Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why South Carolina Democrats Ought To Make History By Rejecting Hillary Clinton Today


Any time I've mentioned that Hillary Clinton is a conservative and the wrong person for the Democratic Party nomination-- using her policy record, her history of campaigning for Nixon, Goldwater and Rockefeller and her time as president of her college's Young Republicans-- low-info Hillary backers (Trumpf isn't the only one dependent on the poorly educated) come screaming onto my twitter feed either to say I'm making it up or that it is ancient history and she was just a child. President of the Wellesley College Young Republicans? Just a child; I don't think so. "And we all change" or "evolve" is another over-used, somewhat worn, trope. OK, this interview was done when Hillary was nearly 50 years old, so... not a child, right?

Get it through your head. It's who and what she is and has always been and will always be. Yes, she's progressive on women's issues. Thank God. But that's really it. The only other issues she's "progressive" on have been the result on being pushed and pushed and pushed and until the issue became safe and fit neatly and into her opportunistic political calculus with no attendant political costs. You want to help nominate her for president? Embrace the real Hillary and be honest with yourself. After all, a primary vote for Hillary may well mean you are electing Donald Trump president of the United States.

This week, as Democrats in South Carolina prepared for their moment in the sun, Ben Jealous, a Bernie Sanders surrogate sent out an e-mail very widely. He reminded recipients-- especially in South Carolina-- that he "spent five years leading the NAACP-- through the election of our first Black president, through the worst assault on voting rights in two generations, and through the Zimmerman acquittal and the movement that grew after it. Long before that, as a teenager, I cut my teeth community organizing in Harlem and Mississippi. From the country's biggest city to its biggest civil rights association, I've seen this political game at every level." And then he made the case for why Bernie is the logical choice for primary voters today in South Carolina.

What I haven't exactly seen before is a presidential candidate like Senator Bernie Sanders--and that's why I endorsed him earlier this month... Bernie’s got a level of integrity you rarely see in politicians today. He's got a boldness of vision that's shaken the Democratic Party this year. And he's got a moral clarity and authenticity that I think are the reasons he's been drawing such huge crowds wherever his campaign goes.

I'll tell you that Bernie's got something else too-- a legislative history and agenda to match his fiery rhetoric. Bernie's universal health care plan would improve the lives of millions of people, particularly Black and Latino Americans who are still disproportionately uninsured today. His plan to make college more affordable is going to make the middle class obtainable for entire communities of people who have been systematically left out. And his people-over-profits approach to international trade would make sure we're creating jobs in communities whose industries have disappeared, instead of giving more jobs away.

Despite what you've been hearing on the 24-hour news cycle, Bernie can definitely win this nomination; the delegate math proves it. The Democratic Party's superdelegates will not vote until July. That means the only thing that counts right now are the delegates earned at the polls, where Clinton and Sanders are only one vote apart.

Moreover, the most important question for us is not just who can win the primary itself, but who can beat Donald Trump at the polls in November. For weeks now, every poll has been clear: Sanders is the only candidate who would defeat Trump handily in a head-to-head match this fall. But the millions of us behind Bernie's "political revolution" have to get us there first.

... When I first began campaigning for Bernie Sanders, I recalled the words of the late, great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who said that "a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus." That means someone who is visionary and not constrained by what leaders of the status quo tell us is possible.

I've seen Bernie in action, and I know he's the type of leader we can trust to fight for the future of all our nation's children as if they were his very own. I've also heard the stories of his time as a student activist in Chicago, fighting housing segregation and leading the local CORE chapter—the stories he's too humble to harp about in public but that paint the picture of a man who's carried a lifelong commitment to justice.

For decades, Bernie's been a consistent, principled, and courageous fighter against the evils that Dr. King referred to as the giant triplets of racism, militarism, and greed. I know that's the reason that legends like Harry Belafonte have proudly endorsed Bernie as well.

...This photo's been going around since this weekend, after the Chicago Tribune found it in their archives. It's Bernie Sanders being arrested in 1963 during a civil rights demonstration on the south side of Chicago. Coincidentally, Bernie mentioned this incident at a dinner I attended recently, and he said immediately after this picture was taken, he was thrown into a police van.

1963... 1963... 1963... oh, yeah, the same year Hillary was forming the political values that still guide her today... as a Goldwater Girl. The evolved Goldwater Girl-- depending on who's in the audience-- sometimes says she's a "moderate" and sometimes makes the absurd claim that she's a "progressive." In reality, she's just out for herself-- and her record shows she always has been. In fact, her record, unlike Bernie's, shows pitifully little accomplishment, despite the millions of dollars in TV and radio ads that say otherwise. When she says she "likes to get things done," what is she talking about? Welfare "reform" that shredded African-American communities, Bush's catastrophic invasion of Iraq? The horrific Patriot Act? Helping the GOP put off marriage equality for a decade? That's her record. It's not a progressive record; it should give you a clue about what's coming if she's ever president. She wrote and passed exactly 3 bills that became law while she was in the U.S. Senate, S.3145 to rename a portion of New York's Route 20A, located in Orchard Park, as the "Timothy J. Russert Highway," S.3613 to rename a post office in Averill Park, New York, as the "Major George Quamo Post Office Building," and S.1241, a bill to set up and fund the Kate Mullany National Historic Site Act in Troy, New York. That's the record. That's it for her 7 wasted years in the U.S. Senate.

And going forward? What can we expect? Another mediocre presidency dedicated to preserving the status quo? And before that, an exceedingly ugly scorched earth campaign if we're misfortunately enough to wind up with her as the nominee. Expect a battle fought on two premises-- it's time for a woman and the lesser-of-two-evils. Ben Smith :
In reality, nobody is that excited about Hillary Clinton, and young voters, women and men-- the foot soldiers of any Democratic Party movement-- aren’t coming around. She lost a resounding 82% of voters under 30 in Nevada. Her campaign now rests on the hope that voters of color like her well enough, if nowhere near as much as they like Obama. And that means that when she faces a Republican, she will have to destroy him-- something the people who will be doing the destroying acknowledged when I asked them earlier this month.

“The slogan is ‘Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid,’” said Paul Begala, who is an adviser to the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA.

...“This is headed to a more contrastive kind of election,” said David Axelrod, the architect of Obama’s 2008 campaign. “People want to know you’re going to lead with a positive vision, but within the context of that, you can set up a contrast. Every campaign has to do that, she may have to do it more intensely.”

...Democrats are now left to hope that the Republican Party will make a campaign of fear easy by nominating a candidate campaigning on bigotry. Donald Trump has already hinted that he plans to attack Clinton as nastily as possible, on subjects including her husband’s infidelity.

“It will be her versus a fucking asshole in almost any scenario,” mused one prominent Obama loyalist. “It’s going to be a lot of fear, but she’s going to have a lot of room to run, and she’s not going to have to destroy the other person, because the other person is going to be so eminently destroyable.”

Begala, who will be manning the wrecking ball in the summer and fall, said that if Rubio, seen as the hardest of the Republican targets, is the nominee, one issue presents itself clearly: “He will be the first major party in American history who believes that a woman should be forced by law to bring a rapist’s baby to term,” he said.

In any event, he said, the broad theme of those attacks will be that “the Republican Party has gone insane.”

So don’t expect 2016 to be a fond political memory.

Many African-American voters, in South Carolina and beyond, are savvy enough to know exactly what to expect from the Establishment that is represented by every one of the wretched Republicans... and by Hillary Clinton. Please watch this clip from the season premiere of black-ish. This is reality, brothers and sisters, and putting another horribly flawed, Wall Street-owned Clinton into the White House and more corrupt, conservative, Republican-lite Democrats into Congress, isn't going to help any of us break out of it-- not now, not ever.

There is an alternative to a reactionary Trumpf and a conservative Clinton. This is not a quote from Herr Trumpf: "I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with... I'm very proud that I was a Goldwater Girl." Let's hope South Carolina voters see the wisdom of it today and act on it in the voting booths.

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At 7:20 AM, Blogger Kim Kaufman said...

I think she's counting on "moderate" Republicans to vote for her in general. Think she knows real progressives aren't going to hold their noses for her.


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