So, clearly, we’re all angry now. Paul Krugman is seething at Bernie Sanders because Democrats aren’t standing with her all the way. OK… But is it worth risking one’s golden Nobel reputation with lies that don’t even make sense? Apparently so!
Paul Krugman wrote in a blog post that Bernie Sanders’ Twitter timeline is ugly, and he provided readers with a link to it. Readers of his blog followed the link and the vast majority reported that there was no ugliness to be found. They left hundreds of comments on Krugman’s blog, in protest of what they saw as a blatant lie.
But Krugman wasn’t interested in making a factual argument. Nearly a week later, this time in his op-ed, he repeated the smear about Sanders’ Twitter. Readers reacted the same way. The only reasonable conclusion one can make is that Krugman is applying his analysis of the success Republicans have had with spreading lies, repeatedly, until they become the narrative. While that might work with low information voters, it is doubtful that it will work with Democrats. It sure didn’t in 2008!
Charles Blow, who since calling Hillary Clinton a queen has significantly toned down his anti-Sanders rhetoric, highlighting some of the things he likes about his platform, while intentionally remaining obtuse about Sanders’ viability. Charles Blow writes that he has no idea what Bernie Sanders’ “political revolution” means or how he plans to achieve whatever it is supposed to be.
Really? Getting people to turn out and vote in a democratic majority is that hard to comprehend?
According to Blow, it is incomprehensible and nonsensical. Why? Well, if Sanders’ ideas are the right ones but he can’t possibly succeed, then it follows that she who claims to get things done would stand a better chance, were she to move a bit more to the left and the public move right along with her.
Unfortunately, Charles, that’s just not how that works. Hillary’s wild pivots leftward have left voters unimpressed with her veracity. Even Clinton, now twice, has admitted to town hall hosts that she’s just not good at politics. How does that square with getting “ish” done? I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that anyone who sits where I do will conclude, as I have, that Hillary Clinton hasn’t learned a thing since the 1990’s or 2008.
As of March 13th, Hillary Clinton continues to demonstrate, through unforced errors, that she hasn’t learned on race matters.
She has shown Black Lives Matter, whenever she’s come into contact with some of its leaders, that she will leave it up to the people to decide whether or not to grant Black people in this nation the rights and safeguards they demand.
Imagine that! Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act, we’re back to the right versus voters’ whim debate, as if we’ve forgotten that rights, whether they be human or civil, are not up to the popular vote, but a matter of law. Funny… I thought Clinton paid attention in law school!
On wages, especially in this depressed economy, Clinton is adamant about not supporting the fight for 15, and leaving it up to the states to exercise their right to meet or exceed the Federal minimum. She employs the same logic with healthcare, under the guise of running on a platform of succession to President Obama.
But what is it about leaving it to States’ Rights that should enrage a vast majority of Democratic voters? Well, for one, it is the knowledge that if you are trapped in a red state, you are unlikely to get healthcare or a living wage for as long as gerrymandering and the GOP’s choke hold are in place.
What else does this predilection for leaving human and civil rights up to the whim of the states mean? Well, in the case of police brutality, it means that she will do as she did with Wall Street in 2007, asking the states, nicely, to cut it out. What about executions? Well, as Clinton told Ricky Jackson to his face on Sunday, March 13, she’d be relieved if the courts did away with executions but, she can’t in all good conscience allow all the terrorists this nation regularly sentences to death, not to be put to death. So, I don’t blame Charles Blow one bit for showing his anger in his new video. There is plenty to rage about.
I wholly agree, though, with one major distinction: not only has it been proven both statistically and among the philosophers of our day that the death penalty has no deterrent effect, but Charles forgot to mention that the moral case against a society being in the business of killing its own – Sanders’ starting position on executions – remains the moral position; one that a majority of Americans can get behind on, and one that a majority of progressives who want things done have long expressed. These arguments come in even before we begin the discussion on who exactly it is that is most impacted by the death penalty.
But Blow is unable, for whatever reason, to criticize Clinton without at least taking a swipe at Sanders. So, what does Blow choose to swipe at Sanders with? His promise to Sam DuBose’ sister to investigate every instance of police killing through his Department of Justice, should he get elected. Charles Blow contends, in the video above, that Sanders knows he is making a promise he will never be able to deliver on. Why? Because the DOJ can’t possibly investigate upwards of 1200 police killings per year. Because DOJ investigations are very involved affairs that take up to a year to complete. DOJ reports are very long and detailed. The DOJ doesn’t have the staff with which to conduct that many investigations…
Can the DOJ not hire more lawyers, investigators and agents if the president so wishes? Can the president of the United States not use discretionary funds, if needed? Can any presumptive president of the United States not be given any benefit of the doubt that if he makes a campaign promise – one that is near and dear to his heart – that he has worked out at least a few approaches to get things done? If something hasn’t yet been done by some other president, including the sitting one, does it follow that no other would or could? Are we to generalize to Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s obvious lack of enthusiasm or commitment to putting the nation on the path that Black Lives Matter has demanded? Is doubting Sanders on ending institutionally racist policy that even by Clinton’s own admission is a result of her husband’s crime bill – just because if Clinton can’t or won’t, therefore, Sanders can’t and won’t, either? Do we generalize to Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s inherent racism because we just can’t imagine that a Jewish white guy who has been “in the movement” for fifty plus years just couldn’t be on the up and up?
Neoliberal partisanship is a sickness that is related to what ails this nation’s various groups: “I got mine, and I’ll be damned if I risk it.” This is what Clinton’s divisive campaigning is doing, just like all supremacist candidacies in past political processes have done, on either side of the political spectrum: divide and conquer using race, gender, and class. Charles Blow, Paul Krugman, Jonathan Capehart, Matthew Yglesias and many others are as much a part of the problem as the candidates themselves, when they defend the indefensible or invent and then assign fiction that they then utilize to bash Sanders.
Listen to your minds and hearts. Is it fair? What is really possible if we all put our votes to it? What can we all do if we turn out to vote? Changing Congress back to a Democratic majority will be a game in two sets: 2016 and 2018. It will be Bernie Sanders’ job to keep voters aware, awake, and engaged in a process of restoration that will take his presidency and the next few to complete. None of this will happen if we cannot even imagine change can happen. We are the change. We exist. Therefore, change can happen.
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