Won't Stop, Can't Stop

There's an excellent new essay by Nathan Robinson in Current Affairs entitled Why Bernie Has to Win

Just as a preface and a matter of historical record, I'd like to note that Eisenhower was re-elected after a serious heart attack, LBJ had a very severe heart attack at 47 and maybe another right after JFK was assassinated and before he was sworn in as president. Cheney had 4 heart attacks and the fourth just before becoming VP and thereafter served for 8 years, and George HW Bush was diagnosed w/ irregular heartbeat in office. Biden had two brain aneurism surgeries. Warren still hasn't released her medical records. So make of all that whatever you want.

But here are some excerpts from the article:

I am already feeling strange saying this, because I am so grossed out by personality cults, and I hate the idea of lapsing into adulation of a politician, and I’ve always tried to maintain a critical stance on Bernie even if I clearly prefer him as the Democratic candidate. I do not love people I do not know, and I have never met Bernie, so I do not love Bernie.

But I also feel like this candidacy is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something incredible, and that if we don’t take it we’ll regret it, and that he knows that, and that he’s willing to destroy himself and shorten his life and give up whatever he might have wanted to do with his twilight years in order to accomplish the most serious political mission of any of our lifetimes. It has to be done, and he knows it. I don’t think he’s particularly glad that it’s fallen on him to do it, but it has. And so he will do it or he will die trying, and the rest of us need to do whatever we can to make sure he doesn’t have to die trying. If he’s willing to kill himself for this, if he’ll fight to the last breath, who are we to talk about the Questions and Doubts about Whether He Can Do It, instead of spending our time making sure that he does do it.

I actually feel like Bernie’s hospitalization is a sign that we have to do more to get him elected. He is the most effective possible weapon we have against Trump, and his presidency would be an opportunity for an unprecedented transformation of the political system. That was true in 2016, and Democrats botched the chance of a lifetime. Now, we have one last shot.

Ach, I'm not going to go on and on about it. It's an important article, so again:
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/10/why-bernie-has-to-win

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Comments

It's not about Bernie, it's about US.
Bernie's fight will end, but our fight never ends, it's generational.
Bernie is not a once in a lifetime candidate. Nina Turner and names we have yet to have heard of will rise up now.
Bernie started a movement that has transcended him.
The fight will go on.

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Wally's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

Or maybe you disagree about the urgency of this election in the context of making a timely, deterimined, and politically viable effort to at least hold off ecocatastrope.

That's okay. I don't have much choice but to live with other folks' opinions.

And if future alternative candidates like Nina or emerging political movements up the road give you hope, I won't get in the way.

So there's that.

Good luck.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

but we can't elect "us," get "us" on the debate stage or on any corporate media.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Battle of Blair Mountain a genuine progressive in the White House? Wouldn't that make our struggles much, much easier? Night and day it would.

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Wally's picture

@laurel

Lookin' rested and invigorated.

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Centaurea's picture

@Wally

And that fancy car! A two-car garage, even! Those billionaires, flaunting their "wealth"!

Blum 3

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Wally Can't help loving that man. Hope he'll be okay.

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Wally's picture

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edg's picture

Eisenhower was 14 years younger than Bernie when he had his heart attack and he was Bernie's current age when he died.

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Wally's picture

@edg

But that's me. There's no requirement that others feel the same way. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

If he’s willing to kill himself for this, if he’ll fight to the last breath, who are we to talk about the Questions and Doubts about Whether He Can Do It, instead of spending our time making sure that he does do it.

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edg's picture

@Wally

I'm not sure what your response has to do with my comment. I said nothing about Questions and Doubts about Whether He Can Do It. I suggested that using Ike as an example is ill-conceived. Duh.

This Intelligencer article mentions Lyndon B. Johnson's heart attack in 1955 and Bill Clinton's post-office heart issues. Why did your quoted author cite only Republicans, including the execrable Dick Cheney? It doesn't do Bernie any favors to lump him in with Cheney and H.W. Bush. A number of Democrats, including FDR and JFK, overcame significant health hurdles and served with distinction.

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Wally's picture

@edg

Ill-conceived imples intent to . . . what?

Maybe not equivalently applicable but there are other determining factors regarding potential fatality aside from age.

Maybe I misinterpreted your comment in that it seemed to me that you were stessing age as a determining factor without consideration of the extent of the damage in addition to other factors such as Ike having been a smoker while Bernie isn't, etc, etc.

And I did note:

So make of all that whatever you want.

But I don't think bringing up Ike was "ill-conceived."

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edg's picture

@Wally

means 'not carefully planned or considered'. Why Ike instead of LBJ, a Democrat? Why Cheney instead of Clinton, a Democrat? Maybe the author should have included Trump, who also has heart disease. After all, if Bernie == Cheney, then Bernie == Trump can't hurt, amirite?

Why did the author feel compelled to link Bernie with a bunch of Republicans instead of with Democrats? That's why I consider the comparisons ill-conceived. Maybe you think putting Bernie Sanders and Dick Cheney in the same box is a good idea. I don't.

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Wally's picture

@edg

I'm not completely following your argument but that's okay.

Trump has heart disease? Aside from being a heartless sob? Holy smokes, seems like he might:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/us/politics/trump-physical-heart-heal...
How did I miss that????

Clinton heart condition occured after his presidency.

I honestly didn't know or forgot about LBJ having such a serious heart attack at 47 and probably another right after JFK was assassinated and before he was sworn in as president.

Live and learn. Thanks.

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edg's picture

@Wally

I think this was a good essay and I appreciate you writing it.

Seeing Bernie linked to Republicans just hit me wrong. I would've preferred linkage to Democrats. After all, LBJ brought us the Medicare that Bernie wants to expand into Medicare For All while Ike championed the Interstate Highway System so that the military could move nuclear weapons around by truck. Clinton presided over the best economy in U.S. history while Cheney helped usher in the 2nd worst financial crisis in U.S. history.

And Bernie will be one of the best presidents ever.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Wally

to compare Sanders' and DT's health status. (Or, to Biden's. And, maybe Liz's.)

According to BS's physician's letter of health (so to speak) from Rear Admiral Brian P. Monahan during his last Presidential run, BS has had two surgeries (vocal cords and hernia, IIRC). Now, it's three, with a heart procedure. He takes some RX's, but I don't have the letter readily handy in order to list them. (of course, it may have changed, now)

BS's parents lived to ages 46 and 57 (Mother/Father).

Regarding DT, he claims no surgeries other than an appendectomy at age 10 or 11 (have read both).

Remember CNN's coverage of DT's physical. He has plaque (which is why he takes the second lowest dose of Crestor, a statin) that puts him smack dab in midrange of risk for heart attack for a man his age.

Here's an excerpt,

Trump, a new score of 133 reveals there has been a steady build-up of plaque in his blood vessels, indicating moderate heart disease. Also concerning are Trump's total cholesterol levels and his LDL ("bad" cholesterol), as both increased significantly over the last year, despite being on a statin drug known as Crestor or Rosuvastatin.

Trump, 71, (at time of physical exam) is not too different than most Americans his age. After the age of 40, most men in the United States have some evidence of heart disease, and the President's score places him squarely in the mid-risk range for a man of his age. Because the President doesn't smoke or drink and "appears to have good genes," according to Jackson, he has been able to avoid the classic symptoms of heart disease.

IMO, some folks will heavily consider age and/or health; others, not so much. Frankly, doubt BS's recent medical event will adversely affect his standing with current supporters.

I would think that the biggest concern should be what DT does to the eventual DP nominee, if they've ever had health problems more serious than a hang nail. Wink

Remember what he did to FSC, when her legs simply buckled? Never did hear exactly what her problem was, but, as for myself, I've probably fainted 25-30 times in my lifetime--a symptom of an absolutely non-life-threatening condition (which I no longer suffer from, thank goodness). Even landed in an emergency room twice (when happened in public, and no one to intervene for me, to make it known that I'd be fine) while a college student. Suppose a creep like DT could have had a field day with me, even though I wasn't seriously ill.

BTW, I posted the '4' maintenance drugs DT takes last week. Two are for cosmetic purposes, one is a low dose Baby Aspirin, and the fourth is the statin RX, Crestor.

(To correct my previous statement, he takes the second lowest dose of Crestor--it comes in 5, 10, 20, and 40 mg doses. He takes one '10 mg' tab, daily. I thought the 10 mg was the lowest dose.)

DT's parents lived to ages 88 and 93 (Mother/Father).

From what we already know about Biden and Sanders, we know that DT's had fewer past health problems. (Of course, that could change tomorrow.) Haven't heard anything about Liz's current/past health. But, if there's anything at all, she should be prepared to be branded as almost terminally ill.

Hey, all three candidates surely know this. If I were them, I'd just stay away from the topic, as much as possible. (unless their oppo research reveals something about DT, not currently known)

That is, if Moscow Mitch doesn't throw DT under the bus during the impeachment trial. Biggrin

Have a good one.

Mollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Wally's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

The predominant point of Robinson's essay, again, I think, was:

this candidacy is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something incredible, and that if we don’t take it we’ll regret it, and that he knows that, and that he’s willing to destroy himself and shorten his life and give up whatever he might have wanted to do with his twilight years in order to accomplish the most serious political mission of any of our lifetimes. It has to be done, and he knows it. I don’t think he’s particularly glad that it’s fallen on him to do it, but it has. And so he will do it or he will die trying, and the rest of us need to do whatever we can to make sure he doesn’t have to die trying. If he’s willing to kill himself for this, if he’ll fight to the last breath, who are we to talk about the Questions and Doubts about Whether He Can Do It, instead of spending our time making sure that he does do it.

I actually feel like Bernie’s hospitalization is a sign that we have to do more to get him elected. He is the most effective possible weapon we have against Trump, and his presidency would be an opportunity for an unprecedented transformation of the political system. That was true in 2016, and Democrats botched the chance of a lifetime. Now, we have one last shot.

Edit/add:

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@Wally He blew it. The time to do something meaningful was 2016. The heart attack puts an end to it. Watch what happens from here on out. My money is that he does not do nearly as well this time. Alligator Ed said it was over before it was known that Sanders had a myocardial infarction. But hey, don't bother listening to a doctor.

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Wally's picture

@davidgmillsatty

And documentation of those emails?

Is it all about betting on the winner?

If that's so, and if I was a betting man, I'd put my money on Bernie living longer than Trump.

Otherwise, I'll keep sending my real money, as limited though it is, to Bernie.

And looks like the good doctor, er, alligator corrects your false assumption by way of direct reply.

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@davidgmillsatty he "blew it" in 2016. Many, including me, were surprised at how close he came to winning the nom against HRC, who was always assumed to be a shoo-in. Hard to fault the race he ran.

This time though? Easy to note in hindsight, but still someone in his camp should have been there to check Bernie's tendency to want to apparently prove he wasn't really 78 yo, with his non-stop whirlwind campaign schedule, running at a sprinter's pace when he needed to pace himself for a long marathon.

I tend to agree with you on his nom prospects for this cycle.

Re the comment that LBJ "probably had a heart attack" in Dallas that day?? Probably didn't, though he was seen walking into Parkland Hosp clutching his arm or chest (can't remember which). I have my deep dark theory about such a display, which is for another time perhaps. Reliable reports had him engaging in bizarre behavior that day, esp on AF1 as it waited on the tarmac for the fed judge to arrive, which was completely unnecessary.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@Wally Calcification in coronary arteries occurs when Ca++ (calcium) is deposited in the intimacy of the coronary arteries, this is the arterial layer in direct blood contact. Coronary calcification is an indirect measure of coronary artery narrowing secondary to presumed cholesterol-based arterial plaque. Angiography is currently the only valid measure of regional coronary blood flow. Calcium score is thus two-steps removed from direct measurement of actual coronary blood.

One cannot assume anything from a coronary calcification index.

Increased risk? Yeah.
Done deal? Not at all.

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Wally's picture

@Alligator Ed

Seems it's around 50.

Hang in there, AE!

My guess is you're beating the odds just like Bernie will and then some!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@edg

The life expectancy for white men was 67 years old.

Being 64 in 1950 or 1960 is not quite the same as being 78 in 2019, but it's close.

In 1950, life expectancy for white men 65 years old was 12.8 years. In 1960, the life expectancy for white men 65 years old was 12.9 years.

In 2016, which is the most recent data I could find, life expectancy of white men 75 years old was 11.2 years.

I'm gonna fudge a point and call Ike's 64 years as close enough to 65 years for government work...
So, if Ike was 64 between 1950 and 1960, he could expect to live to 78 or 79.

I'm gonna fudge and call Bernie's 78 years as close enough to 75 for government work....So, if Bernie was 75 in 2016, he could expect to live to 86.

Those numbers just indicate what would be most likely. Of course, he could live to 105 or get hit by a truck tomorrow.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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edg's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

That's another good reason why a comparison to Dwight Eisenhower isn't a good idea. Who ( other than you, of course Smile ) bothers compensating for life expectancy?

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Wally's picture

@edg

I think CSMS's argument is valid and favorable to Bernie vis-a-vis a comparison to Ike.

Throw in Ike's smoking, 1950's diet, lack of exercise and even more so.

But istm you keep missing my point and the point of the article. I don't know how to make myself clearer in reference to the context of Robinson's article. My bad. So it goes.

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edg's picture

@Wally

When you inadvertently place a red flag into an otherwise excellent piece of writing, attention will focus on the red flag rather than your essential points. That you continue to defend the red flag rather than just fix it shows how little you grasp this basic concept of persuasive writing.

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Wally's picture

@edg

Jeez.

Edit/add: I fixed it.

Keep smilin'!

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snoopydawg's picture

@edg

Just trying to understand what you're objecting to.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@edg

But, of course, the point about life expectancy, like evidence and logic generally, will only matter to the people making their political choices rationally. And I'm not meaning to be snippy or insulting here, but I believe it's been pretty well established that a lot of people don't make their political choices based on reason.

When I was working in campaign politics, we put all potential supporters on a scale of 1-5. Ones are the people who would drag themselves to the polls to vote for your candidate if they broke their leg on Election Day. Fives are the people who wouldn't vote for your candidate if the Martians came and killed every other politician on earth.

I'm certain the Sanders campaign won't do what I would do, and write off most Clinton/Kamala/Warren supporters as 5s, but maybe they should. (I'm guessing they won't do that because the math is so dismal with those people subtracted). I say "most" because what's really at issue here is the ability to reason and think critically. I noticed in 2016 that many Hillary supporters had seemed to shelve their quite excellent mental equipment for the duration of the campaign. And I'm talking people that I knew personally as well as people I only knew through their work. People that I had worked with in social justice movements were more than willing to be as irrational as the guy who said women can't get pregnant via rape, as long as it furthered Hillary's progress toward the Big Gold Ring (an Oval one, of course).

These are the people who repeat stories like the BernieBros chair-throwing in Nevada or like how Juan Guaido would have become President except that the current Venezuelan President dissolved their legislature.

Now, not all Hillary/Kamala/Warren supporters fall into this group, particularly as you get toward the Warren end of that spectrum. Some of them are still using their reason. But those who are not using their reason, those whose mental equipment has been confiscated by the corporate media, are fives. They are simply not reachable.

Some of you may remember many years ago, at TOP, there was a raft of diaries talking about the loss of friends and loved ones due to political differences. Over and over again, people told stories of how an uncle or sister or best friend had gone to the far right and cut ties with their liberal friends and relatives. Around that time, people began to realize that there was no reasoning with people on the far right, even your near and dear. At least, that's what we thought we were realizing. Actually, what we encountered then among the Bush Republicans was the power of propaganda. It's important to remember that people get enmeshed in propaganda for a reason, and it's usually not just that they were near a television. They're getting something out of those beliefs, no matter how horrendous. What you're really arguing with is not their reason, but whatever need is driving them to shut their reason down. It's a rare person who can overcome an unconscious or semi-conscious need in favor of reason.

That's why I think of most Hillary/Kamala/Warren supporters as fives. Once you have abdicated your critical thinking to the corporate press, you will pay attention to what they want you to pay attention to, know what they want you to know, and believe what they want you to believe. The strength of your belief will depend on how effectively constructed the current story is and how well it snaps, enzyme-like, into your current beliefs.

This is a very long way of saying that many people, particularly Democrats, will repeat the age talking point and there will be nothing that you can do to shake their belief in it. However, it's a good idea still to meet those talking points with evidence or logic, because that will speak to those who still use their reason out in the populace. There seem to be more of them than I would have thought.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

I've won back a few friends who switched to Warren after having been Berners in 2016. Others are amenable to the idea of switching back depending on this and that. I'd say though that Warren supporters who also supported HRC can safely be cast as 5s. All the others are fair game, though, although they also vary widely as to probability of changing on a likely to unlikely scale. Certainly, some of the candidates are gonna drop out and their votes will go somewhere. Meanwhile I just read that Tulsi may decide to boycott the next debate.

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@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal You can throw those numbers out the window after a heart attack. Just because Ike beat the odds doesn't mean Sanders will.

But it is also the perception. Sanders will not be able to pick a VP for the primaries so people will naturally gravitate to what they know, not what they don't. Ike was a national hero recruited by both parties. Very popular with both parties. So he did not face the election hurdles Sanders does.

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@davidgmillsatty heart attack was put out by his handlers, iirc, as a "mild" one, so that put off any of the few reporters then who might have been willing to dig further. There just wasn't much of a skeptical press back then, beyond isolated indy voices from the left like I.F. Stone and Geo Seldes.

Dick Cheney in 2000 got similar uncritical press treatment re his 4 previous heart attacks. Even more protective than what Ike got given the number of prior serious heart problems.

Agree that Bernie won't be given the same pass as Ike and Dick. And not at age 78.

I notice that Bernie's campaign finally have realized he needs to cut back -- 2 events per day, not the previous 4-5. Good move, but comes a bit late.

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Wally's picture

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