My inner journey with Sanders (to date)

Dear Diary,

Inasmuch as my personal journey with Bernie lasted considerably more than a weekend, catching you up requires more than one sitting. This is Phase 1. Perhaps perversely, it begins not with Bernie, but with Barack, whom I supported in 2008, and Hillary.

During the 2008 primary, on a now-defunct board, a fellow Barack supporter posted a graphic of Hillary with a bride of Frankenstein coif crowning a grasping, crazed visage. Poking out from the front of the do were three miniature yard signs, "Hillary Clinton 2008," "Hillary Clinton 2012" and "Hillary Clinton 2016."

I laughed at the graphic, but also felt anxious that Hillary might challenge Obama in 2012. That shows how uninformed I was: the Party no longer allows primary challenges to any incumbents, let alone incumbent Presidents (known in some circles as "the Democracy, My Ass Absolute Pin" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_chess). Also, I failed to account for the 2008 Primary Dealmaking Gambit, sometimes also called the Queen's Gambit.

In 2004, the Primary Dealmaking Gambit had made Governor Howard Dean head of the Democratic National Committee. In 2008, it may well have made Debbie Wasserman Shultz head of the Democratic National Committee. It almost certainly made Hillary Clinton Secretary of State. I discounted the third tiny yard sign entirely, assuming that Hillary would be too worn out to run by 2016. That shows why I've made such a meager living as a fortune teller.

I desperately wanted a strong candidate to run against Obama for the 2012 crown. Yes, dear diary, it is a crown, albeit not a hereditary crown (yet?). Of course, our coronees get to use the free throne in the white castle for only four to eight years before they have to buy their own castle, but it is a crown. Queen Elizabeth, while not a Queen Mother, is the mother of all 2016 queens. Even she, however, does not get to fly professional decorators from all over the country to Buckingham or Windsor to decorate for Christmas, including trimming almost sixty Christmas trees. So, when we say "First Family," we mean "Eat your heart out, Mountbatten-Windsors!" But, I digress. ...

By 2011, I was almost as disappointed in Obama as I had been happy in 2008 to see him elected. He had been graced with the most Democratic Congress in a good while, a strong electoral mandate, a nation ready to do almost anything he asked to get out of the 2008 Depression and the Middle East, plus all the personal qualities that enabled him to be persuasive. Nonetheless, he filled the Executive Branch with Clintonites and Republicans, bailed out the health insurance industry and proposed an anemic recovery bill--and don't even ask about the Middle East. Even you, my indulgent diary, don't have that kind of time for me.

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/02/15/obamas-failed-legacy-in-... https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/21/iraq-rejects-us-plea-bases
http://www.progressive.org/news/2014/02/186889/point

To my delight, the name of Sanders(I), whom I had cheered for years, began bubbling up. Even in 2011, though, I had thought that voters might consider Sanders too old. Any, oy! da Brooklyn accent! However, I could not imagine anything political that would delight me more than a Sanders run, even though I knew he would not beat an incumbent. When Sanders did not run, I resigned myself to seeing him content to be a U.S. Senator until he retired (or answered "aye" to that big legislature in the sky).

Somewhere around the middle of 2012, the fool tools of MSNBC, along with Democratic shills strategists like Shrum and Shields, began declaring publicly that the 2016 Democratic nomination "is" Hillary's if she wants it: No one else will even challenge her. (Have you ever heard a prediction like that, much less four years out?)

I knew instantly that I had been a fool to discount the 2016 hair stick. When my computer screen began insisting that it and I were Ready for Hillary (formed January, 2013), I lost all remaining hope. But then.....I saw a website that urged us to tell Senator Sanders that we wanted him to run for President and began smiling about the Vermont(ish) rascal.

When Bernie himself said in 2014 that he was exploring a run, I was joyful. http://www.progressive.org/news/2014/02/186889/point When he added that he was deciding whether to run as a Democrat or an independent, if he ran at all, I was somewhat disappointed: He had always said that he ran as an independent because he did not want to be beholden to the big donors of the Democratic Party. (He eliminated that misgiving of mine later, by refusing donations from any source other than human individuals, to a limit of $2,700.)

I thought Bernie should start traveling the country as an independent candidate for POTUS during the Republican and Democratic primaries. I feared that the Party and media would undermine any pretender to Hillary's throne, with the help of establishment media. As wary as I was, I vastly underestimated the blatant, shameless treachery and unity of those two plutocratic forces.

Farewell, dearest diary, until Phase II.

Share
up
0 users have voted.

Comments

deliver, Obama will rate very low on the lists of effective presidents. Promises like ending Bush's wars; making whole those screwed by the housing dishonesties; passing the card check-off system of unionizing; closing Gitmo; and calling the banksters to account were not pursued.

With W Bush, there wasn't the expectation of progress for wage earners; with Obama, and encouraged by Obama, there was.

Obama will be remembered for fracking and war each and every day of his administration, as well as the passed over opportunities to help the 99% and restore rights promised by the Constitution.

Sanders worked too hard and long as a 74 year old to be dismissed out of hand. He was cheated out of the nomination and if he didn't want to call attention to that, I wish that he would have just gone back to Vermont, thanked his supporters and kept silent.

There's a lot of nice writing in your diary as well as the many good points. Thanks.

up
0 users have voted.

"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

because there are people with less cynicism and more energy and optimism than I have, and they need a place to go to work toward their ideals. .

up
0 users have voted.

The right things about the Obama administration and, as usual, I agree with your positions.

This "diary entry" was only background. I hope the next installment will be meatier.

up
0 users have voted.

I understand that Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant, and Warren Harding are awaiting Obama's arrival into the membership of the Presidents with the Worst Corruption Club. They need a fourth for Bridge.

up
0 users have voted.

Vowing To Oppose Everything Trump Attempts.

TheOtherMaven's picture

but he was far too trusting of "friends" who were corrupt to the core, and did nowhere near enough to check their rapacity. (He was also the first President since before Andrew Jackson to advocate fair treatment for the Native Americans, going so far as to appoint one (Ely S. Parker) as Commissioner of Indian Affairs. His policies were emphatically an improvement, but were still aimed at turning the native peoples into imitation white men.)

up
0 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Or just hapless?

up
0 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

September company is far more welcome.

(Lame, I know. I could not think of a more clever pun using "august company.")

My guess, based on how things are done these days, rather than on my own opinion:

Obama will go down in history as a great President who was a brilliant speaker, who finally got a health care bill passed, who got Ben Laden captured and who was the first African American President.

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Well, depends. Official history? Or what the people think of him 20, 30 years down the stretch?

up
0 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

If all goes as planned with the corporate coup, and/or with Obama and Hillary's initiation of a 'limited' nuclear war of Mutual Assured Destruction with Russia and China as well as attacks on and invasion of numerous other countries, at the least many or most (if not all) of us poors will be gone in 20-30 years, so there will, quite probably, be just the wealthiest among the powerbrokers remaining - with their devastated Earth, the maximized pollution accumulating faster with already fast-snowballing die-off and ecological collapse, so the air maybe getting pretty darn thin already within the smog and a shortage of unfracked water, together with increased earthquakes, flooding, weather disturbances, etc. Considering what's done in countries where corporations are unrestrained and the citizens and environment are unprotected from them, as we are slated to be, and translated to a global corporate/military take-over, this result within a few decades or less (with MAD, could be almost immediately) sounds all-too-possible.

Perhaps we'll be able to 'come back' to watch them count their little data-dots signifying theoretical wealth and repine over having nobody left to drain except each other to see if they even think of Obama at all? I wouldn't bother, if I could, though.

up
0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

then post as though nothing will change in the next 50 years. My bad.

up
0 users have voted.

many of the people who lived through his administration will be gone.

up
0 users have voted.

Bill's legacy has taken a huge hit during this election.

up
0 users have voted.

Beware the bullshit factories.

praised for having been great for the economy and having left office with "a modest budget surplus" (on the backs of welfare recipients).

If anyone ever gets honest about that, Bill Clinton will be ranked very low indeed, even without taking into account that a sitting President was impeached for having perjured himself about getting blow jobs in the Oval Office, including while speaking on the phone to another head of state.

Will anyone get honest about that? I don't know anymore.

up
0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

the way the clever playmaker who sets up a good scoring chance is responsible. W helped out by being the one hanging around the net and putting it in.

In other words, I think W's administration, with its policies, needed to seal the deal and protect the play that had been built for them.

I bring up the Bushes because I like to constantly remember that this is a bipartisan thing.

up
0 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Crap mortgage derivatives brought down our economy (and the economies of several other nations) in 2008. The combination of the Commodities Futures Modernization Act and Gramm, Leach, Blilely was all that was needed to set the scene for that crash. Bushco didn't have to lift a finger.

It was bipartisan without Bush. Republicans introduced both those bills, and Bill and Summers and Bill's other advisors lobbied had for them, especially Democratic Senators, right along with Greenspan.

up
0 users have voted.

and to exist was the beginning of the latest failure of capitalism on a large scale, in my opinion. These mortgages, few of which had a chance to be paid off at term, when bundled together suddenly became A1 securities. The bankers had help from the companies that rate these securities - Standard&Poors, Moodys for two - because they put their seal of approval on them. Of course they got paid by the bundlers for this serrvice.

Then the accountants who allowed exceptions to GAAP - Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures - which further hid these derivatives from easy scrutiny - share in the blame(while sharing in the profits).

One of the worst aspects of this panic is that some banks made money bundling and selling and then made profits by betting against the performance of these instruments that they had put together.

Obama gave everyone a nol prosse.

up
0 users have voted.

"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

were to secure the mortgages at whatever amount the lender told them; mortgage loan originators who got more for risky loans; banks that paid the originators more for risky loans; the bundlers; rating agencies that rated the bundles of crap mortgage securities highly; investment bankers that sold them and on and on. AIG, which insured this worthless racket.

And who got blamed? The electrician who wanted a home and assumed that his or getting a mortgage meant the same thing it had meant before Bill Clinton--that people with financial expertise had determined the electrician was financially worthy of the mortgage loan. Through no fault of the electrician, his or mortgage loan became known as a "liar loan" so that Americans would believe foreclosing on the electrician and suing him or her for the deficiency while AIG got bailed out was just.

up
0 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

Down, down down down down.

He screwed up a genuine opportunity to do many good things but abdicated his opportunities. So what that he was well-spoken? so is the snake oil salesman (which he turned out to be). What good did BooHoO leave behind--an ACA that is crashing daily and will probably disappear before the next inauguration? How about engineering America's longest and most indecisive pre-emptive, cruel and stupid wars? Is that anybody's definition of greatness? How about letting Banksters defraud millions of their life savings through fraud and yet send not one of them to jail? Is that greatness?

Yes, it is greatness! Greatness in lying. Greatness in killing lots of people. Greatness in allowing our ground water and air to be progressively degraded. Yes that is greatness--but not greatness for good.

If anybody here thinks Obama is great, then they should be just thrilled with Hillary, who will outdo Obama in every detail.

So what fucking good did it do to kill Bin Laden, when he helped spawn ISIL? The only unique feature of his presidency is that he is black. Period.

up
0 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

up
0 users have voted.

up
0 users have voted.

Possibly none of my posts.

up
0 users have voted.

up
0 users have voted.

"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

elenacarlena's picture

single payer or even public option, then that will probably solidify Obama's "legacy". The ACA will be seen as a steppingstone, disregarding the fact that it almost brought health insurance down around our ears.

And of course he'll be remembered as the first black President. And if academics are as sensitive about American race relations in the future as they have been in the past, very little bad will be said about him.

up
0 users have voted.

Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

up
0 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@HenryAWallace

up
0 users have voted.

mimi

Phoebe Loosinhouse's picture

Obama administration is that it passed on equity cramdowns negotiated by Paulson and the mortgage industry before O took office that would have kept millions of Americans in their homes.

The other most telling revelation about the duplicity of the O administration was the blithe dealing away early on of the public option by the White House and the fact that they pretended until long after that it was still on the table when it wasn't. We then were treated to multiple fall guys to take the blame for what the President and his Men had already done - done away with the Public Option. Joe Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln were both publicly blamed for killing a corpse.

up
0 users have voted.

" “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR "

If people had wanted more of the same, Hillary would have beaten Obama without a sweat. He ran as a change candidate, and he won as the change candidate. Within 20 minutes of declaring victory, he morphed into Billary Bush. Wonder he didn't end up with whiplash.

I am ashamed to say, I voted for him twice. First time because he wasn't Hillary. The second time because he wasn't a Republican.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

the outcome of the election.

up
0 users have voted.

I expect better of myself.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

affected nothing. It's healthier for you. Just a suggestion.

up
0 users have voted.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

And restorative, rather than debilitating.

I've not managed it myself yet, but I am trying.

up
0 users have voted.

I'll have to keep it in mind.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Alligator Ed's picture

So don't beat yourself up.

up
0 users have voted.

It is what makes my voting for him so bad.

up
0 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Sachs, we're not in Kansas anymore.

I always mocked the Lieberman story. The people who pushed it didn't even believe it.

up
0 users have voted.
MsDidi's picture

Thanks for sharing this as a personal journey. It's important to realize how many hearts and minds have gone on this same path. Obama's run and presidency confirmed for me the power of the 1% and the horrible corruption of the Democratic Party. The Sanders campaign and it's abrupt death should have blasted that message in neon lights to the entire country.

In the last several elections, it's always been the lesser of 2 evils -- at least for me, I was holding my nose when voting for Obama. No identity politics illusion here. I engaged in the thought experiment of what it would take to mount a lesser of 2 evils choice with Hillary. With the vast majority of voters disliking and mistrusting here, that was no small challenge.

I see Donald Trump as a scarecrow -- and I think it was the DNC who stuffed him. With all the establishment lining up behind Hillary, she's definitely the best Republican candidate in a long time. Voting out of fear of the greater evil is a peculiar logic dependent on the complete domination of the electoral system by the 1%.

I actually supported Hillary in 2008. Knew well her work on health care and women's issues. The disappointment of seeing the superdelegates change their pledges to her and move to Obama was tough. Knowing that she got more votes but that he got the nomination due to superdelegates was my first taste of what many have now experienced in 2016. I cried at what appeared then -- and still does -- as a coup for Obama that had little to do with democratic elections. But then there was always the fact that he was the first Black president -- and the great energy and hope he had inspired in others. Wanted so much for them to be right and me to be wrong.

I was wrong about Hillary. I think that 2008 experience hardened her and she lost her soul completely. The deal was clearly struck then. I'm certain the Dem elites told her, "We'll support Obama now with this sure victory in hand. In 2012 or 2016, the nomination will be yours with no contests from anyone else in the Party. That's our pledge."

I believe that's why Sanders decided to "primary" her. Because no one else would. Don't know why I lacked clarity from day 1 that an attempt to build a revolution inside a counterrevolutionary party (per Jill Stein) could never work. I think that Sanders didn't get serious about winning until way too late -- just thought he'd move the discussion some to the Left and influence the next generation. I don't think he ever expected the support he got -- and wasn't sure what to do with it. He said repeatedly, "I don't want to let them down." He knew much earlier than we did that the die was cast, and he wasn't sure what to do with the tsunami that threatened to sweep away the DNC deals.

I also link the fact that he's stopped talking about the Palestinians and about DWS to a suspicion about where the pressure on him -- or perhaps threats -- have originated. It was a little like the assassination of Camelot in 1963. The blow felt so swift and so decisive -- whatever it's origin -- that it will be the source of conspiracy theories and a politics of fear for a long time to come -- that is, unless we all unite to demand new forms of elections, full rights for 3rd parties and concerted opposition to the 1%.

It's time to take a historical perspective on many of these events and to notice the forces and deceptions common to them all.

But thanks for personalizing the story -- you represent hundreds of thousands who hoped and worked for the best and who again got crushed by the machine. It's time to try something different.

up
0 users have voted.