Centrist Democrats and Wall St. would like NOTHING more than to see Warren and Sanders’ camps go at it, debilitating each others’ campaigns. Naomi Klein’s message: We can’t let that happen. The 1%, the corporatocracy and the centrist wing of the DP realize that either candidate represents a legitimate threat to them so the battle is not Warren vs. Sanders, but both vs Biden.
NM Congressional Delegation Introduces Bill Seeking Huge Increase in Federal Funding to Resolve Aamodt Decision. La Jicarita reported yesterday that there is an effort to restart the Aamodt process with funding that would significantly expand the capacity to implement the Aamodt decision. La Jicarita’s post includes comments from advocates and stakeholders on both sides of the dispute and from local and national politicos and lays out the financial impact if this becomes law. At the very least, it demonstrates that our delegation understands what is required to get this done and with a change in administrations in 2020, would be something very doable. Click here to review the La Jicarita post. This would seem to be good news, but this is an issue that is out of my depth. I’ll be interested to hear from one of our readers, Devin Bent, who has followed this closely.
More Breaking News: A big win for Rio Arriba county progressives.. Last week we highlighted the Jemez Electric Coop election with progressives seeking to wrest control of the board. Last night, the District 5 election was held and Stan Crawford won, resulting in a 5-5 tie on the board. In an interesting twist, a flip of the coin will be held with the winning side picking the 11th council member. As was noted in one of their alerts over the weekend, a 50-50 shot at control is way better than none. Congratulations to Stan Crawford and all the advocates who supported him. It am guessing that this win and the funding announced above must be bringing smiles to the faces to our allies in Rio Arriba county. Now if anyone has a weighted coin we can use in the coin toss…..stay tuned.
It’s Almost Debate Time
Wednesday and Thursday, June 26 and 27. 6pm for food & conversation. 7pm for streaming debate sponsored by the Santa Fe Sunrise Movement and Santa Fe Democratic Party. 1420 Cerrillos. For those watching from home, the debates will air at 7pm MT on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo.
Warren Versus Sanders is Not the Battle, But Rather Justice Versus the Status Quo
If you’ve read this blog for long, you know that I am a big fan of Naomi Klein. If you have not read both No Is Not Enough and This Changes Everything, I highly recommend you do so. She is both principled and extremely inciteful. Monday in the Intercept she published a new article: Forget Bernie versus Warren: Focus on Building the Progressive Base. Her point of departure was her describing how she made a benign comment on social media about the differences between Sanders and Warren, a comment not really favoring either candidate. She was instantly buried in caustic comments from both sides, very much in the style of the 2016 primary campaign. She drew two conclusions: social media is toxic and, as she put it: “The very last thing we need is for the two strongest left/progressive candidates and their supporters to tear each other apart for the next eight or so months, in a desperate bid to discredit a perceived rival.” She goes on to note how the 2020 primary is far different from 2016:
Today’s electoral dynamics are absolutely nothing like 2016. That was a two-way race between two candidates with radically different records and ideas, in which one candidate’s gain really was the other’s loss. A winner-takes-all race like that pretty much always turns into some kind of death match. These primaries are another species entirely. There is a small army of candidates, with two of the leaders running on platforms so far to the left, they would have been unimaginable for anyone but a protest candidate as recently as 2014. The frontrunner, meanwhile, is eminently beatable (especially if Joe Biden keeps showing us exactly who he is, as he did about six times this week).”
Klein then describes how, the focus should be in expanding the progressive base, whichever progressive candidate is gaining traction. Klein describes how together Warren and Sanders already outpoll Biden and that by continuing to build the progressive base, there will just be more progressive voters in their camps, voters who are likely to be comfortable with either candidate. She asserts that the goal now is to ensure that not only do we defeat Biden but any of the dozen or so other centrists eager to pick up Biden’s mantel.
It is true that Biden has had a bad week. But if Biden implodes, there’s a phalanx of other candidates, recently seen hopping from one $2,800-a-head Wall Street fundraiser to the next, all with variations on the same reassuring message: I’ll change things just enough to fend off the pitchforks and to save you from the social embarrassment of Trump, but not so much that you will notice a thing.”
Klein then goes on to cite another Intercept article by Mehdi Hasan, AOC, Bernie and Warren are the Real Centrists, As They Speak for Most Americans. His point–one made by Retake repeatedly– is that the media and centrist Democrats are doing their best to characterize progressives as being unelectable and extreme, holding positions that America can’t simply abide. Except that there is this inconvenient truth that poll after poll shows that Americans do actually support most progressive positions.
Take Ocasio-Cortez’s signature issue: the Green New Deal. Former George W. Bush speechwriter — and torture advocate — Marc Thiessen claims that the Green New Deal will “make the Democrats unelectable in 2020.” The Economist agrees: “The bold plan could make the party unelectable in conservative-leaning states.” The Green New Deal “will not pass the Senate, and you can take that back to whoever sent you here and tell them,” a testy Diane Feinstein, the senior and supposedly “moderate” Democratic senator from California, told a bunch of kids in a viral video. But here is the reality: The Green New Deal is extremely popular and has massive bipartisan support. A recent survey from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University found that a whopping 81 percent of voters said they either “strongly support” (40 percent) or “somewhat support” (41 percent) the Green New Deal, including 64 percent of Republicans (and even 57 percent of conservative Republicans).”
Hasan goes on to cite one progressive policy after another with polling data showing strong support for each policy, everything from a woman’s right to choose, minimum wage increases, universal healthcare, gun violence prevention, and many more policies. To check it out click here. It is fascinating how the purchased media and centrist Democrats are so adept at circulating false information about policies that threaten the 1%. Trump is not the only one to make it up whenever convenient.
Klein then notes that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was absolutely right when she said on ABC’s This Week,” “We have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we don’t have a presidential candidate that’s fighting for true transformational change in lives of working people in the United States.” And we won’t nominate a transformational candidate if we conduct civil war over who is more transformational. And if you don’t think that Trump could win, Klein cites recent elections here and in other parts of the world as evidence that a Trump win is very possible.
That was clear on the morning of November 9, 2016. In case more proof is required, see the recent devastating elections in India and Australia, where right-wing incumbents won despite predictions to the contrary, as well as the results of the European parliament vote, most notably in France and Italy, where the far right has surged. Again and again, we learn the same lesson: Tepid centrists carrying the baggage of decades of neoliberal suffering are no match for machineries of scapegoating willing to stop at nothing to win.”
Click here to review Klein’s full Intercept article.
My takeaway from all of this is that there are substantive differences between Warren and Sanders but if I were given the opportunity right now to flip a switch that guaranteed my second choice won the presidency, I’d do it in less than a heartbeat. Klein noted that neither of these figures would have had any chance of being even considered a viable candidate as recently as 2014. Yet, in large part due to Bernie’s pioneering 2016 campaign, many of the slumbering were woke (like Roxanne and I) and there is an army of folks ready to line up behind either candidate. If Biden wins the nomination, I suspect all of that army will vote for him, but I also suspect damn few will canvass, call or contribute. For the next eight months, the opposition is Biden not Trump and with so much momentum building around progressivism in the US, we simply can’t allow internecine warfare to result in both candidates hemorrhaging and Biden becoming the nominee. Too much is at stake. We just lost 4 years in the battle against climate catastrophe, we absolutely can’t afford another four years of Trump, but four years of Biden leadership is simply not going to get it done either.
From Biden when addressing a room full of wealthy donors, pretty much the only place he is to be seen these days: “The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change,” he said. Oh, my am I ever inspired.
We can do better than that.
Paul & Roxanne