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The Velveteen Ocelot

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Hometown: Minnesota
Member since: Mon Oct 27, 2003, 12:54 AM
Number of posts: 81,279

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Suit yourself, but Sanders is the only one of the first- or second-tier candidates

whom I will absolutely not support in the primary in my state. Obviously I'd vote for him in the general because he'd be better than Trump (but that's a pretty low bar), but I seriously doubt he could win. For one thing, the GOP will slap the "socialist" label on him and he won't be able to peel it off because he's called himself that, and that label, fairly or accurately or not, is still the kiss of death in this country. For another thing, maybe we're all sick of angry, shouty old men. I certainly am.

More importantly, I don't think that, even if Bernie did manage to win, he would be a good or effective president. Although I supported him in 2016, he showed me a side I didn't like at all when he refused to concede to Clinton even after there was no mathematical chance he could get enough delegates - and then his supporters tried to disrupt the convention because they didn't like the outcome. That's poor sportsmanship at best and destructive, even nihilistic behavior at worst. Even though my personal ideology is closer to his, I was happy to shift my support to Hillary because by then I thought she could win and that she'd be a good president.

Now, four years later, I'm more convinced than ever that Sanders, unlike Clinton and unlike most of the other current candidates, lacks the temperament needed for the presidency. His ideology is rigid and, like his political vocabulary, it has not changed appreciably since the '60s. He doesn't understand that racism can't be fixed with only a more progressive economic policy, which means that he doesn't have a particularly strong following among PoC, especially women, whose votes we need desperately. He seems oblivious to reported charges of sexism within his own campaign (an onloing problem within the doctinaire left since the '60s), and his campaign's senior staff includes former Stein voters and current Democrat-bashers like David Sirota, Brihanna Gray and Nina Turner, all of whom seem to be more interested in trashing the so-called "establishment" (as if someone who's been in Congress for decades isn't a member of same) than in focusing on persuading voters to actually vote for Democrats. What will this do to down-ticket Democratic candidates who rely on the coattails of a strong Democratic presidential ticket?

And this all comes down to the basic point that Bernie isn't a team player and never has been. He's a Democrat only every four years when it's convenient, and he will have a huge problem on that account if he were to become president: to be successful a president absolutely needs his/her party to have his/her back. Would Bernie appoint agency heads who can work with Democrats in Congress, or will he appoint ideologues without proper vetting (see, e.g., Darius Khalil Gordon, who had to be fired from his campaign when his anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets were discovered; why weren't they discovered before he was offered a job - and what about the endorsement of noted misogynist Cenk Uygur)? Never mind being able to work with Republicans - will Democratic Congresspeople and other politicians trust Bernie after he and his surrogates have been kicking them in the nuts for the entire duration of his campaign? Will they support his initiatives and legislative proposals? Will he kick them in the nuts some more if they ask him to support proposed bills that are not pure enough to suit him? Or will he just yell and point his fingers and rail about the billionaires, like always?

I do believe Bernie is sincere, but sincerity isn't enough. And I really don't give a shit about satisfying my own personal ideology or anybody else's as long as Trump is in the White House posing an existential threat to democracy. Sorry, but the only reason I can think of any more to support Bernie is that he's better than Trump.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Sun Jan 5, 2020, 06:24 PM (0 replies)
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