Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Real Center Asserts Itself

It's interesting that young people are providing the bulk of the Bernie Sanders surge, when he's essentially talking about reviving New Deal policies that they've never experienced, while the Democratic Party establishment, most of whom did experience them, who grew up under and went to college and became prosperous because of them, are the ones desperately trying to beat Sanders back.

It's not Sanders they are trying to beat back, of course, but what he represents. It's the social unrest, the dissatisfaction with the status quo being felt by the mass of the American public. Sanders, and his minority party manifestation Donald Trump, are simply the latest vehicles through which that dissatisfaction and unrest are being expressed.

The Democratic Party political establishment's attempt to derail Sanders -- who is talking about traditional liberal policies, after all, not seizing corporations in the name of the state -- is a reminder that change doesn't come from the political establishment but is forced onto the political establishment by society; either in the form of social movements or more diffused societal attitudes, and both.

The status quo, which Clinton supporters have begun to refer to euphemistically as pragmatism or practical solutions, means Neoliberal economic policies --Reaganomics --  and a Neocon foreign policy; Clinton has no interest in interfering with the ability of corporations to make massive profits while paying their workers less and less, and she has promised not only to continue to use our vast military war machine to brutalize people across the globe but to increase its use.

All of New Mexico's federal legislative delegation are superdelegates pledged to Hillary Clinton with the possible exception of Ben Lujan, who perhaps because of his position as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee may have remained neutral; I've seen his status as a Clintonite superdelegate reported both ways.

But Martin Heinrich, Tom Udall and Michelle Grisham are on record as pledged to Clinton as superdelegates. That means they've pledged to maintain massive income and wealth inequality, and stagnant wages and living standards for American working people. Heinrich, Udall and Grisham have pledged to continue our warmongering in the Middle East and our reckless bullying of nuclear superpowers China and Russia by pretending that they're threatening someone or something somehow.

Heinrich, Udall and Grisham, by supporting Clinton, are saying, as they've been saying one way or another throughout their political careers, this is the way it is. We can tinker. Make insignificant reforms. But it's no use to dream of anything better.

Heinrich, Udall and Grisham have told us that we've got to suck it up, our best days are behind us, this county belongs to the rich. 

Note: I mentioned that the dissatisfaction and unrest, the rejection of the status quo, is being expressed on the Republican side by support for Donald Trump and the explicit rejection of status quo candidates such as "Jeb" Bush. A very cogent analysis of what the overall dynamics of the presidential primaries says about our current historical moment is provided in this article by Andrew Levine, an academic and author who now is with the Institute for policy Studies, a left leaning think tank.

The photo: I've been seeing it here and there, even as a painting on Amazon, but this series of photos in the UK's Daily Mail may be the source


  1. Believe it or not, I am sitting on the fence right now as to the Democrats. And for all I know, I may be on the fence the day after the election. I am not sure Bernie can win, maybe if he picks up additional support as time progresses, that remains to be seen. And no doubt here that Hillary seems unable to inspire, at least not inspiring me.

    It is odd that after 20 some odd folks signed up to run for president on both sides of the aisle I am still on the fence. Maybe I am too odd myself, at least politically.

    I have been looking for Bernie's stand on the Middle East. I am concerned that everyone will kowtow to that tin pot dictator in Israel and continue sending billions upon billions of dollars to them so they can bomb the hell out of ignorant rock throwing Palestinians. We know where the republicans stand on this, I know where Hillary stands on this.... But Bernie?

    Anyway, keeping the proverbial eye peeled...

    1. Thanks for the comment NM. Foreign policy is one of my reservations about Sanders. He's gone along with some of our warmongering and opposed some. He doesn't at all put it in the context of Capitalist Imperialism, which his why Socialists scoff at the notion of him being a Socialist. He's a liberal Democrat and thus is generally behind US Imperialism.

      Clinton is just much worse on foreign policy. She backs every war, every intervention, every bomb, every dead baby. As secretary she was behind the war crime of Libya, she was behind the coup that ousted Mel Zelaya in Honduras, she was behind the undermining of the Venezuelan economy, etc.

      On domestic policy and economics she's a Republican, which is my criticism of my representatives backing her. They should be strung up. It's a vote for things standing pat if not getting worse, economically, for working Americans.

      I think the blurbs Clinton and Sanders put on their web sites about Palestine and Israel demonstrate their difference on that topic. Again Sanders is marginally better, more fair, in my view, but he's far to the right of where I am.

      Sanders has a section on Palestine and Israel in his foreign policy section. Clinton's policy positions on that are interspersed in her foreign policy section. Interestingly, she doesn't mention the word Palestine but mentions Israel five times: