Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Welcome Home, Peter Daou


David Dayen's piece in Monday's Intercept, Nancy Pelosi's Drug-Pricing Talks With The Trump Administration Are About Mediating Fights Between Corporate Interests, highlights her balancing the bottom lines for campaign donors at Big PhRMA and the hospital industry and leaving consumers to rot. It would be worse if she was a Republican-- but it would be a lot better if she was still a progressive. She hasn't been-- in over a decade. "The situation," wrote Dayen, "reveals a familiar dynamic in Washington, where political parties don’t debate each other on policy as much as they mediate fights between corporate interests. Almost everything on drug pricing coming out of the Trump administration, whose Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was the president of drug company Eli Lilly, attacks pharmacy benefit managers and hospitals to the benefit of drug companies; almost everything coming out of the speaker’s office attacks drug companies to the benefit of pharmacy benefit managers and hospitals."

As Pelosi slips into her dotage and prepares for retirement, maybe she and her pet lobbyists she stop messing with issues like this and leave it to people like Pramila Jayapal and Bernie Sanders, who actually work for the people, not for the special interests. What a novel idea for a congresswoman who's time is up-- her whole team's time is up; they are stale and their expiration dates are long past due. Time to go. Time to say good-bye.

Peter Daou had a successful career in the music business before he became a prominent Democratic blogger and then Democratic strategist. I always liked the guy and felt sad when he seemed to buy into the corporate Democratic insanity hook, line and sinker. I didn't understand; I looked away. All that Hillary nonsense-- he was always too smart for that. Yesterday he penned a confessional for The Nation, I Was Bernie’s Biggest Critic in 2016-- I’ve Changed My Mind. Today, he writes, Bernie can beat SeñorTrumpanzee "and it would be an epic act of self-destruction for Democrats to try and hobble his campaign"... which is precisely what some of his old allies are trying to do. "If you had told me in the spring of 2016 that three years later I’d be touting the merits of the Bernie Sanders campaign-- taking flak from Hillary Clinton supporters for not being loyal enough to her-- I would have laughed and asked what alternate reality you lived in. But life and politics have a way of taking unexpected turns, and here I am writing about the considerable strengths Sanders brings to the 2020 election."
Bernie Sanders is unquestionably in the top tier of candidates for the Democratic nomination, and it would be an epic act of self-destruction for Democrats to plunge into an internecine conflict over his candidacy at a time when they need to marshal every asset to defeat Trump and his GOP cronies. I am calling on Democrats, progressives, and leftists to hit the pause button, to table our disagreements, no matter how intense, as we fight to preserve the rule of law and the last semblance of our democracy. We owe it to ourselves and our country.

...My political and personal evolution since 2016 has caught some people off guard. I’m often asked how a staunch Hillary Clinton advocate and former Sanders critic could reverse course. The answer is simpler than it appears. I spent fifteen years before the 2016 election as a progressive activist, a critic of the Democratic Party’s meekness in the face of GOP extremism, and a supporter of the policies Bernie Sanders promotes.

After months of self-reflection about my own role in the 2016 primary, I realized I was among the far too many Clinton and Sanders supporters who got caught up in an ugly family dispute that spiraled out of control. We’ve all experienced those explosive fights. In the heat of the moment, we see each other as enemies rather than human beings who largely share the same goals. So I began to reach out to repair what had been broken. On Twitter, I unblocked Sanders supporters who I had argued with. I tried to see things from their perspective and I asked them to do the same. There’s still some residual anger and skepticism, but the healing process has given me invaluable perspective, and I can now look at the 2020 primary through a clear lens.

...Virtually every state and national poll shows Sanders at or near the top of the Democratic field. Polls are fluid at this stage, but Sanders is a known quantity and his base of support is solid. His proven appeal to young voters and independents is a powerful asset, and his ability to deliver a well-crafted and unapologetic progressive message to Americans across the political spectrum is crucial if Democrats hope to take on an increasingly extremist GOP.

...Sanders has played a central role in advocating enlightened, compassionate, forward-looking policies like Medicare for all, free public college, a living wage, and more. In the heat of the 2016 primary, I was reluctant to give Sanders credit for moving the national debate to the left. But it is impossible to deny the important role he has played, and continues to play, in countering the far right’s extremist ideas.

During the most ferocious debates of the Clinton-Sanders contest, I repeatedly implored Sanders supporters who disliked Clinton to focus on the ultimate prize: defeating the authoritarian right. I argued that her positions were immeasurably superior to Trump’s and that tearing her down was a grave mistake when we faced the prospect of white nationalist rule. The same holds true today for Sanders. Trying to hobble his campaign is a reckless mission.

...Alarmingly, the ferocity of the GOP’s attack on our norms and values is met with timidity from the Democratic Party leadership. Even after grassroots activists and voters generated a 2018 blue wave that swept Democrats back into power in the House, the party leadership has proven incapable (or unwilling) to rise to the historic challenge of facing down encroaching fascism. There are no saviors coming to rescue us. We must become our own leaders. To defeat Trump and to reverse the rising tide of white nationalism that threatens the foundations of our democracy, we must have the courage to set aside old grievances for the greater good. Bernie Sanders is not the only candidate who can defeat Trump, but he’s certainly one of them. And he should not be treated as the enemy.

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At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

". . . the ferocity of the GOP’s attack on our norms and values is met with timidity from the Democratic Party leadership . . . the party leadership has proven incapable (or unwilling) to rise to the historic challenge of facing down encroaching fascism. There are no saviors coming to rescue us. We must become our own leaders."

Considering the considerable coverage of the new Party rules about supporting primary challengers, how are we to become our own leaders? There is but one way - leave the Party and form a new one. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and with the Party elites ensuring that no one will challenge them due to a lack of professional support, just what do we have to lose that isn't lost already?

At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent. 5:36 has had the epiphany. Another sentient being exists. yay!

At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the ferocity of the DNC's attack on Bernie will be met with yawns and snores by voters who have proven incapable of understanding anything at all more complex than "I'm hungry/horny/sleepy".

And black voters who have supported biden are the dumbest.

Bernie has been running against trump since he declared. Pretty soon he'll have to run against biden, who is first in MOST polling. I wonder if he will be as ferocious about beating biden as he is about trump. I don't remember him making a thing out of $hillbillary's bank whoring. I don't remember him making a thing out of the democrap PARTY's corporate whoring. I still haven't heard him say anything about being ratfucked by the DNC last time. He just bends over and takes it.

If Bernie was truly "revolutionary", he'd be doing all those things just as honestly as he does to trump.

Just more proof that Bernie isn't real. He's a specter. He's relying on your stupidity just as much as biden and trump.

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh joy, a Hillary neo saying "Ticket for 1 please, for the newest bandwagon". Why is it that agreement in politics is pushed as the key to winning. Politics is based on disagreement about where the money goes and who gets it. Plenty to disagree on and healthy for finding solutions. With Trump openly defying the US Congress's oversight, and his DOJ signing on, and the Repubs not tweeting a peep of opposition, then what happens when Trump says he'll defy all election results because it's a democratic conspiracy? I'm sure there is a "sacred" unity around one thing though: "Oh Trump would never dare do that."


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