCINATING!

    • February 26, 2020 7:40 am

      Hello Judy… Kind of touched to hear from you… Think of you, Annette A….and of course Nick Ulabarri frequently (believe it or not!). My brother-in-law lives in Lakewood and we visit often and somehow thoughts of the “holy trinity” – the three of you – just always seep into my mind. Weird…the father of one of my neighbors is a business partner with Nick U.’s son whom I see from time to time and reminisce about Nick. Are you still in the Denver area? Hope all is well with you and your. Warmly…

      • February 26, 2020 7:54 am

        Hi Bob,
        I found your blog and find it news worthy, factual, informative and just down right interesting. I know you from back in the day – your 15 years at Red Rocks Communiry College. I want to say you have remained true to yourself. Reading your blogs I am so reminded of the Bob Prince I knew in the 70’s and early 80’s. FASCINATING!

        • Judy White permalink
          February 26, 2020 8:03 am

          Touched as well to hear from you. Annette and I still connect for coffee a couple of times each month.
          Last evening while listening to the debate, I texted my daughter, Roxanne, to say how much Bernie reminds me of you, even his voice and of course his views. (Roxanne took one of your classes which I might say left a lasting memory of you to her).. That lead to me looking you up on social media. I was pleasantly surprised to find you and see you are the “same” Bob I remembered. Refreshing.

        • February 26, 2020 8:11 am

          We (Sanders and I) started life in the same neighborhood (although I didn’t know him as we left when I was five). He’s only three years older than I am. It’s the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. He went to Erasmus High School on Flatbush Ave.where a number of my uncles graduated. I would have gone there had our family not moved away. Have returned to that neighborhood with daughters, nieces, sisters on occasion. It’s changed, now mostly Caribbean, something I got a real kick out of.
          Regards both to Annette and the Roxanne. I remember Roxanne quite clearly. Concerning Sanders’ politics, you are right. Both Nancy and I (and our daughters) are enthusiastic about his campaign and support him. Nancy – who “gets things done” (my father-in-law’s description of his daughter) has gone door-to-door in Denver for Sanders.

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