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 the high school play.

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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Elizabeth Warren, scrappy pit-bull for justice: a love story

(it’s all about electability, people)


Elizabeth Warren is embraced by a supporter, while another supporter holds a sign reading “Win with Warren”.

I’M A CANADIAN WHO TAKES A KEEN interest in American politics, out of necessity (q.v. “in bed with an elephant,” the phrase coined by Pierre Trudeau, father of Justin, back in the day when Trudeaux — is that the plural? We’ll say it is — still had some clout and even left the house occasionally), and also out of the natural human fascination with fresh train wrecks.

I was in awe of Elizabeth Warren at first sight, as she vilified, to their faces and on live Internet feeds, the big little boys of Wall Street. It was a messy, unpleasant, but essential series of interventions, and as I watched I felt the same kind of sick thrill I felt when I discovered that the source of the nasty smell in my apartment was a pound of ground beef my roommate had hidden in his closet, then forgotten about.

(Sometimes the stench of evil is so pervasive, and the modus operandi so bizarre, you have to become habituated just to save the day and summon up the courage to carry on. “Doesn’t everyone keep a stash of ground beef in their closet? No — ?”)

But my heavenly mind-marriage with Liz was consummated on the day, sometime back in the Golden Era, the misty, nostalgia-glazed Arcadia that was pre-November 2016, when she declared Trump

 a loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud...

In normal circumstances, whatever those look like and if there even is such a beast anymore, Warren would justifiably be accused of making an ad hominem attack. But these are tryin’ times, oh yeah, and in making this statement she’d laced up her boxing gloves and stepped into the ring, having simply revealed herself as a shrewd judge of character with a refreshing lack of inhibition.

With a presidential candidate who had exactly zero qualifications for the job, in fact, negative qualifications that actively screamed about how completely unsuited he was to be President — six times bankrupt, business fraudster, classic misogynist (and, it would be revealed, sexual predator), white nationalist, lack of any experience whatsoever in any government role and lack of understanding that he was not going to be running a business but making decisions in the public interest — with his qualifications hovering at around minus thirty-eight, what was there to work with except his character (assuming that having no character is, in itself, a kind of character)?

Warren has a passion for justice, the zeal of the convert (as a young woman she was, by her own description, fiercely conservative), a lawyer’s ability to summarize evidence and build a convincing argument, and a constructive, righteous anger that makes her speeches electrifying.

And she is focusing on an issue — the financial terrorism perpetrated by the cowboys of high finance on regular, middle-class Americans — that the 99% (that’s us) can understand, and that avoids the trigger topics of religion / sex / gender / race (not that those issues aren’t of primary importance, but we’re talking electability. Let’s save the polarizing arguments for when we’re all tucked up safely in bed).

If there’s one thing the Dems need, it’s focus. Oh, Minerva! Focus, and a compelling, unifying narrative. They’ve been stuck, for what seems an eternity but is probably just decades, in a reactive position, always limited by the intellectual boundaries imposed by an increasingly illiberal and intolerant right, or hampered by internal disagreements and the self-serving machinations of narcissistic old men (a.k.a. Bernie Sanders, The Great Spoiler).

(And what irony that, in his insistence that his way was the only way, all or nothing — offering the total Scandinavian Social Democratic smorgasbord with lingonberry sauce to a population that goes apoplectic at the mere thought of universal health care — Sanders showed himself to be just as intolerant and polarizing as the buffoon he more or less single-handedly put in office.)

Every time Warren explains, » as in this article on Medium, the blunt, ad hoc strategies of the financial sector, those make it up as you go along cash grabs they’ve tried to convince us are the arcane, untouchable workings-out of eternal laws, I find myself gobsmacked anew by how much Washington is in thrall to Wall Street, up to its withers in dirty money and daily, normalized corruption.

And I’m mystified by how much America, self-proclaimed land of prosperity and opportunity for all, regardless of origins, seems to have bought the neoliberal economic horse droppings of that other obnoxious bargain-basement Messiah, Milton Friedman, Mr. Trickle-Down.

The problem is one of heuristics, those mental short-cuts that enable us to make snap decisions without starting every dilemma with Adam and Eve and working forward. What is most available in our minds becomes our preferred solution and availability is determined by how often we have it pounded into our brains. That’s why marketing is a never ending competition to be the most salient brand, what advertisers call “top of mind.”

What do we have available? For years now we’ve heard the mantras of small government, de-regulation, austerity, and the dire warnings about socialism (forever associated in people’s minds with autocratic communist regimes such as Soviet Russia, in actuality a form of state capitalism). We’ve absorbed the sneering pejoratives “PC”, snowflake, libtard, social justice warrior, so thoroughly that many progressives themselves, suffering from insidious Stockholm syndrome, begin to babble about the terrible chilling effect on freedom of speech caused by the use of respectful language towards minorities.

The relentless focus of the right wing has caught progressives sleeping, and cast us as the villains of their narrative. What we’ve been missing is our own narrative and a voice as passionate for economic and social justice and inclusiveness as conservative voices have been for the status quo and status quo ante.

Elizabeth Warren has spun a personal and political narrative that reeks of common sense, and in a voice that means business; it’s your mother about to scrub your face really, really hard with a rough, damp face cloth. It’s a voice even grown men can’t discount. The only comparable voice I can think of is that of Maxine Waters. Hail to the Giga Moms!

Ms. Warren, you are the scrappy pit-bull of justice and may your bite be as sharp as your bark; you are the middle class’s fierce Emmeline Pankhurst, hurling rocks at the tinted privacy glass of the elite’s limos; you are the liberal pundit’s unlikely seventy-year-old pin-up girl. You are sublime.

If you don’t get the nomination, I think I will lose hope — not for Americans, never for Americans, but for America.


THE YouTube-IVERSE IS ALREADY BEATIFYING Sanders, Mr. Me-or-Nothing, and excoriating Warren as being in the pockets of “the Establishment.”

Now, I ask you. Why would Liz be courted and artificially pumped up and promoted by the very establishment she is hell-bent on taming and regulating? Does this make sense to you? Of course it doesn’t!

“Why is Joe Biden in first place?” asks one confused lady.

Umm, because he’s an old, white male. Next question? Old white males gotta run, gotta sing, gotta dance. Old white males are the flavor of the past, and the past — when men were men, women were seen, whistled at, slapped, pinched, tickled, assaulted and condescended to but not heard, people of color knew their place, and The Gays were thankfully invisible — is Shangri-La, the lost Promised Land.

Joe’s a Regular Guy, having already played the warm-hearted doofus to Obama’s patrician straight man, in an uncomfortable role-reversal: Now Obama was the plantation owner and Joe, in white face, the comic field hand and simple light relief. Joe was suitably butch enough to counterbalance Obama’s ever-so-slightly-gay reserve, intellectualism and faint yet unmistakable ever-present air of fastidious distaste at having descended to the earthly plane.

Joe’s still at it: Fondling women, making inappropriate remarks about women, and wondering where the good old days have gone where a man wasn’t called on the carpet for every little off-color joke or well-meant love pat, however undesired.

Joe Biden has been on the wrong side of history much of the time: he was for the Defense of Marriage Act, for banning LGBTQ in the military; subsequent reversals notwithstanding; for capital punishment and increasing capital offenses; for abortion partial bans and the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds going to providing abortion.

Is this really the antidote to Trump?

And Sanders! Sweet mother of Liza! Sanders single-handedly handed the U.S. four years of Trump because his ego kept him hanging on, incensed that Hillary was touted as the more attractive option. Too late he told his followers to back Hillary, in a passive-aggressive, thinly veiled plea for loyalty to him and him alone, voiced as a plea for party unity — but with oh so much patent insincerity. It’s like his mom told him to stop being so mean to the mentally-challenged girl who wrote him mash notes and kept trying to hold his hand after class.

Guess what? Misogyny rears its tired old, white, male head. And it’s feeling uncomfortably like the beginnings of déjà vu all over again.

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