Joe Biden Is A Racist Who Loves Police Brutality

| Educate!

Above photo: Joe Biden meets with Connecticut police from NBC CT.

While liberals want us to believe that voting for Joe Biden is the solution to all the ills of the racist capitalist system, the fact remains that Biden is a dedicated, lifelong racist.

He won’t save any of us, least of all the victims of police brutality.

A wave of potentially revolutionary anti-police uprisings is sweeping across the United States, with Black America once again at the forefront. These rebellions — taking place during a pandemic and in aftermath of the murders of Breona Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other Black people by the cops and their white accomplices — show the deep anger felt by Black Americans and their allies over how the racist capitalist system specifically brutalizes Black and Indigenous people of color, especially those in the working class.

The response to this explosion of global struggle is predictable: state-sanctioned violence. The far-Right and Republicans are more explicit, while liberals and Democratic politicians in power give cover to this by also trying to find channels for the anti-racist rage that do not threaten private property, confront the legacy and reality of settler colonialism in the United States, or challenge the foundations of the capitalist state. This follows a classic pattern of setting up the “good” protester vs. “bad” rioter dichotomy, aiming to co-opt the former while brutally repressing the latter.

Liberals, seeking moderate and ultimately end the uprisings, are coalescing around a “don’t riot, vote” message, which has been taken up by corporate media figures, regular white liberals, and even former presidents. They’re selling the idea that the solution to police brutality and all the other ills of the racist capitalist system is to vote for Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden for president in November. If we get Trump out, they argue, things can return to “normal”: no more curfews, no more pandemic, no more police brutality. All these problems are caused by Republicans. Biden will save us!

Joe Biden is a dedicated, lifelong racist. He won’t save any of us, least of all the victims of police brutality. 

A Long History of Racism

Biden’s history of enthusiastic racism stretches back decades. From the moment he entered the U.S. Senate in the early 1970s, he vocally opposed busing to achieve school desegregation. Today he disputes this fact, claiming he only opposed federally mandated busing. Nevertheless, “opposing busing” has long been racist code for opposing Black and brown children going to school with white children. At a time when “separate but equal” was beginning to become politically unpalatable, Biden’s leadership against busing, in the most generous possible interpretation, provided cover for segregationists to continue their work. 

Biden represented Delaware in the Senate, a state that essentially refused to desegregate schools through a combination of hair-splitting laws and white parents shifting their children to private schools en masse. Private school enrollment in Delaware is now among the highest in the nation, at 17.6 percent in Biden’s hometown of Wilmington — the vast majority of them white. Meanwhile, disproprotionately Black public schools are systematically starved of funds. This kind of de facto segregation is exactly what Joe Biden promoted in his anti-busing campaign. 

Ahead of the 2020 South Carolina presidential primary, a focus group was asked about this very portion of Biden’s record. One woman in the group asked “are we honestly being asked to to believe he is a segregationist?” Evidence points to yes.

Twenty years later, having risen to the prominent position of chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden presided over confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas to become the second Black Supreme Court justice. The hearings became a crucible for the particular combination of racism and misogyny at the heart of the United States when law professor Anita Hill, also Black and who had previously worked for Thomas, came forward with sexual harassment allegations against him. The all-male, all-white committee Biden chaired questioned her in brutal detail. He refused to take her allegations seriously, launched no investigation, and failed to accept testimony from multiple other witnesses and survivors of Thomas’s harassment. With Biden’s collusion, Thomas was confirmed and today is one of the Court’s consistent right-wing votes. Reportedly, he’s also Trump’s favorite justice

Biden’s dismal record here is especially important to note, since one of the main arguments deployed in his favor is that he will appoint better judges than Trump has to various federal courts. 

Perhaps the most egregious example of Biden’s racist use of power is 1994’s Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the crime bill he wrote and continues to support vocally to this day. The bill is a laundry list of the worst aspects of the mass incarceration state. It led to a boom in the number of police officers and prisons, lengthened prison sentences, and created financial incentives to keep people in jail. It created 60 new death penalty offenses as well as the infamous “three strikes and you’re out” rule, which inflicted a life sentence for almost any crime, even ones considered very minor, if there were two prior convictions for “serious” or “violent” crimes. Since then, people have died in prison for things like stealing a dollar in loose change from a parked car, possessing less than 1 gram of a drug, and attempting to break into a soup kitchen. Biden had also co-written the Anti-Drug Abuse Act a few years earlier, during the so-called crack epidemic. It amplified sentencing disparities between crack cocaine users, who were mostly Black, and powder cocaine users, who were mostly white. 

All these new laws affected people of color, especially Black and Indigenous people, the most, leading to a massive increase in incarceration, policing, and the destruction of Black communities. While the crime bill was very popular at the time, it came under heavy criticism from those who knew it would worsen carceral capitalism. Now considered widely to be a racist failure, some previous supporters have disowned it. Only someone truly committed to racism would maintain his support of the bill, as Biden still does. “On balance,” he says, “the whole bill …  did in fact bring down violent crime.” And, he contends, “The crime bill didn’t increase mass incarceration.”

Biden’s racism can also be viewed through the lens of the infamous “civility” of the U.S. Senate — a body that serves as a playground in which rich and powerful Democrats and Republicans can disagree lightly during working hours while maintaining deep social, political, and financial connections. Biden was an enthusiastic participant in this tradition through his friendship and fruitful working relationship with noted segregationist and vile racist Strom Thurmond, the senator from South Carolina. 

“I disagreed deeply with Strom on the issue of civil rights, and on many other issues, but I watched him change,” Biden said as he eulogized his racist friend in 2003. However, it’s not clear that they disagreed all that much. They worked together early in Biden’s Senate career on the 1983 Comprehensive Forfeiture Act, which increased the use of civil asset forfeiture by police departments across the country. Civil forfeiture is legalized theft, allowing cops to seize and sell any property they say is involved in a crime, even if the owner is never even arrested or convicted. It is used mostly against working class and poor people, especially if they are Black. Since 1999, the federal government alone took in $36.5 billion in assets through civil forfeiture, a percentage of which was used to buy military grade weaponry that was then allotted to local and state police agencies and has been deployed against protesters. Biden played a pivotal role in ensuring the law was passed, whipping the Democrats into voting for it and ensuring that Thurmond got the credit for the law. 

“We don’t treat the opposition as the enemy,” Biden said while campaigning for president recently. “We might even say a nice word every once in a while about a Republican when they do something good.” Apparently, Biden thinks the police stealing from Black communities in order to repress them more thoroughly is good.

Another line of argument Biden’s supporters use to divert attention from his racism is that he was vice president under Barack Obama, the first Black president of the United States. It doesn’t just smack of “I have a Black friend” side-stepping, it’s even more flimsy. 

Obama’s own record on race while president isn’t a glowing one. He often relied on symbolism, rather than material action — such as with the infamous “beer summit” between a white police officer and the Black Harvard University professor the cop arrested for entering his own home. When he wasn’t ignoring race, he insisted it was a “both-sides” issue. For instance, in his famous 2008 “A More Perfect Union” speech, Obama spoke about solving racism in America if only everyone forgave each other. It’s the same “both-sides-ism” whenever a white liberal shares a photo on social media of a cop and a protester hugging (often minutes before the cops turn violent). 

During the anti-racist, anti-police uprisings in Ferguson following the murder of Michael Brown in 2014, Obama criticized the protesters. “There are productive ways of responding and expressing those frustrations, and there are destructive ways of responding. Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk — that’s destructive and there’s no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts. And people should be prosecuted if they engage in criminal acts.” 

Those words are echoed in how liberals are talking about protesters today. Obama, though, had more power than most liberals and used it to expand a racist system. It cannot be a defense of Biden that he served as vice president — a stepping stone to power in itself — under a Black president who pursued mass incarceration, surveillance, the war against drugs, imperialism, land theft from Indigenous people, and other policies of neoliberalism that disproportionately target people of color.

On May 22, Biden sat down for an interview with “The Breakfast Club,” a popular radio show. Near the end of the interview, as he was questioned on policy by host Charlamagne the God, Biden said, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” 

Black people on social media were quick to point out the absurdity of a white man feeling entitled to determine who is or is not Black. In response to the swift backlash, Biden gave the requisite milquetoast apology. However, Charlamagne zeroed in on the problem. “I don’t ever care about the words and the lip service and the apology is cool, but the best apology is actually a black agenda … They’ve got to make some real policy commitments to black people. We’ve got to stop acting like the fact that blacks are overrepresented in America when it comes to welfare, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, drug addiction, crime, coronavirus—that’s no accident. The whole function of systemic racism is to marginalize black people.” 

While Biden may have learned the right words to say in 2020 to avoid accusations of racism, as in his “plan for Black America,” he lacks the policies, actions, or record to back them up. Racism isn’t what you say; it’s what you do. And Biden continues to advocate for racist action worldwide, from criminal penalties for immigration to increased military spending, even after his recent and calculated about-face on prisons and sentencing.

Biden doesn’t really stand with Black Americans. Faced with the clear choice to stand with protesters fighting racist state violence or with the police brutalizing them, it is no surprise that he sought a pseudo-middle ground, saying“The idea that instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there’s an unarmed person, coming at him with a knife or something, to shoot him in the leg instead of in the heart. There’s a lot of different things [policies] that can change.” 

Apparently, Biden thinks the things that can change are limited to what part of an unarmed protester’s body the police should aim to shoot. The only way to read this is that Biden, an enthusiastic proponent of state violence, just wishes the cops would carry it out a bit more politely and with more plausible deniability. Either way, given his long support for racist policies and his blithe dismissal of any questioning of that record, there is no reason to believe Biden in any way stands with the protesters against racist state violence, or that the way the police terrorize Black communities would be different under a Biden administration than under Trump. 

Joe Biden has said, “I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done.” We should take him at his word, and look at his record. Even if a bourgeois politician could or ever would “solve” racism in America, Joe Biden is not that person. He has spent his life fighting for policies that make life worse for Black, Indigenous, and white working-class Americans. Why should anyone believe he will do anything different as president? 

What Is the Real Solution?

The problem isn’t just Joe Biden. When you look across the United States at where police are responding to protests with brutal force, you’ll find many places with Democrats in power. Take New York City, with Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio. Black New Yorkers and their allies in the streets have been beaten, run over, and had chemical weapons deployed against them by the police — and he has defended the NYPD and established a curfew that has served as a cover for arbitrary police violence

Instead of relying on powerful Democrats to solve problems they have helped cause, we should look to the uprisings. Socialists should work to show the people in the streets that our anger and outrage have an answer — and it won’t be found in voting for Democrats. The protests are in danger of being co-opted by calls for mild reforms such as asking cops to tell people before they shoot them or making minor budget cuts. We must hold the line against such compromises, which are a betrayal of all those who have risked their lives to stand up against the racist state and are especially a betrayal of all Black Americans who have no choice about whether to risk their lives.

Joe Biden won’t stop the violence. While we must always fight to make things better, ultimately there are no lasting reforms possible in a racist capitalist system that is functioning just as intended. The only lasting solution is to abolish the police and abolish capitalism the world over.

  • eight.of.wands

    JESSE VENTURA 2020 !!!
    .
    RUN
    .
    JESSE
    .
    RUUUUUUUUUNNNNNN !!!!!!!

  • Jeff

    If you’re truly progressive, the Democrats are the enemy. It goes way beyond Biden, he’s just one of many. The Democrats were never good, but Bill Clinton made them much worse, and now they’re no longer even a lesser evil than Republicans, they’re just a different evil.

  • bigbrettg

    The crime bill hurt white people too

  • subcomandante Felix

    And, many made a lot of money off of it. And, many, many more supported maintaining their white supremacy privilege. It’s good that many whites are finally supporting black liberation, but talk is cheap. We will see how much action comes from the white politicians that they vote for.

  • Nylene13

    We voted for Obama. What good did that do?

    “I am a Republican at Heart”-
    Obama

  • subcomandante Felix

    About as much good as voting for Sleepy Joe. You said it, it’s not the president it’s the system.

  • Nylene13

    I fear Bernie was our last chance.

  • subcomandante Felix

    “Fear is the mind killer” Frank Herbert, Dune. Electoral politics is not going to change anything. The uprising of the past two weeks, shows that change is going to come from the bottom up, culturally that is. Politics follows cultural change.

  • mmckinley

    Nylene could you please provide a source for that quotation? I’d like to use it but need to make absolutely sure of its authenticity.

  • mmckinley

    I understand your love of Bernie, but we must face that he is history, now. And, Nylene13, that is a good thing, a good history. Father must set us free to make our own history, now. Bernie was never the savior that you and many of us thought of him as. Never wanted to be one. His rather ignominious capitulation, off now to become just another good Democrat and defeat Trump, is a much-needed kick in the pants for all of us. What he may have provided to many, perhaps unlooked for but increasingly understood by at least some of us, is a greater radicalism than even he imagined, set loose to grow into a real socialist, anti-capitalist revolution. Many of us woke up to embrace democratic socialism, and in the process are growing far more progressive and socialist and small-d democratic than we thought possible, certainly more than Bernie. I think he opened the floodgates of history to the tide of much greater progress than even he offered, and for that I shall be ever grateful.

  • mmckinley

    That is so very, very true, subcommander, sir. We need to tell powerful new stories, provide a new vision and way of seeing the world, destroy the old assumptions that trap us in the prisons of the past. It is culture that will set us free. The power of imagining new things, new beginnings, to see beyond the horizon, below the surface. Change will come not only from the bottom up, but also from the inside out. Of course, as any good designer will attest, imagination goes nowhere without action. In the political sphere, that must mean democracy. Real democracy, which, as you say, is far more than mere electoral politics, than mere representation. People in the streets is a kind of voting far more powerful than elections. There are many other powerful ways of voting, of expressing, demanding, ensuring fulfillment of, our public need. But everything begins with the stories we tell, the stories we live by, individually and collectively. The stories that direct how we see. Our culture.

  • RickW

    For a country that prides itself on individualism, it sure goes to exotic lengths to ensure the citizens “follow the party line” – at this present time by sabotaging Bernie the social democrat, while endorsing Biden as the GOP’s “mini me”.

  • Nylene13

    Biden or Trump is NO choice.

  • Nylene13

    The Bernie Movement was always about more than Bernie.
    Bernie was the first to agree with this.

    The question is-now what?
    Most Bernie supporters will NEVER vote for Biden.
    Or Hillary.

    No matter what Bernie says.

  • Nylene13

    Well a fair and honest Election could change things.

    But clearly that is NOT going to be allowed to happen.

  • Nylene13

    A video of Obama saying something very similar – is on one of the comments to an article posted on Popular Resistance today-June 9.

    I forget which article though.

    You can skim through and find it.

    Big Pix of Obama with the post.

    You can also Google.

  • RickW

    Seems that is what Americans prefer – along with us up here in the Great White North.
    No real change!

  • Nylene13

    Read chetdude’s reply to you here-right above mine!

  • Nylene13

    See chetdude’s post below.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    if you don’t vote for Biden, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Us too. Unless you actually want four more years of Trump.

    And I am a Bernie supporter. I even became a citizen so that I could vote for him.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Certainly not with the Congress we have. Or the Governors, or the State legislators. Vote every damn conservative out of office. and pressure the newly elected officials to change the system. No more electoral college, Ranked choice voting. An elected Vice President (only autocrats choose their successors). Even a new Constitution written by the people. of the 21sy century, not white slave owners in the 18th.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    A very important part of history. He may never be president, but look at the changes he has brought about already. He is still a Senator and still has enormous influence, as you allude to.

  • Nylene13

    I will not vote for lesser evils. That is how we got Trump.

    Many people thought Hillary was worse than Trump.

    And who knows-the guy who lost to Hitler may well have been worse!

  • kevinzeese

    I vote in Maryland. I will vote for Howie Hawkins of the Green Party but because ot the undemcratic Electoral College my vote will go to Biden, who I have fought on issues for 40 years. I will not use my personal vote for someone who is a corporate militarist mass incarcerator

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    So who will you vote for? (you don’t have to answer).
    At this point, I would vote for Garfield (the cat) if it guaranteed Trump would not win.
    I think it is a bit unfair to call Biden evil.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I vote in New York so that I, too, will vote for Howie. If I lived in a swing state, I would vote for the Democrat whoever it might be.
    Biden’s past is not glorious, but he is not an autocrat.

  • Nylene13

    I am going to have to make a list of all the things Biden and Trump have in common.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Why not look at their differences.
    Biden usually tells the truth, Trump never.
    Biden does not indulge in conspiracy theories. Trump does.
    Biden is not cruel. Trump is.
    That’s for starters.

  • Nylene13

    You know I actually started a list and I cannot do it-it just goes on and on and on—-

    Biden or Trump-who did these things?

    Against Medicare for All.
    Wants to cut Social Security.
    Supports raising the Retirement Age.
    Wants to cut Welfare.
    Against Amnesty for Immigrants.
    For increased deportations and supports Immigrants being held in jails and separated from their jailed children.
    For Border Walls and Military at our Borders.

    Who-Trump or Biden?
    BOTH OF THEM!

    And that is just the TIP of the issues they agree on.

    You asked me who I would vote for.
    Socialist, Green or not vote.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Are you sure?

    https://budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/issues/2020/3/6/biden-social-security
    I haven’t gone through the rest, but we have all said things and held opinions that we would never say or do today. What does Biden stand for today? How set is he in his opinions? Would he veto progressive legislation on any of the topics you mention? I don’t think so.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Don’t “not vote”. That seems as if you don’t care. You don’t get counted, and, therefore don’t count.

  • Nylene13

    I don’t care. President Trump or President Biden -makes no difference to me.

    I also think-after what happened to Bernie-that the voting is rigged.

  • Nylene13

    Obama made all kinds of campaign promises-and never kept a one.

    Starting with shutting down Guantanamo.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Makes no difference? Are you serious?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Bernie wasn’t running against Obama, so you don’t need to scratch for reasons why Obama was bad.
    As I remember, Obama suggested bringing the remaining prisoners to the US to be tried in New York, and if convicted, sent to maximum security prisons around the country. That idea was blocked. Nevertheless, he reduced the population of prisoners in Guantanamo from 242 to just 41 when Trump was inaugurated. I don’t see that as breaking a promise. I see it as doing everything he could to keep it.

  • Nylene13

    From looking at Biden’s and Trump’s political histories, I see no significant difference regarding their political stands on issues.

    They are both pro-war, pro-rich, pro-capitalism.

    Telling me that Biden may have ‘changed his mind’ on issues over the years does not reassure me-and it should NOT reassure you.

    As I said, all the campaign promised Obama made, and he never kept a one.

  • Nylene13

    “Everything” would have been shutting it down. Which he did not do.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Obama is not running (more’s the pity), so his tenure is besides the point.
    Theoretically we have a two party system, but their structure – and funding – makes them virtually indistinguishable: they both do what is good for their corporate masters.
    That said, who would you rather be the face of America? A pathological liar, a virtually illiterate ignoramus, a thrice married sexual predator, a four-times bankrupt business man, a racist and bigot and a bully, etc. etc, or a reasonably decent man who knows how to act towards other heads of State?

    You have no idea what the rest of the world thinks of Trump. In a word, a joke.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    No, Nylene. He didn’t manage to shut it down. Not every Olympic athlete wins the gold. Sometimes you have to satisfied with silver and give credit for effort.

  • Nylene13

    The point is he did not keep ANY of his ‘progressive’ campaign promises. And then later went on to admit that he was a “Republican at Heart”.

    I can’t imagine why you would think Biden would be any better.

    Maybe you are just more comfortable with the “at Heart’s” bunch?

  • I think so.

    Joe Biden thinks so too.

    For one thing, you seem to have missed the numerous times he’s proudly declared his adamant opposition to Medicare for All, or his reassurances to his insurance industry and other corporate donors that “nothing will fundamentally change.”

    But let’s forget everything he’s said a few months ago, shall we?

    Why don’t you try that angle with Trump? After all, he did declare on the campaign trail in 2016 that everybody would get great healthcare if he became President? Or were you all too busy hallucinating about Trump colluding with Darth Putin and his Kremlin Gremlins to hypnotize U. S. voters and fix the 2016 election against Saint Hillary?

    And during this corona crisis it was Trump who declared that people without insurance would be covered for corona-related testing and medical treatment by the government, and what was Biden’s response? Why–let’s have the government cover everybody–including the fortunate and well-healed . . . and let’s not over-burden our vampire private for-profit corporate health insurance providers.

    Lesser evil my ss.

  • Nylene13

    Truly, I don’t know who you are describing here-Trump or Biden.

    Biden gets confused about who he is married to, both Biden and Trump have been accused of being “sexual predators”.
    I don’t know Biden’s background, but Trump got his start from his rich daddy -Biden?

    I do not regard either as a ‘reasonably decent man’, and regarding politeness, you reminded me of the words of the teacher in Helen Keller-
    “FOLDING YOUR NAPKIN AND CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO NOTHING!!!”

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    What other campaign promises did he not keep – or, more to the point, not TRY to keep. Perhaps you don’t remember Mitch McConnell vowing to make him a one term president. That meant blocking every initiative, every chance they had.
    Being a Republican at heart in no way endorses or supports the current Republican party. It means that he is in favor of the republican form of government.
    Obama said some incredibly wise and wonderful words during his time in office. Not to mention funny! You are condemning him on the basis of five of those words- taken out of context.

  • Nylene13

    “Being a Republican at heart in no way endorses or supports the current Republican party”

    You are out of your mind.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Wake up, Nylene! Sure, Biden sometimes has trouble with words and which relative is on which side of him. but he is not thrice married nor a failed business man. Trump is a self-confessed sexual abuser. Biden is a touchy-feely man, who doesn’t always recognize boundaries. The one woman who accused Biden of sexual abuse has not been taken seriously by anyone. (Utterly without proof, I think she was set up, just as Monica Lewinsky was set up).

    How can you fail to see a difference?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    No. My mind is quite healthy, and I think about what I am saying before I speak.
    What evidence do you have that Obama supported the Republican Party? Can you even supply the context of this remark? The White House Press Corps dinner perhaps.

  • Nylene13

    Sorry-I was cutting avocados.

    One thing I sure miss in Nevada, having my own avocado tree.

    Anyway-Yes you Are out of your mind.

    Evidence? Chetdude has a Video of it, he posted -Popular Resistance, yesterday, I think?

    Obama in all his glory-Loving the Republicans.

  • Nylene13

    Have you actually WATCHED this young woman’s statement accusing Biden?
    Before you say anything else to embarrass yourself, you really should.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    A video by someone known as Chetdude is evidence that Obama was a terrible president? And you question my mind?

    Get a grip Nylene. You have some good hings to say, but condoning Trump on the basis of things that Obama may or may not have done is nuts.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Yes, I have watched it. And I have read accounts of her accusations. They are contradictory and unconvincing. Are we really expected to believe that a US senator digitally raped an intern IN A HALLWAY?

  • Nylene13

    Posted by. Go ahead and watch it. If you dare.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Oh, I dare. but how am I supposed to find it? Chetdude is hardly an internet phenomenon.

  • Nylene13

    In a remote basement hallway.

    You don’t think hallways count?

  • Nylene13

    Scroll up to the comments here.

    Yes, this article right here.

    It is about 7-8 comments down from the top.

    You will see it by the photo.

    Poster is Chetdude.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    She said that the encounter happened in his office. But obviiously, you know better.

  • Nylene13

    You brought up a hallway.

    So what do you think of the video post by chetdude?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    No, Nylene I did not bring up hallway. It was in the video. Have you watched it?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    So it’s Jimmy Dore. Like you, he has some good things to say, but in this case he is putting his own spin on things. Obama did not say he was a Republican; he said that in the 1980s he would have been considered a moderate Republican. But it was the 2000s when he spoke. Democrats have moved left and Republicans have lurched to the right.

    Context matters, Nylene. Context matters.

  • Nylene13

    Obama also said that “I am a Republican at Heart”.
    Democrats have “moved left?”

    To what —-Biden??????
    I give up on you.

  • Edward MacGuire

    Shields and Brooks (NPR) who know Washington well both said that Biden had no reputation as a womanizer or a predator. He went home at night and was not a party guy. His reputation seems to be that of a rather boring but reliable individual. General Colin Powell who identifies as Republican has publicly endorsed Biden and speaks of his character as the reason why. You can find his statements on utube if you are interested.

  • R. Kooi

    There is on major difference….Trump is a consistent punisher…he has an enemies list that grows exponentially….and that means he wants to centralize his ability TO PUNISH those who oppose him.

    He is, in fact, a would be Mussolini Fascist.
    .”Oct. 11, 2019 at 1:02 p.m. CDT
    President Trump has proved to the 21st century that Lord Acton’s
    19th-century maxim still holds:
    Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    .
    ‘As Americans we should be frightened,’
    retired Navy admiral William McRaven writes
    about the ouster of his friend Joseph Maguire

    “When good men and women can’t speak the truth,
    when facts are inconvenient,
    when integrity and character no longer matters,
    when presidential ego and self-preservation
    are more important than national security
    — then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil,”
    he writes in a Post op-ed about the departure of
    the acting director of national intelligence.
    .
    .
    Trump began staking his title to absolute power in his first weeks in office. “The whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned,” White House adviser Stephen
    Miller announced. He wasn’t kidding.

    Trump soon stated that “I have the absolute right” to fire FBI Director James Comey. He subsequently proclaimed the “absolute right” to provide Russia with an ally’s highly classified intelligence; the “absolute right” to pardon himself; the “absolute right” to shut down the southern border; the “absolute right” to fire special counsel Robert Mueller; the “absolute right” to sign an executive order removing the Constitution’s birthright-citizenship provision; the “absolute right” to contrive a national emergency to deny Congress the power of the purse; the “absolute right” to order U.S. businesses out of China; the “absolute right” to release apparent spy-satellite imagery of Iran; and, most recently, the “absolute right” to ask other countries to
    furnish evidence that Joe Biden is corrupt.

    Kellyanne Conway asserted Trump’s “absolute right” to give his son-in-law a security clearance over security professionals’ objections. White House counsel Pat Cipollone said current and former White House officials are “absolutely immune” from testifying before Congress. As others
    have noted, Trump has repeatedly said the Constitution’s Article II empowers him “to do whatever I want” and bestows on him “all of these rights at a level nobody has ever seen before.”

    Trump defends Ukraine call; attacks Biden, ‘at least four’ Democrats and Obama

    President Trump on Oct. 2 said there’s “absolutely nothing wrong” with the Ukraine call that sparked the impeachment inquiry. (Reuters)

    At a level nobody has ever seen. Now we see the corrupting effect of this claim of one’s own absolute power:

    Without troubling himself to engage in the usual consultations with lawmakers, allies and military leaders, he ordered a pullout of U.S. troops from northern Syria, setting off a Turkish invasion as well as fears of a massacre of our Kurdish allies and religious minorities (including some 50,000 Christians) and of a revival of the Islamic State. He did it at the request of the repressive leader of Turkey, where Trump has boasted of his extensive business interests.
    700 to 1000 Kurdish allies…men, women, children have been slaughtered by the Turks…where Trump has extensive investments…over a 100 million dollars.

    Trump on border: ‘I have the absolute right’ to declare a national emergency

    President Trump on Jan. 9 said he could use his emergency powers to build the southern border wall if he “can’t make a deal with people who are unreasonable.” (Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

    Trump declared “perfect” his phone call with the Ukrainian president, at a time when Trump was withholding military aid to that country, requesting a “favor” and asking for damaging information about Biden — a stark violation of campaign-finance law. He then publicly asked China for the same on the eve of trade talks.

    He responded to the resulting impeachment inquiry in the House with a bizarre letter from Cipollone asserting, essentially, that Trump is exempt from all congressional oversight and won’t participate in this “unconstitutional inquiry” — even though the Constitution expressly gives the House “the sole Power of Impeachment.”

    Belatedly, the Syrian situation led some of Trump’s biggest champions to recognize
    something has gone awry. “The president of the United States is in danger of losing the mandate of heaven if he permits this to happen,” Pat Robertson warned on his Christian Broadcasting Network.

    Evangelical Christians have been among Trump’s most loyal supporters. They have stood with him through the “Access Hollywood” tape and the Stormy Daniels payoff, through public vulgarity and blasphemy, through cruelty to migrant children and abuses of power for personal gain. In exchange, they can point to policies and judges restricting abortion and gay
    rights and expanding religious freedom.

    Such logic is behind the declaration of religious-right activist Ralph Reed, in a forthcoming book, that evangelical Christians “have a moral obligation to enthusiastically back” Trump in 2020. Reed dispenses this moral advice after a lobbying stint in which he worked with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and, after telling Abramoff “I need to start humping in corporate accounts,” reportedly received more than $4 million from Indian tribes in a fight among rival casino operations.

    Maybe the Kurdish tragedy will finally make more principled evangelicals rethink their Faustian bargain. Maybe they, and other Trump backers will begin to see that absolute power, though tempting when wielded for things they like, becomes alarming when used against their wishes.

    Maybe they will finally realize that by supporting Trump as he claims absolute power, they are clearing the way for a successor who ignores Congress and inconvenient laws to, say, expand abortion rights, gay rights, gun control and restrictions on Christian schools. Maybe they
    will grasp that the democratic safeguards they are now letting Trump overrun won’t be there when a future leader claims an “absolute right” to assault what they hold dear.

    Doubtful. But let’s hear no more pseudo-piety about “moral obligations” from the likes of Reed. The highest moral obligation for all who favor a democratic future is to stop an absolutely corrupted man.”

  • R. Kooi

    Nylene13
    Months ago, Trump promised that “anybody who wants a test, can get a test.”
    ———–> That is STILL NOT TRUE, today!

    Weeks ago, Trump said the US will run 5 million daily virus tests “very soon.”
    ———–> That is STILL NOT TRUE. We currently run only a few hundred thousand a day!

    TRUMP refused to accept an offer from a Texas Industrialist to RESTART PPE production from 4 moth-balled production lines.
    Trump Admin. refused to consider this again, near the end of January.
    .
    11,000 Deaths of Health Care Workers later!
    112,000 fellow Americans have died!
    we KNOW
    TRUMP NEVER DID ORDER the Defense Production of Personal Personal Equipment (PPE) for our Health Care Professionals, & Our Fellow Citizens,
    during these EARLY months, when they could have
    1.
    stemmed the appalling Death Rate,
    2.
    stemmed the destruction of so many Families,
    3.
    stemmed the destruction of our Economy!
    .

    Some Pro-Life S0-Called Republican He Is?
    2 MILLION INFECTED! !
    ‘ 113,000+ Lives were lost’!
    Projections are that we could lose up to a quarter Million (( 250,000+)) Lives in America by this Fall, long before a vaccine is readily available.
    Trump AWOL!
    Golfing,
    Pep Rallies:
    1. January 9
    2. January 14
    3. January 18
    4. January 19
    5. January 28
    6. January 30
    7. February 1
    8. February 10
    9. February 15
    10.February 19
    11.February 20
    12.February 21
    13.February 28
    14.March 7
    15.March 8
    Etc.
    Etc.
    21 ENTIRE Days off ———————–> GOLFING!
    12 ENTIRE Days off ————->at Political PEP RALLIES!
    =
    33 ENTIRE DAYS OFF,
    out of the critical 1st 70 days
    of the PANDEMIC, GOLFING and PEP RALLIES!

  • blessthebeasts

    Biden is a pathological liar, even about things that are easily checked, like being arrested in South Africa. Please don’t let your hatred of Trump obscure the truth about Biden. They are both crooks.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Democrats have moved left, thanks to Bernie. But nor far enough left to embrace him, and Biden is what we are stuck with.
    Bernie is not finished yet. He is still a very influential Senator, and he already has more than 1000 delegates (that number will surely go up after the NY primary where there is no need to vote for Biden). His voice will be very powerful at the Convention.

    By the way, when and where did Obama say “I am a Republican at heart”? I have looked, and I can’t find it.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    A pathological liar is someone who seems unable to refrain from telling lies. Like Trump who will swear that black is white if it shows him in a better light. That is far removed from embellishing a story.

    Do you actually want another four years of Trump?

  • blessthebeasts

    Of course not. I don’t want four years of Biden either. I am not going to get what I want, which would be a true socialist government that puts people before profits. It’s never going to happen with the duopoly that people like you put their faith in every four years.

  • CB

    Ochin khoroshov, tovarish! Excellent lying! No one suspects a thing…

    “Russia is looking to help Trump win in 2020”

    www.cnn.com/2020/02/20/politics/trump-russia-intelligence-2020/index.html

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I agree. No president is going to dismantle the duopoly. But Congress could with enough progressives in office. The states can help, too, by introducing ranked choice voting and moving away from winner takes all for the Electoral College.

    We get so fixated on voting for the president, that we often ignore the importance of those lower on the ballot. There are some amazing candidates. Search out some in your area and give them your support.

  • Nylene13

    So you are ignoring the film posted by Chetdude?
    Wasn’t that close enough for you?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Biden is not behind Medicare for All, that is true. But do you really think that if Congress presented him with a bill in favor he would VETO it? That is what I asked.

  • Nylene13

    All I know is that Biden is NOT for Medicare for All.

    I don’t know what he would do if Congress presented him with a bill, and neither do you.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Close isn’t good enough. I don’t remember Dore giving the context, and I can’t find the post again to check. Obviously you don’t the origin of the supposed remark. I suggest that you stop quoting it until you can provide the source.

  • Nylene13

    Well Said!-blessthebests.

  • Nylene13

    Obama said basically the same thing in Dore’s post.

    “you say can’t find the post again to check” Right.

    I suggest you find the Dore post and watch it again.

    And again and again and again….until you realize that Obama is admitting that he is a Republican at heart.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I found it. No. Obama did not say he was a Republican at heart. He talked about how people in the 1980s would have viewed his policies. We still don’t know the context, but I’m prepared to bet that he was reacting to accusations that he was a socialist. Or extremist of one sort or another. He was pointing out that he was mainstream – right of many Democrats and left of many Republicans.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    See below.

  • Nylene13

    Are you listening?

    She does not want Biden.
    I don’t want Biden.
    Voting for Biden will not bring the changes we want and Need.

  • Nylene13

    It seems to be quite clear to everyone what Obama was saying…except you.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Of course, I don’t “know”. But it is a pretty educated guess that he would not override the will of the people as expressed through Congress.

  • Nylene13

    You are right.

    You don’t know. And judging by Biden’s past, I would not bet (or vote) on it.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Neither, I’m afraid, will voting Green or Socialist. Not at this stage anyway.

    Your practical choice is Biden or Trump.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    You see what you want to see. I look at what is there.

  • Nylene13

    My dislike for Biden has nothing to do with my dislike for Trump.
    I would not vote for either of them.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I know as much as you do, Nylene. Probably more because I don’t judge, I evaluate.
    My evaluation is that Biden is the last candidate that I would have voted for. However, he is a decent man, and a moderately good politician. He is not dogmatic and could well be pushed towards more progressive positions. His ideas could well “evolve” as Obama’s did regarding gay marriage.

  • Nylene13

    That is NO choice.

    And I refuse to support this corrupt political system by supporting what amounts to no real choice.

    I wonder what would have happened if the voting German citizens could have chosen Hitler instead of the other guy who was in the running for head of Germany.

    How many would have said-Hitler sounds less evil?
    And who knows they may have been right.

    I do not see as voting for lesser evil as ever being any kind of a practical solution.

    There is something wrong with my computer. A storm is blowing n in. I am going to have to shut down for awhile.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Ummm. I thought the German people DID choose Hitler.

  • No. You see what you want to see–“a decent man.” We see what is there–a proven racist bigot, a proven, seasoned war-monger, a male chauvinist, a self-serving and enthusiastically cooperative tool of Big Money and the MIC.

    Have a nice Empire.

  • Yes. He would veto it. He has said nothing that would indicate otherwise, and plenty which indicates he would, despite the efforts of loyalist partisans like yourself to spin up scraps of hope by translation. Even during this current corona crisis he has displayed nothing but disdain and hostility to true universal healthcare. That is inexcusable, save to partisans like yourselves, Conservocrats who fancy themselves progressive. (If being to the Right of Richard Nixon is progressive . . . .)

    And that’s even if both Houses of Congress passed it, even if–perhaps especially if–both houses were controlled by the Democratic Party, which is where progressives and fighting liberals go to die. With the Democratic Party in power, all progress becomes unicorn-chasing, Utopianism, etc. And that isn’t going to change from within. Already the Squad has been marginalized and diverted; when was the last time you heard Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez say a peep about a Green New Deal? And the Squad and other Leftish progressives are not going to take over the Democratic Party any time soon–the establishment has it’s next generation of conservative Right-wing favorites lined up and ready to take the wheel–Harris, Buttigieg, Sinema . . . .

    And single payer Medicare for All is not the only item on your list of Biden fails, but only one particularly egregious example.

    Your anxiety is understandable–like Clinton in 2016, Biden is still consistently polling only a single digit lead in a contest with Trump, and so far only 3% of Sanders’ supporters have contributed even a dime to Biden’s campaign. He’s been making a ridiculous, racist ss of himself trying to play to African-American voters, Trump beat him to the punch on getting people needed healthcare coverage . . . .

    And no matter how you try to shift the blame for a second Trump term onto others, it will be your failure–the Democratic Party’s failure, even Bernie Sanders’ failure–if–and likely when–it happens.

    I am against both Biden becoming President, and Trump remaining President. I refuse to accept that binary, utterly fraudulent “choice” you line up with the Republicrat Party and corporate media to impose upon voters. I am likely voting for Gloria La Riva or perhaps Howie Hawkins, or perhaps not at all. Though you apparently have the privilege and position that allows you to be comfy voting for segregationist, Statis Quo Joe, I do not; but I have the right to vote for whom I decide to vote for, and four decades and counting of bipartisan Right-wing neoliberalism and war-mongering is enough, thankyouverymuch.

  • Nylene13

    Well Said Sherlock.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Other than those elected in 2018 – and Bernie – name a couple of people in Congress who are not enthusiastically co-operative with Big Money. Also name the handful who voted against the Iraq war. A war-monger is one who urges or attempts to stir up war. A seasoned war-monger would do so repeatedly. That simply does not apply to Biden.
    Male chauvinist, I’ll give you. And I quite get that his touchy-feelyness probably makes many women uncomfortable.

    Yes he has a history of making remarks that can be construed as racist. May I remind you that that is pretty mainstream in America.

    Look, the man has flaws – as does the DNC which anointed him, but he is the only alternative to Trump that we have.

  • Nylene13

    Depends on what you mean. He was chosen by the then ruler, called the Chancellor I think, but the German People supported the choice.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Let’s start with the “loyalist partisan” stuff. Which party do you think I am supporting? When I was naturalized in 2016, I registered as “no party affiliation” (a mistake as I was unable to vote in the Democratic primary. A large part of becoming a citizen after 30years of resisting was so that I could vote for Bernie.) Then I changed to Green so that I could run for mayor on that ticket, and then I changed to Democrat -again so that I can vote for Bernie.

    Saying that he would veto a bill because he hasn’t said he wouldn’t is not a very good argument. Of course he supports Obamacare. It is tough to give up something you helped create.

    Last I saw, Biden was polling 14 points ahead of Trump.

  • Nylene13

    You said it just 5 comments up from here.

  • Thank you.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Oh, please. Yes, I said it, but it was not my idea. It came from the video you were so insistent I should watch. I brought it up with a sense of incredulity.

  • Nylene13

    That makes no sense.

    Voting for Biden makes no sense either.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    It makes perfect sense. You told me to watch a video which I did. That video suggested that Biden had assaulted a woman in a hallway of the Senate building. I questioned the veracity of the account. What doesn’t make sense?

    So don’t vote for either of them. That’s your choice.

  • Jeff

    I suggest that you and Harbinger get some psychological help. Seriously.

  • Edward MacGuire

    The Nazi party got just short of 44% of the vote and formed a coalition with another party but the election was tainted by violence and intimidation. After being named Chancellor by Hindenburg Hitler outlawed the Socialist and Communist parties and made himself supreme leader. You would need to be an expert on the Weimar constitution to really know the legality of Hitler’s actions.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Sounds awfully familiar, without even the pretence of a coalition.

  • Nylene13

    Biden and Trump are two of a kind. You just refuse to see it.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I don’t see it because it is not there.
    They may share one or two policies, but as men they could not be more different.
    Trump: 27accusations of rape; Biden 1 (and that sank in a flurry of contradictions)
    Trump: 18,000 outright lies and/or deceptive statements; Biden: so few that no one has bothered to count.
    Trump: has insulted foreign leaders, the media, members of congress, veterans and anyone else unfortunate enough to appear on his radar; Biden has not.
    Trump totally lacks empathy; Biden hugs people in pain.
    I could go on.
    In short, Trump is a narcissistic sociopath. Biden is a very likeable, not outstanding politician.

  • chetdude

    I’ve been watching and participating in USAmerican politics and elections since Adlai Stevenson’s 2nd run against Ike.

    I see NO path to filling Congress with 269 “Progressives” given the nature of the profoundly undemocratic election machinery that’s owned by the Duopoly which is financed and owned by the Plutocrat Class along with their massive propaganda machine – the corporate media ready, willing and able to block progress.

    But I DO see a path toward organizing a massive, militant and ever present People’s Lobby camping out in the Halls of Congress countering the 18000 paid lobbyists the Oligarchs have working those Congresscritters. We could get 269 votes – mainly from people who pretend to be on our side when they’re pimping for our votes by convincing them that otherwise they’ll have to find new jobs.

  • chetdude

    IF people were convinced that it was OK to vote their values and needs, and the massive propaganda machine fairly reported Pro-active, Positive solutions like Sanders’ Moderate New Deal Agenda or the Green Party/Socialist platforms, it could be done.

    There IS NO practical choice between the Biden/Trump. They’re both the status-quo with different figureheads.

    It will take massive Popular Resistance and direct action from the bottom up to make Change…

  • chetdude

    Obama had an enemies list too — and every Tuesday he’d decided who on the list (and their women and children and anyone else standing anywhere near) would get incinerated by drone…

    And yeah, Trump has the same list…

    And so will Biden…

  • chetdude

    I’d have to say that it was better for growing and organizing the ever-stronger Popular Movements to have had Trump in the office than his opponent. If she had been made pResident, the blame and shame team would have been in full flower stifling the growth of Popular Resistance to the Empire and its Duopoly much more effectively than Trump’s tweets…

  • chetdude

    We OPPOSE Biden for his history as an integral cog in the USAmerican machinery to increase inequality, wage Forever Wars and support Wall Street and Banksters against the bottom 99% and Main Street, evisceration of a generation of college students, etc. etc.

    And I wouldn’t trust neoliberal DNC stooge Shields or milquetoast right-winger Brooks if they said the sun will rise in the east tomorrow…

  • chetdude

    How can you fail to realize that being opposed to Biden does NOT MEAN supporting Trump.

  • chetdude

    Of course he supports Obamacare-his major campaign bribers from the industry paid for him to gain office because he fundamentally supports remedial sick care as a commodity instead of Health Care as a Human Right — as HR1384 – Medicare for All considers it.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I just don’t see how anyone can say that Trump and Biden are the same. There maybe some overlap in policies, but not in personality.

  • chetdude

    You’re sort of correct — even though he ran as a “progressive” he made no real promises.

    That’s why he felt free to act like Herbert Hoover (instead of FDR) once he won the office.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I can agree with that. It’s like with addiction – you have to reach rock bottom before you can begin to go up. And Trump is about as rock bottom as I can imagine.

  • chetdude

    No, the video posted by someone known and Chetdude was of Obama making his “moderate republican” comparison.

    And yes, we knew what that meant at the time as well.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Theoretically it does not. But practically it does.

    If your goal is to make Trump a one-term president, then you have to back Biden, whatever your misgivings about him may be.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    If the bribers from the industry really wanted to maintain their status quo, they would be supporting Trump.

  • chetdude

    Here Ya Go — the video with Obama admitting that he’s a Republican.
    youtu dot be /qeyESTwub5Q

    President Obama said, “My economic policies are so mainstream I’d be considered a moderate Republican in the 1980s…

    Obama admits that his neoliberal economic policies are identical to Nixon, Goldwater and Reagan’s…(and Biden’s)..

  • chetdude

    In the 1980s Ronald Reagan was considered a “moderate republican”…

  • chetdude

    Democrat rank and file has moved back left but NOT the DNC/Democratic(sic) Party “leadership” nor the majority of their vetted and financed candidates — including Biden.

  • chetdude

    OK, this sub-thread has sunk to the level of dueling definitions in a vacuum.

    Let’s turn this around a bit. You have agreed that Congress is owned by Big Money (wielded by the Owner/Donor Class) so what practical path do you see toward effectively countering the Big Money given the profoundly undemocratic nature of USAmerica’s “elections” that will never allow a Congress with 51 AOC’s in the Senate and 218 in the House.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Hoover and FDR are well before my time in the US. Nixon too and Goldwater, too. So I am not sure what you are saying. But we arrived in the US days after Reagan’s second inauguration.
    I have yet to see where Obama expressed that he was a fan of Reagan, nor where he emulated his predecessor.

  • chetdude

    But, alas, Elizabeth, your excellent suggestions will NEVER happen given the Plutocrat Funded Duopoly’s stranglehold on the electoral process and the massive corporate propaganda machine that drives “elections”.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    We did?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Watch again. He did not say he was a Republican. You even quoted what he said – people might have thought that he was a Republican. With the impiication that they would be wrong.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    And?????

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    That is true. The DNC does not reflect the views of the majority of the party.
    So, what do you want to do? Re-elect Trump or get a Democrat into the White House? More important is to get loads of progressives into Congress.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The electoral system is deeply flawed. But, recent elections have shown that the people want progressives in Congress.
    PS AOC is in the House not the Senate.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I wouldn’t say never. Have you not noticed some seismic changes in the past couple of weeks?

  • That is not a practical choice. It is an artificial one concocted by Conservocrats and corporate media.

    It is not even real–given that either means Big Evil. With different iterations, yes, but nonetheless Big Evil.

    Trump might decide to give Pompeo and like-minded neocon militarists who have his ear the green light for sending U. S. forces to Venezuela for a shooting war, entangling the U. S. in military actions with Venezuela’s ally Russia; Biden might decide–with Hillary Clinton whispering in his ear–to impose a no-fly zone in Syria, and get us into a shooting war with Russia. Which would be a worse scenario? We’ve already seen what Trump is prone to do, and that’s mostly sabre-rattling. Scary, but without directly catastrophic consequences. We also know Biden’s record of determined and dedicated support for W.’s r pe of Iraq, something which he now lies about–somehow though Joe Bidens voice and image on video castigated and dismissed the testimony of U. N. weapons inspectors to Congress, and Joe Biden’s ears were completely deaf to the millions of protesters opposing that war from the streets around the world . . . . And the consequences of that support? You tell me.

  • R. Kooi

    No.
    Trump’s list is FAR more Extensive and his Response is FAR more Ugly.
    Republican senators were warned the day before the impeachment vote:
    ————-> “Vote against the president, and your head will be on a pike.”
    .
    That couldn’t be a Mussolini-like THUG, a would-be authoritarian Talking could it?

    Trump,
    who has been repeatedly accused of witness tampering in the impeachment probe, by former special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation and more, was also accused of trying to
    “bribe”
    vulnerable Republican senators with big-money fundraising appeals
    ahead of the trial.
    .
    But THAT couldn’t Be a THREAT, could it??

    1.
    “Knock the crap out of him, would you? I promise you, I will pay your legal fees”
    ——————–>Trump said this at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    2.
    “I’ll beat the crap out of you”
    ——————–> At a rally in Kansas City, Missouri
    3.
    “If you do (hurt him), I’ll defend you in court, don’t worry about it”
    ——————–> Trump said this during another rally , this time at Macomb County Community College in Warren, Michigan.
    4.
    “The audience hit back. That’s what we need a little bit more of”
    ———————->Trump said this at a press conference in Palm Beach, Florida . He was referring to the Las Vegas incident weeks earlier,
    5.
    “I don’t know if I’ll do the fighting myself or if other people will”
    ———————->Trump said this on , when asked at a press conference in Birch Run, Michigan
    6.
    “Part of the problem is no one wants to hurt each other anymore”
    ———————-> Trump said something very close to this at a tense rally in St. Louis, Missouri
    7.
    “Maybe he should have been roughed up”
    ———————–> Trump said this on Fox and Friends
    8.
    “I’d like to punch him in the face”
    ————————> Trump said this in front of a crowd of supporters

    Trump Declares Himself:
    the “King of Israel,”
    the “Second Coming of God”
    .
    TRUMP refused to accept an offer from a Texas Industrialist In Jan.,
    to RESTART PPE production from 4 moth-balled production lines.
    Trump Admin. refused to consider this again, near the end of January.
    .
    12,000 Deaths of Health Care Workers later!
    113,000 fellow Americans have died!
    ..we KNOW
    TRUMP NEVER DID ORDER the Defense Production of Personal Personal Equipment (PPE) for our Health Care Professionals, & Our Fellow Citizens,
    during these EARLY months, when they could have
    1.
    stemmed the appalling Death Rate,
    2.
    stemmed the destruction of so many Families,
    3.
    stemmed the destruction of our Economy!

  • R. Kooi

    We were never really talking about democratic socialism in this country.
    When we look to/ compare to Sweden…we are talking about The Welfare System.
    .
    Leaving aside the fact that Trump has lead us into the WORLD LEAD IN DEATHS FROM THE PANDEMIC….mostly by Golfing and Pep Rallying 33 days out of the first 60+ days to the Pandemic!!
    .
    So let’s focus there.
    Let’s get right to it:
    We’re the richest. The United States has the highest GNP at over $20 trillion.
    China is second.
    However, that might not be the best to lead with, because it’s more a question of GDP per capita.
    Unfortunately,
    the USA is only 20th by that measure. The top country is Liechtenstein.
    .
    In fact,
    even Ireland is higher[1].
    .
    But then,
    it’s not just about wealth, it’s about the ability to better your situation.
    The United States was always about the “Cinderella story”, the ability to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
    .
    This is known as social mobility, and obviously the United States is tops in that, right?
    ’Fraid not.
    In fact, it comes out as 16th, after Argentina.
    Most of Europe,
    including the “socialist” Scandinavian countries provide better environments for “making it from nothing”[2].
    .
    But certainly, it’s not just that, it’s also about not being poor.
    So let’s consider the percent of people living in poverty.
    Unfortunately,
    the USA comes in at 42nd[3], right below Morocco. (& YES, that includes ALL supports, welfare etc.)
    .
    But there’s freedom.
    The USA is definitely number one in freedom!
    Except that it isn’t. According to the Cato institute it comes in at 17th, which is all the same one better than Albania[4].
    Ah, but there’s the United States’ vaunted economic freedom.
    The USA doesn’t regulate companies to death like so many other nations.
    Well,
    there it comes in at 11th, tied with Canada, and behind most other English speaking nations (UK, Ireland, New Zealand)[5].
    .
    But we’re healthy!
    We have access to the world’s best healthcare, right? Actually,
    the USA lags in just about every health indicator,
    including life expectancy (45th), where once again, we are just ahead of Albania[6],
    who we absolutely trounce when it comes to infant mortality… although we do only rank 56th[7],
    well behind pretty much all of Europe (and of course Cuba, which beats the US in most health measures).
    .

  • Roger Tinfore

    Of course Joe Biden is a Racist; that is exactly why Barack Obama selected Biden to be his Vice President…

  • Mensch59

    “Has it ever dawned on the editors that the attitudes of the 70 million projected non-voters may be very consistent with the reality that the concept of voting and electing representatives is basically dishonest and fraudulent. If voting could change anything it would be made illegal! There is no way any politicians can legally represent anyone because he was elected on a secret ballot by a small percentage of voters. He then claims to represent the people who voted against him and even those who wisely chose not to participate in such criminal activity.” ~ Robert S. Borden, found in a “Voice of the People” column published in the Lowell Sun in September 1976 (See Snopes dot com article ‘If Voting Made a Difference, They Wouldn’t Let Us Do It’)

    Vote every damn conservative out of office. and pressure the newly elected officials to change the system.

    Given that conservatives are, by definition, for traditional values — some of which are discovered studying virtue ethics and universal social needs — I’m not sure conservatives are the problem: “the US liberals are worse than the gestapo; amerikans love their police state….as do all people that love their oppression” (@cechasvodobenikov:disqus).

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Values change as societies evolve. Conservatives are resistant to change.
    Are you sure that it is liberals who support a police state?

  • Mensch59

    There are some values which ought not to change, e.g. values based on universal social needs, values based on Aristotelian cardinal virtues.

    Values change as societies evolve.

    True. Not all evolution is progressively benign though. There’s devolution. There’s regress. Neither biological nor cultural evolution is necessarily teleological.

    Are you sure that it is liberals who support a police state?

    Reasonably sure. Liberals are big-government statists and seem to support an all-powerful state — which would include all-powerful law enforcement. “What’s a ‘statist’?” one might ask. A “statist” is an advocate of a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs. Liberals simply want centralized control to enforce their ideas of what’s “liberal”. Liberals are humanitarians with a big bludgeon.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Police and prisons are increasing part of the MIC. Are you sure that is controlled by liberals?

  • Mensch59

    Are you sure [police & prisons & the military-industrail-complex are] controlled by liberals?

    Reasonably sure. The concept that liberals accomodate fascists in not without controversy. Look at the various reviews of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. If you don’t think that extremely illiberal liberals exist and have a major say in public policy, then you have not been paying attention.

  • GypsyFreyja

    La Riva/Peltier 2020!!! Yes!!!
    I can’t imagine they will be on the ballot here but I’m notorious for write-ins. I’ve voted for my oldest son several times when I’m not happy with the selection.

  • Collectivist

    Goldberg?
    How shamelessly politically blind can you be?

  • What does Colin Powell have to say about the character of George W. Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld?

    More of that wonderful bipartisan Republicrat unity that will save us all from what it got us to–namely, Trump.

  • chetdude

    He’s droning fewer people than Obama did…

    As for his empty threats – that’s merely part of his style – like gwbush’s pretend aw-shucks dumbery, Clinton’s faux-empathy and Obama’s silver tongue…

    While they all were useful at carrying out a neoliberal war mongering agenda…

  • chetdude

    Yes, I have…just as I did in 1967-8, 1975, 1992, 2008…

    It would be nice if the momentum keeps going and moves the Overton Window leftward again for the first time since the 1930s.

  • chetdude

    And I’ll bet that no one who gave Obama and the dems the landslide win in 2008 thought they were voting for Ronald Reagan…

  • chetdude

    Did you miss my post where I explained why we’ll NEVER get “enough Progressives” elected to Congress (especially the Senate*) and how we CAN get the 269 votes we’ll need (if there’s someone in the WH who gives a f*ck)…

    * I’m listening to a report on radio that’s telling us that thanks to its profoundly undemocratic nature, only 18% of the vote from the most regressive states can be enough to control the Senate.

  • chetdude

    I KNOW AOC is in the House. What does THAT have to do with what I posted?

    Or did you (intentionally) not understand that I was using “AOC” as shorthand for real Progressives and are now deflecting instead of answering my question.

  • chetdude

    Nope – in blue states police and prisons are presided over by “liberals”, in red states republicans and in purple states a bit of both.

    Of course, in all states police and prisons control the governments more than the other way around.

    The MIC controls Congress and the Federal Government — that’s how they’ve been able to grab around 60% of the discretionary budget.

  • chetdude

    Why not. They’re sane.

    It was Obama/Biden who supported the right-wing coup on the Russian border in 2014 which was the greatest threat to their sovereignty since Clinton interfered in their elections after the USSR dissolved.

    So yeah, they’re a little leery about the corporate-dems who were heavily pimping for Cold War II taking over again.

  • chetdude

    How about the irony of Jesse Ventura not running yet because he’d lose his job and his family’s health insurance while a family member is dealing with a major illness…

    If Obama and the conserva-dems had passed HR676 (Now HR1384) Expanded and Improved Medicare for ALL in 2010 instead of the industry written ACA, Jesse (and many other good Progressive candidates) could run.

  • chetdude

    He GOVERNED like a “moderate republican”, which when I became politically aware put him just to the right of Benito Mussolini…

  • chetdude

    Every pResident from Reagan through Trump (including Obama/Biden) supported neoliberal economic policies (the “market” rules) and have been more than willing to wage the Forever War to feed the fossil-fueled capitalist consumption machine.

    And Obama has said that he admired Reagan. I’m sure that if you did an internet search you would find him saying it…including the “context”…

    Obama and Clinton did a fine job emulating Reagan’s “style” — say and do nothing that the Owner Class didn’t want them to do and make enough people think that they weren’t doing just that…mainly by using their silver tongues and slick speaking style that included a dash of humor.

  • chetdude

    Ah, but see that’s where they’re getting another win-win.

    Since the machinery beat back another attack from the only change candidate Sanders, they’ll get the status-quo where it counts (neoliberal economic policies and more war) from either the coarse Donald J. Trump or the ‘bumbling’ corporate-Joe Biden.

  • chetdude

    Actually I DON’T have to back Biden — I voted with my feet and MOVED to a state that’s blue-blue — hell, we only have ONE republican in office at any level: State, County or Local.

    Of course, we still have too many corporate-dems in office…but that’s another discussion…

  • chetdude

    I’ve told hundreds of the people in recovery who I’ve worked with and counseled that the “bottom” is the point at which we stop our descent.

    Alas, with Biden/Trump as the only choices, we haven’t reached our bottom yet…and alas, there is the possibility of worse than Trump out there unless we change direction.

  • chetdude

    “Personality” doesn’t make laws and set policies. And the Trump/Biden policies on our existential issues are nearly identical.

  • eight.of.wands

    Ok then, i have an idea that could change history
    we launch a GoFundMe for the healthcare needs of the Ventura household, to free him up to be our next President!….we could raise a million plus in a coupla days EASY, which accomplishes 2 things: immediately alleviates their worry of potential medical expenses, and simultaneously convinces Jesse that he has the enthusiastic backing of the American people to win in November!!
    Biden blows, Trump sucks, this country is ashamed and disgusted and infuriated at having these two worthless candidates for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES shoved down our throats as our only choice, take it or leave it, just “hold your nose and vote”….screw that!!!….both Parties can kiss my ass, cuz Jesse’s gonna kick theirs!….all he needs is 37/38/39% in a threeway, like Clinton did in the Nineties…..Jesse is already polling in the teens without even entering the race yet!
    .
    RUN
    .
    JESSE
    .
    RUUUUUUUNNNNN !!!!!!

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Obviously not. Perhaps you could name a few names to help me understand.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    First I have heard of the Overton Window. Interesting concept. It seems to me that Bernie has already moved the conversation left, as have the 2018 intake in Congress. I’m pretty confident that November will see many more Republicans (and DINOs) replaced. If that includes Mitch McConnell, we will have progress.
    Like you, I consider the Duopoly’s funding to be the real problem, and see a huge need for a viable third party. That can only happen if the Greens and the Working Families and the Socialists (and whatever other small parties there are) coalesce. I think that many Democrats and independents would join them.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I disagree. This election is 2016 all over again: a weak candidate up against Trump. However, we have had four years to learn (if we didn’t already know) that Trump is a narcissistic, self-serving, would-be dictator. We have also learned that that he is heartless, cruel and vindictive. Whatever his flaws, Biden would never incite violence, separate families, cut welfare…….

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Probably not, because that is not what they got.

  • Mensch59

    Let’s find some common ground. Could you name a few names of some prominent liberals who are major influencers of public policy? Then we could discuss how illiberal (i.e. bigoted, intolerant, narrow, narrow-minded, prejudiced, small-minded) they are.
    For my usage of the term “illiberal”, see the Merriam-Webster dictionary & thesaurus.

    I’m guessing that you consider Hillary Rodham Clinton to be liberal. HRC’s use of the term “basket of deplorables” (for example) was bigoted, intolerant, narrow, narrow-minded, prejudiced, small-minded.
    Liberal democrats don’t help change “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it” people via bigotry, intolerance, prejudice, narrow-, small-mindedness. Meeting bigotry with bigotry only creates more deeply entrenched bigots. Those of us who have traditional conservative values don’t approve of bigots and bigotry.

    But perhaps you have such an exalted opinion of liberals that, in your mind, liberals can never ever display the qualities of bigotry, intolerance, prejudice, narrow-, small-mindedness.
    These qualities are reserved for people you don’t approve of, correct? And the ONLY people you approve of in your nation-state are liberals — no matter how illiberal of an attitude that is — right?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I saw it, but I am puzzled by the 269 votes. Votes for what?

    * we had a vote on funding our library which failed because the only people who bothered to vote were against it. That was about 11%.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    We can try. But you will need to stop making assumptions. And stop labeling people you don’t know. And perhaps define liberal.

  • Mensch59

    Did you accept my definition of “illiberal”? If so, use the same source to define “liberal”. Next step: look up the term “cognitive dissonance” if you’re not familiar with this mental phenomenon.
    Do you accept the definition of cognitive dissonance?
    Do you accept that a cognitively dissonant politician (a “politician” being a person who is a major influencer of public policy) can be BOTH liberal AND illiberal?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I am a very literal person, and I did not pick up that you were using AOC as shorthand. I apologize.

    What path do I see? Patience and protests. Patience because elections only come every two years. So one has to make them count. There are some amazing people running for congress this year. In a very small way, I have been supporting about a dozen around the country. I can’t vote for any of them, but they would be a great asset in congress.
    That’s where protests come in. Not necessarily in the streets confronting the police, but anti-incumbent campaigns. Point out what is wrong, and promote candidates who will make our lives better.

  • Mensch59

    Regarding “making assumptions” and “perhaps define”: your assumptions about and your definition of “conservative” was quite illiberal as per “Vote every damn conservative out of office” and “Conservatives are resistant to change”.
    Are you open-minded to a different opinion about conservatives, e.g. perhaps conservatives are not “damned” and perhaps there are conservative values that ought not to “change”?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    You didn’t actually define illiberal. You deferred to some dictionary definition. The one I came across is “bigoted”. By extension, liberal means not bigoted.

    So, yes,it is theoretically possible that a politician can be bigoted about some topics and not others.

    PS I am familiar with the term cognitive dissonance. After all, I do have a degree in psychology.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I’ve got no problem with your second and third paragraphs, but I think that your first one is wrong. Liberal is not a synonym for Democrat and private prisons follow the money, not the party.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Yes, absolutely, Reagan introduced neoliberal economic policies, and the country has been on a downward slide ever since.

  • Mensch59

    You didn’t actually define illiberal. You deferred to some dictionary definition.

    As someone who has a degree in psychology, you prefer that someone you’re communicating with makes up his/her own definition of words rather than using a dictionary & thesaurus. Hmmm.

    OK. Here’s a more full treatment of the word “illiberal”: restricting freedom of thought or behavior; uncultured or unrefined; not generous; mean. Are you, EW, satisfied now?

    Reminds me of this:

    “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!'”
    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I live in New York, the bluest of the blue states. But I will still vote for Biden to guarantee that we do not have four more years of Trump.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The problem is corporate control of economic policies. And, of course, buying politicians. Biden may be bought but he isn’t cruel.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    We have changed direction.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Did I say that everything has to change?
    No.I said that we should vote out those people who are resistant to change of any sort. Conservatives.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Oh, my! A master wordsmith, no less.

    You didn’t make up your own definition, you failed to give any definition at all.

    Yes, I’m satisfied. You have perfectly described Trump supporters. Especially mean.

  • Mensch59

    So, yes,it is theoretically possible that a politician can be bigoted about some topics and not others.

    Cognitive dissonance is having an inconsistent attitude. A politician’s attitude can be both liberal and illiberal, not that s/he’s liberal about some stuff and illiberal about other stuff.

    And I’m not referring to what’s “theoretically possible” in the abstract. I’m referring to concrete observable behavior. That’s precisely why I brought up the example of HRC.

    We could talk about Bernie Sanders’ cognitive dissonance and Sanders’ concrete observable behavior which is both illiberal & liberal simultaneously. But this article on Popular Resistance is about Biden and our conversation was prompted by your (illiberal?) comment “Vote every damn conservative out of office”.

    Why would a Biden presidency be worse than four more years of Trump?
    “At least with Trump at the helm the US government (state) is internally divided and the Empire partly slowed-down. With a Democrat back in Oval Office, you’re looking at the healing of the divide between the deep state, and the media and the Presidency.” ~ Editor’s note on the James Howard Kunstler article “The Party of Lockdown, Chaos, Subterfuge and Fraud: Imagine these guys at the helm of the Empire? Holy cow!” describing the Democratic party posted on Anti-Empire.

    Do you understand the Amerikkkan and the Democrats’ obsession with global neoliberalism as undemocratic, imperialistic, empire-building behavior in service to the deep state? Did you understand the critiques leveled against Sanders for having an imperialistic foreign policy?

  • Mensch59

    I’m reasonably sure that your simple description of conservatives as “resistant to change of any sort” is mean (as in not generous, unkind, spiteful, unfair) and Trumpian.
    “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process [she] does not become a monster.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Mensch59

    I provided a more full description of a person who is illiberal — i.e. mean, not generous, unkind, spiteful, unfair, uncultured, unrefined, those in favor of restricting freedom of thought or behavior.
    Seems to describe you anti-conservatives better than conservatives.

  • Collectivist

    “Biden usually tells the truth,”

    ???!!!

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Give me a different definition of conservatism and I will listen.

  • Mensch59

    From the book Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle by former Senator Jeff Flake:

    Dear Reader,

    I am a conservative.

    I believe that there are limits to what government can and should do, that there are some problems that government cannot solve, and that human initiative is best when left unfettered, free from government interference or coercion. I believe that these ideas, tested by time, offer the most freedom and best outcomes in the lives of the most people.

    But today, the American conservative movement has lost its way. Given the state of our politics, it is no exaggeration to say that this is an urgent matter.

    The Republican party used to play to a broader audience, one that demanded that we accomplish something. But in this era of dysfunction, our primary accomplishment has been constructing the argument that we’re not to blame. We have decided that it is better to build and maintain a majority by using the levers of power rather than the art of persuasion and the battle of ideas. We’ve decided that putting party over country is okay. There are many on both sides of the aisle who think this a good model on which to build a political career—destroying, not building.

    And all the while, our country burns, our institutions are undermined, and our values are compromised. We have become so estranged from our principles that we no longer know what principle is.

    America is not just a collection of transactions. America is also a collection of ideas and values. And these are our values. These are our principles. They are not subject to change, owing to political fashion or cult of personality. I believe that we desperately need to get back to the rigorous, fact-based arguments that made us conservatives in the first place. We need to realize that the stakes are simply too high to remain silent and fall in line.

    That is why I have written this book and am taking this stand.

    — Jeff Flake

    Conservatism is best defined/described by (1) as I alluded to earlier: that set of traditional values and principles which ought not to change with the political-economic-social winds (2) “there are limits to what government can and should do, that there are some problems that government cannot solve, and that human initiative is best when left unfettered, free from government interference or coercion. I believe that these ideas, tested by time, offer the most freedom and best outcomes in the lives of the most people.”

    As to #1, do you believe that every principle/value ought to be changeable?
    As to #2, what do you find worthy of damnation?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I admire Jeff Flake and wish that he had stayed around to exert a moderating influence on the Republican party.
    But to answer your questions:
    No, I do not think that traditional values and principles are immutable. If they were, we would still have slavery.
    Number two, yes there should be limits to what government can do, but its first duty should be to look after its people. All its people. The US doesn’t even try to do that.

  • Mensch59

    What makes you believe that slavery was a traditional value or principle?
    Have humans always enslaved other humans?
    Amerikkka is a sick-to-death society which has a government which doesn’t even pretend to attend to the universal social needs of its people. I agree with you there. That’s one reason I intend to extend my expatriation indefinitely.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Yes.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    No, Mensch, that perfectly describes Trump and his supporters. That projection thing.

  • Collectivist

    Wake up and smell the lies.

  • Mensch59

    In my experience — and if I cannot trust my direct experiences what is more (politically, socially) trustworthy — the most mean, non-generous, unkind, spiteful, unfair, uncultured, unrefined, those in favor of restricting freedom of thought or behavior were on the leftish axis and on the authoritarian axis of the political compass. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/32377fc29d7aacfd961043b96cf72118e51886755dd658d5438583d5d28650fc.png

    Most people who are anti-conservative — even to the point of bigotry — are TDS-afflicted, -inflamed in my estimation. I’m not projecting because I take the unconventional approach to the political duopoly in the USA as per my agreement with the quote “At least with Trump at the helm the US government (state) is internally divided and the Empire partly slowed-down. With a Democrat back in Oval Office, you’re looking at the healing of the divide between the deep state, and the media and the Presidency.” If you examine the quote and the James Howard Kunstler article “The Party of Lockdown, Chaos, Subterfuge and Fraud”, then you’ll discover it’s anti-imperialism, not pro-Trump.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Ag, shame as we used to say in South Africa.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Slavery was embraced by many and tolerated by many more. At least until the Civil War.
    I have bought property in France and intend to spend a good deal of time there. Being away from this toxic environment (literally and figuratively) is essential for one’s mental and physical health.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Absolutely, capitalism is the problem. But Obama never said that.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Your experience obviously doesn’t count for much.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    What lies?

  • Mensch59

    My experience counts as much as yours.
    Perhaps you are suffering from the self-serving cognitive bias of illusory superiority and the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  • Mensch59

    Slavery wasn’t a traditional value to or traditional principle of the enslaved.
    By invoking slavery as a traditional value or traditional principle, you seem to be looking at master-servant/slave social relations from the perspective of the slave owners and those who tolerated owing persons as property, instead of looking at master-servant/slave social relations from the perspective of the slaves. Why would anyone take such a pov unless s/he was illiberal?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Such as?

  • kevinzeese

    LOL. The claim that Biden tells the truth does not pass the straight-face test. He has lied about his background, education, family, positions on multiple issues. He has been caught plagerizing multiple times. Dishonesty is one of the things he has in common with Trump.

    Here’s more on his history of dishonesty:

    https://jacobinmag.com/2020/03/joe-biden-mainstream-media-lies-trust-reporting/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSUPfnYdXFU

  • Harbinger

    You should probably know that criticism of the Democratic party and the Dem candidates from the Left does not help Republicans, and hammering on people doesn’t convert anyone. When you defend Biden, rather than discuss the entire political mess which the Democrats are complicit in causing and perpetuating, you are on the right winger’s playing field. If you are selling a candidate and obsessing over how people are going to vote you are already losing. It is a very weak approach.

    Increased interest leads to increased participation, increased participation is the right wingers worst nightmare, and partisan cheer leading decreases interest and restricts the range of the discussion. That decrease participation.

    Voting tells us where we have been, not where we are going. It is a reflection of the ongoing national political discussion. You want to talk about who ya gonna vote for?” When the national political discussion revolves around that, the horse race, that gives the Republicans an enormous advantage. When all discussion and all actions revolve around partisan electoral politics, serious change becomes impossible. Electoral results reflect social and political change that has already happened, and even then, only very faintly.

    The critics from the Left of the Democratic party are essential. Listen to what they are saying, and address the issues. Stop with the “who ya gonna vote for?” horse race nonsense.

  • kevinzeese

    Voting only matters in a few states that are not Blue or Red. The Electoral College ensures how four out of five states will vote. In my state, Maryland, we will vote for Biden even though I will vote for the Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker. I’ve been on the opposite side of Biden on criminal justice, the drug war, mass incarceration, integration of schools, student debt, Social Security, military budgets, the Iraq War and every other war — but my Electoral College vote will go to him. This is true in all but about 9 states, so most voters are free to vote for what they believe in and not trapped by the manipulated two-party electoral system.

    We have very little power in this mirage democracy. History shows that the most significant changes in our history have occurred by the combination of political movements and third parties that did not win the election. By getting votes and putting the movement’s issues into the national dialogue (as Howie Hawkins is doing) they changed the direction of the country. This year is a classic opportunity as movements are growing and the two candidates from the duopoly are perhaps the worst of both parties. We wrote about this in one of our weekly articles, “2020 Election Year Is An Opportunity For Transformational Change If We Embrace Our Power.” https://popularresistance.org/2020-election-opportunity-for-transformational-change-if-we-embrace-our-power/

    The Democrats have done an excellent job of creating fear of Trump. It is easy to do because he is a horrible president in so many ways, probably the worse of my lifetime (and I’m 64 years old) but in most states we already know how the Electora College will vote because the state is either Democrat or Republican.

    So, why waste your vote on Biden or Trump? Help build the movement for what we really want. Hawkins-Walker are right on all the issues, Biden is wrong on all of them. Every vote for Hawkins-Walker makes a difference. A vote for Biden or Trump in most states will make no difference.

    See http://www.HowieHawkins.us

  • Harbinger

    Good post. Thanks.

  • Collectivist

    Such as this one, among many, from a featured article on the gravedigger:

    “The demonstrations of the last two weeks, which have been multiracial and multiethnic and swept through every section of the country, have blown apart the arguments that the United States is a fundamentally racist society.”

    That’s what ‘fundamental’ racism – or the lack of – means?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Ha ha. No Dunning-Kruger effect. And no illusory superiority either. It is a fact that I am intellectually superior to 98% of the population. And my experience of the world – lived in four countries, visited 82 others, speak five languages – is also superior to most.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Of course not. Do you really think that the enslaved would endorse slavery?

  • Mensch59

    This isn’t about the slaves endorsing slavery.

    This is about your claim that slavery was a traditional value or traditional principle. To believe so puts your values or principles squarely with the slavers & those who tolerated slavery. It doesn’t put your values/principles with those who are freedom/liberty-loving, abolitionists, slaves. Why else would you write “I do not think that traditional values and principles are immutable. If they were, we would still have slavery”? Why would you even introduce the topic of slavery in a discussion about a principle/value that ought not be changed?

  • Mensch59

    Hardee har har about that supposed “fact” that you are among the upper 2% of the earth’s intellectual persons. More likely you’re an elitist who has made a religious experience out of your hubris, condescending attitude, and privileged lifestyle.

    Thanks though for putting your anti-conservative bigotry into the proper context.

  • kevinzeese

    I hope the two of you can end the personal bickering and get back to the issues raised by the article.

  • Farmer Scott

    Moenie jou tyd met Mensch mors nie.
    Hy is ‘n trotse troll.

  • Mensch59

    I’d love to discuss Biden as worse than Trump in the contexts of Biden being more imperialistic than Trump and how a Democratic presidency would unite the federal government with the media and with the deep state in more empire-building.
    Unfortunately my interlocutor is an elitist statist who would support racist law enforcement as long as it didn’t trouble her bourgeois comforts.

  • Mensch59

    I realize that I’m dealing with an overly inflated ego with a mania that she’s the crème de la crème of the world’s intellects.
    Go ahead and have the final replies.
    I won’t be responding.
    I’m with the commoners.

  • Mensch59

    You’re just sore because I don’t share your beliefs about mass shootings being psychological operations orchestrated by the State.

  • Nylene13

    You are right. Obama never said that capitalism is the problem!

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I repeat, he usually tells the truth.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Thank you for the lecture. I assume it is meant for me, although I do not recognize myself as the person being addressed.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Contrary to what Harbinger thinks, I am not a Biden supporter. I am anti-Trump, and Biden is all we’ve got.
    That said, I feel the need to call out unjust accusations, and dubious sources. The statement you quote – if it is in fact something Biden said – is not a lie. It is an opinion.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The discussion has been about morals and how they reflect society. I brought up slavery to illustrate that fact. When this country was founded it was not considered immoral to own slaves. At least not by the founding fathers. Over time, one half of the country rejected that morality, and a civil war ensued.
    Those are facts and do not in any way put me “with the slavers”.

  • kevinzeese

    Glad you do not support Biden. You live in New York, whose Electoral College vote will go to Biden no matter how you vote. It is among the Bluest of Blue states. Why waste your vote on Biden. Use your vote for what you believe in. You are free to do so in NY without helping Trump.

    I’m voting Howie Hawkins of the Green Party. I live in the Blue state of Maryland.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    There is an organization called Mensa. A couple of years ago I took their test out of curiosity. They only accept the top 2%, and I qualified. I’m sorry if that makes you feel inferior.

    FWIW, the great British philosopher, John Start Mill has this to say:
    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Ja, ek weet dit. Maar ek wil hom soos ‘n kakkerlak inprop. (Ek her nooit di woord ‘inprop’ gehoor. Dit kom van Google translate want ek het nie Afrikaans gepraat nie, sedert die Middeleeue.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Orchestrated by the State? Have you lost what little there is of your mind?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    So am I buddy, so am I. I may have been born into privilege, but I work in may ways to improve the lives of the common people.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Cute.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Did I say I was voting for Biden? I will probably also vote for Howie Hawkins.

  • Southern

    Many people have been telling you about Sanders for the last 6 years and still you haven’t cottoned on to the fact that he’s taken you for a ride.

  • Farmer Scott

    Demandez-lui de vous parler des lasers qui ont détruit les tours du WTC.

  • Jim Williams

    The photo alone is worth a thousand words. When was it taken??

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Nous avons un polyglot! Je n’ai entendu jamais des lasers et 9/11. C’est une theorie de conspiration á la fois ridiculeuse et pathétique.

  • CoCoLuv9491

    Intelligence is no antidote to brainwashing. In fact, folks like you become the greatest purveyors of propaganda, once you’re mind is gotten right. Case-in-point: Rachel “40k-a-day” Maddow.

  • Harbinger

    Thanks for the scolding. I don’t recognize myself as the person being addressed in your remarks, either.

  • chetdude

    Cruel is as cruel does…

  • chetdude

    Unfortunately there is no “bluest of blue states”, but I’d say that since there is only one republican in office at any level, we’re probably closest.

    Alas, the majority of our democrats in office are captive of the same Plutocrat/Corporate interests as other states’ and the Federal democrats and republicans are…

  • chetdude

    Although Reagan was the first major victory in the neoliberal revolution, Clinton was needed to cement the last bricks into place.

    Then gwbush and Obama and Trump have built upon the foundation they laid down.

  • chetdude

    “Liberal” has no effective meaning any more. Alas, after Hillary used it to refer to herself, “Progressive” is losing all meaning as well. We need a better label — I like Humanist, Non-Theist, Citizen of Planet Earth.

    Even though they’ve tried, most jails and prisons are not “private” and are therefore allegedly accountable to state and local governments — in most cities, Democrats and many states Democrats.

  • chetdude

    In my mind’s eye, I see 5-10 people like the estimable Martin Gugino for each Congresscritter present in the Halls of Congress whenever Congresscritters are there to lobby for the People’s Agenda, clog committee hearings and offices and oppose the 18,000 paid lobbyists and their well financed lies.

    I see that People’s lobby democratically governing themselves and financed/supported by small donations from a few million principled members of the electorate. For instance $27 a YEAR from each of the richest 50% of the bottom 90% of the USAmerican wealth and income curve would provide about $3 billion per year to support the People’s Lobby.

  • chetdude

    Votes in Congress for among other things:

    The People’s Agenda

    1) HR1384 – National Expanded and Improved Medicare for All…House Version – pays for itself
    2) Social Security – Preserve funding and expand benefits – “Social Security 2100 Act”.
    3) College without crippling debt. Jubilee! Remove Student Debt.
    4) A Living Wage (or better Universal Basic income NOT tied to a “job”). Start with Card Check.
    5) End the Forever Wars (including the phony, racist “Drug War”). SLASH the bloated war budgets: Federal, State and Local. (AND end provision of military weapons to police departments)
    6) A REAL Green New Deal – not the vague, meaningless Democrat “resolution” but a massive program of MEANINGFUL infrastructure and systemic changes to prepare for our post-AGW/Climate Change world – includes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8.
    7) Tax the rich again – higher marginal rates, wealth tax and tax on stock transfers among others. Change the tax code to favor Worker-Coops over corporations, Wall Street, the polluters, fossil-fueled chemical Ag and the uber-rich wealth horders
    8) Reform the Food System: Funding more urban farms, food co-ops, farmers markets, and CSAs, transition our agricultural system to a more regional and localized operation, end subsidies to Big Ag. Also part of #6 – part of the REAL Green New Deal.
    9) A Department of Peace engaged in domestic and global Restorative Justice for the damage 75 years of Forever War has caused.

  • chetdude

    51 votes on day one removes the filibuster.

    The dems have a huge majority in the house as well as the Senate.

    Unfortunately, most of the electorate thought they were voting for 1930s style New Deal dems not the corporate version they got.

  • chetdude

    Biden has a history of inciting violence – pimping for the Iraq war for instance along with expanding the phony drug war locking up 10 times as many people (and separating families) along with the “effective death penalty” legislation he sponsored to more quickly kill people via state sponsored murder. He also backed calls to cut Social Security and Medicare and participated with Bill Clinton to cut welfare…

    And more recently, Biden was the point man for USAmerican support of the right-wing coup in Ukraine.

    And c’mon, ANYONE who runs for pResident is more than a little narcissist, self-serving and a would-be dictator (if the system would let them be one).

    But yes, Trump has exposed the seamy underbelly of unbridled Fascism so the electorate will probably be more comfortable with the status-quo-ante of hidden Fascism…

  • chetdude

    I’d say a viable 2nd party will emerge if and when people feel free to vote their basic values and needs instead of their fears…

  • chetdude

    Reagan, ghwBush, Clinton, gwbush, Obama, Trump, (Biden) — ALL neoliberal war mongers.

  • chetdude

    Pragmatically, the major problems with Biden are that he’s another neoliberal, war monger wrapped in a rhetorical velvet glove in the mold of Clinton/Obama – and everyone knows it.

    And he has no real principles beyond securing the health of Wall Street and the “economy” of his friends among the point 1 of 1%…

    But worst of all, he will be seriously outclassed in any debate with Trump.

  • chetdude

    And actually it doesn’t really sounds like you’ll be voting your basic values and needs but rather your fear of Trump…

  • chetdude

    Actually, Trump and the republicans tried to repeal the bill that the Sick Care Industry WROTE (the ACA) which if it had succeeded would have brought about the prior chaos in the system and impeded the framework that’s making them richer and richer and allowing them to keep complete control of the sick care system.

  • R. Kooi

    REAGAN??
    … TRUMP ??

    Trump is as close to Mussolini and his Fascism as I hope we ever get.

  • Nylene13

    I like Eco-Socialist.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Intelligent people resist brainwashing.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I haven’t addressed you.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Ok, not as cruel as Trump.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I don’t like labels, but Citizen of Planet Earth is good.

  • CoCoLuv9491

    Then what is it with you?

    Either you’re not all that intelligent, or your “resistance” is flawed.

  • CoCoLuv9491

    Never Biden.

    Never Trump.

  • CoCoLuv9491

    Property in France?

    No wonder you support the neoliberals!

  • Harbinger

    Actually, you did respond to me.

  • Why is Biden “all we’ve got”?

  • Harbinger

    I see you mentioned me.

    I merely suggested that we move the discussion outside of the framework of electoral politics, where, as you say, “Biden is all we’ve got.” That may be true, but the electoral process is not all we’ve got. We haven’t even got that. We have little to no control over it. And it is not just electoral politics we don’t have, but both parties, the judicial system, the Congress, the state governments, the public agencies, the media – all have been captured and corrupted for the benefit of the wealthy few and to the disadvantage of the rest of us.

  • chetdude

    So do I!

  • kevinzeese

    We have to also resist the brainwashing of the Democratic Party which is expert at convincing people to vote against their interest. Anybody But Trump reminds me of Anybody But Bush. How things change. Last year Joe Biden gave George W. Bush an award! Obama treated him as a friend and ally.

    Don’t be fooled. Your vote will go to the Democrat no matter how you vote due to the Electoral College. You are free to vote for what you believe in, and not vote because the Democrats have manipulated by fear.

  • JohnDoe00

    Yep.

  • JohnDoe00

    Beautiful, brother.
    Wanna’ say some other things but seeing’s how I’m already sorry for what I have, I’ll hold off, man.
    Just nice to have you around is all.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    That’s a wonderfully ambitious agenda. I support each and very item.
    But I still don’t know why you say 269. Got it! (at last): 218 in the House and 51 in the Senate.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Cynical, but probably accurate. There was obviously a reason the DNC chose him over Bernie.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Not until we have ranked choice voting.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Because Trump is a better liar?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I’ll take back that comment. BECAUSE I live in New York, I can vote Green.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    While it made life better for a lot of people, the ACA was a deal with insurance companies, not in any way heath care reform.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I am not brainwashed. Nor do I watch Rachel Maddow

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Fair enough, but we have to have a president. (I suppose)

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I don’t support neo-liberals. Infact I constantly fight with my sister who does.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    The most successful Green candidate ever got 22% of the vote.

    By all means vote Green or other third party downticket, but not at the top. Unless, of course, you would like the US to be the laughing stock of the world for another 4 years.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I have no argument with any of that. What do you suggest we do?

  • Harbinger

    Thanks for considering what I had to say, I appreciate that very much.

    What I would suggest is very simple. Rather than talking about the horse race, let’s talk about what needs to change, even if that does not always reflect well on Democrats. Talking about the nightmare in which we are living will not lead anyone to vote Republican, nor will it cause apathy or discourage anyone from being involved, including voting.

  • That wasn’t the question. I wasn’t asking about Green or other. Why do you accept a completely inadequate candidate like Biden, who has an extensive history of failing to fight for people’s rights amongst other disqualifiers – as “all we’ve got”?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Of course we need to be talking about the huge problems this country faces. But the only way that they will change is if congress changes. And that will only happen if we elect enough progressively minded people. It just could happen in November. The field is packed with other-than-white-males, many with unpronounceable names (that’s not a bad thing, please understand, it means that candidates are increasingly diversified).

    I am confidant that Trump, who is spiraling downward will not be re-elected, and I am just as sure that Howie Hawkins will not be elected. That leaves us with Biden, and four years to fight for real change.
    Maybe this is the moment for all third parties to unite and give a real alternative to the duopoly.

  • CoCoLuv9491

    You support Democrats, don’t you?

    You support neoliberals.

  • You’ve spent an awful lot of time and energy here with your spin volume turned up to 11 defending and apologizing for one of the worst neoliberals in the Republicrat misleadership class–Joe Biden.

    I think you just blew out your speakers with this one . . . .

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I do not support the Democratic party or any of its committees. I am supporting about a dozen progressive candidates who are in tight races with unlikable Republicans.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Not exactly. I want to see Trump out of office. For that to happen someone has to get more votes than he does, and Biden is the only option. I’m not happy about it, but he is all we’ve got.

  • R. Kooi

    chetdude….dumb as dog doo doo

  • Collectivist

    Skip to main content

    PUBLICATION OF THE

    INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST ORGANIZATION

    PAUL D’AMATO

    ELECTIONS AND THE MARXIST TRADITION

    April 26, 2016

    Paul D’Amato, author of The Meaning of Marxism, looks at how socialists–from the time of Marx and Engels through today–have approached politics and voting.

    “THERE IS a still-widespread fallacy that Marxism cares only about economics.

    It is certainly true that Marxists believe the economic relations of society constitute its foundation, and you can’t understand the dynamics of a particular society unless you understand its underlying relations of production–and, in particular, its classrelations. “What distinguishes the various economic formations of society,” wrote Marx in Capital, “is the form in which…surplus labor is in each case extorted from the immediate producer, the worker.”

    But just as a house is more than its foundation and supports, so capitalism is more than its economic structure. As Marx famously wrote in his Preface to A Critique of Political Economy, a “legal and political superstructure” arises on this foundation, “to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness.”

    One key component of this superstructure is the state, which has, at its core, agencies of coercion and vast official bureaucracies, but also legislative and executive bodies that change hands between competing political parties, at least in systems where elections are held. Engels described the modern state, even in its most democratic form, as “the organization which the ruling classes–landowners and capitalists–have provided for themselves in order to protect their social privileges.”

    The working class must therefore involve itself in politics. It must create its own independent political party to achieve emancipation.

    An 1871 resolution penned by Karl Marx for the London conference of the International Workingmen’s Association summed up this position. The working class must constitute itself as a party “distinct from, and opposed to, all old parties formed by the propertied classes,” as the only means to “ensure the triumph of the social revolution and its ultimate end–the abolition of classes.”

    Elsewhere, Engels wrote, “The workers’ party must never be the tagtail of any bourgeois party; it must be independent and have its goal and its own policy.”

    To be sure, Marxists have always focused on the economic struggles of workers as building blocks of collective action and an indispensable means for training the working class in how to exercise its own power and for developing its consciousness as a class.

    By its ruthless exploitation of labor, capitalism compels workers to combine into unions and push back against the constant efforts by employers to push down wages and degrade working conditions. But strikes, in and of themselves, do not constitute a means by which workers can reorder social relations and abolish exploitation and oppression.

    Marx and Engels were quite critical of trade unionism when it deliberately limited itself to the fight over wages. As Engels wrote about workers in Britain:

    For a number of years the English workers’ movement has been going round and round bootlessly in a confined circle of STRIKES for wages and the reduction of working hours–not, mark you, as an expedient and a means of propaganda and organization, but as the ultimate aim. Both on principle and statutorily the TRADES UNIONS actually exclude any political action and hence participation in any general activity on the part of the working class as a class.

    SO MARXISM by no means ignores or downplays politics. Working-class political power is a precondition for dismantling capitalist economic relations.

    As an economic system, capitalism developed within feudal society. The modern class of capitalists first developed its economic power before it sought political power. But it must be the reverse with the working class, as the U.S. Marxist Hal Draper wrote:

    The working class (unlike the bourgeoisie) cannot inseminate its own system of economic power within the old one, thereby establishing a plateau of power from which to gain the political heights. The order necessarily is the reverse. The proletariat–through the organization of its political movement, like every other aspiring class–must first conquer political power and then begin the process of socioeconomic transformation. For the bourgeoisie, political power was finally plucked as the ripe or overripe fruit of its socioeconomic power, its power as a possessing class. For the proletariat, political power is needed as the engine with which to bring a new social order into existence.

    Note, however, that Draper is talking about more than just running candidates or winning office–he’s talking about conquering state power. The “triumph of the social revolution” referred to in the resolution for the International Workingmen’s Association cited above isn’t going to be achieved by getting the right people elected, as important as elections are in developing the independent political organization of the working class.

    The purpose of political participation in the bourgeois system of elections, for Marx and Engels, was that it allowed workers’ parties “to preserve their independence, to count their forces, and to bring before the public their revolutionary attitude and party standpoint.”

    Indeed, refusing to run candidates on the grounds that it might let conservatives win elections–because more moderate candidates would lose votes to the left–was itself an indication of the political immaturity of the class and its willingness to become the “tagtail” that Engels describes above.

    As Marx wrote: “The ultimate intention of all such phrases is to dupe the proletariat. The advance which the proletarian party is bound to make by such independent action is indefinitely more important than the disadvantage that might be incurred by the presence of a few reactionaries in the representative body.”

    MOST PEOPLE’S view of politics is shaped by the stifling limits of the two-party system. Politics is seen as something politicians do, which has little to do with “us.”

    The two parties, the Democrats and Republicans, appear, to quote Frederick Engels, as “two great gangs of political speculators, who alternately take possession of the state power and exploit it by the most corrupt means and for the most corrupt ends–and the nation is powerless against these two great cartels of politicians, who are ostensibly its servants, but in reality exploit and plunder it.”

    It should be no surprise, then, that most people detest politics–or that an estimated 93 million eligible voters didn’t cast a ballot in the 2012 presidential election. There is a widespread recognition that the game is rigged–something colorfully expressed by Republican Sen. Boies Penrose in 1896, addressing big business: “I believe in the division of labor. You send us to Congress; we pass laws under which you make money…and out of your profits, you further contribute to our campaign funds to send us back again to pass more laws to enable you to make more money.”

    And yet, to the extent that ordinary people are awakened to a desire for social change, they will, at various points, turn toward electoral politics–witness the enthusiasm in Election 2016 for Bernie Sanders because his speeches address the concerns of ordinary people in a way rarely seen in U.S. politics.

    At some point, people who want genuine change ask themselves: If governments set policies that serve the interests of business, then surely we must find ways to win policies that serve ordinary people. Who can we vote for who will represent us–our concerns and our demands–in Congress and in the White House, but at other levels of government as well?

    But when ordinary people do turn to politics, they find that neither party seems to work in their interests. The Democrats and Republicans answer to the interests of what used to be called the “captains of industry”–the bankers, industrialists, traders, investors and other corporate bigwigs.

    No matter which party is in power, the vast apparatus that administers the state is intimately connected to business interests through a revolving door of lobbyists, lawyers and so-called “regulatory” officials, who rotate between the state and private sectors.

    There’s even a special word for the way in which government agencies aimed ostensibly at regulating an industry end up advancing the interests of that industry–regulatory capture. The result is that, with few exceptions, officials are “naturally” committed to what is euphemistically called a “good business climate.”

    Of course, the parties aren’t necessarily open about this. The Republican Party does sell itself as a friend of free enterprise. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, doesn’t shout its cozy relationship with big business from the rooftops.

    For example, Hillary Clinton just announced her support for the recent Verizon strike. But her whole résumé as a Democrat should remind us that this is political posturing, and not at all reflective of where her allegiances, nor those of the party she represent, lie. More telling is the fact that she netted $675,000 dollars for just three speaking engagements in front of Goldman Sachs executives–where, according to an observer of one of the events, she sounded, not at all surprisingly, “like a Goldman Sachs managing director.”

    THIS ISN’T a historical aberration, but reflective of the party’s entire history.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal policies seem far to the left of the Democratic Party today–which has been, in the name of “small government” and “personal responsibility,” whittling away at the social programs that were products of hard-fought struggles in the 1930s and 1960s.

    But that’s precisely the point: the reforms weren’t a product of a particular party, but of particular struggles. Roosevelt himself pointed out to conservative business leaders who felt he was giving away too much that he was saving capitalism, not promoting socialism.

    Moreover, among the facts left out of the FDR myth: “[M]ore company unions had been organized; more workers killed, wounded and jailed; [and] more troops called out against strikers under Roosevelt than under any president in memory,” as the labor historian Art Preis wrote.

    It is a fact that every major progressive reform in the U.S., from the introduction of unemployment insurance to the abolition of Jim Crow segregation laws in the South, had to be proposed by one of the two major parties, passed by a Congress controlled by them, and signed into law by a president belonging to one.

    But that’s because only two parties are permitted to share power under the U.S. system. Positive reforms are born of social struggle, not the benevolence of politicians. The proof of this isn’t only that the reforms were almost always won at the high points of struggle, but that in the periods of conservative reaction, both parties shifted rightward and participated in their dismantling. It was Bill Clinton, after all, and not Ronald Reagan or the Bushes, who “ended welfare as we know it.”

    When Engels observed the emergence of the Knights of Labor in the U.S. in the 1880s, along with moves toward the creation of labor parties, he remarked to another socialist: “In a country that has newly entered the movement, the first really crucial step is the formation by the workers of an independent political party, no matter how, so long as it is distinguishable as a labor party.”

    To another comrade in the U.S., he wrote, “A million or two of working-men’s votes next November for a bona fide working-men’s party is worth infinitely more at present than a hundred thousand votes for a doctrinally perfect platform.”

    FOR THE reasons already mentioned, there is a strong institutional barrier to developing such a party in the United States.

    As a result, a vote for a third party is generally seen as a wasted vote–and much of the left short of socialists preaches the common sense that third-party candidates are “spoilers,” because they threaten to deliver a victory to conservative candidate or parties.

    The two-party system is designed to elicit this response precisely as a means to prevent independent political action of the working class and the oppressed. The only way to defeat the right, so the refrain goes, is to vote for the lesser of two evils.

    Socialist Worker and the International Socialist Organization have always challenged the logic of “lesser evilism” and instead supported “genuine left-wing candidates and political action that promotes independence from the corporate-dominated two-party system in the U.S.,” as the ISO’s “Where We Stand” statement puts it. Even if the votes we cast are protest votes, with no realistic hope of defeating the two parties, they can contribute toward the future project.

    But it would be a mistake to conclude from this that all we need to do is break the two-party system and get the right people, with better proposals and better politics, elected into office.

    It’s one thing for one of the two “great gangs of speculators,” as Engels called the Democrats and Republicans, to gain control of government and distribute the spoils of victory. Neither of these parties, however much they rail against each other, threatens the system. Their interests, though they may diverge by a matter of degrees, are the same when it comes to promoting and protecting the interests of the dominant class.

    The state is not a neutral body that simply builds roads and repairs water mains. It conducts its work within capitalist relations; its projects, institutions and spending–not to mention who it taxes and by how much–are bent toward the dominant interests, no matter what party is in power.

    So elections may be an excellent means to amplify the socialist message and organize and give shape to movements that develop outside the electoral sphere. But socialism cannot be legislated into existence.

    Universal suffrage, wrote Engels, is a useful “gauge of the maturity of the working class,” but by itself, it cannot put an end to capitalism. And as Engels concluded, “On the day when the thermometer of universal suffrage shows boiling point among the workers, they as well as the capitalists will know where they stand.”

    Even in the event that socialists were able to win a majority and establish a government, the ruling class will not go gently into that good night.

    As Karl Marx noted in an interview with a New York newspaper, when the ruling class “finds itself outvoted in what it considers vital questions, we shall see here a new slave owner’s war.” Though he was referring to Britain, the slave reference is to the fact that Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860 triggered a violent reaction from the Southern slaveholders, leading directly to the Civil War.

    Any party that comes into power seeking to transform the system in ways that contradict its logic–or, to put it more clearly, that attempt to promote class interests running counter to the interests and priorities of the ruling class–will face such a “slave owners’ war.”

    The absolute precondition in the U.S. to the building of a genuine socialist movement, embracing millions of workers, the poor and the oppressed, is breaking from the limits imposed by the two-party system and creating a party of workers and the oppressed. But for the socialists to fully succeed in their project, there must be a revolutionary struggle that moves far beyond the limits of our rigged democracy.”

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    That is interesting reading. However, I’m not sure what point you are trying to make.

  • Collectivist

    The purpose was to offer a perspective on electoral politics.

  • CoCoLuv9491

    Never Trump.

    Never Biden.

    Screw the Democratic and Republican Parties.

    LOTE = more of the same, over and over again!

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    From a very socialist point of view.
    It would be great to curb capitalism. And consevatism!
    The voting system in this country absolutely has to change. No more electoral college. Ranked choice voting so that candidates from smaller parties have a chance. Abolish Citizens United. Abolish PACs. That’ll do for a start!

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    You’d better start soon as he as he will need about a half million signatures to get on the ballot in all 50 states. By about mid-August.

  • Harbinger

    Thanks, again. This is where we disagree.

    You say that nothing will change until we vote better people in.

    I say that better people are voted in when things change.

    How do things change? It starts with what a small group of people are advocating. When we simply advocate that this or that group of politicians must be voted in and that this is the essential inescapable prerequisite to any change we are short-ciruiting the process and suppressing change.

    Abolition, Women’s Suffrage, Civil Rights – all of those gains were the culmination of agitation and advocacy entirely outside of the partisan electoral process. They were not the result of electing the right people.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Yes, it’s the lesser of two evils, but what else is one supposed to do?
    Are you working towards a third party? Are you pushing for ranked choice voting? Are you doing anything?

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    So will you just sit out this election? What are you doing to bring about change?

  • Harbinger

    I have no idea where those two questions came from, sorry. Can you not separate out actual voting from the endless chatter about voting? Can you not imagine political action other than voting or talking about voting? Or was that intended as a challenge?

    My point is limited to what we advocate. I am not talking about whether or not we should vote, and I am not talking about what we should do in lieu of voting. Your questions suggest that you either missed my point, which could well be my fault, or else you disagree with my point but are not being straightforward about that.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    I must have missed your point, but the questions are quite clear: do you intend to vote in November, and what are you doing instead of voting? And a thrid one, do you not think voting is important?

  • Harbinger

    I say that these endless discussions about how a person is going to vote are counterproductive. You respond with “how ya gonna vote?”

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    Fine. I will move on.

  • Harbinger

    Thanks for the discussion.

  • ozarkmichael

    I am flabbergasted. In a good way.

  • Mensch59

    It’s kinda strange trying to reason with liberal democrats.
    I have no idea why they’d be so resistant to the hypothesis/theory of unchanging social values, e.g. in the context of Aristotelian cardinal virtues.

    Sorry for not getting back to you on your Heraclitus and Zeno post, referring to continuums-in-parallel on the right-left axis of the political compass.
    Discussions on issues where liberals and conservatives are so close together — or far leftists and liberals for that matter — that their differences are imperceptible are a minefield.

  • chetdude

    R.Kooi – 8 year old psuedo-bully on the playground…

  • chetdude

    As can I in Hawai’i… 🙂

  • chetdude

    Most likely…

  • chetdude

    I’d say the major reason is to avoid losing the access to the trough of Plutocrat/Corporate campaign (bribe) cash that they kicked the Working Class out of the party in the 70s to get.

    Even though the Bernie campaign showed that hundreds of millions can be raised if candidates had character, honest values and a popular Agenda.

    They prefer the easy way…

  • chetdude

    Sorry — everytime I post 269 I feel a need to explain it. Maybe I should post it as 51 + 218…

  • chetdude

    It is amazing, isn’t it?

    I’m old enough to have some degree of political awareness of every President and candidate since Eisenhower vs. Stevenson in 1956 (I was 12 and liked Ike but preferred Stevenson) and Trump is the first one in my experience to have absolutely NO redeeming qualities. Even the very few things he’s done that I preferred over what Clinton would have done are tainted by his deeply warped wrong reasons for doing them.

    Amazing.

    And yet, as the Empire continues to disintegrate, we could sink even lower unless we can build a critical mass to build something better…

  • chetdude

    If that’s going to be the definition, since Trump believes every word he utters at the exact moment he utters it, he also never lies.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    That would certainly help those of us who are. a little slow on the uptake. But I did get it in the end.

  • chetdude

    In a nutshell, yes.

    Since USAmerican elections have been turned into Reality-TV shows (the horses race and engage in dueling quips and insults in order to maximize corporate media ad revenue) and the two wings of the One True Party are fine with that as long as they get their turn at looking like they’re “in charge” every 8 – 12 years – Trump is much more skilled and highly trained at being a Reality-TV performer while Biden is exhibiting some detrimental symptoms in the area of cognitive responses — he’ll be out classed and out matched if there are any head to head “debates” allowed.

    Sanders honest support of wildly popular policies and solutions would have been able to overcome that but Biden’s obvious support for nothing beyond the status-quo ante and his history as a typical prevaricating politician won’t cut it.

  • Elizabeth Whitehouse

    and I thought Hillary-Trump was a tough choice!
    Actually the country – and by extension the world -can’t take four more years of Trump.

  • chetdude

    Poor Jeff Flake.

    As his “republican” party went marching off into the crypto-fascist swamp, the democratic(sic) party co-opted the neoliberal agenda of Reagan (and obviously Flake) as its own.

    And he was left with no home.

  • chetdude

    Sorry, but which White Guy gets to tell us which are “unchanging social values, e.g. in the context of Aristotelian cardinal virtues”and which are not…

  • chetdude

    Flake quit because he knew that as demographics are changing in Arizona, he couldn’t get re-elected…

  • chetdude

    I understand and thank you for the flexibility you’ve demonstrated in our discussions. 😉

  • Mensch59

    Is Aristotle an “elite white guy”?
    Were those who translated Aristotle’s works from Greek into their own languages “elite white guys”?
    Which character traits are necessary to achieve (1) providing for everyone’s basic needs (2) ecological equilibrium?
    Maybe those who are struggling to replace “neoliberal capitalist economic policies” with polices necessary to achieve 1 & 2 above, have no conception of universal social values & universal human rights.
    More likely the political forces struggling to prioritize “neoliberal capitalist economic policies” have no regard for universal social values & universal human rights & universal social needs & ecological equilibrium.
    What can be done?

  • Mensch59

    As long as anyone is convinced that all conservatives are “neoliberal” and “suicidal”, then it’s only more evidence that the divide and conquer strategy has taken precedence over unity against the ruling class. If (so-called) “far leftists” cannot work with conservatives, what makes these leftists any less suicidal?

  • chetdude

    Flake no longer fits under the current definition of political “conservative”. So apparently most “conservatives” can’t work with “conservatives” like you and Jeff?

    Far Leftists can work with anyone interested in HONESTLY and effectively providing for everyone’s basic needs in a sustainable manner that won’t destroy our only Home Planet.

  • chetdude

    What can be done?

    Interesting question.

    Currently it appears that tendencies (rights and social values) that were useful to exercise “dominion over all things and beings” are proving to be suicidal now that we’re at the end of the age of fossil-fueled, industrial growth/consumption based capitalism coupled with overpopulation. In other words, the epitaph on the tombstone of homo sapiens(sic) might read “Their brains grew too big and they died.”

  • Mensch59

    I guess that I haven’t met the honest far leftists.
    The ones I have met were way too much into wokester & cultish identity politics, spotting mistakes and holding on to that detection like a dog with a bone, and propagating guilt & condemnation & exclusivity.

  • sabelmouse

    aren’t you a bit old to be joining gangs, anyway?

  • Mensch59

    One is never too old for political naiveté, unfortunately.
    :-

  • sabelmouse

    🙂

  • chetdude

    The problem seems to be that you are counting ultra-partisan “Democrats” and their publicists in the corporate media among the “Far Left”.

    We disclaim them…

  • Mensch59

    The “far leftists” I’ve dealt with — in terms of propagating guilt & condemnation & exclusivity and into identitarianism — style themselves Marxists or socialists.

  • Kapricorn4

    Voting is a waste of time in the US.

  • Kapricorn4

    Most people in the US do not bother to vote, because the US is not a democracy.

  • Harbinger

    Hardly anyone fits that pattern.

  • Harbinger

    Voting doesn’t waste much time. The chatter about voting is a waste of time, sure.

  • SteelPirate

    🙂

  • chetdude

    I’ll bet you attract them or due to obdurate expectations create them…

  • Mensch59

    I have no “obdurate expectations” of anyone.
    For you to suggest that of me or anyone else/others you don’t know is projection, a very common psychological defense reaction. Maybe you believe that all socialists & Marxists are above criticism.

    Some people — even “far leftists” — simply are part of the “call out” culture who thrive on excommunication and condemnation.
    I fell in with the wrong group of socialists and Marxists, probably more due to political naiveté than for any other reason.

    Live and learn, eh?

  • Mensch59

    We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must always agree – on the contrary, we must create conditions where disagreement can take place without fear of exclusion and excommunication.

    Editor’s note to Mark Fisher’s “Exiting the Vampire Castle” published at openDemocracy UK

  • Collectivist

    Obama’s pro-capitalism.

  • JohnDoe00

    This is very good, C. Very good. Its highlights include:

    For a number of years the English workers’ movement has been going round and round bootlessly in a confined circle of STRIKES for wages and the reduction of working hours–not, mark you, as an expedient and a means of propaganda and organization, but as the ultimate aim. Both on principle and statutorily the TRADES UNIONS actually exclude any political action and hence participation in any general activity on the part of the working class as a class.

    Here in the US, specifically within healthcare, and more specifically within the nursing ranks, strife with hospital management is never even over wages or benefits but rather “staffing ratios” and/or “our ability to care for patients.” Not that these issues are unimportant, but with an eye towards garnering sympathy with the public rather than enmity, nursing Unions carefully tailor their demands to “patient care” rather than “worker’s rights.” But regardless, the author’s point is well taken. Any attempt by membership to provide a larger context for struggle is beaten back by the entrenched go-along-to-get-alongers within the Union. The capitalist forces encroaching at the door are a distant secondary to the Union’s ability to strike a marginally better deal with them come contract time.

    As Marx wrote: ‘The ultimate intention of all such phrases is to dupe the proletariat. The advance which the proletarian party is bound to make by such independent action is indefinitely more important than the disadvantage that might be incurred by the presence of a few reactionaries in the representative body.”

    Good. This’ll be my Christmas card to the Digger this year.

    Moreover, among the facts left out of the FDR myth: “[M]ore company unions had been organized; more workers killed, wounded and jailed; [and] more troops called out against strikers under Roosevelt than under any president in memory,” as the labor historian Art Preis wrote.

    Makes sense. Democrats can say: “After all we’ve done for you!”

    So elections may be an excellent means to amplify the socialist message and organize and give shape to movements that develop outside the electoral sphere. But socialism cannot be legislated into existence.

    Thus, Harbinger’s “Voting doesn’t waste much time. The chatter about voting is a waste of time…” Do it. Don’t do it. Six of one… The point is, what comes after…

    Thanks for this. A lot to chew on here.

  • Collectivist

    The article pretty much reflects my own views on electoral politics AND its role in leftist politics.