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Time to Play Lucy and the Football with Sanders, Progressives?

Patrick Martin in “Bernie Sanders to seek Democratic presidential nomination” takes a much needed CLOSE look at the history and realpolitik behind Bernie Sanders.

In the kabuki that is America’s corporate-captured political establishment’s and corporate media’s greased slide to fascism, US Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont has stepped onto the stage to do his bit for the continued confusion and manipulation of us, the bewildered and fleeced herd of citizenry.

Sanders had been Vermont’s only House Rep since 1990. In 2006 he became a US senator. In 2012 he declared himself an independent and a democratic socialist rather than a Democrat.

Sanders wants Americans to believe that he is an enemy of Wall Street.

Sanders has caucused with the Dems in both House and Senate, received the same “treatment” as the rest of the Democrats with committee assignments, etc. As of this year, Sanders is a ranking minority member of the Budget Committee. Sanders has been backed by Wall Street politicians, significantly star best friend to WS, Charles Schumer, who backed his election in 2006. In 2012 superstar BFF to Wall Street, Barack Obama, traveled to Vermont to campaign for him.

Sanders is not a REAL independent. He is also, asserts Martin, NOT a REAL socialist.

He is a member "in good standing” with the Democratic National Committee since his running as a Democratic Party candidate is okay with it. It issued a statement welcoming him into the race. Sanders will have access to the debates. His appearance on the ballot will not be challenged by the DNC.

If Hillary Clinton proves vulnerable, assures Martin, there is the possibility that Elizabeth Warren will late in the kabuki game step onto the stage with Sanders. They will keep the progressives in the corporate Democratic Party pen if Hillary can not.

Sanders will play straw man. Warren is ready to play straw woman.

Al Sharpton plays a convenient and rewarded straw man. Dennis Kucinich played the role in the presidential elections of 2004 and 2008 for the Democrats. Look at how he was rewarded.

Sanders asserts he is against the advantages of millionaires and billionaires in our system. But instead of running as a third party candidate, as a Dem Party candidate he will be taking orders from the DEM PARTY BILLIONAIRES. WTF???

His focus, according to Martin, is on economic inequality, money dominating the campaign process, and climate change dangers.

As far as foreign policy is concerned, Sanders has denounced the Trans-Pacific Partnership.


What about the perpetual and ever-escalating wars? What about going after Obama in this dimension?


Sanders has identified the big problem we all know. The 1% is economically raping the 99%.

Sanders, of course (????), has hired a Democratic Party strategist, Tad Devine, who worked with Dukakis, Gore and Kerry. Hmmmmm. None of them winners. Devine has declared that Sanders must not be seen as a Ralph Nader spoiler! Well, that will be tricky, since he is volunteering to “spoil” main candidate Clinton’s chances -- supposedly.

Martin Patrick asserts that even if Sanders ran as an independent for President, he would still be a “capitalist politician”. He has been one since 1990.

Patrick maintains that in his 16 years in the House, Sanders voted 98% of the time with the Democrats. He supported Clinton’s war against Serbia in 1999. He voted for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force after 9/11 which was used as the basis for the invasion of Afghanistan and all the dimensions of the gobsmackingly murderous and mendacious “global war on terror” including the droning assassinations of the ever-popular amoral Obama.

Sanders approves of the sanctions leveled against Russia and the coup in Ukraine. Sanders is a FERVENT supporter of Israel according to Martin. Martin also stresses Sanders is “stridently chauvinistic” when it comes to trade and immigration.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs during the scandal over conditions at VA hospitals, Sanders worked with Republican John McCain to INCREASE PRIVATIZATION of VA care.

Martin points out that the press declares Sanders an assuredly non-winner for President but it will play "respectful" to him.

Mike Bloomberg’s Bloomberg News concluded that “Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign may be USEFUL for the Democrats.” Again, Sanders can help Clinton address leftish issues with him as her safe “straw man”.

Martin concludes:

Other press commentaries noted that Sanders has been reluctant to criticize either Clinton or Obama, a sign that he is himself conscious of the task he has been assigned, to give the Democrats a “left” face without challenging the Wall Street consensus or damaging the presumptive nominee. Even when directly questioned about the tens of millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation from companies with issues before the Clinton State Department, Sanders declined to engage.

Another round of "Lucy and the football," Progressives?

We have a new Lucy.

[cross-posted on znet]

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Submitted by libbyliberal on

I've got sirens of cognitive dissonance blaring in my head since the Dem Party and mainstream media are just being so darn nice and "herding" re Bernie, like when Oprah helped grease the slippery slope for Obama's 2008 victory. Come along all you nice little Dem lemmings and those of you who have left the Dem party, come back to register and vote in the primary for Bernie!

blues's picture
Submitted by blues on

I've seen about ten times when this guy double-crossed us.

How they run Bernie Sander's fascist State of Vermont:

Robert Woodward, 'Woody', our dearly beloved friend, entered the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in West Brattleboro, Vermont around 10 AM on Sunday morning, December 2, 2001, and pleaded to the assembled congregation to give him political asylum, explaining that government authorities sought to torture and kill him. Very quickly the children were taken outside, and church president Charles Butterfield went to the office to place a 911 call. According to Charles he requested plainclothes officers be dispatched and related that Woody was "deathly afraid" of authorities. At some point most of the congregation left the room. While that was occurring Woody took out a pocket knife and pointed it at his face threatening to hurt himself if people did not stay to bear witness for him. Eighteen people decided to heed Woody's plea and stay. When a parishioner told Woody he was scaring people, he apologized and put away the knife. Another parishioner gained Woody's trust and sat down next to him, then attempted to make phone calls for him on a cell phone.

Just as the calls were being attempted, and only about 14 minutes after Woody entered the church, three Brattleboro police officers, dressed in body armor and carrying pepper spray and semiautomatic 40 caliber pistols, entered the room and advanced on Woody. When Woody saw the police he jumped up and again took out the knife and pointed it at his face. Some witnesses heard shouts of "drop the knife" but others could not understand what the police were saying.

Within less than a minute of the police entering, two of the three policemen shot seven rounds into Woody. A fusillade of shots followed the first two shots, so rapid that to some witnesses it sounded like a single shot. One detailed account describes the police firing the fusillade of rounds into Woody as he was lying on the floor, curled up in a fetal position, and holding the knife to his face. The police had made no attempt to use negotiation or nonlethal restraint such as their pepper spray to subdue Woody.

While Woody lay on the floor bleeding heavily and with a shattered elbow, the police proceeded to handcuff his wrists behind his back, forcing him to his stomach. The police refused repeated requests from a physician present that the handcuffs be removed so she could access his wounds to stop the bleeding.

43 minutes elapsed between the time of the shooting and the time Woody arrived in the emergency room of the local hospital 3 miles away. It took over three and one half hours to move Woody to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital which had the facilities needed to treat his heart trauma. He died shortly after arriving there around 2 PM.

Every one of the witnesses who has been willing to talk publicly has maintained that Woody never threatened anyone but himself.

Woody had never had a run-in with the law. He was known for his rationality and equanimity.

I spent an hour on Google trying to find some sort of an outcry from dear old Sen. Bernie. Nothing public turned up. And the wonderful Governor Howard Dean meticulously covered it all up to boot!

CounterPunch -- Oct 02, 2011 -- Senator Bait-and-Switch - 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. Some of his fans have even suggested that he should challenge Barack Obama in the Democratic Presidential Primary. 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.

Senator Sanders rarely misses a photo opportunity with Vermont National Guard troops when they are being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq. He’s always at the Burlington International Airport when they return. If Sanders truly supported the Vermont troops, he would vote to end all of the wars posthaste.

Want machine vote collection and tallying? If it saves 10X of any time and expenditure, it also makes it 10X easier to perpetrate systematic rigging. Which of these burdens can we truly afford to endure? Really! There will always be enough paper ballots to drop into boxes, even if we have to write up our own. But not enough machines to service 1,000 voters when ten malfunction and only three are available.

Think voter-verified paper audit trails will help? Do you get to vote again if you complain that the display and the voter-verified paper are both wrong? How many times will they let you do that? Twenty?

The simplest form of score voting involves absolutely no fractions, division, multiplication, or other logic complications. Each voter can give from 1 to 10 votes to each of a certain number of candidates, up to say 20, since letting them give votes to 100 candidates would just take too long. They can't give a zero (0) vote since then they could write in someone's name and give zero votes, which is not nice. At the end of the day, all the votes are simply added up -- that's it. So you could, for example, give 10 votes to candidates you really want, and 9 votes to a "lesser evil", but well financed, one. If the lesser evil one wins, you will only have sacrificed 10% of your voting power. It's absolutely simple. This has been known at least since the time of French Revolution!

It is very responsive to the input of the voters, and allows local tallying, with no need for centralized tallying. It involves absolutely no fractions, division, multiplication, or other algorithmic complications. And is as lawful, at least federally, as any other system. It actually nullifies the two-party "system"!

("FairVote" advocates "IRV" and is funded by the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Open Society Institute, etc.)

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Thanks, blues. Profound story. Responsibility is the "ability to respond." Omission to responding when there is something profound to respond to is telling. When Elizabeth Warren was asked about the slaughter in Gaza she literally ran down the hall from the reporters to avoid commenting. Ick. Bernie is a staunch defender of Israel, though they were a tad extreme with Gaza he may admit. Ick.

Submitted by lambert on

.... since healthcare is likely to be an issue in 2016, and it's worth pointing out that there's a worse option than ObamaCare.

As far as Sanders, if he opens space for discussion -- even this post! -- that's OK by me. I don't expect much other than that. It's up to us to take advantage of the fake opening and make it into a real tear, I would say.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

The only reason that Schumer and other Wall Street Dems backed Sanders in 2006 is that Sanders is unbeatable in Vermont, it is a case of bowing to the inevitable.

Everyone can take a look at Sanders' record and decide for themselves, but there is such a thing as naive cynicism.

Submitted by lambert on

I connect "naive cynicism" with refusing to see and seek splits between pillars of the regime. Does that make sense?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

naive cynicism is a phrase that Gene Lyons and Joe Conason use to describe a mentality that is cynical without critcal examination. It is just as unrealistic as romanticism. As Head Roc puts it, we shoould support politicians with suspescion.
Skepticism is one thing, cynicism is another. I look at Sanders' record and I see what is, by far, the furthest left serving senator in my lifetime. As president Sanders would give us single payer, reduced military adventures, end the trade deals from hell, and possibly Stephanie Kelton as Treas. Sec. and a job guarantee. No one else even wants to do any of these things. As a candidate Sanders offers us a chance to implement most of the 12 point platform, Why not seize the opportunity to support a real lefty.
Everyone has to judge for themselves.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I see no reason not to support that which one likes in a candidate and to abhor that which one does not openly. I despise Bernie's support for Israel, for example, but as it is an omnipresent factor in literally anyone out there one might have the opportunity to vote for it seems counterproductive to not support him purely because of that.

I have been called a "sanctimonious purist" far too many times by those who then axiomatically vote for an evil I could never countenance to be deterred by such as this. Mold the moldable, support the supportable and then vote for the Greens anyway if it does not work out. Seems a pretty simple strategy.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

nippersdad, appreciate your sensibility! thanks.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Bernie Sanders is not the answer to serious reform for our political system. Until the majority of progressives acknowledge the full-out corporate capture of the Democratic Party, the true level of dysfunction and CORRUPTION we are doomed as a society to deeper and deeper fascism.

Bernie Sanders enjoys popularity with disenchanted progressives -– gotta love those sound bites -- and he is judging from the media coverage already (this is just too easy) “safe” for the Dem establishment since as Howard Dean once assured, he votes with the Dems 98% of the time.

Since he is running as a Democrat it seems the plan is to get people to register Dem to vote for him in the primary and/or simply stay in the Democratic pen.

Most everyone is convinced he doesn’t have a serious shot but supposedly he will make Hillary move left.

Hah! She may feign left with old Bernie there in the debates. But stay left when she is beholding to, bought by, the millionaires and billionaires still pouring on the money? Let’s try to remember how left Obama campaigned and what happened. And he never explained himself. Accepted a peace prize. And still, Obama refused to explain his militarism, his Republican-stances and the corporate welfare and immunity from prosecution he rewarded the rich with. The progressives seriously never demanded that he should. MSNBC, mainstream media, TEAM DEM just kept asserting the “lesser evilism” meme.

Now it is time to motivate the penned in Dem progressives, still trapped and unrecovered in the five stages of 2008 Obama election grief and staring at a Hillary Clinton who is a neocon hawk, BFF to Israel, and is financed by the corporate elite. Hillary has the audacity to promote herself as a champion of the average citizen.

So bring on Sanders to polish up the Dem party’s tarnished liberal image.

Sanders endorsed Obama’s $3.9 trillion budget which increased military spending 5%. Sanders can be relied on to vote to fund the wars. Talk is cheap, even if he does criticize the wars. Show us what he does about the money. Actions not firey rhetoric.

Sanders strongly defends the actions of Israel and is more accommodating to Israel than Obama, though he did crony up with progressives to boycott Netanyahu’s last obnoxious speech to Congress.

Rand Paul speaks out against Obama’s assassination program with drones while Bernie stays mum.

So are Dem progressives supposed to invest time and money in a campaign that nobody thinks will really take the crown away from Hillary? For a “reformer” who really votes Dem 98% of the time? At this stage and at this age, is he really going to seriously challenge the corporate-captured political establishment?

Or are the Democratic Party and its obedient so-called progressives being provided Bernie fuel for further denial and “lesser evilism” rationalization? Hillary’s straw man!

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I have read several articles this morning about the pressure being brought to bear on Hillary to kill the Fast Track process purely because of the "Warren wing's" opposition to the trade bills Obama and the Republican Party are pushing for. That thing has become toxic to the degree that Boehner is begging for help from not only Obama but Clinton as well to help pass the legislation!

How often does that happen?

If they can kill fast track now the trade bills won't be an issue for the next two years. Keystone is coming up, and that one cannot be buried as the approved alternatives have been by this Administration. Bottom line, we are already seeing profit by pitting them against each other right now. They still need to be elected to get their grift on later, and therein lies our only bargaining chip.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Will the Dems offer us croutons as opposed to the Republican crumbs?

The international corporate elites and the 6 communication megaconglomerates are on the TPP case and never underestimate the traitorousness of the US Congress.

The amorality of the political parties involves domestic and foreign horrors. We don't have Dem party voices calling out the full out matrix -- especially the foreign policy evils. Hell, we don't have enough lefties doing that.

The global war on terror has come home. It is a class war after all. "Thugs" maybe a new code word for "terrorists" among the establishment.

National Guard in Ferguson used the term "enemy forces" against PEACEFUL protesters.

The group-think is too strong to fix the Dems from the inside.

Hungry people make poor shoppers. Warren and Sanders on the Dem leash.

I'm seeing Lucy and football a sure thing.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

however, one must play the cards that one has. I love Jill Stein, voted for her before and prolly will again, but the system makes it very difficult, if not actually impossible, to ignore the duopoly of entrenched legacy parties. If there is the potential for making ones' views known within the system then it is just another card to play that we did not have before.

Pulling out of the ME and leaving it to the Saudi's is no crouton! He has a lot of things to say that, even if he does not mean them, have the potential to light a populist wildfire. This is some pretty powerful red meat for a starving populace, why not encourage it? Sixty percent of the electorate does not vote, at all. They have totally tuned out. Maybe Bernie can make a difference in the current political dialogue and get those people involved.

Submitted by lambert on

I don't think we're in "Let's take Yes for an answer" mode but I think the left is in better shape with the Democrats than it has been in years (which is not the same as supporting the Democrats, or assuming they've had a change of heart, or anything like that).

1) "They have no place to go," meaning that Steve Israel's Blue Dogs got whacked in 2010 and 2014. The left is the only place for them to grow because they lost "the center" i.e. the chance to move right.

2) Hence the pandering, which we know is pandering, but we need to walk and chew gum at the same time. Even if (though) the Democrats including Sanders are completely cynical, nevertheless the discourse has changed and stuff is out there. I mean, I saw a reasonable mainstream piece on Sanders as "socialism" just today. Granted, it wasn't a good piece, but at least it didn't demonize either Sanders or the term.

3) At some point the Democrats have to fish or cut bait on policy, and that's where the very long election cycle helps us. And we win either way: a) if they play small ball, we point it out. (The country is just as ready for long ball as it was in 2008.) b) if they come up with some decent policy, well "What have you done for me lately?" Keep dragging the Overton Window left.

4) Hillary Clinton is nearing the age when my mother had her first stroke. I would not be surprised if Clinton withdrew due to medical issues, and I think one reason the rollout has been so slow and gentle is that the staff wants to keep her under wraps and avoid anything that's physically taxing. Here again, the long campaign helps us.

Adding, when a giant ocean ship gets moving in one direction, it is very hard to stop. But the corollary is when the ship seems dead in the water, and then starts moving in another direction, it is also very hard to stop.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

lambert, the industrial strength lesser evilism cronyism of so-called American progressives makes me despair. there is often zero tolerance for daring to criticize the Dem Party or Obama and/or Hillary. "lesser evilism" has a religious fervor. sometimes backlash is so ferocious one is asked to leave such websites for daring to challenge. (Kos, Dem Underground, etc.) Now with Sanders will the left of the progressives divide up again? I hope not.

Have been commenting on the Guardian recently, and many have a religious or romanticized zeal about Obama and Hillary, whether American or not. Now with Sanders. And the Guardian has certain topics it automatically zaps your comment if you dare go there on the challenging side, like Ukraine, Assange, Snowden, Russia, Israel. More despair.

Submitted by lambert on

Not seeing them create a whole lot, only obstruct. Imagine being a volunteer party apparatchik! What a sad life. "Take what you like and leave the rest," even if what we like isn't very much ;-)

Submitted by libbyliberal on

lambert, when open salon disappeared recently (big salon disappeared "open salon"), a huge cyber community was dislocated. I am so grateful to have corrente. Since FDL breakup, you have been my home harbor, but I began to wander around a bit after the recent open salon community elimination and am getting tasered for my political incorrectness on what I thought were progressives sites. My radical gadfly-ness. Open salon folks went after my leftishness with gusto often, and lots of snark, but I wasn't ordered off the island.

The kool-aid industrial strength blue Dem cronyism removes me and people like me efficiently and quickly!!! Daily Kos a while back, and Democratic Underground recently, the wounds and abruptness still smarting. DU zapped anything I had ever written whether blog or comment. I think I got as far as one blog. I think with Kos my blogs and comments are still standing before my being exiled.

DU and the Guardian commenters have called me out as a troll and Republican and a Christian fundamentalist. WTF? They denounced my screen name for being liberal when they couldn't comprehend there is a left beyond their not so left center left. And there is a strident hatred for poking around at the rationalization of "lesser evilism." The more we sink into its quicksand the louder the defense of it becomes.

I wonder what my shelf life will be on the Guardian? They are doing a strong pr campaign for Hillary in the main articles. The commenters are divided.

Though if I mention certain important topics the Guardian quickly erases them with the shadow message about the commenter having been inappropriate. Do I stay and be a pain in the a** for the topics they haven't put up the electronic fence around yet? I remember Huffpo used to disappear any comments that had the word Palestine in them. The Guardian does the same.

So much for free speech among the so-called progressives. "Truthiness" prevails and no reality checking against it is acceptable.

again, thank GOD for corrente!!!

best, libby

Submitted by lambert on

Well, like the site slogan goes...

You could always use bitly to de-Correntify the links and drop them in comment threads with a shorter comment. More under the radar (and of course it (re)builds traffic here).

I'm not sure I agree with the post, but I can't see a reason to nuke it!

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Was being ironic, but again, I am grateful to you and corrente.

I also feel a deeper level of despair, futility and isolation.

Submitted by lambert on

... the situation for the left is the best it's been in years. Let's take "It's not as shitty as it used to be, at least" for an answer! (And if Occupy and #BlackLives matter had happened at the same time, we'd really be cooking.... But this is organic stuff, can't be planned ahead...)

Of course, the Dems will do what they do. But we know that!

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Salon. I've read you there, but there was no way to respond--registration was closed.

I agree with you and Patrick Martin about a Sanders candidacy. There are so many MSM pieces that celebrate the great help that he will be to the Democrats, that it's impossible to view this as a serious run (IMO). I've seen more than one corporatist media piece discussing this angle. "

Actually, it doesn't particularly bother me. I'm not sure that I'll even bother to cast a protest vote this election cycle--doesn't seem to do any good.

Anyhoo, good to see you!

Good luck at The Guardian. I know a couple of people who post there, and they also complain that it's not as 'left' as they expected. But they're still there. They tried to get me to register. I may. Couldn't be worse than most lefty American blogs.

(Correntewire excepted, of course!)

Hope you hang in there. Your voice is too valuable to lose!