Elizabeth Warren’s Mistake In 2016

I acknowledge that in 2016 I came very intensely after Elizabeth Warren. Like many of Bernie’s 2016 supporters I was hurt by her endorsement of Hillary Clinton. I think Warren has since almost made up for the error by coming forward with genuinely radical and necessary policy platforms in her presidential campaign, policies that remind us that she was once a people’s hero in the fight against Wall Street and can be once again.

Her plan to cancel student debt is as pivotal as Bernie’s Medicare for All or prisoner voting rights platforms. Her open challenges to Joe Biden on his ties to the credit card companies is commendable and so is the work she has put into protecting consumers for this entire decade. She deserves credit where credit is due.

With all of that said, I am still a little bitter about what happened in 2016. I realize it is somewhat trivial to complain about what could or should have been, but damn it I am genuinely convicned that if she had not played the 2016 primary as cautiously as she had we would not have a Trump presidency.

Here is what I mean, because Warren waited to endorse whoever won the nomination instead of endorsing Bernie from the beginning of his candidacy she hurt his campaign, a campaign that would have easily defeated Trump in the general election. Yes, I am still a “Bernie would have won,” kind of person and truth be told I probably always will be.

It is understandable why she waited to endorse the definite front runner instead of taking a stand early on. At the time it made sense as the politically cautious move to stand for a united Democratic party against Trump. However that caution came at a price. It hurt Bernie’s ability to develop the klout needed to counter harmful talking points spewed by the Hillary people.

When Warren endorsed Clinton she went from being a darling of the Occupy alumni to another mouth piece for neoliberals, at least in the eyes of Bernie supporters who also supported her. One of the reasons that Bernie, and Warren for that matter, have stayed so popular is that several of us who came out of the Occupy movement remember them as the only public servants to demonstrate admiration and respect for the movement and its sentiments.

So Warren did not only hurt Bernie by endorsing Hillary late in the election, she hurt herself. By endorsing Clinton and by endorsing her as close to the end of the primary as she did, she synonymized her name and platform with the vomit inducing identity politics of Hillary’s campaign. Instead of having her working class values and background tied to Bernie’s pro working class platform, she attached her identity as a woman to Clinton and by doing so she helped enable the “only sexists vote for Bernie” talking point of Hillary supporters, a talking point which erases and hurts all of the non male supporters of Bernie.

Had Warren endorsed Bernie from the get go, the myth of the “Bernie bro” would have been squashed and would have had no foundation to grow. Also, with her endorsement would have come her very extensive and supportive base, but now that base is arguably very much in the establishment camp because of her hesitancy to get involved with the primary until a front runner was decided. Warren is now synonymous with supporting establishment capitalist democrats like Hillary, which is folly because Warren’s policies are arguably much closer to Bernie’s than they ever were to people like Clinton, Harris, Biden, or Booker.

I want to make it clear, I do understand why Warren didn’t endorse Sanders, but I think it was a mistake that inevitably cost Bernie the primary and damaged Warren’s reputation as a challenger of big money capitalism, which in-turn gave us the shitty general election that birthed the Trump presidency.

But what hurt Warren the most is the fact that despite her policy and platform being much more in line with Bernie’s she endorsed someone with completely opposite values to her. Warren has much more incommon policy wise with Bernie than she ever will with the Clintons and Bidens of the world. The fact she did not make that clear in 2016 not only hurt Bernie but it hurt her, because now there are leftists like myself, who do remember her public challenges to Wall Street and her bold demands for consumer protections and market regulations. Now it is hard for me to get excited about her candidacy because I still view the Clinton 2016 endorsement as an act of political cowardice. I used to think it was straight up betrayal, but after getting involved with politics as an activist and as an organizer I’m willing to say I understand why she did what she did in 2016. However let us always remember that understanding an action is not the same as supporting it.

Will Liz Warren make the same mistakes this time? It is very possible that she will. Warren clearly is a politician who acts with caution. I do not fault her for being tactical but I will fault her if that tactic comes with compromising her values. However I can say that if she remains consistent with her demands for canceling student debt and if she does not backtrack support for Medicare for all then I would be genuinely happy with a Sanders/Warren or Warren/Sanders 2020 ticket. However I would be thrilled by the idea even more if she stepped up and admited that not endorsing Bernie in 2016 at the beginning of the primary was a mistake.

All in all, I do want to like Elizabeth Warren, I do miss the days where she and Bernie both were patron saints of the 99%. But until we address what happened in 2016 I will always have misgivings about her. I do not think Warren is bad, at least not as much as I used to, I do think she has to answer for 2016.

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Let’s face it, most of the Democratic Nominees for President are TERRIBLE!

This primary is giving me ulcers. I can’t fucking take much more of it. If one more liberal calls Bernie a Russian agent I will become a full on Marxist Leninist and sing the Soviet national anthem on street corners as I hand out poorly Xeroxed propaganda. If one more mediocre no name white guy decides to enter the race I might retch, and retch bile at that!

Sanders and Warren are the only two candidates who I am willing to even tolerate the idea of giving the nomination for the presidency to. Yes, I was very critical of Warren back in 2016 and I still have issues with how she handled the Bernie vs. Hillary situation. I also do not think she can beat Trump, full stop. However I will give her credit where credit is due, her working class background is admirable and her plan to cancel student debt is as worthy of praise as Bernie’s emphasis on Medicare for all. I will also add that Mike Gravel is legit, he is a real one! But as of now he is not what I would call a “strong contender.”

With that said, I despise almost of all the other democratic candidates for the nomination. Each one of them, save for a very select few outside of Warren and Sanders, have shown themselves to be agents of imperialism, agents of patriarchy, agents of gentrification, agents of white supremacy, or just a flat out terrible people.

Here is why every current Democratic party candidate, as of the time this was written, sans Warren and Sanders, is a disgusting human being worth your revile:

Kamala Harris – Kamilla Harris wants you to believe she is one of the most progressive candidates to enter the 2020 race. She also wants you to ignore the fact that she is a liar who is responsible for ruining the lives of countless families. As Attorney General and a District Attorney her prosecution of parents for truancy put countless, mostly black, people in jail. Not only did this break families up and provide more free labor for our vampiric prison industrial complex, but it has yet to be discussed what became of the children who lost their parent’s to the prison system. How many of them were seperated? How many of them were traumtized? How many of them ended up rejecting our entire system after seeing their parents get punished for their own truancy?

It should also be noted that Harris promised to not accept lobbyist or corporate donations, she has since accepted donations from lobbyists in California, New York, and South Carolina, including money from a lobbyist for pipeline firm EQT and Google’s parent company “Alphabet.” There is nothing progressive about taking money from either of these entities. Harris calling herself a progressive is an insult to our intelligence and it should be treated as such.

Kamila Harris is a liar who ruined lives, to hell with her.

Cory Booker – Booker promised to not accept corporate or lobbyist donations as well. However that doesn’t seem to be working out because not only has he accepted lobbyist money, he is the number one recipient of donations from employees of private health insurance firms, pharmacutical companies, and the biggest enemy of the people, Wall Street.

Cory Booker, like Harris, wants us to believe he is a progressive, but also like Harris, he is nothing but a fraud. A classic politician who insults the intelligence of the average voter by saying they’ll do something while doing the opposite, as if we won’t notice or as if he just doesn’t care.

Sorry Cory, but the fact you want to legalize weed and that you date Rosario Dawson, a former Sanders supporter, doesn’t win you progressive points.

Amy Klobuchar – This has less to do with policy, of which she seems to have none, and more to do with personality. But in my opinion Klobucher is one of the worst people running for office.

According to former staffers Klobuchar is abusive and even violent at times. She has thrown binders and books at staffers when they have made mistakes and has shown that (forgive my ablist terminology) she is what my father would call a “grand looney.”

Once when a staffer brought her a salad for lunch but forgot the fork, after publicly berating the staffer Kolbuchar then took out her comb and PROCEEDED TO EAT THE SALAD WITH IT! (I was right, I’m about to retch!) She then gave the staffer the comb and demanded that they “wash it off and get it back to her.”

I guess dijon dressing is good for the scalp? *Cringe*Retch*Repeat*

Pete Buttigeig – In my opinion, Buttegieg is the most disingenious person running for the nomination, even more than Harris or Booker. For one he is not intersectional with his analysis at all, he is very much a rainbow capitalist and a white rainbow capitalist at that.

In his recent town hall he equated Bernie supporters with Trump supporters and publicly disagreed with Bernie’s idea that prisoners should vote. By doing so he demonstrated that he does not understand how a disporportionate amount of people in jail are people of color. The laws robbing them of their right to vote is inturn disproportionally silencing people of color, robbing them of basic human rights both in the short and long term.

It might also interest people to know that as a mayor he handed over a popular public park to a private developer, which in turn lead to displacement and increased gentrification in his city. When Bernie was mayor of Burlington he basically told landlords to fuck off and that they “will not displace anyone in my city!” Fuck yeah Bernie!

Also, Pete is “proud” of his service in the military for this country. Anyone who is proud of having gone to Iraq or Afghanistan to kill and perpetuate American empire will get no respect from me. I can only imagine how many middle eastern lives were ruined by him and his troop regiment.

Beto O Rourke – “I will take no pac money,” he says in Facebook ads paid for by his political pacs. Yes, you read that correctly. He has also refused to sign a pledge to turn down fossil fuel industry money, maybe it has to do with the fact that he recieved a donation from Chevron’s top lobbyist before the end of the last fiscal quarter. https://theintercept.com/2019/04/17/democratic-candidates-lobbyist-donations/

Also, Beto and his wife, a billionaire heiress who founds charter schools, have earned themselves a reputation as gentrifiers in the city of El Paso. Gentrifiers are not only despicable capitalists, they are agents of white supremacy. Also, as a former charter school employee I can assure you that charter schools rob youth of equal opprotunities, they divert needed funds from already underfunded public schools, and they hurt teacher unions. Beto, betta go fuck himself. (teehee)

Tulsi Gabbard – Gabbard is an apologist for Syrian dictator Assad and has ties to the Fascist Modhi of India. Next…

Julian Castro – Castro is one person who I am willing to concede is not a “terrible” person, but he is ridiculously disingenuous. Castro criticized Bernie for his remarks about reparations, but failed to actually take a stance of his own on the issue. Like most of the other candidates, Castro seems to believe you can stand for something while standing for nothing.

Oh wait, he supports NAFTA!? Nevermind, he is horrible, he is never to be to trusted.

Kristen Gillibrand – Gillibrand has accepted $1,206,513 in donations from Wall Street in her last election and $80,483 from pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Among her top donors are Bank of America, Blackstone, and Morgan Stanley. No sale, no appeal, no vote from me. Next…

John Delany– “Who?” You might be asking, well all I need to know about him is that he is a moderate democrat who created a lending service called Health Care Financial Partners which profits off of loans made to companies in the healthcare for profit industry. Anyone who makes money off this atrocious healthcare system is scum.

Next victim…

John Hickenlooper – Sexist, period. When asked if he would pick a female running mate (as any male running in this election should) he responded with “Why aren’t women being asked if they will choose a male running mate?”

Take it to the 4chan feed you worthless M.R.A. Then go fuck yourself.

Jay Inslee – Inslee has a solid environmentalist record, no joke and no snarck there, credit where credit is due. Props to you Inslee for putting Earth first.

BUT…. this little line from a Seatle Times article conjecturing about his approaching presidential run seems important…

Inslee was the chief cheerleader of the largest corporate tax break in U.S. history, $8.7 billion to woo Boeing’s 777 plant” – https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/if-jay-inslee-runs-for-president-his-biggest-accomplishment-may-be-his-undoing/ (Danny Westneat)

Damn it Inslee, you were so close to not sucking!!! But you do, so…

Wayne Messam – Again, “Who?” Well according to the all knowing google he is the Mayor of Miramar, Florida. To be honest, unlike the others his record is relatively solid aside from championing for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but beyond that there is little controversy to him.

However something to be careful about is that he does own his own construction company. I live in a city where our city council and former mayor’s close ties to contractors have resulted in gentrification and atrocious development deals.

Out of all the no name candidates though, he is honestly the least problematic, which also kind of makes him the most boring candidate. Hell Messam, give us a sexist comment, a shitty investment, something to love/hate you for!!!

Seth Moultan – On the surface this guy is kind of awesome, he opposed relecting Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the house and he won his spot in the House by ousting an incumbent corporate democrat. He supports weed legalization, and he openly compares Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler. He has even called Nancy Pelosi out for her reluctance to impeach Trump. Moultan even identifies as a progressive and as a former Marine opposed returning troops to Iraq in 2014. However the level of pride Moultan has put into his own military record, 4 tours of duty in Iraq, is reason to give pause.

Tim Ryan – Now we are back to people who are genuinely terrible. Ryan had to be convinced to support abortion, calling it a “personal choice.” For thousands of women abortion is not merely a personal choice it is a medical neccesity. Anyone who is uncomfortable talking about abortion in a positive way in my opinion lacks basic understanding of medicine and biology. Also any man who has misgivings about abortion needs to shut the fuck up. Until human males carry the litter our only stance on abortion should be that it is legal, safe, but above all ACCESSIBLE!

I find it also disingenuious that he calls himself a pro union and pro labor candidate who thinks its good optics to say “You’re not going to get me to hate someone for being rich, I want to be rich.”

Excuse me while I vomit with annoyance and rage, again!

Eric Salwell – a former prosecutor, meaning he is an agent of the prison industrial complex, who is making a name for himself by going on to cable news networks and spewing Russiagate nonsense. Pardon me Eric, but I will literally die if I don’t get Medicare, so will millions of us. WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT RUSSIA! GIVE US HEALTH CARE AND ACCEPT THAT YOU LOST 2016 BECAUSE OF THE DNC’s SHITTY CANDIDATE.

Andrew Yang -Most people who support UBI only do so as an excuse to end all other welfare services. As a person who has survived only because of Medi-CAL let me just say, fuck that. Also do a little research into the “Yang Gang” and you might see why his base isn’t exactly something to be desired…

Moving on…

Joe Biden – Joe Biden is probably the worst person out of the entire list. Not just as a candidate but as a human being.

We already know that Biden doesn’t respect women’s personal space, add onto that his out of touch agism towards millennials, his horrible record on race, his moronic stances on marijuana (you can thank Biden for holding Obama back from legalization by the way) and the two little words his supporters hate to be reminded of, Anita Hill.

Put it all together and you have what can only be described as the most atrocious pile of unappealing since Walter Mondale. Mark my words, if Biden runs and gets the nomination he will be a Walter Mondale situation all over again for the democrats.

And lastly,

Marianne Williamson – I’ll be honest with you folks, I got nothing on her. Her activism is solid, she supports Warren and Sander’s stances, and she was an advocate for victims of the AIDS crisis when it was at its worst. Other than the fact she is a self help author and her obsession with the metaphysical, there really isn’t anything juicy to dig up on her.

Let’s be honest though, she doesn’t have a snowballs chance in hell.

Well here we are, after 20+ google searches here you have a conclusive list of how the other democratic nominees are either horrible people, or just flat out unelectable. I consider what I have done to be a public service.

Now can all of these candidates and there supporters just fuck off and give us the Sanders/Warren ticket we need! Why do so many no name hacks with no bold policy stances think they are the ones who can beat Trump!? WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR PEOPLE TO JUST READ THE FUCKING ROOM!? WE WANT BERNIE! END OF DISCUSSION!!!

The Professional Protester Episode 51 : Reparations Must Be More Than a Single Transaction

https://youtu.be/pP6fLVdwaNI

Recently Bernie Sanders caught some flak when Julian Castro “called him out” on his comments on reparations. Bernie said reparations has to be more than just “writing a check.” Julian Castro countered with “Why wouldn’t you want to compensate people who were property?”

Putting aside that this completely misrepresents what Bernie ACTUALLY said, I feel this is demonstrative of the difference of how socialists and abolitionists approach reparations versus how liberal capitalists approach social justice as a whole

Reparations for slavery cannot be reduced to a singular transaction. Even if we wrote every black person in the U.S. a check, what would that do to solve the problem of police murdering black children? How would simply giving everyone a check bring us abolition of the modern day system of Jim Crow and slavery that are our prisons?

Ask yourselves this, we cut everyone descended from slaves a check, then what? Where is that money likely to go? Statistically speaking it is most likely going to go towards paying off student debt, medical bills, mortgages, or most likely to pay the vampire that is rent! Once that money is spent, what happens after the fact? Will their be restorative justice for those who have been imprisoned for too long? Will police who kill with a sense of trigger happy racism be brought to justice? The money dolled out would create a small degree of economic stimulus, I will concede that, but what would that do to alter the systemic issues that paralyze the working class, most of whom I might add are black women?

This is a symptom of the liberal capitalist, reducing civil rights and justice to a matter of transactionalism. Look at the narrative they take when discussing the suffragette or civil rights movements. Too often I here that the right to vote was “given” or “conceded” to women and black people by the powers that be. NO! I challenge that!

These victories were not “given” to women or people of color from powers above them, it was taken by them and it was taken rightfully so! What happened in both the suffragette and the civil rights movements was that oppressed people 1.organized 2. took mass militant action 3. took power using their mass collected power. It was not transactional the way that neoliberals would have us believe. These rights were not granted from on high, they were seized from the bottom up! This idea that rights and justice are simply a transaction is perpetuated by capitalists who think that you can throw some pocket change at an oppressed populace and then go “See, racism is over!”

No, reparations cannot simply be reduced to a single transaction, that is problematic for many reasons mostly in that it infantilizes black people and dehumanizes the issue of racial justice. Justice is much more than financial transaction and neoliberal capitalists need to learn that.

My case for #Bernie2020

The largest demographic of voters in the U.S. are registered independents. The most popular politician with independents is not Joe Biden nor any other democrat, it’s Bernie Sanders.

Biden, Warren, and Harris are weak. Bernie is the only politician who can win over independent voters in 2020. Harris is too much of a cop to be trusted by people of color. Warren has shown she is just a flat out racist with that ridiculous DNA test and Biden is both creepy and way too close to the previous administration, much like Hillary was, which drives independents to not vote in the first place. If the democrats sabotage Bernie they will never win the white house back again. If you think Biden is the best bet for Dems I remind you of a little bugger named Walter Mondale if you think previous Dem VPs win elections.

I know that several of my comrades do not take electoral politics seriously. Some of them encourage either not voting or voting for Greens or Peace and Freedom party candidates. This is a mistake on their part. Aside from the blatant lack of ethics in both organizations (I will remind you all the PFP ran Roseanne Barr for president in 2012) and their candidates blatant lack of policy knowledge (see any time Jill Stein speaks) the best option we have for a left leaning presidency is Bernie. Also, as I stated above, the way to win voters over is not through party organizing, it is through promotion of policies that will actually effect them, actually benefiting their lives.

Bernie is not by any means perfect, in fact the perfect candidate does not exist and I am sympathetic to those who are disillusioned by the corporate neoliberalism of the “Democratic” party. However no socialist, even the ones who focus on electoral matters, thinks that elections are a panacea. Bernie is not going to fix it all and he has some problematic stances that need correcting, somethings that come to mind are his stance on abolishing ICE or his votes on bills effecting sex workers.

Yet people need to understand, that while no politician will save us, we need to get the most amount of resources to the working class that we can and executive policy greatly effects that. Bernie may not be perfect, but he is pro choice, in favor of persecuting and firing violent police officers, has an active history of organizing for anti racism, is more of an anti imperialist than anyone else serving in Congress, and has staunchly stated that he “is no capitalist.”

Considering our options, the reality of our political system, the blatant lack of strength in other parties, and the current political landscape, Bernie 2020 is our best hope for ousting Donald Trump, which we must remember will not be a panacea to the woes of racism, sexism, or environmental disaster. However, the effects of executive policy cannot be underestimated and socialists who underestimate it could doom us to a two term Trump presidency.

I will not be one of those socialists. I will vote for Bernie Sanders in 2020.

#Bernie2020

Read the second part of this post here