Nowhere To Run
Let me begin by saying I am a socialist. That’s right. I hate war, I think the working class is getting a raw deal, and I believe that good governance will improve the lives of many people. I believe in the dignity of all humans no matter how they identify.
You would think that I am overjoyed to see Bernie Sanders challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016. After all, he has stated that he is a democratic socialist.
Nope. I can’t care. Sanders does not have what it takes to win a presidential contest.
If there’s one good thing about Bernie, it’s that Clinton will have to cover her left flank to crowd Sanders out. The Republicans are hopelessly floundering, so now is the time for her to listen to the Democratic base who are wary of a Clinton presidency.
I tell you now, manic-progressives: You might as well just give up and vote for your next best choice. I don’t have to tell you who that is.
If you are stridently unconvinced, I want you to read this. Sanders is not much better than Clinton in a lot of ways. I’ll snip a few pieces from it, but you should read the whole thing as it encompasses his life story.
When Bernie Sanders, the nominally independent “socialist” senator from Vermont, announced last month that he would seek the Democratic Party nomination, the World Socialist Web Site commented that this marked “a new stage in one of the longest-running political frauds in American history.”
In 1990 Sanders ran for the House of Representatives, defeating an incumbent Republican and a Democrat in a three-way race. During congressional deliberations over authorizing the first Gulf War, Sanders declared his support for sanctions, diplomatic pressure and even the use of US forces to “pressure” Iraq into submission, while stopping, along with most congressional Democrats, just short of voting for the actual war. This caveat was dropped in 1993, when Sanders voted for US intervention in Somalia. Sanders then voted for the NATO air war against Serbia in 1999.
Sanders voted in 2001 for the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the congressional resolution that was the basis of George Bush’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and the launching of the “war on terror,” and which is still cited by Barack Obama as the legal justification for drone-missile assassinations in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries. He regularly voted for military appropriations bills, required to fund the ongoing war in Iraq Sanders claimed to oppose.
Sanders’ stance on immigration is entirely in line with right-wing efforts to scapegoat millions of impoverished and exploited Hispanic workers for the falling living standards of American working class. He has repeatedly introduced bills in Congress calling for the suspension of the federal visa program under the guise of protecting American jobs. For his efforts, he has earned the admiration of noted anti-immigrant racist and talk show host Lou Dobbs, who called him “one of the few straight talkers in Congress.”
This is not the CV of a socialist, let alone a progressive. Now, don’t interpret this as a smear, because Bernie is still among the best lawmakers in Congress. It’s just important to remember that there is no ideal candidate.