Wednesday, April 29, 2015


So Bernie Sanders is entering the presidential race:
... Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday.

Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks.

Sanders' entry into the Democratic race ensures that Hillary Clinton will face a challenge to win the support of the liberal wing of the party.
Yes! Finally Hillary Clinton will be challenged by a genuine progressive!


Well, it's already happened. In fact, it's been happening for years. Here's Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake in 2011:
Bernie Sanders to Primary Obama? Don’t Make Me Laugh

... Whenever the talk of a primary comes up, I always ask “who is going to do this?” The answer is always someone like Bernie Sanders or Jan Schakowsky, the same people whose job it is to put the Good Liberal Housekeeping Seal of Approval on whatever piece of neoliberal shit the White House cooks up to please the bond vigilantes. The people who suddenly become okay with war when the White House says so, who shake their fists in the air with outrage right before they fold, the people you can count on to always be there when there’s nothing they can do…and are nowhere to be found when they can.

... Yesterday Bernie’s job was to stand up in the Senate and whine about Tea Party extremists. If Bernie had one-tenth of their conviction, his vote alone could have saved the country from the shitty health care bill that put them all in office.
(This is accompanied by a photo of Sanders on the floor of the Senate with the caption "Last Train to Loserville.")

But Hamsher was late to the game. Alexander Cockburn was bashing Sanders as a sellout in the pages of The Nation years before Hamsher started blogging. From 2000:
Independent in name only, Sanders sold out to the Democratic machine long ago. He's no longer part of a movement.... In his re-election race for November, he's outflanked on both politics and gender....
The column goes on to refer to "Sanders' dismal trajectory." Yup -- he was a sellout fifteen years ago, long before he reached the Senate.

And then there's this, published in 2011 in CounterPunch shortly before Cockburn's death. It was writted by Thomas Naylor, but it appeared when Cockburn was well into his second decade as the magazine's co-editor:
The Myth of Bernie Sanders

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has recently been elevated to near godlike status by the political Left in the United States.... The more often he is accused of being a socialist by his political enemies on the Right, the more convinced the Left becomes that he surely walks on water.

Although Sanders may have once been a socialist back in the 80s when he was Mayor of Burlington, today, a socialist he is not. Rather he behaves more like a technofascist disguised as a liberal, who backs all of President Obama’s nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Since he always “supports the troops,” Sanders never opposes any defense spending bill. He stands behind all military contractors who bring much-needed jobs to Vermont....

Sanders is the darling of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee and the right-wing Likud government of Israel. He has done everything within his power to keep the myth of Islamic terrorism alive. He never questions the U.S. government’s unconditional support of Israeli acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. It is as though these are nonevents....
So, yes, if the Democratic Party shifted far enough to the left to nominate Bernie Sanders, and the country shifted far enough to the left to elect him, there'd be plenty of lefties in America who'd be looking for someone to save us from the latest faux-progressive phony.


Victor said...

Ah, the "Liberal Purity Patrol," is still active.

I'm starting to hate this old saying, but I think it applies here again:
'Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.'
Or, something to that effect...

Philo Vaihinger said...

There are the left, the professional left, and the radical left.

Hamsher and Cockburn alike belong to b and c, above.

Personally, I have long been sick of people who vote against good things folks need because they aren't quite good enough.

And that means people like H and C.

O'care contains many good things that have done many people much good.

And there are so many gaping holes in Medicare, right now, that Medicare for all would not be all that much better than Medicare as it is + O'Care + expanded Medicaid for everyone else, anyway.

labradog said...

Jane Hamsher is a well-meaning waste of time.

northierthanthou said...

It's always possible to imagine someone better, or more in line with your values. But what candidate will push progressive values more than sanders?

The Pope of Pop said...

Yes, we should be willing to settle for good if we can't get the better. That's why we all should have just rallied around behind Bush when we weren't allowed to have Gore. Because if we ignore all the evidence and everything we know, he's darn good. Exactly like Sanders.

The Pope of Pop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Pope of Pop said...

There are idiots, professional idiots, and radical idiots. which is Philo Vaihinger?