Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

The Two Versions of Bernie Sanders

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This online exchange is between an American Correspondent Louis N Proyect and some of Louis’s online friends including David McDonald. It makes a lot of practical political sense to me. – John Meehan

“There are two versions of Bernie Sanders – There is the old Bernie Sanders who mounted a quixotic campaign for the Democratic Presidential Nomination as a Democratic Socialist who refused corporate cash and excoriated Democrats. And there is the new Bernie Sanders who dutifully plays by the party’s rules, courts billionaires, refused to speak out in support of the lawsuit brought against the DNC for rigging the primaries against him and endorses democratic candidates who espouse the economic and political positions he once denounced.

Sanders, although he knew by September 2016 that the process was rigged, said nothing to his supporters. He was tacitly complicit in the coverup. It was left to one of the architects of the fraud, Donna Brazile, to reveal the scam. But by then it was too late.

Sanders’ capitulation in the face of overwhelming evidence of the rigging of the nomination process was political and moral cowardice. He missed the historical moment, one that should have seen him denounce a corporate-dominated party elite and walk away to build a third party candidacy.

Biden Enters Evil of Two Lessers Saloon

Sanders will never recover politically. Those who support Sanders’ capitulation, including his high-priced establishment consultants, will argue that politics is about compromise and the practical. This is true. But playing politics in a system that is not democratic is about playing a part in the charade.

We need to overthrow this system, not placate it. Revolution is almost always a doomed enterprise, one that succeeds only because its leaders eschew the practical and what the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr calls “sublime madness.” Sanders lacks the “sublime madness” – a quality which defined Eugene Debs. And for this reason, Sanders is morally and temperamentally unfit to lead this fight.” — (Chris Hedges; 4/20)

A correspondent replied

You guys gotta get over this. Sanders has done EXACTLY what he said he would do, which is support the winner of the nomination however he can. It’s time for the social forces that propelled Sanders this far to move on. There are at least 60,000 in DSA alone, certainly enough for a nucleus of a new party once the Orange Thing is gone if they keep their ammo dry. Bernie has made his contribution. I say again, move on.

Proyect explains

My beef isn’t with Sanders, actually. It is with his propagandists who over-projected his ideology. This is a debate within Marxism, not with the liberal Democrats who Sanders picked to run his campaign.

Senator Sanders is taking no prisoners – The American Magazine Newsweek reports, noting how critics are punished :

Despite the endorsement, a number of Sanders supporters have expressed resistance to the idea of supporting the former vice president in the upcoming election, insisting that too many of the policy positions offered by Sanders are absent in Biden’s platform. Former Sanders campaign Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray made it clear she was not endorsing Biden shortly after Sanders made his endorsement.

“With the utmost respect for Bernie Sanders, who is an incredible human being & a genuine inspiration, I don’t endorse Joe Biden,” Gray tweeted on Monday. “I supported Bernie Sanders because he backed ideas like #MedicareForAll, cancelling ALL student debt, & a wealth tax. Biden supports none of those.”

— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) April 13, 2020

Sanders noted that Gray was no longer “on the payroll” during a Tuesday interview with the Associated Press. He also urged his supporters to support his former rival regardless of any differences, insisting that defeating President Donald Trump is more important.

Meanwhile :

Howie Hawkins, Eco-Socialist

The Howie Hawkins Green presidential campaign has published an ebook: The Case for an Independent Left Party: From the Bottom Up. With former Vice President Joe Biden now the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, many supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders are looking for another progressive option.

This has resulted in a #NeverBiden movement developing and more people leaving the Democratic Party. Since 2010 a majority of voters in the United States have wanted a third party, according to Gallup. People understand the two parties represent millionaires and billionaires, as they are funded by big business interests. They want a party for the people.

This groundbreaking book by Howie Hawkins, a co-founder of the Green Party and longtime socialist, makes the case for an independent left party.

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