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Jack Rabbit

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Sacramento Valley, California
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 45,984

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Yes, it happens at least once a day

At least once a day, an apologist for establishment Democrats comes on DU to tell the progressives that there's nothing wrong with the Democratic Party or neoliberalism or a widening income gap or crooked Wall Street banks; and the we should sit down, shut up and vote for the corrupt candidates you "sensible" people choose for us and pretend we like being screwed.

How long do you really think that's going to last? How long do you really think we peons will play dumb for the benefit of corrupt politicians and their crooked paymasters like Legs Dimon and Pretty Boy Lloyd in an economy that gives us an illusion of prosperity as one bubble expands but always brings us back to a terrible reality when it bursts?

Let me try to express this in a way that has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or any of the Republican clowns still standing. The most consequential president in our lifetime, dwarfing all the others, was Ronald Reagan, and that is not a good thing. He is consequential because his administration (not Reagan himself, he never knew what he was doing) ushering in the era of neoliberalism. He'd be horrified to call it that, of course, but it goes by other names: supply-side economics, trickle-down economics, Reaganomics,etc. Lately, I've taken to calling it really fucked up economics. Whatever it's called, it is the Zeitgeist of the day since 1981. It presumes, falsely, that a deregulated market will work at least as well if not better than a government regulated market because the elites, being wise men or they would not be so wealthy, will make rational decisions and not try to take such an advantage over their rivals in the market because that would destroy the market that benefits them. And they would create jobs by reinvesting profits into their magical wealth creating corporations and everybody lives happily ever after.

A person who believes that probably believes in rainbows and unicorns. We've been waiting for trickle-down for three and half decades. If that were a workable scheme, we'd all be rich and happy by now. Instead, we have a situation where the middle class is shrinking and most new income goes to the corporate elites and stays there. It's like were trying to have capitalism without a middle class to buy the products generated in factories or on farms. A Marxist would call that a contradiction. I didn't go to an Ivy League university like the reprobates who run industry and government, but a mere state university, so I just call it unsustainable. Anyone with common sense would observe the situation, subject it to scientific analysis, and conclude that it just doesn't work.

Except for those who profit from really fucked economics, and I think they're just trying to hoodwink the rest of us.

Pardon my idealism, Tab

I don't hate Hillary Clinton, but I think she's irrelevant and that if she becomes president she'll still be irrelevant. That's because it is obvious to me and should be obvious to anyone who dwells in a "reality based" community that Hillary takes money from oligarchs to maintain the status quo. By definition, "Hillary Cinton will maintain the status quo" means that there will be no dramatic changes during her administration.

At a time when the income gap is widening and the middle class is growing smaller, maintaining the status quo is not a winning platform. As fall as I can tell, Bernie Sanders is the only candidate for the presidential nomination of a major political party running on a platform other that one. That's why it seems to me that the pragmatic thing to is support him.

If you think Hillary is taking money from the big banks and Big Pharma and the mother frackers today so she can stab them all in the back after January 20, then I'd like to know which of us believes in rainbows and unicorns. Anyone who believes such a thing is terribly naive.

I have said that I will vote for Mrs. Clinton if she is the nominee, although I confess that doing otherwise crosses my mind at least twice a week. I have also said that regardless of who is the next president, I will hit the streets next year railing against the neoliberal policy that Mrs. Clinton and all the Republican candidates embrace. The abandonment of an unjust and unsustainable socioeconomic paradigm that became the predominant policy paradigm with the election of Reagan is long overdue.

How's that for youthful idealism? Frankly, I think I'm a grumpy, cynical old man at age 64.

We're not even looking at the election the same way

We Sandernistas see something fundamentally wrong with the American political system (i.e., "it's broken". Democrats, and coincidentally Democrats from the corporatist wing of the party, gladly take money from Big Banking, Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Defense, etc., and go out and vote for their interests on the House or Senate floor. Before they do that, they make sure their asses are covered along with their benefactors' asses and pass a law that distinguishes a campaign contribution from bribe. That's very important, mostly because our broken system wouldn't work without making that distinction. Did I just say that a broken system works? How does that happen? Well, making a distinction without a difference is one way.

For us, we are involved in this process to fix what's wrong with it. Over at Camp Weathervane, they seem to think that only Republicans are corrupt and any Democrat who takes money from banksters just can't wait to get into office and stab them in the back. Just like Bill Clinton did when he signed banking deregulation, just like Barack Obama did when he appointed an attorney general who treated Legs Dimon and Pretty Boy Lloyd with kid gloves instead sending them to prison where they belong.

This seems to be a good place to remind everyone that a study from Princeton University concludes that American is now an oligarchy and not a democracy. The politicians we vote for to represent us in legislative bodies at all level listen not to the voters b the donors who contribute bribes to their re-election campaigns. That is a succinct description of how the American political is broken. Until we change it, it's broken.

There is a difference between Republicans and Democrats, but it's not a significant difference at this moment in history. Democrats are more likely to support marriage equality or abortion rights or to decry a cop who blows away a black teenager because . . . well, just because. President Hillary Clinton can fix those problems, but if she doesn't take on Wall Street banks then American will almost certainly be worse off when she leaves office than it is today. The gay couple that gets married today won't think it's as much of a blessing if they can never afford a house together. The woman who gets 100 cents for every dollar a man with a similar job descriptions gets won't really care if her job and the man's are shipped to China.

However, the residents of DU's Camp Weathervane won't be concerned when the income gap widens under President Hillary Clinton because they will still the election of 2016 as a great success as long as she wins in the end. And that's part of the problem. For them, the election is an end. For us, it's just one of many events that will affect the outcome of the struggle to restore American democracy from its destruction at the hands of corrupt corporate oligarchs and their political stooges. Like their candidate, the corporate wing of the Democratic Party is only concerned about the next election. We are concerned about Americans' long term future. We will fight on, regardless of what transpires between now and November, long after to November to right the wrongs that have bee visited upon by every president starting with Reagan and the voodoo economics that each and every one of them regardless of party (yes, you read that right) has advanced.

We certainly cannot depend on our elected representatives, ordinary politicians who are as only worried about keeping their jobs as the rest of us. They're corrupt and listen to their donors, not to us. The prescription to change the system and restore democracy will involve direct action. I would like to emphasize that our foes are the oligarchs and not their political stooges. Once the oligarchs are defeated, all the corrupt politicians who have too little imagination to contemplate a world where they don't just take money from a Wall Street fraud monger or an industrial polluter and do as they say won't know what to do. Perhaps they'll just go away and spend more time with their families. That will be best for all concerned.

No, people. We are the Knights on white horses for whom we have been waiting. Now charge those monsters. You'll discover that they're only paper tigers and windmills.


It's a long ways from over: for us, this is a revolution, not an election

For those of limited vision, whether in Camp Weathervane or even here, it looks grim for our cause tonight. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Even if Bernie is not the next President of the United States, our fight will go on and it must go on. Mrs. Clinton has already committed herself to a policies based on economic theories that for the last three and a half decades have proven unsustainable and an abject failure. It has brought us lost jobs, lost opportunities, pointless wars and a widening income gap. More of the same policies and programs will bring only more of the same results. Although nothing would be more pleasant than to be proven wrong about this, should Mrs. Clinton win, there is no reason to expect her to accomplish anything significant as president.

For us, this is not an election, but a revolution. Our task is not complete until we have put an end to neoliberalism, the oligarchs are in prison and their political stooges of whatever party are defeated at the polls. We must continue until American democracy is restored. That is a task that may take more than one an election cycle. Indeed, as I am an old man, I may not see the end of it. That is no reason for me, or anyone else here, to give up.

Let us resolve to move forward with our long term goals into the future, regardless of what the next few weeks may bring or of how dark the years ahead may look.

Power to the people. Forever feel the Bern.

The campaign of McGovern and Sanders cannot be compared as easily as that

First of all, McGovern was principally an anti-war candidate running on Americans' disaffection with with the conflict in Vietnam against an incumbent president. In the end, Nixon got no better deal after the 1972 election to end American involvement in Vietnam than he could have gotten the day he took office four years earlier. Nixon used the power of incumbency to take the war issue away from McGovern. The numbers of American combat forces were steadily being reduced and peace negotiations were ongoing. Nixon even sent Dr. Kissinger to the negotiations in Paris, which lent a greater sense of gravity to the negotiations. In October, Kissinger thought he had an agreement and announced "Peace is at hand." Even though Nixon rejected that particular agreement and resumed bombing North Vietnam after the election, the message received by the American people was one of "Chill, I've got this." Thus the war, which McGovern's supporters (your most humble hare among them) thought would continue to be an issue after Labor Day, wasn't.

Bernie is running for an open presidency. If he is the nominee, there isn't much President Obama can do to undermine Bernie's candidacy without undermining his own legacy. Bernie will be running against the last Republican clown standing, who will only have a chance of winning if the corporatist Democrats revolt and run an alternative Democrat on a third party, a stunt that runs the risk of permanently dividing the Democratic Party. I don't think they really want to do that. I hate to say it (OK, I relish saying it), but if Bernie wins the nomination, who else are the corporatist Democrats going to vote for?

That brings us to the "second of all." Second of all, Bernie is not running against something that is going away or can be easily swept under the rug.

What Bernie is running against isn't other Democratic politicians, but the corporate establishment that foots the bill for their campaigns and has corrupted them in the process. Many of us (including your most humble hare) voted for President Obama in 2008 hoping for a change from the established policies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush the Preppy, which were made bipartisan by Bill Clinton. Bush the Frat Boy took those policies to an ideological extreme and demonstrated how bad they could be. The change we had hoped for under Obama was not forthcoming. Obama continued the same neoliberal policies and got the same results: a widening income gap. Has Obama been a better president than Bush the Frat Boy? Of course he has. My cat, Swashbuckler, would be have made a better president that Bush the Frat Boy. Has Obama been a second coming of FDR? No, he hasn't. Unfortunately, that is what history demanded of him.

Income inequality, political corruption and corporate tyranny are not going to go away between now and November. First of all, these are bigger problems than was the Vietnam War. Second, for eight years President Obama has been a greater part of the problem than he has been part of the solution, starting with his failure to prosecute crooked Wall Street bankers and going up to his negotiating and pushing bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the even worse Trade in Services Agreement. The problems that arise from neoliberalism (or supply-side economics, trickle down economics, Reaganomics, voodoo economics, really fucked up economics or whatever name its called) won't be swept under the carpet until election day without the lumps showing, like Nixon did with the Vietnam War during the election campaign of 1972.

Neoliberalism is a monster pig. It's really ugly and no one can just put lipstick on it and pretend it's a nubile young lady named Monique. That monstrous, ugly pig is the pet of some very powerful masters, who paid off the Congressmen and state legislators who are supposed to represent us. Crooked corporatist bribed our politicians. Or maybe bribed isn't the right word since the laws were changed to distinguish a bribe from a generous campaign contribution. The corporatist tyrants have bought our politicians and by doing so have deprived the people of our voice. We know it's ugly and not very many politicians in the last three and half decades have had the courage have been willing to say it, even if we know it. We aren't fooled, but there is no one to tell the truth.

Until now. That is why Bernie Sanders is going to be president starting in January.

The system is rigged

The superdelegates should have been done away with a long time ago. It was never a good idea.

Supposedly, it was put in place to give the sensible pros a way of getting around a popular choice like McGovern. Ironically, this time, the people are right and the "sensible Democrats" are corrupt down to their socks. They take money from corporate execs and do their bidding. For those who believe that a politician who takes money by the boxcars from sources like Wall Street bankers doesn't try first and foremost to keep their sugar daddies happy, all I can say is that you are either terribly naive or trying desperately to fool yourself.

The establishment Democrats are committed to the status quo. That means four to eight more years of voodoo economics or supply-side economics or Reaganomics. Trickle-down economics is a good term, sense it lends itself well to the ironic rejoinder than after three and a half decades of it we're still waiting for the benefits to trickle down. For three and half decades, since the election of Ronald Reagan, that second-rate matinee idol, we have seen tax cuts for the rich, public services cut, manufacturing jobs vanish, unions busted and ever increasing income inequality as the middle class goes the way of those manufacturing jobs.

Why do you think ground zero of movement to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour is the fast food industry? After all, don't they just employ high school students trying to get some work experience? Today, with all those manufacturing jobs overseas, the typical fast food worker is a young adult with a family obligations. I'm sure you all heard that, but did you try to connect the dots how that all fits together? Of course, I'm sure I don't need to be the one to tell you sensible Democrats that you can't keep a family of four fed, clothed, pay the bills and keep a roof over its head even working 40 hours a week at $7.50/hour, or, for that matter, with both parents working 40 hours a week for $7.50/hour.

That is the face of America today. For me, it hits pretty close to home. My son has graduated from college, is in his early thirties lives with his mother and her husband and looks forward to the day when he can quit his job delivering pizzas and start a real career..

Trickle down economics, the system endorsed by the oligarchs who foot the bill for most politicians' re-election campaigns and has been the economic article of faith for every president starting with Reagan, whether Republican or Democrat, has destroyed the American dream.

I want that system to end. It's termination is not just a nice thing to have, it is a necessity and history demands it, screams for it. Today, February 9, 2016, with the New Hampshire finshed and Bernie Sanders, the only candidate for president in either major US political party with the courage to speak about putting an end to the nightmare began by Ronald Reagan, having won three fifths of the popular vote, but still has not even half of New Hampshire's delegation to the Democratic National Convention committed to vote for him.

Tell me that system isn't rigged.

I will tell you that we will have a political revolution, whether Bernie Sanders, the people's choice, is elected president or not.
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