We are living in a political landscape that is currently dissolving, and as it does every day presents new questions, fundamental and human in their nature, some completely new. As they do, we need to separate, observe, and classify them. Dissolution in chemistry means the breaking down of complex compounds into their basic particles. Scientists use this technique as a way to collect feedback and data based on the contents of the issue, and that’s exactly what we have got to do. All of us, not just this or that candidate’s supporters. We have to sort out what kind of a position we are dealing with before we can chart a good strategy, and that is going to take us all.
Bernie Sanders, the self-professed “Democratic” socialist, has become the one Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential race who’d be unacceptable to nearly every Democrat, according to a recent set of polls. When asked, “Are there any presidential candidates that you would be disappointed if they became the Democratic nominee?”, 21 percent of those polled responded Sanders. That same poll has him losing now not only to Joe Biden but Elizabeth Warren too.
Apparently, Bernie Bros aren’t representative of the country’s views, even though they can shout so loud behind keyboards.
Who would have ever guessed?
Back in 2016, nobody knew Bernie well enough to say for certain what is now an inexorable fact, namely, that the man is truly unthinkable in the context of the United States president. Nearly thirty years in the Senate has yielded little more than two renamed post offices.
Thank the Lord God above, thought I, upon seeing these polls. At least people have finally woken up about one of the many vile former residents of the neo-Pandora’s Box that is the Trump era. Seeing Bern crash, the one man without whom none of this could have been possible has been the one really good thing on our entire political spectrum. Everything else is just tragedy and chaos, the whole miserable world is on the brink, it’s far from only here. In France, Marine Le Pen is leading Macron in the polls. This is a complete disgrace.
It’s been a long couple of years and no mistake. There’s not a single person in my life doing any kind of well in the slightest way. More than one of these, I am exceedingly sorry to say- like, really, sorry in the absolute extreme- are people I went to school with that bought into Bernie or Bust. They haven’t learned, either. One girl I know who voted Stein in the end just got fired from the Dollar Tree. Prettiest girl in the school, back in the day. God, how depressing.
I remember how hard I tried three years ago to tell people how it would be. Every front will be one on which we’re going to get assaulted, every day will be a fresh indignity, every right we have will be up for libertarian grabs, and every person in the country will soon be broke. They just didn’t care. You couldn’t speak to them. And when they were done, they did all they could to just blend right back in among the real anti-Trump Resistance.
Now, look at us.
Being right is one lousy consolation prize, but it is what it is. How do you like Bust, Bernie fans? Bust is here! We are living and wallowing in Bust, like pigs in slop! Are you really still naive enough to think Bernie Sanders can fix it? He hardly makes sense when he talks! This whole thing would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. “Curse God and die,” said the wife of Job, who refused.
It’s clear to me Job must have been a Democrat.
They’re saying the 2020 recession‘s going to come next year, but it really seems to me it’s here already. The stock market is showing signs of crashing. Gas prices are up by a dollar a gallon. Productivity is not terrible but the people never see it. The economists can run around with all the fancy words like “macroeconomics” they can find, but they can’t make it so people aren’t broke. When they say the economy is good, they just mean that most people have jobs. This standard terminology ignores the question of how much those jobs pay, or which classes of society reap the gains.
But you won’t find that out by watching Fox News.
Wages are rising too slowly compared to the cost of living, which means the monopolists and not the workers are to capture the gains from productivity growth. Lower productivity also means less wealth available for the government to redistribute.
In other words, economists and commentators are calling the economy “great” because that’s what they’re used to doing. They just mean that most people have jobs. In fact, it’s a very real problem faced by people in America today, a serious problem that requires a serious solution.
How in the heck is it possible for anyone to conclude the shambling wreck we saw blathering about Franklin Roosevelt on TV Wednesday night is the man to handle it?
The point of having a State of any kind is to protect and administer well the resources possessed by the nation. Bernie doesn’t understand this, which is why his whole speech was so depressing to watch. Some of his ideas are similar to ours, some are blatant thefts, all are ill-explained and murkily conceived of. It’s just a disgrace.
Readers of this blog will not generally need reminders about why we all came together. A new entity arose online in 2016, on Facebook and elsewhere, one financed by a hostile foreign power and infiltrated by extremists from the left and right alike. Robert Mueller’s report stated clearly that the Sanders campaign was “central” to the Russian plot. We were woefully behind and unprepared compared to the opposition. Now we’re not, and that’s the one thing we’ve got going for us.
We’ve spent a lot of time since then vetting Bernie, and helping people to understand how insincere and ugly his whole crusade really was. People are listening, too. Bernie is now not only behind Joe Biden in the polls, either. Sincere progressives, serious ones, have begun to coalesce behind Elizabeth Warren, which is fine. Will they end up winning some liberals over to their plans?
If they make sense, of course, they will!
Traditionally, we’ve taken the side of the moderates when writing of Democratic politics. But progressive ideas are a big part of our time-honored Warren was not an enemy back in 2016. She did not fall for the “Run Warren Run” scam the year before, an attempt on the part of Bern’s eventual financers to hamstring Hillary Clinton using another female candidate- they chose Bernie instead! He wasn’t even their first choice. Warren was, and if it ends up being her in the end, she can sure count on my wholehearted support against Trump.
Why? Among many other reasons, I believe she’d do a better job handling economy and infrastructure. So would Joe Biden, obviously. Kamala Harris is a Senator, Pete Buttigieg speaks seven languages, and so on. These are people who could perform the tasks this country needs better than Donald Trump could. All of them are acceptable.
On the other hand, look at Bernie. Just look at him! That blue clown suit! “To me, democratic socialism means democracy, basically,” he said once, hilariously enough. He has got to know what he’s doing, by conflating our system constantly with one of left-wing dictatorship, but what of it? Taking a dump on the lawn is what he does.
The other night’s speech was all about hearing Bernie out while he finally finished giving a coherent definition of the “democratic” socialism he’s been telling us about for all these years.
His supporters do not know what socialism is, and their habit of using the term imprecisely has caused a tremendous confusion on the topic, and everyone has been very excited to hear what he was going to say to clarify.
Those who were expecting something new was to be disappointed entirely. It was the same tired stump speech from one rally after another back then.
We’ve covered this before, on this blog, but thanks to the good old Bern, here we go again.
Socialism and social democracy are just not the same things at all, period. They’re not even kind of the same. They’re really not even alike, except for the letters their names share. The whole misunderstanding is just a mess that Bernie made. It’s a deliberate and destructive confusion in terms. Nothing more.
The difference between social democracy and “democratic” socialism is what its advocates want to do to harness capitalism, e.g. the power source known as the free market.
One of these recommends upkeeping and protecting it, the other wants to light it all on fire.
The former advocates a tempering of capitalism’s harshness with a social safety net. The latter consider it broken already and intends to make sure it’s broke some more. Darn broke, in fact. Wielding the hammer is Bernie’s plan.
The progressive section of the community has two halves, like any other. There’s the rational and serious half, and there’s the Bernie or Busters.
The former knows that social democracy is the term in Europe used to describe adherents of a governmental system designed to augment and improve market-based, democratic societies using techniques derived from socialist theories, e.g the social safety net that gives American citizens the right to basic health care.
The latter want to pretend its whole deal means making the United States just like Norway and Sweden, but those are capitalist countries that protect the free market and recognize its importance. They are free people, like Americans who lived before the Trump era (according to the World Freedom Index, we haven’t been a full democracy since Trump took office), and they have stated over and over again that Bernie is wrong and that they resent his “socialist slurs”.
Bernie Sanders was lucky to be able to get to the Soviet Union in 1988 and praise all its stunning socialist achievements before the entire system and empire collapsed under the weight of its own spectacular failures. pic.twitter.com/bENmwVKi0g
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) February 25, 2019
Left-wing socialist countries like Venezuela, the Soviet Union, and North Korea use the markets as well, but they treat their citizens like captives and place bureaucrats in the places of businessmen. They create captive markets that monopoly capitalists can exploit. Capitalism per se is not the problem. It’s just a power source. The problem is the cancerous appendix it’s developed, the branch we call monopoly capitalism.
It isn’t like the left never has any good ideas or makes any good observations, and this excellent term is one of them. It was Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union, who first argued that laissez-faire capitalism had mutated into monopoly capitalism after World War One, and that the free market was now an illusion. Our answer is that this goes too far, the free market does exist, and the limits of human power often manifest in our inability to control it. But it certainly has gotten sick. We’ve been seeing this more and more in the last few decades.
So make no mistake- Bernie Sanders is one hundred percent right to be talking about economic inequality in the United States. It’s a HUGE problem, and we will figure something out about it. The first step is to know just what we’re dealing with. In that aspect, Bernie is in some ways a bigger hindrance than Trump himself. Confusion swirls after every word he says.
Sanders has made a contribution to humanity by getting people worried about this. It’s just that in refusing to talk about the role the left wing has played in the degenerating of our global order, he is deliberately blinding himself and his people to a critical half of how the whole thing has come to work. Left-wing and right-wing aren’t that important to guys like Putin and the Koch Brothers. They will finance any ideology if it helps them achieve their goals of world domination; a critical component of fascism. The threat is two-pronged, and one head is not less dangerous than the other, big talk from one about helping the “masses” notwithstanding.
The socialist powerbrokers, like Raul Castro or Nicolas Maduro, eat like kings themselves off the deals they do with the capitalists they despise. Left-wing dictatorship is no less loathsome than right-wing dictatorship, and all dictatorships today are totalitarian, meaning Stalin and not the Tsar, for example. But Sanders didn’t talk about them.
We’re in trouble here.
It certainly is true that right-wing type dictatorships are badly on the rise. Sanders was right to bring up Hungary’s Viktor Orban, for example. That’s the guy who came up with the model they all want to use, to get rid of democracy using democratic means. It was disgusting when Trump invited him to speak over here last month.
But why not Nicolas Maduro? Wouldn’t the Venezuelan example have been worth mentioning, as a way for the Bern to establish himself as a thoughtful, generous-minded future crafter of American policy? Would that not have been a good time for a concession statement? The display he made the other night was disgracefully unserious. My English 1A teacher would have failed him. The rubric we use would have done him like a chainsaw.
Sanders didn’t want to talk about Maduro because he calls himself a “democratic” socialist, which suits his agenda. That is unforgivably misleading and deceptive. Bernie owed it to the people to show us he understands that dictatorship of any flavor is equally horrible and wrong. In the timeless accusation of the Big Lebowski, he completely failed to achieve. Sure, Jair Bolsonaro’s presidential victory in Brazil was and is troubling in the utmost. But Venezuela also is collapsing! The crisis on the southern border is largely due to the failure of socialism!
The Trump administration can and should be justly reviled for the methods they have used to deal with the problem, as locking little children in dog cages cannot be considered right no matter what the circumstances are, but they didn’t cause it. This willingness to ignore the other side of the problem was the primary fallacy of his blind-in-one-eye argument, as presented on CNN the other night. It has been all along.
Going forward, look for Bernie’s name recognition and past enthusiasm to fade in comparison to the plans and viable paths to solutions offered by other candidates.
You can’t even squeeze blood from a turnip, let alone a viable political theory we can build a working system from. St. Bernard is not Karl Marx.
If we ever need a President of Post Office Renamers, Bern, we’ll give you a call.
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?
The question of just how big of an effect did the Sanders campaign have on the final election can be gauged by looking at how bad he hurt her in the swing states where American elections are decided. Take a look at these numbers from 2016 Democratic primary exit polls taken from West Virginia- not a swing state, but dramatic and indicatory nonetheless.
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.
Means: Vladimir Putin may well be the richest man on Earth, by some estimates having more money than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos combined. He more then had the means to pull off a job like this.
Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he believes the Russian president is “the richest man in the world” with a net worth of $200 billion.
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.”
“Everything that belongs to the territory of the Russian Federation Putin considers to be his,” exiled Russian banker Sergei Pugachev told the Guardian (Pugachev once earned the nickname “Putin’s banker.”) He said that “any attempt to calculate [Putin’s net worth] won’t succeed. He’s the richest person in the world until he leaves power.”
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 37-page indictment resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation makes it clear. Russian nationals and businesses definitely worked to boost the campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party nominee Jill Stein in an effort to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton, even as they did the same thing to Trump’s Republican opponents on the right.
The Russians “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump,” according to the indictment, which was issued a year ago in February.
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.
Unbelievably, he claimed he couldn’t show up for the Deripaska vote because he was meeting with the women who accused his campaign of sexual misconduct. Even the most rabid and dishonest and insane penner of political hit pieces could not make this stuff up. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
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.
Although it has been very hard for Sanders followers to face this, it is our opinion that Devine too was working with the Russians and that Sanders most likely knew he was getting help from Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton. That help came in some very strange ways.
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.
One of the letters they wrote him flagged more than 1,500 questionable donors. Soon after, Tad Devine was paid almost a million dollars in one month by the Bernie Sanders campaign.
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.
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.
It is not without a sense of disappointment that we recognize the newly famous Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic Socialist and ideological successor of Bernie Sanders, has decided to be a liability. We’ve written highly of her in the past. She had some good points to make, but in the process of trying to make them, she has gotten in her own way badly, and in everyone else’s way, too. She has endeavored to make herself a nuisance in every way she can, and the Republicans, of course, are completely overjoyed.
At last, they’ve got someone tangible to point at and yell “See? See? We told you they all were socialists! We told you they all were crazy! That right there is the face of the Democratic Party!”
Let us be blunt and unequivocal- Ocasio-Cortez is far from the face of our party. Very far. We’re not socialists at all. We’re the ones on the front lines of the battle against socialism. The Republicans are the ones who incite and encourage the socialists, in order to disrupt and uncoordinate Democrats. That’s why Donald Trump sided with Bernie Sanders in 2016.
Our thoughts were that she should be given a chance, even though most things about her were far-left and radical. Ocasio came into all our lives by primarying out one of the best guys we had in Joe Crowley, which of course is horrible, and she’s a Democratic Socialist, which is to say, an extremely confused socialist. But even so, we gave her a chance. We congratulated her on her victory, we wrote an article giving her the proper respect she has earned. She ran a heck of a campaign, by every metric, and she is, after all, a Millennial Democrat. We did our best to keep an open mind.
Who knows, we said. Maybe she won’t turn out to be so bad. She does seem smart enough. Maybe she is. Let’s reserve judgment for the time being.
Then she opened her mouth.
Conservative news and opinion site The Daily Caller ran a contest over it. “Vote On The Dumbest Thing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Has Said So Far.”
Now, this hurt us, because all of us are Democrats, and we all want the same kinds of things. We need our allies and our bright minds. Although her wing of the left and ours are often rivals, we are not enemies, and it brings no joy to report on her failings. But we all need to show discipline, represent ourselves to advantage, and realize that whatever we say will reflect on the Democratic Party as a whole.
Ocasio-Cortez is not getting that. And that Daily Caller article ate it up.
They showed her doing an interview with MSNBC’s fantastic Joy Reid, who has had her own problems with the far left. It yielded some remarks that can only be described as gems.
“Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family.”
Politifact ruled in on this one right away. “Americans aren’t working more today than they have been in the recent past. The average number of hours worked in the private sector has hugged tightly to about 34.5 hours a week since 2006, except for a dip during the Great Recession.”
In the very same Joy Reid interview, she blasted this out too, when she said she was in favor of an assault-weapons ban.
“I think that many members of our military need to go through years of training in order to have access to these weapons, and the idea that a 17-year-old can walk into a shop and get one, I think, is unacceptable.”
Seventeen? Federal law prohibits anybody under the age of 18 from legally buying guns, automatic or otherwise.
Around the same time, she appeared on the reboot of Firing Line. Conservative host Margaret Hoover asked her to explain her stance on Israel. The question left Ocasio-Cortez completely baffled. She began to talk about things that don’t exist, like the Israeli “Occupation of Palestine.”
Hoover pounced. “Would you like to expand on that?” she said with utter glee.
“I’m no expert on geopolitics,” said Ocasio-Cortez. Well, if that is the case, then what in God’s holy name are you doing in the government of a global superpower? This kind of thing is really a disgrace. If you don’t have the tools for the job, don’t apply for it.
“We’re gonna flip this seat red in November,”, she said in July during a rally.
Good thing for her it was the Year of the Democratic Woman.
The first time I heard someone use the term “Sarah Palin of the left”, it was in passing. Sarah Palin, of course, was the infamous 2008 running mate of Republican John McCain, then-governor of Alaska who liked to talk and quickly became a superstar- until she put her foot in her mouth, and kept it there.
I was walking down the hallway of the local library, and I heard a group of people laughing and pointing at a picture. “She’s the Sarah Palin of the left,” said one woman. “That’s the face of the Democratic Party now, guys!” yelled another man present, joyfully.
The face on the screen, of course, was that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The headline was from RealClear Politics, and it pleaded our case eloquently.
Lieberman: If Ocasio-Cortez Is “The New Face of The Democratic Party,” Party Doesn’t Have “Bright Future”
No doubt. We might not have a future at all, if that’s the face of the party. What a mess, I thought. What a total and complete disaster.
A while back, we did an article about a guy named Don Blankenship, a major felon whose greed and sloven got twenty-nine people killed in a tragic mining accident. He was running for Joe Manchin’s Senate seat in West Virginia, so we were all for him. “Too Far Right”, it was called. “Why It’s Best When the GOP Nominates Their Worst.”
Obviously, it’s good for us when the true face of the Republican Party is revealed by people who are just like that. Corrupt, arrogant, and sloppy.
Just like it’s good for them when our candidates are uneducated, radical, and prone to making constant ridiculous blunders.
In America, you can’t be the President if you’re not at least thirty-five, and this is because all three of those traits, so deadly for a good politician, accompany youth all but exclusively. So it only stands to reason that people are given a certain amount of time to reach maturity and correct those youthful errors. Unfortunately, there is no such law protecting the House of Representatives. So here we are.
For the last several decades, Republican politicians have moved steadily further right, and never has this been so true as now. Candidates of heightening extremity dominate the GOP playing field. They are nominating the wrong candidates all over the country, such as ex-convict Blankenship in West Virginia.
After the election of our 45th President, the strategy of many Republican politicians has depended a great deal on how deeply they can demonstrate their adherence to his destructive policies. The growing trend of Republican extremity has become troubling in the extreme. This has backfired on them badly. The Blue Wave all but knocked them out of the ballpark, which is how Ocasio managed to win her election. If she were in middle America, she’d have been driven across the state line.
This has tempted some on the left to respond with extremity in kind, and that is very dangerous. With every step we take away from the center, the closer we come to getting ripped loose at the moorings as a country. We’ve already had one Civil War. We have to find a way to come back to reason before it is too late.
The likes of Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are, to put it mildly, not helping.
Even if you put aside their socialism and their adherence to radical policies that make no sense like Medicare for All, neither Sanders nor Ocasio-Cortez are good candidates, because they do not have the resume. They don’t have records of getting things done, although at least in Ocasio’s case it’s because she has had no career. As recently as last year, she was still working as a bartender, but she’s sure got a lot to say about- well, just about everything..
While there is certainly a lot to admire about a person who can make a good cocktail, when it comes time to pick who’s in the Congress, I’ll take the geopolitical expert every time. All things considered, it becomes all too clear that socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a big mistake on the part of New York’s 14th District. We can help the people who live there by raising awareness on all this so that they will correct it.
Polls are showing that we Democrats are in a good, strong position going into the midterms. There are some problem areas, but we’re getting them worked out. By all indicators, we’re on track to retake at least the House of Representatives, something the nation’s future depends on.
In fact, it has become increasingly clear that the future of the nation depends largely on the future of the Democratic Party, since only Democrats seem to care about it. It has become critical for us to ask some questions about ourselves and where we’re going, after the midterms and beyond.
What is the nature of Democratic ideology? What does it mean to be a Democrat? This is something many of us have thought about a lot, especially since 2016. It has changed quite a bit over the years. Experience and study both have taught us to be wary of any ideology that requires a true believer. Thus, although it does not exist as a crystalline and brittle dogma, incapable of change, it does still have a form. And although it is profoundly sickening to dignify Trump’s raving with a well-thought out response,
That form is not called socialism. It has nothing to do with socialism. And it will never have anything to do with socialism, regardless of the slanders of Trump aimed at us that we’re all radicals. We are not.
The time-honored policies we’ve been using since Franklin Roosevelt, like that of nearly everyone in the western world, belong rightly to the tradition of Social Democracy. That is profoundly different from being a socialist, which even the most reputable and intelligent of leftist publications, Jacobin Magazine, is in total agreement with us on this matter; one headline of theirs we came across while researching this read simply, Democratic Socialism Isn’t Social Democracy.
The difference is simple. We want to retain our free market economy, and not hand it all over to bureaucrats. We also wish to see it tempered of its harshness by a social net of citizen relief.
That’s not what everyone wants, and I get that, although it’s hard to accept, especially now, when the stakes are so high. Democratic ideology means having respect for others, which means a certain amount of agreeing to disagree. We cannot try to force it! People must come around on their own. We’ve got to use reason, not ugliness. We don’t want to hurt anyone over the way they think, just the opposite. We need their help to do our share to ensure that our government is healthy and to be sure we remain realistic about its prospects.
Everybody’s got a set of ideologies these days, one sometimes feels, and many are meant to deliberately waylay and mislead. Many seem artificial. Others seem insensitive, and still others downright stupid. While utopian thinkers are thinking about their utopia, the world outside is going right along as it always has, regardless of anyone’s thoughts or ideas. Current events do not suggest it’s the right time to retreat into philosophy and get lost in obscurity.
We need to get out there and fight.
Revolutionary-minded people have their talking points in order. They will not take long in getting around to Robert Owen or the Paris Commune or what have you as examples that things might be otherwise because a few people wanted them to be; a few words about the former seem in order here. In 1825, Owen bought the town of New Harmony, Indiana and established a utopian colony there-or tried to.
New Harmony prospered at first. But it wasn’t long before the residents fell to quarreling about politics and religion. By 1828, it had failed. Sound familiar? If they’d have been short on resources it would have gone the way of the Donner Party. This why Sir Thomas More chose the word Utopia to describe his 1516 vision of a perfect society.
The word “utopia” is the Greek word for “nowhere”.
Socialists do not understand the nature of capitalism. They believe it to be a system of government. It is not. Capitalism is an entity! It is the raw, naked force, the self-governing force, of the free market itself. Economist Adam Smith called it the Invisible Hand, and observed the patterns it arranges society into.
Those patterns are the trouble with socialism, which asserts itself along unrealistic principles that are inconsistent with human behavior, which is not going to change overnight. Humans are heavily pattern-based creatures. We do the same things in every generation. Bees don’t just wake up one day and start building pyramid shaped hives, no matter how talented the beekeeper.
We have got to find a way to bring this realization home to all of our fellow Millennial Democrats before it’s too late. It’s as if some of us have been in a bubble ever since the 2016 primary election and Bernie Sanders, repeating the same slogans to each other left and right. It has led to other generations slandering us and considering us to be unintelligent and unrealistic.
This is incredibly wrong and unfair. Once the dialogue begins, most of us are fair and decent, just as much so as anyone else. We are capable of thinking with reason. How dare we be held accountable for the conduct of the six-hundred-year-old Bernie? We’re going to be fine, thank you very much.
All we have to do is point out some basic things to one another.
We have to understand that socialism means state ownership, which is synonymous with public ownership but doesn’t sound as nice. It means to build an apparatus so huge that people can hardly fill it, and then hand over the keys to completely untested and radical persons. This has not gone well in the past. The entire systemic concept makes socialism, by its very nature, highly subject to despotism. We must come to thoroughly understand this.
Although the two terms sound alike, a massive gulf exists between the socialistic nightmares of Franz Kafka and social democracy, the highly decent governmental system that made the meatpacking industry in Chicago clean its act up after Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle.
Social democracy, by the way, is the free-market model used by Nordic nations such as Sweden. Another term for it is Nordic capitalism. There is no socialism involved. Period. Bernie’s praise of their system’s accomplishments was just and correct but he didn’t understand what he was praising. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t either, but we believe there’s hope for her. She’s got a good heart. She’s just got to cut out all this nonsense about socialism.
The process of trade and money started up in society right away. It was the reason society was necessary. Capitalism is raw desire, and without society, it walked around in the hearts of cavemen, snatching from the others where it could. It was brutal, but it also allowed us to compete with more powerful forms of life. We realized back then that what makes us great is also what makes us dangerous. The human being is a sword with many edges.
There’s certainly no getting rid of capitalism. It exists and appears to be an integral part of human culture. So what to do with it? This has been the question since before humans wore pants. It came at the cost of two World Wars and a galaxy of other atrocities, but at this point, humans have channeled capitalism and made it work for us, and it has given us everything we have, problems and progress alike.
Every form of social organization, every form of government, is an attempt to give capitalism a saddle and riders. In America, we have the strength of the Roman Republic shoring up the walls of Greek democracy. Six thousand years of societal evolution has combined to give us the advantage we enjoy, as a nation. All we have to do is just take care of it.
And we’re going to give that up for- what, exactly? The half-baked regurgitations of Marx and Lenin that the far left has been shouting for these last few decades? Their “plan” is equivalent to cutting the basket ropes of a hot air balloon you are in because the sun is getting in your eyes. Destructive and ineffective. For all the disasters you cause in the process of cutting those ropes, the sun will still be in your eyes.
In the last analysis, regardless of who tries what, our nations and empires follow the same cycles of death and rebirth that our bodies do. During those cycles, the same things have happened in every generation. Most of them are not very nice.
Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States does a great job of illustrating just how ugly those struggles can get. Hundreds and hundreds of pages, and on each a grocery list of vivid atrocities. Yet still, somehow amid the dung-pile, he finds grounds to claim that humans can just unlearn it all, that we can just lay down and retire the entire concept of a State since people in a mob are so obviously capable of being objective and fair.
Most of us can’t even quit drinking caffeine.
Discussions about the nature of government have become much more common and much more critical for millennials than ever before. We must succeed where Bernie failed, and learn to correctly identify not only socialism, but also capitalism and understand its nature as an entity.
I ask you, readers- Have you ever read or seen Dune? The book, by Frank Herbert, the movie by David Lynch? If not, consider the recommendation made. It provides a perfect metaphor for the relationship between government, capitalism, and society.
Society is the Fremen sandriders. Capitalism is the sandworm. The government is the hooks they used to control where the sandworm goes.
The socialists want to act like the sandworm is not there, even while its jaws snap shut around them. They’d like it all to be theories and talk, and they ignore the grim realities behind many of their ideas. They think it’s just people waving hooks around and desert. They are slowing down the rest of us, in our quest to keep from being eaten.
On the other hand, the Republicans think that letting the sandworms go about without the hooks is good, which is so ridiculous and crude as to make a man throw up. In essence, both the right wing and the far left wing, are completely nuts. We need the government to regulate things, and this is why. We just don’t want to give it all the power. We’ll get by all right, we just have to keep moving forward together. Like Hillary Clinton said.
As John Locke said, the goal of government is not to restrict or negate the rights of man. It’s to ensure them. Even the most cursory glance at our sad yet vibrant history is enough to explain why we must have one. So let’s cut out all the nonsense and pining for the hunter-gatherer days and big revolutions and get to work cleaning our backyards. We can argue over terminology after we take back the House of Representatives.
There’s an enormous amount of work to do before a meaningful change will come to America, and most of it will not be done in our lifetimes. We can’t change that, but we can carry our load as best as we’re able, and we can be the change we want to see in the meantime. In a Democrat’s ideology, that is good enough. We don’t need to rise up in revolution; random acts of violence are not the answer. The answer is to look at the world in a spirit of love and kindness and to vote a straight Democratic ticket. In this election, and in every other.
The current political landscape of America is realigning, and it’s time to fight hard for the parts of it worth preserving. Right now, the only thing holding our democracy up at all is the professionalism and decency of the Democratic Party. Keeping that intact means keeping our backyards clean and looking out for our own.
The defeat of Joe Crowley at the hands of 28-year-old socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in last Tuesday’s New York primary has therefore presented a few difficulties for the writer of this article.
I am generally very much against throwing primary challenges at elected Democrats. It’s a waste of time and money. But I do think there are times when it is genuinely placed upon our hearts to commit to certain actions, including running for office, because we sincerely think we can do some good.
Ocasio-Cortez is undoubtedly something of a wunderkind and is in many ways a credit to all Millennial Democrats. She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s courageous, she’s well-spoken- and she’s in big danger of getting in her own way completely.
Millennials, this is just what we are trying to avoid when we get into politics.
We have seen before how progressives can get in the way of progress. Socialism is evil. The political party who acts as its vector is not long for this world. That is one of the big takeaways of the twentieth century. No one political candidate is worth allowing our party to become the vehicle of a highly dystopian system.
Changes in the whims and trends of the American political consciousness will come and go, but some things will always be the same. Experience and skill are not easy to acquire. And socialism is evil!
Running the country is not the same thing as running a bar, which is literally what Ocasio-Cortez was doing by way of employment last year at this time. The whole thing could easily shape up as a disaster.
If she bungles this somehow she’s likely to get killed next fall, and the seat will go back to the Republicans.
The Queens-Bronx district is heavily Democratic, making her a favorite over Republican Anthony Pappas in November, but so was Joe Crowley, who was a time-tested professional. A great deal now rides on the shoulders of a completely untested element. We wish her the best, as we take a deep breath.