An Open Letter to Bitter Hillary Voters on Bernie Bros, Susan Sarandon, and Roe v. Wade

by Keaton Weiss

Dear Nasty Woman,

I know you’re angry right now. So am I. I’m a firm believer in a woman’s right to choose, and so the leaked SCOTUS opinion which shows them poised to overturn Roe v. Wade is a cataclysmic, and yes, terrifying development. (Luckily, Democrats have the Presidency, the House, and the Senate, and they could move quickly to codify abortion rights in federal law if they wanted to. Unfortunately though, they’re not willing to suspend the filibuster in order to do so – what a surprise.)

Whenever an abortion-related court ruling goes the wrong way, Susan Sarandon trends on Twitter within minutes. Hillary supporters rage at both the famous Sanders surrogate turned Jill Stein supporter, and the Bernie Bros who sat out the 2016 general election in protest.

According to you guys, this is all our fault. Had we been conscientious and mature enough to vote for Hillary that November instead of selfishly deciding not to, President Clinton would have filled the three seats on the Court that were instead appointed by the Orange Man, and Roe v. Wade would have been safe for at least the next generation.

For the sake of this argument – and not rehashing old ones about who’s most responsible for Clinton’s unlikely defeat – I’ll fully accept your premise that disaffected Bernie Bros and the likes of Susan Sarandon blew the 2016 election for Hillary and therefore endangered reproductive rights for millions of American women.

As I stated from the outset, I’m staunchly pro-choice. Without getting into the graphic details, I’m probably even to your left on the issue. But I believe with equal conviction that a woman’s right to a safe, legal, and free abortion is no more sacred than anyone’s right to any other medical procedure. In 2016, millions of Democrats supported Bernie Sanders largely because he felt the same way: that ALL HEALTHCARE IS A RIGHT OF ALL PEOPLE, and that it’s long past time the United States implement a single-payer universal healthcare system – the only way to translate that belief into reality.

And you remember how you responded, don’t you? Do the dismissive words “free stuff” ring a bell? How about “pie in the sky,” “fairyduster,” or “my way or the highway?” Remember when Hillary herself proclaimed on a rally stage that Medicare for All would “never, ever come to pass?” Remember the thunderous applause from you guys after she said that? I think you do.

So just to recap: millions of Bernie supporters asserted that, as is the case in every other developed country on Earth, all medical care – chemotherapy, brain surgery, and yes, abortion services as well – should be enshrined as a human right available to all Americans regardless of their ability to pay. And your camp reacted with nothing but derision and contempt. You insisted that another national debate over healthcare wasn’t worth the trouble, even as in the Obamacare era, tens of thousands of Americans continue to die each year because they can’t afford medical treatment.

And then, in the general election, you expected these same people – many of whom depended on the implementation of M4A in order to stay alive – to show up on your behalf to vote for your candidate to protect your right to reproductive care. After you dismissed, for example, type 1 diabetics’ pleas for free insulin as “theoretical better ideas” that would never be realized, you demanded that they go to bat for you that November so that your rights would be secured. Now ask yourself, who were the truly “selfish” ones in this situation?

With all due respect for our founding documents, “rights” are not inalienable, and they don’t come from our creator. Rather, rights are won by humans through human struggle, and are protected through human solidarity. In that most fateful election of 2016, the Hillary faithful expressed no support whatsoever for what we in the Bernie camp, along with every other major country on the planet, viewed as the fundamental human right to healthcare and medicine.

In fact, as you well remember, you told us all to go fuck ourselves. And in November, many of us returned the sentiment. We didn’t owe you any more than that then, and we certainly don’t owe you an apology for it now. So even if we are most to blame for Trump’s election and its consequences, I maintain we had no obligation to stand up for your rights when you clearly had no interest in standing up for ours.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, if you really want to secure reproductive rights in this country, now would be the time to give your beloved Democratic politicians an ultimatum: use your power to abolish the filibuster and codify federal protections for abortion access, or we’re never voting to give you that power again. And if you want to avoid these crises in the future, join the struggle for single-payer healthcare, the only way to codify all forms of healthcare as basic human rights, no more or less sacred than any others.

The ball’s in your court. Choose wisely for a change.

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I’ll Vote for Bernie in 2024 – If He Runs as an Independent

by Keaton Weiss

Bernie Sanders turned some heads this week when one of his advisors disclosed that he is not ruling out a third run for the presidency in 2024. The announcement came with the caveat that he would only consider entering the race “in the event of an open 2024 Democratic presidential primary,” meaning that should Biden decide to seek re-election, Bernie wouldn’t challenge him for the nomination.

First, we should recognize the irony that nothing is likelier to force a Biden re-election bid than the threat of a Bernie candidacy in lieu of it. By saying he’ll only consider running if Biden doesn’t, Bernie is ensuring that the DNC will make Biden run again no matter his viability. Democrats’ top priority these past seven years – far more important than defeating Republicans – has been to stop the Sanders movement from taking over their party. If even a doomed Biden re-election campaign were to come with the guarantee that Bernie would stand down, that’s a deal Democratic leadership couldn’t refuse.

Because of this, it’s overwhelmingly likely that Bernie isn’t running in 2024. Still, as a supporter of his who’s been fooled twice into thinking it worthwhile to try and win a rigged game inside a filthily corrupt Democratic Party, I should say that I am willing to vote for him again, but this time with a caveat of my own: he must run as an independent.

As a Democrat, he’ll lose even if he win

After Bernie dropped out and endorsed Biden for the 2020 nomination, there was a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking about what went wrong in his campaign. Some felt Bernie should have made larger ground game investments across all Super Tuesday states rather than spending heavily on internet ads. Some said he should have been more hostile to the Democratic establishment from day one, pushing back on party orthodoxies surrounding Russiagate and the first Trump impeachment. I myself felt it was a terrible mistake for him to appear on 60 Minutes after his landslide Nevada victory, as it gave the media an opportunity to reset the narrative and shiv him with their predictable Commie-mongering nonsense.

But despite the campaign’s structural flaws and strategic mishaps, Bernie did emerge from the typically all-important first four contests the odds-on favorite to win the nomination. And absent an unprecedented last-minute reshuffling of the deck in which the entire party – at the apparent direction of former President Obama – united against him, it’s a near-certainty that he would have won the nomination.

In other words, for all of our second-guessing about what the Bernie campaign could have and should have done better in 2020, they – or, rather, we, as I should include his million-plus volunteers in this assessment – performed well enough to win if we were given even a remotely fair chance.

But we weren’t, and we never will be. The Democrats hate Bernie’s guts, and they hate ours too. And by Democrats, I refer not only to the party’s higher-ups, but to their rank and file MSNBC-addled nitwit voters as well who find us too mean and divisive for their sensitive, pseudo-sophisticated tastes.

In 2016, Bernie may well have won were it not for the blatant and egregious DNC and media bias against him. In 2020, he overcame those obstacles and essentially had the nomination clinched, and they still found a way to deny him in the 11th hour. How could Bernie, or his supporters, possibly expect a third attempt in 2024 would yield a different outcome?

Bernie or Bust vs. Blue No Matter Who: a debate we can’t afford again

From April through November of 2020, the Left was mired in an endless back-and-forth about how to vote in the general election. Some insisted that we fall in line behind Biden for the sake of defeating Donald Trump, while others committed to either vote third party or abstain altogether in protest of another illegitimate primary in which their candidate was unfairly denied.

I found this debate tiresome and unproductive, thinking the Left should be more focused on building institutional power through worker revolts, racial and economic justice protests, and third party organizing. Bickering over how to vote in an election that, big picture, had already been lost, seemed like a huge waste of time and energy.

Now in 2022, a wave of revolutionary labor action is sweeping the country. We’ve seen courageous strikes at Kellogg’s, John Deere, and Nabisco, and stunning union victories at Amazon and Starbucks. Sustaining this momentum is an absolute imperative for the Left, and should remain its primary focus in the coming years. Another sabotaged Bernie campaign within the Democratic Party – and the subsequent time suck of debating each other about how to vote in November – would be a distraction we can’t afford.

Repeating the same action and expecting a different result isn’t just insane, it comes with an opportunity cost. In this case, time and money spent pointlessly trying to outmaneuver a scheming party establishment and talk sense into a mindless herd of liberal lemmings called the “Democratic electorate” are resources that could be put to much better use supporting independent grassroots movements unwed to and unbound by the DNC.

2024 will be a historic opportunity for an independent

Joe Biden has reportedly told former President Obama that he intends to seek re-election. Donald Trump is obviously laying the groundwork to run himself, and will likely be the Republican nominee. If 2024 is a rematch between Biden and Trump, it will be the first time since 1892 that an ousted President (Grover Cleveland) runs for re-election against the incumbent who defeated him.

This will create a historic opportunity for an independent candidate to make the case that both of his/her opponents are failed Presidents. If Biden and Trump are the respective nominees of the Democratic and Republican parties, the independent in the race can emphasize that we’ve tried each of these options before, and both worked out terribly. As someone who’s both traveled the country and worked in tourism with people from its every nook and cranny, I can assure you that such a common sense appeal would resonate strongly with the average American voter.

A contest between two highly unpopular presidents each asking for a second chance they don’t deserve poses a unique opportunity for a third party candidate with the savvy and the star power to seize it (in the aforementioned 1892 Harrison v. Cleveland election, Populist Party candidate James B. Weaver had an impressive showing, winning 22 electoral votes). Whether or not Bernie is the ideal person to fill this role may be an open question, but he’s likely as formidable as any who would try.

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose

Yes, the day Bernie dropped out of the 2020 primary was frustrating, depressing, and infuriating. But it was also liberating in the sense that we on the Left were no longer tethered to the Democratic Party in any way. We felt no need to remain in good standing with their leaders, their media stooges, or their voters. We were free to create our own political project on our own terms – a challenge that, while daunting, was exciting at the same time.

One year into Biden’s miserable presidency, such an endeavor remains as necessary as ever. The Democrats’ record of inflation, censorship, and global war is certain to doom them in the midterms. Come 2023, the Republicans will control both chambers of Congress, and absent some divine reversal of fortune for the Biden White House, Trump is likely to be re-elected the following year.

And so because Democrats can no longer beat Republicans, we have nothing to lose by taking a flyer on an independent. Regardless of whether or not Bernie could pull off a miracle and win the presidency in 2024, it’s going to be necessary to build a Left alternative to the Democratic Party. Their days as a nationally relevant political presence are numbered, and some organized force is going to have to replace them.

It’s difficult for me to believe that Bernie doesn’t already know all of this. By now it must be obvious to him that the Democrats would sooner self-destruct than nominate him to lead their party. Furthermore, he must understand the disempowering effect of repeated defeats and the detriment it causes to his movement. Surely, socialist that he is, he must recognize that right now the real action on the Left is in workers’ movements, and that another folly attempt to transform a party of capital into a party of labor would only distract from those struggles. And finally, as a self-proclaimed independent, he ought to know as well as anyone that 2024 is shaping up to be the most favorable climate for third parties in modern political history.

And so if he really wants to give his political revolution one last chance at success, he ought to heed the advice of former Green Party nominee Jill Stein, who said in 2016, “You can’t have a revolution inside a counter-revolutionary party.” I for one am done trying that approach. If Bernie decides the same and is willing to run as an independent, he’ll have my full support. Otherwise, I’m out.

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Would Christopher Hitchens Have Been a Trumper, a Bernie Bro, or a Resistance Liberal?

Ben Burgis, our most recent podcast guest, chose the late Christopher Hitchens as the topic for his latest book entitled Christopher Hitchens: What He Got Right, How He Went Wrong, and Why He Still MattersIn it, he examines the ideas and influence of one of the most enigmatic and entertaining public intellectuals of our time.

A lifelong socialist turned Bush-aligned neocon later in life, Hitchens’ politics defied conventional labels, to put it mildly. For example, he’s one of the few people you’d ever encounter who was both vehemently pro-Iraq War and ruthlessly critical of the state of Israel. He never fully disavowed his commitment to Leftist politics, though by the end of his life someone discovering him for the first time would have been hard-pressed to find any evidence he ever supported the Left in the first place.

Hitchens died on December 15, 2011, at age 62, of esophageal cancer. Burgis begins his book by speculating how Hitchens may have responded to the Trump era, which began during the 2016 Presidential primaries. Because Hitchens’ politics were as difficult to predict as they are to categorize, it’s not quite clear where he’d have come down as Trump was trouncing the Republican field and Bernie and Hillary were duking it out on the Democratic side.

There are those who believe that Hitchens, a self-proclaimed contrarian, would have supported Trump. Burgis rightly rejects this idea, citing Hitchens’ lifelong contempt for nationalism and nativism. Hitchens also, in 2008, said that no responsible person could support the McCain campaign because of Sarah Palin. Palin is widely considered a harbinger of the Trump phenomenon, and so it stands to reason Hitchens would have felt that Trump was simply not a serious choice.

On the Democratic side, Hitchens’ hatred for Bill and Hillary Clinton was widely known. His 1999 book, No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton, was published in paperback the following year with a new title. This time, the cover read No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family, and included Hillary on the cover.

Because Hitchens spent much of his life as a socialist, Bernie Sanders might have seemed like a logical choice. But of course, his political evolution into a full-throated war hawk would have made Bernie’s candidacy a difficult one for him to fully endorse.

Would he have lent his support to the Bernie movement despite these reservations? Would Hillary’s aggressive foreign policy led him to begrudgingly support her instead? Or would he have shocked his peers and his readers once again and backed Trump?

We discussed this question with Ben Burgis on our podcast. We also delved into what could have been the cause for Hitchens’ mysterious transformation from a “Trotskyist popinjay” as George Galloway described him into an unapologetic advocate for the United States’ post-9/11 regime change wars. Given Ben recently wrote an article in The Daily Beast about the Joe Rogan/Spotify affair, we touched on that as well in the latter portion of the conversation.

Listen to our full discussion by clicking the player below, and Listen below, and subscribe to our podcast on any major podcast player.

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Earth to Bernie: Democrats Will Never Stand Up for the Working Class

by Keaton Weiss

Bernie Sanders has been fighting the good fight for longer than I’ve been alive, and so it ought to go without saying that I’m forever grateful for his efforts to make the country and the world a saner, kinder, and more civilized place. But in his recent interview with The Guardian, he once again doubles down on the failed strategy of reforming the Democratic Party from within.

He correctly states that the party has “turned its back on the working class,” and cites the stalled progress on Build Back Better and voting rights legislation as examples of the Biden administration’s failures to deliver for ordinary people.

He then urges Democrats to “step up and take on the greed of the ruling class,” and insists it’s time for them to “have the guts to take on the very powerful corporate interests that have an unbelievably powerful hold on the economy of this country.”

If this all sounds very familiar, it’s because these refrains are quite similar to what we heard from Bernie in his last two presidential campaigns, when he was railroaded and sabotaged by a Democratic Party establishment who clearly despises him for tirelessly making these very demands of them.

In other words, if there’s one person on Earth who should know by now that Democrats do not and will not ever represent the aspirations of working people, it’s Bernie Sanders. And so I say, with all due respect and admiration for the man and everything he’s fought for, it’s long past time that he stop deluding himself and his followers with the fantasy that the Democratic Party is capable of making the “major course correction” he feels is necessary.

Remember, this is the party that hid behind the Senate parliamentarian as an excuse to get out of raising the minimum wage. This is the party that deferred to the CDC when faced with the decision of whether or not to extend the pandemic eviction moratorium. This is the party that planned to restart student loan payments this winter, and delayed it a mere 90 days only after realizing that the pause was set to expire amidst a record-shattering covid surge.

The Democrats are a ruling class party of ruling class leaders, ruling class donors, ruling class media stooges, and wannabe ruling class voters. Their disdain for working people is plainly evident at each of these levels. The suggestion that the Democratic Party will ever be a vehicle for the empowerment of the working class is patently absurd, and at this point, outright laughable.

Even in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Build Back Better by “moderates” like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, the party’s centrist establishment is already warning progressives that they should “tamp down rhetoric” ahead of the midterms lest the Democrats be perceived as “too far left.”

And so Bernie’s insistence that Democrats pivot in a more populist and progressive direction only serves to keep alive the false hope that such a maneuver is possible. Instead, the lifelong independent should accept that come January 2023, Democrats will be a minority party with virtually no power at the federal level, and that the path to a better future doesn’t run through them, but through outside movements and burgeoning new parties.

Those who scoff at such long shot endeavors fail to realize that reforming the Democratic Party into a force for good is as Quixotic an effort as any. Watching Bernie waste his talents in this way is as frustrating for progressives as watching Michael Jordan play minor league baseball must have been for Bulls fans in 1994.

Jordan no more belongs on a baseball diamond than Bernie belongs inside a party that is openly hostile to him and everything he represents. Time is running out to recognize this self-evident fact. Because at this rate, it’s a certainty that Democrats will lose badly in the midterms, and that the Bernie wing of the party will be blamed for it. Progressives will then have to once again defend themselves against accusations that it was all their fault.

Now that Democrats have once again proven their unwillingness and inability to change no matter the circumstances, we should all realize that this ongoing intra-party debate is completely pointless. Democrats are not a party to be reasoned with, appealed to, or petitioned – they’re to be defeated. And come November, they will be defeated. Rather than be dragged into another round of litigation about who’s to blame, Bernie and the Left should simply let the party destroy itself however they’d like, and instead focus on building something new that may emerge in the wake of the Democrats’ crushing defeat.

Bernie’s given it his best shot inside the party. But just as yelling at a frog won’t turn it into a prince, publicly chiding Democrats won’t move them anywhere. The party is designed to serve the corporate elite, win or lose, and that’s what they will continue to do. Their reluctance to “take on” these interests isn’t because they lack the “guts,” but because doing so would violate the party’s foundational principles.

Bernie must know this, and so it’s long past time he have the “guts” to say it definitively, and act accordingly.

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After Years of Courting Affluent Suburbanites, Democrats Deserve Kyrsten Sinema

by Keaton Weiss

As you’ve probably observed if you’ve been paying any attention to the ongoing negotiations over infrastructure spending, Democratic lawmakers and voters are growing increasingly frustrated with Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema. She is one of two Senators currently preventing the passage of a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill which would finance long overdue additions to the social safety net, including universal pre-K and expansion of Medicare.

Whereas her partner in crime, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has at least gone through the motions of making a counter-offer, Sinema has been defiantly silent throughout the process, dodging the media and her own constituents, and instead meeting behind closed doors with her corporate donors.

Her silent obstructionism has many Democrats upset that she is inflicting further damage upon an already embattled Biden White House by denying the administration a sorely needed legislative win. Progressives always knew Sinema would be a problem, even if many did support her challenge to Republican incumbent Martha McSally in 2018, but even her fellow “moderates” seem to be catching on to the fact that she’s an enemy of progress.

And while moderate liberals’ increasingly open disdain for Sinema is a positive development overall, these same Democrats ought to remember that their party, since the 2016 election, has tailored its messaging and policy positions specifically to court affluent white suburban voters – the very people who elect Senators like Kyrsten Sinema.

Progressives were told in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns that Bernie Sanders, while exciting to the young, progressive base of the party, couldn’t win a general election because his ideas were too “radical” to be embraced by this emerging cohort of upper-middle class suburban voters – or, as Rahm Emanuel branded them, “Biden Republicans.”

And so, in both primary contests, the party brass put its thumb on the scale against Sanders’ candidacy, in favor of centrists who they felt would deliver them this new coalition of well-to-do suburban centrists who were liberal on social issues, but economically more conservative. These kinds of voters were critical to putting Sinema over the top in her 2018 Senate bid, as well as to the Democrats’ overall success in those midterms. They’ve been been explicitly catering to them ever since.

It therefore stands to reason that the party would eventually face the very crisis in which it now finds itself. Sinema is a newly elected moderate sent to Washington by fiscally conservative independents, and she’s acting accordingly. Democrats can be upset about this all they’d like, but they have only themselves to blame for their current predicament. Because Sinema, an eccentric bisexual who votes against minimum wage increases and the strengthening of social programs, represents the exact kind of voter Democrats welcomed into their party with open arms these past three election cycles (2020, 2018, and 2016).

And so, the current stalemate within the party between progressives and centrists makes perfect sense. The very premise of the Democratic Party – a party “for the little guy,” funded by wealthy donors and corporate interests – is a laughable self-contradiction. Should anyone be surprised that it’s having trouble unifying behind even the most modest of public investments like hearing aids for senior citizens?

Comedian and political commentator Graham Elwood aptly describes the Democratic Party as “Goldman Sachs with a rainbow flag.” Tell me that isn’t spot on, and tell me it doesn’t describe Kyrsten Sinema to a tee. If you can’t (and you can’t), then it should come as no surprise that the party of corporate wokeness and virtue signaling neoliberalism is eating itself alive in a doomed effort to negotiate its way out of its own inherent and inescapable paradox.

The Democratic Party had a chance, in 2016, to become the kind of party that would have no problem passing legislation like the Build Back Better Act. Party leadership vehemently opposed such a shift, and a majority of Democratic voters followed their lead. This embarrassing public implosion in which the party “for the people” can’t even unify behind measures as basic as adding dental coverage to Medicare, is just punishment for their disgraceful behavior these past five years.

Unfortunately, we’re all collateral damage.

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Podcast: Inside the Democrats’ War on Bernie Sanders – w/Branko Marcetic

Branko Marcetic, staff writer at Jacobin and author of the book Yesterday’s Man: The Case Against Joe Biden, joined the podcast to discuss his thorough and insightful review of the new book Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won The Presidency by Amy Parnes and Jonathan Allen.

Listen to our full conversation by clicking the player below, or watch on YouTube.

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Photo: Brittany Greeson, Getty Images

After a Progressive Sweep, Did the Nevada Democratic Establishment Just DemExit?

Progressive candidates swept control of the Nevada Democratic Party on Saturday, March 6th. With the backing of the local DSA chapter, Judith Whitmer was elected chair of the state party, and four other Left candidates also prevailed in their respective races. Immediately following their victories, they received word that the entire staff of the state party was quitting, and terminating their contracts with independent consultants as well. The Intercept also reported that before Saturday’s election, the Nevada Democrats transferred $450,000 out of the party and into the DSCC, which will work to re-elect incumbent Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in 2022. Whitmer, in her appearance on the Deconstructed podcast, did not confirm or deny that, but she said that she has enlisted an attorney to try and prevent any similar shenanigans.

Ironically, prior to the vote, the Harry Reid machine‘s slate of candidates billed themselves as the “Progressive Unity Slate,” and criticized the socialist-backed roster for being too divisive to unify the party. But for all their talk of party unity, the establishment in Nevada made clear that unless the Democratic party serves the corporate interests that fund it, it’s of no real use to them. They essentially DemExited within 24 hours of realizing that the party would no longer be aligned with their agenda, and are now, according to The Intercept, setting up “an independent shop.”

Jon Ralston, the Nevada reporter who falsely claimed in 2016 that Bernie Sanders supporters erupted in a violent fit of chair-throwing rage at the state convention, lamented the fall of the party establishment, which he called “the most effective Democratic Party in the country.” Ralston also wrote that “[the] machine will still be there next year…it just won’t be called the Democratic Party.” As much as we might not want to admit it, he’s right about that. The same machine will still be there, just under a different banner.

This is the problem with progressives’ inside-the-party strategy: by the time the Left does “take over” the party, the infrastructure that makes the party so powerful will likely have been sold off, rendering the party an empty shell of its former self. The money, the personnel, the consultant relationships, will all be gone, and we’ll essentially be tasked with creating a new party anyway – because the Democrats, as they demonstrated in Nevada, will bail on the party, and immediately create a proxy party, if it comes to that, on a national level.

Are we not better off just creating a major new party right now? Why waste time wrestling over the name “Democrat,” which is toxic to so much of the country in the first place? Why ask permission from Democrats to control their institution, if they’ll gut the party so it’s of little use to us if and when we do eventually win?

We discuss all of this and more on episode 109 of the Due Dissidence podcast. Listen to our full conversation by clicking the player below:

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The ‘Bernie’s Mittens are White Privilege’ Essay Shows Liberals, Not Leftists, Have Gone Crazy

by Keaton Weiss

For a brief few days after the inauguration, it seemed as though the country actually had been unified. Not by Biden’s speech, or the pageantry, or the poetry, but by the virally memed image of Bernie Sanders, sitting by himself in his winter jacket and giant mittens, with his cheap blue mask on crooked, arms and legs crossed. His attire and attitude reflected the opinion that yeah, electing this asshole was probably necessary, but man, is this some bullshit. This is a mainstream opinion in America, as post-election polling shows that even a vast majority of Biden voters are more thankful to have ousted Trump than to have elected Biden.

And so of course, the politician who embodied the dominant sentiment amongst the general public would steal the show, as opposed to the vapid pomp and circumstance that was everything else. Everyone, it seemed, even many on the Right, were delighted by Bernie’s wardrobe and demeanor, creating and posting their own Bernie memes and inviting each other to share a good laugh.

By now, Bernie supporters have come to wait for the other shoe to drop whenever he gets any positive press, and this week, we finally heard from the one faction of the American electorate who found no joy or comfort in his mittens, his coat, his mask, or his posture – the humorless Blue MAGA liberal wokescolds.

These are the people who really were smitten by Michelle’s burgundy coat, and Joe’s “presidential” speech, and who embraced this moment as a genuine “triumph of democracy.” They loved the orchestra, and the poetry recital, and the video of George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama bonding over their shared reverence for the “peaceful transfer of power.” To these people, Bernie’s get-up was a disturbance – a glitch in the matrix that, for an instant, threatened to snap them out of their blue pill (pun intended) reality.

One of these unfortunate people is Ingrid Seyer-Ochi, a high school teacher who saw Bernie’s presentation as a display of “white privilege.” In her essay published on January 30th by the San Francisco Chronicle, she paints precisely the picture I speak of, describing hers and her classes’ view of the inauguration as follows:

“We took in the meaning of the day, the vulnerability of democracy, the power of ritual, traditions and the peaceful transition of power.

We talked about gender and the possible meanings of the attire chosen by Vice President Kamala Harris, Dr. Jill Biden, the Biden grandchildren, Michelle Obama, Amanda Gorman and others. We referenced the female warriors inspiring these women, the colors of their educational degrees and their monochromatic ensembles of pure power.”

But then, of course, like a splash of cold water to the face:

“And there, across all of our news and social media feeds, was Bernie: Bernie memes, Bernie sweatshirts, endless love for Bernie. I puzzled and fumed as an individual as I strove to be my best possible teacher. What did I see? What did I think my students should see? A wealthy, incredibly well-educated and -privileged white man, showing up for perhaps the most important ritual of the decade, in a puffy jacket and huge mittens.”

Before we go any further, there’s much to be gleaned from these two excerpts. The most revealing words amongst them: “pure power.” Pure power seems to be the fixation of mainstream liberals, who see power itself as the ultimate goal, especially when such power is secured by race and gender groups who are underrepresented in government. How they obtain that power, and how they wield it, are distant secondary and tertiary concerns.

Here, Seyer-Ochi saw Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, and Kamala Harris as symbols of this “pure power,” and therefore, it was their “monochromatic” wardrobe ensembles that should have been the talk of the nation in the days and weeks following the ceremony. When Bernie, in his Vermonter ski jacket and handmade mittens, with his mysterious manilla envelope and paper receipt in hand, won the day, she “puzzled and fumed,” and she “thought her students” should do the same.

And then, the conclusion:

“I am beyond puzzled as to why so many are loving the images of Bernie and his gloves. Sweet, yes, the gloves, knit by an educator. So “Bernie.”

Not so sweet? The blindness I see, of so many (Bernie included), to the privileges Bernie represents. I don’t know many poor, or working class, or female, or struggling-to-be-taken-seriously folk who would show up at the inauguration of our 46th president dressed like Bernie. Unless those same folk had privilege. Which they don’t.

The absurdity of her argument is truly a wonder to behold.

The very reason people responded so favorably to the image of Bernie on his chair is precisely because it represented the underprivileged person who never in a million years would dream of scoring an invite to a presidential inauguration. The fact that he showed up looking like “struggling-to-be-taken-seriously folk” was exactly the point. The vast majority of Americans, who aren’t so deranged as to be moved to tears by Michelle Obama’s golden belt buckle, got a kick out of seeing someone in the audience who dressed just as they do when they make a grocery run.

Another irony of her thesis: she implies that Bernie takes for granted that he’ll be taken seriously no matter what, yet most liberals like her don’t take Bernie seriously, and never will. If I were an identity politics-obsessed liberal myself, I think I could make a pretty strong case that there’s a fair amount of anti-semitism in the liberal class’ dismissive categorization of Bernie Sanders as a “stubborn,” “loud,” “finger-waving” socialist who’s unelectable in a national race. That aside, the establishment liberal media’s treatment of Bernie ranges from indifference to contempt, as he himself understands (Seyer-Ochi even employs a dismissive tone in her article, i.e, So ‘Bernie’). The main point, though, is that the way Bernie presented himself at the inauguration has nothing to do with how he wishes to be perceived, but rather, is a fitting metaphor for how most Americans perceived the event itself.

Of course, this was an insult to liberals who were invested in viewing this inauguration through rose-tinted glasses. These are the same people who share articles about the Bidens’ dogs, unironically promise to get more sleep now that Biden is president, and whose admiration for Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki is just downright fucking creepy. They had been desperately and anxiously anticipating January 20, 2021 since November 9, 2016. To them, this was a glorious day whose memory should be cherished until the end of time, not soiled by the image of a curmudgeonly old man like Bernie, who many of them blame for Trump’s victory in the first place.

Personally, I love that Ingrid Seyer-Ochi is so upset that Bernie ruined the inauguration for her, and I love that she felt compelled to embarrass herself and liberals like her in front of the entire country by writing such an insipid and transparently fatuous op-ed. I love that the San Francisco Chronicle debased itself by printing it. Because the article proves something I’ve been saying since the first Bernie campaign in 2016: that liberals, not leftists, are the ones who have lost their minds in their obsession with identity politics. In this case, as has been the case several times over the past five years, America’s furthest Left candidate, and his Left supporters, have been targeted by identity politics-crazed liberals, whose actual material agenda is anything but “Left.”

I hope that independents and conservatives who have swallowed the establishment propaganda that the “Left” has gone crazy, will take note of this op-ed, and realize that it’s the centrist liberal establishment Democrats and their media allies like whichever imbeciles at the Chronicle who thought this piece was worth printing, who have gone utterly insane both in their lust for power and their seething hatred for anyone who challenges it, which includes Bernie Sanders and the actual, real-life Left.

Photo: Brendan Smialowski, Getty Images

Why Progressives Joining the Republican Party Isn’t as Crazy as You Think

Publisher’s Note: This article was first published in December of 2020. Given recent developments in which many Republican candidates and politicians are running on policies like a public healthcare option, marijuana decriminalization, and Universal Basic Income, we’ve decided to recirculate it for your reading pleasure.

by Russell Dobular

I know what you’re thinking: whaaaaaaaaaat!? But hear me out. The progressive case for voting Biden was best articulated by Noam Chomsky, and boiled down to this: as an activist, whether you like or don’t like a candidate or party doesn’t really enter into it. Your personal feelings must always be subordinated to your larger goals, and you should always vote based on which candidate is going to be the best vehicle for achieving your policy objectives. By that standard, I think there’s a good case to be made for progressives aligning themselves with the emerging economic populist wing of the GOP, and fighting its evangelical wing on cultural issues, rather than remaining within the Democratic Party and fighting its establishment on literally everything. Here’s why:

The Democratic Brand Is Toxic 

Between its cultural signaling and its constant failure to delver for its constituents, the party has lost the good will of essentially everyone who doesn’t live on the coasts, and even on the coasts, is only really popular in urban areas.  In my home state of New York, electoral maps show a bubble of New York City blue floating in an ocean of red, and the same goes for the entire Northeast, from Boston to Providence to Hartford.  Slapping the D on your campaign materials isn’t an asset in most places, it’s a liability.

Republicans Win and It’s Only Going To Get Worse

Even in the face of a President who mostly seemed like he had just stepped out of a savage political farce about American politics that might have been written in the years before it actually happened, Joe Biden barely squeaked by. It took a once in a century pandemic and an unfathomably incompetent response from the administration to secure the Presidency for Democrats. 

But you can’t always count on an apocalypse.  Even with an ongoing sci-fi dystopia scenario playing out in real time, and even with record turn-out, which is theoretically supposed to favor Democrats, the party managed to lose Governorships, state legislatures, house seats, and some very winnable Senate races. 

Because of those losses, next year’s post-census redistricting will be done primarily by Republicans. By the time they’ve gotten through gerrymandering the country, there are going to be about 6 Democrats left in the House. The next shot at Congress will come in 2032, after the next census.  That sound like a star you want to hitch your wagon to?  Is that a party that’s going to serve as the best vehicle for pushing your agenda?

The GOP Lets Its Voters Decide: A Tale of Two Insurgents 

This is a subtle point, but a very important one, because it has an enormous impact on candidate selection and the degree to which GOP voters are able to influence the party’s legislative agenda. 

In 2016, both parties were rocked by the unexpected rise of unlikely outsider candidates running on an economic populist agenda that was completely at odds with the ideology of their leadership.  In both cases, the media complexes that support those parties respectively tried to delegitimize the insurgents, and the parties ’ leading figures did everything they could to instruct their voters not to support them.  But in only one case did the party work behind the scenes to rig the primary process against one candidate.  And it wasn’t the GOP. 

We know from Wikileaks and Donna Brazile, that the DNC conspired with the Clinton campaign to sink Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. This was in spite of the fact that there was no reason to believe that he would lose in a general election, based on the polling.  In fact, he generally outperformed Clinton in a theoretical match-up with Trump.  

The GOP, on the other hand, had every reason to believe that Trump would be defeated in a landslide, no matter who emerged the victor on the Democratic side.  And yet, even in the face of not only a hostile takeover of their party, but in the face of an almost certain humiliating defeat, the GOP didn’t conspire against its own voters to secure a desired outcome.  Which means that if you’re supporting a candidate in a GOP primary who has the most volunteers and grass roots donations in history, and that candidate goes on to win the first 3 primary states, chances are they’re going to be the nominee. 

On the other hand, as we saw again in 2020 with the Obama-orchestrated Monday night massacre, the Democratic Party will stop at nothing to prevent anyone who threatens to derail the revolving door gravy train from gaining any real power within their party.        

Our Working Class Base Is In the GOP

It’s hard to run on economic populism inside a party dominated by upscale suburban liberals.  Sure, they’ll vaguely nod their heads and agree in the abstract on principles like M4A, and labor rights, but it isn’t something they really give two shits about. And let’s face it: the idea of working-class solidarity scares them. 

Just like in some way the continued paranoia about Russia is based in ancient fears of the Mongol hordes swooping in from the steppe, the petit-bourgeois contempt for economic populism is based in their ancient class fear of being dragged from their homes by the impoverished masses and sent off to a political re-education camp.

That’s a big part of why they’ve embraced the new religion of “critical race theory.”  People who are busy hating each other because of their skin color, can’t unite. It also helps to deflect from their class privilege when they spend all their political energy superficially denouncing their own race privilege. 

Now, you might be saying that even if the working class is in the GOP, those voters represent a subset of the working class that’s hostile to social welfare programs. But if you’ve ever watched Bernie Sanders’ Fox News town hall, in which the audience applauds repeatedly for his entire agenda even with the hosts attempting to re-direct them back to the “socialist” boogeyman, you know that’s bs.

It wouldn’t take much to win these people over. In fact, Trump already proved that by running to Clinton’s left on health care, trade, and war.  He didn’t mean any of it, but that doesn’t really matter in terms of evaluating the potency of an economic populist message among rank-and-file Republicans. Now imagine what someone who walked the walk instead of just talking the talk could do.

GOP Voters Dont Take Marching Orders

If they did, Jeb Bush would have been the 2016 nominee. They didn’t really give a fuck what Mitt Romney, or Rush Limbaugh, or anyone over at Fox had to say about it.  They wanted Trump and they picked him, party establishment be damned. 

On the contrary, in 2020, Democratic voters rejected the candidate that polling showed they most trusted on every issue of importance to them, in favor of someone who started his campaign waxing rhapsodic over his past collaborations with avowed segregationists. And they did this, even as the country was exploding in the worst series of race riots since the 60’s. Why? Because their leaders and their media told them to. There was literally no other reason to support a man that got crushed in the first 3 states, and who polling showed they didn’t even particularly like.

Even setting aside every other point in this article, this one is impossible to get around. You can never reform a party whose own voters are so spineless that all it takes is a thumbs down from Barrack Obama to persuade them to vote against the candidate they trust, in favor of one that they’ve been told can win.  They were told that in 2016 too, mostly by the same people, but that doesn’t seem to have made an impression.

Given the tightness of the margins, we can safely say that without corona, Biden would have been destroyed in 2020, and we had no idea how bad corona was going to be on Super Tuesday. With the GOP base, you have a chance to make your case, and if you make it successfully, you can actually win.  With the Democrats, you’ll never win.  Because even setting the leadership aside, their base is trash.

People of Color are Jumping Ship 

Donald Trump performed better with non-white voters than any Republican candidate since 1960.  Donald.  Frikkin’.  Trump.  Why would that be, after years of media coverage that essentially wrote off his entire base as unreconstructed racists, in spite of the millions of two-time Obama voters who voted Trump in 2016? Well, a few reasons probably. 

For one, black voters saw historically low unemployment and poverty rates under Trump. Trump was also the first president to create permanent funding for HBCU’s and the first to sign legislation aimed at undoing some of the insane sentencing guidelines of the current President-Elect’s infamous 1994 crime bill. And in a major rebuke of woke assumptions, black voters as a group are the most hostile to legal immigration, with 85% in favor of reducing it.

On top of that, younger black voters are turning on the Democratic Party in droves, with only 47% between the ages of 18-29 saying that they see the party as welcoming to black Americans, and remarkably, only 51% seeing it as more welcoming than the GOP. 

The story is much the same with Latinos, who it turns out not only aren’t all that into white liberals telling them what to call themselves under the assumption that their own language is inherently sexist (if you can find a better example of the “white savior” mentality in modern times, please let me know what it is), but tend to be to the right of white Democrats on immigration

It’s almost like people are multi-faceted and not simply defined by their race. Who knew? Definitely not the Democrats, apparently.  If these trends continue (and there’s no reason to believe they won’t after listening to Biden’s recent Trumpesque exchange with black civil rights leaders), we’re looking at a looming GOP majority as far as the eye can see.   

When the Democrats Are In Power, They Do As Much If Not More Damage To Their Base Than the GOP

Why is it that the party that supposedly cares the most about POC and the working class often does the most real structural, legislative damage to those communities while in office? Partly it’s because they believe those voters have nowhere else to go, and as a result those aren’t the voters they care about. 

The GOP, on the other hand, knows that because of their built-in advantage with whites, all they have to do is make a few percentage points gain with POC to beat the Democrats across the map.  As a result, Democrats are the ones most likely to gut welfare and pass unpopular trade deals like NAFTA, while the GOP are more likely to do sentencing reform. It’s about politics, not ethics, but the end result is the same. 

Also, when the GOP wants to pass legislation that’s obviously hostile to workers and/or POC, the Dems will fight it for political reasons and the media will cover the subject more critically. 

Add to that the stigma the GOP carries as the party of white people, and it’s hard for them to pass overtly racist legislation without scrutiny.  If you want to make it legal to put shock collars on workers, or carcinogens in black neighborhoods, you need to call it the Worker Safety and Water Enhancement Act, and get a Democratic President to slow jam it on Jimmy Fallon, a la Obama and the TPP.

The white working class figured this out a long time ago, and that’s a big part of why they migrated to the GOP. With minority communities now following suit, who’s going to be left to vote for Democrats?

Freedom of Speech

As an artist and a politics blogger, this is a big one for me.  We’ve seen the Democrats take on a lot of characteristics and opinions that have been historically associated with the right-wing over the last four years: Cold-war style Russophobia with all the attendant McCarthyite red-baiting of political opponents, even (perhaps especially) those on the left; unquestioning lionization of the intelligence services, accompanied by a blind acceptance of any and all claims they might make; a censorious holier-than-thou moral hysteria worthy of the Victorian era. 

It’s unsurprising then that people who have begun to think in a way that we usually associate with 1950’s wing-nuts, have come up with similar solutions to the perceived problem of Russian influence and moral turpitude among the citizenry: book banning, de-platforming, and blacklists. The bedrock American principle that tolerating speech isn’t the same thing as supporting it, has been abandoned by a modern left which seems to think that leaving it to tech oligarchs to decide which speech is and isn’t fit for mass consumption is a grand idea that will never come back to bite them in the ass. 

These are the same people who never anticipated that Democratic support for the Patriot Act would cause any particular problems, right up until the federal forces created under its provisions went all Pinochet on Portland’s protestors, throwing them into unmarked vans without charges or explanation.  And even afterwards, they never made the connection: as usual, it was all about Trump.  

This is not to say that Republicans are great defenders of freedom: the Patriot Act was essentially a wish list for the expansion of executive power that had been sitting at the bottom of a drawer in Dick Cheney’s house since the Nixon administration.  And I have no doubt that if tech CEO’s were mostly Republicans, it would be the GOP arguing for tighter restrictions, and Dems arguing for an unrestricted internet. 

But as things stand, it isn’t the GOP putting pressure on publishers to withdraw books, demanding that scientific papers not be published until they’ve been examined for racial insensitivity by a committee, or cheering when Twitter and Facebook block a news story that subsequently turns out to have been true. The Democrats are the ones doing all of those things and that makes them the greatest threat to freedom of expression and open inquiry in the country at this particular moment in history.  For that reason alone, whatever we might think of the GOP, we need to regard the Democratic Party as an existential threat to a progressive movement that does most of its organizing online.

This Wouldnt Be the First Time That the Parties Switched Ideological Places

Originally, the GOP was the party of big government and social justice, and the Democrats were the party of States’ Rights Southern slave owners. So what changed? Their voters. 

While GOP policies to fund railroad construction and industry had benefitted banks and businesses concentrated in the Northeast, they hadn’t provided similar support to the farmers who had settled in the West under the Homestead Act.  With the admission of Western States to the union, this created a new voting block of impoverished rural voters with their own interest in big government/social justice programs.  The Dems were the first to fully appeal to this block by nominating populist William Jennings Bryan, in 1896. 

For a while the GOP competed with Dems for these voters, with Republicans like Theodore Roosevelt backing anti-trust legislation.  But in both rural and urban areas, the working class and working poor continued to drift towards the Democratic Party, and as a result, its policies increasingly favored that group.  By 1936 the GOP gave up on winning them over, by opposing FDR and the New Deal. 

So, we got where we are now because the parties switched their governing philosophies in response to a shift in their respective bases.  With the working class now having fled back to the GOP, and upscale suburban whites having taken over the Democrats, the time is ripe for a switch back.

You might be asking now; are you really fucking serious about this?  Honestly, I started this article with a tongue in my cheek, and by the time I finished it, I realized how cogent an argument you can make for the idea.  At the very least I can say, I truly think your chances of reforming the GOP into a party that’s less culturally conservative than it is now, while being populist on economic issues, is better than your chances of turning the Democrats towards meaningful reform. 

I also believe that even if you managed it, it would be a Pyrrhic victory, because the Democratic brand is so toxic, and the structural disadvantages so severe, that you’d essentially be working very hard to reform a party that can’t win elections.  So, what’s the point?  I think a candidate like Paula Jean Swearengin, running on the same exact platform, would do a lot better running as a Republican in West Virginia.  As a Democrat, she has no chance.

I mentioned in a previous article that I thought a candidate campaigning on an anti-woke, economic populist message in 2024, with Kamala Harris as the presumed opponent, would end up taking at least one third of former Sanders voters and win in a landslide.  At that point what I’m suggesting here be done preemptively, will become a fait accompli. 

After 2024 the GOP may very well cement its hold on the working class, by continuing to make inroads with the non-white portions of it. It might be best to get ahead of that reality, if we want a seat at the table down the line. The only other viable option is to replace the Democrats with a major new party, as the Movement for A People’s Party is attempting to do, but is that more realistic than a hostile take-over the GOP? I don’t think so. 

If the people won’t come to you, you have to go to them.  Our people aren’t in the Democratic Party any longer, and it’s only going to get worse.

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Joe Biden is a Trojan Horse: Inside is the Democrats’ New Right Wing Coalition

by Russell Dobular

In spite of what you might have heard, Democrats aren’t stupid. Nor are they spineless, cowardly, incapable of messaging, or any of the other things offered as explanations for their decades-long failure to win most elections in most places, or to secure meaningful policy reforms for their voters. In the now famous words of Marco Rubio, spoken during his campaign-ending broken robot moment on the 2016 debate stage, “Lets dispel with this fiction that Barrack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.” 

Yes, he does.  And so does the rest of the Democratic Party.  If you understand the Democrats as a party whose first priority is to win elections and then serve their voters once in office, then you have to look for far-fetched explanations for their actions, which often appear to be completely at odds with those objectives. What party eager to win over the middle of the country would repeatedly vote to make a wealthy San Francisco doyenne like Nancy Pelosi their Speaker? She’s a walking advertisement for the image of Democrats as a party of out of touch elites, more concerned with arcane speech codes than labor laws. But if you understand the Democrats as a party primarily concerned with raking in big bucks from wealthy donors, while drawing enough superficial distinctions with their opponents to maintain their identity as a separate party, then everything they do is pretty frikkin’ brilliant. Like forcing Joe Biden on their voters.

Let’s be absolutely clear: Bernie Sanders would undoubtedly have been the party’s nominee this year without the interference of its leadership. A lot of ink has been spilled about the failings of Bernie 2020, and some of those points are valid, but let’s not forget that Sanders won the first three states in the primary calendar, all while facing unprecedented hostility from the corporate media and party elites, so clearly he did a lot of things right. No other candidate has ever won the first two states without going on to secure the nomination, much less all three. 

But no other candidate so universally feared and loathed by the money people and the consultant class has ever gotten so close to the big prize. Close enough that they were willing to drop all pretense of neutrality and fairness to ensure on the eve of Super Tuesday that instead of facing a fractured field of milquetoast moderates, Sanders would be going mano a mano with only Joe Biden, a man who voters had completely rejected in humiliating fashion right up until South Carolina. Remember, this was before we understood exactly how bad the coronavirus was going to be, or how badly Trump and the GOP would botch their response. No modern Democrat has ever won without high youth voter turnout, and there’s no way they didn’t understand that crushing the candidate of young voters was going to suppress their vote. Nor has any modern Democrat ever won without a high share of the Latino vote, and yet they chose to publicly and openly conspire against the candidate who was the clear choice of Latino voters. 

All this in order to run a notoriously thin-skinned politician in the obvious throes of cognitive decline against the world’s most infamous bully. Without coronavirus, Biden was a sure loser and there’s no way the party’s decision makers and strategists didn’t understand that. No, they aren’t that stupid. If you consider that the battle they’re fighting is only secondarily against the GOP, and primarily against the left wing of their own party, what they did was actually very smart.

These folks can read a poll as well as anyone, and they understand that in the normal course of things their days are numbered. For years, Democrats have talked up their coalition of the ascendant; the new, young, diverse, and thoroughly blue no matter who electorate that was going to someday hand them majorities as far as the eye could see.  But now that it’s on the verge of arriving, it doesn’t look quite like what they were expecting. Turns out that rising electorate wants policies that will actually allow them to rise in more than a symbolic sense and isn’t quite as satisfied by platitudes and kente cloth as the old white liberal coalition was. They want universal health care, they want higher wages, they want student loan forgiveness, they want free college; in other words, they want the people they vote for to do something for them beyond diversifying their office staff. The problem for Democrats is that all the things they want them to do are a direct threat to the grift they’ve been running since the day Bill Clinton formally announced the death of the party’s animating FDR spirit by proudly informing the public that “the days of big government are over.” The Reaganite small government ethos that’s ruled both parties ever since, simply cannot be reconciled with the demands of voters whose first priority is economic justice.  So what do you do when your base sees through the hollowness of your politics and demands that you do better? Find a different base.  And that’s where Joe Biden comes in.

The Biden campaign is a Trojan horse in the truest sense: it’s an empty vessel through which the Dems are attempting to substitute a portion of the GOP’s base for a portion of their own. The Democrats gearing their message towards white, professional class suburban voters is nothing new. They’ve been doing it for at least 30 years, first winning over the socially liberal/economically conservative “Rockefeller Republicans” in order to make up for their losses with union voters in the wake of NAFTA. Now they’re attempting with this election to win over the even more conservative “moderate Republicans” of this generation by running the kind of candidate who would promise in the midst of a pandemic and an ongoing populist uprising to veto Medicare for All, and not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400K a year. They’re not worried about handing over control of the party to Republicans in the process, because a Democratic Party dominated by moderate Republicans doesn’t look very different from what we have now – there’s hardly a shade of difference between your average liberal and your average “Never Trumper” ideologically. 

The rising left, however, is an existential threat to the party’s modern make-up, ideology, and standard operating procedures. If they lose to Trump while trying to make the shift, something that was almost guaranteed at the time they decided to force Biden down the country’s collective throat, that’s really not a problem. Trump is great for fundraising and his sheer awfulness takes the onus off the Dems to be much better. Just being a little better than Trump is all they really need to be for as long as he’s in office. Seen from that perspective, Biden is a win-win. They either crush the left by assembling a new, even more conservative coalition, or they once again scapegoat the left for their losses and spend another four years pretending the country didn’t go to shit until 1/20/17. So if you’re a deeply corrupt member of the fake-left half of the country’s ruling elite, where’s the downside? It’s nothing but upside for everyone except the voters.

There’s only one flaw in this plan.  It doesn’t take into account the dangers of breaking the social contract so severely that the population becomes ungovernable.  Only a fool would believe that we can continue on our current course of spiraling wealth inequality combined with a collapsing quality of life, now severely exacerbated by a global pandemic, without a reckoning. Unfortunately, in keeping with their French, Chinese and Russian predecessors, our leaders are those fools. History shows us that those most in danger of getting on the wrong end of a People’s Tribunal, are always the last to see it coming. With Trump we get there a little faster, with Biden a little slower (maybe), but the American economic and political system as currently constituted is clearly unsustainable. 

Vote your conscience in November in light of these realities (personally, I’m writing in Dave Chapelle), but know that the real battle is going to start the day after the voting ends.

Photo: Eric Thayer, Reuters