Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party-- Plus Some Republicans-- Make Their Move: STOP BERNIE!


Everyone knew Bernie would win yesterday, but no one predicted his win would be as decisive and sweeping as it turned out to me. You almost feel sorry for all the right-of-center, anti-working class pundits on MSNBC. I thought Chris Matthews was on the verge on moving on to the next world while the caucus votes were coming in, not to mention former Bush staffer Nicolle Wallace, and the man who has never been right about anything for two decades, James Carville. I don't know what Joy Reid or Claire McCaskill had to say since I press mute as soon as either one of them starts talking. Bernie spent the weekend not celebrating in Las Vegas but campaigning in some of Texas' bluest cities, El Paso and San Antonio yesterday and in Houston and Austin today. The RealClearPolitics Texas polling average had Bernie leading even before the Nevada bump kicks in:
Bernie- 23.5%
Status Quo Joe- 21.0%
Elizabeth- 14.5%
Bloomberg- 14.0%
Mayo Pedro- 7.0%
Klobuchar- 6.0%
Tulsi- 3.0%
Front-runner status has some unique perils. Third Way, the heart of the Republican wing the Democratic Party, is trying to organize a Stop Bernie Movement, asking Status Quo Joe, Bloomberg, Mayo Pete, Klobuchar and even Elizabeth Warren to band together in South Carolina to work together to kill the candidacy of the one candidate who champions the working class. The reactionaries' letter, titled "Stand up to Bernie or You-- and We-- All Lose," was the same kind of claptrap that the Wall Street-owned conservative Democrats hurled at FDR and used, unsuccessfully, to try to derail him and the New Deal.

At the Las Vegas debate, each of you took aim at one another, often to withering effect. But with few exceptions, you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party-- and the nation-- to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November.

The reasons for this dire prediction are many, as we note below, but one is paramount: Bernie Sanders is a socialist, and the political toxicity of his self-selected brand cannot be overstated. As recent polling from Gallup shows, 53% of voters, including 51% of Independents, say they would not vote for “an otherwise well-qualified candidate for president” if that candidate is a socialist. That’s game over.

Senator Sanders seems aware of the problem. Lately, he’s argued that Republicans are the real socialists, since they provide corporate giveaways through tax breaks. He’s said that regular Americans have socialism already, in the form of Social Security and Medicare. He claims, without evidence, that socialism is so popular that it would bring out younger and low-propensity voters at unprecedented levels. And he has tried to append the meaningless modifier of “Democratic” to his “socialist” label.

But none of this will work. Senator Sanders has said it many times, including in past political debates: “I am a Socialist. Of course, I am a Socialist.” His attempts to redefine the term or parse the nuances of his socialism, which has run from his early nearTrotskyism to his latter-day Nordic style, will be utterly lost. What voters will know, after nearly one billion dollars of negative ads from Team Trump, is that Bernie Sanders and his Party have embraced socialism.

To be sure, Donald Trump will call any Democratic nominee a “socialist”. But if it’s one of you, that charge will not stick, because it will be an obvious lie. You are Democratic capitalists. Your words, ideas, and histories are clear on this point, and voters will know it. By contrast, if Trump’s opponent is, as his team fervently hopes, a proud socialist, he will make the entire election-- for president and for every other office on the ballot-- a referendum on socialism. That is a fight that Democrats cannot win.

In this campaign-- and in his 50 years in public life-- Bernie Sanders somehow has skated past any serious, sustained scrutiny of his ideas and his record. Yet those are so extreme-- so far outside the mainstream-- that they simply must not be ignored during the remaining fight for the 2020 nomination. Either you will air and debate them now, and deny Sanders the nomination, or they will come roaring out of the Trump machine in the fall, when they will prove fatal.
On Friday, Open Secrets explored the question, Who is funding the anti-Bernie Sanders super PAC? "Several outside groups are trying to slow the momentum of current Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) by spending millions on ad buys, as he continues to dominate the polls," wrote Ilma Hasan. "The campaign against Sanders originated with hybrid PAC Democratic Majority for Israel, a pro-Israel moderate group, that spent over $1.4 million against Sanders. The group spent over $800,000 running ads against the frontrunning Democratic presidential candidate in Iowa and it’s spending $600,000 in Nevada, according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission." But who, exactly are the scumbags putting up the money to harm them working class?
Most of the PAC’s contributors have a clear history of giving money to candidates on both sides of the aisle. Its biggest donor is Stacy Schusterman, CEO of Samson Resources, an oil and gas company, who donated $1 million to the group in 2019. Schusterman has a long history of donating to Democratic candidates, except in 2016 when she contributed almost $130,000 to 25 Republican lawmakers including $2,700 to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Venture capitalist Gary Mark Lauder was the second highest donor to the hybrid PAC giving $500,000. New York businessman Milton Cooper was the next highest at $150,000. Active in donating to various Democrats, he also contributed $4,000 to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and $2,000 to Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in 2019.

Ron Zeff, founder and CEO of Carmel Partners, a real estate investment firm, gave the group $100,000. He previously contributed over $70,000 to the GOP. Zeff also donated to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2012 against President Barack Obama.

The Sanders campaign said it raised $1.3 million within a day of the super PAC ads airing. Of the non-billionaires in the race, Sanders is the only candidate to report substantial cash on hand through January.

On Wednesday, Mark Mellman, president of Democratic Majority for Israel, announced the group will no longer be running any ads against Sanders or contribute in the presidential race after its ad buys in Nevada run out. The group will focus on Democratic congressional races instead, Jewish Insider reported.

“We will be involved in congressional races and in some cases those are Democrats running against Republican and in some case, those are pro-Israel champions running against anti-Israel challengers,” Mellman reportedly said.

The pro-Israel super PAC is closely affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] and some of it’s largest donors are top members of the group, according to The Intercept.

While Mellman’s group will be taking a backseat, the committee has been running an anti-Sanders campaign through Facebook ads since last year. It recently came under scrutiny for accusing “radicals” in the Democratic Party of “pushing their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel policies down the throats of the American people.” The group later apologized for “the ad’s imprecise wording (that) distorted our message and offended many.”

Another group meant to boost moderates, The Big Tent Project, reportedly has a budget of $1 million to run ads against Sanders. Big Tent has spent $200,000 of the budget running two test ads in Nevada and South Carolina, as both states will hold upcoming primaries. Sanders is projected to win both states according to FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls.

While one ad accuses the frontrunner of dumping waste in Latino communities, the other criticizes his healthcare policy. “The cost? Another four years of Trump,” the ad says. Run by Jonathan Kott, a former top aide to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Big Tent is classified as a 501(c)(4) and is not required to disclose its donors.

Goal ThermometerSanders has long questioned American policy toward Israel and advocates an approach that addresses both Israeli security and a “pro-Palestinian” perspective. His criticism has made pro-Israel Democrats and supporters anxious, resulting in a surge of anti-Sanders ads.

As Sanders is projected to win the upcoming contests, big Democratic donors have concerns about him being the presidential candidate, Politico reported. The concern within democrats is that an anti-Sanders campaign could result in boosting his contributions from an already devoted support base. For others, it’s about Sanders’ possible inability to woo moderate and Republican voters.
How ironic-- and sad-- is it that Israel's neo-fascist criminal leader and all-in Trump ally, Benjamin Netanyahu, is directing his American puppets to derail the candidacy of the first Jewish candidate to have a realistic chance of winning the American presidency? Oh, and then there's the pretend "progressive TV channel" that is corporately owned and operated-- and not even pretending it's not anti-working class now:

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At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howie, I guess you have to watch MSDNC because you write this blog. I cut the cord on live TV and only watch TV via streaming Netflix and Hulu (without commercials). Roku has a CBS news app if I want to check the news on TV; fortunately is is populated by a bunch of their young farm team types who haven't gained the stature to be able to compare Bernie and his movement to Nazis and stay on the air.

At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can add bill maher to the list of media entities out to stop Bernie. It seems that what used to pass as the lib/progressive media punditry are also out to keep the 'lesser evil' status quo.

This time bill hasn't yet decided on who should be the corrupt neoliberal fascist standard-bearer, but he has invited only guests who hate/fear/loathe Bernie and he, himself, has twisted his own "logic" into new toroidal impossibilities to "justify" his position. His guests seem to think amy is the only one who can beat trump. It would be hilarious if it weren't so pathetically sad.

His latest: trump isn't going to leave. but he might leave. except not for a "socialist". Expect millions of heavily armed southern redneck crackers, joined by the military and police forces, to surround the white house to defend him if a "socialist" wins.

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my house, either the nominee is Sanders, or we write him in. The Democrats have done nothing to deserve our votes, so whomever the Party attempts to shove down our throats instead can find their support elsewhere.

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can add the voters to the list. they are going to be very helpful by refusing to support Bernie at a level that would make it difficult for the DNC to defraud him at the convention. Again.

Bernie needs 51% of the delegates to make the DNC change their rules back to allowing $uperdelegates their first-ballot overrule of the voters.
So far, Bernie is still well below 50%.


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