This is coming up more and more every day. Everyone in America, it seems, is completely confused about this, including me. I had to do all types of reading, just to start to figure out what these people are even talking about. I went ahead and did it, though, and from what I could glean from it, all these many headaches later, this looks like the place to start. These are two terms that sound a lot alike but are in fact completely different.
But what is the difference precisely? Is it really such a big deal what you call it? Does it really matter? That’s another easy one. Yes, and we can put the reason why into three short words, as a matter of fact.
The free market.
Where there is no free market, there is no freedom.
When we talk about socialism, we’re talking about a system of governance that has a fully state-planned economy. That means, in regular English, that the government won’t let the people engage in free trade, because of their insistence on imposing uniform equality of misery. They jealously hoard all power to one centralized hub, and from there the inevitable tendency is toward totalitarianism.
Wherever you find a free market, you find a place that socialism has not consumed. Under socialism, incompetent state bureaucrats are the ones investing national capital, and they always run it into the ground because they don’t know what they’re doing.
As a wise man I know once said, “All experiments in Socialism have failed and reverted into fascist dictatorship.”
He’s absolutely right, of course, and the people promoting this stuff know it as well as we do. They just don’t care. They want to blend the lines of truth as much as possible until things get to the point where the American people hear the word “social” and run.
The word socialism has always been divisive in America, and that has gotten worse instead of better as the idea has taken on more and more adherents. In recent months and years, this has done much to poison the waters for any change that would bring actual progressive ideas to the forefront for a serious American attempt to integrate into our system more of the changes we want.
But what about “Democratic” socialism? What’s the difference? The answer remains vague, and no matter how much Ocasio-Cortez may wish things to be otherwise, a wish list like the Green New Deal does not a political theory make. That means, in the parlance of us laymen, “democratic” is not a qualifier. It has no precise meaning and if it’s deleted from the sentence you’ll be left with the exact same thing.
“Most democratic socialists use the terms interchangeably”, said Joseph Schwartz, vice-chair of the D.S.A. “When Bernie is asked, ‘Are you a socialist?’ he doesn’t deny it, and he immediately talks about Scandinavia. He uses them interchangeably,” Schwartz said.
Getting back on track, what makes the social democracies so great are two basic but enormous factors. They have both a good social safety net and a free market. It keeps their economies above water and restrains any would-be dictators. On the other hand, take for an example the only place in the world that calls itself Democratic Socialist,Venezuela. That experiment has been a colossal failure.
To clarify even further, Democratic Socialism is socialism. Leftist media, unfortunately including some good papers, equivocate on this, but the facts show differently. The eight types of socialism are not interchangeable, and the reasons why are worth looking at; it’s just that we don’t have eighty years in which to do it for this particular piece.
For practical purposes, we can define a socialist country as being one with a fully state-planned economy. Social democracies don’t take things to that extreme and are not trying to. Although the two terms may sound alike, they are really different animals altogether, because of the free market.
The idea behind it is to temper liberal democracy, meaning in this context a system in which capitalism is not properly restrained, of its harshness with a social safety net, to keep citizens fed and alive with proper health care among many other things. The best minds of the left came together more than a hundred years ago and began to hammer out these ideas, ideas that guarantee all of us in the Western world the basic right to get help to stay alive.
We have some highly effective models to borrow from in the Social Democratic systems of other countries, like the vaunted Baltic states such as Norway or Sweden, whom Bernie rightly extolls for their excellence. We agree with him on all of that, or rather, he agrees with us, who he pillaged it from. It’s just that he then decided to muddy the waters to the benefit of no one but the right by adding the word “Democratic” to socialism.
The prime minister of Denmark was annoyed by this claim of the Bern’s enough to weigh in specifically, saying that Bernie doesn’t understand what socialism means in the context of their system, but that did not even slow down the grumpy old socialist. He has done his best to confuse this issue more with each and every single passing day. This is bad for absolutely everyone.
Jacobin Magazine, the one serious socialist publication around, used a similar title for their piece as I’ll be using in this one, and makes the same point about the Nordic countries not being socialism.
Many others will weigh in to make this point by the time 2020 rolls around because right now Donald Trump is getting so much mileage off of slandering the latter using the former’s out-there wackiness. He used his State of the Union Address this year to transition into his new narrative as to why he deserves to keep being the president, that being to keep the country free from socialism. The socialists are ruining all our good ideas and making it very difficult to sell them to a public who is rightly-and generationally- wary.
After all this talk, one thing is true and has been true. Socialists and Democrats both agree that in order to keep our rights intact, the most vigorous political action has been and will continue to be necessary.
That will not be possible if the Democratic Party ends up getting hijacked by the radical left. We are the sole protection around for the people of America and the system that allows our fair nation to thrive.
But American socialists like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez see the Democratic Party as being little more than a hermit crab shell they wish to occupy. They believe that America is broken and that it should be discarded. Our system is getting in the way of their brave new world, and so they want to run out in the streets and smash it up and light the night on fire with it.
They scoff at America as being outmoded and “capitalist”- as if the Nordic countries were not also capitalist. What “Capitalism” means in the context of a political system varies from one place to the next in its proportions, but one thing is always the same.
Again- The free market!
People think of capitalism as being a system of government, but all it really is is a power source. Even a purely socialist country is still going to trade. The Soviets did. Every person on Earth is engaged in the process of trade, even the few hunter-gatherers who are left around trade with each other, such as the Khoi Khoi people of Botswana.
The difference is that a communist/socialist (students of political science will be taught to use the term interchangeably by comparative political scientists) system will only allow financial business to be done through an official state apparatus. Those who run it are not well-qualified to do so. They’re utopian dreamers, not developers. This is why five million of the Soviet Union’s people died of starvation during Lenin’s first Five-Year Plan.
Ever since the Soviet Union fell, people have gradually forgotten about all the old anti-democracy qualifiers like “popular,” “guided,” “bourgeois,” and “formal” to modify “democracy”, although it’s true they’re rolling them back out. Their new trick was to come up with a way to use democracy itself as a qualifier, e.g. Power to the People plus socialism.
It’s an untrue slander.
Socialism and democracy are irreconcilably opposed because the former is not based on principles that are consistent with human nature and does not tend to satisfy the needs of citizens for happiness, a coefficient now measured by political scientists using something called the World Happiness Index- pretty cool idea! Deserving of an honorable mention.
At any rate, every time someone has tried to force socialism down the throat of a free society, they have caused a child-eating revolution followed by a dictatorship. Don’t even bother with the good old H.I. in Venezuela. Just turn on the news.
“Can we ignore the fact that none (socialist parties) has been successful in terms of its own dreams and designs, that not one has brought to realization the very purpose of its foundation?” Adam Przeworski, Capitalism and Social Democracy. (104)
Call me a skeptic, but it is very hard to believe that an organization calling themselves the “Democratic” Socialists of America can be unaware of all this. It’s much more likely they are lying on purpose and misrepresenting completely the ideas and concepts they are claiming to represent.
One thing, at least, has become very clear. These people should not be underestimated. They do not know what they’re doing, but they are rabidly serious about doing it. It has become necessary on every level to take a thorough look at these ideas and examine their doctrines fully. If we cannot show the people why the socialists are wrong, they’re going to beat us.
The first thing to understand, in my view, is that the people who codified socialism, especially the greatest of all socialists, Karl Johann Kautsky, did not believe that social democracy would ever bring about socialism, which was envisioned as a good option for people who are living in a society that has collapsed totally and utterly. Marx himself envisioned it as more, but it wasn’t Marx who created Marxism. It was Kautsky, and he was very clear on this point. Socialism is a post-disaster plan for any democracy that has collapsed. That’s all it is.
Until then, argued Kautsky, the workers will serve their own interest best by cooperating with the capitalists of their countries and fighting within their own systems for democratic reforms. His ideas for how to do this were developed into a system, and that system became what in Europe is called Social Democracy.
In America, we just call it democracy. As for fighting for the rights of the workers, and everybody else, that is what the Democratic Party does here in America. Therefore, if you really care about the people, if the so-called “masses” are really more to you than a shapeless concept to invoke for political clout, you had better stick with the Democrats and care about keeping our party healthy.
By now it should be clear that real socialists, which is to say social democrats, and we American Democrats, are mostly in agreement about what we feel is best for society, and also in the methods that we want to use to get things done. There’s no bad blood here!
This is what the nuts will not look at. They’re still mad that Bernie lost, and so they’re still mad at the Democrats who fight for them so hard. So they call themselves “Democratic” Socialists to sling feces at the whole shebang. Little do they appear to know, that in so doing, they are undermining their entire value system.
This whole disastrous confusion in terms was the work of Bernie Sanders, who did it on purpose to cloud the issue and to deliberately befoul the Democrats and their values. His Bots still repeat these same talking points, well- Robotically! That guy and his pack of shrieking brats are the most obvious example of controlled opposition there ever was.
The key thing to keep in mind here, and what the point is, is why the divide on the left the Bernie Bots all caused was manufactured. At whose behest? To whose benefit, are these foreign actors ripping up our country? The Conservative Political Action Conference was dedicated to fighting the spread of socialism this year, but actually, they’ve been encouraging them all along.
The far left and the alt-right operated hand in hand together in 2016. Three top strategists in the anti-Clinton effort, two in Trump’s team (Paul Manafort and Rick Gates) and one in Bernie’s (Tad Devine), had been doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding fixing elections for over a decade. Bernie’s bromance with Trump is still going on all the while too. It’s like a threesome. “I like Bernie,” Trump said, with a huge and genuine smile.
You bet he does.
The thought of Bernie actually being his opponent makes Trump drool, as it does the rest of the right. Likewise Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They desire nothing so much as to paint those two as the face of the Democratic Party. But why would that be the case, if they were genuinely interested in fighting socialism? Don’t they realize that if that happened, they’d be staring down the barrel of civil war?
It doesn’t make any sense until you come across the historical truth that the right has never considered communism and the far left to be the true enemy.
They consider liberals the enemy.
That is why they are supporting the socialists, and why they will continue. It’s why Bernie Sanders suspiciously benefits from so many things the Koch brothers do, such as the study they did last year suggesting we could afford his health care plan- which costs $9 trillion dollars more than the total worth of America! It is very convenient for them to have Bernie’s crazy plans for something to point at and say “See? We told you they were crazy!”
This is not new, either. This is why Wall Street financiers paid so much money to help along the Bolshevik Revolution.
Here’s another thing from this guy Przeworski I’ve been reading, my PoliSci professor recommended him. Wherever Communism (socialism) has been an option for the people, social democracy has failed.
That is to say, wherever the rich right has paid for a cliff the far left can run off of, they will usually do so, goaded to one extremity after the next by their more fanatical comrades. That is what they are setting up for.
By now, it should be clear that this line of thinking is far more serious than the scoffers or the usual conspiracy theory (a term invented by the CIA to discredit their opponents) suspects would have us believe or suggest with their personal silliness. The socialists are insane, but the right is absolutely murderous. Those people will stop at nothing to beat us and keep power safely out of our hands because they know they can beat the socialists with the greatest and most ultimate ease. After that they can set up fascism in earnest- and fascism is itself a type of socialism. It fits together almost too well.
We all know how disingenuous and ruthless Trump and the rest of the fascist right can be; just this morning, we found out Trump was attempting to use his state power to interfere with the mergers of two private companies, AT&T and Time-Warner. Why? Because that means good things for CNN, and bad things for Rupert Murdoch of Fox News.
In addition to being a good example of how flagrantly Trump is willing to misuse his power, this incident is also a good example of what working socialism looks like. Far from getting rid of rich and poor, it merely sets up a new elite, based on party loyalty (complete with punishments reserved for those who do not enthusiastically demonstrate it, like Trump is doing to the merger for Murdoch), cronyism, and bureaucratic efficiency. Here, what Trump is doing is completely unacceptable. In a place like Russia, however, it’s just the way things are, and in the days of the Soviet Union it was official and lauded as just.
This is not what we want for America.
The difference between social democracy and Democratic Socialism is far more than merely semantical. One is an example of a working, logical, and perfectly viable way to administer the affairs of a given state. The second is a catch phrase aimed at a slander. The public needs to know, and as usual, the task of raising awareness falls to us.
As American hero G.I. Joe used to say to us Millennial Democrats when we were kids, “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.”
The name of Bernie Sanders did not appear on the ballot in a single state during the 2016 general election. But a large share of the blame for this disaster that is the current administration lies squarely on his shoulders.
The Bernie or Bust movement was a nightmare, the blatant racism and sexism shown by his campaign were a worse one. But in terms of national security, however, worst of all was the Russian support, particularly on social media, that kept his campaign alive long past the point of reason.
Using illegally acquired data from Wikileaks, emails that suggested little wrongdoing, the Russians successfully goaded Bernie, and his supporters showed his anger on the streets of Philadelphia, while inside the Democratic National Convention, Paul Simon played the first notes of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”.
Bernie’s conduct, when questioned about this, has been defensive and rude, and this reaction has added to the number of raised questions that linger to this day about where the senator stands on the shadowy foreign figures who were once involved with his campaign.
The evidence is clear that Sanders became the Ralph Nader of 2016, peeling off just enough votes from the Democratic candidate to spoil the election. All the chaos he created on the left drained just as much support away from Hillary Clinton as it took for Donald Trump to win. By this point, the proof is huge and glaring that he, and to a less well-known and effective extent, Jill Stein, allowed themselves to be used as Putin’s other puppets.
We had hoped he would be smart enough not to split the whole left by running again, but that is not going to be the case. So now that Bernie Sanders has formally declared his candidacy, a bad but not unexpected move, we’re coming across a lot of different questions regarding what manner of man he is.
Is he a socialist? Yes. He’s been calling himself a “Democratic Socialist” since the 1960’s. The word “Democratic” is not a qualifier; it is better off deleted. He means he’s a socialist, plain and simple.
Is he less than one hundred years old? We’re not sure, but he claims to be. Birth records support this claim, technically, but not by much.
Is he an escaped Walking Dead extra? No one can say for certain, either way.
All of these are good questions, and the disturbing answers to them raise serious concerns about his viability to compete in a general election. But the big questions are these. How much damage did Bernie Sanders do in 2016, and how bad were the Russians infested in his campaign apparatus?
In the three states that put Trump in the Oval Office, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, a high number of voters who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary in those states crossed over and voted for Trump in the general election.
One in ten, to be exact. We’re talking thousands of people here. Registered Democrats who went so far as to actually vote for Trump.
Is it true that he and his campaign were involved in the Russian plot to interfere with our 2016 presidential election? The one that Trump says was fake news, but was actually so real it’s truly awful?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and we’re going to make the case for it thoroughly.
Let’s start by taking a look at the Russian motive, means, and modus operandi for giving Bernie Sanders a hand against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
Motive: Vladimir Putin wanted to cost Hillary Clinton the election, by any means necessary. The most effective, obvious, and accessible ways for him to do it was to give her opponents a hand.
One of these opponents was Donald Trump, the obvious recipient of most of Putin’s goodwill. Another, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, was physically present at the infamous December of 2015 dinner meeting with former National Security Adviser and Retired General Michael Flynn. The third, and the focus of this article was Bernie Sanders, her primary opponent.
Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton have laid out the reasons for this in detail. Vladimir Putin, of course, is the multibillionaire dictator of Russia who paid for all this to take place.
Hillary Clinton strongly condemned the validity of Russia’s parliamentary elections in December of 2011. This made Putin very unhappy. He had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama.
“Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton say that Putin was personally stung by Clinton’s December 2011 condemnation of Russia’s parliamentary elections, and had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama. They say Putin and his advisers are also keenly aware that, even as she executed Obama’s “reset” policy with Russia, Clinton took a harder line toward Moscow than others in the administration. And they say Putin sees Clinton as a forceful proponent of “regime change” policies that the Russian leader considers a grave threat to his own survival.”
“He was very upset [with Clinton] and continued to be for the rest of the time that I was in government,” said Michael McFaul, who served as the top Russia official in Obama’s national security council from 2009 to December 2011 and then was U.S. ambassador to Moscow until early 2014. “One could speculate that this is his moment for payback.”
He ended up getting it, but not without a lot of domestic help. It came from the far left, and it came from the alt-right, suggesting strongly what we strongly believe: The alt-right and the far left are one.
A spokesperson for the publication told Town and Country Magazine that was because they haven’t been able to figure it out. “While Forbes has been able to track money tied to Putin’s allies, we have not been able to come up with a defensible, provable estimate of his net worth.”
For a guy like this, throwing a few tens or even hundreds of millions into manipulating the elections of other countries to make them more amenable to Russian interests is nothing. It would almost be strange if he didn’t do it.
Putin has paid for “destability” campaigns worldwide. The far right is not alone among radicals in getting plenty of Russian assistance. The far left, which has shown just as strong a resurgence as its counterpart since the Great Recession happened, is also getting more than its fair share. Russia, it seems, is never short of rubles to spend on troublemaking.
Director of the Political Capital Institute Peter Kreko has been recently involved in research regarding this matter. He concluded two facts about the intentions of Putin. First, that he is becoming the frontman of a worldwide anti-human rights movement, and second, that he is investing in, stirring up, and inciting radicals on both ends of the spectrum that are trying to “sabotage democracy in Europe”.
Kreko describes Russian tactics focused on destabilizing the EU and advancing Moscow’s ideology. This includes supporting parties and candidates on the margins, such as Bernie Sanders, or Jill Stein and the Green Party.
In America, we are experiencing many problems with so-called progressives who are still insisting, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that keeps piling up, that “the Russia thing” is simply a distraction from the main issue, that in their view being how the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders (it didn’t). These people are doing the entire human race a grand disservice.
By turning a blind eye to the machinations of the most nakedly aggressive power to arise in the world since Hitler’s Third Reich, for the sake of stoking a petty grudge, they are in fact helping to make possible the same specific chaotic social conditions that in the past allowed far-right populist movements like Germany’s National Socialism to thrive.
They don’t understand that they are being duped by people who long ago grew cynical and full of boredom regarding the sorts of dreams and theories Bernie Sanders is espousing. After all, they invented most of it, and more a hundred years ago.
The left’s affiliation with the Kremlin can be explained better via the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle. Marx long taught that Communists should make any such alliances as are helpful toward the ultimate goal of dissolving the State. Russia’s state-controlled economy, which promises to keep “big capital” in check, has proved attractive as a model for many anti-capitalists.
Democratic Socialists, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have clearly labeled themselves as anti-capitalist. This would have made them extremely valuable to Soviet propagandists working from inside the KGB. It still does.
Modus Operandi: Hiring hackers to spread dirt and lies around to influence elections is part of the Russian toolkit. The 2016 plan was not a new strategy, but rather a direct descendant of the original Cheka Disinformation Office, founded by “Iron” Felix Dzherzhinsky in 1923. Working both ends of the radical spectrum, left and right, to destabilize the interior of an enemy country. That is what they do.
Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has a researcher named Ben Buchanan working for them, also a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The focus of his research lies in examining how nations use their capabilities for attack and espionage in cyberspace against one another and examining the strategies that drive this usage. His words in their unaltered form may help to shed some light.
“There is a demonstrated pattern of Russian cyber operations stretching back several decades. One major early case, dating from the late 1990s, is commonly referred to as Moonlight Maze. In that case, Russian hackers penetrated a wide range of American networks for espionage purposes. Since then, Russian cyber operations have continued to expand greatly, hacking into key military, political, and economic institutions.”
“These operations show adeptness in several ways. Perhaps most significant is that they demonstrate how the Russians have developed new digital methods to accomplish old tasks. A series of espionage cases show the Russian aptitude for gathering information using computer hacking. The 2007 attack on Estonia and 2008 attack on Georgia are an exhibit of how Russia uses cyber operations against democratic states. Though we have somewhat less information about it, the 2015 blackout in Ukraine—the first ever publicly known case of a power outage caused by cyber-attack—shows the potency of cyber-attacks that appear to be Russian in origin. And the 2016 election interference demonstrates that the Russians have married their longstanding history of influence operations with their more recently developed capacity for hacking.” -With thanks to the Wilson Center.
The particulars of how these political digital influence campaigns worked out in practice in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary will be only too memorial to any Democratic activist who was around in 2016. We’ve included an anecdote that sums up what they were trying for precisely.
Around September 14 in 2016, for example, one “account specialist” of a Russian-controlled Facebook group called “Secured Borders” was reprimanded for having a “low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton.”
The specialist was also told, “it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton.”
Later on, Russian operatives used accounts they controlled — including an account called “Woke Blacks” and “Blacktivist” — to urge Americans to vote for third-party candidates or not to vote at all. “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein,” one such message read. “Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.”
Not for Russia, anyway.
No, indeed, Donald Trump was not the only candidate the Russians tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign. One other name was mentioned specifically. Senator Bernard Sanders, I-VT. The Mueller indictments of a year ago offer solid confirmation of what we have been saying all along. The specific mention of Trump and Sanders shows that the Russian government decided early on to oppose Clinton.
A personal anecdote, that I’ll admit to having shared before. The editor of Millennial Democrats was online alongside legions of others, out there for HRC from 2015 onward, every day, for many hours. Anyone who was there back then can tell you. It can be stated categorically that there was a tangible, palpable disinformation campaign going on against Hillary Clinton. It worked, too. The Bernie Bots truly hated us, and their viciousness knew no bounds at all.
It still doesn’t.
In my experience, this blog and its affiliate Millennial Democrats Facebook Pages and Millennial Democrats Twitter account, which is a fifty state plus nationwide apparatus, has been attacked by Trump trolls maybe one out of ten in the ratio of how often it has been attacked by Bernie trolls. This has little to do with what side of the country we are talking about. It goes right across the board.
I’ve written in a 3 to 1 ratio of pieces targeting the right rather than the far left, although it is my deeply-held conviction and the conclusion pointed to by evidence that they are the same entity. But even when the week of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is taken into account this remains true. Any moderate Democratic activist online will tell you the same.
You would go into groups and talk to people, who were steadfast in their refusal to listen far beyond the bounds of reason or even fanaticism. These guys were professionals.
It was like they were getting paid per response. They all seemed to be equipped with the same list of hit points about Hillary Clinton. This became clear after a while because the very same slanders would be laid out every time, in sequential order. In many cases the wording was actually identical, although most took the time to switch about at least a thing or two. And they were just as prevalent on the left as on the right.
It got especially bad during the last month of the Democratic primary, which was a very horrible time filled with chaos and division.
During this time, we were savagely attacked. Anything we posted would be Reported as Spam/Abuse by political adversaries from both the alt-right and radical left. We were barraged with nasty messages and threats; as a matter of fact, we continue to get them. They just keep rolling in, day after day, month piled on top of month. It’s called gaslighting; they want to wear you down so you give up.
One particularly rabid group of Bernie Sanders supporters told one of our contributors that they hoped she was gang-raped.
The list is long, sick, and sordid. Drop by drop, it has convinced us to take an unequivocal stance of #NeverBernie– and stick to it.
During the 2016 electoral cycle itself, nobody wanted to listen. Most Bernie supporters still will not listen; many today will actually go so far as to claim that Russia is participating in the campaign against Bernie.
This is the equivalent of a mugger calling for help as he snatches an old lady’s purse.
“Looks like we finally know for sure why Bernie would not vote to sanction Russia,” I wrote at the time, still in a state of shock at just how surreal it was for Bernie to reinforce all this by being one of two senators who refused to pass the bill for new sanctions in 2017.
He just called in sick for the vote to lift sanctions on close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company recently. And this from a guy who very rarely misses work. Of the new crop of presidential candidates, only Elizabeth Warren has missed fewer votes than Bernie.
Bernie’s people have never wanted him to touch “the Russia thing”, and most even to this day will make claims about how “it’s not all about Russia” and we need to “Talk about the issues”. They want to laugh it off, even while when it comes time to talk about what Trump was doing. This is hypocritical. When Trump does it, it’s a big threat. But when Bernie does it, it’s as though it is just a little fun.
This gives you a look at how it was back then. It’s a Russian Twitter account called “Missouri News” (@MissouriNewsUS), which sent out pictures of Sanders and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with the line “Bernie Sanders is basically a New Deal Democrat, #feeltheBern.”
Our entire intelligence community unanimously agrees that they’re targeting us. We know that they’ve been able to get malware into our power grids. We know also that they’re considered a complete menace in Europe, where they have demonstrated their ability to turn off the lights on huge swathes of Ukraine and take Estonia offline completely. But Bernie will not talk about it, so they simply will not look at it.
They will physically squirm in real life conversations. They remind me of Fox News devotees.
“A guy who was on my staff … checked it out and he went to the Clinton campaign, and he said, ‘You know what? I think these guys are Russians,’” Sanders said.
A former Clinton campaign staffer told Politico it was nonsense that Sanders’ campaign had reached out to Clinton’s about potential Russian interference. “No one from the Sanders campaign ever contacted us about this” — not in September, and not in “April and May.”
They never said or did a thing of that nature. Nothing of the sort ever happened. Not once. Not even after Bernie had offered his weak, half-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
Guy on your staff, eh, Bernie? And just to think. All of this is before we’ve even mentioned Tad Devine.
Devine was Bernie’s chief campaign strategist, the most senior of advisers to the 2016 Sanders campaign. He was also the good friend and colleague of decades of Paul Manafort, who at the same time was running the Trump campaign. Devine was the first witness called at Manafort’s trial. Here is a picture of Tad Devine with Paul Manafort and the man suspected to be his contact within Russian intelligence, Konstantin Kilimnik, himself wanted by Mueller’s team for questioning and likely more.
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank did a piece at the time, titled “The Deep Cynicism of Bernie Sanders’ Chief Strategist“. It pointed out how during his run as chief strategist for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Devine was always the first to scream and howl about the corrupting influence of money in politics. He said “our economy is rigged,” that “special interests” buy politicians, that “all of the new wealth is going to the top of America,” that there is a “corrupt system of campaign finance” of which Hillary Clinton offered an “egregious” example.
Sanders, by contrast, “supported the little guy.”
But as we know by now, Devine had worked repeatedly to secure the election of one of the world’s most corrupt political figures and then his allies, Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych, a crooked pro-Putin autocrat.
Thanks to Mueller’s prosecution of Paul Manafort, who earlier this weekend saw a heavily redacted- to the tune of eight hundred pages- sentencing memo presented to the court on his behalf, the former Trump campaign chairman and business associate of Devine, we now have the glimpse of Devine’s possible role in organizing Russian help for Bernie.
Though he is hardly the first to grab cash from foreign leaders, the ease Devine had in making the switch from cold-blooded profiteer strategist to social reformer firebrand strategist seems reptilian to us in the very extreme. It’s exactly that type of bold callousness that the Russians would look for in an asset.
Tad Devine is a figure of great interest in the Russiagate investigation, in our opinion. We’ve been expecting the special counsel assigned by the Justice Department to look into Russian meddling in our 2016 election cycle, Robert Mueller, to get around to him sooner or later.
Put it this way: If Manafort is the key to understanding exactly what the Russians were doing for Trump, and Kilimnik is the key to understanding what Manafort did for the Russians, then Devine, their old friend, is the key to what the Russians were doing for Bernie. He is by far the most likely connection between the Russians and the Sanders campaign. It is our view that this connection has not been explored anywhere near thoroughly enough, and we encourage our readers to write in with what they know. We would make responsible use of it.
Radio Free Europe provides some light on the situation by providing a March 31, 2014 email from Tad Devine to Rick Gates, who in 2016 was the chief aide to Manafort, and later became a star witness against him.
There we find that Devine was the one to write Yanukovych’s 2010 victory speech. That detail was found attached to his email to Gates, in the form of a draft agreement for Manafort’s firm to work on another Ukrainian’s campaign.
That all these people know each other so well cannot be a coincidence. No wonder Trump the other day said “I like Bernie”, all atwinkle in his smiling eyes.
By the time the Fourth of July rolled around in 2016, the Federal Election Commission had repeatedly contacted the Sanders campaign with warnings that hundreds of his donors exceeded the $2,700 contribution limit. They further warned him that hundreds more may have been foreign nationals illegally giving Sanders money. The Sanders campaign, however, did not take any action.
It bears repeating that it’s a very convenient coincidence, that three of the top strategists who ran against Hillary Clinton has been doing Putin’s bidding in this capacity for longer than a decade.
Last Thursday afternoon there was a meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the subject of Russian meddling into our 2016 election cycle.
During it, Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, said that Russian operatives targeted both liberal and conservative voters in its disinformation campaigns during the 2016 election.
Democratic committee co-chair Sen. Mark Warner (VA) asked the panel if they had any doubt that Russia had attempted to interfere in some aspects of the 2016 election. Alexander said not only did he have no doubt, he could get very specific.
“Senator, I think what they were trying to do was drive a wedge within the Democratic Party between the Clinton group and the Sanders group,” said Alexander. This seems clear at this point to everyone but the willfully uninformed and the fanatically indoctrinated (and disingenuous Republican and other conservatives/libertarians).
The supporters of Bernie Sanders were ruthlessly taken advantage of by the Russians, who used their genuine zeal and idealism as a hammer for smashing Democratic unity to bits. They were duped by false information that came from within the Kremlin itself, and thus unwittingly became Putin’s other puppets.
The man who was in the best position to act as a conduit between the headquarters of the Sanders campaign and the Kremlin was Tad Devine.
This picture provides a vivid reminder of what Democratic activists on Facebook and Twitter have been warning everyone about in the direst of terms since 2015, namely, that the Bernie Sanders campaign was just as lousy with Russian entanglements as the Trump campaign was.
Devine may well hold an important piece of the puzzle here, which undoubtedly lies within the Sanders campaign. As Robert Mueller continues his journey to this discovery, our prayers will be with him.
By now this article has grown to prodigious length, and we applaud the reader who has followed the line all the way home. In his Rise of the Roman Empire, the ancient Greek Polybius said that the most important reason to learn history is so you have a chance to make good predictions about what may happen in the future. Russian interference is heating up for 2020 like never before, Trump has given no funding to the new national cyber-coordinator job, which basically leaves us on our own again, and we’ve got to be prepared for new forms of the same old tricks. Check out our article on Defense for Democrats.
Since this electoral cycle began, Sanders supporters have been joined and even overshadowed by the Tulsi Gabbard trolls.
One allied group of our friends recently created a Facebook page, Tulsi Gabbard Must Go. It’s been around all of a month, and yet, hundreds of trolls have fallen on it since then, like wild dogs. Some of them have shown up to troll the blog, also, like this charming lady.
Lisa Wolf Edit
This wasn’t written by a millennial. This was obviously written by a neo-liberal, 3rd Way Baby Boomer and stinks of David Brock. Reply
As for David Brock, we have good things to say about him and every other dedicated Democrat, but we don’t personally know the guy. What I will say, is that I like the smell of my hair pomade. The pleasing fragrance is half the point.
Getting back to Tulsi and Bernie and the rest of the fake left, none of this is very surprising. They’re collecting paychecks for it. Check out the amount of fake activity that accompanies everything she tweets. Keep in mind, Twitter is fighting this. Facebook is not. There are two billion people using Facebook. How incomparably worse must it be!
From this, we can see that the fake left has found a new stronghold in Bernie’s close ally.
Going forward, raising awareness on all this will become more and more important, and although the story is long and multifaceted, the narrative is clear throughout. Russia and Vladimir Putin were definitely feeling the Bern. Look for them to feel him some more as we head into the next presidential cycle.
Sometimes you run up against a situation that is very complicated, in this world of ours. There are many grey areas, many ambiguities, many matters that require clarification. By the time you get done explaining them all, you’ve practically written a book.
But there are also times when you run into something that is simple enough to explain with a single word, or perhaps two- like these words.
That could be the end of the article. It genuinely could. I strongly considered publishing then and there, so that no one misses our meaning, but at least a few words of explanation might be helpful. So let’s try this one again.
NEVER BERNIE. Not ever. No matter what, it’s too obvious a setup to plug into. Did you see how Trump’s eyes twinkled the other day? I like Bernie, he said, smiling as big and genuinely as I’ve ever seen. He looked like a man who sees a foregone conclusion looming above him. He looked like Richard Nixon, facing George McGovern.
Yesterday the Bern raised six million dollars fundraising, screamed the enthusiastic Bernie Bots, like young lambs that haven’t seen the knife yet. Isn’t that great?
Great for who?
Of course, he did, was my reply. The Kochs invested nearly nine hundred million dollars into building a political machine so big it consumed the Republican Party. This is how it’s reaping dividends. This is why they needed all their dark money. Now they can fund the opposition themselves without anyone seeing it. “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves,” said the hero of all socialists, Vladimir Lenin of Russia.
Best of all, they can come on here and demoralize us by throwing around those numbers.
Later Wednesday, Trump made his own fund-raising pitch. He sent around a text message to all of his supporters, telling them about the $6 million that “Socialist Bernie” had raised.
“Now I’m calling on you to CRUSH that number,” the message said. For the average political strategist, this may all be rather confusing, but to a pro wrestling fan like Donald Trump, it’s simple as can be. A simple game of Heel vs. Hero.
In professional wrestling, a heel is a wrestler who portrays a villain or a “bad guy” and acts as an antagonist to the heroes- the protagonists, or “good guy” characters. They get in each other’s faces, scream and point and gesticulate wildly, and make a big production out of being each other’s enemies. The adoring audience loves the show, even as their hearts tell them the truth.
It’s all fake.
Hero, heel, and audience. On television, those people look like they’re having fun. It is our opinion that Trump and Bernie supporters are loving this. It’s all about the attention they’re getting. This is all a big game, to them.
You know who it’s not a game to?
Him, and real Democrats.
While this whole zoo spins a tale that grows more ridiculous by the very hour, the professionals in the locker room of the center are stubbornly holding on to the idea of eventually restoring sanity to our country and stopping the wrestling match short of a full-on civil war, which like a World Championship, you can’t lose by way of disqualification.
You’ve got to get pinned.
My personal trouble with Bernie, from the very start, has been the sheer unrealisticness surrounding him. His supporters were a shrieking mob; they rioted in the streets when they lost. No way was the zombie apocalypse the Bernie Or Bust crew paid out in Philadelphia that night in July 2016 what the majority of America looks like. His socialist policies were a disaster; Medicare for All alone, as he conceived it, would have had the country $32 trillion dollars. Margaret Thatcher asked this question long ago about socialism- How do you pay for it?
He himself wore that blue clown suit around, like a shambling disaster, and was nearly eighty years old besides. Jesus God.
These were the things I noticed when it all first began. I had no feelings about the guy other than that in the beginning, he was just some random name, like Martin O’ Malley, the other also-ran from that year’s terrible primary. I had serious concerns about his ability to win in a general election, and I didn’t think he had a prayer against Hillary Clinton. But I had no reason to form a particular about him one way or the other until I saw how ugly his supporters were going to get in attacking our candidate, and how little he would do to put that in check.
Conservatives were overjoyed when Bernie entered the race. He gave them just what they’ve been wanting all this time- a just cause to say Democrats are socialists and cast all this as our brand. It was just like how overjoyed they were at this Green New Deal, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to allow a vote on!
He told Jeff Flake last year that he wouldn’t allow a vote on legislation being passed to protect Robert Mueller’s investigation last year on the grounds that it was a waste of time, even though it probably would have actually passed, because it wouldn’t pass the House. He knew for a fact there’s not going to be a Green New Deal getting out of a Republican Senate- and yet, the same guy who was so concerned about minutes on the clock last year allows a vote on it!
Why? Because he wants to see who might actually be dumb enough to sign on.
Whoever does has no political future, especially if Bernie does get his chance to pull a Walter Mondale. He might win Vermont. His movement resembles a bowel. People will never forget the beating he takes.
We at Millennial Democrats would like to say to all of you: Fear not, you guys. The worst that can happen to us politically short of Dachau USA already has. It happened when HRC was robbed. The worst thing now would only be for the neoprogs to get their chance to play McGovern. They’ll get whipped, Russiagate will either spare us part of Donald’s second term or it won’t, and we will go on doing the most good we can for the most people we can until the day when better times finally come.
Besides which, that will never happen anyway. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, even Elizabeth Warren. Someone will beat him in the primary, even though we don’t know who yet. Our chance will come along, the right leader will arise, and we will have a candidate able to beat Donald Trump. The Blue Wave 2018 was only the prelude for 2020, especially in the Congress.
The most important thing in a good philosophy is the strength it gives you to hold fast to your principles regardless of the temporal situation. It’s like how clouds can’t cover stars for long. I believe we will find a way. We just have to remain determined and United. When it all goes to the dogs for them, they’ll be able to come to us, and we’ll take them back in without a single word of recrimination, save these two alone.
The process by which we look through the past records of our candidates is called vetting, and when it comes to Bernie Sanders the mainstream media has not been doing it. Please give us a hand! Write in to the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and anyone else you can think of, and tell them you want to see Bernie Sanders vetted. They will know what you mean. Just earlier today it came out that he has picked Nina Turner to run his campaign. She went with Stein after him and urged her supporters to do either that or vote for Trump outright. Picking Turner is as clear a sign as you could ever want or ask for that he’s going to run the same old ugly race as he always has. NEVER BERNIE. No matter what.