Last week Bernie Sanders spoke with the LA Times.
He gave a brief overview of his standard talking points, which are all reasonable and essential, and when asked about how he was going to fix the stagnant, exploitation economy, he said:
“…it will be a combination of federal policy and the private sector.”
When Bill Clinton said that (about anything) the responses were predictable.
On the right he was a godless Bolshevik, and on the left he was a triangulating Wall Street centrist and a soulless shill.
When Buttigieg says anything like that the responses are predictable.
On the right he’s a godless Bolshevik, and a queer one at that, and on the left he’s a triangulating Wall Street centrist and a soulless shill, and a queer one at that.
Needless to say the Bernie camp ignored the emperor parading his compromises.
When Bernie says it, when he spaffs tepid socialism-lite, and admits he’s going to get into bed with the very system he’s otherwise at pains to denounce, it’s acceptable because he’s righteous and cool.
When Buttigieg says it he’s a square, and a queer one at that.
The appeal of Sanders among his most ardent supporters is in that he offers safe rage and the illusion of revolution.
He is Mr. Smithstein goes to Washington.
All you have to do is type and post and tweet hashtags and vote and everything will be fixed.
Of course a government partnership with the private sector means investments from the banks who get their money from oligarchs and it means loan shark level interest rates.
It means bond measures and treasury bills.
It means transportation, construction and the mafia.
It means that, in order to succeed, the neo-fascists are prevented from creating a debt crisis somewhere by, for example, crashing the Mexican peso.
Doing so is essentially setting fire to the Reichstag or claiming there was an incident in Tonkin Gulf.
As we’ve said before, we like Bernie and think he’s essentially correct.
But his followers are hypocrites.
And Bernie is as much of a prevaricating pol as anyone else seeking the big chair.
He’s not going to nationalize the banks.
He’s not going to eliminate debt in a national Jubilee and when he tries to eliminate student debt (as he should) the centrists and the Wall Street goons will say ok, but the price you pay is that you let us make money off of your plan to merge the government and the private sector.
And that means robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Because his “revolution” is a revolution in name only.
And if he refuses?
Then he will find Nancy were capitalists get used to it Pelosi in the Oval Office saying, I’m sorry Mr. President but the votes just aren’t there.
Sanders goes on to basically lay out the same old socialist plan that has been on offer for over a hundred years.
It boils down to a reasonable proposal – lower profits and higher taxes and a more equitable distribution of profit, taxes, and benefits.
And he’s not wrong.
The problem is not Sanders being unreasonable.
It’s that his opponents are not just unreasonable they are violent fanatics.
And his supporters are wearing blinders.