Emotional blackmail for the unelectable?

Sander-nistas are Bernie’s desperate(ly) woke chicks


Bernie Sanders campaign material, 2020.


SANDER-NISTA CHICKS ARE HOT for Bernie. They love Bernie! They love his angry, shouty old man speeches about the economy, his absurdly over-ambitious election platform, his inability to compromise, and (or so I like to fantasize), underpinning it all like a couple of size ten granola bars, his well-worn Birkenstocks.

Sander-nista chicks love Bernie’s windswept coif which, so legend has it, was last neatly combed for three days back around 1964, about the time he was marching for civil rights in the Deep South.

(Because what could black people possibly have more need of than yet another condescending liberal white male lending his expertise so they don’t fuck it all up?)

Sander-nista chicks find it adorable that he’s able to sleep so peacefully for all those decades in such a stressful environment as the Senate, and just shake their little heads with an indulgent sigh that says, “Oh, that Bernie! isn’t he incorrigible!” every time he gets stuck in his chair and has to be pried off with a serving utensil and some WD-40.

Being on his team makes every day into a cherished childhood visit to Gramps, with the Senate standing in for the Sunset Lodge: Palliative care with debates.

He’d be perfect in one of those saucy British comedies: Sanders as Eternal Grandad, the wealthy, safely-neutered male in a bath chair who, though presenting no sexual risk, still manages to be obnoxious as he pinches a behind or leers at a “nice rack;” Sander-nista chicks are the indulgent nurses, fairly busting out of their unbuttoned uniform tops as they spoon rice pudding and Pepto-Bismol into his mouth and smack away his wandering hands.

But let’s be frank. Sander-nista chicks aren’t all dewy eyes and tenderness. This is, after all, a cohort of millennials (and some Gen Z’s). Millennials are impatient for change, they want it now, now, NOW! They are confrontational as a result; they are intolerant of compromise or even other points of view.

And millennials’ idealism and urgency come pre-packaged with healthy doses of cynicism and rage at what they’re inheriting in terms of moribund systems and collateral damage. As idealistic as they are, Sander-nista chicks have no illusions.

(Well, except thinking Sanders could ever be elected President of the United States in his lifetime or ours, and believing he’ll necessarily wake up the next time he falls asleep. But only those two illusions! Honest!)

They know, in private, that Bernie has always been a teensy bit unelectable, which unfortunately just makes them more insistent, in public, that the DNC is engaged in a vast conspiracy to interfere with the electoral process, play dirty and generally be a bunch of selfish, possibly borderline senile, boomers.

Politics is one area where a hard-line, no-compromise stance is particularly unproductive and often repugnant—witness the impeachment fiasco, where a hard-line Senate undid weeks of hearings, made a mockery of justice, and set up the perception of Democrats as vindictive liars.

Which makes Sander-nistas’ hard line on policies, their impatience and their distressing penchant for nasty ad hominem attacks on other candidates all the more regrettable, as Sanders’ policies are just the ticket for financial and social change and long overdue.

The problem comes in selling them to an American electorate scared shitless by the socialist bogeyman, and whose minds have been rolled back to pre-Depression expectations—a kind of collective gaslighting in which an entire generation’s worth of social democracy has been expunged through the power of one cleverly deployed word.

Incidentally, have you ever thought that, considering Sanders is an old, white male, his being unelectable is actually quite an impressive achievement, albeit a perverse one?

It’s like the triple-ripple-loop-the-loop-with-a-backward-flip-and-a-knickerbocker-twist of tournament ice-dancing, performed to “Bolero” by two heterosexuals; or getting hit by lightning in your bathtub, twice.

Under normal circumstances, you will recall, any human with a penis is electable.

To demonstrate the point, I sent a penis to Elizabeth Warren—I always keep a spare in the laundry room—hoping to improve her chances, but she dropped out to spend her time staring into space with a haunted expression and taking Bailey for so many walks he hides when he sees her coming. So no, pardon the expression, cigar.

She sent it back the next day, lightly used but in the original packaging, with a handwritten note:


Dave

I do appreciate the thought. At first I figured this was like those scarves they made us wear in the ’80s, but I just couldn’t get the dang thing to hang properly.

How the heck do guys manage? Jimminy Cricket! It’s always flopping out of place, you can’t really stick a brooch in it, either, and every so often it just jumps up and points right at Bernie anyway. A bit too sassy for my liking, to be honest.

Also, I’ve never been a big one for the pink-fuchsia color spectrum. I reckon I’ll just stick with what I’ve got.

And seeing that I spent all of my time thinking about it, well—now I get it about what’s going on in the male mind. I can totally see why Mitch McConnell has never come up with any idea besides “no” in eighty-five years.

Suggest—try Steve Mnuchin? Or not.

Text me if you want me to drop by for a coffee and I’ll tell you that story again, about my Daddy’s heart attack and Mom’s special interview dress. It’s a keeper and you said you loved it the first couple hundred times.

Pinky promise,

Liz

P.S.—Bailey enjoyed the pizza, just, please, no pineapple next time.

(So very much not by Elizabeth Warren)

As I write, it’s the consensus that Bernie is toast, even though he’s stubborn as a dead mule and there’s months to go. Don’t think it’s a sure thing that Bernie will throw in the towel, though. He delivered Trump four years ago, out of sheer spite, and there’s no guarantee he won’t again come November.

Bernie will have Americans eat that spinach that they resolutely keep spitting in his face. He will be right. Forget Pete Buttigieg “never going away;” it’s Bernie who’ll still be here sixty years from now, held together with electrical tape and wrapped in ice-filled, double-layered freezer bags, still as insistent, prickly and unadorable as today.

Bernie hit on the one thing in America that’s more powerful in its negativity than a penis attached to an old white neoliberal: the word SOCIALISM.

If I came to America with scientific proof that socialism would cure newborn babies of cancer in an hour, they’d scream, “Throw those babies over a cliff then grind them into sausage before we’ll let the scourge of socialism through our garden gates!”

If Jesus came to America and said He was in favor of universal health care, showed them projections proving how much better off everyone would be and how much money they’d save, they’d hold Him down, pound the nails through His hands and feet, spit in His face and taunt Him with, “Behold, the King of the Jews, funded by George Soros and the Deep State! Nice try, Commie!!

Journalist Chris Ladd, way back in 2017, saw the light—and the irony. He pointed out that white Americans who have good corporate or government jobs…

“…live in a socialist welfare state more generous, cushioned and expensive to the public than any in Europe…

…taxpayers fund our retirement saving, health insurance, primary, secondary, and advanced education, daycare, commuter costs, and even our mortgages at a staggering public cost. Socialism for white people is all-enveloping, benevolent, invisible, and insulated by the nasty, deceptive notion that we have earned our benefits by our own hand. [emphasis mine]

Chris Ladd, Forbes.com, March 13, 2017

What is the “staggering public cost” of government subsidies of white socialism?

Companies can deduct the cost of their employees’ health insurance, and employees don’t have to declare that benefit as income. In 2017, that was four hundred billion dollars annually of federal and state funds to insurers.

Mortgage interest? Up to a million dollars deductible. Seventy billion a year (roughly the cost of the food stamp program).

Other subsidies underwrite Americans’ child care expenses, college savings, commuter costs and other exemptions.

This all came to pass when Truman’s plan for universal health care was rejected in 1945. Instead, nine years later, Congress approved a plan controlled by employers and publicly funded through tax breaks, giving corporations a nice stick for beating unions. Because of worker demographics at that time, benefits thus accrued to white families via their male breadwinners.

Americans think socialism means peasants starving during Soviet famines, or dissidents dying in gulags. How does that compare, I wonder, with low-income families and their children starving in the midst of plenty in inner cities, and black men dying in privately-run, for-profit prisons?

Whether your de facto rulers are corporations and capitalist oligarchs in the land of the free, or self-confessed dictators of fungible proles, the results are remarkably similar. The one percent is the one percent, plain or fancy versions notwithstanding.

And there goes Bernie again, calling himself a socialist, unable to hold off with the perfect for the sake of the desperately needed, to relax the hard line a little, or to come down to planet earth with the rest of us and choose the language and narrative that would reassure nervous voters.

Unable, in other words, to play the political game of deal-making to take steps towards a future goal (“being a corporate lackey” as the Sander-nista chicks would say).

His insistence on revolutionary rhetoric, his Wall Street hard line, all of this suggests he loves to shock the bourgeoisie at least as much as he wants systemic change. He’s the Grand Mogul of the left, and gives every indication that he finds campaigning to be beneath him. He might prefer a coronation to an election, which is why it’s like watching Meryl Streep being forced to audition for her next role.

You have to admire, almost, his pig-headed self-righteousness and his Mount Everest of ego upon which progressive policies which would save lives now falter and die half-way to the summit.

He’s a strange bird: A socialist claiming to work for the public good but thinking only of his profile on the currency and his arc of history that tends towards justice for his never-ending campaign.

How like a man.


Vote Berrrrnie—or the Bunny DIES.

Sander-nista chicks get the unelectable bit. That’s why they upped the emotional blackmail quotient, and maybe they’re right. Maybe “Vote Bernie or the Bunny Dies” will actually add a few more boomers or black voters to the roster. After all, starving kids are a dime a dozen, not to mention a strain on the nerves; but cute bunnies lower your blood pressure and don’t grow up and start demanding things.

Making the most efficient use possible of their time, Sander-nistas support Bernie until the very last molecule of progressive oxygen has been sucked into their high-voltage left-of-left policy purifier.

No compromise! It’s not progressive, it seems, until Wall Street, the wealthy, the middle-class, small business owners, social conservatives, older and independent voters are all scared away.

Then, once the body politic is so spooked by “socialism” that even Trump seems like the better deal, the Sander-nista chicks and Bernie chumps decide it’s just way too much trouble to actually open their front doors, walk down the street, be part of “the corrupt system”—and vote for him.


Here is the proof that Bernie’s unelectable, and that his nomination would have been—or, who the hell knows, will be—a tragedy:

  • Russia has openly admitted that they have been actively working for Bernie’s nomination.
  • Trump has been salivating at the thought of Bernie as the Democratic choice.

The President of the Russian Federation and the President of the United States, working together for a common cause. In another place, another time, with a different cast, this sort of détente could have been a million kinds of warm and fuzzy, but in reality—not the sort of reconciliation, partnership or goal one had in mind, is it?

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Fear of Queer

Don’t overreach with the equality nonsense, girlfriend.



Funny thing about Pete Buttigieg. People, especially Young People, don’t like him. I mean they really don’t like him.

The just-hatched harpies of the intolerant left speak of Pete’s falling fortunes as though they occurred in a vacuum and based solely on his merits, but one look at Elizabeth Warren’s nose-dive suggests that this race will not be rewarding the most-deserving, the hardest working or the most intelligent; the US electorate is too packed up in demographic boxes — elites, millennials, boomers, the black vote, educated white women, evangelicals — each one with contradictory demands and tastes, contemptuous of all the others, and self-serving to perfection.

And we know, because they’ve told us, that there are decisions being made by oligarchs and enemies, agendas over which the candidates have no control.

In fact Warren has stated that she was told on entering the race that there were “two tracks: a progressive one with Sanders and a moderate one with Biden, and there was no room for anyone else.” This doesn’t encourage me to look on her or Pete’s or anyone’s dropping out as necessarily reflecting on either their ideas or their management of their campaign.

So the characterizing of Pete as incompetent is not insightful or true, just convenient. Whether or not any candidate has been able to resonate with any particular demographic or minority, this is an undecipherable mix of media attention and spin, whatever Putin’s henchmen are doing at the troll farm, personal charisma and zeitgeist.

Proof that Sanders can be just as polarizing and shouty as Trump? Sander-nistas, with that authentic authoritarian distrust of high-falutin’ book learnin’ and shifty elitism, (probably because the intelligentsia are intelligentsia enough to see through your propaganda) disdain Pete’s Harvard degree, polylinguistic talents (they say he can tie a shoelace with his tongue, yes, I’m kidding but made ya look!) and “flowery language.”

Me, I tend to get all hot and bothered for a man with intelligence, education and a grown-up’s vocabulary, call me old-fashioned. But I suppose it was inevitable that aw-shucks, proletarian hand-painted folksy would be the order of the day when Bernie’s in the ascent. Honestly. They sound like the devil-children of the Politburo practising their critiques of “formalism” in case an American Shostakovich or Akhmatova starts tormenting the rosy-cheeked proles with clashy chords or words of three syllables.

He was reviled, not least by the narrow-minded gatekeepers of the gay community, for fundraising for the poor alongside the Salvation Army during the holidays, as though it was more important to make a sulky point than to help the disadvantaged; he was called a hypocrite and corporate shill for wine cellar fundraising, in a country where a billion dollars is considered a reasonable target for a campaign.

These are embarrassingly empty criticisms, desperate deployments of fluff from die-hard Sanders supporters who are willing to tank the election rather than not get their way (they said so).

So let’s talk “vapid,” one of the mysterious criticisms aimed at Pete. Nothing there? Let’s have a look at his platform (from Vox):

Quadrupling the earned income tax credit for single adults

A $15-an-hour minimum wage

Affordable, universal full-day child care and pre-K for all children from infancy to age 5”

A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

A Medicare buy-in open to all meant to “create a natural glide-path to Medicare for All”

A cap on all student loan payments as a share of income, forgiven in full after 20 years

But that’s not all. Buttigieg has devoted attention to big structural problems that afflict our democracy, and has proposed solutions that are genuinely radical.

DC/Puerto Rico statehood, banning gerrymandering, ending the Electoral College, and ending the filibuster

Expanding and reforming the Supreme Court to curb partisan rulings

Sectoral union bargaining where agreements apply to whole industries, not just individual companies

A carbon tax rebated to taxpayers in cash, plus a quadrupling of research and development funding for clean energy

This was the platform of a “moderate” only in comparison to Sanders’ and Warren’s.

I know that universal health care is the key concern this time round. I understand — I’m a Canadian who enjoys this benefit, and I agree that if the US can crack this one, which surely it must, it will be a radical change not only for the uninsured but in the American “anti-socialist” mindset.

Buttigieg’s plan for “Medicare for all who want it” was a workable compromise and a way forward for this radical change. The reality is that both a Warren and a Sanders presidency would likely involve some form of deal-making resulting in this very compromise. Warren’s gone, but, in the event of Sanders ending up in the Oval Office, watch what happens to M4A.

If you’re going to do a hatchet job, at least address his policies, instead of relying on fatuous ad hominem attacks. If Pete’s stock went down, it wasn’t due to his personality, his platform or his electability, least of all due to a spectacularly well-run campaign in which he went from unknown to serious contender.

In many ways Pete, youthful, charismatic, liberal to the core but reading as “centrist,” would have been just the right person for the job, where he would have been positioned to achieve many of the left’s goals without frightening the horses either before or after election.

Yet—from the youth Bernie demographic, revulsion which, despite my initial reluctance to do so, I finally read the right way: The usual Bernie hagiography with a swirl of blatant homophobia, all the nastier for the “I just can’t put my finger on it” faux-naif pose, and all the more insidious for their covert style, in the manner of my mother saying, “He’s one of those…”

Thus he was called “droid-like,” “inhuman,” “weird,” “vacant,” obsessed with the Presidency from an early age, as though the fantasies of a young boy were somehow sinister and pathological (didn’t Hillary want to be an astronaut?).

Isn’t that supposed to be “the American Dream,” that you can aim high, and through hard work, and possessing the right talents for the job, achieve your dream? Not if you’re queer, apparently. We’re just too inexplicably icky.

Underlying all of the negative descriptions I read online about Pete — an odor of smelling salts, a nudge and a wink, a grimace of distaste, a hold your nose disgust that the writers’ attempts at arguments did not even acknowledge, let alone explain, and, significantly, always the wish that he’d “go away” or disappear for good, hinting at a visceral reaction akin to nausea.

Because they couldn’t just come right out and say it, could they? Not without losing that wokeness badge. They had to hint and hope we get the message.

Oh, we get the message, honey. We get it. Because “just go away,” “don’t ask, don’t tell,” “save the children,” “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” they all come from the same place and have one goal: To patronize, nullify, infantilize, humiliate, emasculate; to make gay men invisible again.

To make all of us queer folk — “just go away.”

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