Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bernie Sanders Needs To Run - To At Least Give Voice to Populist Issues

"The Ron Paul of the left": Why Bernie Sanders is the cranky socialist 2016 needs
Bernie seen on Rachel Maddow last night.

Make no mistake that Sen. Bernie Sanders - committed Democratic Socialist like yours truly - has no more chance of winning a presidential contest than well......extraterrestrials landing and kicking the mutts in D.C. out and setting up a new ET government.  Sen. Sanders is tarred from the get go with the hated word "socialist" which too many bumpkins in this country don't even understand and hence, fear like an Ebola epidemic. It's a tragedy when brains get fried by a hyper-capitalist media that prefers lies and re-cycled bunkum  to substance.

Given this, it might boggle a few minds that anyone would even ask Sanders to run, but I am, if for no other reason to keep Hillary and her entourage having to defend her left flank.  Most of us, while we would vote for Hillary as the "lesser of two evils"  (the  thought of President Ted Cruz- or another Bush - ought to send anyone to the brink of despair) are not enthused by the Clinton history which was way too inundated with DLC,  Repub Lite thinking and hideous "triangulation".  And let's not forget NAFTA being enacted, welfare “reformed,” and Glass-Steagall repealed, leading directly to a prime cause for the 2008 financial crisis when banks got crazy playing with our money as "investments" when we never intended that. We instead wanted a safe place to park what we had.

Bill Clinton did do one major thing right, and that was acting to release millions of files after the passage of the JFK Records Act. The new files released in its wake, if one had the patience to dig through them, made lots of Warren Commission defenders look outright stupid - if not outright liars - including that tool Gerald Posner. His book, 'Case Closed' (1993) emerged as the laughing stock of the Clinton years given how much was proven false by the tidal wave of additional files. (Including of Gerald Ford altering the wording to the original autopsy report to conform to the magic bullet bollocks - changing the bullet wound to the base of the neck as opposed to the upper back, level with the third thoracic vertebra.)

But back to Hillary: We on the populist left don't buy her "middle class"  champion shtick because what populism she does express appears half--hearted at best, and let's face it, anyone who can amass a $1b war chest can't be a genuine populist, especially if Wall Street money is infused into the mix.

So the Dem left has tried to shame Elizabeth Warren into running, but Sen. Warren has made it clear she has no interest in doing so.  (The last time was last Friday with an interview on Bill Maher's Real Time).  So given Warren isn't in it, we need someone like Bernie Sanders.

Make no mistake, Bernie Sanders is chomping at the bit to have a national stage to sell his form of democratic socialism, and wrestle the party, and the country, to the left. Sanders returned to “The Rachel Maddow Show” Wednesday night to reiterate what he’s been saying for some time: He’ll run for president if you want him to. One gets the feeling that a meaningful fraction of the effort put into drafting Elizabeth Warren would be enough to rouse Sanders to become a full-time thorn in the side of Clinton.
A recent piece argued:

"Sanders is probably not the best spokesperson for democratic socialism: Someone young (Sanders is 73), someone not so Yankee, someone whose clothes aren’t “rumpled”–there’s probably someone, somewhere who’d be a better pitch man for a political ideology that just seven years ago was used as an effective epithet against the newly elected Obama. "

But I disagree! Sanders' age, wisdom and experience make him the perfect defender of socialism - much better than any youngster would be. Even had to admit:

"what Sanders lacks in polish, and acquaintance with a comb for that matter, he more than makes up for in conviction. He’s experienced in articulating populism, and he’s more than happy to be a true antagonist to Hillary on a debate stage. He’s like the Ron Paul of the left, unafraid–even eager–to ruffle feathers in the furtherance of his political beliefs."

Also, as salon noted, unlike Warren — who is a reformer, not a revolutionary – "Sanders would deliver a full-throated call for an end to the “ruling class” on the campaign trail, which Clinton would, in turn, be forced to defend. While Warren might have forced Clinton to make uncomfortable declarations on Wall Street reform, she'd not have made Hillary question the entire system of which she’s a vital part and advocate." After all, her fingerprints are all over the much-maligned Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal–what Sanders calls “NAFTA on steroids”–which as Secretary of State she helped shepherd to agreement among governments and corporations and said “sets the gold standard in trade agreements.”

Don't buy it for a second. And this is why we have our reservations because no matter how much Hillary tries to be the "middle class champion" her Neoliberal DNA is too much a part of her. We need Bernie to keep her honest, at least for a time!
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