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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The Progressive Caucus’ Snubbing of Nina Turner is Their Most Blatant Betrayal Yet

On Wednesday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC announced its slate of endorsements for the 2022 midterms. Among them was Shontel Brown, the newly elected incumbent from Ohio’s 11th district, who defeated Bernie Sanders ally Nina Turner in a primary for 2021’s special election to fill the seat.

Turner is running again, forcing a rematch between herself and Brown. Despite being the obvious choice for anyone with any “progressive” bona fides, the CPC threw its support behind Brown, who won her 2021 primary with the help of corporate PAC money, the Israel lobby, and Republican donors.

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This is the latest in a series of embarrassing decisions by the CPC under the leadership of Pramila Jayapal. First, they let Nancy Pelosi skate to another term as Speaker in the beginning of the current Congressional term. Then they allowed Senate Democrats to kill Bernie’s minimum wage amendment to the American Rescue Plan without threatening to hold up the bill until it was approved. Then, they famously broke their promise to block passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill without assurances that Build Back Better would pass alongside it.

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And now they’re endorsing Shontel Brown over Nina Turner. The caucus is explaining their decision as “pro forma,” meaning that it’s a simple formality for the caucus to endorse their own incumbent members. But this defense rings hollow when you consider that Shontel Brown seemingly joined the CPC for the sole purpose of fending off Turner’s challenge.

Brown joined the progressive caucus in January, just a day before Nina Turner announced her candidacy. Brown also caucuses with the New Democrats, a Third Way centrist block which prides itself on being “pro-economic growth” and “fiscally responsible.” Their raison d’etre is to be the ideological counterweight to the progressive caucus.

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That Shontel Brown joined both is a testament to each of their meaninglessness. It also demonstrates that the CPC’s endorsement is apparently for sale to whoever ponies up the dues necessary to join.

David Sirota, political reporter and senior adviser to Bernie’s 2020 campaign, tweeted the following in response to the news:

Sirota is far too smart and precise with his words to use a phrase like “selling out” accidentally. In fact, he’s always been careful to stop short of leveling such accusations against House progressives, even when he’s disagreed with them. If his analysis is correct, and that this endorsement can be read as Jayapal jockeying for position inside a party that’s certain to endure a crushing defeat this November, then the decision to endorse Brown is as idiotic as it is infuriating.

We discuss this development in greater detail in our lates podcast. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to our podcast on any major podcast player.

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Centrists Killed the Biden Presidency and Doomed the Democratic Party

by Keaton Weiss

Last week, the Senate’s 52-48 vote against filibuster reform drove yet another nail in the coffin that is the Biden presidency. After having failed to whip his own party’s votes to pass Build Back Better in the last months of 2021, Biden attempted a “pivot” to voting rights legislation in 2022.

It was obvious to most that the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, like BBB before it, would die at the hands of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who have been immovable in their opposition to the most important components of Biden’s agenda. The two Senators are now pariahs within their own party, drawing the ire of even the most loyal Democratic voters, many of whom are already contributing to primary efforts against them.

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Of course, the irony here is that Joe Biden, Kyrsten Sinema, and Joe Manchin share the same centrist wing of the Democratic Party – you know, the one that’s always claiming they’re the “adults in the room” who can “work across the aisle” to “get things done.” The last two presidential primaries have been battles between Bernie Sanders advocating for meaningful reforms, and moderates like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton lecturing him and his supporters about how their ideas are unrealistic, and how centrists like them are best-positioned to actually achieve legislative goals, albeit less ambitious ones.

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This intra-party compromise proposed by the moderates wins out more than it loses. In both 2016 and 2020, Democratic voters were successfully duped into accepting this bogus bargain, nominating Clinton and Biden despite being far more aligned with Bernie on nearly every major policy issue.

If there’s one political development worth remembering in 2021, it’s that centrists, not progressives, drowned the Biden agenda in the bathtub and sabotaged his administration. Despite candidate Biden’s nostalgia for “getting things done” with segregationist colleagues in the 1970’s and his predictions of a Republican “epiphany” following his election that would usher in a return to bipartisanship, his first year in office was stymied by the same legislative stalemate that defined the Obama era.

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And once again, it should be noted for the history books that this impasse was arrived at not by radical socialist progressives or far-right Republicans, but by Biden’s fellow “moderate” Democrats, who every election cycle fraudulently claim they’re the ones who roll up their sleeves and make things happen while the ideologues on the extremes only scream and yell.

Will Democratic voters absorb any of this? Probably not. According to Morning Joe, Biden’s problem is that he’s “moved too far left and has not been able to bring those final two Senators home.” Rachel Maddow, in a particularly puzzling segment (below), defended Biden’s blaming his failures on Republican obstructionism while seeming to forget that the very rationale for his presidency was that he was uniquely qualified to overcome it.

If rank and file Democrats have proven one thing in recent years, it’s that they think how they’re told. Despite the truth being clear as day that moderates in their own party are responsible for tanking Biden’s agenda, their MSNBC thought leaders seem intent on blaming both progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans for the dysfunction in Washington. That their audience could be convinced of this even as they’re made to rail against Manchin and Sinema as “traitors” demonstrates a cognitive dissonance that only the most committed party loyalists are capable of.

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It’s unlikely they’ll ever snap out of it, and it’s even less likely to matter whether or not they do. Come January 2023, Democrats will certainly be the minority party with virtually no power at the federal level. Between GOP dominance of state legislatures and the gerrymandering that will result from it, and the Democrats’ aforementioned failure to pass voting rights legislation, this dynamic isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

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And so while for progressives it’d be a nice consolation prize to hear our moderate counterparts admit that their approach has been a colossal failure resulting in both political gridlock and electoral annihilation, the real lesson coming out of this past year is that the Democratic Party is on its deathbed, and that centrism was the cancer that put it there.

If there is a way forward – and that’s one hell of a big if – it’s in the form of a new organization that rises from the ashes of the Democrats’ looming obliteration. There’s no course correction to be made within the party, especially not with a “progressive” wing too weak to keep its most basic promise of “holding the line” on the bipartisan infrastructure and BBB negotiations (ie, pledging not to pass the first without the second, and then doing just that).

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As far as the Democratic Party is concerned, the only thing left to do is write its obituary. The cause of death: a parasitic donor class attached itself to it and sucked the life out of it, rendering it incapable of performing even the most basic political functions when faced with life-or-death stakes. Or, as the Washington establishment would call it, “centrism.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Weenie Roast: 5 Reasons the Dems Got Toasted, and Why 2022 is Going to Be Even Worse

by Russell Dobular

From a drunken, jibbering James Carville appearing on CNN to lament the state of the race in Virginia a few days out, to the NBC poll that dropped over the weekend showing Joe Biden with a 42% approval rating, there was bad Juju for the Democrats written all over the first major election night of the Biden Presidency. As the results unfolded, with Youngkin holding a lead from jump that shrank but never disappeared, and Ciatterelli holding a much tighter, but also consistent lead in New Jersey, a state that should have been an easy lay-up, the punditocracy cast around for easy explanations while diligently avoiding the hard ones that get your network barred from sit-down interviews with the President.

Everyone’s favorite convert to the Church of Shitlibbery, Nicole Wallace, unbelievably tried to blame the multi-car Democrat electoral pile up on the fact that we pulled out of Afghanistan, as if Americans are sitting around their kitchen tables, sadly lamenting the unfulfilled promise of a woke Kabul.

And all the flavors of racism were invoked, as has become de rigueur in the face of Republican victories: Brianna Keilar at CNN, blamed “dog whistle racism” for Youngkin’s victory in a state that elected its first black female Lieutenant Governor right alongside him, and the ever reliable Queen of Dumb Takes, Joy Ann Reid, confidently declared that parents’ expressed concerns about “education,” (air quotes, Reid’s), is “code for white parents don’t like the idea of teaching about race,” apparently without digging into the demographics of Virginia voters expressing those concerns, a large number of whom were Asian, Latino and African-American.

But the real reason behind these losses and the even more devastating and consequential losses to come is far simpler: no one likes a weenie. If you look up the definition of “weenie” in the dictionary, then plaster the face of pretty much any Democrat you can think of next to it, 9 times out of 10 they’ll go together like outed sex procurers to the powerful and mysterious suicides

Okay, that may not be the only reason, but running candidates with faces as eminently punchable as Terry McAuliffe’s, may just not be the winning strategy that it appears to be if you only talk to the kinds of people who don’t want to punch Terry McAuliffe: a tiny subset of Washington insiders and donors, along with maybe a few of his closest relatives, and probably not even those if you get them liquored up enough to be honest about it. 

For everybody else, he’s just a Clinton-era bag man with the same weird Trump fixation that his old Domme Hillary rode right into embittered obscurity. So, here’s the real deal top 5 takeaways that didn’t make it into Politico:

1. Let’s Go Brandon

Honestly, we could just stop here. Nothing better demonstrates the way the left and the right have switched places than the eruption of this phrase and the desperate attempts of the establishment and its media mouthpieces to do what they always do with dissent in the post-Trump era: define it as dangerous right-wing extremism, if not outright domestic terrorism. It used to be the left that tweaked the nose of the powerful with a mix of subversive humor, vulgarity, and impromptu guerilla theater.

“Let’s Go Johnson”

Now it’s the right that challenges the absurd hypocrisy and dishonesty of our institutions by parodying one hapless NBC reporter’s attempt to pretend that “Fuck Joe Biden” wasn’t really being chanted at the NASCAR race she was covering. 

Meanwhile, the left has taken on the role of its one-time nemesis, the humorless censor, ruling every challenge to its authority as uncouth, uncivilized, dangerous, and out of bounds. America has always hated a stiff and a scold, and while those types have occasionally held sway, they’ve never held it for long, and have always been regarded with derision and loathing in the end. Welcome to the beginning of the end.

2. $1,400 Doesn’t Buy As Many Votes As It Used To

What exactly has Joe Biden done for you, other than send out a check for $600 less than what he originally promised?  Now, here’s an even more salient question: what has Joe Biden done for you that Trump wouldn’t have done? Exactly. You see the problem here.

3. You Can Fuck With People’s Heads, But You Better Not Fuck With Their Kids

For several years now, the identitarian left has been proudly touting its support of ideas about race that are derived from Critical Race Theory. As soon as it became clear how deeply unpopular those ideas are, not only with white people, but with many POC, they began to swing between denying that CRT exists (which would be news to originators like Derrick Bell and Kimberle Crenshaw), claiming with intentional obtuseness that even if it does exist, it’s a theory about outcomes in the legal system that certainly isn’t being taught to children, and finally, asserting that it doesn’t represent anything more than an attempt to teach America’s history of slavery and segregation in schools.


No, CRT itself isn’t being taught to children, and yes, it did begin as a theory of law. But since its inception, it has morphed into a General Unified Theory of race that colors the way the “soft sciences” and humanities are taught at the university level, and the students who have directly or indirectly absorbed these precepts in the course of their academic training then bring that perspective to the way they teach children

This is what parents are reacting to, because most people aren’t all that keen on the idea of having their children taught that they’re divided between race-based oppressed and oppressor classes, before they’re old enough to reliably tie their shoes. Yes, there is a conversation to be had about the way slavery and Jim Crow are taught in schools (badly, like pretty much every other historical topic), but do we really believe that liberal Northern Virginia parents voted for Youngkin because they don’t want their kids learning about Rosa Parks?

These are separate issues that proponents of CRT desperately want to conflate because most people are not actually against teaching children about slavery, but they are very much against having their children taught to see themselves as victims and victimizers. The more Democrats are tied to these ideas, the better for the GOP.

4. Covid Fatigue

Based on where they rank Covid among their concerns, at this point a majority of Americans probably feel that the juice of further lockdowns, mask mandates and general restrictions, isn’t worth the squeeze. This puts the party that’s been blowing Dr. Anthony “what could possibly go wrong with funding gain of function research in China” Fauci for two years running, at a distinct disadvantage. Throw into the mix the fact that Florida and some other Southern states are doing as well, and in some cases better, than covid restriction model citizen states like California and New York, and you’re looking at the makings of virtual GOP hegemony after 2022, as people run right into the arms of the party most likely to just leave them the fuck alone already.

5. Personally, I Could Give Two Shits Who Shits Where, But . . .

. . . maybe that’s not the hill we want to die on? Sometimes I just want to ask Democrats, “Do you know any normal people?”  Y’know, the kind of people who don’t believe there are seven sexes, or at least don’t believe that extreme outliers are all that relevant to their day-to-day existence, and are also deeply uncomfortable with the idea of sharing a bathroom with someone of the opposite biological sex, no matter how they identify? Set aside what your opinions on the subject are; we’re talking political realities here. If I had to come up with a policy proposal that would piss off parents enough to overwhelmingly flip to the GOP, I couldn’t come up with anything better than imposing gender-neutral bathrooms in public schools, without offering single-sex options. All it took was one sexual assault in such a bathroom to undermine the Democrats’ suburban strategy.

This sort of incident was inevitable, not because of gender neutrality, but because unfortunately, sexual assault is a thing, and it’s a thing that sometimes happens in bathrooms. Thing is, when it happens in a gender-neutral bathroom in a public school, now you’ve realized parents’ worst fears, and they’re going to vote accordingly.


On a final note, as I wrote this article, I could already hear the identitarian shitlib pushback. It’s the same pushback you get when you defend Dave Chapelle, or Joe Rogan, or – God forbid! – Jordan Peterson. Meanwhile, Chapelle’s special has a 97% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Joe Rogan continues to be America’s most popular podcaster, and Peterson sells a lot more books than Robin DiAngelo.

Liberals’ response to this evidence of how deeply out of touch they are with most of their fellow citizens usually boils down to: everyone else is stupid, racist, reactionary, and evil. And they aren’t shy about expressing that opinion, as any casual peruser of pretty much any social media platform will have experienced first-hand. Then, after charming the voting public with this behavior day after day for several years running, they are always somehow shocked that when people get a chance to vote on the matter, they’d sooner elect the reanimated corpse of John Wayne Gacy than a Democrat. The response is never to re-evaluate their beliefs or messaging. It’s always to double down on attacking the voters, as was the case after last week’s latest wipe out.

This is not the behavior of people who can or will win elections, policy battles, or anything else. Flame wars and petty cancel crusades do not a meaningful political movement make and that’s more or less all Democrats have got at this point. The future belongs to the other side. Because nobody likes a weenie.

We discuss the 2021 election results and more on episode 125 of the Due Dissidence podcast. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to our podcast and listen on Apple, StitcherSpotifyCastbox, Google Podcasts, or any major podcast player.

Image: Don DeBold

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[Satire] Sinema Aides Reveal Her Pact With Satan

“She literally has the devil on speed dial,” says terrified intern

A special Halloween-time investigation by Russell Dobular

Senator Krysten Sinema this week denied claims that she sold her soul to the devil in exchange for earthly power and riches after several former and current aides came forward to make the accusation. 

“Can’t anyone just be bought off anymore?” Sinema replied to one reporter inquiring about her alleged connections to Lucifer, adding, “I also don’t appreciate the sexist ‘in thrall to the Devil’ trope. When it’s a man, he’s simply corrupt. When it’s a woman who’s violated every principle she ever claimed to hold, all of a sudden everyone thinks she’s gone to a crossroads in the middle of Tempe, stripped naked under a full moon, sacrificed an animal of some sort in the delicious night air, possibly an armadillo, and given herself completely to the Dark Lord, body and soul. It’s just wrong and I won’t stand for it.”

Still, rumors persist that through her voting record, Sinema is preparing the way for the antichrist foretold in the Book of Revelations, under the direction of one or several demonic entities. 

According to Arizona State University lecturer and demonology expert, Dr. William Hellstrom, Sinema’s journey from Green Party candidate and immigrants’ rights activist to human pharma cash vacuum attachment is typical of those who sell their souls to the Devil.

“We see this again and again throughout history,” he said from inside a protective circle made up of hastily scrawled ancient runes, “Caligula, Napoleon, even Atilla the Hun; they all started out with noble intentions, but in the end they weren’t able to resist the Prince of Lies. How do you think Nancy Pelosi made $150 million dollars as a sitting member of Congress anyway?  Sinema has already racked up her first million and believe me, she’s just getting started.”

Perhaps most disturbing is the series of disappearances connected to Sinema’s office. Since she was first elected to the Arizona State House in 2011, no less than 12 of the Senator’s interns and staff members have gone missing under mysterious circumstances. 

The pattern has not gone unnoticed by some of the parents and partners of the missing, who have created the non-profit Loved Ones of Missing Krysten Sinema Aides and Interns (LOMKSAI), with the aim of pressuring law enforcement to investigate. 

Mary Cafferty, spokeswoman for the group and mother of one of Sinema’s alleged victims said, “It’s very clear that something evil is going on in that office. Who holds up a vote on lowering prescription drug prices, then just runs off to the gym like nothing happened?  Her familiars in the police department need to stop conspiring with the Beast and do their jobs.”

One wan and clearly terrified intern who spoke only on condition of anonymity painted a chilling picture of life inside Sinema’s office, “Everyone has to wear a sweater because it’s always freezing, even in the middle of summer and that’s without air conditioning. It can be 90 degrees out and you can still see your breath. Of the staff that was here when I started, I’m the only one left.  And also, I’ve been having these crazy dreams of her scratching at my window, asking to be invited in.  And after every disappearance, she seems, like, I don’t know . . . younger.” 

Here she paused, her eyes darting nervously as if afraid someone might be listening, before whispering, “I’m afraid I’m going to be next.”

This is a developing story. 

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Alexander Sammon on the Unmasking of Centrism’s Emptiness and Corruption

Alexander Sammon, staff writer at The American Prospect, wrote a recent article entitled “The Undignified Demise of Centrism.” In it, he concludes:

“Centrism, now, is imperiled as a political orientation not for its competitive viability, but for the emptiness and corruption that has been exposed at its heart. Not a single young voter, or someone politically up for grabs, can look to the leadership of Kyrsten Sinema or Scott Peters and see a politician with a positive vision for governance and society, one they could believe in, knock on doors for, or turn out to vote for.”

As negotiations continue over the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan, so-called “centrist” Democrats in both the House and Senate have raised objections to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package championed by both progressives and the White House.

Moderates holding up the legislative process by insisting that plans be watered down is nothing new. But Sammon argues in his piece that what is unique to this particular fight is that this time, centrists aren’t even bothering to disguise their obstructionism as anything but what it is: hollow and nihilistic corruption.

Kyrsten Sinema is teaching a college course on fundraising (yes, that’s right) while refusing to offer any rationale for her objection to the Build Back Better Act.

Joe Manchin is steadfastly (and successfully) chipping away at Biden’s climate proposals while raking in huge amounts of money from the fossil fuel industry, and having gotten rich off his own coal company which he founded in 1988.

Congressman Scott Peters, as Sammon cites in his article, all but openly admitted the corrupting influence of pharmaceutical donations on his decision making process, insisting that refusing their donations would be tantamount to “defunding” his campaign and “let[ting] Republicans win.”

Unlike most intra-party fights where centrists play an active role in negotiations and submit their own counteroffers to more progressive proposals, this time they’re making no such effort. They’re simply saying no for the sake of it, offering the American people no explanation other than the one many are arriving at themselves, which is that centrism as a governing philosophy is both morally and intellectually bankrupt, and bolstered by nothing more than the undue influence of corporate money in politics.

Alexander Sammon joined our podcast for a deeper dive on this topic. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to the Due Dissidence podcast on Apple, StitcherSpotifyCastbox, Google Podcasts, or any major podcast player.

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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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Progressives’ True Test Arrives as Biden Signals Major Infrastructure Compromise

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that President Biden, in meetings with House Democrats, has significantly lowered his goals on additional infrastructure spending. Until now, he has thrown in with progressives who insisted on passing a $3.5 trillion package in addition to the $1 trillion bipartisan bill.

Biden’s new ceiling is apparently $2.3 trillion, a drastic reduction from an already compromised number (as Bernie Sanders has repeatedly stated, progressives initially wanted a $6 trillion deal).

Up to this point, House progressives have wisely touted their support from the president, and attached themselves to Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. Perhaps it was their legitimate claim to Biden’s allyship that emboldened them to hold firm at their $3.5 trillion price tag, as they have maintained their position over the past several weeks despite pressure from moderates in the party and their corporate backers.

Now that Biden has essentially caved (editor’s note: surprise, surprise), progressives’ true test has arrived. They now must have the courage to remain steadfast in their demands without the cover that comes with attaching themselves to the leader of their party, the President of the United States.

Now that Biden has signaled that the high end of the settlement will be more like $2.3 trillion, the same progressives who banded together to block the $1 trillion package last week will have to publicly defy party leadership – including the president – if they want to drive that amount higher.

Whether they have it in them to do that remains to be seen. In the American Rescue Plan negotiations, House progressives didn’t put up a fight to keep Bernie Sanders’ minimum wage provision in the bill after eight Senate Democrats teamed up with Republicans to defeat it. So if past is prologue, there’s little reason for optimism.

If there is cause for hope, it’s that they have publicly dug in already on this infrastructure fight, and that caving now would be seen as yet another humiliating defeat for the Left. Pramila Jayapal instantly rejected at Joe Manchin’s ludicrous $1.5 trillion offer, saying plainly, “That’s not going to happen.” Whether she and her caucus can maintain that same level of confidence without clear support from party leadership is now the big question regarding the fate of the infrastructure bill.

Lauren Steiner, activist and host of The Robust Opposition, joined us on our podcast for a deep dive on the state of these negotiations. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to the Due Dissidence podcast on Apple, StitcherSpotifyCastbox, Google Podcasts, or any major podcast player.

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You Don’t Change the Party, the Party Changes You: AOC’s Iron Dome Vote Proves This Point

by Keaton Weiss

Whether to DemExit or to primary centrist Democrats and elect progressives within the party has been a contentious debate in Left circles since the 2016 election. Those in the latter camp argue that the party can be reformed from within if enough insurgent candidates can successfully defeat incumbent moderates. A common retort among the former is some version of the phrase, “You don’t change the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party changes you.”

Those words loom large this week, as on Thursday evening, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez switched her vote on the funding of Israel’s “Iron Dome” from ‘no’ to ‘present’ just moments before the tally was finalized. Fellow Squad members Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Cori Bush, were among only 9 representatives who voted against the $1 billion investment in Israeli’s military defense.

Among the possible explanations for AOC’s last minute change of heart is that she is considering mounting a primary challenge against Chuck Schumer for his Senate seat in 2022, and that were she to be perceived as anti-Israel, it would sink her chances. There’s also some speculation that her district will be redrawn to include Riverdale, a section of the Bronx with a sizable Jewish population.

Whether these political conundrums occurred to her just in time to change her vote, and whether or not they factored into her decision, are unknowable unless she herself offers her own explanation (she was also spotted exchanging words with Nancy Pelosi shortly before the vote). In any case, it’s fairly obvious that she wanted to vote ‘no,’ but ultimately lacked the conviction to do so, and that this was a purely political decision and not a moral one.

Of course, the #FraudSquad contingent of the online Left will have a field day with this, as they’ll point to yet another instance of AOC waffling on issues of importance to her progressive base (another recent example was her ‘present’ vote on $2 billion of Capitol Police funding).

And while it’s easy to sympathize with their disgust, we should also see this as a profoundly sad story. Reportedly, AOC had to be consoled by her colleagues on the House floor, as she seemed to have broken down in tears in the moments before and after the vote.

Perhaps she cried because she finally realized that the pressures of Washington had actually changed her. Once a renegade firebrand set to spearhead the progressive takeover of the Democratic Party, she now found herself having to break from her fellow Squad members and betray her values for purposes of protecting her own power. At just 31 years old, less than a year into her sophomore term, she had already compromised her principles in such an obvious way on an issue of particular importance, not only to her, but to her closest allies in Congress as well. Rashida Tlaib, the United States’ first Palestinian Congressperson and friend of AOC, gave a powerful floor speech against the funding bill, denouncing the Israeli government as an “apartheid regime.”

Parting with her most trusted and esteemed colleagues, especially on a matter as personal to them as this one, could not have been easy for her, which much better explains her emotional reaction than that her tears were somehow fake, as has been alleged by some in both Right and Left wing media circles.

Let’s not forget that in the wake of the 2020 election, when progressives were being blamed for Democrats’ House losses, AOC gave an interview to The New York Times in which she openly floated the possibility of quitting politics altogether. She lamented that Washington was “extremely hostile to anything that even smells progressive,” and said that “the odds of me running for higher office and the odds of me just going off trying to start a homestead somewhere — they’re probably the same.”

This is one of many examples when AOC has spoken publicly about the challenges of overcoming institutional and political pressures as a progressive Congresswoman.

We should also recall her statement in the aftermath of her 2018 victory in which she expressed a willingness to buck the system to the point where it might cost her her seat. In a video for Justice Democrats released in January of 2019, she proclaimed, “If you’re a one-term Congress member, so what? You can make 10 years’ worth of change in one term if you’re not afraid.”

Unfortunately, it seems now that she is afraid – afraid of party leadership, afraid of her own electorate, and afraid of what the future has in store for her as a politician.

And so rather than bludgeon her with #FraudSquad hashtags and accusations that she’s “sold out” her base, I think we ought to encourage her to ask herself that very same question: if you’re a one-term Congress member, so what?

Is she cut out for this, or would she be of greater service in some other capacity (we know from her previous quotes that she’s asked herself this same question from time to time)? She’s a giant star at this point who undoubtedly has a plethora of options in terms of how she can best influence the world she hopes to change. Is Congress the best place for her to do that, or is it not? She needs to revisit this question. Because right now, it seems she’s on the all-too-familiar path of young starry-eyed idealists who think they can change the system, only to find years later that the system has changed them.

At this rate, it won’t be too long before she sounds just like Nancy Pelosi did in her September 2019 interview, where she said, regarding progressives’ push for Medicare For All, “All of these issues – single payer and all that – I have those signs in my basement from 30 years ago.”

Will AOC be singing that same tune sooner than later? It sure looks that way. But as a young woman with a massive following and bona fide celebrity status, there’s no need for her to resign herself to such a depressing fate. Perhaps she should quit, as she suggested she might last year, and try to affect change from outside the system.

At the very least, she needs to rediscover her cavalier spirit as an activist who’s not afraid to lose an election or upset party brass. Because by casting such a blatantly hypocritical vote as this one, she’s betrayed the very coalition that propelled her to power in the first place – something for which she instantly felt remorse the moment she did it. She doesn’t have to do this anymore; the decision is hers to make.

We discuss this further in the video below. Click the player to watch, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos:

Photo: USA Today