Thursday, March 24, 2016

Face It-- There ARE Democrats Who Identify Themselves As Progressives And Back Hillary Instead Of Bernie


Chris Byron wrote a politically correct open letter to "liberal" America, asking why they are voting for that wretched establishment candidate. I feel his pain. I asked a friend of mine, who I respect very much and who hasn't chosen between Hillary and Bernie, if there were any intelligent people supporting Hillary who aren't on her payroll. She assured me that there are. So there must be. They don't find their way to my twitter feed. That seems to be reserved for Hillary fans who are imitating Trump fans.

Here's where Byron goes wrong, right off the bat in his open letter-- and it's the commonest of mistakes: "Presumably it must have something to do with her policies, values, political position, etc." That may be why progressives oppose her, but not why people who believe they're progressives support her. He wastes his time suggesting "ask yourselves earnestly, what does Hillary really believe, and what policies does Hillary really support? I think if you’re honest with yourself, really honest, you have to answer that she really believes she should be President, and she really supports herself as President. Beyond that, in terms of issues and policy, all you can earnestly state is: 'I don’t know.' And the reason we do not know what she believes is because she both consistently flip-flops, and consistently lies." Yes, progressives know that. So why don't people who think they're progressives?

Other than Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, Alan Grayson, Marcy Kaptur, Peter Welch and a small handful of members who have wisely opted for neutrality, every member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus has endorsed Hillary. They know her record and they know Bernie's... and they endorsed her anyway. I didn't ask some transactional crook like Janice Hahn (D-CA) why she's backing Hillary, but someone I trust and respect, Matt Cartwright (D-PA). He responded with a guest post that faced the question head-on: "I like to call myself a Roosevelt Democrat. And I agree with so much of what Senator Sanders says. So why the endorsement for Secretary Clinton in this presidential primary?" He says she "has the experience" and he takes her at her word that she cares about matters like income disparity, climate change and universal health care. "But third," he wrote, "and most important to me, is the question of electability."

So one problem would be whether you recognize her as an inveterate liar as Byron does or you believe what she says, as Cartwright says he does. Byron:
I use the term flip-flop with all its inherent negativity. She has and will continue to change her mind on policies and values to the degree that she believes that change will garner her more power. She has flip-flopped on international trade deals (NAFTA and TPP), immigration, same sex marriage, the legitimacy of the Iraq War, arming of Syrian Rebels, raising the payroll tax, Keystone Pipeline, etc. What does Hillary earnestly believe about each of these issues? How can you know? How can you really know? If you think you do, you’re projecting your values onto her, which only reinforces the duplicitous relationship she has with her voter base. And flip-flopping is not the extent of her problems, she is also a flagrant liar.

Let me take just one very recent case to highlight this point. A case I was hoping, as I watched it, the rest of Liberal America would backlash against-- instead they voted for her anyway. During her debate with Bernie Sanders in Florida she mendaciously stated:

“I just want to add one thing to the question you were asking Senator Sanders. I think in that same interview, he praised what he called the revolution of values in Cuba and talked about how people were working for the common good, not for themselves.

I just couldn’t disagree more. You know, if the values are that you oppress people, you disappear people, you imprison people or even kill people for expressing their opinions, for expressing freedom of speech, that is not the kind of revolution of values that I ever want to see anywhere.”

Let me be blunt, Liberal America, you know and I know that there is no way in hell Sanders supports the imprisonment, killing, and disappearing of people “for expression freedom of speech”. Sanders has been a consistent civil libertarian on free speech issues for as long as he has been in government. This is utter nonsense, and Hillary is doing nothing but assaulting him verbally, in front of a Miami audience, in hopes that they will believe her conscious claptrap. Moreover, notice how inconsistent her point is. She goes from the claim that Senator Sanders supported “the common good” value in Cuba, to the claim that therefore he supports suppression of expression via violence. How does suppression via violence flow from support of the common good? It doesn’t. There is no coherent argument here, she’s just pandering, and lying. And she expressly lied when she said he did not support the Auto Bailout, and she expressly lied when she claimed he supported roving militias securing our borders. There is no way her Campaign staff, funded with over one hundred and a half million dollars, lacked the resources to double check those claims before she stated them. She lied.

Byron also addresses Cartwright's electability concerns in his letter to Liberal America: "If your reason for supporting her is because you think she is the candidate most likely to beat Trump in the future you are either ill informed, or deluding yourself. The polls and data have been in for months. Bernie is the only candidate that is trusted, liked by over half the population, and consistently scores significantly higher than Trump. Hillary is not well liked, she is not trusted, and she does not score all that highly over Trump. So if your reason for supporting Hillary is because she is the best chance of defeating Republicans, the justification behind your reasoning is inadequate." Although, to be fair, what Cartwright said is that the Republicans will spend tens of millions of dollars smearing Bernie as a Commie and expertly tearing down his favorability numbers. Is that why we give up on the better candidate? Let's help Bernie arm himself adequately (by tapping the thermometer).
Goal Thermometer

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