Thursday, March 10, 2016

Last Call For Berned Notice

Some important points here by Washington Post reporter Janell Ross on the anti-Obama purity caucus folks that have attached themselves to the Sanders movement and how they are hurting him among voters of color.

Something -- we cannot say what -- inside certain corners of the ostensibly progressive and overwhelmingly white ranks of Sanders voters is amiss. There is a pattern -- demonstrated time and time again -- by both Sanders and some Sanders supporters of racial cluelessness, an infantilizing and almost colonial kind of condescension about policy, and a tendency to react to anyone who points that out by, well, supplying even more evidence of racial tone-deafness, self-ordained intellectual superiority and sometimes completely open displays of various forms of outright bigotry. 
That's right. We said it. In trying to make their case, Sanders, and far more often some subset of his supporters, behave in ways that are difficult to square with their claims to progressive politics and building a more inclusive and egalitarian society. 
One final note before we get to a few examples of the behavior characterized above: The portion of Sanders supporters who read the paragraphs above and began to compose their tweets, emails and below-story comments, we are aware of that Intercept piece that argues that the "Berniebro" and his alleged public misbehavior is media-generated fiction. 
But the emails, Twitter messages and comments I have received tell a different story. They use a variety of curse words and insults typically reserved for women. More than one has suggested that I deserve to become the victim of a sex crime. They critique the "objectivity" of what is clearly political analysis based on polling data and other facts; they insist that black voters are dumb or that I have a personal obligation to help black voters see the error of their Clinton-voting ways. It is vile. And it stands in sharp contrast to the claim that no portion of Sanders supporters are angry people who sometimes engage in or embrace bigotry. 
We could print the emails. But those of you who sent them know who you are and the horrendous things said. We doubt that this would do much for your progressive street cred.

And it's important here to note that this kind of thing was happening long before Bernie's 2016 run and that it's not endemic to him, and it's what has bothered me about the "progressive" movement in America for a long time.

There's a group of mostly white progressives who really do have awful misconceptions about black and Latino Democrats in this country, that we're stupid and will pull the lever for any D no matter how vile, that we're not really liberal at all, that we're anti-LGBT bigots who despise atheists, and that we're really the unwashed masses in the Democratic party and have to have a white liberal savior to lead us, who knows better.

None of that is true, but the people who perpetuate the monolith of the dumb black voter who needs the smart white guy to organize them got a nasty wake-up call in 2008 when Obama came along. They've hated him ever since.  Clinton was acceptable to them in 2008.  Now it's Bernie.  These folks were obnoxious eight years ago and even more annoying now.

So yes, there are racist assholes on the left, the folks searching for the new Great White Hope and while the vast majority are hanging out with Trump and friends, some are in Bernie's camp (and a few Hillary fans to boot).

This does happen, and it's good to be reminded of the damage they can cause.  Look no further than the obscene, punishing response to this article.

Meanwhile, In Trump's America...

We're not too far off now from the pogroms and purges if this is any indication of what's to come from the Trumpian States of the Confederacy.

Multiple videos show a protester at a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina being sucker-punched by a Trump supporter. 
The videos, which appeared on social media early Thursday and are shot from different perspectives, show an African American with long hair wearing a white T-shirt leaving the Trump rally as the audience boos. He is being led out of the rally by men in uniforms that read “Sheriff’s Office.” The man extends a middle finger to the audience on his way out. 
Then, out of nowhere, the man is punched in the face by a pony-tailed man, who appears to be white, in a cowboy hat, black vest and pink shirt as the crowd begins to cheer. The protester stumbles away, and then is detained by a number of the men in uniforms, who handcuff him while he is on the ground. 
“Chill, chill!” an onlooker says. “You don’t gotta grab him like that!”

This is what actual fascism looks like.  I know I keep saying that when it comes to videos of people daring to protest Herr Drumpf and then getting clocked in the head by his supporters while getting dragged off by the cops, but it keeps happening at a rather depressing rate.

Someone is going to be hurt or killed at this rate.  Who among us will vote for The Donald just to make the wolves go bother someone else's door?

Seriously though, the cops didn't stop the guy, the onlookers didn't either, this man got the crap stomped out of him, and you wonder why maybe, just maybe I'm willing to overlook Bernie's problem or Clinton problems to keep Trump out of the White House?

This is why.  A stadium full of people who wish anyone who looks like me bodily harm for no other reason than I'm black? The same for our Muslim, Latino, and LGBTQ friends and loved ones? Giving them political power by igniting their hatred?

No matter how you feel about Bernie or Hillary, I'll take them in a heartbeat over Trump and this is why.

Looking Way Down The Road

It's not entirely out of line to speculate on the Veepstakes for a Clinton ticket, and a whole lot of names are getting thrown around: Bernie Sanders, Liz Warren, Julian Castro.  Tommy Christopher puts forth an obvious (but not obvious) alternative:.

There is, however, one pick who checks off every box for Hillary Clinton, who matches her strengths without hurting the ticket in other ways, who gives her the opportunity to groom a successor, who delivers broad support both from the Democratic base and independents, and who won’t fold in a debate with the Republican VP candidate. Hillary Clinton should pick Joe Biden as her running mate, for a single term as vice president. 
Biden has the chops, the name ID, and a reservoir of goodwill among Democrats, Obama coalition voters, and the working-class white voters that Donald Trump is attracting, plus the toughness to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Hillary, and toe-to-toe with the Republicans. Unlike a lesser-known pick, there will be no surprises with Joe Biden, and his free-wheeling style is a perfect counter-punch to the Trump phenomenon that would also afford Hillary the luxury of remaining a few feet above the fray. 
A third Biden term would also give the deep Democratic bench time to come into focus, and perhaps shore up thin credentials like Castro’s. 
Hillary Clinton’s greatest asset in this general election will be her toughness, and that’s an asset she can’t afford to have diluted by a weak running mate. Joe Biden is the rare pick that can match her toughness without overshadowing her, and whose unique resumé makes him something of a Rosetta Stone for huge groups of voters. 
Then, after he’s served his four years, and helped shepherd the confirmation of Chief Justice Barack Obama, Biden can make way for the next VP pick when Hillary runs for her second term.

I certainly wouldn't mind Biden, but the major, major problem with Biden is that it puts two white Democrats on the same ticket in the post-Obama era.  That's something that might be an issue. Biden making way for Castro in 2020 would go a long way, but I'm not sure Biden's going to be a ton of help in getting the votes that Hillary would have trouble getting in 2016.

Yes, it would be a major reinforcement of keeping President Obama's policies, absolutely.  But that's what Hillary should be running on anyway.

I respect Tommy's argument and it does make sense on paper, Biden as the foil to Trump, and let's face it, it's not like Republicans have been making good Veep choices lately.  Biden for a single term might not be a terrible idea, but I don't know if he really wants it.

We'll see.


Related Posts with Thumbnails