Sunday, January 03, 2016

At Some Point Something Will Make Everyone Question If They Still Want To Acquiesce To A Lesser-Of-Two Evils Electoral System


I keep seeing one of those annoying automated spam tweets-on-endless-repeat from The Hill: "Billionaire George Soros said he regretted backing Obama in 2008, Clinton email reveals." I suppose its about the primary and he was sorry Hillary wasn't the nominee. But there were plenty of people who felt let down by Obama-- or by what-they-thought-Obama-was-going-to-be-- in 2008. 69,498,215 people voted for Obama in the 2008 general election. 3,591,091 fewer people voted for him in 2012, so I guess they regretted it too. I live in California and I voted for Obama in 2008, knowing full well that he conservative voting record in the Senate augured badly for his presidency. 8,274,472 other Californians did as well (61% of the voters). Four years later, only 7,854,285 (60%) voted for him and I was among the 420,187 fewer Californians. I voted for Jill Stein instead, the candidate on the Green Party line. It was a classic protest vote. I didn't know very much about Stein but I wasn't happy about Obama and wanted to indicate with my vote that he hadn't been progressive enough. Ironically, he's mostly-- not entirely, mostly-- been better in his second term.

This year I'm excited to be supporting Bernie Sanders (you can support him here) and I fear that if the Democrats' well-funded establishment candidate beats him, I'll be forced to stay true to my decision about never voting for the lesser-of-two-evils and then I'll be voting for Jill Stein again. I know a little more about her now though I know-- and she knows-- she's not going to be president of the United States in 2017. I did get an interesting e-mail from her campaign yesterday though, calling on Rahm Emanuel to resign from office. From what I can recall, Bernie has said something to the effect that if it is found that he was withholding the tape of the police murdering Laquan McDonald from the public, he should resign and that Hillary said he's a grand ole guy and a good egg. Stein was close to contemptuous of Rahm and the power structure that's keeping him in place:
Rahm Emanuel has presided over years of extraordinary violence by the Chicago police. Now he is deeply implicated in the 400-day cover-up of a savage police killing, which enabled the Mayor’s 2015 re-election to proceed without the firestorm of protest the video has now unleashed.

Following his re-election, the Mayor himself gaveled through the City Council a $5 million dollar settlement that included silencing the McDonald family. His actions starkly embroil him in a police murder cover-up he either knowingly participated in, or was negligent for not knowing about. Sweeping murder under the rug is behavior we should associate with bygone Chicago Mafia, not the current Chicago mayor. All of this warrants Emanuel’s immediate departure from office, as well as a full investigation.

The McDonald tragedy points to the festering crisis of unaccountable police violence on Emanuel’s watch. In almost 400 police shootings investigated by the city’s Independent Police Review Authority since 2007, incredibly, only one was found to be unjustified.

Republican politicians make no bones about their odious bigotry. But while top Democrats sanction racist violence on the police force and fill jails as effectively as their Republican colleagues, Democrats count on votes from the very communities most devastated by the bipartisan police and prison state. Hence, some Democrats are obliged to issue occasional (or in some cases constant) noises of hypocritical drive-by concern.

Not only have the Democrats failed to take effective action against the epidemic of police killings of people of color, they actively collaborated with the Republicans to implement a program of mass incarceration of people of color. And they have consistently failed to embrace the programs needed to end racism and economic injustice. Black lives matter-- but not to the two corporate parties. Only the Green party and Green candidates stand consistently for rolling back the bipartisan project of the prison state and its out of control police. Only the Green Party and Green candidates refuse contributions from law enforcement unions, prison contractors and their PACS.

Anybody, including Democrats, can shout the magic words that black lives matter. But among political parties only the Green Party is prepared to carry the peoples demands, to answer to the people, not the police or the one percent whom they serve. And this is just a first step towards racial justice-- which must also redress glaring inequality in schools, employment and health care, as well as policing, courts, and prisons. Only then can we ensure that black lives truly matter.
Fact of the matter is, whether Hillary and her team want it admit it or not, Rahm is becoming a real issue and a real albatross. I'm not saying that black voters in Chicago will vote for Ted Cruz or Herr Trumpf or Paul "Brokered Convention" Ryan, but I am warning that black turnout could be in jeopardy if Clinton is seen as one of the institutional props keeping Rahm in office. Clinton having her spokesperson tell that media that "she knows Mayor Emanuel loves Chicago, and is sure he wants to do all he can to restore trust in the Chicago Police Department" isn't going to cut it. Just over the weekend he was accused of being part of a coordinated coverup of Laquan McDonald's murder, along with the police and "independent investigators." Is this going to just drip out all during 2016? And the problem isn't going to be quarantined in Chicago.

Last week, the Buffalo Chronicle explained why more and more black Democrats are opening up to Bernie-- and it is in part because of what Bernie stands for and, ominously, in part because of Hillary Clinton is.
Katrinna Martin-Bordeaux is the region’s highest profile advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement and is the Chairperson of Young Black Democrats of Western New York, a coalition of activists that has mobilized the minority community around education and economic justice issues in recent years.

Her organization, Young Black Democrats of Western New York, is planning to endorse Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America.

...“We want the national spotlight to be put on Hillary Clinton’s treatment of the Black community during her eight years as our United States Senator, during which she ignored the Eastside of Buffalo,” explains Martin-Bordeaux.

Martin-Bordeaux is an Erie County Democratic Party official and is a zone chairman in the Town of Cheektowaga. She is a professional nurse and one of the city’s most prominent social justice activists.

Operatives anticipate that the event could attract national attention that scrutinizes Clinton’s record in the Senate and both Clintons’ policy posture towards the Black community, which includes a horrific record of mass incarceration and banking deregulation that has decimated the minority community.

The event would come at a time when the Clintons have been propagating a misleading narrative that Hillary Clinton has strong support among minorities, which activists say is untrue.

Given Buffalo’s national reputation as a hard fallen rust belt city that is a ruin of its former self, the event would also draw scrutiny of the Clinton’s for their passage of NAFTA and other free trade policies that decimated American industry in cities like Buffalo, so that Wall Street bankers could make more money.

“The event would profoundly undermine the Clintons’ claim  that they are supportive of unions, working families, or the minority community-- with the backdrop of powerful visuals of massive abandoned industrial structures,” says a local operative.
Normally a video on plutocracy, like the one below, would be used to explain what's wrong with the Republican Party. It works just as well to explain what's wrong with the Rahm Emanuel wing of the Democratic Party. I recommend it... big time.

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At 3:50 PM, Anonymous OldVet said...

This year I will be voting for Bernie Sanders because I actually believe he would reverse the trend of the corporatization of the democratic party and because I believe he would be an excellent president for the working classes of our country.

In 2008, I voted for Obama because ABC (anyone but Clinton).

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing this film... very eye opening. I can see so many parallels between back then and now. I will also be voting for Bernie Sanders this year. I hope many people watch this. We have so much to learn.


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