Do you know why progressives always lose? Sit down and read up, folks, because this is important.
I came across an article in the Huffington Post by some tool named Russ Belville. Now, I’ve never heard of this guy before, even though his byline proudly describes him as host of a show of some kind, “The Russ Belville Show.” If you’ve never heard of it, either, you’re not alone. Apparently, it’s all about cannabis. And while it’s very important that the drug war end, it’s not exactly at the top of most people’s concerns, politically. In other words, he’s not exactly in tune with the pulse of the country.
Anyway, he took issue with an article in The Daily Banter, written by Chez Pazienza, in which Chez calls out “idiots” (his word, but I agree with its use) who describe themselves as “Bernie or Bust.” You know, those who claim they will vote for Bernie, and if he loses, they won’t vote for Hillary. These are not “progressives,” folks, no matter what they’ve convinced themselves of. I agree with Chez; if you can’t see a huge difference between Hillary and either Drumpf or Cruz, or even Mitt Romney, should he emerge from a contested convention, you have to be an idiot. You’re sure as hell not a Rhodes Scholar. You know exactly dick about politics. Do you want to know what an idiot this guy is? In his HuffPo article, he says,
“Calling me names is a great way to get me to support the Democrat, bro. But a better way is to use reason.”
He’s serious! In a race between either Drumpf or Cruz and Hillary Clinton, if you need to be “reasoned with” to know you have to vote for Hillary, you are demonstrating that you are, in fact, an idiot. This guy’s entire shtick is all about “proving” that Hillary is a “Republican” and he doesn’t vote for a “Republican.”
There is just one problem. She’s actually nothing like any Republican out there, especially those in the presidential race; certainly not Drumpf or Cruz. Even if complaints about Hillary not being “progressive enough” were valid, a comparison with Drumpf or Cruz is pretty moronic. She and Bernie have actually spent the entire campaign trying to prove which one is more progressive! That hasn’t happened in decades, but instead of embracing it and enjoying the moment when we finally matter, people like this moron could blow it for us. If he was alone, I wouldn’t care, but the “Bernie or bust movement” can’t be allowed to grow.
This is the kind of equivocation that pretty much kills the progressive movement in every election. Voters get confused because they already know the current GOP is made up of loons. So imagine their confusion when progressives with a megaphone tell them Hillary Clinton is JUST LIKE the GOP. Look at this asshole’s “reasoning,” will you? This is straight from his asinine article. He lists 25 things, but I’m not going to repeat all of them here because they’re all fantasies. Note, however, that when he’s talking about “Republicans” in this diatribe, he’s referring to Hillary Clinton:
1) I don’t vote Republican because I don’t want to see more US soldiers dying in the Middle East for regime change.
Once again, I have to ask, has this guy been in a coma since 2001? Republicans – the current version – do this, not Democrats. There is nothing in the Clinton campaign that would indicate this is a plan of hers. She voted for the Iraq War, but she also apologized for it and said she would never do it again. You know who would love to Iraq again? You know who else has promised that they WOULD send troops into and who promise to “carpet bomb” areas of the Middle East to enact regime change in Daesh-controlled areas? Drumpf AND Cruz. NOT Hillary.
2) I don’t vote Republican because they’ll put the same megabanks in charge of Treasury that destroyed our economy the last time they were in charge of Treasury.
Seriously, maybe he’s been in a coma for 15 years. Forget the REALITY that “megabanks” (sic) were NOT the cause of the problems that led to the Great Recession. The problem was the mortgage after-market, which was created by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. Yes, her husband signed the bill, but she didn’t, and she has said many times that she wants to enhance Dodd-Frank and fully regulate the players in the financial market who actually did cause the crash. Do you know who have PROMISED to repeal Dodd-Frank and to put “banksters” back in charge of the economy? Drumpf AND Cruz.
3) I don’t vote Republican because I’ve always supported gay people’s civil liberties and the Republicans who’ve barely come around to supporting gay marriage this decade are doing so only because the polling now supports it.
I really hate to break it to this idiot, but the total acceptance of gay marriage as a right is even fairly new for many progressives. I remember walking with a very prominent GAY progressive friend through DuPont Circle in DC and we both agreed that marriage was probably too much to ask for, and that was 2003. The change was very rapid and took everyone by surprise. For a politician to have supported it ten years ago would have been career suicide. But then again, do you know who is ANTI-gay marriage? The Republican Party and Drumpf and Cruz.
4) I don’t vote Republican because they keep telling me they “need more research”to believe cannabis is a medicine.
Any politician running a national campaign who embraces the “legalize marijuana” meme will lose a few states they probably should win. It’s not a huge issue right now, although we can all see the groundswell coming. And Hillary has shown no desire to step up marijuana law enforcement. Do you know who has promised to continue the “Drug War” in its current form with zero changes? Drumpf and Cruz and the entire GOP. They have also promised to enforce federal law in the states that have legalized it and to crack down on medical marijuana.
Are you seeing a pattern here? Not only is this moron attributing positions to Hillary Clinton that she’s never taken, but he’s pretending there is no difference between her and the current GOP, which is pure blindness. In an electoral system in which non-voters have been deciding elections in recent years, why would you confuse them by telling them “both parties are the same”? They’re not.
The 25 “reasons” this guy posts are pure fiction and make absolutely no sense. Hillary is against the TPP and Drumpf and Cruz are both for it. Hillary isn’t so much for fracking as she is for realizing that the current strategy, in which expansion of drilling is actually causing us to become more energy independent, which has thus far led to a huge expansion of alternative fuels development. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but the increased tax revenues from the increased drilling have been going to solar and wind development, to the point that coal is on the verge of being completely displaced. Of course, people like this don’t know things like this because they’re too busy adopting Hillary smears from 1993 as their method for somehow getting Bernie elected. The lower gas prices are also giving the poor and working classes a break, which is a side benefit. I’ll get more into this in another column, but fracking, while not the best idea, is actually aiding us in weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels. None of these issues are simple black-and-white issues.
This genius also insinuates that Hillary is against universal health care, which is patently absurd. Her health care plan was more advanced than the ACA and she has said a billion times that she’s in favor of morphing the ACA into a universal health care system. The problem is, some Bernie Stans, like Russ here, think “single payer” and “universal health care” are synonymous, which is just stupid. Most universal health care systems around the world are not single-payer systems., so obviously, they are not the same.
He also claims Hillary is “Republican” because she “only” wants to raise the minimum wage to $12, which, again, makes me wonder if he’s just emerged from a coma. REAL Republicans have opposed any increase in the national wage, including a gradual rise to $10.10. To keep up with inflation, the current minimum wage would have to be $10.97 per hour to match the 1968 minimum wage, so $12 is well above that. Also, her increase to $12 is by 2019, whereas Bernie’s $15 proposal won’t get there until 2022, which means they’re both essentially identical. It’s this kind of thing that makes voters not take progressives seriously. Nitpicking between $12 and $15? You think the average voter is NOT hearing from their boss that an increase to $15 would put him out of business? I hate to break it to you, but not every city is Seattle or San Francisco.
By the way, as I noted in a previous article, most of the complaints about Hillary coming from this asshole are smears propagated by the “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” and progressives used to fight against that shit. Now they’re repeating it? And let’s be clear; white progressives whites complaining about something that Hillary said 20 years ago that may have been a little rcially charged, when it’s clear black people have forgiven and forgotten, is not a winning strategy.
I do want to address a couple more of these fantasies about what Hillary supposedly believes:
15) I don’t vote Republican because they opposed closing Gitmo.
When it came time to vote to close Gitmo in 2009, the fact of the matter is, the vote to deny the funds to do so went through the Senate 90-6, and among those 90 was Bernie Sanders. Yes, he was also among the few who voted for closing Gitmo late last year, but he was already running for president so, based on the Bernie or Bust rationale, he’s a politician, so we shouldn’t count that. I mean, after all, if they’re going to trash Hillary for not coming to gay marriage until late in the game, should we not hold Bernie Sanders to the same standard? You know who has never voted for closing Gitmo? Cruz and pretty much anyone else in the Republican Party. And Drumpf has promised to keep it open and fill it, so there’s that.
16) I don’t vote Republican because they want to cut Social Security, or at the very least, refuse to consider lifting the income cap on contributions to make rich people pay their fair share.
Social Security? No Democrat will EVER harm Social Security. At no time has Hillary Clinton recommended a cut to Social Security. Ever. As for raising the cap, it’s not that simple. Raising the cap wouldn’t just hit the rich. In fact, Bernie’s recommendation, which is to raise the cap to an unspecified level, will mostly hit the middle class, not the rich. I’ll get into this more in another column, but simply raising the cap won’t actually affect the rich, for a number of reasons. First, most rich people don’t make that much in earned income. Second, the current cap is $118,000, which means a family making $236,000 would see their Social Security tax double, and so would someone making, say $2.36 million, but whereas the effective tax rate for the
First, most rich people don’t make that much in “earned income.” Second, the current cap is $118,000, which means a family making $236,000 would see their Social Security tax double. Now, so would someone making, say $2.36 million, but whereas the effective tax rate for the middle-class family would double to 12.4% (including the employee and employer portions), the millionaire’s rate would double from 1.24% to 2.48%. See the problem? What is it with some lefties, that they think there is only one solution to the problem, and that they have it?
There are many much better ideas out there, such as raising the cap to about $500,000 or more and reducing the tax rate by half, or even placing a Social Security surcharge on all income over $1 million in a year. Either of those would raise more money from the rich without hitting the middle class. In other words, there are multiple possible solutions to Social Security, so being wedded to simply raising the cap is actually more short-sighted and a bit demagogue-ish, so it’s curious. According to Russ,
Those are 25 pretty good reasons why we Democrats don’t vote for Republicans, don’t you think?
Yes, they are. But we’re talking about Hillary Clinton, not a Republican. There is nothing about Hillary Clinton that even remotely resembles anything current Republicans stand for. And the fact that you have to lie about that kind of undermines your argument, don’t you think? And no, you don’t extricate yourself from this stupidity by calling her a “Rockefeller Republican.” Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Rockefeller Republicans are extinct, and have been for a long time. In fact, it’ll be 40 years this election cycle.
If you are a “Bernie or Bust” advocate, you are not at all “progressive.” It is a fact that, if Hillary wins the nomination and you don’t vote for her, you’re a petulant child who is more like Donald Drumpf than you will ever admit. Bernie Sanders is not God and, frankly, he has at least as many troublesome positions on issues as Hillary. That’s because no politician is perfect. And yes, Bernie is a politician. He is telling you what you want to hear, just like every other politician. He’s been in Washington longer than even Hillary, and he’s just as much a creature of Washington.
Here’s the thing; when you suggest that Hillary Clinton is just like a Republican, you’re lying, which does two things. One, it makes voters think you don’t have that much confidence in Bernie Sanders. I mean, if you think he is so great, why do you have to lie about Hillary? Worse, it confuses voters and makes them want to stay home, which is a tactic that only helps real Republicans; and I don’t mean the GOP of a bygone era, but the Tea Party-run GOP of today, dominated by racists and con artists. Stop it.
Don’t be an idiot. Vote Blue, no matter who. BOTH of our candidates are excellent, and not voting for whoever wins the nomination is not a “progressive” thing to do. In fact, it’s very REgressive. I mean, have you MET the Republican Party?