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

The Ethics of Not Supporting Sanders

Bernie Sanders

I’m going to keep this one real short and simple.

Sanders has by far and away the best plans for healthcare, climate change, and student loans out of all the candidates. It is not close–even Warren is a distant second.

He will help the most people. Make the most people’s lives better. By a large margin.

If you do not support him, you want a lot more to people to suffer and die, or at least you’re willing to trade their deaths and suffering for something you think is more important.

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.




Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 26, 2020


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


  1. Sums it right up, short ‘n sweet, keepin’ it simple.

    We have to stop doing what we’re doing. It isn’t working.

    I’m still gonna’ have a bard time voting someone older than me.

  2. HomoSapiensWannaBe

    He’s got PLANS, eh? On the slim chance he gets elected, I submit that NONE of these good ideas stand a chance of getting implemented, especially since the economy is likely to crash in the next few years.

    However, having a national conversation about them — however clouded by corporate media lies and propaganda — is better than nothing.

    Sanders is probably too old to be president, which is no doubt a very stressful and tiring job.


    He’s got my vote in the democratic primaries and the general election if he miraculously gets the nomination . If the DNC sticks a fork in him come hook or crook, Bloomberg will be my choice against Trump.


    That being said, this also means that the work has only just begun, and moves coming from the DNC are already raising significant alarm bells.

    Chairman of the DNC Tom Perez has nominated incredibly questionable choices to the Convention leadership. Dangerous choices that show a clear indication they are already planning on taking the democratic nomination away from Bernie at the convention.

  5. S Brenann


    What’s your back-up plan if Sanders folds, [as he did in 2016] and asks US voters to vote for a Hillarylite?

  6. Stirling S Newberry

    He rewards the present by taxing the future.

    All candidates think that borrowing from humans works, it does not.

    Climate change Does. Not. Care.

  7. Phil in KC

    If there is an economic crash coming, who would be better than Bernie? No one. He is a New Deal Democrat at heart. Who do you want in an economic calamity, a FDR acolyte or someone from the Clinton-Obama-Corporate wing?

  8. Buried in here is the claim that Bernie outpolls Trump even in Texas:

  9. Z

    Hey Brennan,

    You ever sell that Billy Clinton bobble-head doll you spent over two decades fondling? Shoot, it ought to be worth something by now, you held onto it and defended that piece of trash for so long.

    Or have you have been too busy spreading lies online about people, like the whopper you told here a few months back that I voted for Obama in the primaries and that was the reason that I had problems with you when there’s not anything I’ve ever wrote that could ever be misunderstood as I ever voted for Obama and it’s always been your lying and intellectual dishonesty that I’ve had problems with.

    Oh, I know, tee-hee-hee, I know your pathetic little kid’s games: tell lies about people and then act like you’re trolling them when they respond to them.

    Go suck on some poison, liar.


  10. Z

    What’s your back-up plan if Sanders folds, [as he did in 2016] and asks US voters to vote for a Hillarylite?

  11. OK, I guess this is kind of the Rogan thread redux, so I’ll bite.

    It’s probably? the case that Sanders will be the big tent leftist we’ve all been waiting for, uniting class and other issues in a joyous socialist harmony.

    But: just like some people voted for Trump because they wanted everyone else to experience the world burning the way they felt it had been burning for themselves, there’s a case to be made that if you think that Sanders’ supporters will sideline the things you care about most, then maybe you just need to let the world burn a little longer. In the last thread, it appears that at least some Sanders supporters intend just that: not to accede to the social justice demands of “identity” politicians.

  12. Z

    What’s your back-up plan if Sanders folds, [as he did in 2016] and asks US voters to vote for a Hillarylite?

    Don’t vote for them, how hard is that?


  13. Oops, sorry, wrong Jimmy Dore segment. Meant this one: , from 4 months, ago.

  14. KT Chong

    “When all else have failed, CHEAT.”

    The DNC and elites are desperate and panicking right now. Bernie is leading and rising in polls. He has the momentum and is consolidating the progressive base right now. The smears of the elites and media have not worked or stopped Bernie. All their tricks have failed.

    So expect the DNC and elites to CHEAT.

    So why haven’t more people paid attention to the new smartphone app that will be used at the Iowa caucuses to calculate and transmit results?? No one outside the DNC knows who made the app. The DNC has simply REFUSED to reveal who made the app. No one has been allowed to audit the app or review its codes for integrity or security. So we are supposed to trust the DNC on the app, to not cheat, based on their good faith. Really? People need to be alerted about the app — because the temptation for the DNC and elites to use the app to cheat Bernie out of the Iowa primary is too strong to resist when all else have failed.

  15. Joan

    Already voted for him.

  16. Eric Anderson

    Hmmm … priorities.

    Fighting against omnicide, or fighting to be able to piss in the bathroom of my choice.

    Gosh, this is such a tough choice.
    I’m going to draw up a pro v. con list before I get back to you folks on this.
    The cognitive dissonance occasioned by the question is tearing my brain in two.

  17. Zinsky

    I have been an Elizabeth Warren fan for a long time (BTW – I think she is a nicer human being than Bernie) but I am becoming more convinced that Bernie is the best candidate to beat Trump. I heard an interesting analysis about why Sanders is better than Warren, in this regard. Think of a Venn diagram of likely voters: People who would likely vote for Elizabeth Warren are a circle that has no overlap with the circle representing voters who would likely vote for Donald Trump. However, the circle of likely voters for Bernie DOES overlap with the likely Trump voters. I know some of those folks personally! Men who aren’t college-educated, full of macho bravado who think the US has screwed them over in some way and who see their vote as an act of political vandalism. Like them or not, those are the jugheads we need to get to vote and vote Democratic!


    Equally as important is the ethics of supporting Sanders until the DNC screws him over and then voting for Trump. Those who do and also did so in 2016 want a lot more to people to suffer and die, or at least they’re willing to trade their deaths and suffering for something they think is more important — the ecstasy of schadenfreude.

  19. Eric Anderson:

    Well, here’s the disconnect: trivialization.

  20. KT Chong

    If it is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton again… I will vote for Trump over Hillary. I really DO think President Hillary would be a worse outcome than President Trump.

  21. Z

    This is it. We’re down to a 78 year-old man who is, and has, given damn near everything he has towards empowering the working class. We’re bossed around day to day by a nebulous power structure that “our” government largely works hand in hand with and against us. We need an adversarial relationship between these entities and a government that truly represents us. We’re also on a planet that is warming at an alarming rate and has sustained significant damage from wildfires in Australia and the Amazon over the past year. Sanders is the only viable candidate that will fight to try to turn that around.

    There’s no one but him who has the experience and drive to take this country on the stable, hard left turn we need. In the wings there is Tulsi, who I’d vote for, but only has been in congress for 7 years. Ro Khanna, who doesn’t yet have the following to get voted in and probably the experience to manage it, and perhaps even the gravitas. I would vote for him, but he’s no Sanders yet. Then there’s AOC, who I also would vote for and do almost everything I could to get in her into office because her heart’s in the right place, like Tulsi’s and Ro’s, and I know she’d fight too, but she’s not even old enough to be president and hasn’t even served two years in Congress yet.

    IMO, if Bernie doesn’t get elected, as Ian says more articulately: we’re f’ed. People talk that we got ten years before things start really hitting the fan climate-wise. I don’t know, nobody does, but I think we’re going to be in a hell of a spot in ten years, I see deep trouble in five with the way the oceans are dying and the climate and food stocks.

    If Bernie doesn’t get elected, we’ll probably eventually get somebody in that’s a true progressive, that’s the way that the generational dynamics are headed. But it will either be a relatively inexperienced congressperson who will have the huge task of properly aligning our government with these concerns, building new agencies, etc. And have to fight and navigate through the entrenched congressional forces that will still be around and dutifully representing corporate America, the fossil fuel industry, the medical-insurance industrial complex, the political-media-propaganda industrial complex, and, of course, Wall Street, the devil’s blood that pumping through all of it.

    Again, Bernie is our best chance for a stable turn in the proper direction, if nothing else to get oriented in that direction and begin coalescing forces against the psychotically greedy people and entities that are sucking us into a vortex of hell.

    If he doesn’t win, it will be years wasted, maybe too many. It’s Bernie or bust basically.


  22. Dan Lynch

    I may vote for Sanders if he is on my ballot (most likely he will not be on the ballot in my state), so no disagreement with Ian there. But … I have two bones to pick with Ian 1) the focus on the “horse race,” while ignoring the states, and 2) the focus on domestic policy, while ignoring foreign policy.

    In the unlikely event that Sanders wins the White House, his domestic proposals are dead on arrival. Period. Oh, maybe he’ll be able to tinker around the edges, but not one of his proposals will be passed as-is.

    Domestic policy is largely controlled by Congress, so if you want to implement domestic policy, you need to win the states. There is currently no plan to do that. None. Because everyone is, like Ian, fixated on the horse race.

    What the executive branch does control is foreign policy, and Bernie’s track record on foreign policy is seriously flawed. If you want to vote for Sanders because he is a lesser evil, fine, but don’t try to tell me his is the second coming of Christ, and that a Sanders victory will make a difference. He’s not, and it won’t.

  23. Z


    It ain’t going to turn on a dime, I think most everybody understands that, but there’s a hell of a lot that can be done through executive orders, which we only find out about when it’s used against us because the democrats won’t ever use it to benefit the working class. Bernie will.

    And it’s well past time to draw the battle lines between the working class and our rulers. Put the politicians on the spot and have them take the stance that they would rather spare Wall Street a transaction tax than forgive student loans that effect the finances of a large part of what is supposed to be their constituency. Have them defend it during an election year, or better yet, in the face of protests that a sell-out like Obama squelched, but Bernie says he’ll support.


  24. Willy

    I like it Z. POTUS is the best bully pulpit from which to verbalize what most people are experiencing. Sanders will most certainly be attacked in every possible way by establishment power. I’m sure hoping that he’d handle that in a way that would inspire the entire anti-establishment workers to stand behind him.

  25. Dan D

    Stirling, could you elaborate?

    “He rewards the present by taxing the future.”

    I gather you view his climate plan as inadequate?

  26. nihil obstet

    If the DNC prevents Sanders from being the candidate, it’s time to look at qualifying him as a third party candidate in the states.

  27. KT Chong

    Having Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic presidential nomination AND the presidency is not just about implementing his policies.

    MORE IMPORTANTLY: it is about inserting a new leadership, a new vision, for the Democratic Party. It is about purging the centrists, Clintonites, consultants, corporatists, neoliberals, Republican-lites, warmongers from the ranks of the Democratic establishment — eliminate them, expel them, purge them, and replace them with Berniecrats, Justice Democrats, and New Deal Democrats.

    It is about reinventing, remaking and reorienting the Democratic Party, just as Trump has permanently changed the Republican Party.

    So, even if President Bernie fails to accomplish his policy goals, he — as the leader of the Democratic Party — will change the party, its platforms, ranks and structures. That is what we should be aiming for: a new Democratic Party that is actually for the People.

  28. KT Chong

    Do you want the Democratic Party to move away from what it is now, a centrist corporatist neoliberal warmongering party, and to become a Democratic Socialist Party? Then, having Bernie as the President — AND leader of the Democratic Party — will usher in a new Democratic Party. He may not be able to accomplish his policy goals due to obstructionism from the Congress, but at least we will get rid of the Clinton influences and the neoliberal consultant class from the Democratic Party when Bernie becomes the winning leader of the Party. That is what the establishment Democrats REALLY fear, just why the establishment Republicans feared Trump. The incoming insurgent leader will shift the entire paradigm of the party.


    If it is between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton again… I will vote for Trump over Hillary. I really DO think President Hillary would be a worse outcome than President Trump.

    This is the vote Sanders should not court. This is unworthy and unwanted support. Any person who voted for Trump or will vote for Trump, I want removed from the face of this earth because they don’t deserve to live. If it’s unethical to not vote for Sanders, it is also unethical to vote for Trump when you have a choice not to vote at all.

  30. Joan


    I think that’s a bit extreme. One of my friends is married to a military officer who was told that he would deploy immediately should Hillary be elected, and should Trump be elected, they’d wait to see what happens. So far, he’s been Stateside for Trump’s entire presidential term. If that were your spouse, how would you vote?

    It’s important to see the humanity behind both sides of the political divide, even if you strongly disagree with one or both sides. I for one think the division between the middle class and the working class is a false divide. I think the middle and lower classes should be united against the elites, because we want the same thing: to live with dignity.

  31. Stirling S Newberry


    Democracy animated evangelicals Epitaphs
    constitutional authoritarianism reverie
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    But you don’t remember flawed Gloria demolition
    electrification communities enriched capitalistic dictatorship.

  32. Z

    KT Chong,

    Great point about the importance of driving the Clinton Third Way scum out of the democratic party and orientating it to represent the working class.


  33. Z

    If you despise our ruling class and want to piss them off, vote for who their political-corporate media-propaganda industrial complex hates the most: Sanders!


  34. different clue

    @Ten Bears,

    When you say: “I’m still gonna’ have a bard time voting someone older than me.” . . .

    Would you have an easier time voting for a Buttigieg/Harris ticket? Because they are both younger than you.

  35. Robotpliers

    Agreed that he’s the best candidate by far.

    However, his biggest blindspot if he gets into office is a lack of a global vision. I’ve always thought that the order of attack should be (1) Take over the Democratic party, (2) Defeat the Republicans, (3) Start de-oligarching/re-democratizing America w/ a New New Deal type effort, and (4) global focus on climate, development, and democracy.

    But (4) can’t wait for (3) to finish or even get very far along, it should start pretty quickly, and Sanders doesn’t seem to have much going on in (4). Yes, Green New Deal and yes, talking about American democracy, but it doesn’t go much past our own shores. Maybe its possible that he’ll build a coalition that can then move on to (4), but that’s a tricky proposition.

    The more I write about this, the more I’m depressing myself. This is going to get ugly, isn’t it?

  36. Z

    Dan Lynch,

    I have to object to you tossing Bernie into the “lesser evil” “bargain” bin. He’s not perfect, but he doesn’t deserve to be thrown into that. He’s a man who has largely stood behind the working class his entire life and against Wall Street and corporate America and he hasn’t moved on that when he could have made himself a lucrative career dancing the lines between the two, like so many do, grandstanding with speeches and then effectively working on doing nothing to change it. His voting history attests to his consistency of standing behind principles that benefit the majority of the people in this country.

    Again, he ain’t perfect, but he’s more than less of what we’ve been fed.


  37. Hugh

    I agree with both Z and KT Chong. We are in a fight. The System is stacked against us. It will give us nothing. It will concede nothing. Sanders is part of this fight. If he gets elected, it doesn’t mean we can declare victory and go home. It just means the fight will enter a new phase in the Congress, in the Democratic party, and in the country.

    The standard operating procedure of the Democrats nowadays is not to even bother to fight unless they have all the votes they need and so do not need to fight. Me, I see their blood on the floor, I will support the Democrats or whoever, win, lose, or draw. I see no blood, then they aren’t serious and can go to hell.

  38. Stirling S Newberry


    incarceration by mass-style prevarication
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    Out and out
    Abolition binary processes traction


    If that were your spouse, how would you vote?

    I wouldn’t be married to someone in the military. Neither would my wife.

    It’s nice to see the commentariat believes it’s ethical to vote for Sanders and/or for Trump. That’s a contradiction, but there you have it. That’s the world we live in. These are the people that share our air.

  40. BlizzardOfOzzz

    450, that seems like a good distillation of communism: \”I take ethics seriously, everyone who disagrees with me should be killed.\”

  41. different clue

    @nihil obstet,

    For those who want a “Sanders Plan B” ready to go, just in case . . . . it might be time for them to free-lance on-their-own begin planning for a very fast and hard pre-organized push ready-to-go to get Sanders separately qualified on all those ballots . . . right now.

    To actually start DOING it right now would dilute focus and awareness. But having the organizational stub and in place ready for real fast recruitment and build-out might be wise.
    If the Obums and Clintoads of the DNC cheat the process to cheat Sander-wanters out of their Sanders . . . then a Separate Qualification process ready-to-go and ready-to-spin-up would be the only way to get it done fast for all 50 states.

    Now, if the Clintobama voters really DO outnumber the Sandervoters and really EARN themselves a not-Sanders nominee . . . then we will have to respond to that sad reality, one way or another.

  42. Ten Bears

    DC – when you put it that way, though my only endorsement so far has been some combination of Harris/Inslee. We do need to get away from the white-bred and mayonnaise, though if the younger candidates are to be co-opted by the dinosaurs – Biden, Sanders, Warren – in the hunt for the fastest growing voting demographic in the history of voting, well… that might not be a bad thing.

    My bet is the dims are going to run Republican Lite Joe Biden because ‘it’s his turn’ with Republican Lite gay married Mayo Pete and call it the ‘diversity ticket’.

  43. Carey

    Stirling S. Newberry:

    Why all the Zen-koan obscuration? Say what you mean, mean what you say, and then maybe someone will listen.

    Sanders 2020, because he (and the Organizing) are all we’ve got.

  44. different clue

    @Ten Bears,

    I think I may understand what you are getting at. I am not sure, however, that Sanders in particular falls prey to the old white bread and mayonnaise problem. It is true that he is old.
    But he is not white bread and mayonnaise. He is pastrami on rye with hot mustard, at the very least.

    And his views and goals are not obsolete, they are classic. At least they seem classic to me.

  45. different clue


    While you’re at it, why don’t you ask Stirling Newberry why he wrote that Cambodia brought its Nixon-era bombing on itself.


    450, that seems like a good distillation of communism…

    No, a good distillation of communism is Vlad Putin. You know, the real POTUS. The communist strategy to get Trump elected is brilliant. Their goal was to let Americans, capitalist pigs that they are, choke, quite literally, on the bestest capitalistic pig capitalism has to offer.


    Only a Russian, nay a communist, would hold the position of voting for Sanders and/or Trump. Any Sanders supporter who claims they would vote for Trump if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination is for all intents and purposes a Russian and lends credence to Hillary’s accusation that the Russians support Bernie as well as Trump.

  48. Carey

    different clue


    While you’re at it, why don’t you ask Stirling Newberry why he wrote that Cambodia brought its Nixon-era bombing on itself.

    The guest-poster known as ‘Mandos’ is much, much worse- see his recent, confident™, neoliberal pontifications on Rogan / Sanders..

  49. bruce wilder

    Mandos: just like some people voted for Trump because they wanted everyone else to experience the world burning the way they felt it had been burning for themselves, there’s a case to be made that if you think that Sanders’ supporters will sideline the things you care about most, then maybe you just need to let the world burn a little longer. In the last thread, it appears that at least some Sanders supporters intend just that: not to accede to the social justice demands of “identity” politicians.

    the narcissism that arises as polarization interacts with identitarian frames creates a variation of the classic problem of people not wanting to join any club that would have them as members.

    it is true that some “social justice demands” when framed in identitarian terms are incompatible with universal(ist) claims. if a thousand people are killed in undisciplined police violence, and the only way to organize politically is to focus on the 250 cases where race can argued as a critical factor, is that likely to be an effective politics in terms of policy outcomes?

    BLM seems to me to have been effective as a campaign for public attention. It may well be that it would not be possible to organize or get a sympathetic response from elites without the race angle. BLM did get a hearing for grave injustice and that was important.

    think about the long campaign against Mayor Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policy in NYC. the legal as well as political strategy — fairly successful in the end — to oppose and end this police state practice depended on proving racial disparity in who was arbitrarily stopped and frisked. I would hope you understand the moral and constitutional problem with stop-and-frisk is the arbitrary use of power against the individual and the invasion of privacy. Having to argue racial disparity means taking a risk of NOT vindicating the universal rights of the individual, of implicitly conceding that abusing citizens is OK in the absence of suspected racism.

    i think there is some suspicion that the Me,Too movement has a class component as relatively wealthy women have won claims against previously more powerful men. Beyond that, some claims for justice in individual cases made with popular support have sometimes seemed to lack a respect for context and proportionality.

    calls have been made for reparations for slavery or the taking of American Indian lives and land. there is certainly an argument for social justice to back advocacy of such a policy. how calls for reparations might interact with other programs of ameliorative wealth or income redistribution raise one set of questions, while the political problems of resentment in holding together a coalition pose another set.

    my point in bringing up examples is that identitarian claims are problematic vis a vis universalist programs for both politics and policy.

    the profound weakness of the political movement(s) for universalist claims has meant that issues that may be universal in their complete dimensions have been ignored and the only effective protest has been organized — has had to be organized — along identitarian lines.

    I am not sure it is either fair or accurate to characterize the shift from identitarian claims toward more universal framing to be necessarily a case of putting aside the claims of justice of a smaller group in favor of the different claims of a larger group. More universal claims can mean a more comprehensive policy frame as well as a larger coalition.

    It could mean rethinking whether, say, poverty and drug addiction are really distinctively racial problems. There is also the very real risk that racial or feminist claims may so far lose potency, that poverty and drug addiction cease to be seen as problems the government respond to and effectively amerliorate.

  50. Eric Anderson

    Dan Lynch sounds like the poster boy of learned helplessness.
    It’s not Bernie, Dan. It’s us. We do it. Not him. He understands, as should you, that WE run the country. Power derives from the people. Politicians do everything in their power to help us forget that. But, every once in a while, we cast aside out differences to come together and get shit done.
    Why do you think the republicans haven’t thrown Trump out on his ear in favor of someone they can “handle” like Pence? You think they like his crass act? It’s people, Dan. 40% of the electorate blows up and says “fvck you” we will primary your ass in the next election if you mess with him. So they fall in line.


    So tired of the same old worn “but but but it’s too hard” tropes. Maybe your time for action has come and gone old man. Lead, follow, or get the fvck out of our way.

  51. Herman


    Is there any evidence that Sanders himself is against the identitarian left or wants to sideline them? The only “evidence” I see is guilt by association as with the Joe Rogan situation and some references to some of his supporters, the infamous Bernie Bros. But Sanders has no control over who supports him and from a purely practical standpoint any candidate running for president must gain some votes from people who may disagree with the identitarian left.

    Poor and working class people have been told for decades that they must accept compromises in order to win elections. The result has been decades of declining living standards and now rising death rates for this group of people. As Ian points out, this election is literally a life or death situation for million of Americans. I can see why many people are no longer in the mood to take a back seat to a identitarian left that is often a vehicle for neoliberalism.

    People on the identitarian left can vote for whoever they want but at the same time they have to accept that people can criticize them too. The identitarian left doesn’t get a free pass any more than Bernie does. People are not going to take it anymore. The identitarian left has obtained power in the political sphere all out of proportion to its numbers in the population so I have to say that a lot of the opposition to Sanders from that group looks like crying with a loaf of bread under one’s arm and pure class politics, the politics of the professional/managerial elite that seeks to lord it over everyone else.

    As I said, people can vote for whoever they want. If Bernie loses fair and square, that is just life. But Sanders and his supporters have the right to strike back when they are accused of being friendly to the political right or being reactionaries themselves. The current moment is a case of the contradictions of Democratic Party politics coming out into the open, just like what happened with the Republicans in 2016. I say let it out. It is like a family that has had problems brewing for years but tried to minimize them for the sake of unity and keeping up appearances. This cannot work anymore so it is time for people to lay their cards on the table.

  52. Eric Anderson

    We’re heard Ian’s take, for example in his Venezuela post, on the lengths we must truly go to for revolution in this country. Here is Bob Marley’s take:

    “Never make a politician grant you a favour;
    They will always want to control you forever, eh!
    So if a fire make it burn (make it burn, make it burn)
    And if a blood make ya run (make ya run, run, run),
    Rasta de ‘pon top, can’t you see?
    So you can’t predict the flop. Eh-eh!

    We got lightning, thunder, brimstone and fire – fire (fire, fire);
    Lightning, thunder, brr-brimstone and fire – fiyah – fire – fiyah!
    Kill, cramp and paralyze all the weak at conception;
    Wipe them out of creation, yeah-eah!”

    We’re locked in a struggle between good and evil. Pick a side, or both will hate you.

  53. Eric Anderson

    Good stuff Herman.

  54. Carey

    Agree that Herman’s post was a damn good one.

    Opinion: Identitarian Left = astroWoke = likely CIA/ other IA funded.
    Paid to obscure / obfuscate / divide; which is also what i sense in the one known here as ‘Mandos’.


  55. different clue

    Hmmm . . . . in case there are any Clinton supporters and/or nostalgiasts reading this thread . . .
    I voted for Trump aGAINST Clinton in the last election because after due consideration and careful analysis; I came to realize that Trump was the lesser evil. He posed less of a danger of thermonuclear exchange with Russia than Clinton did.

    And here we are, three years later, and we are still not a cloud of ionized gas-plasma. So it looks like el Trumpo has avoided, so far, that which I most wanted to see avoided.

  56. Eric Anderson

    That’s not exactly an air tight syllogism ya got there different clue.
    Drive trucks through the gaps in your arguments much?

  57. Tom


    Well said. When the Woke Left grows the f#$$ up and realizes they bred themselves out of the gene pool and pissed off the Heartland who they need on their side to live a decent life, I will welcome them to adulthood. Till then I will despise them as the easily manipulable useless idiots they are. If Bernie locks in the nomination, good. But to truly bring change he has to break the Republican Party and flip Texas and the Red Wall. He can only do that by going pro-gun, pro-life, anti-illegal immigration, and then whacking the Republicans to death over their hypocrisy.

    If he doesn’t he can still win, but the structural problems will remain as the Republicans can keep the Heartland locked in place and Texas and simply filibuster his plans. He can still forgive Student Loans, purge the Federal Reserve, bring troops home, and go after corporations on numerous violations of the law, but deeper reforms won’t be possible. And we need deeper reforms and a new Constitution that streamlines Congress to a Unicameral Senate of 600 Senators elected by proportional vote of parties so that the 2-party system is broken and Gerrymandering ends. Sanders has to make the choice and soon as to whether he wants to pander to an irrelevant group of voters who have bred themselves out of the gene pool or bring in the Heartland Voters who are necessary to secure real structural reforms.

  58. MojaveWolf

    fwiw, I am Bernie, Tulsi, possibly Steyer, or bust.

    I will vote enthusiastically for Bernie or Tulsi, as they are the only two who have proven themselves trustworthy; for Steyer with some trepidation but I think he’ll be okay.

    I will probably vote for Bernie in my primary, even though I slightly prefer Tulsi — we will see if she dramatically outperforms her poll results. Since I will be happy with either and will be shocked and appalled if he doesn’t select her for either VP, SoS or SoD, I have no issues w/making a strategic vote for the one of my two people who seems likely to win.

    And absolutely yes to what DC just said (tho I was in a solid blue state and had the luxury of writing in Bernie/Tulsi and not triggering my vomit reflex); will absolutely do what I or DC did, one or the other (because there is a STRONG vomit reflex, the obviousness to me of the lesser evil notwithstanding), should the DNC/media establishment manage to get in any of their preferred war profiteering yay oligarchy candidates.

  59. someofparts

    Besides the blatant old-fashioned rigging like Perez is practicing, how do we deal with a system where we can’t trust the voting results?

    This is what we are up against –

    “a decision at the National Security Agency to focus not on making computer networks more secure through defensive strategies, but to focus on offensive capabilities. The NSA wanted to be able to hack our enemies when they use our own software, and that meant keeping our software shitty. Essentially the shadow regulator of software security became our spies, and they regulated to ensure there would be more vulnerabilities, not fewer.”

  60. MojaveWolf

    since Mandos brought up the Rogan thing — hah hah! I opened google earlier today on my phone and immediately saw this horrible article that I thought “this could be written by Mandos!” and then saw that it was by David Frum.

    I almost feel like apologizing to Mandos, because he can’t be THAT bad, but that was my exact thought.

    Also in google was another horrible article on the same subject, from Vox. Can’t remember who wrote it.

    Bernie should be very glad of such enemies — whenever I (or any of the vast majority of all races–non-white races seem to poll the strongest majorities in this regard) who dislike the wokie crowd, see attacks like these, he gains in the polls. No matter what Bernie might have done to piss you off today, his enemies are oh so easy to hate. 🙂

    (yes, I know, the Mandos article may have been satire, since it started w/”I’ve never watched Rogan but here’s what I think of him”; but it otherwise sounded like he usually does)

    (sorry dude, you may be a decent person IRL, but that is my honest take on reading this; at least you know where I’m coming from)

  61. dbk

    Agree with Ian.

    For those who claim “But, but he won’t get any of his platform through”:
    1) Rescinding all of the current President’s EOs on Days 1-5 would be a start, and he doesn’t need Congress to do that. The harm to the natural environment and human rights foretold by EOs 2017-2020 is pretty daunting in itself.
    2) It’s up to us, really, to elect a Congress that will shift the Overton Window in the opposite direction to that it’s been moving in the last 40 years. Would 100 new Reps whose politics align with Sanders’ and AOC’s help? Yes. Choose a district – doesn’t have to be your own.

    For those who claim they’ll vote for the current WH inhabitant over any Dem nominee but Sanders:
    1) There is no place for Schadenfreude-induced voting in 2020 – or really, any election.
    2) Vote if you are okay with the nominee; otherwise, write in another name if you live in a safe district.

    Also agree that the Dem Party needs to change – very difficult, but not impossible. If it could be changed to what it has become, then logic suggests it can be changed again. Parties are organic.

    Re: Sanders’ perceived foreign policy weaknesses:
    Traditionally a President’s weaknesses in one or another area – nobody can be an expert on everything, after all – are compensated by astute appointments to Cabinet- and Agency-level positions. Why would Sanders not do likewise?

    Re: Sanders’ age:
    No one can predict with absolute certainty he’ll survive his Presidency. But then, no one can predict with absolute certainty whether anyone will survive til tomorrow. I’m not moved by this argument.


    Hmmm . . . . in case there are any Clinton supporters and/or nostalgiasts reading this thread . . .

    There aren’t, and you know it. But there are quite a few overt and in-the-closet Trump supporters.

  63. MW: I was going for “self-deprecatingly tongue-in-cheek but ultimately trying to highlight a real issue”. It’s a difficult genre tightrope to walk, though.


    As I said, people can vote for whoever they want. If Bernie loses fair and square, that is just life. But Sanders and his supporters have the right to strike back when they are accused of being friendly to the political right or being reactionaries themselves.

    Oh my, scary. The right to strike back. Go on, then, strike back at me. In person would be even better. You want to make that happen you fascist enabler? I want you to enable fascism to my face versus via a proxy server.

    Antifa and fa have become one per the Trump/Sanders ticket.


    No matter what Bernie might have done to piss you off today, his enemies are oh so easy to hate.

    Enemies? Bernie has no enemies. He capitulates to anyone and everyone who would dare oppose him. Bernie speaks strongly and carries a little stick. You would think he would consider fascists and fascism an enemy, but no, he welcomes them with open arms if they can help keep his political career alive and well.

  66. Stirling S Newberry

    “Stirling S. Newberry:

    Why all the Zen-koan obscuration? Say what you mean, mean what you say, and then maybe someone will listen.

    Sanders 2020, because he (and the Organizing) are all we’ve got.”

    I do, it that you don’t understand what I’ve said. This is not my problem. It is like if I wrote the chi-squared test explains this, and you answer: what’s the chi-square test? Or if I talk about the coronavirus, and you ask “What does Kobe have to do with that?” If you do want to work hard, that is not anyone’s problem but yours.


    Trump is Bernie’s biggest supporter. Why do you think that is? Why do you think his cadre of internet trolls are hitting every commentary section feigning support for Bernie as part of their bait & switch to Trump? Wake the hell up Bernie and denounce this crap, or else continue to be the rube you’ve always been. The so-called “left” should never align with the “right.” Ever. There is no common ground to be found with those who want to make abortion constitutionally illegal and impeachment constitutionally illegal.


    For the definition of white trash, see a photo of the audience at this latest rally or any Trump rally really. The GOP is no longer the GOP — the party of WASPs. It’s the white trash party. Instead of wine and steaks, Trump should lend his brand name to opioids. His supporters are junkies addicted to their own demise and he’s the perfect leader to deliver them to that promised land flowing with sewage and industrial toxins.

  69. Ché Pasa

    Is it possible to support Bernie-ite policies without necessarily going all in for him? My hesitation is simple: he’s damned old (and he knows it), and vigorous as he may be right now, that can change in an instant (and he knows it). If he died or became incapacitated in office, what then? Who has gamed it out?

    Someone has, sure, and it isn’t necessarily to “our” benefit. This is true for all presidents, not just ones of age who have heart conditions.

    And that brings up the essential problem: putting too much faith in elections to the Presidency and in individual presidents, and not doing nearly enough to generate and sustain a comprehensive set of public policies on behalf of the People at every level of society. The Left (both pretend and real) fails routinely at that critical task.

    We wait for them to do it for us. And they won’t. Not even Bernie will. He’s done plenty for decades and decades; he’s a known quantity. (I would point out that Trump was likewise, but all of the “knowns” about him were ignored.) In the Presidency, he would face enormous obstacles, resistance to, and sabotage of his programs and policies, even with — perhaps especially with — a Democratic majority House and Senate.

    There are lessons from history to be learned, even from current events, and putting Bernie on the Throne does not change the system or the political dynamic more than a little bit. And even then, it may be in the wrong direction. Think about the arc of history from the assassination of President Kennedy to where we are now. It’s not all good or bad, but as was the case in 1963, we’re still facing existential crises (then nuclear annihilation; now nuclear annihilation and climate catastrophe) and we’re still engaged in seemingly endless wars of aggression and empire. Among so many other consistencies.

    I don’t subscribe to the Big Man Theory of history, and I have very little faith in presidents to do the right thing in all things — or even a few. They are in essence captives to a system of rule — not the supposed “Deep State” but a system of rule that long predates them and is intended to last long after they’re gone. That system is relatively rigid; bending it this way or that is at best temporary. It was not and is not designed to serve the masses. And it won’t be by Bernie or any other president.

    When the primaries finally get around to my state, I’ll probably vote for him, and barring the unforeseen, I’ll probably do so in the general — even if he’s not the nominee (I certainly wouldn’t vote for Trump). But there’s always a caveat: lowered expectations are better. Local action should have priority. Be the change you want to see. Namaste.


    What is Bernie’s record on guns?

    The political arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, a group co-founded by Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, plans to spend $60 million this year to defeat President Trump and other politicians who have resisted new gun regulations, the group announced Monday.

    The decision to double spending over 2018 levels, as the National Rifle Association is struggling with a governance crisis, is meant to send a statement about the growing power of the gun regulation movement.

    “The gun safety movement has never been stronger. We have millions of supporters, and we are going to seize the moment,” said Shannon Watts, another co-founder of Everytown who runs its subsidiary grass-roots arm Moms Demand Action. “We are going to compete at every level.”

    Everytown leaders say the money will be targeted broadly to include organizing, paid advertising and voter registration in a variety of contests, from state legislative races to competitive U.S. House and Senate contests and the presidential campaign.

  71. Hugh

    The weakness of identitarian politics is that it often has a “I want mine, Jack” quality to it that provokes more resentment than sympathy. The classic example of this is private sector unions. They were able for a long time to gain benefits for their members. There was often a spillover effect which helped non-union workers, but their failure to reach out and make the needs of other workers their fight alienated them from large segments of the population. This left them open to political attack and led to their decimation.

    I do not accept Mandos’ “let them burn” view. It made me think of Hippocrates’ ἐπὶ δηλήσει δὲ καὶ ἀδικίῃ εἴρξειν (in the presence of hurt, refrain from injury), that gets translated often as “First, do no harm.”

    The chorus in Aeschylus’ Agamemnon says somewhat more eloquently than Mandos,

    “He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain, which cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”

    A friend of mine once observed this was hooey. Wisdom was more likely to cause suffering in the wise than the other way around, that suffering would create wisdom. Suffering in itself generally doesn’t lead anywhere but to more suffering. I have yet to see a Trumper run over and ground down by the powers that be gain even a glimmer of a clue, let alone wisdom.


    You can’t claim you didn’t know this time around, Bernie. The time to denounce this is now. You need to call out these Russian bait & switchers. They’re easy to spot. If they feign support for you and yet promote Trump in any way, and that includes precluding criticism of Trump, then they are obvious Russian stooges, be they witting or not.

  73. dbk

    Agree with Ian.

    To those who bemoan the fact that Sanders would be effectively powerless to get his platform through Congress:
    1) Even if all he did was rescind EOs signed 2017-present that would be something, and it doesn’t require Congress;
    2) It’s on voters-activists to ensure that, if nominated/elected he has a Congress to work with: 100 more Reps like AOC – choose a different district to fight for if you’re represented by a Dem you like, or if it’s too red right now. Re: the Senate, there are Dems worth supporting in both WVa and Kentucky running against Capito and the Senator Majority Leader.

    To those claiming Sanders lacks foreign policy expertise:
    Past Presidents have addressed their lack of expertise in particular areas – nobody knows everything, after all – by nominating highly competent individuals to Cabinet- and Agency-level positions. Why wouldn’t Sanders follow suit, e.g. with DoD and Sos?

    To those claiming his age/heart attack make it unlikely he’ll live through a term:
    Nobody can say with certainly how long anybody will live – in fact, nobody can say with certainty whether they’ll be alive tomorrow. Sanders is alert, active, engaged, pugnacious, articulate, informed. This argument is, frankly, ageism masquerading as “concern.”

    To those claiming they’ll vote for the incumbent rather than a Dem candidate other than Sanders:
    There is no role for Schadenfreude-induced voting in 2020 – or anytime, really.
    Vote for your favorite candidate as a write-in and then vote a Dem ticket down-ballot.
    Campaign for your local progressive candidates – no matter how humble the office they’re running for seems – it’s not.

    Also agree that the Dem Party must change. Well, it’s morphed into what it has become today over the past 40 years, it will morph again, because political parties are organic and evolve. Help it evolve as your own experience/knowledge tells you it must.

  74. Ten Bears

    I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

  75. someofparts

    “The GOP is no longer the GOP — the party of WASPs.”

    Yep. Those people are now Democrats. WASPs in rainbow disguise these days, but refugee GOPers deep in their tiny hearts nonetheless.


    It’s like Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, someofparts. I suppose, considering that analogy, a Bloomberg/Trump contest is only fitting since they’re both New York icons.

    It looks like Trump is going to have to go all anti-semitic to win the 2020 election considering he will most likely face a Jew in the form of Bernie and/or Bloomberg. No doubt Israel will help Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed King of the Jews, in this endeavor. Never Again, unless we do it, will be the clarion call of ALL Israeli Jews in their zealous support of Heir Trump on his way to a second term and coming.

  77. Z

    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.


  78. Sid Finster

    Team D will do everything in its power to make sure Sanders is not nominated, and if he is nominated, that he follows George McGovern into oblivion.

    If Sanders is elected, Team D will do everything in its power to make sure that Sanders is the second coming of Jimmy Carter.

  79. different clue


    Thank you for your interest in my comment. I am always happy to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

  80. different clue

    @Sid Finster,

    One suspects that Sanders knows and understands all that. One hopes that Sanders would be prepared to take active or even active-and-preEMPtive countermeasures against all that.

    McGovern part-way invited his own destruction by seeking to oppose the Nixon-Meany Democrats he had just defeated to win the Nomination. His most egregious act of appeasement was to pick Eagleton for his VP.

    If Sanders were to be nominated, can you imagine Sanders picking Pelosi or Hoyer or Clinton for his VP running mate? I can’t. To pick such a running mate would be for Sanders to self-McGovernise his own campaign. Would he really do such a thing?

  81. different clue

    ( correction of erratum . . . )

    when I wrote ” seeking to oPPOSE the Nixon-Meany Democrats”, I of course meant to write ” seeking to aPPEASE the Nixon-Meany Democrats”.

  82. jace

    Sanders works, but he isn\’t a totem. Want to stop \”omnicide\”? Scare the overlords and paymasters. Then drive them into the sea, as a matter of good faith.

  83. someofparts

    “Then drive them into the sea, as a matter of good faith.”

    Or confine them to islands going underwater because of their greed, as a matter of good faith and poetic justice.

  84. Sid Finster

    @Different Clue: I *hope* Sanders gets all that. It sure is obvious from here.

    And there are a lot of differences between 2020 and 1972. Some favor the institutional political establishment, some don’t.

    But that doesn’t mean that Team D will just roll over and say “well, I guess you won fair and square, now we gotta support your campaign like we promised, then.”

  85. different clue

    Well, I hope he gets all that too. I almost have to just believe that he does.

    And of course Team D won’t just roll over and say ” well, I guess you won fair and square etc. . . ”
    And I think Sanders understands that too. And in the event that he is actually gets the nomination, I think the whole Sanders movement will pay very close attention to which Big Ds support Sanders in the election, and which ones don’t. And they will do their very best to spend the next 30-50 years teaching the Big Ds who don’t support Sanders learn that revenge is a dish best served over . . . and over . . . and over again.

    Anyway, as one octopus said to the other, ” 8-warned is 8-armed.”

  86. Matthew

    I would go so far as to say that as far as I can tell, only Bernie is demonstrably interested in helping anyone who isn\’t being helped already.

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