(both by way of Black Agenda Report)
‘The End of Sanders, and Maybe the Beginning of a Mass Independent Left’, Glen Ford, April 16, 2020, blackagndareport.com
“Sander’s early Return of the Prodigal Son to the bosom of the Party allows him to escape the deep critique of capitalist medicine and political-economy that would be required of a “leftish” presidential candidate as this never-in-our-lifetimes crisis unfolds.” [jump]
Bernie Sanders claimed to be running against the oligarchy in his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, but meekly surrendered to Joe Biden, the personification of the glad-handing corporate shill and champion of the status quo, once the momentum of the primaries had turned. Sanders said he would resume his duties as a full-time senator doing “the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour.”
But the raw truth is, Sanders surrendered unconditionally to a Democratic Party that is, in the Age of Trump, the electoral representative of the bulk of a fractured U.S. ruling class – the oligarchy. Without warning, Sanders demobilized his legions, even while claiming to continue to lead “a grass-roots, multiracial, multigenerational movement which has always believed that real change never comes from the top on down, but always from the bottom on up.” Sanders thanked his generous followers, nearly two million of whom donated at least $167 million to his campaign. Unknown millions remain unspent, and much more could be raised from even a greatly diminished cohort of Sanders true-believers if the self-described socialist was sincere about leading a well-funded “movement” outside the corporate duopoly. But Sanders is going out as a fraud who will refuse to turn over either unspent campaign monies or precious voter lists to his “grassroots” supporters or anybody outside the Democratic Party.” [jump]
“For the second time in two presidential cycles, Sanders has lived up to Bruce Dixon’s depiction of him as a “sheepdog” for the Democrats. “Sheepdogs are herders,” wrote Dixon, the BAR co-founder who died last June, “and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic Party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box.” That’s Sanders to a T.
[Dixon had also called Tusli Gabbard a ‘sheepherder for the Dems’.]
“Sanders bowed out of the race the minute his momentum stalled, at the very same time that the greatest combined health and economic calamity in U.S. history was gripping the nation by the throat – a teaching moment if one ever existed, if health care and economic inequality were really Sanders’ top priority. He did acknowledge the ballooning crisis: “In terms of health care, this current, horrific crisis that we are now in has exposed for all to see how absurd our current employer-based health insurance system is. The current economic downturn we are experiencing has not only led to a massive loss of jobs but has also resulted in millions of Americans losing their health insurance.” [jump]
“A core of Sanders supporters, numbering possibly several millions, plus many others that did not consider themselves radicals until they saw how “the system” left them naked to COVID-19 and the accompanying economic immiseration, will experience a eureka moment and exit the Democrats, in body and mind. The only question is: will there be alternative, independent political vehicles for their anger and energies that are equipped to handle an influx not seen since the Sixties?
As BAR has maintained for the last two presidential seasons, the best outcome of the primaries would be a mass exit from the Democratic Party, the fraudulent left section of the oligarch-ruled duopoly. (The vast bulk of Republicans have chosen the right home for their racist ilk: The White Man’s Party.) Younger Blacks have not abandoned the historical Black consensus on social justice and peace, and some took part in renewed stirrings of “movement” politics during the “Black Lives Matter” struggles. They will have a lot to think about in the enforced relative isolation of CoronaTime – and may become the 21st century’s Black Left Generation.”
Indeed, Bruce Dixon was the radical at BAR, and as I’ve long noted, former radical Glen Ford was backing Bernie this cycle. To say the truth, I’d been disappointed in his backing a Democrat, as I believe Bruce Dixon would have been. So what is this new Mass Independent Left he’s touting? Oh, rats; the banner’s already spoiled the surprise (smile).
‘Sanders Supporters Pledge to “#DemExit” and “#GreenEnter” to Make a Home in a Party That Shares Their Core Values’ by Independent Political Report, 15 April 2020, blackagndareport.com
“The Green Party of the United States reported an explosion of interest in their party following Senator Bernie Sanders’ announcement on Wednesday that he was officially suspending his campaign.
“We knew we had to act fast to meet this moment,” said Green Party National Co-Chair Justin Beth, who served as a Sanders delegate during the 2016 Democratic National Convention before joining the Green Party. “Last time, Sanders campaigned through the final primary date. I think his ending things now took most of his supporters by surprise, and us too.”
The party responded by posting a “Green Party Message to Sanders Campaign Supporters” on social media, offering Sanders supporters a “home” that is fully-aligned with their core issues, such as bold action to avert a climate catastrophe, implementing Improved and Expanded Medicare-For-All, and abolishing student debt. The statement also expressed sympathy for Sanders supporters who had been “abused and marginalized” by the corporate-leaning Democratic National Committee leadership and their surrogates among the pundit class.
The statement went on to assert their shared policy goals are impossible “so long as the Democrats and Republicans can operate as an anti-democratic cartel at the behest of this country’s elite” and offered Proportional Representation, Ranked Choice Voting and fully-public campaign financing as tools to make “political revolution” a reality.
Within hours of Sanders’ announcement and the Green Party’s response, “Green Party” was trending on Twitter and their tweeted statement has now garnered over 5000 “likes” and almost 2000 retweets.
“We are working overtime to connect with these passionate activists,” continued [National co-chair Gloria] Mattera. “They are asking how they can help and we want to know their interests, we want them to know this is a party that belongs to all of its members, not the 1%. They could be the seeds of the next generation of Green Party leaders and breakout candidates.” [jump]
“The Greens will focus on orienting new supporters toward connecting with state and local Green Party organizations and candidates, along with national mobilizing for the presidential general election. “We are calling on former Sanders supporters to not only Vote Green in 2020, but Register Green and prepare to run as Greens in the future. The revolution is here,” said national co-chair Trahern Crews.
“It’s time for people to see that backing progressive candidates in the ‘Democratic’ Party is a dead end, whereas building the Green Party would allow candidates we believe in to have a shot at winning general elections, running as Greens,” said Beth. “These progressive candidates can’t win their race if they’re not even allowed to get to the starting line.”
The Green Party will decide on its nominee for president at a national convention scheduled for July 11. The party has not yet officially decided on a “virtual” format for their convention but that appears inevitable amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The officially-recognized candidates for the Green Party’s presidential nomination are Dario Hunter, David Rolde and Howie Hawkins.
This article previously appeared in Independent Political Report .
Howie Hawkins had already invited Sanders to join him, and I suppose the Greens could radicalize the Sanders supporters.
RELEASE: Hawkins Invites Sanders Supporters to join his Green Socialist Presidential Campaign, April 8, 2020 [in part]:
“Bernie deserves praise for fighting for the 99% but it was not an agenda ever embraced by the leadership of the Democrats.
Voters are left with a miserable choice between the major party candidates: Donald Trump, the racist incompetent, and Joe Biden, the neoliberal hawk. To settle for Biden as the lesser evil is to join the opposition of the corporate establishment to Medicare for All, a full-strength Green New Deal, and an Economic Bill of Rights to end poverty and economic despair.
We are running out of time on the pandemic, climate, nuclear arms, and deadly poverty and economic despair. Real solutions can’t wait.
Let’s continue to fight of socialist solutions through the November election and beyond. Keep the revolution alive. We are fighting for our future.”
A few bits from his Perspectives and Policies page:
Democracy needs socialism. Progressive reforms will never be secure as long as the major means of production are in the hands of a super-rich oligarchy whose concentrated economic power translates into concentrated political power. The failure to face this reality is how the managed capitalism advanced by Democratic Party “socialists” comes up short. As Bernie Sanders said in his 2015 speech on democratic socialism, “I don’t believe government should own the means of production.” We should join with these progressives in fighting for reforms, but we should not be politically naive. Progressive reforms are not secure as long as the property-based power structure of the capitalist oligarchy remains intact.
Key Economic Sectors to Socialize: Money (and the Fed), Big Banks, Power Utilities, Health care, Big Pharma, Arms Industry, Broadband, Online Platforms, etc.
What I can’t find again concerned how to pay for his version of an ecosocialist Green New Deal: he’d included a 70% cut to the military budget; all I can find now is ‘Cuts to the military budget’, but maybe the original is on some other page (she types hopefully).
Now I just popped back into Howie’s Press Releases menu, and found this fukkery:
“(Syracuse, NY, April 17, 2020) Howie Hawkins, who is leading in the primaries for the Green Party nomination for President, has been notified by Twitter that his campaign account is terminated.
Twitter terminated the account without any notice and said that there was no ability to appeal. Twitter said that the account violated its rule on impersonation.
Besides not providing any process to appeal the termination, Twitter provided no information as to why it concluded the Howie Hawkins’ president campaign account was impersonating Howie Hawkins or his campaign.
“How do I impersonate myself? Twitter’s explanation for its censorship makes no sense,” Hawkins said.”
For more information: Howie Hawkins, 315-200-6046, email@example.com
Now Jack Dorsey has been increasingly suspending and shadow-bannng accounts not in keeping with conventional hegemoinc belief and Trusted Partners, such as this one from April 1:
“Broadening our definition of “harm” We have broadened our definition of harm to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources … we are enforcing this in close coordination w. trusted partners, inc’
My stars, how selfless of Howie; I just hopped on to Kevin Zeeses’ (Hawkins organizer, Popular Resistance, the Oct. 2011 movement) account and found this from March 22, 2020:
(side note: I’d remembered reading that Sanders hadn’t wanted to be labelled ‘a spoiler like Ralph Nader had been’; was that referencing the reason why he hadn’t accepted two offers?)
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)