Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Will You Allow Yourself To Be Forced Into Voting For The Lesser Of Two Evils Next Year?


[Click to enlarge.]

Last week the Pew Research Center released a fascinating survey of voters that doesn't just inform us that Republicans' favorite and most hated candidate is Donald Trump. This one gets down into what makes voters tick. For example, 60% of Democrats say they are more likely to vote for a candidate willing to compromise with Republicans and 14% say that they are less likely to vote for a candidate willing to compromise. On the other hand, significantly fewer Republicans want their political leaders to compromise with Democrats. 41% say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who works towards compromise and fully 27% say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who is willing to compromise with Democrats.

Pew also points out: "There are significant differences between Republican and Democratic voters over the importance of all eight issues included in the survey. By far the biggest partisan gap is over the importance of the environment as a voting issue-- 74% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters say the environment will be very important; only half as many Republican and Republican leaning-voters (37%) say the same."

Majorities of both Republican voters (67%) and Democratic voters (65%) say it is more important to pick a candidate who comes closest to their views on the issues. Just 27% in both parties say it is more important to choose a candidate who has the best chance of winning next November.
But for an increasing number of progressives, the establishment insider game of forcing voters to choose between two horrible establishment alternatives-- 2016 was "supposed to be" another wretched Clinton v Bush redux-- is no longer viable. Yes, Hillary is better than Bush (or any of the other Republicans running), but is she really the best we can do? Not many progressives I know think so. H.A. Goodman outlined 25 reasons why Bernie would make a better president than Hillary. Do these reasons disappear after the primary as we devolve into what the Democratic careerists want: "She's better than [fill in the blank]"? Even if it means the Democratic Party becomes more corporate, more of a shill for the military-industrial complex, more beholden to predatory Wall Street banksters and more, in the true sense of the word, "rightist"?
1. President Hillary Clinton will have a neoconservative foreign policy. Bernie Sanders says "I'll be damned" if Americans lead the fight against ISIS.

Jacob Heilbrunn, in a New York Times article titled The Next Act of the Neocons, writes, "It's easy to imagine Mrs. Clinton's making room for the neocons in her administration." Also quoted in the New York Times, conservative historian Robert Kagan says, "If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue, it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else."

In addition to voting for the Iraq War (and pushing for the disastrous bombing of Libya) while calling this decision a "mistake," her quotes in an Atlantic interview with Jeffrey Goldberg confirm that President Hillary Clinton could be a liberal Dick Cheney in the White House:
This is what Clinton said about Obama's slogan: "Great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle."

"You know, when you're down on yourself, and when you are hunkering down and pulling back, you're not going to make any better decisions than when you were aggressively, belligerently putting yourself forward," she said. "One issue is that we don't even tell our own story very well these days."

"The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad--," Clinton said.
As if the lessons of bombing Libya during Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State weren't enough, Clinton would have armed the Syrian rebels had she been president. The problem with this is not only that half the Syrian rebels are jihadists, but also that it would have pushed the U.S. into the Syrian civil war, while we were still embroiled in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If anyone wonders why I wrote an article last year on a certain GOP Senator, saying that I'd vote for that person (I'm, of course, voting for Bernie and that piece was written from a purely anti-perpetual war standpoint), the fact that Vox says Clinton's words on foreign policy sound "super hawkish," is one of the main reasons I wrote that piece.

America has suffered enough from a neoconservative foreign policy and one look at icasualties.org highlights this reality.

In contrast, Bernie says, "I'll be damned" if America leads the fight against ISIS (calling for others to put ground troops in the region, not us) and puts American soldiers and veterans first, as evident by his recent Congressional Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

2. Bernie Sanders has always been against Keystone XL. Clinton once supported the controversial pipeline and now won't answer questions.

3. Bernie Sanders has always been against the Trans Pacific Partnership. Hillary Clinton supported the trade deal 45 separate times according to CNN.

Unions that back Hillary Clinton should remember Reason # 10 as well.

4. The Vermont Senator voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and stood up for gay rights when polls were against this issue. Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, opposed gay marriage up until 2013.

Don't claim to be outraged by Kentucky's Kim Davis if you're voting for Hillary Clinton. Both had the same views on gay marriage, only Davis didn't "evolve." Like The Guardian says, Hillary Clinton's views evolve on gay marriage, just in time for presidential campaign.

5. Bernie Sanders has a Racial Justice Platform. Hillary Clinton ran a 3 AM ad with a "racist sub-message" in 2008. South Carolina Congressman James E. Clyburn denounced Bill Clinton's remarks about Obama in 2008 and stated the Clinton's were "committed to doing everything they possibly can to damage Obama to a point that he could never win."

6. Clinton's encounter with Black Lives Matter exemplifies her outlook on race. In an interview with NPR, Daunasia Yancey, the founder of Black Lives Matter Boston, called Hillary Clinton's racial justice record "abysmal."

As for commentary on Clinton's meeting with Black Lives Matter, Benjamin Dixon and Yvette Carnell explain how Clinton politicized her meeting (and in effect, hurt the movement's momentum) with Black Lives Matter representatives.

7. Bernie Sanders has advocated breaking up the banks and reinstating a Glass-Steagall Act. Clinton does not advocate either policy objective. [She claimed today that Glass-Steagall dealt with the problems of the past and that she's about the future which is, alas, pre bullshit and could even be a separated reason to not vote for her.]

It's no secret that Wall Street is in Hillary Clinton's corner and few believe the populist rhetoric from the former Secretary of State. Bernie Sanders, however, is a genuine reformer who eagerly takes on the "billionaire class."

8. Hillary Clinton is constantly involved in scandal and either the victim of a "surreal witch hunt" according to James Carville, a conspiracy among intelligence agencies (a Clinton spokesman says the government has "competing views" on what is classified, apparently making it alright for a retroactively classified email to be on a private server), or controversy.

Bernie Sanders can type an email without a nationwide scandal.

9. Bernie Sanders will not take money from billionaires. Hillary Clinton accepted $100,000 from Donald Trump in donations for her foundation and Senate runs in New York.

It's difficult to debate the potential GOP nominee and tell the country you're different, when you've accepted $100,000 from the billionaire.

10. Four of Clinton's top five donors since 1999 are Wall Street firms. Bernie Sanders is running a grass roots campaign.

11. Hillary Clinton is against the decriminalization of marijuana. Bernie Sanders supports the decriminalization of marijuana.

12. It's true that Republicans have an irrational hatred of Clinton and that the Benghazi attacks have been unfairly leveled at Clinton. However, most of Clinton's scandals are based on her own decisions, not the irrational behavior of others. Not everything is Benghazi.

13. Hillary Clinton hasn't explained the political utility in owning a private server as Secretary of State.

14. I want a female president; however, I want her to be Elizabeth Warren.

15. I don't want my president to have an ongoing FBI investigation during her first term.

16. Hillary Clinton hasn't explained whether or not her server was safer or better protected than the U.S. government's server.

17. It is a fact that Clinton had classified and "Top Secret" emails flowing through her server.

18. Many of Clinton's classified emails were "born classified," meaning they weren't classified retroactively.

19. Five intelligence agencies thus far are now a part of the email saga. They can't all be part of a right-wing conspiracy.

20. Economically, Bernie is more progressive in tackling wealth inequality while Clinton addresses the issue, but continues raking in Wall Street money.

21. Bernie Sanders was active in the Civil Rights movement and also endorsed Jesse Jackson's 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns.

22. Edward Snowden says it's "ridiculous" to think Clinton's email setup was secure. Freedom of Information Act expert Dan Metcalfe calls Clinton's email defense "laughable." Neither one is a part of a right-wing conspiracy.

23. Swing states do not trust Hillary Clinton and 55 percent of Americans, according to CNN, have an "unfavorable" view of Clinton.

24. I want a true progressive as president, especially in terms of the greatest powers of a president: getting America into wars and shaping foreign policy.

25. I trust Bernie Sanders. I do not trust Hillary Clinton or the GOP.
I'm not on board with every single point Goodman makes, but I am on board with many of them, enough for me to have decided that I will continue my decision in 2012 to never again vote for the lesser of two evils. If you want to help Bernie build his momentum and win this race, you can do that here... for a better America, not just for a less evil one.

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At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. I owe Obama ONE thing: having forced me to finally kick the "lesser of two evils" voting habit.

2. Robert Kagan is certainly a credible source regarding who is/is not a neo-con: http://tinyurl.com/onzba4e
He is about as monstrous a jerkwad as there is in US power circles along with his brother and father.
He is a PNAC co-founder.
He is married to Victoria Nuland, the State Dept architect of the fascist coup in Ukraine.

3. Until proven otherwise, I am assuming that Nuland's promotion to Assistant Secretary of European and Eurasian
Affairs, that allowed her the opportunity to arrange that coup, was ultimately accomplished with the support of
one Hillary "get Assad" Clinton in her tenure as Secretary of State. Nuland's confirmation, then Ukraine project
results did not take place until Ms Clinton had stepped down as Sec State, thus, affording herself a margin of
plausible deniability.

John Puma


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