Endorsing Reality Within The Democratic Party Primary
President Obama is seemingly endorsing reality within the Democratic Primary. Marisa Schultz writes:
President Obama is trying to boost Hillary Clinton by saying that he had an unfair advantage over her in 2008 because the press was in his corner and she had to meet high expectations, which included a perfect hairdo.
“She had to wake up earlier than I did because she had to get her hair done,” Obama said in an interview with Politico.
“The truth is, in 2007 and 2008, sometimes my supporters and my staff I think got too huffy about what were legitimate questions she was raising,” Obama said. “And there were times where I think the media probably was a little unfair to her and tilted a little my way in calling her out.”
In fact, he said, Clinton “had a tougher job throughout that primary than I did. She had to do everything that I had to do, except, like Ginger Rogers, backwards in heels. She had to wake up earlier than I did because she had to get her hair done. She had to, you know, handle all the expectations that were placed on her. Had things gone a little bit different in some states or if the sequence of primaries and caucuses been a little different, she could have easily won.”
Obama, like many of us, must find it deeply ironic that a group of people whose chief complaint is that their elected officials don’t do what they say they will (a complaint that is not wholly accurate, given there are those who have tried and others who believe the best opportunities will be with more Democrats in government) have turned to an individual whose campaign is essentially a rehashing of the vast majority of positions he has consistently been unable to persuade any legislator to pass into law. In what was a defense of Sanders as a legislator, Zaid Jalani remarks that Sanders was the amendment king. What about bills you ask?
Congress is not known to be a progressive institution lately, to say the least. Over the past few decades, the House of Representatives was only controlled by the Democrats from 2007 to 2010, and a flood of corporate money has quieted the once-powerful progressive movement that passed legislation moving the country forward between the New Deal era and the Great Society.
In other words, he did nothing to stop the above from happening and was ineffective in fighting against it. Sanders was, at best, able to carve out progressive table scraps within this tide.
When any politician has this track record, voters justifiably approach them with a great deal of skepticism. But for some reason, the highly erratic Sanders can do no wrong simply because he’s perceived as “honest” for being ineffective in legislating though highly effective in advocating for his constituency. You know who else that describes? Ted Cruz.
Danny Katch points out how the most important progressive changes in our history have been spearheaded by protest leaders — abolitionists and suffragettes, brawling strikers and ACT UP-ers — who were all wildly unelectable.
Of course, protest movements are different from presidential campaigns, where electability matters more. It’s just simple math why Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be president — according to polls, only about a third of millennials, Sanders’ life blood, view socialism favorably. We know people’s ideas are unchanging the older they become. This is especially true when the idea in question is socialism, which few people have ever heard a positive word about in polite society until the Sanders campaign.
Super PACs and corporate lobbyists play a huge role in American electoral politics. There are two major parties which over 150 years of gerrymandering, courting big donors, and coopting voting blocs have evolved into a pair of fairly evenly matched behemoths. Everyone acknowledges this truth, but it seems Sanders’ supporters don’t want to acknowledge that this will not be “unraveled” in 3-6 months by their candidate. This would require endorsing reality.
When this is pointed out, it is naturally expected that an all-out hysterical attack from the Sanders Front (and the Republican trolls posing as Democrats who would never vote for the “lying, thieving, Hillary Clinton”) whining about traitorous natures, “saleability”, lack of principles, and refusal to bow down to the fall of “the establishment” front-runner. This is not endorsing reality, but we have seen this phenomenon throughout history.
John Wilkes (1725 – 1797) was a famous British radical, journalist and politician. For years he was the darling of the London mob because he seemed to stand up for “the little man” and insulted the upper classes with defamatory and sometimes pornographic language. He was elected to Parliament, expelled, re-elected and expelled. A huge rally spontaneously took place in front of his London house where Wilkes was cheered to the skies. Someone asked Wilkes if he was pleased to have so many friends. Wilkes snorted “These people aren’t my friends. They are merely my supporters.” Sanders supporters should take that to heart.