It’s still too early to be thinking about the general election in 2020. At least it should be too early. I’ve said before and I will say again that the Democrats’ real problem is not in 2020; it will be primary challengers from the Left in 2018. Dems are in for another rude awakening next year when its message of We Are Not Trump fails them again.
The Democratic Party establishment wants Bernie Sanders to go away. He is the most popular politician in America by leaps and bounds, but the policies he stands for — notably overturning Citizens United, Medicare For All, and free college — are not compatible with the current version of the Democratic Party. It seems like every day there is a new hit piece talking about how divisive Sanders is, how out of control his supporters are, and how much he is hurting the Party.
This, even after he campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Even after he went on a “Unity Tour” with DNC chair Tom Perez. Even after he traveled around the country doing outreach for the Democrats. It is now clear that there is nothing he can do to satisfy them, save for falling off the face of the earth.
Like I said before, Bernie’s pro-worker policies are not in line with what the corporatist wing wants. As such, the Democrats are going to do everything they can to make sure he doesn’t get the nomination in 2020. It worked for them in 2016. It probably won’t work the next time around, because the Senator simply got too popular.
Kamala Harris is a new Senator in the state of California, and she has apparently been gaining quite a bit of support from the donor class to run for President in 2020. And why wouldn’t she? The Democrats love to play Identity Politics, and Harris is both (a) black and (b) a woman, which is perfect for them. Because if anyone opposes her, or gives reasonable (and fair) criticism, the Dem establishment can just call them racist or sexist and that will be the end of it. I mean, it worked out so well for them against Donald Trump. Why stop there?
It should be obvious that this is not the way to get voters to come around to your side. We all know that the only surefire way to attract people to your side is to offer them something, give them a reason to vote for you. To this point there has been zero evidence that blaming and shaming the voters who delivered Trump to the White House has been working out effectively for the Dems. In fact, Republican support has remained fairly steady since the election, while the Democratic Party has been bleeding members. Independent voters now make up about 43% of the country, and that number figures to rise since young people don’t see the two parties as all that different from one another.
Bernie Sanders supporters receive about the same amount of shit as Donald Trump supporters, and for similar reasons. It has always seemed sort of strange to me how the media tends to link the two together. But I have a feeling identity politics is all it really comes down to. Since Sanders and Trump both happen to be white, and both happen to be men, the media tries to play it like the only people who support them are white men.
And this, as if I needed to tell you, is completely fucking wrong.
The people who support Senator Sanders aren’t concerned with how old he is or what color his skin happens to be. That’s kind of the whole point to Democratic Socialism in the first place, that it’s not just about Bernie; it’s about everyone coming together to help one another. Bernie’s supporters like him because of his policies, which, ironically, would benefit people of color more than whites. Wanting an increase in minimum wage helps minority groups and women more than white men, as white men already earn the most. Wanting free public college helps minority groups more than white men, because white men already go to college at higher rates. I could go on but you understand what I’m saying.
The Democratic Party, and media outlets like CNN or MSNBC, the New York Times or the Washington Post, don’t want to tell you that. They want to push the narrative that Socialism is
bad unrealistic un-American dangerous, and that anyone who does not support female candidates or black candidates only does so because they are either racist, sexist, or both.
This is where Kamala Harris comes in, since she is looking like she may be the establishment choice to run atop the Democratic ticket in 2020. One way or another, whether it’s Sanders vs. Harris, or Sanders vs. Cory Booker, or Elizabeth Warren vs. Harris/Booker, or Nina Turner vs. Harris/Booker, we are going to go through the same Progressive vs. Centrist choice we had in the 2016 primary. And the narratives are already in place for when that happens.
If it’s Booker, then Progressives are going to be called racist. If it’s Harris, they will be called racist and sexist. (Privately I cannot wait for a scenario where Nina Truner runs as the Progressive against Kamala Harris, just to see how hard the establishment will have to break their backs to smear Turner when they can play neither the race card nor the woman card.)
Again, and I’m going to sound like a broken record if I haven’t already, it all comes down to the policies and track record. What we know. Kamala Harris used to be the Attorney General in California, during which time she did not prosecute Donald Trump’s pick for Treasurer, Steve Mnuchin, who committed thousands of violations when he ran One West Bank.
In a plot twist that no one saw coming, the same Mnuchin whom Kamala Harris gave a free pass to ended up contributing to her Senate bid in 2016. She was the only Democrat Mnuchin donated to.
People who are informed do not care that Harris is a black woman. They care that she takes donations from Wall Street, and in return she doesn’t go after the crooks who run the banks and commit fraud. This isn’t a coincidence, or a one-off in Harris’s case. When Barack Obama used taxpayer money to bail out the banks it 2008, it was with the intention that when he was no longer in office they would return the favor.
Once Obama’s second term ended he went ahead — all of a sudden — and signed a $60 million book deal and started making speeches for half a million dollars apiece. He scratched the bankers’ backs, and now the bankers are scratching his. Fraud is the business model of Wall Street, and they get away with it because Citizens United literally allows corporations to donate unlimited sums of money to Super PACs, which is effectively the same as legally bribing politicians.
That isn’t all, though. Kamala Harris, like Hillary Clinton, is also in the pocket of the Private Prison Industry. In 2014 federal judges in California passed a parole program that would release inmates early, due to overcrowding. But according to the LA Times, “Lawyers for Attorney General Kamala Harris had argued in court that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important labor pool.”
I have read and re-read that last sentence at least a dozen times, and I can’t shake the sick feeling I get that an AG — a supposed liberal, at that — could be capable of saying something so monstrous out in the open, and without any shame.
Basically, Harris is saying she’s okay with criminal bankers who commit fraud against everyday people, because she needs wealthy individuals like that to help bankroll her campaigns. But she is not okay with releasing common criminals from prisons, because if she did then there would be a smaller pool of free labor to profit off of.
Normal people would never want such a horrible thing. The only way a person feels like that, or argues such a thing, is because they directly benefit. If your goal is to keep the gravy train alive and continue getting donations, that’s how you play it if you’re Kamala Harris. If your goal is to reunite families, and alleviate the overcrowding problem in the American prison system — which incarcerates a gross percentage more than the next several countries combined — then you play it like a normal person. In this sense Bernie Sanders is a normal person.
I try to stay informed as well as I can, but I am not here to try and convince you that I have all the answers — even if I feel like my view is justified and, dare I say, right. But if I had to guess I would say the following statements are both true:
(1) If Bernie Sanders runs for President in 2020, whether it’s as a Democrat or in a three-way race, he will win.
(2) For all the outrage and hysteria of Trump being in office, the Democratic establishment would still rather him win again in 2020 than have Bernie in office.
I could be wrong about that second one, but based on the fact that the Democrats have still yet to have an honest critique of why they lost in 2016, based on the fact that they are still blaming 3rd party voters and people who stayed home, based on the fact that they still have not meaningfully come out in support of Medicare For All or an increase in minimum wage, and based on the fact that they are still trying to turn Kamala Harris, and corporatists of her ilk, into actual things, my opinion is that they are not interested in changing.
And if they are not interested in changing, they don’t deserve our support. As such, they deserve to lose. Again and again.