The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

First, Elect Someone Who Wants to Do the Right Thing (Sanders Edition)

So, I wrote the simple argument for Sanders. He plans to help the most people, and more so than any of the candidates by a rather large margin .

Bernie Sanders

To me, that’s the role of government: To help the most people. There are things that only government can do or does best, and making healthcare universal (whether single payer or not), fixing student debt, and fighting climate change are three of those things. The private market isn’t going to do those things by itself, it needs the government to set things up so the private market can profit by doing them (for whatever pieces of health care or fighting climate change the private sector’s help makes sense).

Many argue, “But he may not be able to pass this stuff.”

Here’s the thing: A candidate who isn’t strongly committed to passing universal health care won’t pass it. A candidate who isn’t strongly committed to fighting climate change won’t.

And Presidents have a LOT of power that doesn’t go through Congress. Simply letting the Environmental Protection Agency do its job goes a long, long way. Deciding that conforming mortgages require energy-neutral, low-carbon houses goes a long way. Choosing who runs the Federal Reserve goes a long way. Treasury policy matters. Anti-trust policy against companies jacking up insulin prices is entirely possible, if desired.

Likewise, the President has an effect on mid-terms. A popular President simply makes the case that the Senate is blocking him. If Sanders does popular things in the first two years, more people will come out for his candidates in 2022.

But the simpler point is just that someone who doesn’t want to do the right thing won’t even try for it. Obama didn’t. We now know he had completely written off the public option for his health care plan before negotiations even started, for example.

Sanders has been fighting for these causes for decades. We can trust he believes in them because he fought for them when he was nearly alone, and when it would have been easier for him to conform to the neoliberal consensus.

He’ll keep fighting. Maybe he won’t win, but a President who can be counted on to actually fight to do the right thing is a HUGE step towards the right things being done and makes a win far, far more likely. The power of the Presidency is huge, and people forget that because people like Clinton and Obama pretended weakness when trying to do left-wing things because they didn’t actually, ever, want to do them.

Elect Sanders. Support him. If he does good things in the first two years, he’ll gain support, and that will translate into seats in the Senate and House. That will mean more good things, and more support.

That’s how it works.

But to get the right things done, you first have to elect someone who wants to do the right things.

The democratic nominee who consistently wants to do the most important thing in the biggest way is Sanders.

So support him.

Money would be rather useful, as I don’t get paid by the piece. If you want to support my writing, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.



The Ethics of Not Supporting Sanders


Identity, Politics


  1. Eric Anderson

    It’s a sad statement on the amount of propaganda the public has absorbed over the arc of neoliberal the policy project that I truly believe we’re witnessing a form of “learned helplessness.”

    Definition: “Learned helplessness, in psychology, a mental state in which an organism forced to bear aversive stimuli, or stimuli that are painful or otherwise unpleasant, becomes unable or unwilling to avoid subsequent encounters with those stimuli, even if they are “escapable,” presumably because it has learned that it cannot control the situation.”

    Tell me this isn’t what we’re witnessing across large segments of the population?

  2. Effem

    While i agree with you, this feels like it’s largely out of the voters hands. The DNC and Big Media do not want this outcome.

  3. Z

    (Copied over from previous thread)

    In the end, the most unifying reason among voters to support Bernie, across the working class from all political persuasions, though they might not thoroughly understand it, is that the entity that fears him the most is also our biggest collective enemy: Wall Street!

    Wall Street sets the terms of our economy. Creates the incentives. Lays down the conduit to inequality in this country.

    So any desire for political change, and there’s plenty of that brewing amongst the citizenry right now, no matter what political persuasion you are, no matter what direction you want to take a movement, if you really want change you first need to disempower Wall Street, get their boot of our neck, or you’re not going to get very far with any of it. Because when you control the incentives of the financial and economic system that heavily … the carrots, the sticks … with that much leverage … in the market, over the CEOs … you control the system. And Wall Street is empowered to do that due to an essentially unlimited credit line they get hand-delivered by their paperboys at the NY Fed, which backstops them and their bets, allowing them to leverage their way out of losing positions, if need be. They f’ up and their Fed’s dutifully there for them to bail them out.

    And the tension in the system between Wall Street and labor is this: as long as there is no inflation, which means as long as working class wages stagnate or decrease, then that line of credit stays open from the Fed, no questions asked. One question they DO NOT want asked, for instance, is where’s all this money going to that the NY Fed’s currently feeding their way? What’s it needed for? What’s being hidden? No one in our government even asks, as far as I know. A massive wealth robbery, losses being papered over for the rich, funded by the money mill at the NY Fed and no one stops a robber running naked down Wall Street with bags of money in his hands. Why? Because the cops tip their caps to them as they dash on by.

    But if wages go up, workers get more money in their pockets, then they spend more, inflation increases and now the Fed is supposed to, as a defender of the country’s currency, the foundation block of its economy and finances, tighten up on the purse to contain inflation, to maintain the integrity of the fiat financial system, and if that happens that means that Wall Street doesn’t have that unquestioned credit line available to them anymore which allows them to control the market and incentivize the system. Now, if the NY Fed shovels them money to bail them out of bad bets, questions are posed: aren’t you supposed to be reining in inflation, Fed?

    And that cushy credit line from the Fed allows Wall Street to decide what corporate behavior gets rewarded. And what do they reward: damn near anything that busts down wages. So, they’re not afraid of bankrolling a company like AMZN, who for lots of years lost money on the business end but basically survived, and thrived, only because of its stock price, not to mention the money AMZN got lent to make acquisitions and whatnot as long as they’re busting everybody on costs and they’re gaining market share.

    Wall Street message: We like this business model. We can sell it. No profits? No cares! We got a consortium together to support your business model and the Fed catches the phone on the first ring when we call them up, so what’s to worry? We can always muscle our way out of this. We’ll make it work. It decreases labor costs, puts U.S. retailers out of business, and labor gets squeezed, inflation stays low, and we keep our gucci credit line with the Fed. We can always squeeze the shorts with our leverage and keep the stock price climbing. What’s not to like?

    And Wall Street likes any kind of business model that involves busting down labor and gaining market share and they heavily reward the CEOs with higher stock prices for it, via the stock option mechanism.

    So a CEO wants to send jobs overseas? Outsource a department (make sure you write off the costs in EBIDTA earnings, Mr. CEO, won’t cost you nothing on the quarterly earnings in the end)? Relocate factories to foreign countries to take advantage of the cheap labor or lax environmental restrictions? Buy out a competitor, increase market share and layoff 30% of the combined work force? … Hey, how about a little bit of skin on brokering the deal? Great! … Hey, hey we can get behind that. Immediate boost to the stock price, on the news alone, promoting company shares on MSNBC, no questions asked, no proof required as to the long-term financial sense of the maneuver or considerations of the danger of stretched supply lines.

    See that CEOs? Cut labor costs. That’s good. That’ll get you rich damn near immediately.

    And that incentivization that Wall Street places in the system, again, funded by their credit line with the Fed, leads to massive inequality and leads to the U.S. worker struggling harder and harder to make ends meet, which leads them to borrow … Off who? Wall Street! … and Wall Street’s boot imprint on our windpipe gets deeper.



    Trump and his staff are spending an inordinate amount of time in Iowa and I would imagine New Hampshire too in order to mitigate any Bernie effect there while at the same time promoting Bernie to Dem voters. This tells me Bernie’s primary victories in New Hampshire and Iowa will be largely hollow considering both states will go to Trump in the general election. Bloomberg would get everyone who would vote for Bernie in these states plus a substantial portion of people who voted Trump in the last election. Those who voted for Trump in both states in 2016 are not going to vote for Bernie the Commie. That’s how Trump & Co. will label and brand Bernie and Bernie will not be able to overcome that stigma in those states.

    You’re right in principle, Ian, but most people aren’t principled. Principled requires a certain level of intelligence and intelligence is more than just IQ. There’s what should be and there’s what is. The two are not the same. How we get to what should be versus what we have now is anyone’s guess. It’s a seemingly insurmountable mess and there’s no easy, discernible, ideal path from here to there.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if within ten years this doesn’t descend into civil war. If it does, I will lobby to be in charge of handling the punishment for the prisoners of war, especially the leaders of the opposition to include Mike Pompeo. I have no moral qualms whatsoever about making them pay dearly for their sins and a war would give legal sanction to that long overdue punishment.

    I’m failry certain the war won’t last long though since Trump & Co. and the White Trash Party will consist largely of a bunch of obese diabetics with coronary disease and a bunch of opioid addicts stealing their kids lunch money for their next fix or selling their children into sex slavery for another shot of Trump (cuz he’s DOPE and a DOPE afterall) in their deflated, decimated veins.


    This group, for example, needs to be violently put down. It’s the only way to stop these freaks once and for all. A civil war would do that, but this civil war should be the civil war to end all civil wars. It should be a total defeat. No remnants and relics of an antiquated and dysfunctional order should remain this time around. Let’s give this group of scumbags what they deserve. Annihilation, total and complete. You don’t play nice with these cowards. You eliminate them for good.

  6. Dan Lynch

    Howard Zinn would disagree with Ian. Oh, Zinn would vote for Bernie, but Zinn would dismiss Ian’s focus on leaders and point out that progress has only happened when people in the streets made it happen.

    The Nixon era is a case in point — we got the EPA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, Title IX, the voting age was lowered to 18, the SALT and ABM treaties, detente with the USSR, and we would have ended up with Nixon’s version of universal health care if Ted Kennedy hadn’t blocked it. We didn’t get those things because Nixon was a great guy who wanted to do the right thing, we got them because people pushed for them and Congress pushed for them.

    “We’ve never had our injustices rectified from the top, from the president or Congress, or the Supreme Court, no matter what we learned in junior high school about how we have three branches of government, and we have checks and balances, and what a lovely system. No. The changes, important changes that we’ve had in history, have not come from those three branches of government. They have reacted to social movements.”

  7. Mark Pontin

    Z is correct.

    Everybody who reads Ian and posts here knows that Wall Street and the system that maintains its dominance over American society is totally corrupt. Nevertheless, I think very few people understand just how increasingly leveraged to grind up and exploit the vast masses of people that system has become. As it is now, it’s a psychopathic machine for the destruction of American society and the longer it runs the more violent and debased that society will grow.


    Dan, are you advocating for an Occupy 2.0 considering how well Occupy 1.0 worked out?


    Everybody who reads Ian and posts here knows that Wall Street and the system that maintains its dominance over American society is totally corrupt. Nevertheless, I think very few people understand just how increasingly leveraged to grind up and exploit the vast masses of people that system has become. As it is now, it’s a psychopathic machine for the destruction of American society and the longer it runs the more violent and debased that society will grow.

    Exactly, so our best bet is to vote for Trump for a second term and then lobby him to brag every hour on the hour about how great the stock market is doing during his soon-to-be lifetime tenure.

  10. No Eric: induced dyslexia. Willfull ignorance, learned helplessness, are so 20the century.

    What Dan said. Nothing will happen ’till we take it to the streets


    I knew this was coming. This is why I’ve been saying Bloomberg is the best bet. Far from ideal by any stretch, but the best bet. A ten times better candidate than Trump and that’s not really saying much considering how horrible Trump is.

    Third Way, a center-left think tank, will send roughly 300 prominent Iowa Democrats a memo on Tuesday warning that supporting Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary is what “Trump wants you to do.”

    The memo, which was obtained by TIME and first reported by Iowa Starting Line, comes less than a week before the first-in-the-nation caucuses in Iowa on Feb. 3, just as Sanders appears to be solidifying his support in early states. Multiple polls now indicate that Sanders is among the top two candidates, either narrowly leading or narrowly trailing former Vice President Joe Biden.

    “Before you vote, we urge you to consider at least a few of the many things in Bernie Sanders’ long record in public life that make him the Trump team’s ‘ideal Democratic opponent,’” the memo reads. It then offers a list of attacks that the Trump campaign could use against the Vermont senator, who identifies as a democratic socialist: “They will call him a socialist…They will say that he thinks the middle class wants to pay more in taxes…They will say he’s backed anti-American radicals.”

  12. Sid Finster

    The role of government is quite simple. It is to keep power out of the hands of sociopaths, whether individuals, groups or organizations.

    The fact that Sanders has a bona fide sociopath like Brett Stephens calling for the fainting couch is as solid an endorsement as can be imagined.

  13. Eric Anderson

    Oh, you must mean taking it to the streets like this:

    Bernie has someone knocking on a door in Iowa every two seconds.
    We’re already in the streets you dopes.

    Good lord, wtf about #NotMeUs don’t you guys get?

  14. Eric Anderson

    Everyone repeat after me:

    YOU are the government.

  15. Mel

    I’m astonished by the way team sports has infected peoples’ decision making via the need to identify with a winning team.
    “I’m not voting for Sanders. I’m voting for the team that plans to slice me up and sell me as cold-cuts, because I don’t think Sanders can win.”

  16. Z

    And so now Wall Street has started to fully unleash their attack dogs on Sanders. They prefer to do it behind their front groups … like the DNC trying to stuff the Super Delegates with Clintonites, and through their mouthpieces in the media, The Third Way, Club for Growth, etc. … to conceal that it’s them behind it because they know the public hates them and will be much more likely to support what Wall Street is against rather than what Wall Street wants. And they know the public hates them for good reason, and even for larger ones that the working class doesn’t fully understand.

    But even though Wall Street tries to cover their tracks, you see signs of their filth all over the anti-Sanders campaign. Not only from the DNC and the Third Way but in stories that come out in the media. Fox News reports that Obama was supposedly willing to come out and try to stifle the Sanders movement and the Fox News source of the story was guys “very connected to Wall Street”. And Obama people immediately saying no way. It’s not true. Shoot, Obama is not that blind to see what he’s putting himself in front of if he does that. He risks his brand. A large percentage of young people will turn on him. More concerning than that, a significant percentage of African-Americans may also. Nope, he ain’t risking that. He might try to steer voters from Sanders using virtuous arguments centered around empowering women and whatnot, to try to influence the proceedings and also protect and fluff the Obama brand at the same time, but that’s as far as he’ll go. But Wall Street creates the story not because they think they can summons Obama to aggressively come out against Sanders, but because their true goal is to try to induce an error from the Sanders campaign and hope they react aggressively to it and criticize Obama and then Biden can use it to keep his unearned hold on black voters, absolutely critical to Biden’s candidacy. They know their media will amplify it.

    Wall Street is starting to get increasingly desperate though, and they’re getting more and more willing to make their case directly to the public so you see Disingenuous Jamie Dimon on TV purposely mischaracterizing Sanders’ brand of democratic socialism as the government taking control over all companies in the country. And you see that despicable Clintonite piece of trash Rahm Emanuel concern trolling over Sanders’s electability. And so on.


  17. Sid Finster

    @Mel: There is a reason that I refer to the two legacy parties as “Team R” and “Team D”.

  18. Z

    But Sanders isn’t backing down, he is not an amoral, vacuous clown like Obama who got in front of the crowds, calmed them and deflected their anger with his Head PR Man for the One Percent schtick. No, Sanders is coming straight at Wall Street, focusing public anger right where it justly belongs and giving it a voice and calling them out for their hypocrisy. Pointing out that Dimon had no problems with the government bailing his ass out, but then wants to cry when the government instills programs that help the working class.

    Bernie ain’t their PR Man, never been. He isn’t beholden to them. And he threatens them in many ways. That’s why they not only hate him, more importantly they fear him.

    And a major platform of Sanders’s campaign is to go after Wall Street’s wealth and power and turn it over directly to the working class through a Wall Street transaction tax to fully fund student loan forgiveness and free citizens from the chains of that debt. That’s a brazen transfer of wealth and power from Wall Street to the citizenry, by taking Wall Street’s cash to pay off private student debt. Even Wall Street’s heavily funded politicians are going to get a little uncomfortable with trying to explain to their constituents why they won’t vote to have much-hated Wall Street, who got away with blatant corruption and robbery in 2008 and walked away rich leaving the working class to pick up the pieces, pitch in to relieve young people, and their parents, from crippling debt.

    So, Wall Street has plenty at stake in the potential of a Sanders’s presidency and they are going to do their best to thwart it. Not only might their unlimited credit line with the Fed be shut down and rightfully questioned, which is the fuel they use to control our financial and economic system and run the working class around like dogs, he’s leading an attempt to overthrow their political power as well, and take over control of the party, so that embedded Wall Street funded entities like the DNC, DCCC, and Third Way will be disempowered and democratic candidates won’t be as tempted to kiss the ring of Wall Street to have their candidacies funded into viability. Realigning the funding of the democratic party would empower the working class politically.

    And again the biggest threat to Wall Street’s rule over us is higher working class wages. Bernie wants to effectuate that with higher minimum wages and increasing the power and number of worker unions partially by making it easier to form them. Higher worker wages raises inflation and breaks Wall Street’s credit lines. And with a Sanders’s presidency, the NY Fed probably won’t be able to, no questions asked, toss hundreds of billions of dollars of capital their way to bail their asses out from the rotten, corrupt financial system they’ve been stewarding. Trump certainly ain’t going to do anything about it as long as the market keeps rising, but Bernie probably will.

    And the Dimons, the management of Goldman Sachs, etc., all those suits with those professionally cured smiles have a very personal fear Sanders and for damn good reason: instead of retaining all their wealth and power they could find themselves losing everything, all of their freedom, and be criminally prosecuted, that’d be a crowd pleaser with the public I’d imagine, and even find themselves in jail. The laws are already on the books that could sink them in the form of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act if it’s found that they inaccurately portrayed the financial health of their company or their earnings. Ignorance is no excuse under that law. The public largely does not know of it because the law is never acted on. There’s never been the political will to enforce it. There’s certainly been public will to put the criminals of Wall Street on the docket though. Even charging them would empower the Feds to have subpeona powers to dig into Wall Street’s ways. Think guys like Dimon want to risk having the professional Feds on their asses with search warrants and whatnot, guys that ain’t on their side, guys not easily bought off, rather than the paperboys down at the NY Fed Mill catering to them? Hell no. Quite a delta there for those over-privileged gents to chew over.


  19. bruce wilder

    what Mel said

    But . . . although that is my view, I know people of good will who appear to think Sanders is not a good choice, or the best course among the available options.

    I am struggling to understand their reasoning.

    We have here who favors Bloomberg — an American Putin? short guy to tame the oligarchs? Or set an oligarch to tame the oligarchs? Or, maybe just a taste for a superficially nicer and more competent oligarch? Despite the tons of verbiage, I do not get it.

    I could play devil’s advocate against Ian’s argument (an argument that convinces me). Sanders is committed and well-intended. But, maybe he is too old and too nice. Almost anything positive to remedy the fundamental ills of the American economy or the American Imperium is very likely to cause (or contribute to exacerbating the on-going crises of ecological collapse and climate chaos) crises: withdrawing from Afghanistan will mean acknowledging the Taliban won. Withdrawing from the Middle East in general will be associated with accelerating the chaos the palsied policy of 30+ years has created. Almost any policy to right the financial system will be met with the threat of financial collapse, a threat that can be met productively only by a ruthlessness righteous willingness to slice-and-dice giant banks and many huge business corporations as well. If the claims of finance capital on national income are to be substantially reduced, it follows that the stock market will crash and many large corporations will have to be bankrupted and reorganized, some under public ownership perhaps.

    I see Sanders as being clever in choosing his issues carefully. I think he believes in something very like Eric’s assessment as part of his political theory of change: he has chosen doable and urgent reforms that matter to large numbers and are comprehensible to most and are likely to avoid provoking crises in part to overcome learned helplessness in the broad body politic.

    Nevertheless, opponents will be choosing another course and crises will come. The narrative of failure in the Middle East for example is not going to be attached by the major corporate Media to themselves or to the generation of generals that never won a war. A stock market crash is not going to be greeted as a blessed relief, even if that may be what it signals objectively.

    I do not know that Sanders is the guy for that fight. I do not see a better choice. Steyer makes some positive noises, but I do not see anyone with the smarts and commitment that would convince me that there was a good alternative to Sanders for the fire that is coming. And, isn’t a matter of one person’s character, it is also a matter of building a mass movement and shared political consciousness that is ready to sustain a government that does the right “right thing”. A lot of what has gone wrong since 1980 has built on manipulating people, convincing them austerity is the right policy in response to financial crisis or torture and aggressive war are the right response to terrorism. The deficiencies in character and consciousness of the People is a problem that only sustained mass political organizing can remedy — Sanders understands that, but we have not travelled very far on that path yet.

  20. Z

    Prediction: if Bernie Sanders becomes president, you’re going to see a lot of Wall Street heads in short order retire to pursue philanthropy. They’re going to want to get out from underneath the exposure of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, especially since they probably won’t be able to continue to conceal the rotted underpinnings of the financial system with the NY Fed’s digital money mill, which would potentially expose the shakiness of the financial system, and the financial strength of their companies that they very likely have been misrepresenting to the public.


  21. bruce wilder

    “electability” is a frame that pisses me off, not least because it is often put forward as a reason to favor people like Biden who seem to me to be unelectable.

    But, there is one aspect of “electability” or popularity in general that ought to get more attention. Many people are drawn to sunny optimism and idealistic bombast a la Reagan or Obama. Sanders is an effective campaigner without much conventional charisma. I just do not know if he can get to 51%. (Against Trump who is also dark and negative in his outlook surely but I see problems before that.)

    One element I see in the hostility of many people to Trump is a reaction to Trump’s darkness of spirit. For people who see Trump as uniquely bad or evil and apparently cannot see how bad his predecessors were on policy, I think that stylistic darkness is a major repellent (among multifarious repellence) and a signal they did not see from Obama or Bush II. (Hillary apparently stifled her ugliness during the campaign of 2016 — she seems determined to erase the regretful cognitive dissonance of Trump voters everywhere.)

    The times do not call for sunny optimism, but there are a lot of (Democratic) voters whose basic position is one of anxious complacency — call them the Mandos majority, they are looking for a reason to avoid fundamental reforms that might accelerate collapse of structures they depend on, even if they know those structures are predatory and socially pathological.

  22. Duder

    Ian, the reason you got push back on your previous post was not for being wrong, but for framing your argument in uncertain moral terms. Readers rejected your moralizing by pointing out the practical obstacles of fulfilling Bernie’s political project. Moralizing is an inherently stupid way to advance any political argument. Good people vote this way, bad people vote the other. Look at where your arguments about Corbyn got you. Because you got caught up in moralizing Corbyn’s position, you missed the underlining and relatable dynamics around Brexit for the British working class that ended in Johnson’s landslide.

    Bernie and the US working class are different, all be it similar moment. Unpacking the ways in which the political class and finance capital plan to halt Bernie’s project is more important in the moment than denouncing others for not supporting Bernie. Bernie is also one man, whose project is being directed by a host of people who do not get media spotlights. Understanding the personal and political dynamics around Bernie will help to understand the real promise and limitations of his candidacy, much more than blind moralizing. That is where I would suggest your focus your future analysis.

  23. Z

    I think Bernie rolls over Trump big-time in a general election. Trump barely beat one of our all-time overrated and hated politicians by making promises he’s largely not kept. Bernie has the energy behind him and the youth support plus he’s talking about forgiving student debt, which takes a lot of parents, as well as youth, off the hook, and increasing SS benefits, which helps seniors. Not to mention his universal health care ambitions.

    Trump is toast against Sanders.


  24. Z

    The centrist dem’s new inspirational cry: Don’t do what Trump wants you to do!

    Third Way: Ahem. OK, got your attention, voters. Now let us tell you what Trump wants you to do: he wants you to vote for Bernie Sanders … oh, oh, oh he wants that so, soooo bad. He wants you to vote for Bernie, yeah, yeah, yeah (even though a recent secret recording of Trump after his 2016 victory has him saying that the only running mate he feared with Hillary was Bernie).

    Voters: Sure, Third Way! Whatever you say you lying sellout Wall Street-funded pieces of trash!


  25. bruce wilder

    @ Duder

    I strongly disagree. People like me who make a kind of hobby out political observations and opinionating are well-advised to orient themselves amidst the confusion to moral essentials.

    Politics is both highly uncertain and contested, which is another way of saying that people get confused. And, more “inside baseball” and speculation, as entertaining as it can be, is just surfing in the fog, riding the waves as they come, with only a vague concept of where one might come to shore. I cheerlead a bit and root a lot, but I regret rooting for the wrong lot and mourn the consequences even if I cannot always find a believable counterfactual.

    “Keep your head when all about you . . . ” and all that rot. Ian helps with that and I value that.

  26. Hugh

    “now Wall Street has started to fully unleash their attack dogs on Sanders.”

    Steve Rattner, Morning Joe’s chief economic maven, was saying this morning that not one of his friends supported Sanders, and they were indeed scared by him. For the first time that I know of and probably only because Bloomberg is in the race, Joe Scarborough felt the need to point out that Rattner manages Bloomberg’s wealth or is his “money man,” as he put it. However, unless you already knew of this massive conflict of interest that Rattner has, you would think he was some impartial (but typical Establishment) commentator, because this is how he is portrayed.

    There was a lot of talk negative for Sanders and positive for Biden, and almost everyone else, except Warren who was dismissed as fading. They were saying the main effect of having Bloomberg in the race was that would increase the chances of a brokered convention that could stop Sanders (which, of course, they were for). Kasie Hunt was the only one, kind of, who pointed out that if Sanders comes in with the most delegates and doesn’t get the nomination a lot of his supporters would walk. However, the general consensus was stop Sanders first and worry about the consequences later.

    I think Sanders should take the whole “radical” thing head on. Is it radical to say no American should live in fear of getting sick, that either they won’t get the care they need or it will bankrupt them? Is it radical to say that the country needs educated people, all kinds of education, both college and vocational, and that people should not be loaded up with life-long debt (making banks and the rich that much richer) because of this? Is it radical to say that Americans should have decent jobs and decent lives? Is it radical to say no American should go homeless? Is it radical to say that Americans should expect their water, air, and food to be clean? Is it radical to say the wealth inequality we have, and which is only increasing, is killing our country, and many of us, that it makes most of our lives worse, not better? Is it radical to say we need to really do something about climate change, not just talk about it? Is it radical to say endless, pointless wars are not good for us or our country? Is it radical to say that we should only stick by those allies who stick by us, who share our values, and not stick with those who do not share those values and only are interested in using us, to fight to the last dead American? If this is radical, then I can only ask, “How did this become radical? Isn’t this supposed to be who we are? What we stand for? How did being American become radical? It isn’t. It is time to take back our heritage and our country.”

    To me, that’s the way to do it.


    Hugh, Morning Blow is an idiot. I don’t watch him any longer or any cable news program, but a while back I did for a bit and I will never forget Morning Blow adamantly asserting Donald Trump was not interested in, and would not seek, a second term. I laughed out loud. It was shortly after this that I ceased watching any cable news because it was 24/7 Trump which is what Trump wants be it positive or negative. That, and the only guests on these news shows are political insiders with an agenda who want to sell their latest book. There is no truth in it or half truths at best and always presented to get the audience to draw the wrong conclusions.

  28. Z

    Listening to our rulers’ media’s conventional “wisdoms”, which they portray as mainstream, and looking at the public polls (despite our rulers’ efforts to under represent the working class in them) on the issues of medicare-for-all and student debt forgiveness, it appears that we now have a Radical Majority in this country.


  29. Z

    Bloomberg ain’t taking votes from Bernie. He’s more likely to be snatching votes from Biden.

    And if Bloomberg runs in the general he’ll snatch more votes from Trump than Bernie Those votes will mostly come from republicans who don’t like the crassness and immaturity of Trump, but fear what the consider the evil ideology of socialism.

    Bloomberg is a nothing in this race. He can spend all of his money promoting his campaign and it won’t make one damn bit of difference in the end.


  30. Mark Pontin

    Z :- “it appears that we now have a Radical Majority in this country.”

    ‘… Would it not in that case be simpler
    for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?’

    -Bertolt Brecht

  31. Z

    And Mitch McConnell seconds that motion to dissolve the people, and Nancy Pelosi thirds it.

    There we go, we have bipartisan agreement to dissolve the people.


  32. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    If Senator Sanders somehow wins the Democratic Presidential nomination, I will swallow my distrust of him, hold my nose, and vote for him in the general election.

    Then, I will go home and steel myself to endure four more years of Benedict Donald, or maybe less than four years of The Waddling Orange Heart Attack Waiting To Happen, and the remainder of it under (Ass-) Holy Mike Pence.

    You lot here consistently underestimate the hopeless stupidity and depravity of the average non-elite white American. I say that as a non-elite white American, who has lost any love for his tribe, or loyalty to them. They are dinosaurs who deserve the asteroid.

    On second thought, I am being unfair to the dinosaurs. To my knowledge, none of the dinosaurs voted against their own best interests because hatred of the Other gave them sweet dirty joy.

  33. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Only if and when there is a non-white majority in this country, might there be a “Radical Majority” in this country.

  34. Z

    To have a foundational understanding of our financial system, you must know that the money is backed by nothing, we have a fiat currency, and the Fed has the power to create as much as it wants to with just a few strokes on a keyboard. And the money they create first goes to Wall Street and the banking system, which are basically one in the same in some cases, and Wall Street and the banking system, again often one and the same, are the ones that dispense it to the public and/or buys stocks with it thereby allocating capital to businesses and consumers.

    How did you think the government came up with that money all of a sudden to bail out Wall Street in 2008, or where they’re getting the trillions they’re shuffling to Wall Street right now to cover up whatever Wall Street is hiding? Was there a big U.S. bond sale we never heard about? No! The Fed created it from key strokes on a computer. That’s the power the Fed has.

    It’s more complicated than that as far as the mechanisms they use to dish the money out to Wall Street and the banking system … mostly through lending them money at super low interest rates from what I understand of it, such low rates that they’re guaranteed to make money on it by lending it to the public via credit cards and whatnot, though Wall Street often uses it in the stock market instead … but that’s the crux of it at its rotten core: the Fed can create as much money as they want and hand it over to Wall Street under any terms they want for the most part, effectively.

    And the Fed is subservient to Wall Street. The NY Fed, the agency that handles the day-to-day Wall Street liquidity “requirements” … hands them the money, capital leverage to muscle around the markets … is heavily corrupted by Wall Street. Wall Street has their people literally in it with Wall Street CEOs on the board of directors and whatnot and there’s a lucrative revolving door that runs straight from the big outfits on Wall Street and the NY Fed. You work for the NY Fed and play nice with Wall Street, Wall Street will play very nice with you once you leave the NY Fed.


  35. Mallam

    You say “and it isn’t even close”, but that’s ridiculous. Liz Warren would be better at the job of “president” than Bernie Sanders, which involves media relations, staffing, and management, all skills that Bernie isn’t necessarily good at. He’s a skilled politician, he’s got good ideology, but execution/practice leaves a lot to be desired.

    Still, I’ll likely be voting for him when my primary comes. I’d prefer president Warren, and it’s pretty clear Wall Street fears her more than Bernie. But a: at this point he has a better shot of winning the nomination than she does, and b. based on general election polling she loses 2-4 points because of her gender and I’m not sure she would win. I came into the primary with her as my “I want but unsure if she can win”, and she seemed to quell those concerns as the campaign went on…but lately general election polling shows her as one of the weaker candidates. It’s sad, it is what it is.

    At this point, a Sanders-Warren ticket, or Warren as Bernie’s chief of staff, would be the ideal outcome.

  36. Ten Bears

    Please, Z, 450, take a nap. Start your own damned blog.

  37. John

    I early voted for Bernie in the Va primary. I look forward to all Americans sharing improved versions of the healthcare I now get from Medicare and the VA. I look forward to all students enjoying the same easy availability of higher education I enjoyed in my youth in the 60’s. And a complete write down of all current student debt slavery. And I look forward to a justice dept that will strictly enforce all the anti racketeering, anti trust, and anti monopoly laws on the books. And I look forward to a government serious about the environment and a Green New Deal. And finally I look forward to removing all the neocon neoliberal functionaries from the Demo Party. Cheers

  38. Z

    Ten Bears,

    All the posts that have a ‘Z’ in front of them? Just don’t read them.


  39. different clue

    @bruce wilder,

    The “Mandos majority” eh? Hah! he he . . . Not a majority I hope, but certainly a plurality.
    The “anxiously complacent” are a part of the Astroturf ChemLawn roots from whom Neera Tanden grew, and whom and what’m she represents.

  40. Herman

    @Ivory Bill Woodpecker,

    You are right that white racism is a problem and could be a problem for Sanders in the election. But I disagree that a non-white majority will make the difference you and others think it will. The white majority is not really a hard biological category. The white majority is more of a cultural construct that can expand to include people who were once outside of the white mainstream.

    There is no reason why the white majority cannot expand to include Hispanics and Asians or mixed people just like it once expanded to include former outsider groups like European ethnics. Remember that previous efforts at restricting immigration were aimed at reducing Southern and Eastern European immigration, groups that are now part of the mainstream white majority but were seen as very different from the WASP/Northwest European majority in the past.

    Politically, many European ethnics also moved from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party and I think a similar process will likely happen as more Hispanics and Asians merge into the white majority. Democrats might try to stop this by promoting a Balkanizing form of multiculturalism but I doubt that this strategy will work in the face of rising intermarriage rates and the cultural assimilation of new groups. Sadly, due to the legacy of slavery and segregation African-Americans may again be left outside of the mainstream majority category.

    My point here is that the left cannot wait for some demographic change to solve its problems. Sanders has the right idea in trying to build as broad a coalition as he can. Sure, he won’t be able to convince everyone and he might not win the general election or even the primary, but Sanders is currently our best shot at getting some positive change for this country. As Ian points out, Sanders really believes in his cause and will fight. Sanders might not get everything he wants passed but he is a step in the right direction.

  41. Stirling S Newberry

    Four three two one marmots

    Festivities district clinic Wuhan hospital
    pulmonology infection 2019-nCoV quarantine
    bounced ambulance 120 symptoms coronavirus censored

    originated wholesale crownspikes surface
    incubation. Guangdong epidemic.
    genome international community embarrassment.

    unnerving bold banned lockdown.
    Last erection exhausted,
    authoritarian attuned parcel aggressive xaos probability.

    perpetuates cycle inefficiency unbidden frustration
    perspective reluctance bureaucratic overwhelmed
    nonessential Guoqiang public indignation state television

    An opportunity.

  42. Z

    This is an interesting time right now because you are starting to see some of our ruling class, some of its aspects, come out in the light to attack Bernie that usually wouldn’t have to get involved because they normally just guide behind the scenes. But now they are becoming very concerned that the U.S. voters might vote in someone they disprove of, so it’s time to step heavy into the proceedings.

    And they’re pulling every lever they can with some talking so openly, shockingly IMO, to the media about that Bernie’s campaign ‘going to get it now’ and whatnot as if they’ve ever gone after Biden and Warren 1/10th as bad as they’ve gone after Bernie to begin with. They’ve been salivating on his every word hoping to catch that Howard Dean-like scream moment from him in order to discredit his campaign. A major network in the media, CNN, even very likely conspired with the Warren campaign to try to create one of those “magic” moments they’ve been so anxious for. Anything like that happening to the Warren campaign? Is the media working hand-in-hand with other candidates to try to sink her campaign? Anything similar? Biden’s? Biden is deteriorating mentally in broad daylight and the media acts like nothing is wrong. This guy is running for president!

    But no, it’s actually about the Bernie Bros, yeah, yeah, they’re so mean they need to beaten back and put in their place, that’s why the media is going so hard at Bernie. But the Bernie “Bros” are 60% female.

    So much bullshit from the media. They’re going to start yelling at us on TV, they’re getting so frustrated at the mockery the public is making of their opinion. They’re huffing and puffing but they can’t blow us in a direction they want us to go in. We actually got a choice this time.

    Cause despite their lies, Bernie’s Army is coalescing and spreading, the Sanders campaign is gradually becoming a cultural phenomenon. His following is fervent and true and they believe in him and they care about other people and they want a better world and there’s a lot of youthful energy to it and it’s bringing people together and it is building.


  43. Z

    The Bernie “Bros” is a moniker our rulers’ media uses for people on the internet who discredit their lies and misleading narratives about Bernie and his campaign. They batter them with truth.

    If the Bernie “Bros” didn’t work around the media and use the internet to defend Sanders and promote his campaign their candidate would have no chance at all, the media would be able to pull one of their Howard Dean scream bits on him and then just stop covering his campaign. They could ghost him.


  44. Z

    They would ghost him.


  45. Z

    When you consider the possibility of Mike Bloomberg snatching votes from Bernie Sanders, note what you’re considering: that there are voters out there who are currently undecided about whether to vote for Bernie Sanders or a billionaire. Either or. They’re not sure which.

    My theory is that very few people like this exist and the ones that do don’t often bother to vote.


  46. Z

    Bernie Sanders or the billionaire? Oh, I like them both so much that I can’t decide which one I like more yet.


  47. Tom

    Wow, is definitely proving my point.

    Bloomberg presided over an unconstitutional stop and frisk policy and did his best to deny citizens fair trials and due process.

    This man is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and should be cut down to size with taxes and prosecutions as its impossible for him to have amassed the wealth he did without breaking a few laws in the process.

    Its time for the adults to step up, kick the Woke Left and Oligarchic Right out of the house so we can shore up the foundations and prepare for the climate disaster. We can’t do it with those idiots getting in the way of the work we have to do.

  48. Willy

    Interesting the lies and spin coming from those associated with the donor class. So a lifelong socialist might be worth a couple million? He’s 78. And there’s over 170,000 of those in socialist Norway. You’d think that’d make the one million millionaires in NYC rest a bit easier about ‘socialists coming for their asses’. Hell, Chelsea Clinton’s worth six times that, living in her 5000 sq ft palace apartment on Neoliberal Boulevard. Obama has his $12,000,000 house right on the ocean, so he’ll be able to watch all the rising tides action up close and personal. It’s good to be near the kings.

  49. Stirling S Newberry

    caucuses that’s all I want
    senatorial duties that a whole lot
    Presidential goals, sometimes I get frightened
    #Klozone Des Moines swoop recumbent
    Hamilton shenanigans inauguration
    CIA whispery Jamboree calibrated anecdotes
    centrist Diwan.


    This man is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and should be cut down to size with taxes and prosecutions as its impossible for him to have amassed the wealth he did without breaking a few laws in the process.

    The operative phrase in this misses-the-point comment is “should be.” I already addressed “should be” and I won’t repeat myself.

    In the meantime, this is what we have versus what “should be.” There will be no revolution or if there is a revolution, as highly unlikely as that is, it will be the wrong revolution. A civil war is highly plausible, but not a revolution.

    Meanwhile, the election of Trump has portended a trend. That trend is direct oligarchic rule. Tom prefers Trump as his oligarchic leader according to this new trend. I prefer Bloomberg as the oligarchic leader per this new trend.

    This isn’t the 60s. It’s not the 70s, nor is it the 80s or 90s or any other time period. It’s now and the past is not prologue. Times have changed. Applying observed behavior of the past to the present is no longer applicable. This is a brave new world. The old prescriptions and anecdotes are no longer relevant. It’s time to update to a new operating system. Windows Vista isn’t going to cut it.


    Z, “like” has nothing to do with it. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about what is the most any one of these candidates can positively accomplish. My assessment is that Bloomberg stands the best chance of accomplishing the most positive, odious billionaire aside.

  52. Ivory Bill Woodpecker


    I did say “might”. 🙂

    I see your point, but I doubt that the Stupid White Folks will ever accept brown people as “white”, however many generations they have lived in the USA.

    However, I can conceive of their someday accepting Asian-Americans as “white”.

  53. StewartM

    Ian, you nailed everything I would have said on the head. Yes, I don’t think Sanders is perfect. Yes, I acknowledge that he might not get what needs to get done, done. Yes, I admit that he’ll run into fierce opposition both from the Republicans and his own ‘centrist’ Dems. All this and more.

    But–he’ll try. His whole career has been advocating positions that were not popular at the time but were the right thing to do–and Mandos, note, this includes identity politics issues (I would trust Sanders on, say, gay rights or women’s rights as much or more than Mayor Pete or a woman candidate). But first you have to try—I believe the reason why progressives have failed is that our leaders betray us (to use a US football reference, if your quarterback is in cahoots with the opposition and throws timely interceptions to the other team just when it looks like you’ll score, you’ll never win). Nor, despite the MSM meme, Sanders and his supporters aren’t unrealistic, un-pragmatic, hopeless idealists–his career shows that Sanders will take a half a loaf when that’s all that can be had, but he’ll fight for the whole loaf up to that point and continue to fight for it afterwards.

    No one else in the current Democratic field who has a realistic shot comes close. As I was telling Z, I think Warren has cut a deal with the centrists; Obama was supposedly privately telling people that he’d speak out against Bernie, and maybe Warren too, if it looks like they were going to win the nomination (I should say “Mr. Democratic Unity” Barack Obama, I guess there “unity” and then there’s “unity). However, just in December, Obama started to try to sell Warren to Wall Street donors…why? When and how did she become acceptable to Obama and his ilk, and what was the price of getting Obama’s support–was it to go after Bernie with the bogus attack a few weeks ago?

  54. Willy

    Most Stupid White Folks were working stupid white jobs until the brownies came to town, lowering their wages if not pushing them out of said job entirely.

    But that’s not to discount the minority who’re upset about cultural changes, or the outright racists.


    Bernie needs to pass this around. These posters adorn Putin’s bedroom walls like bikini clad women and sports figures adorn an American teenage boy’s bedroom walls. This is Trump’s bud so next time they call you a commie, Bernie, flash this and put them in their place. Vlad is a devout communist. As a KGB officer stationed in East Germany at the time the Wall came down, he had persecuted scores of people in the name of communism. The Soviet posters reveal what Putin thinks of capitalism and Trump reveres the communist Putin. It beggars belief, doesn’t it?


    Bernie, Putin had this one hanging in his office in East Germany before he had to get the hell out of Dodge real quick like upon the fall of the Berlin Wal after he incinerated all of the evidence of his torturing and murdering. Maybe Trump can hang it in the Oval Office.


    Okay, last one, Bernie. Putin furnished this one to Trump as a gift too. He created it himself. This hung in his children’s nursery once upon a time. A good place for it would be the lobby of the Pentagon, don’t you think?

  58. Sid Finster

    Goofball conspiracy theories aside, Trump won in 2016 because he eked out a series of razor thing victories in three states (WI, MI and PA) that have gone for Team D in recent elections. I think his total combined margin of victory in those states was something like 60,000 votes.
    That alone was the electoral equivalent of rolling snake eyes, and doing it three times in a row.

    But there’s more – not only was Trump running as an outsider against the odious HRC, she didn’t bother to seriously campaign in any of those states. Had she done so, she’d probably be president today. In Michigan alone, if the people who otherwise voted a straight Team D ticket but left the “president” section blank had voted a straight Team D Ticket, HRC would have won Michigan. She’s that unlikable – people went out of their way not to vote for her.

    Furthermore, after getting elected, Trump hasn’t done a whole hell of a lot for the people in those states. The electorate were seething with white hot incandescent rage in 2016, which is what got Trump elected in the first place. They have only gotten madder since then.

    In other words, if Team D were to nominate Sanders, a Trump victory cannot be assured. Now Team D would do everything in its power to make sure that Sanders lost and lost big, but Team R wasn’t exactly brimming with enthusiasm over Trump (remember the calls for him to withdraw after Pussygate?) until the day after Election Day.

  59. different clue

    I see several different theories of change here in the comments. Since people do their best work for what they believe in the most, all the different theory-of-change people here should probably all join people with a theory they share .. . and then all work on actualizing that theory.

    To me, primary time is my chance to vote for my preference of Dream Candidate, if there is one.
    So that’s what I will vote for. I will not try to predict what other people think that yet more other people might consider the Electability Candidate. That starts to remind me of Keynes’ noting that the stock speculation process and market degrades and decays into people trying to outthink what other people might think that more other people think is a good stock. And then buying that stock.

  60. different clue

    Here is a tweeter copied from the Reddit describing a very simple thing that a President Sanders could do . . . if all the dominoes fall just right. And it illustrates how making a change for the better for a change is a slow grinding process of chopping out handholds in the rockface, one by one by one. Anyway, here it is.


    Great strategy by Sanders. Yet another feather in his cap. This is ALL IN, Bernie. You CANNOt, you MUST NOT, capitulate this time around. If the DNC screws you again via hook & crook, you need to sue the party, leave the party and spend the rest of your life building a new, viable political party. Enough is enough. This crisis is too great for you to continue to be the Dems progressive pet.

  62. Hugh

    So on Morning Joe 1/30/2020, breathless reportage of a new poll in Iowa showing Biden and Some Other Guy statistically tied with Biden a few points ahead (Other recent polls have shown Other Guy ahead). Then there was Biden this and Biden that. A new Biden ad (stressing character since apparently there isn’t anything substantive he is running on) and a new Bloomberg ad both played: free air time, and uncritically praised. Then Buttigieg’s ground game in Iowa compared to Biden’s, hyping Buttigieg. Ditto Warren. You might think that coverage of Other Guy who is probably ahead or at least tied for the lead in Iowa might warrant some coverage, but aside from a very few stray, passing mentions, you would be wrong.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén