Bernie or Bust: Blowback From New York

New York Times columnist Charles Blow is the latest establishment guardian to wag his finger at Bernie or Bust, referring to those of us who refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton as “bonkers.”

His argument is the usual assortment of cold cuts: privilege, petulance, the composition of the Supreme Court, that Clinton and Sanders have significant differences but far more in common, that we must all unite around Clinton to defend social issues and save the world from the dangers of Agent Orange, Donald J. Trump.

itchy and scratchy gop

Blow’s argument is bolstered by pointing to Trump and Ted Cruz – the Itchy and Scratchy of the GOP.  But here’s where it starts to ring hollow, he’d accuse Bust of privilege regardless of the nominee.  If we refuse to vote for Clinton then he believes we are privileged and don’t care about people of color, LGBT rights, or social progress.  The GOP nominee could be Trump or our next door neighbor, he would still accuse us of privilege.

So my question to Mr. Blow, “at what point do I have your permission to not vote for the democratic nominee?”  He knows the answer and so do you.  Never.

Privilege is a demand that we vote for the Democratic Party nominee for President.  Without exception.

Democrats first signed the Clinton contract back in 1992.   I hereby agree to vote against my economic self-interest; to ignore regime change war, to accept oligarchy control and purchase of the global economy and American politics; to support the ethical vacuum and walking ATM that is Hillary Clinton – in exchange for protection of social issues, identity politics, and the Supreme Court.  Blow and everyone in Vote Blue have signed it.  Bernie or Bust refuses to do so.  And Blue loses it.  Bbbbbut Trump!  Supreme Court!  Privilege!  Bonkers!

I’m white, I get that privilege exists and I benefit from it.  However, I do not accept that voting blue in every presidential election is mandatory and the only path.  Bust operates in Blue’s blind spot: time.

Sacrifice four years and look at the reward.  A progressive president in 2020.  Far more progressive appointments to the Supreme Court than Hillary’s pro-corporate moderates.  Timed at the point of highest turnover on the court from 2020 on.  Timed after the census and redistricting that turns Congress bluer.  A rejection of Clinton leading a transition to more voter funding of candidates and more progressive voices.  All leading to a far better future for people of color and the LGBT community than what they would get under Clinton and her VP from 2020 on.  Do I still sound privileged and entitled?  Bernie or Bust is about the bigger picture, in policy and over time.

At what point are we allowed to vote based on our priorities (economics, war, and climate change)?  Our principles (fairness, ethics and integrity)?  Blow and Blue would like you to believe that they are asking you to just make an exception this time.  “It’s Trump for God’s sake!”  Before that, it was name the republican.  It’s a never-ending parade of the lesser of two evils.  Every election is the most important in history.  Every vote has to be anchored to the now.  Meanwhile, the parade marches on as the income gap is the widest since the Great Depression – and growing exponentially.

Enough is enough.

It’s Hillary Clinton for God’s sake, queen of the oligarchs, master of the pseudo-truth from a certain point of view.  Bust will not vote for her.  Not now, nor ever.

What Susan Sarandon was getting at in her remarks about revolution was a different mindset, a different time horizon.  Bust is willing to exchange four years of Trump for eight years of a progressive.  Bust sees a need to prevent the Clinton future of oligarchy control with barges of money for the 1% and scraps for the rest of us.

Sarandon is hinting that sometimes things have to get worse before people see the light, before they get what needs to happen, a progressive path forward.  That doesn’t mean she is wishing mayhem on the world or advocating violence.  Sarandon is saying difficult times before a dawn of awakening.

With that on to the lightning round, featuring Vote Blue’s greatest hits:

You are taking your ball and going home because your candidate lost.
Bust is about distrust and rejection of Hillary Clinton, her lack of ethics, her pro-oligarchy policies and relationships.  Has nothing to do with Bernie, everything to do with Hillary.  If the nominee is Biden, Warren, Gore, O’Malley, Bust does not exist.

Conservative Supreme Court for the rest of your life!
Chill Sparky.  If it’s Trump he’s booted in four years.  More SCOTUS turnover after 2020.  We’d rather have a new progressive president appointing progressives, lots of them, from 2020-28.

But it’s Trump you can’t be serious.
If it’s Trump he lacks the support of both parties.  If it’s Cruz he’ll alienate democrats and plenty of republicans.  If it’s Clinton she has democrats voting with their president and republicans voting with her on pro-corporate legislation and war.

President Donald Trump, think about that for a minute.
It’s becoming less likely.  He needs 57% of the remaining delegates to clinch.  If not, Cruz is the GOP establishment’s tool to force a bait and switch brokered convention.   Then we get Hillary Clinton’s 3rd worst nightmare (behind an indictment and Sanders winning).  The GOP nominates anyone other than Itchy and Scratchy.  Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, etc.  This rumor is making the rounds now.

Let go of your dream candidate, you’re making this a purity contest.   
A purity contest implies commonality, which exists on social issues and Citizens United.  For the rest, on the issues that Bust cares about most Clinton and Sanders are opposites – economic fairness and trade, oligarchy rule, Wall Street, war and peace, climate change execution.  On the principles that Bust cares about most they are polar opposites.  Fairness and integrity vs. the ethical descendant of Richard Nixon and Niccolo Machiavelli.

Bernie or Bust vs. Vote Blue

In a tug of war between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie or Bust, the Clinton voters mistakenly believe the arguments that work on them will reel Bust into voting Clinton in November.  Yet when Vote Blue pull they just fall backward, the rope is limp in their hands, powerless. Bust has let go, the arguments carry no meaning to them.

the rope

In Blue vs. Bust, there is no agreement on who, what, how, and most importantly, when.

Blue: You must vote democrat to keep the GOP out of power.
Bust
: The fight that matters isn’t democrat vs. republican, it’s progressive vs. corporatist.

Both parties have collected money hand over fist from corporations then stood and watched as the middle class disappeared.  Bust sees both parties as the enemy, both are run by corporatists that serve the money, not the people.  Clinton wins, Trump wins, either way, the 1% wins.  The rest of us lose.

Look at the recent decision of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to favor loan sharks over the poor.  Why?  The sharks donate to the DNC, and Schultz.  Vote Blue votes green.  The party has lost its way and its soul.  After the primaries, Bust plans to abandon the Democratic Party en masse.

Blue: So by refusing to vote for Hillary Clinton you will abandon people of color, Obamacare, gays, women’s rights. Your position reeks of privilege.
Bust
: The Grand Canyon of this election.  On the Clinton side the personal picture, how politics will affect me, my friends, my life.  Self.  On the Sanders side the big picture, how politics will affect all of us, the economy, war and peace, the planet.  Us.

It’s not about privilege it’s about priorities and the focal point.  Clinton’s Third Way corporatism was founded on a cynical lifeline assumption: that the working class will vote against their economic self-interest and look past war due to a deep emotional investment in social issues, identity politics and the balance of the Supreme Court.

That investment is a bedrock absolute for Blue and demands that they live exclusively in the now.  Not for Bust.  It’s important but not an absolute, the most progress is made when sincere leaders and the opportunity window align.  More on that a few paragraphs down the road.

Bust flips the Third Way script, what they care about most is what Clinton wants voters to ignore – oligarchy control of economics, politics, war and climate change.  The big picture comes first for Bust, the agenda priorities are reversed.  For the first time in 24 years, the lifeline assumption that the Clinton Third Way absolutely depends on is severed.

That alone should give Clinton and Vote Blue some pause.  Bernie or Bust is not bluffing.

Blue: Just because you have different priorities doesn’t change that your position is born of privilege.
Bust:
You’re still not getting it.  Bust sees the bigger picture as the bigger threat.  To ALL of us.

A global economy owned and run by and for the 1% will bulldoze the American middle class.  The Center for Economic Policy Research in London estimates that the TPP trade agreement in Asia Pacific will cost nearly 500,000 U.S. jobs, TTIP with Europe another 325,000.

Wages due to these trade deals are forecast to be cut for everyone making under $88,000/year according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute.  The study also notes that the average American worker with a four-year college degree sees an average wage cut of $1,800 due to trade deals with low-wage countries.

Clinton claims she is now against TPP, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce predicts otherwise, so does common sense and her history.  She helped facilitate TPP, her donors helped write it, she is going to block it?  Comcast (NBC/MSNBC) is salivating at the prospect of TPP goodies, they were one of the authors.

Then add the human cost of war, not acting on climate change, it adds up.  Spending trillions on war also takes money from the budget that could otherwise be spent at home and that limits investment in social programs and communities.

Blue: What about the Supreme Court?  And your reference to the opportunity window?
Bust
:  Meet Merrick Garland.  With opportunity, patience is a virtue.

President Obama’s appointee is conservative and based on past rulings would support Citizens United.  A Clinton appointment would likely be a pro-corporate moderate.

Take the Bust route and a progressive has an excellent chance to be president in 2020, which coincides with the census and congressional redistricting favoring liberals.  Greater court turnover is expected from 2020 on.  The new president appoints far more progressive justices than Clinton corporatists and the higher turnover creates a far more progressive court overall.

On the opportunity window and privilege.  A four-year sacrifice denying Clinton and the oligarchy absolute control pays off in 2020 and beyond with a progressive president and a bluer Congress after redistricting.  Now the opportunity window opens.  Now a true progressive can enact real change for the people instead of the 1%.  Now the Supreme Court turns far more progressive.  Now the tide turns.  For all of us.

Or you can vote for Hillary Clinton out of fear of Trump, ignore the big picture and live exclusively in the now.  You can have corporatism rule into the 2030s as you struggle to keep your job and your current salary; as war, terrorism and climate change elevate with the oligarchy running the U.S. government and Earth, Inc. for the exclusive benefit of the 1% and multinational corporations.

Bust chooses a better future, the people over the money.

More Blue vs. Bust tomorrow.  Clinton vs. Trump next week in part 4, wrap up the series with The Next 16 Years in part 5.

Bernie or Bust: Corruption

This is the first in a series of articles on Bernie or Bust, today: corruption.  Next week: mistaken assumptions and policy, Clinton vs. Trump, and the next 16 years.

Seems that every week of the democratic primary there are reports of election fraud that end up favoring Hillary Clinton.  Part of why Clinton’s poll numbers are so abysmal on trustworthiness is a pattern of unethical election tampering by her campaign.

Rigging the vote in Iowa to the point that even the Des Moines Register, which endorsed Clinton, calls the caucus results into question.  Bill and Hillary’s ongoing tour of America’s polling places on election day dynamiting electioneering laws.

Bernie Sanders is making inroads in Nevada?   Have Harry Reid lean on the culinary workers union to vote for her, her campaign pays the casinos to cover for the lost hours and check to make sure the workers caucus for Clinton.  She wins Vegas and the state.  Really capturing the hearts and minds of the voters.

In Arizona, a reported hack into Sanders voter files needs to be investigated, many voters saw their registration changed at the last minute.

In Washington, Clinton sent letters to voters that direct them to the wrong caucus location and at times that are only 30 minutes ahead of the vote.  Which would not leave voters enough time to go to the right location.  Stupid human tricks.

Dirty politics?  Clinton’s campaign is a black hole.  Just win baby.

Nationally the debates and the primary schedule are rigged by Clinton and her DNC Mini-Me Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  Delay the debates, only hold a handful and bury them in the ratings graveyard together with awareness of Sanders.  Put all the southern states in the first half of the schedule so the media can spin her as inevitable.

mini banana

Wasserman Schultz overturns a past decision by President Obama and suddenly lobbyists can donate in a primary, which funnels extra millions to Clinton.  Yet the DNC Chair claims there isn’t a “shred of evidence” she’s favored Clinton.  Who are you kidding?  Not us.  Leave the lies to your boss.

Clinton is Machiavelli on steroids, any means justify the ends.  Welcome to politics.  In most campaigns that’s accepted by both sides as a deeply cynical reality.  In this one it’s not, her opponent is known for integrity and his supporters value that highly.

The contrast is severe.  Clinton supporters think if they refuse to admit to a lack of ethics then it doesn’t exist, it goes away.  Others deny it but still defend it with ethics are immaterial, stop being naïve.

Sanders supporters are driven by fairness and ethics, both in their politics and their lives.  It’s a deeply held belief. Their passion for fairness includes supporters upset with Sanders for not calling out Clinton fraud, giving her the green light to greater abuses.

When the two perspectives collide it’s the unethical force meets the unmovable principle.  Sanders supporters are incensed by Clinton’s lack of ethics.  Which manifests in Bernie or Bust and a refusal to vote for her.

Clinton supporters turn apoplectic.  “How can you let your stupid principles…holier than thou…how is that more important than denying Trump!?!”  Insert vitriol, invective, a reference to childish behavior, taking your ball and going home is a favorite.  A volcano erupts spewing molten lava.

If I demanded that you adopt my priorities how would you react?  Insert crickets.  Or more lava.

text inverted

Back to our story….principles cease to exist if they are abandoned.  Also, note that Clinton’s abject lack of ethics is just one tree in the Bust forest though it is a towering old redwood.

An allegory on her indifference to ethics before a group that cares about it deeply.  Clinton is the cocky kid yelling fire as a joke in a movie theater packed with firefighters.  Imagine the seething anger, the six feet under looks, the loathing contempt.  That’s how angry the ethical wing of Bernie or Bust are with Hillary Clinton and her corruption.  Livid.  Venomous.  Every time Clinton commits fraud that vitriol intensifies.  It’s not going away in November.

“Just kidding guys, you’re still going to vote for me right, vote blue, forgive and forget, we democrats have to unite, can’t elect Trump, think of the Supreme Court, can’t let the GOP win right?  Right?  Guys?”

The gall of demanding that we vote for her may be the ultimate arrogance.  After all that Clinton and Mini-Me have done to rig the primary.  That corporate media have done to block and deny Sanders at every turn.  Time Warner (CNN) is one of her top donors, The Amazon Post, Comcast (MSNBC) the kid before Christmas that can’t wait to open the TPP gifts they helped write.

After the smug arrogance, condescension and denial.  After surrogate bomb throwing that sentenced Sanders women to hell and McCaskill’s McCarthyism.  After every member of the establishment tried to personally stuff Hillary Clinton down our throats.

After all that they didn’t count on a gag reflex called Bernie or Bust.