Monday, November 14, 2016

Why Clintonistas Desperately Want You To Stop Talking About Bernie

It's been interesting watching the shift in discourse about Bernie Sanders from some of the local #ImWithHer crowd (and, presumably, those further afield/closer to the action).
Immediately after the loss, a lot of them were (partially, at least) blaming him for Hillary Clinton's defeat. Because apparently, the idea that your candidate can be seriously derailed by a septuagenarian 'Socialist' is his fault for being too er .. electable, rather than your anointed one's error for being a seriously flawed candidate.
But now, something different is happening. I've seen a number of pro-Clinton people make the case that "we need to stop talking about Sanders".
And, to be fair, one of the cornerstones of this analysis - that just because we had quite a run of (older) polls suggesting that Sanders would absolutely crush Donald Trump in the actual Election, doesn't necessarily mean that he would have won - is actually pretty accurate. We genuinely don't know whether Trump's style of campaigning would have found similar purchase upon the scandal-free and principled Senator Sanders; or, for that matter, whether Sanders' message of economic fairness, anti-corruption, and fundamentally fixing the US 'system' to give ordinary working people a fair go ... would have resonated with the less-well-off voters in key battleground states who actually handed Trump the election.
But these are interesting questions to consider.
So when centrist types insist that "we've got to stop talking about Bernie" because, it appears, they want to work out how they could have made Hillary - *their* preferred brand of warmed-over neoliberal-in-more-egalitarian-language politics - "win", when it comes to the fight for the future ... it tells me something important.
Namely, that a not insignificant number of folks out there in the wider political sphere haven't actually learned the lesson from Nov. 8 and actually fundamentally think that 'business as usual', sufficiently tweaked, poked and prodded (but only rhetorically and in the packaging, of course) ... can actually be meaningfully useful in service of the pursuit of power for the next few elections to come.
They are, in other words, eagerly anxious to shut down dialogue about the alternative path which Sanders might have represented (now that they've worked out that simply, insipidly blaming him for their own failures) ... because they don't really *want* thinking from 'outside the paradigm' which they, personally, represent.
It's not even about admitting (or covering up for) failure anymore.
It's their hack-futures on the line, and they'd rather quite desperately cling to the idea that they can just keep doing what they've always done rather than actually recognize that the neoliberal consensus for which they stand is dying ... and that we're right now in a "go under the tracks or get outta the way!" phase of political-economic-history as applies that doctrine.
So don't do what they tell ya.
Keep positing left-wing alternatives that aren't simply (queasily) crushed by 'orthodox-establishment' politicians and politicos insisting that they 'know better' and are 'more electable' precisely because they dare to refuse to dream.

And remember: they're now only trying to stifle left-wing dissent ... because they're afraid we'll start to work out that we don't actually need them to win :P


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