Friday, January 22, 2016

The Best Things Are The Most Difficult To Achieve And You Have To Work The Hardest-- Like A Bernie Presidency


The new CNN poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants showing Bernie trouncing Hillary, sent Team Clinton off the deep end. Forget their insane claims that Bernie is an NRA shill and a woman hater. Now they''ve all been instructed to call him a racist. The last poll CNN poll had her leading 54-36% and now Bernie's ahead 51-43%. Momentum is important with the caucuses just over a week away. But at least the Clinton campaign has its own media outlet to shape the news any way it likes. Blue Nation Review, a website owned by professional slime machine David Brock and run by Peter Daou, Clinton's former digital director who is now consulting the campaign.

As HuffPo reported in early December, Brock, an ex-Republican operative who runs one of the shadier of the Clinton SuperPACs, bought 80% of Blue Nation Review and named Daou CEO. Since everyone knows it's just a propaganda site for the Clinton Machine, it isn't taken at all seriously. Yesterday their lede was typical, President Trump-- Get Used to It Unless Hillary Stops Him, written by the CEO himself, Daou, not Trumpf.

Same ole/same ole reasons why Hillary is electable and Bernie's not, despite consistent head-to-head general election polling that shows Bernie doing much better than Hillary against Trumpf and against every other possible Republican nominee. DOA claims none of that matters because the Republicans haven't attacked Bernie yet-- actually they have; he was just too busy to notice. "Bernie," he warns, "will be turned into an aging cartoon Commie, a flip-flopping America-hater, a 60s holdover writing bizarre essays about free sex and child rape fantasies, a non-Democrat Democrat whose embrace of the NRA undermines his claims to purity, a politician who voted against the Amber Alert system, a draft dodger, and a man who thinks women’s rights are a distraction.  There’s an entire library of fresh, juicy opposition research on Bernie Sanders tucked away in RNC headquarters, awaiting the mother of all oppo drops." Actually that scenario is what Bernie has been laughing off from the Clinton campaign for the last 6-7 weeks. But Daou had more useful warnings:
My friend and business partner Eric Burns made a fascinating observation today: Trump is the master at taking down other men, but clueless when it comes to competing with a woman. He made a mess of his exchange with Fox’s Megyn Kelly and put his foot in his mouth with Carly Fiorina. He’s been flailing with Hillary, claiming she lacks “strength and stamina”-- perhaps one of the least believable political attacks of the entire cycle.

Trump eviscerates male opponents with a few tweets. He’ll have a field day with Bernie Sanders, and so will the GOP attack apparatus.

Elections are about choices, about weighing pros and cons, about picking a candidate judiciously. Hillary’s capacity to withstand direct hits from the GOP’s smear machine and come out stronger every time is a crucial asset.

President Obama faced John McCain and Mitt Romney, neither of whom were remotely as scary as Donald Trump. “President Trump” isn’t an option for America. And Democratic voters now have to decide who can face him should he remain on track to win.

I’ve spent the day fielding a torrent of outrage from Bernie fans who take any criticism of their candidate as a deep personal insult and who spew volcanoes of venom toward Hillary, revealing their obvious issues with powerful women. But my advocacy for Hillary is undeterred.

Electing the first woman president in American history won’t happen without a struggle. I want my young daughter to know I fought tooth and nail to elect Hillary. I’ll continue to do so until Election Day. And I do so knowing she’ll make an exceptional president who is more effective at advancing the progressive cause than Bernie or any other Democrat.
People think Joe Manchin (WV) is the most right-wing Democrat-- and he is pretty damn conservative-- but according to ProgressivePunch, the Democrat who has voted with the GOP most frequently against important progressive initiatives is Claire McCaskill (MO). She earned her overall "F" rating by voting against 2015-16 progressive bills 58.33% of the time. Yep, she's with the GOP more often than with the Democrats on crucial votes. And the Clinton campaign offered her as an example of "progressives" who back Hillary this week. Her backing includes red-baiting Bernie to the media. "The Republicans won’t touch him because they can’t wait to run an ad with a hammer and sickle," she babbled snidely to the NY Times.

There are basically two rational reasons to vote for Hillary: first woman president and lesser-of-two-evils, although the latter is just a general election rationale. I'd like the first woman president to be a great woman president so I'll pass on that one. And lesser-of-two-evils is still too evil. So... if it comes to that, I'll have to sit out another one. But it may not come to that because we have the opportunity to elect the greatest president since FDR and I didn't believe it would be possible at first and now I do. (You can contribute to Bernie's campaign here.)

Last week we asked whether it would be possible for Bernie and for Jeremy Corbyn to drag their respective parties into the new century. We may get to find out but yesterday Glenn Greenwald looked at the intense establishment backlash buffeting both men. "The British political and media establishment incrementally lost its collective mind over the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the country’s Labour Party," he wrote, "and its unraveling and implosion show no signs of receding yet. Bernie Sanders is nowhere near as radical as Corbyn; they are not even in the same universe. But, especially on economic issues, Sanders is a more fundamental, systemic critic than the oligarchical power centers are willing to tolerate, and his rejection of corporate dominance over politics, and corporate support for his campaigns, is particularly menacing. He is thus regarded as America’s version of a far-left extremist, threatening establishment power... For those who observed the unfolding of the British reaction to Corbyn’s victory, it’s been fascinating to watch the D.C./Democratic establishment’s reaction to Sanders’ emergence replicate that, reading from the same script."
Just as was true for Corbyn, there is a direct correlation between the strength of Sanders and the intensity of the bitter and ugly attacks unleashed at him by the D.C. and Democratic political and media establishment. There were, roughly speaking, seven stages to this establishment revolt in the U.K. against Corbyn, and the U.S. reaction to Sanders is closely following the same script:
STAGE 1: Polite condescension toward what is perceived to be harmless (we think it’s really wonderful that your views are being aired).

STAGE 2: Light, casual mockery as the self-belief among supporters grows (no, dears, a left-wing extremist will not win, but it’s nice to see you excited).

STAGE 3: Self-pity and angry etiquette lectures directed at supporters upon realization that they are not performing their duty of meek surrender, flavored with heavy doses of concern trolling (nobody but nobody is as rude and gauche online to journalists as these crusaders, and it’s unfortunately hurting their candidate’s cause!).

STAGE 4: Smear the candidate and his supporters with innuendos of sexism and racism by falsely claiming only white men support them (you like this candidate because he’s white and male like you, not because of ideology or policy or contempt for the party establishment’s corporatist, pro-war approach).

STAGE 5: Brazen invocation of right-wing attacks to marginalize and demonize, as polls prove the candidate is a credible threat (he’s weak on terrorism, will surrender to ISIS, has crazy associations, and is a clone of Mao and Stalin).

STAGE 6: Issuance of grave and hysterical warnings about the pending apocalypse if the establishment candidate is rejected, as the possibility of losing becomes imminent (you are destined for decades, perhaps even generations, of powerlessness if you disobey our decrees about who to select).

STAGE 7: Full-scale and unrestrained meltdown, panic, lashing-out, threats, recriminations, self-important foot-stomping, overt union with the Right, complete fury (I can no longer in good conscience support this party of misfits, terrorist-lovers, communists, and heathens).
Britain is well into Stage 7, and may even invent a whole new level (anonymous British military officials expressly threatened a “mutiny” if Corbyn were democratically elected as prime minister). The Democratic media and political establishment has been in the heart of Stage 5 for weeks and is now entering Stage 6. The arrival of Stage 7 is guaranteed if Sanders wins Iowa.
Just in case Bernie should need a tiny bit of help when Stage 7 arrives in just over a week...

 Goal Thermometer

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