… the Centre Cannot Hold

01conventionWe’ve all heard the poem that goes:

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
… The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

We are supposed to lament the “best lacking all conviction,” but in my book, those who “lack all conviction” hardly deserve to be called the “best.”  Rather than lamenting those tender sensibilities, let us rather embrace and exceed the “passionate intensity” of the worst.  It is time to make it our own.

Consider the crumbling center that neoliberalism extols:

  1. A state of perpetual war, driven by the desperate neocon policy of Full-Spectrum Dominance.
  2. An American economy so shaky that total stagnation is called a “recovery.”
  3. Austerity across the board, crumbling infrastructure, evisceration of the social safety net.
  4. Racists stalking the streets with guns on their hips and rallying fully-armed in stadiums.
  5. The largest prison population in the world.

… and … and … oh hell, you know all this.

The foremost champion of this collapsing center is of course Hillary Rodman Clinton.

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Time to Put the Sheepdog Narrative to Sleep

— Rose Roby
July 4, 2016

In May 2015, shortly after Sanders announced his run, the popular leftist blogger Bruce A. Dixon of Black Agenda Report, put out a piece that went viral throughout the anti-Sanders left blogosphere titled “Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016.” Dixon asserted:

“Bernie’s job is to warm up the crowd for Hillary, herding activist energies and the disaffected left back into the Democratic fold one more time. Bernie aims to tie up activist energies and resources till the summer of 2016 when the only remaining choice will be the usual lesser of two evils.”

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Wings over Philadelphia!

“The art of war is to gain time when your strength is inferior.”
— Napoleon

01bluebird Our strength is inferior?  I already hear the cries of “Blasphemy!”  But if blasphemy it be, so be it.

To put it most simply, we in the Sanders movement are up against a Democratic Party Establishment backed by Wall Street, funded by corporate America, entrenched in the corridors of power.  Their bullshit is blasted out night and day from every nook and cranny.

Are we therefore powerless?  Far from it.  We have had an astonishingly effective grassroots campaign organization.  But a campaign organization is a very fragile and unwieldy beast.  It is designed to (obviously) run electoral campaigns.  It is not designed for doing much else.

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On this Bloody Morning After …

bloodyYesterday (June 7) was a hard blow. Yes, our votes were stolen in so many ways. The last minute media barrage declaring Hillary the winner probably cost us many, many votes. We have had the weapons of the most powerful political Establishment the earth has ever seen arrayed against us. We have every right to hold our heads up with justified pride in FORCING that Establishment to pull out all its stops. It leaves them having to ask themselves, “What can we do for an encore?”

Our defiant answer: “Not much! Bring it on, motherfuckers! Bring it on!

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As the vultures circle …

for californiaPeople are so concerned about the well-being of Bernie Sanders, you know, those working class heroes such as the Wall Street Journal, passed on by Huffington Post:  “Bernie Sanders Campaign Is Split Over Whether to Fight on Past Tuesday.”

vulturesFirst they quote a Democratic stalwart:

“Orin Kramer, a New York hedge-fund manager who has raised campaign funds for both President Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton … I would hope people would understand what a Trump presidency would mean and act accordingly—and ‘accordingly’ means quickly.”

They quote Sanders strategist Tad Devine:

“What will happen hopefully when the voting is done, our two campaigns will begin to talk once more to one another and figure out where the common ground is.”

They counterpose Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver:

“Sen. Sanders is the best chance that Democrats have to beat Trump,” Mr. Weaver said. “The trajectory is the same regardless of the outcome in California.”

There you have it, there’s the big split.

A little thin, you say.  Right.  So the Journal does a little piling on with a gaggle of Hillary endorsers:

former Senator Tom Daschle, a Clinton endorser
Senator Harry Reid, a Clinton endorser

They wrap up with William Daley, a former Obama White House chief of staff:

“[T]he “damage” Mr. Sanders could do is “overwhelming if he doesn’t give [Mrs. Clinton] the breather she needs in the run-up to the convention to take on Trump.”

nobodySo apart from getting out the word for this round of primaries, we need to be letting Bernie know very directly that we have his back.  I don’t need to repeat the litany of principled issues that separate our campaign from the DNC machine.  Just take a minute to let the campaign know that we’re in it for the long haul.  Call them.  e-mail them.  Facebook them.  Let Bernie know that this is why we fight today!  This is why we fight through the Philadelphia Convention!  This is why we fight through November!  This is why we fight until we win!

or bust Jeff Roby

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Nevada Looms as Dress Rehearsal for Philadelphia



Article I.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

… what it actually says.

From July 25 to 28, the people will be peaceably assembling in Philadelphia.  Nobody is forgetting 1968, but we all know that this is not 1968.  Sanders people are negotiating details for four demonstrations, one at FDR Park, about a half mile from the Wells Fargo Convention Center, and others scheduled at a much smaller plaza four miles away.  Sanders organizers are working with city officials to keep everything “peaceful and constructive,” and are expecting upwards of 30,000 people.  Plans are already in motion to line up busloads and accommodations for Philly, and state organizations have begun raising money specifically for the demonstrations.

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There are no “Safe Choices”!

killdog02With a sincere “thank you” to the January 1973 National Lampoon!

The important thing
is to pull yourself up by your own hair
to turn yourself inside out
and see the whole world with fresh eyes

Marat/Sade, act 1, scene 12

Broken landscape.

Our current political landscape is unprecedented.  The Republican Party is coming apart at the seams.  The Democratic Party is broken, the rift between Wall Street Establishment and populist insurgents grows ever deeper.  It is generally recognized that there are now roughly four social forces — no, not just four nominal factions, but four distinct social forces, POLITICAL FORCES — contending for the soul of America.  Distinct not merely by programmatic nuance, but by fundamental social vision.  They are:

  1. Establishment (Wall Street) Democrats trying to maintain the old post-WWII consensus;
  2. Establishment (Wall Street) Republicans who would rule through the sheer power of money;
  3. the Trump insurgency, taking the rage of the working class and trying to harness (divide) it in terms of race and nationality;
  4. the Sanders insurgency, taking that same rage, and trying to unite it in terms of racial and economic justice. In terms of human solidarity.

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Now it’s our move

sanders_knightThe opening moves have been played. The fight has taken shape. We are well into the middle-game.

During the March 9 debate, Hillary Clinton inadvertently got herself redefined. Again. Sanders had already permanently branded her as a tool of Wall Street. Then the former Secretary of State and major celebrity in the Clinton Foundation (called during 2013–15 the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation) blundered by attacking Sanders for acknowledging the impressive achievements Cuba has made in healthcare (now sending doctors all over the world) and education (each-one-teach-one). Glen Greenwald stated in The Intercept that she “sounded like a right-wing, red-baiting Cold War cartoon”:

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Now it’s War!

cigarIt is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE!

— Ned Beatty as Arthur Jensen,
berating Peter Finch as Howard Beale, in the movie Network

The Democratic Party has declared war on Bernie Sanders. Now we hear a carefully orchestrated funeral dirge, the Black vote is Sanders’ fatal weakness, and he should “suspend” his campaign, concede defeat, and make good on his pledge to support the party’s nominee, even before Hillary Clinton is actually the party’s nominee. They want Sanders to hit the Kill Switch on his own campaign, save them the trouble. But as the Empire Strikes Back, their every move blows up like an exploding cigar, and feeds ammunition to the growing Sanders army. It is time for the Political Revolution that Sanders and his supporters are fighting for to stand on its own feet.

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We will not be used!

lenin_fist02Millions have been energized, enlisted and mobilized into the Sanders campaign under the banner of the Political Revolution. But as Charlotte Corday sang in the play Marat/Sade, “change meant one thing to you I see / And something quite different to me.”

At a December gathering of Tampa Bay area Sanders volunteers, national staffer Corbin Trent was asked what the Sanders campaign was planning to do to organize the Black community in Florida, given that Sanders was “getting creamed” with the Black vote in South Carolina. His answer: make lots of phone calls to white voters in Iowa.

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