A Guide for the Perplexed Progressive in 2020 is 2016

Only Bernie and Tulsi walked the walk in 2016, says John V. Walsh.

Second round of Democratic contenders at CNN’s July 31 primary debate.

By John V. Walsh
Dissident Voice

The current round of presidential debates is packed with plans, programs, promises, claims and counter-claims.  The question, as always, is which candidates are we to believe.  The closer we get to an election, unscrupulous candidates tailor what they say to what the voters want to hear.  The problem is separating the flimflam pols from the honest ones. 

Even more problematical, how are we to distinguish the politician who is comfortable with the loftiest words but lacks the courage to fight for them?  Ideas are a dime a dozen, and the best ones in the political realm are simple.  They do not require an Isaac Newton to formulate them, let alone recognize them.  A child who can say, “The emperor has no clothes,” will do just fine as long as the kid has the courage to say it.  Testicular or ovarian fortitude, as the case may be, is essential

In 2020 as progressives look at the Democratic Party candidates, how are these questions to be answered?  For 2020 there is a simple answer.  Just look at 2016.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, July 30 primary debate. (YouTube)

2016 was widely recognized as the year of “populism,” more adequately described as the year of revolt against the political Establishment — in both parties.  The Democratic primary in 2016 was a battle of progressive forces against the Democratic Establishment, and the battle lines were clearly drawn.  Those lines remain much the same as we approach 2020.

On the progressive or populist side were those who opposed the endless wars in the Middle East, and on the Establishment side those who supported those long and bloody wars.  On the progressive side were those who supported badly needed domestic reforms, most notably Medicare for All, which after all is a reform of almost 20 percent of the entire economy and a reform that has to do with life itself.  By contrast, on the Establishment side were those who supported ObamaCare, a device, with its ever-increasing premiums and ever-decreasing coverage, for leaving our health care to the tender mercies of the insurance behemoths.

In 2016 the pundits gave progressives little chance of success.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, we were all assured by the familiar horde of “reliable sources.”  And given the control that the Clintonites exercised over the Democratic Party apparatus, there was little prospect of a successful rebellion and every chance of having one’s career badly damaged by opposing the party elite.  Summer soldiers and duplicitous candidates were not interested in challenging the Establishment.

Only Gabbard Backed Sanders  

Sen. Bernie Sanders was the only politician who was willing to take on the Establishment.  Although not technically a Democrat, he caucused with them and worked with them. (For 2020 he has taken the party pledge.) And he was a lifelong, reliable and ardent advocate for Medicare for All and a consistent opponent of the endless wars. For these things he was prepared to do battle against overwhelming odds on the chance that he might prevail and because from his grass roots contacts he sensed that a rebellion was brewing. 

Tulsi Gabbard campaigning for Sanders in Gainesville, Florida. (YouTube)

In 2016 only one among the current crop of candidates followed Bernie, supported him and joined him on the campaign trail – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.  At the time she was a two-term congresswoman and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a career building position, from which she would have to resign in order to support one of the candidates.  Moreover, it was reported that she bridled at the internal bias of the DNC in favor of Hillary. 

To express her displeasure with the DNC and to support Bernie, she had to defy the Clinton Establishment, which might even have terminated her political career.  But she was a foe of the endless wars, partly based on her own experience as a National Guard member who had been deployed to Iraq in a medical unit and saw the ravages of war first hand.  So, she joined Bernie, introducing him at many of his rallies and strengthening his antiwar message.

Bernie and Tulsi proved themselves in the defining battle of 2016.  They let us know unequivocally where they stand.  And Bernie might well have won the nomination were he not cheated out of it by the Establishment, which continues to control the levers of power in the Democratic Party.

Warren Withheld Support

In 2016 these two stood in stark contrast to the other 2020 Democratic candidates.  Let us take one example of these others, Elizabeth Warren, a darling of the mainstream media, which often refers to her as “ideologically aligned” with Sanders. [Her main issue is taking on Wall Street banks.] Perhaps she is also aligned – at least in words– in favoring Medicare for All , although she hastens to add that she is “open to other approaches.”  That qualifier is balm to the ears of the insurance behemoths. Translation: she has already surrendered before the battle has begun. 

Sanders and Warren during July 30 debate. (YouTube)

In 2016 a critical primary for Bernie was Massachusetts where Warren wields considerable influence.   Clinton defeated Sanders there by a mere 1.5 percent whereas she had lost to Obama there by 15 percent in 2008. Wikipedia has this to say of the primary:

“Following the primary, Elizabeth Warren, the state’s senior US senator, was widely criticized by Sanders supporters online for her refusal to endorse him prior to the primary. Supporters of Bernie Sanders have argued that an endorsement from Warren, whose political positions were similar to that of Sanders’s, and who was a frequent critic of Hillary Clinton in the past, could have handed Massachusetts to him.

[Notwithstanding her defense of Sanders at Tuesday night’s debate,] one must wonder whether Warren does not genuinely share the views of Sanders or she is loath to buck the Establishment and fight for those views.  In either event she, and the others who failed to back Bernie in 2016, are not made of the stuff that can win Medicare for All, bring an end to the regime change wars and illegal sanctions of the last four or more administrations, begin serious negotiations to end the existential nuclear peril, and address the many other problems facing us and all of humanity.

So, if you are a progressive looking at the crowded Democratic field in 2020, there is no need to be perplexed.  The answer to your dilemma lies right before your eyes in the record of 2016.  The two who stood up then and fought for the kind of changes you desire were Bernie and Tulsi.  They walked the walk when the road was not an easy one.

John V. Walsh can be reached at [email protected]

This article is from Dissident Voice.

Before commenting please read Robert Parry’s Comment Policy. Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed.

89 comments for “A Guide for the Perplexed Progressive in 2020 is 2016

  1. Steven Fiorillo
    August 8, 2019 at 20:37

    Dear Mr. Walsh,
    Thank you for the bracer regarding liberal America’s recent amnesia. I watched the returns in Massachusetts the night she neglected to endorse Bernie. When he lost I vowed never to listen to Liz again. It’s this fact alone that keeps me from considering her as an alternative in this race. Alas, there’s enough MeToo media hype for her to divide Progressives on the basis of identity and methinks she might cause enough cool to the Bern.

  2. August 6, 2019 at 10:09

    Elizabeth Warren would be one of weakest candidates the Democrats could possibly nominate.

    She’d be laughed at on all sides for her Indigenous Heritage Caper. And rightly so.

    She has no record really of opposing wars and the Pentagon and CIA and the dark state in general.

    And, frankly, she comes off as a upper-middle-class suburbanite-based professor of something or other dabbling in politics.


  3. Piero Colombo
    August 6, 2019 at 06:16

    Sanders shouldn’t even be mentioned. How quickly we forget his last stint, where he exposed himself openly as the sheepdog for the Democratic party, to gather back the disgruntled to the fold. He announced it in so manyy words even before starting his campaign and he was openly complicit in the Party operation to cut him off when it became apparent that he unexpectedly might even win the primaries.

    The old mountebank has been a constant enabler and supporter of all US wars of aggression. No exceptions. He fully supported all of them and duly voted the war budgets. His single show-opposition was in an Iraq war vote that was irrelevant because the Iraq aggression was already authorized by the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which he strongly supported, and anyway he approved the war budget appropriations. He strongly supported Zionist invasion and occupation of Palestine –he only protests the “excessive” uncamouflaged actions by the current extreme-right government but fully follows the “Labor Party” invaders and mass murderers (just watch him cheer for the massacre of Gaza in 2014, at his 2014 City Hall meeting!)

    • August 6, 2019 at 10:20

      Sanders, after his 2016 performance with Clinton, who cheated him, merits no serious attention.

      That is not the kind of man to fight with the big-suits from the CIA and multi-billion dollar corporations and lobbies or the glittering uniformed generals.

      He can be an impressive speechmaker, but that is the limit of his skills.

      Tulsi is the real thing.

      But they are not going to give her a chance.

      Anyone with some strength and honesty is out as far as the establishment is concerned.

      America is about war and empire, and you can’t expect anyone seriously questioning that to succeed. Too much at stake.

      God, she’s ignored regularly.

      Or attacked.

      Look at that 4000-word piece of disinformation and vitriol from Mr Higgins in Britain just published.

      She hasn’t a chance, but I do admire her.

      • Tedder
        August 12, 2019 at 15:58

        I cannot take Elliot Higgins seriously about anything. I agree with the ‘false flag’ theories of many of the chemical attacks in Syria. Tulsi is marvelous!

  4. Antonio Costa
    August 5, 2019 at 09:43

    The issue, and Jill has identified it, is that many reacted to Obama in 2007/8 by not listening critically to what he said and what he represented.

    Tulsi is not Obama, but the reactions I read are much the same. She is against regime change wars. Period. She touts her military service as a badge of courage. She is far from anti-war. She is against regime change war and repeatedly states the role of the president is as Commander In Chief.

    Yes the MSM is smearing her because it supports regime change wars and the establishment status quo. But that doesn’t mean we should not be very critical about what Major Tulsi Gabbard represents.

  5. Zhu
    August 5, 2019 at 07:11

    Probably the worst of all, Biden, will getvthe nomination. :-(

  6. nigel
    August 3, 2019 at 16:48

    Accept no imitations. Sanders 2020

  7. August 3, 2019 at 12:28

    Growing obvious as weeks go on many forget what Sanders did and what became of the money we donated to him after he chose to support the very system he claimed to be fighting against. He didn’t take the fight to the convention, he bowed to the establishment at it. Then after that side of the establishment lost within its own fake system he joined in their choir of the false Russia narrative, as a further slap to our faces. And now one wishes us to believe he has brought that illusion from 2016 to today to fight on, as a positive. Applying his own false narrative.

    “a consistent opponent of the endless wars”

    How does one be a consistent opponent of endless wars while voting for the messes now ravaging Libya and Syria and constant supporting of the Iraq war in votes? While also supporting the false narrative being manufactured towards Venezuela and Maduro which could lead to more warring. Was Yemen even brought up in the debates? There’s a man in these debates call Biden that should have opened a door widely for the use of even a such subtle introduction. Especially when it comes to his horrific involvement to his policies bringing us the current crisis at the border. Even the war monger Hillieary Clinton advised us of his voting record on these wars and atrocities, as she was willing to partner herself in them with him.

    One picture in the article is captioned under it—-Tulsi Gabbard campaigning for Sanders in Gainesville, Florida. (YouTube).

    Along with her own issues of being related to conservative entities, with that above. You also have a town hall meeting where she was asked about the actions of the DNC in 2016 in which the man asking the question was quickly taken down by a member of the DNC watch dog and she basically blew off the question. In other words. Those actions will not be tolerated in being discussed. I’ll just leave that where it lays. It speaks quite loudly on its own.

    Warren also follows suit on everything above. This article is everything about forgetting the past. I’m not quite sure this fits the ideology of Robert Parry when the present setting of a narrative of the candidates doesn’t match the past history.

    !!!Please don’t turn this site into another Common Dreams type of news source!!!

    • Jill
      August 4, 2019 at 08:59


      That was well argued. I remember when Obama backed telecom immunity. Instead of paying attention to this action, people simply ignored it. I see that happening with Tulsi and Bernie. We ignore the actions of candidates at our own peril.

    • Simon
      August 4, 2019 at 12:22

      Sorry William, but Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and Ray McGovern are not running, nor would they win if they did, or even make the debates.

      The question is not can we get some utopian candidate elected president, but rather who are the best options that have a chance. And those options are rather clearly Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, as this article makes clear. Even if they don’t win they can change the conversation in a very positive way, as Bernie and Tulsi did in 2016, and as they are doing now.

    • hetro
      August 4, 2019 at 16:12

      In my view, one of the problems we’re having is coming to conclusions too quickly. I’m not sure you’re correct on Sanders re Iraq, nor on supporting current US criminal behavior in Venezuela. Your comment on Tulsi is very thin. Do you have a link on that? What is more supportive to your position? I’m sympathetic, and have made my disappointment in Sanders from 2016 known here more than once. I don’t need to go into all that again. As to Tulsi, I’m struggling to understand her recent BDS vote, and have not so far seen explanation of it or any comment from her. I also believe we’re all hyper-sensitive to disappointments, and very quick to jump to conclusions. On Sanders I’m ready to second-chance it. Who amongst those you’ve heard of so far in these show-trial “debates” to confirm Establishment Credentials is more impressive in making a start on significant change? Sanders vs. Biden? It’s somewhat early to be trashing these alternatives, seems to me.

      • Gregory Herr
        August 5, 2019 at 17:38
        • hetro
          August 5, 2019 at 22:39

          Thank you for this link. A problem for me in the analysis is its either-or approach–you either support boycott and opposition or you’re for prolonging Israeli suppression is the sense I get from this writer’s slant in his report. She responded twice, with her second response stating the BDS movement she had voted against is not the only way to go toward a solution, and she favors the two-state solution. Maybe she needs more thinking/experience on this matter? The conventional platitudes in the resolution plus its attack on the BDS movement would seem to have left her at an abstain as a better position. Maybe. I don’t know her well enough to conclude “gulled by the Zionists” at this point.

  8. T Reg
    August 3, 2019 at 11:17

    “Then as has been stated, she voted for over a trillion dollar military budget.” She voted for a “budget” that was just playing games with the “debt limit”; no money was actually appropriated. And the $1.5 trillion was for two years. Look instead at how she votes on the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), which is where the money is appropriated, i.e. spent. Except for one year, 2015, she has always voted NO on the NDAA. (I would like to hear her explain her yes votes that year).

    Only Bernie Sanders has a better record than her during the years she’s been in office; he has always voted NO.

  9. Johny Conspiranoid
    August 3, 2019 at 06:13

    Tulsi Gabbard is still a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and then there’s her anti BDS vote.

    • Antonio Costa
      August 4, 2019 at 07:14

      Yes and she repeatedly states “when I’m you’re Commander-In-Chief”. CIC is only in play during war, and according to the Constitution, only when war is declared by Congress. Now the latter has been dead since Korea, and prior to that administrations would create various forms of false flags to engage in a imperialistic war (not so much “regime change” war).

      Many who follow this war on terror have stated over and over that such a war is on a tactic, not a nation state. As such it is endless by nature given how long the use of terror has existed in the history of human existence. It becomes a pretext, no different than “Remember the Maine”. It is at bottom driven by capital (resources and to assure dollar hegemony).

      Tulsi’s stated goal is to end “regime change” wars, but to continue to fight “terrorism”. This fits into the neocon playbook of full spectrum dominance.

      I don’t know what she really believes but she has laid down an agenda that is more about militarization than about just peace. She does this by playing up her focus on ending one type of war pretext and reinforcing the GW Bush war agenda.

      The MSM almost seems to be garnering her some left support by attacking her as they have done and still doing with Trump’s “base”. Her frontal attack on Harris, though apparently appropriate, was a means of creating a swell of name recognition and support.

      As long as the MSM is attacking her, it creates what we see her, critical skepticism on the left/anti-war vanishes.

  10. Jill
    August 2, 2019 at 11:25

    Here is a different strategy offered for consideration. Instead of 30,000 people crowding into a stadium to hear Bernie speak, why not gather 30,000 people at an Amazon warehouse (along w/any candidate who wishes to come), and protest on behalf of the evil conditions of those workers? The money that would be sent out for a campaign, could instead be collected to support striking workers. Believe me, if 30,000 people stand in front of an Amazon building it will have an effect! This will empower people in a way no speech can. We can offer real help by doing this.

    I want to quickly acknowledge that this is just one thing someone might choose to do. There are many others. 30,000 people could physically build a municipal solar/wind/water/geothermal plant, etc. plant for a small to medium municipality. The donation money could purchase the land and materials.

    If someone is being evicted from their home, 30,000 people could surround the bank and force them to the negotiating table. If prisoners are suffering (and they are) 30,000 people can stand outside that jail, the ICE detention facility etc. and force the matter to be dealt with. Any politician who wants to join in these actions is welcome. (One could make some determinations about candidates based on that participation.)

    With the earth and all its life forms being in severe jeopardy, I’m not certain that concern regarding the 2020 candidates is even relevant. However, it is clear that 30,000 people are willing to gather to hear someone speak. If that is the case, those same 30,000 people can meet and take an action. One action at a time, just as people show up across the country to hear Bernie speak. We absolutely know 30,000 people can pull together. Let’s do that! Let’s do direct action on behalf of this planet, other people and right some injustice– directly and immediately.

    This is part of what I mean by a peaceful revolution.

    • Antonio Costa
      August 2, 2019 at 13:02

      Jill hear, hear!

    • CitizenOne
      August 3, 2019 at 00:40

      “The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy” a book by by Noreena Hertz has as its first chapter, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. In that chapter she recounts how 800,000 people marched against an economic summit in Helsinki held by the globally and economically dominant nations but none of it was published in the main stream media which is the handmaiden of the elites. Instead those few who happened to see the coverage were treated to “money shots” of “anarchists” that were probably planted in the crowd to change the narrative at the behest of the wealthy in order to turn a peaceful protest by hundreds of thousands of people protesting global economic policies into a story about how a few rowdy thugs were attempting to burn cars and smash windows in order to promote anarchy and violence as a solution to the problem.

      Here lies the rub. Even if 30,000 people stand in front of an Amazon fulfillment center and protest lousy wages and unbearable conditions they will never see their day in the Sun since the global media interests which support the interests of one of the biggest companies on the planet also own the press too. You would be foolish to think that mass protests would ever reach the ears of a significant proportion of citizens since they would be completely ignored and the reality would be twisted to make it look like just a small handful of violent extremists opposed the global economic interests of the wealthiest nations.

      Fast forward to recent events in Venezuela and Iran. The US has launched massive overthrow campaigns against these “rogue nations” with their abhorrent nationalized oil corporations and their vitriolic opposition to global corporations seeking to gain control of their natural resources. We are bombarded with news about how these nations are an existential threat to freedom and democracy. Hemispheric hegemony arguments seeking to overthrow these governments and domino theories predicting a collapse of the world order of the freest nations because these nations exist go unchallenged by the MSM.

      Nowhere to be found is one single source of main stream media that offers a dissenting narrative challenging our rights to overthrow these governments based on the alleged crimes against democracy and freedom these nations are committing. They are our top priorities for military intervention and ultimate defeat and it is historical since we did that in Iran back in the 1950s when a CIA coup overthrew the government of Iran and turned over the oil fields to global oil companies.

      The fate of some families suffering in a fulfillment center here in the US is of little concern for the defense industry which is spreading out over the globe funded by the vitriol launched against other nations that happen to want to control their natural resources.

      It is an age old story but the reality is it is true that those who control the microphone define our course of actions around the World.

      30,000 or 30,000,000 protestors do not really matter to the folks who control the microphone. They will simply be ignored.


      • Jill
        August 4, 2019 at 09:05

        Citizen One,

        What I am talking about does not need the inclusion of a lackey press. 30,000 people taking on one problem at a time, hitting back at a local injustice may never be televised. But it absolutely will have an effect on the injustice at hand and it will show people we have power whether it is televised, whether big names are present or not.

        I believe you are still in the old way of thinking that we “need” the oligarchy and their minions. We do not. The moment we realize this is the moment we have a kind of freedom that we have not experienced in a long time. The press might not cover building a solar plant either but that doesn’t mean it didn’t get built.

      • hetro
        August 4, 2019 at 14:54

        Citizen One, and I do not mean to be antagonistic here whatever, but do you have any suggestion as to ANY effective response? Jill’s point seems to be a call to activism instead of being a spectator, much as we seem to be here in the commenting audience at CN. If activism of the sort indicated by Jill is useless, is anything of use? I think this question is very perplexing to a lot of us. I would think that no matter how the event would be transformed by the obedient media, as you suggest, 30,000 protesting would indeed make a stir, and in turn that might provoke some brain cells. Still, unless that began a chain reaction of 30,000’s doing protests one after another you’re probably right. I enjoy your comments and would like to hear your view of what to do (perhaps there is nothing) in our current morass of brainwashing and being manipulated.

  11. hetro
    August 2, 2019 at 10:52

    I think the last thing we need in this forum is this kind of condescending sneering at people you disagree with. The essential problem, as illustrated in the comments, is the issue of credibility. Bernie’s credibility was seriously on the line in 2016 and he damaged it. If you want to deny that you too are then subject to more of the same kind of talk you’re offering here. Whatever Tulsi’s reasons for voting for the recent BDS resolution, she has suddenly lost credibility. Perhaps we are too sensitive and jumping the gun on these matters. Consideration is needed, not anger and “straightening people out who ought to grow up.”

    • ML
      August 2, 2019 at 13:58

      I concur, hetro. Shaming people with “oh, grow up” is not productive. That’s not how most commenters enjoy engaging with someone with whom they disagree here on CN. I like vinnieoh’s comment. He makes the more cogent argument for the case of supporting someone who has disappointed them greatly.

  12. Antonio Costa
    August 2, 2019 at 09:18

    If you’ll forgive me a bit of speculation (not a journalist, I).

    First to the author who I’ve read through the years and thought of him a radical Green and far from the quandary of what Dem. to be believed. So I’m a bit perplexed as his challenge to unperplex the perplexed.

    On the issue of Tusli Gabbard, I was a “believer”, mostly in some of what she was saying and that she was viewed as a fringe candidate made her all the more attractive. There were signs, red flags, but I dismissed these in the name of some nominal truth telling.

    Then there was the recent vote against BDS. This was a un-reconcilable shock. One I couldn’t dismiss, nor will I. My speculation is that she may have found support from Chomsky (and perhaps Finkelstein). Not that she’s talking to Chomsky. No need. He’s everywhere hailed the nation’s, the world’s greatest intellectual. This is all too frequently translated into, if Chomsky said it, than it has the blessing of the world’s leading intellectual. We’ve all heard how power corrupts. Power is not simply held by political leaders. There are those who we have bestowed with the power of the “greatest…”. Still Chomsky has his first amendment right, and he may be against the House vote on that principle alone.

    I would never disagree with Chomsky just because I disagree with him on somethings (he may still believe in the 2 state solution). That would be foolish. I want truth regardless the source. I look for folks in the spotlight to have judgment and a capacity to discern when someone has gone astray regardless of past accolades.

    Boycotts are a first amendment right. BDS follows the path of the successful boycott against Apartheid South Africa. Frequently I’ve heard the likes of Chomsky chide Palestinians for militancy in Gaza. And yet when a Gandhian approach to the slaughter of Palestinians is undertaken, he shouts: it will end Israel!

    Gabbard is now persona non grata regarding her run for presidency. She may speak truth, and I won’t dismiss it out right. But her vote against the 1st amendment, peaceful boycotts for a just cause, and her willingness to vote for a $1.3 Trillion military budget is just beyond the pale. Her concern over regime change is not a call for peace. Presidents have always come up with pretexts for endless war – at least 93% of US history is war/conflicts. For the most part it is the CIA who takes on regime change.

  13. Seer
    August 2, 2019 at 08:09

    Grr! I am posting replies and NOTHING is showing up. Not getting any feedback about being posted/accepted (or rejected).

  14. Ma Laoshi
    August 2, 2019 at 03:56

    “Just look at 2016” Ehmm, isn’t this a nice way of saying “Disregard the mountain of evidence that has piled up since then”? Bernie’s tireless RussiaGating isn’t just another issue: it’s the stuff that can lead to nuclear war. It also casts Mr. Sanders as either an inveterate liar or a deluded old fool–which one do you prefer in the White House? Finally, it doesn’t matter how many Nice Things Bernie promises, since the money is all gone: in the climate of McCarthyite hysteria, which he himself helped create, all the cash will go to the Armies of Mordor and the agencies of State Security; indeed, the Dems’ only complaint these days is that Trump’s war budget isn’t big enough. Bernie’s been around in Washington, he understands all this; the evidence says he’s OK with it. On top of all this, and since you asked us to remember 2016, the RussiaGating also shows tremendous contempt for the vote in that year. How can such an antidemocratic scumbag even be allowed to run for election again?

    More broadly, what will it take for people to realize that the system of two officially allowed parties is itself the problem? What do we know best about Tulsi Gabbard: that she invaded Iraq with the Armies of Mordor, and that she chose to join the Dem party. But without UNSC authorization, the former was a war crime; the order to invade someone else’s country anyway was illegal, hence null and void. Why act as if you’re proud of something that reveals serious failings of character and judgement? And who’d want to be associated with the party of the Clintons and the Podestas, among countless other scumbags, unless your goal is simply to get closer to established power?

    • Gregory Herr
      August 2, 2019 at 16:01

      I’ll stick up for Tulsi here. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be judged at age 38 for the naïveté I possessed in my early 20’s. And it was not necessarily a failing of character for a young person to join the armed services after 9/11. She may (or perhaps not) have been acting from a place of “character”— doing what she thought was right. That she today views the Iraq invasion as a tragic mistake is to her credit (unless she’s purely a lying opportunist—but I still give her benefit of doubt on that score).

      • Antonio Costa
        August 2, 2019 at 23:14

        “There are two ways to be fooled: One is to believe what isn’t so; the other is to refuse to believe what is so.” – Kierkegaard

      • Ma Laoshi
        August 3, 2019 at 03:00

        Well I did criticize Bernie and Tulsi in that order: a possibly sensible individual any time over a 100-year-old D.C. lifer, who’s already lost. But as I see it, you’re conflating two issues: signing on after Holy Tuesday (what 9/11 is called in Saudi Arabia) on the one hand and invading Iraq on the other, which transparently had nothing to do with 9/11, just because somebody with lots of stars and medals says so. You receive an order which everyone knows to be illegal, you take the high road and argue it before a court martial (no easy thing in the jingoistic climate of 2003 to be sure)–or you seek asylum in China. If you think that putting on a uniform absolves you from individual responsibility and guilt, then to my ears you admit you’re no longer human, and I don’t care too much if the unruly locals in Iraq treat you accordingly.

        I know, one just doesn’t talk this way in America. For me that’s a sign of a culture that’s gone astray, and the War Party duopoly is a key culprit. The issue of reforming the Dems has been fully litigated after the 2016 fiasco; thanks in part to the heavy-handed intervention of a certain Barack Obama, all stayed as it was save for removing the last restrictions on lobbyist money. There can be no progress without accountability: if you’re at all serious you burn the Dems to the ground for their betrayal of the American people, and build something better for ’24. You know, the kind of things progressives should have done in the past three years but didn’t, because Putin. Pathetic.

        • Gregory Herr
          August 5, 2019 at 17:59

          There’s much here to be agreed with, including “how you talk”. That “there can be no progress without accountability” is one of the most important things you say. I consistently voice my denunciation of the Dems and the war duopoly they abide. My support for the view of Putin as a rational and committed internationalist has been clear.

          What I suggest is that yes, your world view and moral choices clearly attain from a perspective that is not so apparent to youth. I’m not hoping for anything from the duopoly. I just want to amplify Gabbard’s voice when it bears repeating.

      • August 3, 2019 at 12:41

        The invasion of Iraq was not a “tragic mistake.” It was the deliberate destruction of a sovereign nation with the intent of controlling its resources.
        Anyone gullible enough to participate in these war crimes should be begging forgiveness from the victims. I don’t see Tulsi Gabbard doing that. She is still proud of her “service.”

        • Gregory Herr
          August 4, 2019 at 07:44

          That Gabbard views the effects of that war and ongoing regime-change efforts as a tragedy and explicitly refers to the sufferings inflicted upon the people who live there is to her credit.
          I understand the deliberateness behind the war of terrorism and demented “domination”, but can’t expect Tulsi’s boat-rocking to perfectly expose these machinations in no uncertain terms. The word “mistake” should not be used in connection to the tragedy and I didn’t mean to put words in her mouth, but if she did use the expression “tragic mistake”, it can still be said that she’s highlighting an issue that needs highlighting. I’m for giving her campaign (which is critiquing much that needs critiquing) some room to breathe. I won’t shy away from clear disagreement and have e-mailed her campaign about such, but want to get behind where she’s definitely on the right track. A Fool’s Errand, perhaps.

        • Ma Laoshi
          August 5, 2019 at 01:28

          Hear, hear!

  15. James V Murray
    August 2, 2019 at 02:22

    What about Gabbard’s support for Israel? I won’t vote for a friend of the Zionist atrocity.

    • Seer
      August 2, 2019 at 07:25

      And what about your trolling?

      Just wondering…

      As for Gabbard, she doesn’t attend AIPAC conferences, has spoken out against Israeli actions against Palestinians. Yes, she blew it by signing that stupid Res (“pledge”- non-binding) against BDS; it was, in most minds, an attempt to straddle the fence (and her response to the backlash showed her as failing to justify her vote). But, in a somewhat redemptive act she signed on to HR 496 (2019-2020) as a co-sponsor. HR 496 affirms that boycotts ARE protected under free speech.

      Gabbard is attacking the MIC (plus security branches), the health insurance industry, the DNC (and the Clinton machine), the corporate media and big tech industry, and folks also want her to take on AIPAC? The tentacles are too deep at this point to risk that: just look at what happened with Omar, then imagine what would happen to and candidate for POTUS doing that. So… I’m pretty sure that Gabbard is trying to walk a fine line on this. And I’m pretty sure that her advocating for “secure elections” will tie in (most likely indirectly, which is still a way to get the job done) Israeli interference. Keep in mind that Israel has it’s hooks in all areas in which Gabbard is already openly attacking.

      There IS action taking place, it’s just not as visible as some would like. I believe that Gabbard has earned a little benefit of the doubt. This does not, however, mean that she is beyond criticism.

      By all means, if you have a candidate that you feel more comfortable supporting then that’s the candidate for YOU. Feel free to share such a candidate with the rest of us here: I’m sure they have no soft spots, no areas in which anyone could possibly use as smear bait.

    • August 2, 2019 at 07:45

      Mister Murray, sadly you cannot even enter the arena if you do not support Zionism. If you think Gabbard is the best candidate otherwise, you might consider supporting her. Millions ae frustrated when they consider this reality. Sadly, it can’t be fixed unless an enlightened critical mass of Jews consider the dangers of so much power in their hands. Many Jews recognize this and there is a sense that Zionism is out of control and the injustices and other dangers cannot be abided for everyone’s sake, not just the Jewish community. It appears that such sentiments among Jews is growing, often because the teaching of Judaism and the behavior of Christian and Jewish Zionists. That it is growing is perhaps more and wish than an informed comment.

  16. Deniz
    August 1, 2019 at 20:15

    Tulsi Gabbard is 16,000 donations short out of 130,000 needed to qualify for the September debates or her campaign ends; I just contributed.

    • Cratylus
      August 2, 2019 at 21:42

      Tulsi just announced that she passed the 130,000 unique donor mark – probably thanks in part to Deniz!!!
      Now she needs support to rise in the polls.
      One can find faults with everyone, but we are on precipice of nuclear disaster and to get to perfection we have to get off the precipice – Tulsi and Bernie are the best hopes we have.

      They are not perfect but no one is – however, they are moving in the right direction.
      Let us not make the perfect the enemy of survival.

  17. leon anderson
    August 1, 2019 at 20:04

    I thought Tulsi resigned from the DNC after the organization was exposed by Wikileaks. In any event, she has displayed more moral character and has been more forthright about her intentions to get the US out of endless wars and a willingness to take on the Pentagon. None of the other cantidates have these qualities so far.

    • Miranda M Keefe
      August 1, 2019 at 23:12

      She resigned before.

  18. Antonio Costa
    August 1, 2019 at 19:59

    It’s the system “stupid”. None of these personalities will change anything. John Adams warned against a pseudo-democracy that was nothing more than a cult of personalities.

    I, too, dropped Gabbard when I saw how easily she fell under AIPAC’s spell with her vote against BDS (she says because they are against a 2-state solution, something she is for. Two-state solution was born dead. No one wanted it. It’s a means of endless negotiations that lead to no where. Look at the landscape. Two-state is impossible. Any fool can see that.)

    Former Senator Mike Gravel has stated it clearly and cogently: The two-state solution is dead. Let us take the obvious and humane path forward

    Words mean little when you have the power to vote. And Gabbard chose to vote against the first amendment and a peaceful means of countering the asymmetrical power of Israel. Then as has been stated, she voted for over a trillion dollar military budget. If (doubtful) she were to be elected she’d inherit a military budget in 2022 larger than 2021….one she voted for.

    Regime change is just one of many ways this nation goes to war. Being against stupid wars (Obama) or regime change wars (Gabbard) doesn’t end war and bring about just peace. You need to cut the military at its knees, not give it billions of dollars more than it even asks for…

    It’s the system stupid. And that system is built for self-preservation at all costs.

    • Eric32
      August 1, 2019 at 20:23

      >It’s the system “stupid”. None of these personalities will change anything. John Adams warned against a pseudo-democracy that was nothing more than a cult of personalities.<

      Yes- it's a system that would turn George Washington into a compromised zero.

      My only reservation about downgrading her entirely on the BDS thing, is that repotedly Norman Finkelstein is also against it.

      • Antonio Costa
        August 1, 2019 at 22:15

        What is YOUR alternative to a peaceful approach to dealing with the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians?

        Perhaps you can provide Finkelstein’s solution. I’ve never heard one.

        In any case boycotting is a first amendment right.

        • Eric32
          August 2, 2019 at 12:00

          >What is YOUR alternative to a peaceful approach to dealing with the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians?Perhaps you can provide Finkelstein’s solution. I’ve never heard one.<

          [Finkelstein] accused BDS activists of “inflating the numbers” of Palestinian refugees and “want[ing] to create terror in the hearts of every Israeli” rather than resolve the conflict. “I’m not going to tolerate what I think is silliness, childishness, and a lot of left-wing posturing,” he said.

        • Eric32
          August 2, 2019 at 13:06

          I had intended to post this:

          BDS>What is YOUR alternative to a peaceful approach to dealing with the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians?Perhaps you can provide Finkelstein’s solution. I’ve never heard one.<

          [Finkelstein] accused BDS activists of “inflating the numbers” of Palestinian refugees and “want[ing] to create terror in the hearts of every Israeli” rather than resolve the conflict. “I’m not going to tolerate what I think is silliness, childishness, and a lot of left-wing posturing,” he said.

    • Seer
      August 2, 2019 at 08:07

      I adopted this position too, but then decided that it’s just not politically sound in light of how bad things are. Looking at the entire picture…

      Gabbard doesn’t attend AIPAC conferences, has spoken out against Israeli actions against Palestinians. She met with Assad, who is a declared foe of Israel. Yes, she blew it by signing that stupid Res (“pledge”- non-binding) against BDS; it was, in most minds, an attempt to straddle the fence (and her response to the backlash showed her as failing to justify her vote). But, in a somewhat redemptive act she signed on to HR 496 (2019-2020) as a co-sponsor. HR 496 affirms that boycotts ARE protected under free speech. This is Gabbard sausage-making, for sure. But, take a look at who signed on to this res and I doubt you’ll find any pro-Zionists or Israel-Firsters listed.

      Gabbard is only 38. I wonder how “awake” people here were when they were that age. There is always time for changing. That she followed on with supporting HR 496 might be such a change. Sanders has changed on this subject. Had he been tossed to the scrap heap before his change we wouldn’t now be blessed with his current influences.

      Gabbard is attacking the MIC (plus security branches), the health insurance industry, the DNC (and the Clinton machine), the corporate media and big tech industry, and folks also want her to take on AIPAC? The tentacles are too deep at this point to risk that: just look at what happened with Omar, then imagine what would happen to and candidate for POTUS doing that. So… I’m pretty sure that Gabbard is trying to walk a fine line on this. And I’m pretty sure that her advocating for “secure elections” will tie in (most likely indirectly, which is still a way to get the job done) Israeli interference. Keep in mind that Israel has it’s hooks in all areas in which Gabbard is already openly attacking.

      There IS action taking place, it’s just not as visible as some would like. I believe that Gabbard has earned a little benefit of the doubt. This does not, however, mean that she is beyond criticism.

      I agree that voting for the military budget bloat is bad. But voting against it means that her opponents would have plenty of fodder to call her a hypocrite for refusing to fund veterans stuff. You cannot freaking win here, and that’s how the System has it stacked. She has made it abundantly clear that she wishes to slash military spending. You have to start somewhere, and she’s initiating that by getting people trained to accept it by way of curtailing “regime change wars.” There is plenty to anchor to with regards to “regime change wars,” whereas with other things military-related things it’s not so easy (yet). And keep in mind that she’s also talking about tamping down the new cold-war build-up.

      By all means, if you have a candidate that you feel more comfortable supporting then that’s the candidate for YOU. Feel free to share such a candidate with the rest of us here: I’m sure they have no soft spots, no areas in which anyone could possibly use as smear bait. Gravel, who I support, isn’t going to get any real visibility; he stated that he wasn’t going for the nomination (likely cost him getting on the stage; he later recanted, but that wasn’t enough to undo the DNC’s “belief” that he’s not a serious candidate). And lets face it, Gravel has ZERO to risk: refer to Bernie’s position in 2016 (he would have been permanently banned as a Dem candidate had he not bent his knee). Gravel says that the dream ticket it Sanders/Gabbard. If one disagrees with him then it would seem that one would have to reassess Gravel. I for one agree with him: I am certain he understands the difficulty of “the mission.”

      • Ash
        August 2, 2019 at 13:36

        > Gabbard is only 38. I wonder how “awake” people here were when they were that age.

        I’m 38 and you won’t hear any of that claptrap coming out of me.

    • hetro
      August 2, 2019 at 18:24

      Seems to me Gabbard as fallen under the spell of AIPAC on this decision might be a bit hasty or over-simplified. Does anyone actually have her response on WHY she supported the BDS resolution? And with all due respect to Mike Gravel, his saying the two state solution is dead is then followed by an alternative that some might argue is little short of legislating paradise as the answer to the problem. Let’s withdraw the US from undue influence from Israel’s current political establishment and impel Net and the rest to make sure a single state honors everybody’s interests with democracy and fairness, including rectifying all current steps taken and continuing regarding Israeli suppression. That does sound good, I’ll say that.

  19. vinnieoh
    August 1, 2019 at 19:16

    So, here we go again. In the end I agree with what Jill, below, said. However, as long as Sanders is in the race I will support him and do whatever I can to help him get the nomination. Probably for naught, and I am not looking for a savior: I’m 66 – give me a break for crying out loud.

    Many of the raps now laid on Sanders are phony raps or don’t really absorb the realities of our screwed-up political system. “He betrayed his supporters by capitulating.” No, he fulfilled a promise he made at the beginning of the race to support the eventual candidate, if it wasn’t him. “He’s just a sheepdog to lead the feckless faithful into the D polling booth to slaughter” If that were true they wouldn’t be expending so much money and effort to try to make him go away and stop filling people’s heads with the truth about our screwed-up system. The D party establishment absolutely hates the anti-establishment revolt that he’s helped stir up; just listen to how Pelosi denigrates those that he helped inspire and get elected.

    I too regret his decision not to accept the offer of the Greens to head their ticket. It would have been courageous and inspired, but in the end it would have ended in the same result – Trump as POTUS. Do you really believe that if it had been that three-way ballot in the general that Sanders would have won? NOT. ON. YOUR. LIFE. The vote would have been hopelessly split and Sanders would be dead and buried (politically.) Look at the how the hyper-partisans still spit at Nader. Instead, Sanders lived to fight another campaign.

    And while those that righteously slam Sanders repeat the same accusations, just who, pray tell, will even come close to campaigning for those things that he does? Gabbard doesn’t have a chance as a frontrunner, but at this early stage it is absolutely correct to support her if you like her that much. I like Liz, but a lot less than I used to because as the author points out when she had the chance to support him, she capitulated to the party bosses, and she will do the same on Medicare for All. The senior Senator from my own Ohio, that stalwart “progressive” Sherrod Brown, likewise scurried for the shadows and did not support Sanders – none of them did. They all drank the conventional Koolaid and died together in November ’16.

    I hate having this conversation again, re-hashing all these battlefield tropes. Even if Jesus himself was elected they’d crucify him again in the Senate and nothing about the sick and homeless, the least among us, turning the other cheek, and on and on would even disturb the obsequiousness of Mitch McConnel, Chuck Schumer, and their ilk.

    “I already know who will win the election in 2020–the plutocracy.” Thank you Jill; I should have just left it at that.

    • Skip Scott
      August 2, 2019 at 07:39

      It may well have ended up with Trump still as POTUS, but it would also have been a HUGE boost to the Green Party, and may have put us in a better spot for 2020. Until we stop the flimflam game of the utterly corrupted two party system, we have no chance for REAL change. At 63 years old, I guess I’m just a kid at heart, but I’m smart enough to know that Lucy is gonna pull away that football at the last second every time. Time for something different!

  20. ranney
    August 1, 2019 at 18:22

    John, thanks for reminding us. I do remember all that, but it just wasn’t front and center in my mind.

    Bernie is still the best bet regardless if he isn’t perfect on foreign affairs – he is very firmly opposed to war and has been for a long time and that’s a good start for me. I also think he can be educated on the facts re Ukraine, Syria, and Libya etc.
    I ‘ve been assuming that he is so intent on the domestic programs that he espouses that he hasn’t had time to read in depth about all the other foreign things. And it’s really hard to find out the truth unless you have been following CN, Intercept and a few other sites. Note that virtually everyone who knows anything at all about the actual facts are now “Unpeople”. Unpeople are those who used to be seen regularly on PBS, CNN, Network news and cable news like MSNBC and are now never seen and their names are never mentioned. I’m of course referring to people like Glenn Greenwald, Ray McGovern, William Binney and dozens of others who are now unpeople. When the truth tellers are no longer allowed to speak on MSM air or in the op-ed sections of major papers it becomes hard to find WTF is going on.
    So don’t blame Bernie – write to him instead and don’t berate him; just tell him what the story is and where to look for confirmation of the facts you present.
    Warren is educable too, I’m hoping Bernie is the candidate for Pres. and Warren is the vice president. Both of them are fighters and both of them have a long record of standing by their ideas for a better America. And I hope a President Sanders will appoint Tulsi to one of several major cabinet posts I can think of.

    • August 1, 2019 at 23:59

      Bernie’s campaign texts me a lot asking for support of one sort or another, usually money. I respond that I’d like to support Bernie in spite of many things, most of all his genuflection to Russiagate, but what I can’t accept his pledge to support any Dem who wins the nomination. That’s throwing in the towel before the first primary.

      • Skip Scott
        August 2, 2019 at 07:41

        Amen Ann! Time for Bernie to “grow a set”.

      • Seer
        August 2, 2019 at 07:44

        And if he hadn’t signed he wouldn’t be running as a Dem.

        He, unlike Gabbard, isn’t a full-fledge Dem. Thus he has to jump higher.

        Keep in mind that this will be his last run at it (the nomination). If he doesn’t make it I doubt that he’ll endorse a corporate Dem (of which Warren is one): he may, however, make some hardcore demands that would facilitate forcing the nominee to pledge support for “Our Revolution.” Same will go for Gabbard. People will just have to tolerate another four years of Trump; and, hopefully, folks will then get serious enough to fully expunge all the corporate Dems.

        Warren is no fighter. She talks like one, but when it comes down to it, NOTHING. She got screwed hard by HRC many years ago, only to get suckered by her during the 2016 campaign (HRC baited her support with the promises of VP – and, as we know as fact, it wasn’t Warren who was selected HRC’s running mate). Keep in mind that CNN allowed Warren and Biden supporters out in front of their break-away cameras while blocking out Sanders supporters. Care to guess why?

        As made clear in this article, Gabbard is loyal to the cause, she has PROVEN it. Sanders absolutely knows this, and I would say that it’s close to a certainty that he’ll pick Gabbard as his running mate: I would like to see it the other way (don’t underestimate the way one’s support can change- look how early-on in the 2016 campaign Trump wasn’t on any radar [it was actually HRC and the DNC that though it best if Trump won the nomination, as they figured they could obliterate him]): Gabbard IS better suited as commander in chief, and Bernie would be excellent in circulating within the country doing what he does best- promoting his domestic policies.

  21. Drew Hunkins
    August 1, 2019 at 18:19

    “although [Warren] hastens to add that she is “open to other approaches.””

    What weasel words. This is so Slick Willie and Obama esque gibberish smooth hustler talk.

    I love it when health insurance CEOs and other health insurance company oligopoly big wigs tell us that Medicare for All “won’t work.” What a laugher! I’ll tell you what doesn’t work: the satus quo!

    The status quo has seen millions of Americans driven to death or bankruptcy over the last 30 years due to exclusions, exorbitant co-pays, high deductibles and outrageous premiums. To say that Medicare for All won’t work is to imply that what’s going on now is working relatively well. It’s not!

    Medicare for All (“single payer”) has worked just fine throughout the rest of the industrialized world for decades. Its only failures derive largely from Tory types and other free-market righties attempts to under fund it.

    The healthcare status quo in America must be relegated to the dustbin of history. It’s time has come!

  22. LJ
    August 1, 2019 at 17:25

    The author is obviously a Sanders supporter. So Tulsi Gabbard is a soul mate to begin with. Sanders did sell out his core constituency by throwing support behind Clinton when at the very least he should have pushed for fundamental reform at the DNC, and Gabbard did sign on to Unconstitutional legislation that limits free speech regarding Israel . In the real world we live in it’s either Trump or a Democrat. There is a pro Israel litmus test for any Democratic candidate . All Democratic Presidential Candidates supported the BDS legislation unless I’m mistaken . At least they’re not Joe Biden who once called himself a Goy Zionist but Warren and Harris are also strong supporters, no questions asked of Israel. The lesser evil might be Gabbard or Sanders but they are unlikely to win the nomination. Every election cycle seems to be getting worse. Trump could get re-elected. I guess it will all come down to how you feel about him. Can you the swallow the pill either way? Then who will win the House and Senate ? The Senate will stay Republican for sure and the House may flop. What I’m seeing is more of the same. No progress on anything important. And how far are we away from November 2020 ? As for anti-BDS Legislation being passed, Was there ever any doubt about it? Our elected representatives fall all over themselves about Israel and AIPAC. Don’t you recall the many standing ovations for Netanyahu when he was invited to address Congress regarding his contempt for the Iranian Nuclear negotiations? They were like trained seals with their ridiculous applause. And look what happened to the JCPOA. You pays your money, you get your choice.

  23. Jeff Harrison
    August 1, 2019 at 17:17

    I’m not going to say much. It’s still a year ’til the conventions. I’m gonna wait until I see what the corrupt US political system throws up for me to choose from ’cause we both know I won’t have much to say about it.

  24. hetro
    August 1, 2019 at 16:14

    Yes, it’s the hold your nose and vote for the lesser evil all over again at this point as it was in 2012 and 2016. Obama not Romney; Hillary not Trump, etc.

    It is remarkable that no third party has arisen at this time, a people’s party for sure, with bright young idealists running it, to challenge the System including challenging these absurd “debates” which showcase mainstream news operators gesticulating and pandering to sound bites such as “I’ll clorox the oval office.”

    Plus winners are apparently being decided based on how many google searches accompany their names after each dickering. That the Public apparently stands by enthralled with this show is astounding, given how dire the moment is in many ways.

    Why not a third party–NOW, with people we’ve never heard of, and ones with principles who address what we need to get after?

  25. karlof1
    August 1, 2019 at 14:41

    Very true in 2016. We now know more about Gabbard based on some of her recent behavior and choices. I contemplated working for her campaign but needed to know her position on Palestine as both of her campaign-related websites omitted Palestine as a policy issue, which itself raised a Red Flag. Her vote in favor of the House motion to censure attempts to use BDS against the Occupiers of Palestine and thus abridge a Constitutional Right she harps about the need to defend, which was then followed by her voting in favor of the $1.5 Trillion 202-21 War Budget, and thus provided me with all the info needed to make my decision. I will not work for her campaign. Tulsi Gabbard’s only 38 and needs to become wiser if she really wants to become POTUS, meaning she needs to see that she projects double-standards that hurt her credibility and undermine her principles–you cannot be against endless wars and support Zionists, for example.

    • Gregory Herr
      August 1, 2019 at 18:53

      Two very disappointing votes to be sure. After coming home from Syria and sponsoring a Stop Arming Terrorists Act, I thought she had it “together” as to what was going on. But she caved on Syria, saying on The View that Assad is a “brutal dictator”. Her visit to Syria (Kucinich was there as well) included a pretty extensive itinerary. I would think she would have gleaned a pretty good understanding of what was going on (with a plethora of notes) and given “the people” (as she likes to say) a full report. If she truly came away with that impression of Assad, she should say why.
      The itinerary begins on page 11 of the following document:


      For more on her voting record (Crimea, for example):


    • Bart Hansen
      August 1, 2019 at 18:58

      K, you neglected to name your perfect candidate.

      • karlof1
        August 1, 2019 at 23:20

        My ideal candidate was Ralph Nader when he ran in 2000 and I worked for his campaign. I vote for a candidate that mirrors MY values and is my equal when it comes to credibility. So far in this election cycle, no such candidate has appeared yet, but the Greens area quite consistent in fielding a candidate I’ll vote for. Unfortunately, Gabbard’s inconsistencies go straight to the heart of the main thrust of her campaign–stop the endless wars. She just voted for more monies to fund those wars!!!!! Or did you not read that part of my comment.

  26. Eric32
    August 1, 2019 at 14:26

    There is no more serious issue than the re-industrialization of the US. Without industry and its associated science, engineering and technical attributes the US will continue on a slide downwards, probably an accelerating slide.

    All the other issues are subordinate and dependent on having an internally stable prosperous economy, and being able to militarily defend the country in this technological age. If climate change is for real, and it very likely is, there will be serious mounting international pressures and conflicts.

    The only candidate in 2016 and after who even addressed re-industrialization has been Trump. The big issue, assuming he runs again, is to force Trump away from his pandering to big money interests and the garbage neo-cons.

    • anon4d2
      August 1, 2019 at 17:11

      There is never a “most serious issue” that precludes consideration of all others. Those who insist upon one issue precluding all others seek to eliminate public debate of other issues, to hide their secret agenda. They always choose some important long term change with many options, no immediate rapid effect regardless of policy, and which cannot be effected until more serious government reforms are made. And they always seek to prevent those government reforms that are pre-requisites.

      The economy is always important, but re-industrialization is questionable in feasibility and means, and low priority. Same with climate change policy: necessary before long but we won’t get there until money is excluded from elections, judiciary, and mass media.

      Rather talk re-industrialization and let the endless wars go on?
      Rather talk re-industrialization than provide health care?
      Rather talk re-industrialization than get gold out of elections and mass media?

      So you want sick people to die, genocides for Israel and wars against social democracies to continue, rich jerks to control your news sources, judiciary, and election choices, and secret agencies to control the government, just so that a particular notion of our past economy can be restored? Maybe you can clarify that.

      • Eric32
        August 1, 2019 at 20:33

        >There is never a “most serious issue” <

        Yes there is – when, if that issue fails, all the others fail.

        De-industrialized nations are nations that are subject to and in fear of demands from their industrial / military superiors.

        De-industrialized nations are nations that are without the wealth for things like medicare for all, superior universities, good jobs demanding intellectual competence, real world competence, and a thriving committed middle-class.

        • anon4d2
          August 2, 2019 at 20:50

          Indeed re-industrialization must be a goal, however arguable that heavy industry will be better done elsewhere for some time. But I will argue that none of our sine qua nons is sufficient to suppress debate of the others. Not only must we debate them all to ensure public education, we must progress on all fronts: likely we will achieve none of them in full without the others, nor make much progress on any without substantial progress on the others.

      • Cratylus
        August 2, 2019 at 22:04

        Survival is the most important issue – and we could all go up in mushroom clouds in an instant if we do not create a structure of peace. And that sort of Armageddon is a certainty not a projection of complicated computer modeling.

  27. Jimmy g
    August 1, 2019 at 13:53

    Warren can’t possibly stand a chance against Trump.
    Tulsi Gabbard is the only hope, she’s the only one running with any honesty, but the media
    is now accusing Tulsi of colluding with the Russians!
    How can anyone who honestly wants an end to American military enterprises, unfair drug wars, and the filling prisons with black Americans support any other of those running?

  28. August 1, 2019 at 13:50

    We are in a tough place. No one can remember anyone meaner or more incompetent than Donald Trump. So it is a good time to take advantage of the chaos he’s brought.


    However, the Senate, House, the media… It’s rigged for Hillary and rigged for Trump because they play ball with the neoconservative and neoliberal ideology. They are not going to play nice with Sanders or Gabbard if/when one of them tries to enact real meaningful change. The system is rigged against meaningful change, not Clintons or Trumps. They aren’t bringing anything meaningful. Bernie or Gabbard will.

    Best case scenario is we get a tag team of Sanders running for president with Gabbard or Warren as VP. Worst case is… well, everything else. Biden, Kamala, Buttgig… they’re all interchangeable pieces of the machine.

  29. Sally Snyder
    August 1, 2019 at 13:44

    As shown in this article, there is one very critical subject that rarely gets any attention during debates from either party:


    Washington has hundreds of billions of dollars to spend on regime change around the world through the flexing of its military might but has forgotten that part of its mandate is to help the neediest of Americans.

    • geeyp
      August 2, 2019 at 01:23

      Sally – I hope that I am not wrong and I recall you have mentioned the topic of the homeless in the past. I think a reminder of this situation can never get enough mentions and I thank you for doing so.

  30. Skip Scott
    August 1, 2019 at 12:34

    Bernie caved at the convention, pure and simple. When Wikileaks revealed that the DNC had stacked the deck and worked against Sanders, any promise to support the Democratic candidate was null and void. He should have contested the convention and delivered an ultimatum: Either he gets the Democratic nomination, or he takes his block of voters over to the Green Party. Instead he expected to sheepdog us into voting for “warmonger from column B”. So much for “walking the walk” when it really counted. He has also bought completely into the “RussiaGate” BS. In my opinion, he has lost all credibility.

    Tulsi just voted in favor of anti-BDS legislation. So much for “speaking truth to power.” Another bubble bursted.

    In the end, it will have to be revolution. There is NO HOPE within the two party system.

    • DW Bartoo
      August 1, 2019 at 13:55

      Tulsi Gabbatd really ought be asked why she voted to criminalize criticism and organizing a boycott of Israeli government behavior, Skip Scott.

      I thank you for having noticed how she voted on the issue, although you may well get flack from those who need to believe a savior awaits.

      Sanders has demonstrated his lack of necessary courage again and again. He would have people believe it was “gentlemanly” of him to suggest that the emails released by Wiki Leaks were of no consequence, and that supporting Hillary, after she had savaged him, was “the right thing to do” because … Trump.

      Sanders should have had the courage to refuse to go along with the Russia-did-it nonsense and the whole Venezuela BS.

      I realize that many desire desperately to cling to “hope”, and to “faith” in “progressives”.

      However, until there is a coherent definition of what that term means, it is merely a meaningless word, for it apparently means whatever the person uttering it wants it to mean.

      Yes, it is a “good thing” that Gabbard speaks out against war on a whim,

      However, supporting Israel, given its major manipulation of both foreign and domestic US policy, rather undercuts any pretense of general opposition to wars of choice, when so very many of those wars, of bombs, of sanctions, and of vicious verbal assault (even including criminalizing resistance TO Israeli behavior THROUGH legislation to stifle or oppress the fundamental right of free expression), BENEFIT the Israeli government seems, at best, hypocritical, and at worst, deliberately disingenuous.

      Somehow, US citizens must come to realize, and understand, how consistently and successfully they have been manipilulated to believe all kinds of garbage over the last several hundred years, the last one hundred in particular.

      For example, the Cold War instructed the US public, my generation, to hate Russia, to pretend that the “real” China was a tiny island, while suppressing any real information about Mainland China, and that “socialism” (synonymous with “Gawdless Communism”) is not merely BAD, but EVIL incarnate. It taught USians to believe that the US could do no wrong, and that the US had a Gawd-Given RIGHT to rule the world, even though a significant number of USians, to this very day, deny that the US is a military empire and believe, apparently, that its 1000 military bases, in 150 other countries, merely reflects the benign goodness of the one Indispensable Nation.

      Having (hopefully) reached such realization and understanding, it is necessary that human beings wise up and grasp the likely consequences, now quite existential, should this pattern of wholesale and ubiquitous deceit and destruction be allowed to continue.


      • Miranda M Keefe
        August 1, 2019 at 18:17

        You are confusing the House resolution with a Senate bill. The Senate bill if it had passed (it didn’t) would have been law and would have outlawed boycotting Israel.

        The House resolution is not a bill. It is just a statement of the “sense of the House.” It doesn’t enact any law and doesn’t outlaw any speech and boycotting is a SCOTUS defined part of speech. But even then the resolution didn’t say anything against citizens doing BDS, in fact it affirmed the right of citizens to exercise their free speech and to protest against both the USA and all foreign countries, thus including Israel.

        What it did do was say the House is not for the Global BDS Movement, which is an organization, and is different than just simply engaging in boycotting or divesting from Israel. GBDS is clear one goal is the right of return. That means a one state solution (which I support) since Israel would become majority Palestinian and thus no longer be a Jewish Democracy. One can engage in just BDS and be for a two state solution seeing BDS as pressure on Israel to support a just two state solution. But you can’t really be for the GBDS Movement if you are for the right of Israel to exist in a two state solution, no matter how much you also support a sovereign, secure, independent, and safe Palestinian state too.

        Again, let me state that I agree with GBDS and support the right of return and the end of Israel as a Jewish state- as I am for one secular state with equal rights for all, Jew or Palestinian, and the right of refugees to return.

        But almost all Democrats are two state and every candidate is two state and anyone trying to be viable and one state would be dismissed entirely. The Resolution is clear that it takes this position of opposition to GBDS because it supports two states. Bernie has explained he rejects GBDS for the same reason.

        • Gregory Herr
          August 1, 2019 at 19:19

          The House of Representatives has no business “condemning” GBDS. It should not be in their “purview”. The courageous (and proper) thing for Tulsi to have done in this instance would have been to, in terms of the vote, at least “abstain”. She could have then used this abstention to explain her position with regard to “two states” that would include a denunciation of the apartheid, the settlements, and the ongoing murders.

          I continue to appreciate much of what she is saying and support that. But she has certainly lost any hope I might have had for her as “sincere”. Sincere people don’t campaign on reprioritising “wasteful spending” and then voting for the same.

        • DW Bartoo
          August 2, 2019 at 00:20

          Miranda M Keefe, Israel must be directly confronted for its apartheid, genocidal practice, just as was South Africa.

          To continue to pretend that a viable two-state “solution” is still possible, when the actual history of Israeli behavior is honestly examined and confronted is absolute rubbish and cheap political theater, kabuki for the superficially informed.

          Israel has not, nor has ever had, any solution in mind but totally removing the Palestinian people from Israel, “pushing them into the sea”, is the intended “Final Solution”.

          That the “sense of the House” even dallies with the Senate’s tyrannical intent to criminalize free and honest expression, a Constitutional guarantee is also a hierarchical attempt to intimidate and silence with brute force and political censure than actually codifying it as law. In fact it is a pusillanimous attempt to allow the political class to virtue signal to the Israeli lobby, demonstrating that the US political class slavishly follows Israeli dictates. It is cowardly and ought be embarrassing. It certainly does not reflect well on the political class.

          No matter how much you may try to dress it up and suggest that the coercive intent is based upon reason and humanitarian concern, the attempt falls flat and weak as excuse for thuggish efforts to manipulate public understanding by trying to shame those who see Israel for what it has assiduously sought to become.

          One might even recall an incident concerning a certain US vessel that Israel once tried to scuttle. Indeed, that “incident” needs to be more fully examined in the context of what are held to be Israeli “intentions” , supposedly of the very “best” sort, that seem, somehow, never to become manifest.

          Historic fact speaks far more convincingly to those who have been paying attention, for six decades and more, to actual Israeli behavior rather than concoctions of assumed “intent”.

          You may consider Sanders (a Senator) and Gabbard (a Representative) to be morally upright defenders of humanity, and both may well have decried the slaughter of unarmed Palestinians, yet both still want the rest of us to believe that Israel means well.

          I shall remain unconvinced until Israel recognizes the Palestinian Right of Return and ceases its brutal repression and ongoing land grabs.

          Whatever words you may pass on,from Sanders and Gabbard, are daily belied by Israeli actions.

          Guess which speak more loudly, which have the most consequential impact on actual human beings?

          Words or actions?

          Until and unless, Israel turns away from its Ubermensch mentality and heartless behavior, there can be no reason to “believe” that Israel intends to change from the path of destruction and annihilation it has so obviously and assiduously chosen.

          That neither Sanders nor Gabbard are willing to address this evident reality reflects most poorly upon both of them.

          • AnneR
            August 2, 2019 at 09:07

            DW – I fully concur with your assessment of the situation. Thank you for explicating this particular political-humanitarian abomination so well.

            It seems to me that – leaving aside in this instance only the $$$ aspect and also the evangelical crap – to some extent US (and Canadian, Australian, and so far as I’m aware NZ) support for Zionist Israel and its 70+ year unceasing ethnic-cleansing, violence and brutality toward the rightful dwellers in that land, the Palestinians, derives from its own colonial settler ethnic cleansing (racist, violent, genocidal, land dispossessing, culture destroying) construction and continuance. And the Israelis know this. If I recall right, it was Amos Oz in an interview (for the NYRB? I’ve forgotten) who, while laughing amicably, pointed to the clear similarities in the formation of both Israel and the USA.

            This background fact may only play a small role beside the $$ and religious craziness, but it does, I would argue provide a visceral connection – ugly, inhumane and ongoing, but possibly there.

          • matt
            August 4, 2019 at 11:30

            The biggest statement against Israel is opposition to the endless and expanding Middle East wars. Until the State of Israel is unhinged from policy making, lobbying, the arms industry, and the intelligence apparatus any hope of influence on THEIR domestic policy by the USA regarding the Palestinians is lost. I think Sanders and Gabbard know this. The real fight NOW is not Palestine or taking a stand on BDS. That is a trap that will allow the MSM to chew them up and spit them out before they even have a chance at the presidency. The only hope is to play the long game and get the American people to question the lives lost and trillions spent on regime change and imperial occupation.

        • Skip Scott
          August 2, 2019 at 08:00


          I stand corrected regarding “resolution” vs. “legislation”. But either way it is basically “putting lipstick on a pig”. Israeli brutality needs to be called out for what it is, and Tulsi has shown me that she’s willing to surf the “slippery slope” to being co-opted.

    • Jill
      August 1, 2019 at 14:06


      I think you lay this out very well.

      With all the information out there, I continue to be surprised by people who still love Bernie, a man who utterly betrayed his supporters in 2016. Bernie is a man who progressives should not have illusions about. Tulsi’s opposition to BDS shows her willingness to circumvent our constitution and limit free speech.

      I already know who will win the election in 2020–the plutocracy.

      We do need to find a different path. I also believe a peaceful revolution is needed. Worrying about which candidate will be selected for us in various sham elections is a waste of time. We need to work together in a completely different fashion. There are much better goals than getting the latest flavor or savior into office!

    • Eric32
      August 1, 2019 at 14:17

      I think what you wrote is pretty accurate.

    • Mark Dierking
      August 1, 2019 at 14:53

      Thanks for pointing out Tulsi’s position on the issue, though from my research it was not legislation but a nonbinding resolution. Still, it is a bow down to power and unacceptable just as Bernie’s endorsement was.

      I was going to contribute again to her campaign from my meager income but now will reconsider putting good money after bad because many of us see the “debates” as a mere sideshow knowing the only possible acceptable candidates (Tulsi and Bernie) are square in the sights of MSM and the DNC and their supposed reform using the “second ballot” nomination elimination process. So much for “democracy” and voter participation. Voting for the lesser of evils delivers the same result, i.e., evil.

      • Marko
        August 1, 2019 at 16:56

        “….the only possible acceptable candidates (Tulsi and Bernie) are square in the sights of MSM and the DNC and their supposed reform using the “second ballot” nomination elimination process. ”

        I see one possible upside to the Dems using the corrupt nomination process to install their nominee of choice ….. the people will finally wake up and realize that the Democratic Party needs to go the way of the Dodo bird , and that we need new , viable parties.

        • Skip Scott
          August 2, 2019 at 07:55

          I agree Marko. The time is ripe for a real challenge to the two party flimflam game. However, I will continue to donate small dollar amounts to Tulsi because I think she is saying things that the people need to hear, and the TV debates are the biggest megaphone out there. I’ve taken off my rose colored glasses regarding Tulsi, but for now she is still a challenge to the war machine and their MSM lackeys.

    • Roger Milbrandt
      August 1, 2019 at 17:41

      Skip. I hate to admit you are right because what you say is so demoralizing. But the fact is you are right.

    • evelync
      August 2, 2019 at 10:12

      OK, I admit it…..I was terribly disappointed when Bernie failed to call for a state by state delegate vote and failed to DEMAND that Nina Turner be allowed to speak at the convention. It was shocking, especially what Hillary Clinton did to Nina Turner.
      Something was going on that was very ugly behind the scenes….
      I told myself that maybe he had decided that bucking the Democratic political establishment at that point would cut him and the policies he was pushing off from any chance to continue to fight in the Senate. He would have been cut off from important committees by Chuck Schumer – under orders from the Clinton machine – to persona non grata.

      Breaking with the party would have undercut any political power Bernie had left. (As Noam Chomsky said “Bernie is a DECENT, HONEST New Deal democrat”.
      Honesty in this dirty game we have going on in Washington is not to be sneezed at :) )
      I think Sanders made a political calculation that was correct. A Catch 22 and I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been. A lesser person would have cashed it in…..

      Cornel West did not follow Bernie in terms of supporting the war monger Clinton but he is still a strong supporter of Sanders.

      On another note there’s a terrific 2015 article in The Nation on Sanders that speaks volumes: “What Kind of Mayor Was Bernie Sanders” written by Peter Dreier of Occidental College and Pierre Clavel of Cornell.

      He was pragmatic, effective and stood up to the wealthy and powerful to protect vulnerable people from being thrown out of their homes. he walked the walk….

      from the article:

      “John Davis remembers a meeting in 1986 when Bernie Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, confronted the owners of the city’s largest affordable-housing complex. The federal program that had subsidized the Northgate Apartments for 20 years had a loophole that allowed the landlords to convert the buildings into market rentals or luxury condos.

      “Bernie pounded his fist on the conference table in his office and told the owners, ‘Over my dead body are you going to displace 336 working families. You are not going to convert Northgate into luxury housing,’” recalled Davis, who was Sanders’s key housing aide.
      Under Sanders’s leadership, the city adopted a number of laws to stifle the owners’ plans. One ordinance required apartment owners to give residents two years’ notice before a condo conversion. Others gave residents a pre-emptive right to buy the units and prohibited landlords from bulldozing buildings unless they replaced them with the same number of affordable units. (These measures lowered the selling price of the property.) Sanders then worked with the state government and Senator Patrick Leahy to get the $12 million needed to purchase and rehabilitate the buildings. The city allocated funds to help the tenants hire an organizer, form the Northgate Residents Association, and start the process of converting the complex to resident ownership. Today, Northgate Apartments is owned by the tenants and has long-term restrictions to keep the buildings affordable for working families.

      The battle over Northgate Apartments illustrates Sanders’s general approach to governing. In addressing this and many other issues, he encouraged grassroots organizing, adopted local laws to protect the vulnerable, challenged the city’s business power brokers, and worked collaboratively with other politicians to create a more livable city.”

  31. Deniz
    August 1, 2019 at 12:25

    The question is not whether Warren is compromised. The question is, given that we don’t live in a democracy and the media will do everything possible to shut down Gabbard and Sanders campaigns because Wall Street does not approve of them, would you rather have Warren or Harris on the Democrat ballot? I believe that the answer is obvious. The next question then becomes, would you rather have Warren or Trump as president? I think that question is also obvious.

    Whatever one might think of Warren. if we are discussing realistic outcomes, she is clearly the lesser evil.

    • ML
      August 1, 2019 at 15:28

      Well, Warren is the lesser evil when compared to Trump. But I am so far past that line of thinking at this point in my own personal political revolution, that it all seems completely pointless and inane for me to get worked up about any of the Democratic choices. Very little, if anything at all, will change for the better for those of us who have worked very hard for a living for many years. At this point in my life, I like following Consortium and a few other excellent sites and reading independent journalists, but truthfully, I just want some joy in life, wherever it is to be found. And I want to have compassion for our fellow humans and animals and be able to have a good meal and laugh with those I love. Thanks to Skip Scott and DW Bartoo, and Jill and many others for their always incisive interpretations of how things really are. You are appreciated!

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