Blue No Matter Who

(Unless It’s Bernie Sanders)

It was always obvious that Bernie Sanders was going to have an uphill battle to overcome the Democratic establishment and mainstream establishment media to become the Democrat nominee because his policies are a threat to them.
A year ago the NYT reported: “The matter of What To Do About Bernie and the larger imperative of party unity has, for example, hovered over a series of previously undisclosed Democratic dinners in New York and Washington organized by the longtime party financier Bernard Schwartz. The gatherings have included scores from the moderate or center-left wing of the party, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California; Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader; former Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., himself a presidential candidate; and the president of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden.”
It looks like some people have been concerned about Bernie for some time.
Over the course of the last year (and even earlier), there have been plenty of examples of the mainstream establishment media—from the Washington Post and the New York Times to CNN and MSNBC–either ignoring Sanders or demonstrating their bias against him. There was even a study done last Fall about how he was treated by MSNBC. The study found that he was the least mentioned of all the candidates, the least mentioned positively, and the most mentioned negatively.
See this article which provides an overview of the situation at that time:
The bias was so obvious that the Onion did a mock article titled, MSNBC Poll Finds Support For Bernie Sanders Has Plummeted 2 Points Up.
As Sanders became the front-runner and won the popular vote in Iowa and NH, the mainstream media’s assault on him became more pronounced. After he had a big win in NV they began to go off the rails.
Chris Matthews expressed concern about being shot in the park by socialists and compared Sanders’ win in NV to the German takeover of France in WWII, Chuck Todd read a tweet comparing Sanders supporters to Nazi Brown Shirts, James Carville was all over MSNBC warning against the Sanders “cult,” MSNBC contributor Dr. Jason Johnson claimed that “racist white liberals” supported Sanders… and he attacked the women of color who worked for Sanders by saying, “I don’t care how many people from the island of misfit black girls you throw out there to defend you,” CNN ran a commentary titled, Can Either Coronavirus or Bernie Sanders Be Stopped?” and so on and on.
For some of these and other examples, see:
Then there was the story–also from the NYT–that “Dozens of interviews with Democratic establishment leaders this week show that they are not just worried about Mr. Sanders’s candidacy, but are also willing to risk intraparty damage to stop his nomination at the national convention in July if they get the chance.”
These establishment Democrat super-delegates were willing to break the party to stop him.
And all during this time and earlier Hillary Clinton was bashing Sanders every few days as she promoted her new documentary.
So going into SC both the mainstream media and establishment Democrats were freaking out about Sanders who was polling so well going into Super Tuesday (just a few days after the SC primary) that it was looking inevitable that Sanders would either end up with a majority or a plurality of delegates when he got to the convention.
South Carolina was up first, though, and Sanders wasn’t expected to win there, just like he wasn’t expected to win some other southern states on Super Tuesday (which Democrat might do well in SC and many of these other southern states during the primaries is almost irrelevant to who might beat Trump considering no Democratic candidate is likely to win them in the general election).
Just as expected, Joe Biden won and Bernie Sanders came in second in SC, but it appeared it was going to be a temporary bump in the road on Sanders’ way to win big on Super Tuesday.
Then it appears some phone calls were made, and a last ditch coordinated effort from establishment Democrats got underway to stop Sanders at the last minute.
Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden after a call from Barack Obama. Then Amy Klobuchar dropped out and did the same. After that, Beto O’Rourke came out of the woods to endorse Biden as well. Finally, Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made his endorsement of Biden.
The LA Times called it, “a blunt show of force to stop Sanders.”
Suddenly Biden had new life and it helped him rack up some unexpected victories on Super Tuesday in states like Maine, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. It also appears to have made the difference in a close race in Texas.
Sanders held on for the win in Vermont, Utah, Colorado, and California (which was the biggest prize of the night), but it appears Biden may have overtaken him in delegates overall. California is still counting, and it may end up as a close contest between Sanders and Biden after all the delegates have been awarded.
Mike Bloomberg, who mainly got into the race to stop Sanders when he thought Biden wasn’t strong enough to do it, started getting pressure to drop out and endorse Biden after his showing on Super Tuesday wasn’t as strong as Biden’s. Sure enough, that’s what he did.
Now Elizabeth Warren has dropped out of the race. It is unknown at this point if she plans to endorse anyone.
Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race for some reason. She has vowed to keep running through to the convention, but she’s polling so low that she may be almost irrelevant now.
But let’s look at the candidate the establishment finally decided to coalesce behind…
Joe Biden worked with racists against desegregation. In the 1970s he fought against busing to integrate schools, and he fought to block the government from withholding funds from schools that remained segregated.
Biden has been called the “Godfather of the War on Drugs” for advocating for a drug czar to coordinate anti-narcotics efforts among agencies, for supporting tougher policies for drug offenders, for blocking research into possible medical benefits of any controlled substance, for cosponsoring the Comprehensive Crime Control Act” of 1984 which gave law enforcement the ability to cease money and property of drug offenders without being charged with a crime.
He was the architect of the 1994 “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act” which lead to more prisons, expansion of the federal government’s use of the death penalty, an escalation of the “war on drugs,” mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses, and mass incarceration which disproportionally affected brown and black Americans.
In 1986 he helped write the Anti-Drug Abuse Act” that changed the law so that possession of 5 grams of crack was considered equal to 500 grams of cocaine which also disproportionally harmed African American communities at the time.
In 1991 Biden blocked supporting witnesses for Anita Hill which helped put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court.
In 2005 Biden supported the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Customer Protection Act” which stripped millions from bankruptcy protection right before the recession and made it impossible to discharge student loan debt.
Over the years he has cast key votes to deregulate the banks, supported the repeal of the law barring banks from owning securities and insurance businesses, and became known as the Senator from MBNA (a bank holding company which was later acquired by Bank of America).
Biden supported NAFTA and TPP which resulted in the loss of businesses and jobs (roughly 1 million manufacturing jobs from 200 to 2007), and lower wages for workers.
In 2002 Biden was an early supporter of the Iraq War. He helped push it, sell it, and defended it afterwards. The war cost trillions and killed hundreds of thousands. Now he has tried to rewrite the history of his support.
Biden has a long history of attempting to work with Republicans to cut Social Security to balance the budget.
And Biden has a long history of fabricating lies about his past….
When he first ran for president in 1987 he plagiarized from 4 speeches, lied about his ranking at Syracuse Law School (where he had been kicked out for plagiarizing 5 pages in an essay), lied about his academic awards and scholarships, and lied about his opposition to the Vietnam War.
He also created a completely false narrative about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. He claimed he marched, engaged in sit-ins, attended protests, participated in voter registration drives, and organized civil rights boycotts.
There is little evidence he did any of these things. After he was caught, he admitted he was “not an activist” and was “not out marching.” He said he was “getting dramatic lessons about segregation and civil rights from newspapers and television.”
Nevertheless he has continued to occasionally bring up parts of this false narrative at various times over the years.
His most recent fabrication is a story he told in February this year about how he was arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela when he was in prison 30 years ago, and how, years later, after Mandela was released and visited him at the White House, Mandela threw his arms around him to thank him for the effort he made.
This was quickly exposed as a total fabrication.
Obama didn’t pick Biden as his running mate because of anything to do with anything he did for civil rights. He picked him to sooth concerns of white voters.
Considering his history of policies that adversely impacted the black community over the years and his continuing attempts to take false credit regarding his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement (which should be insulting to anyone who was involved), it’s amazing to me he has the level of support he does among that same community.
So aside from his very non-progressive policies over the years, and his willingness to fabricate his past with lies, he’s a well-known gaffe machine and appears to be showing some cognitive decline.
He has recently been confused about what state he was in and what office he was running for. He recently even confused his wife with his sister.
For some more examples and commentary on this see:
Biden wasn’t a strong enough candidate earlier on to get the confidence of the establishment entirely behind him. Establishment Democrats and the establishment mainstream media kept shopping around, flirting with one candidate after another (Beto, Harris, Buttigieg, Klobuchar). And by the time people started voting Biden wasn’t doing well in the first states, his campaign wasn’t getting as much backing from his big money donors, and he was running out of both money and support. He was a dead man walking going into SC where he won the first primary he had ever won in three attempts at running for president.
By this point the establishment was so desperate to stop Sanders they were willing to put all the backing they could muster into him despite all his many issues.
They pulled out all the stops and got enough momentum going behind him with “earned media” that the majority of voters deciding at the last minute on Super Tuesday voted for him.
So he doesn’t have the kind of strong and committed base of support that Sanders has. Instead he appears to have been propped up at the last minute as the establishment’s last hope to stop Sanders.
If he is the nominee: His lack of strong and committed support is a liability, and his history is not very appealing to the progressive wing of the party which is where the energy is in this election (and which may very well result in some percentage of progressives not turning out for him in the general election).
Aside from whatever Trump may attack him on regarding his son Hunter, at least some of his problematic political history, lies, and fabrications may very well be used against him as well. But even more might be made of his ongoing gaffes and confusion.
Trump may very well be suffering from some cognitive decline as well. I’m not looking forward to watching debates between two men who are frequently confused and incoherent and may better be suited for a rest home. Nor do I think those are the traits we need for the “Leader of the Free World.”
Democrats made the mistake of running an establishment candidate against a populist last time (even though he was a faux populist), and they appear determined to make the same mistake this time with someone who isn’t as sharp.
The main argument for Biden from the establishment that many have bought into is that he is more “electable,” but polls have shown Sanders has done just as well in head-to-head match-ups against Trump. Biden’s handlers–because they know he is gaffe-prone–have tried to minimize his exposure to whatever extent they could up until now. That is going to be increasingly difficult from here on out with every new gaffe, lie, and indication of cognitive confusion to come further undermining his electablity.
And where will we be even if Biden does manage to win? Right back to the same conditions that brought us Trump in the first place. Biden’s billionaire backers–to whom he promised nothing would fundamentally change–will probably not be all that interested in expanding healthcare all that much, getting the corrupting influence of money out of politics, or taking bold enough action in time to deal with the climate crisis in time to make a difference.
Going back to the same conditions that brought us Trump (or worse) may likely result in someone even worse next time. Sowing the same seeds and expecting something different to grow from them may be a sign of insanity.
It may very well be that no one will be able to beat Trump, but it seems to me that Sanders has the best shot of not only beating him but changing the direction we’ve been headed for some time now… where politicians are bought and paid for by an oligarchy of the rich and powerful and democracy in America is only a pretense and illusion.
But first we will need to defeat a well entrenched establishment where Trump may be less a threat to them than Sanders. With so much stacked against him it may be harder for Sanders to win the nomination than beat Trump in the general election.
It will be trench warfare from here on out until the convention. Hopefully Bernie Sanders can overcome both establishment Democrats and the establishment media despite all their efforts to stop him.

Let’s See…

You’ve got one candidate who has a record-breaking number of individual donors across the country with record-breaking small dollar donations and outraises every other candidate in the race.

You’ve got a candidate who has the largest, most diverse, most committed, and most enthusiastic base of support.

You’ve got a candidate who was polled as the most popular senator and regularly polls highest among all candidates in favorability ratings among Democrats.

You’ve got a candidate who has been polling regularly at the top on issues Democrats care about most.

You’ve got a candidate who may do more to motivate the key younger demographic everyone says is most important (as well as those who don’t normally vote).

You’ve got a candidate who does best with independents who might make the difference in the race.

You’ve got a candidate who ranks highest over other candidates nationally with Whites, Hispanics and Blacks.

You’ve got a candidate who did well in 2016 in red states like Kansas, Idaho, and Indiana, and in key Trump swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin.

You’ve got a candidate who has been beating Trump in head-to-head match-ups since 2016, is currently polling as the #1 candidate to beat Trump, and does best against Trump of any other candidate in TX (in a poll just released a couple of days ago).

You’ve got a candidate who just won the popular vote in Iowa, NH, and NV, is leading in CA, TX, and Super Tuesday states overall, and is leading nationally by 10 points.

You’ve got a candidate who is currently most likely to either win a majority or a plurality of delegates going into the convention.

You’ve also got a candidate who has the boldest plans for moving away from the corrupting influence of big money in politics to bring our democracy back, and a candidate who has the boldest plans to save the planet for humans if it isn’t already too late.

The energy in the party is with Bernie Sanders. While it’s still possible that he could lose to Trump, I don’t think there is anyone else who can do any better. If it’s someone else, that would kill the energy, and if superdelegates try to take it away from him, that could break the party.

You would think with all this going for him all those Blue No Matter Who folks would be jumping on board to back him, capture that energy and carry it on to defeat Trump in November. But no. The establishment will do anything to stop him.

Why I Support Bernie Sanders in 2020

A 2014 study conducted by Princeton and Northwestern universities concluded that: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence” and “Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.”

The study found that the influence of the average American is at a “non-significant, near-zero level.”

Earlier, George Carlin argued that:

“The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they’re an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They’ve got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying ¬ lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.”

Carlin argued that we only have the ‘illusion’ of choice. The Princeton and Northwestern study indicates this may be the case: that we already have an oligarchy posing as a democracy.

Probably the #1 progressive issue –above and beyond all others–is the legalized corruption that is taking place in our government which has undermined our democracy to the point that the influence of the average American is at a “non-significant, near-zero level.”

Now, if one REALLY believes that climate change is an EXISTENTIAL threat to humanity, and that we only have about 12 years to turn things around before we are screwed like the climate scientists are telling us (which obviously means that we need to START taking BOLD action ASAP in order begin to turn things around by the 12 year mark), then we will need someone LEADING who will PUSH to take the BOLD action we need to save ourselves.

Of course, politicians bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry aren’t going to be interested in taking strong action on climate change. Just like politicians who take money from the NRA aren’t going to be interested in any gun control, politicians who receive money from the pharmaceutical industry and health insurance companies aren’t going to be interested in “Medicare for all,” politicians receiving large donations from corporations aren’t going to be interested in raising the minimum wage, politicians who have been corrupted by Big Money donors aren’t going to be interested in getting money out of politics and returning us to our Democracy, and so on and on.

Polls continue to show that this kind of legalized corruption is a top concern among all voters.

Why would anyone want to vote FOR a candidate who is corrupted by corporate interests over ours? Why would anyone want to vote FOR an oligarchy that doesn’t represent them?? Why would anyone want to vote FOR a candidate who may be willing to compromise humanity’s future regarding climate change by not taking bold enough action in time???

So, if Trump gets reelected, we’re screwed, BUT if we elect a candidate who is willing to compromise humanity’s future by not taking bold enough action regarding climate change in time, we are just as screwed.

This is just ONE reason I support progressive candidates like Bernie Sanders and Justice Democrats like AOC. They’re NOT corrupted by the establishment oligarchy, so they can actually represent the People instead, and they are already pushing for BOLD action regarding climate change.

I would not be willing to bet humanity’s future on anyone who is corrupted by corporate interests, no matter what they might promise to get elected.

Here’s the second reason…

If it’s purely a matter of who stands the best chance of beating Trump, regardless of who it is, I think the best argument could be made for Sanders…

The energy in the Democratic Party is in the progressive wing. That’s the wing that has the most grassroots support.

Not long ago the NYT published a map of candidates with the most individual donors across the U.S. (see below).

Bernie Sanders was represented in blue, and blue so dominated the map across the country they had to provide another map that didn’t include him so people could see where all the support for the other candidates were.

Polls continue to show Sanders has the highest favorability ratings of all candidates. He’s the candidate who seems to have the most grassroots support and grassroots energy; he’s the candidate who might do more to motivate the key younger demographic everyone says is most important (as well as those who don’t normally vote); he’s the candidate who did well in 2016 in red states like Kansas, Idaho, and Indiana, and key Trump swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin; he’s the candidate who might be able to peel off the most Republicans (he’s even the top second choice among Biden supporters for some reason); he’s the candidate who we might trust most to fight for the things he’s advocating for (because he has decades of receipts); he’s the candidate who always polls well in head-to-head match-ups against Trump, and so on.

I could also make the argument that despite many of his policy positions being labeled as “radical” and “far left,” they are actually popular and mainstream, but I’ll save going into that here for brevity’s sake.

Right now, the two most viable progressive candidates running are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The polls are currently showing them 2 and 3 behind Biden (but together they make up a larger share of Democrats who support them).

Biden is polling best at the moment, but I expect that gaffe machine to eventually self-destruct. And he doesn’t have nearly the grassroots support that Bernie does… or any of the energy.

IMO, anyone with a pulse SHOULD be able to beat Trump in 2020. However, I think the ONLY way Democrats MIGHT lose is if they run another establishment Democrat against a populist once again.

IMO, running establishment, so-called “centrist” candidates (who would rather reach out to Republicans and get their hands slapped every time than inspire their base) is what caused Democrats to lose 1,000 seats across the country leading up to 2016, and it’s what caused all three branches of government to fall into Republican hands before the last mid-terms.

IMO, Trump was so detestable, he inspired enough Democratic voters to get off their asses and give us back the House in the last mid-terms–and hopefully that is evidence of what will happen in 2020–BUT a sure way to KILL that motivation is to spit in the eye of progressives once again.

My hope is that Sanders and Warren come together for the win in the end. I think that will inspire the most enthusiasm and give us the best chance for a landslide that will carry over to the House and Senate (so it will be easier to get progressive policies passed).

Here’s the third reason…

EVEN IF, we elect someone as supposedly “radical” as Sanders (or even Warren), it’s going to be a tremendous uphill battle to bring about the changes needed to get back our democracy and save our planet for humanity.

REMEMBER: for those who may still think progressive ideas are too radical… we don’t elect monarchs or dictators, so whoever is elected probably won’t be able to get all of what they want done to the extent they want to get it done. They will still have to FIGHT for it, and what they do get done will probably end up getting watered down by the opposition (even the opposition in their own party).

But I think Democrats (in general) have forgotten how to get things done.

You DON’T START OUT by trying to compromise.

Democrats should relearn how to play the game Tug-of-War…

When you play Tug-of-War, the objective is to move the opposing team to your side. At the beginning of the game, you DON’T position your team on the boundary between the opposing sides, NOR do you initially position your team on the opposing team’s side and try to drag them onto yours from there. You position your team well on your own side, BEYOND where you expect to eventually pull them!!!

In my opinion, the best and easiest way we can “unify” is for those who would normally back an establishment candidate to back a REAL progressive this time. That way we can keep the energy on our side and bring in younger voters (who might not normally vote).

Now is NOT the time for incrementalism or compromises with corrupt politicians.

Now is the time for bold and dramatic action to save ourselves, our democracy, and our planet.

Right now, I think Sanders and Warren are the most viable candidates who stand a ghost of a chance of doing that.

We can’t afford to waste time trying to reach out to Republicans or compromise with corporate influence, and we can’t afford to waste time with incrementalism and gradualism.

MLK argued against the “tranquilizing drug of gradualism” when he said, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

If we ever had a time when there was the “fierce urgency of now,” this is it.

If that doesn’t happen, we are screwed.

And it may already be too late.

I have more reasons I could go into, but this should be enough for now.