Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Poison of Capitalism

The point of this post is that our forty-year infatuation with neo-liberalism and financialization has made us a weaker, sicker society, with a hollowed-out economy and an inability to respond to predictable and inevitable crises. Also, it seems as if the capitalist ruling class has become so used to being pampered, and being held unaccountable for their crimes, their lies, and their hypocrisy, that they are responding to this current pandemic with such brazen selfishness and inhumanity that [even I] think they are going to provoke a reckoning when all this is over.

Around about 1980, neo-liberalism was promoted as the answer to the "failure" of the pseudo-Keynesianism that western governments had adopted following the policy lessons of the Great Depression and World War Two. Neo-liberalism includes "Free Trade" (re: "investors' rights") policies that allow for the exporting of jobs to countries with cheaper labour and less worker rights. It allows for the movement of capital but NOT for the movement of labour.

It allows for the lowering of taxes on the wealthy and corporations. who were wrongly believed would invest this returned income into job creation. Despite there being little evidence for this, western governments (including Canadian federal and provincial ones) offer up new revenue-busting tax cuts to the wealthy year after year. All that has been achieved is revenue shortfalls that have led to to cuts in public services, including healthcare and education, and increased income and wealth inequality as the rich hoard their money in the financial markets and illegal offshore accounts, and the vast majority are forced to pay more (for, say, healthcare and education) from lower incomes due to de-unionization and the loss of jobs in manufacturing and the public sector.

De-unionization is one aspect of another facet of neo-liberalism, which is de-regulation. Regulations that force businesses to protect workers' physical and mental health cost money. Removing them would (again) give business more money to invest in glorious job-creating growth. Regulations protecting the environment cost money. Get rid of them. Laws preventing monopolies and price-gouging and fraud limit corporate incomes. Eliminate them. De-regulation will allow "job-creators" to have more money to "create jobs" and we will all have wonderful income-creating opportunities. Not, mind you, steady jobs: Because a steady job is anathema to neo-liberalism. We'll all have "gigs" and "side hustles" in the "knowledge economy." It will be an exciting life of flitting from one exciting, well-paying challenge to the next. (Of course this is all garbage.)

Alberta's fundamentalist dullard/tormented closet-case premier, Jason Kenney, has made the remarkable achievement of being the epitome of this bankrupt ideology. And the real-world outcomes of these policies reveals its bankruptcies.

Let's state it plainly; if these policies of neo-liberalism really worked, then forty years of pursuing them should have brought us to a wonderland of wealth and productivity. But, as we see now, the opposite is what we see before us.

And one of the things we see before us is our governments' inept responses to the COVID-19 crisis. In Canada we see billions going to bail-out the owners of oil companies while we simultaneously realize that our healthcare system has been starved to the point of inadequacy to deal with this pandemic. We also see millions of Canadians incapable of being able to afford losing a single pay-period. Canadians have been unable to save. NOT because we're such spendthrifts, but because living expenses (education, housing, transportation, etc.) have soared year after year.

Don't take my word for it. Here's Taylor Scollon from "The Passage" to tell us all about it in "The Coronairus Is About To Expose Just How Broken Our Welfare State Really Is."
At the end of a dark week, let’s begin with that most Canadian refrain of positivity: it could be worse, at least we aren’t the Americans. There are more confirmed cases of COVID-19 south of the border (at least for now), and if you do get sick there you can expect to spend thousands of dollars just to get tested. And don’t even contemplate the cost of care if you’re one of the millions of Americans without adequate health insurance. We can find some solace in the fact that, for us, testing and treatment will be free. 

Aside from that there is not much good news. After all, we share a border with the Americans, and disease doesn’t respect borders. But more importantly, after decades of erosion and cuts, our own welfare state can barely get us through normal times, let alone a crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is finally forcing all of us to confront that harsh truth.
Scallon points out the inability of many workers to afford quarantine or to qualify for the benefits that might allow them to survive:
we can expect 11 million people to enter self-quarantine for at least two weeks, many of them in the next few months. I fear people have not fully grasped the implications of this.
Immediately, most of those 11 million people will be unable to work. ... most of those quarantined will face enormous challenges hanging on to their income.
The majority will not have employer-sponsored paid sick leave. Only 42 per cent of workers in Canada enjoy this benefit. The remaining 58 per cent will be mostly left to fend for themselves. Sick leave rules vary by province, but only Quebec and PEI guarantee any paid sick leave to workers (two days in Quebec, and one day in PEI after you have been with the employer for five years). Premier Doug Ford’s Ontario government scrapped paid sick leave in 2018. ...
...Those who are eligible can receive a maximum of $573 per week for up to 15 weeks. If you live in any urban region of the country, you know this is barely enough to cover rent on a studio apartment let alone groceries.
Scallon continues with the state of our healthcare system:
Distressingly, those with mild infections contending with financial strain may be the lucky ones.  After decades of cuts and neglect, the public healthcare system we are so proud of does not appear equipped to handle the pressure that will soon be placed upon it. While we have yet to see how the stresses of COVID-19 impact us, we can look at what other countries have experienced and extrapolate based on their readiness.
Our caseload now is low: only 152 cases (as of publication on March 13). But a number of epidemiological studies focused on the Chinese experience found that cases doubled every six days. If this holds true for Canada, we would expect to reach around 39,000 cases by the end of April and 300,000 by mid-May.

Unfortunately, decades of cuts have left our healthcare system less prepared to handle an outbreak like this. While China has 4.3 hospital beds per 1000 people and Italy has 3.7 beds per 1000 people, Canada has only 2.5 beds per 1000 people — or 92,462 beds in total. This represents a decrease of 32 per cent from our 2000 level of 3.7 beds per 1000 people. We also have one of the highest hospital bed occupancy rates in the world at 91.6 per cent, behind only Israel and Ireland. This means that under normal circumstances, our healthcare system has around 7,776 hospital beds available.
Finally, what about the unknown numbers of homeless in Canada? Poor people gravitate to larger cities in search of work and/or government services. But skyrocketing housing costs and the increasing uncertainty of jobs and the persistent stagnation of wages, have all contributed to a rising homelessness. And at the same time, neo-liberal austerity has made being homeless more dangerous and unhealthy:
Without tenant protections and a shelter system already well beyond capacity, people who fall behind on their rent can be evicted and tossed to the street with nowhere to go. Self-quarantine will not be an option for them, or for the 35,000 Canadians who are homeless on any given night.
Everything I've been saying at this blog for years, and which analysis is based upon what many more rigorous and original thinkers have been saying for decades:
It’s important to remember that all of these problems caused by our totally inadequate welfare state are experienced every day by millions of Canadians. It didn’t take COVID-19 to deny people the medication they need to survive, or push more and more people into gig jobs that pay next to nothing, or erode healthcare funding to the point people are regularly treated in the hallway.
For decades our political class told us we need to “cutback”, “trim the fat”, “find efficiencies”, and “sell-off underperforming assets”. They turned our welfare state into a sad joke. Now the bill is coming due, and I fear we are all about to pay for it dearly.
Which now brings us to the sociopathic responses of the US-American and Canadian governments. Justin Trudeau plans on spending $25 billion to shore-up a cratering economy. The 2008 Recession ended up costing Canada around $100 billion just so the economy wouldn't fall into recession. (At least we don't have the total-idiot Conservatives in power. Jason Kenney has responded to Alberta's economic collapse by soiling his diaper and shrieking. In 2008 we had the simpleton Jim Flaherty proposing austerity in the face of calamity. Months previously the imbecile had been forecasting surpluses as far as the eye could see.) Liberals have always been the more reality-based managers of capitalism when compared to their more extremist brethren in the "conservative" parties. "Conservative" politicians can say any fool thing that comes into their heads, fanatically adhere to ruinous tax-cuts and severe austerity for the poor, and so long as they abuse the right scapegoats for their low-information voting base they can continue to be officially respectable.

But, Jason Kirby in Maclean's points out that, once again, Canada's oligarchs and political servants are expecting ordinary Canadian households to shoulder the burden of keeping the Canadian economy afloat. In the 2008 Financial Crisis, Canada's banks got the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) to purchase $69 billion in assets and the Bank of Canada to provide billions more in loans to keep them afloat. Canada wasn't hit as hard as Wall Street was because we did not have the same insanely corrupt derivatives market that they did.

But during 2008-2009 (and in housing, up to this very day) Canadians continued to spend, despite generally high unemployment during the crisis and despite a higher average household debt than US households. Something I've remarked upon several times over the years at this blog; The same economic geniuses who warn us about our high debt levels and bemoan our "economic illiteracy" simultaneously exhort us to keep spending to keep the economy moving.

And now, Kirby says:
Instead, with Canada’s economy already more dependent on indebted households than at any time since at least the 1960s, and with the economy facing headwinds from the recent rail blockades and uncertainty over the spread of coronavirus, the hope is that cheap money will keep consumers spending and that households can bail out the economy yet again.
That’s not exactly how Poloz has framed the bank’s rate cut, of course. In his speech the day after the rate announcement Poloz said the goal of the cut was to preserve confidence on the part of consumers and businesses in the wake of steep stock market declines, even if a decade of low rates has done little to spur businesses to invest. But he did warn that the plunge in oil prices to their lowest level since 2016 could spread throughout the rest of the economy as those directly affected “spend less money on everything.”
“The downside risks to the economy today are more than sufficient to outweigh our continuing concern about financial vulnerabilities,” he said, using central banker speak for the state of Canada’s overextended households and the risk they pose to the financial system. He also brushed away concerns that Canadians in some real estate markets will do what they have done every other time rates have been cut — drive expectations of home prices higher and stretch their finances dangerously thin to avoid missing out on the gains. “Declining consumer confidence would naturally lead to reduced activity in the housing market,” he said in his speech. “In this context, lower interest rates will actually help to stabilize the housing market, rather than contribute to froth.”
There are real-world consequences to such blindness and stupidity. This is really happening folks! It really is the case that our leaders expect us to prop-up the economy with money that we don't have. It's as simple (and insane) as that.

But not only are we expected to ignore the ways that they've impoverished us while still expecting us to be happy consumers; we're also supposed to bail them out with scarce public resources while our hospitals go begging during an international pandemic! The goddamned fucking fossil fuels industry, despite having had decades of high profits (in the past) and having paid absurdly low royalties to Alberta and Saskatchewan, and despite having been subsidized with billions of public dollars ever year, and despite their reneging on their obligations to clean up after themselves, ... these corporate titans stand their with their hands out, pathetically mewling that they'll go under if we don't give them billions more, right now. And of course the Liberals are more than happy to accommodate them. (And we're supposed to be grateful that they're not as enormously happy that the detestable Conservatives would have been.)

And jeeziz-fucking-christ! Canada's fucking banks! Our giant, super-profitable, coddled, barely regulated banks! Listen you stupid assholes; the business shut-downs and self-isolation that are the inevitable consequences of this pandemic mean that MILLIONS of Canadians CANNOT WORK and therefore CANNOT GET PAID! To date, the stupid Liberals, led ostensibly by the airhead Justin Trudeau have not implemented a moratorium on mortgages or rents during this time when people CANNOT WORK and therefore CANNOT GET PAID. Instead:
As part of the government's pledge to help Canadians suffering financially due to COVID-19, Finance Minister Bill Morneau asked the heads of Canada's big banks to allow people to defer mortgage payments for up to six months.
In other words, Morneau is asking the banks to voluntarily do the decent and sane thing. Morneau is possibly not stupid enough to think that Canada's bankers can be decent, sane human beings. He probably knows damn well that Canada's bankers will behave just as abominably as they always have. From the same article:
The banks responded by issuing a statement saying they "have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; child-care disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19."
This is public relations talk which means: "We have no intention of doing the sane and decent thing. We want the money! Give us the money! I don't care what you have to do to get it! Give us the money! Can't work? Fuck you! Pay me! Sick in the hospital? Fuck you! Pay me!"

Why the fuck go through all the work of going through mortgage relief on a "case-by-case" basis when you already know that across the board, PEOPLE CAN'T PAY BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN'T WORK BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC???????!!!!!!?????

It would be incredibly time-consuming and expensive to review tens of thousands of cases of people needing temporary relief from impending mortgages due to the pandemic. To argue something as stupid as what the banks are arguing is just their being unembarrassed with their lame-ass excuse for their psychopathic behaviour. And these people are psychopaths.

Read that entire article for the various instances of how these monsters are playing ridiculous games with their CUSTOMERS, dicking them around with bullshit demands for information or giving them the runaround. There's too much for me to quote here without simply copying the whole article. I'll just add the following:
CBC News asked each of the big five banks for more information on the criteria for the case-by-case-based decisions on mortgage and credit deferrals.
We asked:

  • Who would qualify?
  • Is there an application process?
  • Does the entire household have to be off work?
  • Will they require documentation?
None of the banks answered any of those questions.

TD, CIBC and Scotiabank all responded by repeating their commitment to work with personal and small-business banking customers on a case-by-case basis. Each encouraged customers to contact their call centres directly or visit their websites.

BMO and RBC did not respond to emails from CBC News.

And this:

The government is purchasing up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the CMHC, which says that stable funding for the banks and mortgage lenders is meant to ensure continued lending to Canadian consumers.

This is the same delusional, contradictory horseshit that they sold us in the 2008 crisis. Throwing taxpayers' money at the banks so that they could continue to provide "credit" to people who didn't want to borrow because their lives had been turned upside down by job losses or (in the USA) the devaluation of their homes.

I mean, it's entirely possible that Bill Morneau, who was born wealthy and worked for his daddy's company before taking it over, is a complete moron who owes it all to nepotism, and that he's so fucking stupid that he believes that the banks need an injection of $50 billion so that they can LOAN money to desperate people who are calling up their banks pleading for help because they can't work. But I honestly don't think Morneau is that stupid. I think the CMHC has given the banks that $50 billion so that they can prop-up their own stock prices. Because he's evil.

Well, this is a blog post that hardly anybody reads and I've got other things I want to do. This post has sat in my "Drafts" folder for almost a week and I want to just publish it and move on. So, for posterity's sake, I'll mention a few of the other links that I wanted to speak about and then conclude.

From The Disaffected Lib, there's the possibility that Trump's sustained denialism about the Coronavirus wasn't just due to delusion and selfish politics. He might have been preaching business-as-usual so that he'd have time to dump his own stock portfolio before the market crashed.

We already know how Republican Senator Richard Burr, while publicly advising calm, was telling a small group of wealthy sugar-daddies to head for the hills while he did likewise. A number of other Repugnicans did the same along with Democrat Dianne "Warbucks" Feinstein.

Meanwhile, a group of investment bankers were found to have been inquiring of executives in health care profiting companies that they had invested in if it was possible that they could, you know, maybe engage in a bit of price-gouging during the pandemic, so as to further enrich themselves.

Over the past few weeks, investment bankers have been candid on investor calls and during health care conferences about the opportunity to raise drug prices. In some cases, bankers received sharp rebukes from health care executives; in others, executives joked about using the attention on Covid-19 to dodge public pressure on the opioid crisis.

Steven Valiquette, a managing director at Barclays Investment Bank, last week peppered executives from Cardinal Health, a health care distributor of N95 masks, ventilators and pharmaceuticals, on whether the company would raise prices on a range of supplies.

Valiquette asked repeatedly about potential price increases on a variety of products. Could the company, he asked, “offset some of the risk of volume shortages” on the “pricing side”?

Michael Kaufmann, the chief executive of Cardinal Health, said that “so far, we’ve not seen any material price increases that I would say are related to the coronavirus yet.” Cardinal Health, Kaufman said, would weigh a variety of factors when making these decisions, and added that the company is “always going to fight aggressively to make sure that we’re getting after the lowest cost.”

“Are you able to raise the price on some of this to offset what could be some volume shortages such that it all kind of nets out to be fairly consistent as far as your overall profit matrix?” asked Valiquette.
Kaufman responded that price decisions would depend on contracts with providers, though the firm has greater flexibility over some drug sales. “As you have changes on the cost side, you’re able to make some adjustments,” he noted.

The discussion, over conference call, occurred during the Barclays Global Healthcare Conference on March 10. At one point, Valiquette joked that “one positive” about the coronavirus would be a “silver lining” that Cardinal Health may receive “less questions” about opioid-related lawsuits.
Cardinal Health is one of several firms accused of ignoring warnings and flooding pharmacies known as so-called pill mills with shipments of millions of highly addictive painkillers. Kaufmann noted that negotiations for a settlement are ongoing.

And, since I started this post, the US Senate (that home of vermin) has passed a bail-out bill that is an even more brazen theft of public resources to reward criminality and incompetence than was the 2008 bail-out package.

It seems to me that this crisis might be a game-changer. Since 2011 I've become increasingly pessimistic about the collective intelligence of the human race to reverse the calamitous trajectory towards ecocide and dictatorship that we're presently on. But it's just possible that the soon to be revealed total failure of the USA's for-profit healthcare system; the murderous impact of decades of shit-head neo-liberal austerity on other OECD countries' social safety-nets (including healthcare); the absolutely disgusting and shameless nature of oligarchs and politicians using this crisis for personal profit; the obvious failure of the delusions of religion, the assurances of imbeciles and grifters, to protect people from a virus; the bungling of Trump; the insanely idiotic elevation of a dementia case to the Democratic nominee for the office of President; ... all that and other instances of madness, just MIGHT inspire people to think about what's necessary for a genuine, revolutionary transformation of a doomed system.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

"Driftglass" - Evil AND Stupid

Foreward: I know that an insignificant number of people read this blog. But just so that the number reading this post won't be even more insignificant, please understand that the topic isn't just me ragging on one individual blogger. As I'll explain in the piece, there are larger ramifications arising out of the behaviour of the individual being critiqued.

The Post Itself: 

Once upon a time I was legitimately confused as to whether hopeless Democratic Party hack-blogger "Driftglass" was evil or stupid:
You see, to hear Driftglass speak it, the Democrats can simply do no wrong. (Except, that is, fail to stand up to Repugnican hatred and bullying.) Is he a chump or a paid stooge? If he's the former, then he really should cut it out with the photoshopping and the blogging, because they don't appear to be paying for themselves and he's just cheer-leading for his own exploitation. But if he's a paid shill? Then that's evil. Doing stupid shit like posting White House press releases to fight against reality. Pushing that ridiculous "Putin stole the election" meme on gullible liberal fools. Perpetuating the Democratic policies of corruption, imperialism and betrayal, as if they're a genuine alternative to Repugnican atrocities.
Well, after reading this post I can now confidently assert that the old boy is both very evil and quite stupid. It's clear that Driftglass has consciously developed a semi-coherent, semi-clever narrative of pretending to engage in constructive criticism of the Bernie Sanders campaign (with no criticism or at least almost no criticisms of any other candidates) while at the same time insisting that after the primaries that he will support the party's candidate wholeheartedly (even if it's Sanders) and that he expects Sanders supporters to do the same (even if it isn't Sanders).

He is doing this because many Sanders supporters are saying that if the Democratic leadership steals the nomination from Bernie then the whole party can burn to the ground for all they care. And this is not an empty threat. And some are expressing this sentiment out-loud because they don't want the party leadership to say they hadn't been warned.

Now, Driftglass probably would vote for Sanders against Trump if Sanders managed to wrest a victory out of the corrupt, anti-democratic, duplicitous establishment. Because he's a Democrat and he hates Trump. On the other hand, he clearly hates Sanders and might deny him his vote so that his prophecy that Sanders is unelectable can be self-fulfilling. It's also possible that he thinks Sanders' commonsense, milquetoast social democratic policy proposals are dangerous Bolshevism and he won't vote for him for that reason. I can't see him being that stupid though.

[As I type this post I can already tell it's going to be a long one. Why expend so much effort on one deluded, dishonest US-American blogger? Because he's a symptom of a much larger problem. Because he's a foot-soldier in a vast army of evil. Because I have friends and acquaintances who support one or the other of the shitty candidates that Driftglass supports and they do so using arguments made by hacks like him and due to ignorance of truths that are obscured by hacks like him. And all of this is to decide who is going to be the Democratic Party candidate for the position of titular leader of the most powerful government in the world.]

Now, before getting into Driftglass's stupid post, I want to discuss some of the man's long-term disabilities as well as the general stupidity and hypocrisy of his critique of Sanders.

First of all, there is his moronic belief that United States politics is divided into the racist shit-head Republicans and the tolerant, adult, good-faith Democrats. This reality (he says) is obscured by a media system that "dines-out" on the notion that "both sides do it." That the Republican Part and its toxic base screech that Obama isn't a US-American and that Hillary Clinton should be thrown in prison, because they're racist, misogynistic scum, while the Democrats occasionally point this truth out, and the mainstream media stupidly invents a false equivalence and blames "both sides" for "partisan rancour."

I deal with this whole thing here:
"Both Sides Do It" AKA "Both-Siderism" is also the main pet peeve of stupid Democrat chump or evil Democrat hack "Driftglass." This is the phenomenon in US mainstream political culture wherein it is claimed that both the Democratic Party USA and the Republican Party USA are moral and intellectual equals. This phenomenon has the effect of increasing the vile Repugnican's moral stature while decreasing that of the Democrats.
So, for example, the Republicans can petulantly threaten to shut-down the government if Obama doesn't give the super-rich another tax-cut and they can stymie almost every initiative he comes up with, and the Democrats will, meanwhile, seek compromise and "grand bargains" with the Republicans, and the Sunday news talk-shows and major newspaper columnists will blame both parties for the partisan rancour and gridlock. The Republicans can indulge in brazen homophobia and get caught on tape claiming that they're targeting African-Americans with their voter suppression laws, but if a Democrat somewhere complains that die-hard Republicans are low-information voters, then its BOTH SIDES who are creating the culture of division that is harming the republic.

In this instance I agree with Driftglass. The Republicans are repugnant. They'll bash homosexuals and then they'll cover-up when one of their own is found to be a not-so-closeted one who is trying to seduce teenage Congressional pages. Their spokesperson Ann Coulter can gleefully call for the murder of her political opponents, but if Michael Moore angrily criticizes someone, then it just goes to show that BOTH SIDES are equally angry and dangerous.

But going beyond all of that surface stuff, when it comes to the interests of ordinary US-Americans, how different are the Democrats and the Republicans? BOTH SIDES support the surveillance state. BOTH SIDES serve Wall Street with slavish devotion. BOTH SIDES were united in bringing "regime change" and all the death and devastation that entailed, to the Middle East. BOTH SIDES have sided against organized labour. BOTH SIDES have conspired to keep public health-care for all (as opposed to cheaper health insurance for most) off the table.
And the takeaway from all that is supposed to be that while the Republicans (and I'd say the majority of their supporters) are deplorable, the Democratic Party itself is a corrupt, elitist, anti-democratic tool of the oligarchy.

Now, in my occasional charitable moods, I'm willing to entertain the notion that Driftglass is so traumatized by living in a society so dominated by Republican monsters and their brainwashed, low functioning, low information chump supporters, ... traumatized and contaminated by such an environment ... that he's become like Montreal Simon, utterly incapable of processing that just because the Democratic Party (or, for Simon, the Liberal Party of Canada) is the Republican's/Conservative's main rivals, it doesn't make them the People's Champions. But even then I don't have much sympathy for them. Because if someone like me (or Jimmy Dore) can figure this out, ... well, it just ain't that hard to figure out. My empathy for liberals ends where they refuse, or appear incapable of grasping, the failings of their own politicians.

Continuing; stupid hack Driftglass likes to sneer about how people like David Sirota or Glenn Greenwald block him on twitter. He'll pompously claim it's because these snowflakes are allergic to the cut-and-thrust of intellectual debate. But having read his garbage for years it seems much more likely that Driftglass's hacktackular stupidity and intellectual dishonesty makes him an annoying waste of time to these gentlemen.

Here's a post where the shit-head tries to condemn Sirota for drawing attention to an article by one Zephyr Teachout about Biden's "corruption problem." The hypocritical corporate Democrats screamed blue murder about this (you can read this Jacobin article to see why their shrieks can be totally disregarded) while Driftglass said nothing better could be expected from such a divisive figure as Sirota:
...when David Sirota was hired as "Director of Outreach to Those Fucking Moron Loser Corporate Dems Who Are Worse Than Republicans and Too Brainwashed By MSNBC to Think for Themselves and Realize That It's Either Bernie or the Fucking Apocalypse People!"
 Ha-ha-ha. Driftglass tries to convey how counterproductive someone like Sirota is for the Sanders campaign:
I would bring this matter to Mr. Sirota's attention personally, but Mr. Sirota is a notoriously thin-skinned git who blocks anyone on Twitter who disagrees with him, which is exactly what you want in a coms guy when your campaign is ultimately going to depend on coalition-building and not bridge-burning.   
Which is rich when you consider how these corporate-fuckfaces have treated Sanders and his supporters. How (for instance) Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer explicitly stated that he didn't care about the party losing blue-collar voters because they expected to pick up two moderate, suburban Republicans for ever one working class voter that they'd abandoned.  Or how Hillary Clinton heaved a hearty "Fuck You!" at Bernie supporters by abusing them at the 2016 Convention and selecting a right-wing, anti-choice Tim Kaine as her running mate, and then spent the next three years calling them sexist, treasonous stooges when she lost.

Despite his falling on his face constantly for years with his idiotic and empty opinions, Driftglass likes to affect a reasonable, superior tone in his criticisms of more intelligent and moral people who find his favoured politicians to be disgusting. Sanders has to learn how to reach out to African Americans, despite having been arrested during the Civil Rights Movement whereas Joe Biden fabricates his involvement/despite Biden's long-time opposition to bussing and his large contribution to the racist "anti-crime" legislation in the 1990s, it's Sanders who has to work harder to build bridges.

Sanders has to be more of a gentleman when Elizabeth Warren accuses him of making a sexist statement in a one-on-one conversation a year previously. When Sanders is on record as repeatedly saying things the opposite of what Warren accuses him of, he is (apparently) supposed to graciously admit his sin and furthermore admit that he was lying when he initially denied it.

Sanders has to accept that he has a problem with misogyny. Both personally and with his supporters; ... the "Bernie Bro's." In fact, Sanders must work much, much harder to rein-in this toxic, divisive, "schismatic" (to quote deranged Russia-gate peddler Rachael Maddow) movement that threatens to poison the USA's political culture and divide progressives in the face of the true enemy of Republican nastiness.

I'll first refer to Katie Halper speaking to this issue here (in 2017):
The media dedicated much time and energy to covering online abuse, towards women in particular, during the Democratic Primary. The vitriol was, and remains, disturbing. Posting a photo of a female campaign surrogate on Facebook, a man wrote, “Every time i see this… creature on CNN, I want to reach through the tv screen and choke her… (I don’t believe in hurting women… but i’m not sure if this is one).” Another surrogate, a black woman, has been called everything from a “bitch” to a slave to a “hood rat.” One man tweeted, “I hope you and your family die,” and another person told her to “just end her misery. A pill cocktail will do the trick…” There has even been actual physical violence against women: Two women were hit because of their allegiance to a candidate, one of them, a young woman of color, was struck by an older white man with his hand and cane.
Readers may be familiar with the term “Bernie Bro,” but they might be surprised to learn that every attack cited above was made by Clinton supporters against Sanders supporters. Though the abuse of Sanders supporters has been ignored, the Bernie Bro trope is as strong as ever.
 and here (at roughly the 8-minute mark in this recent podcast of "Useful Idiots.") Among other things, in this current Democratic Primary, an Elizabeth Warren supporter accused a woman with cancer who was supporting Sanders for the issue of "Medicare for All" of not caring who won in November because she'll be dead by then; Biden supporters saying that Sanders-supporting Congresswoman Ilhan Omar married her brother; various people saying for Sanders supporters to "suck his dusty dick"; someone telling Halper herself to fellate Cenk Uygur's dick. But it remains the case that it is only Bernie Sanders who has a problem and who must call it out.

And this isn't a recent phenomenon. And it's not just been inflicted upon "Not Even a Democrat!"/"Unpopular Old Man Who Can't Win" Bernie Sanders.  In this editorial (about the Democratic leadership's currently asserting that concerns about Joe Biden's possible dementia are offensive bigotry) Glenn Greenwald reminds us of how Hillary Clinton's campaign treated Barack Obama:
In December, 2007, the Clinton campaign — weeks before the Iowa caucus — was forced to “request” one of its volunteer county coordinators leave the campaign when it was revealed that the official, along with numerous other Clinton supporters, were forwarding and posting emails claiming Obama was Muslim and sent by “madrassas” to infiltrate the U.S. on behalf of radical Islam.
When Donald Trump, in 2011, began pushing the “birtherism” attacks against Obama into the mainstream, Politico’s Ben Smith and Byron Tau wrote an article entitled “Birtherism: Where it all began,” and explained: “The answer lies in Democratic, not Republican politics, and in the bitter, exhausting spring of 2008.” While the blatantly false theory that Obama was not U.S.-born first originated on fringe right-wing sites and not from Democrats, Politico documented that it was during the 2008 Democratic primary, not the General Election, when the repellent theory first gained traction as a result of Clinton supporters spreading it:
Then, as Obama marched toward the presidency, a new suggestion emerged: That he was not eligible to serve. (See:  Birther debate alive across U.S.)
That theory first emerged in the spring of 2008, as Clinton supporters circulated an anonymous email questioning Obama’s citizenship.
“Barack Obama’s mother was living in Kenya with his Arab-African father late in her pregnancy. She was not allowed to travel by plane then, so Barack Obama was born there and his mother then took him to Hawaii to register his birth,” asserted one chain email that surfaced on the urban legend site in April 2008.
All of that was consistent with a very deliberate and carefully crafted strategy from the Clinton campaign of depicting Obama as an exotic, foreign, non-American Other. In early 2007, the Clinton family’s long-time chief political strategist Mark Penn wrote a now-notorious memo proclaiming Obama “unelectable except perhaps against Attila the Hun,” and decreed: “I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values,” and directing that Obama be targeted for his “lack of American roots.”
The actual subject of that Greenwald piece is something we'll return to, but just to reiterate, according to Driftglass, it is the Sanders campaign, and only the Sanders campaign, that has a problem with toxic supporters. And it is only the Sanders campaign that has to condemn its own movement, and perhaps ponder just what it is about Sanders that he attracts such vile people. And if Sanders does not make more of an effort to criticize his supporters then he is guilty of refusing to build bridges to the rest of the Democratic Party and its supporters. Meanwhile, the mainstream Democrats are free to treat the Sanders movement like shit, because they are shit. Vile, bigoted scum.

I think I'll take this moment to say that I've always admired the works of writers like Glenn Greenwald, David Sirota and Matt Taibbi. These three writers are condemned by people like Driftglass and his ilk for not slavishly adhering to the "Blue no matter who" totalitarianism that Driftglass espouses. Have they made mistakes? Yes. Do I always agree with them? No. But are they writers of principle and integrity who produce work more substantive than Driftglass's repetitive mewling against "both sides do it"? Definitely.

So, now that I've established what a shameless, hypocritical hack Driftglass is, it's finally time to turn my attention to the post that has caused me to lose all respect for him. (I'd said in the past that I couldn't read him anymore, but I ended up returning to that habit when I saw new posts at the blogroll of "The Galloping Beaver." But since reading the post in question, I find myself not caring to subject myself to Driftglass, or any of the other centrist US-American blogs. Obama's failure made me give up hope in that party and the behaviour of these shit-heads ever since has made me even more contemptuous of that entire political bowel movement.) It's obvious that Driftglass is fairly bright. Because he's capable of constructing admittedly clever (read: "devious") attacks on Bernie Sanders and on the justified rage of his supporters. (They might not be convincing, but they're internally consistent.)

In "Have Fun Storming the Castle" Driftglass attempts to lecture naive idealist Sanders supporters about the superiority of (what he imagines is) nuance and pragmatism.
Based on my keen observation of the obvious, it seems clear that, on a very basic level, many politically moderate Liberal persons fundamentally do not understand how politically radical Leftists persons think and act, and vice versa.  So, as a public service, allow this tiny blog in the middle of Middle America to be your bridge to a greater understanding.
Prepare to be disappointed:
For politically moderate Liberals, the complexities of the world are ... complex and costly.  Providing health care for everyone while not bankrupting the country is a complex problem. 
Oh dear! Driftglass stepped in it pretty early into it, didn't he? It's an undeniable fact that the USA currently has the most expensive healthcare system in the OECD with some of the worst outcomes. "Medicare For All" has been confirmed in studies and by examples in other countries to be cheaper than profit-taking, de-centralized private schemes. Even studies by anti-public health insurance vultures end up confirming this. Either Driftglass has his head up his ass, or he's lying.
Operating a humane border with Mexico that serves both countries interests is a complex issue.
Sanders opposed NAFTA. NAFTA forced Mexico to allow the free import of massively subsidized US agriculture which devastated Mexico's farming population (which was around 25% of the population). It also allowed US corporations to move manufacturing jobs to Mexico, which devastated many US working-class communities. Mainstream Democrats have responded with platitudes for the American working class and tear-gas and detention camps for Mexicans attempting to cross the border. Although his family separation policy is barbaric, Trump is only building upon the structures built by previous administrations, Republican and Democratic. I won't blame anyone who actually finds themselves losing survival jobs to underpaid undocumented immigrants for being resentful. But the blame for their desperation rests higher up the ladder and only Sanders has articulated an alternative to standard corporate scapegoating and cruelty.
Making sure college is affordable to anyone who wants to attend is a complex issue.  
No it isn't! The US-American political system routinely adds tens of BILLIONS to the nation's military budget every year. This is bloated, wasteful spending. It subsidizes profitable fossil fuels producers to the tune of hundreds of billions annually. They produced TRILLIONS via "Quantitative Easing" to bail-out and subsequently subsidize Wall Street fraudsters. But for some reason, assisting US-American students who are under water from having to pay tuition rates which have risen above the inflation rate anywhere from 2-5% annually for decades is "complex" and require agonizing parsing of policy options so as to not inconvenience the super-rich.

Bernie Sanders has a workable plan that will cost $2.2 trillion over ten years. It will be paid for by a variant of the Tobin Tax and it will apply to all public colleges and universities. At the very least, it is plausible and it shows young people and the disaffected MAJORITY that doesn't vote that there is a politician offering bold plans to do something for them and not for the oligarchy.
Amending to constitution, whether to guarantee a woman's reproductive rights or to drastically curtail the power that wealthy donors and dark money have over our politics, is a fraught and hugely complex undertaking.
And what did Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer do to achieve this? Less than nothing. Bill Clinton made them wealthier. Obama bailed them out and made them wealthier and protected them from prosecution. Hillary Clinton accepted bribes from them. And Pelosi and Schumer have only done the same. Fuck you Driftglass. Fuck you, you pathetic hack.
Each of these are laudable goals, but each come with a very high degree of difficulty given the deliberately hobbling setup of our constitutional democracy, and the inevitable lockstep and well-funded opposition each of these noble projects would face from the Republican party and the mainstream media.
Which is why the corporate Democrats you support did less than nothing. Right.
For the radical, the complexities of the world are radically simplified.  Whatever the problem, the revolution will solve it, which is why the revolution is the all-important goal, and why all conditions and circumstances are seen within the revolutionary context.  That which advances the revolution is to be nourished.  That which stands in the way of the revolution must be converted or destroyed.
If you think that Bernie Sanders' commonsense social-democratic policy proposals constitutes an actual "revolution" you are fucked in the head. He's been described numerous times as an old-fashioned FDR "New Dealer" who seeks to work within the system. If Sanders uses the term "revolution" it is as a marketing ploy, nothing more. The same way that right-wing parties and capitalist advertisers exploit it. But yes; Sanders and his supporters see these proposals as necessary to get the USA off the disastrous trajectory that it has been on since the Reagan "revolution." To the extent that neo-liberal, corporate Democrats adhere to this train-wreck, to that extent do they need to be pushed aside. (Bernie Sanders never talks about "destroying" them.)
Moderate Liberal persons see suffering and calamity and work to alleviate it by whatever means are available.  Usually those solutions are frustratingly flawed and imperfect, but they act anyway because doing something is better than doing nothing.
Sorry, no. They make things WORSE. They do this by proposing half-measures that may alleviate some of the symptoms of the problem but maintain the structures that cause the problems. This means that for all the instances where some people are helped, many more continue to suffer and be abused. Take "Obamacare" (real name: "Affordable Care Act.") Essentially, this legislation subsidized private health insurance companies to accept people with pre-existing conditions and to pay for preventative medicine (among other things). To pay for this and not make things too onerous for the profits of the hated, parasitical health insurance industry, Obamacare produced a convoluted, expensive system that caused some people to lose their coverage and which failed to contain costs in the long-run.
For politically radical Leftists persons the exact opposite is true.  Suffering or calamity are real and tragic, but their importance is inextricably tied to how they serve to bring about revolution. Which means that, for the committed revolutionary, the moderate/good will always be the enemy of the revolutionary/perfect.
Horse shit. There is a homeless crisis in the United States. There is massive inequality. Both parties have pursued endless imperialist wars which the majority of US-Americans reject. Global warming is real and it will destroy civilization and much of the ecosphere and thereby kill tens of millions of people and Obama bragged about increasing US oil production and his government invested in overseas carbon projects (including coal burning plants) that cancelled out his own cuts to domestic coal use.

Driftglass is attempting the old corporate Democrat line of "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." But, for obvious reasons, that adage is completely inappropriate in these circumstances.
You see, for the revolution to work, it must be the answer to all questions, which means that any compromise or half-measure that falls short of revolution is not just a failure, but the rankest betrayal.  Positively counterrevolutionary.  Because any improvement in circumstances or alleviation of suffering short of revolution saps the revolution of its energy by showing the masses that things can get somewhat better without resorting to burning the system completely to the ground.
Therefor those who advocate compromise must be destroyed.
If serial Democratic leaders hadn't been blood-soaked servants of the plutocracy, all your stupid fucking mewling would be relevant. But they have been, so it isn't. Jeeziz-Krice! We haven't even discussed the Democrats maintenance of the USA's insanely high (and racist) mass incarceration rate!
And this is where politically moderate Liberal persons get very confused.  Because they cannot understand why politically radical Leftists are so contemptuous of them when everyone agrees on the goal of the alleviation of human suffering and improving people's circumstances.  Why such loathing when we just disagree on the means to those ends?

And the answer is, that moderates and radicals do not agree on the goals.  The goal of the moderate is to alleviate human suffering and improve people's circumstances, and the moderate's means to those ends are various policy proposals they would like to see debated, enacted and funded though the frustrating, boring, contentious political process.

The radical's goal, on the other hand, is a revolution which would sweep away that frustrating, boring, contentious political process because it is that system which is the root cause of all injustice and suffering which both groups claim to care about.  Moderates wish to patch up the rattletrap American political system so it can enact the policies they believe are critically important to the life of the nation.  Radicals cannot settle for anything less than overthrowing that system in its entirety and replacing it with ... something.
Again, Sanders is talking about working within the system. Unless you're a liar or a complete dullard, this should be patently obvious. Second of all, corporate Democrats are NOT trying genuinely to alleviate suffering. They are trying to nibble on the fringes of the problem so as to give the appearance of doing something, to attempt to fool people, contain the anger, and let the system continue to abuse and exploit people. They are frauds. They are bought-and-paid-for tools of the oligarchs.
Which is where things get always get hazy.

Because where a moderate will acknowledge the specific structural impediments that they need to overcome (example: the filibuster and/or the lack of a solid supermajority in the Senate) and quantifiable outcomes that are required to overcome them (getting rid of the filibuster and pouring resources into down-ballot races in Democratic-flippable states), radicals speak of The Revolution in quasi-mystical terms.  Somewhat akin to a Catholic trying to explain the Holy Spirit.  The Revolution will manifest itself as ineffable force which shall be loosed upon the land and before its irresistible power, no obstacle can stand.

Or whatever.  As I said, details are hazy.
Indeed. Especially since you're either lamentably clueless as to the extent of the crisis or a deliberate liar. The massive alienation that the majority of US citizens feel towards their political system is a mystery to you because of your mental and/or moral shortcomings. You babble about the difficulties of achieving Senate supermajorities and ignore the Democratic leadership's continued support for corrupt, corporate Democratic candidates against progressive opponents. You ignore the outright hostility these unpopular, doddering fools display even towards popular progressive figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, Dennis Kucinich.

The long and the short of it is that the Republicans can cheerfully sabotage any and all attempts to benefit ordinary people and brazenly serve oligarchic interests, because their whole identity is bound up in this nonsensical notion of being "pro-business," with what mass appeal they possess stemming from the toxic stew of bigotry and stupidity known as "traditional values." Corporate Dems have a harder row to hoe because they have to pretend to be the alternative to this without actually doing anything to threaten the capitalist class. So they lean heavily on cost-free rhetoric (especially with regards to identity politics) while doing as little as possible to actually changing the status-quo.

This is all so fucking obvious.
Finally, like any other form of fundamentalism, the radical worldview is reduced to a simple, all-inclusive Manichean struggle between the Saved and the Damned, which dooms any debate over any issue from the start.  Since the only acceptable solution to all problems -- the only path to salvation -- is revolution, if  you are down with the revolution, you are Saved.  And once in a state of revolutionary grace, it not only doesn't really matter that Trump won in 2016 (or that the Both Parties Are Equally Damned ethos of the revolution may have helped him get elected) but Trump winning re-election might actually be a good thing because it heightens the contradictions!  Because all suffering and catastrophe are grist for the revolutionary mill.

Contrariwise, if you are not down with the revolution -- if you are willing to accept imperfect half-measures rather than accept that a rising tide of misery and Republican fascism provide the necessary rocket fuel that will bring about the revolution -- you are Damned. Worse than Republicans, really, because while they're just racist brutes acting on instinct, you know better.  You pretend to care about human suffering and you have been bathed in the light of glorious revolution but have walked away from it.  And since you refuse to embrace the only true path to salvation, for some dark reason you must secretly really want people to die for lack of health care.


You must really not give a shit about babies in cages.  You must really want to see the planet burn.

OMFG, you're the worst!

And as the worst, you deserve to be slagged and berated on social media.

Because you're not being bullied, you ignorant corporate establishment stooge.

You're being Truth-Bombed, for your own good and as a lesson to others.

I've decided to just post that self-pitying, self-righteous drivel as a quote and leave it basically unanswered. Because I've spent long enough on this post and because everything I've said to answer the rest of his stupid post should be enough to show his conclusion for the sickening nonsense that it is. Driftglass is either a shit-head or a con-man, and is most likely a combination of the two.

And, finally, after all that shit-headdery in his writings, it's the icing on the cake to be able to point out that in "The Princess Bride," Wesley, Montoya and Fezzik ended up being SUCCESSFUL when they did, in fact, "storm the castle." Wesley was motivated by true love; Montoya from justice, and Fezzik wanted to help his friends. If they'd listened to an idiot like Driftglass the movie's ending wouldn't have been quite so nice. I would recommend that Sanders and his supporters disregard the mentally corrupt scribblings of Driftglass as well.

But as I conclude this post it seems that, thanks to deliberate media malfeasance and Democratic Party election fraud, Sanders is going to lose to the corrupt, lying, arguably suffering from dementia, corporate tool Joe Biden. Sanders seems likely to (unlike a Leninist revolutionary) campaign for Biden, but the movement that rallied behind him will be less likely to hold their noses and vote for the foul shit that Driftglass likes to eat. In these insane times, it seems that the monstrous, ridiculous loser Donald Trump might lose to the ridiculous Biden due to his appalling mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Only in America. Only in America.

Fuck you Driftglass. Fuck you, you mewling neo-liberal asswipe.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Yet Another Uncontrollable Foray Into US-American Politics

You have to give the US-Americans credit. They're still able to make their abomination of a political culture eminently entertaining. Bernie Sanders is clearly the front-runner for the Democratic Party's nomination for their presidential candidate to meet Trump in the 2020 US Presidential Election. Sanders is a much needed push back against the plutocratic power that has been enriching itself since 1980. Sanders has built a viable, activist coalition of working class, middle-class, multi-racial, young, old, ... it's inspiring.

Obviously, the Democratic Party leadership sees this as a threat. These vermin are addicted to sucking the rat-penises of Wall Street filth such as Michael Bloomberg. They make their bread-and-butter by ensuring the continued hyper-profitability of the parasitical private health insurance industry. They're wedded to child-murdering Zionist psychopaths. They support endless bloody wars for the continued blood-money of the Military-Industrial-Complex.

At one point, the Democratic Party leadership offered up the ludicrous Joseph Biden as their favourite son. But when this clueless whore failed to ignite the masses the plan switched to running a whole squadron of spoilers (including Elizabeth Warren) to defeat Sanders.

Unfortunately, even with their thumbs on the scales in Iowa and New Hampshire, these anti-democratic scum failed to stop Sanders' grassroots coalition. When he crushed them in Nevada they went into panic mode. The Clown Car strategy wasn't working because none of these corporate stooges were getting enough of the pro or anti-Sanders vote to win 15% and, thereby, any state delegates. This is because these clueless, out-of-touch, sold-out, elitist pricks don't understand what's going on outside their bubble worlds.

Biden's train-wreck of a campaign was do or die in South Carolina. Older Black voters (who remember Biden happily playing second-fiddle to the First Black President [Barack Obama]) planned on voting for Biden (as opposed to the white people in Iowa and New Hampshire) and this was what he was counting on. Some Sanders supporters saw their man inching up in the polls and thought they might hold Biden to a narrow victory or even defeat him. Alas, alack! Biden got a crushing 48%, with Sanders a distant second at 19%.

That was enough for the Democratic leadership. Willfully forgetting that Biden is a joke, these deluded dipshits have decided that the Clown Car strategy wasn't working. Biden was Obama's VP. Biden has name recognition. Pete Buttigieg is loathed by people of colour and white people who have a brain, and not a huge loaf of shit inside their skulls. Very few people like Amy Klobuchar (aside from hopelessly out-of-touch elitists like the New York Times and millionaire comedian Bill Maher and liberal feminists). So these two have dropped-out and endorsed Biden.

The only problem is that Biden is still a hugely unpopular, demented, incompetent, racist, elitist, corporate asshole.
Back in January, well before the Democratic primary race had taken on its current composition, independent journalist Ruth Ann Oskolkoff reported that a source had heard from high-level Democratic Party insiders that they were planning to install Joe Biden as the party’s nominee, and to smear Bernie Sanders as a Russian asset.
“On January 20, 2020 at 8:20 p.m. PDT I received a communication from a reliable source,” Oskolkoff wrote. “This person had interactions earlier that evening with high level party members and associates of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who said that they have now selected Biden as the Democratic Party nominee, with Warren as the VP. They also said the plan is to smear Bernie as a Russian asset.”
Now, immediately before Super Tuesday, we are seeing establishment candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar drop out of the race, both of whom, along with former candidate Beto O’Rourke, are now suddenly endorsing Biden. Elizabeth Warren, the only top-level candidate besides Sanders who could be labeled vaguely “left” by any stretch of the imagination, has meanwhile outraged progressives by remaining in the race, to the Vermont senator’s detriment.
The only problem? Biden’s brain is turning into sauerkraut.
There are two new clips of video footage making the rounds today, one featuring Biden at a rally telling his supporters that tomorrow is “Super Thursday”, and another featuring the former VP saying (and this is a direct quote), “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created– by the– you know, you know the thing.”
I’ve written about Biden’s recent struggles to form coherent sentences before, and it seems to be getting worse. There’s simply no comparing the befuddled, fuzz-brained man we see before us today with the sharp, lucid speaker we were seeing even a few years ago. The man’s brain does not work.
So, this shambling, senile corporate tool is what one of the two parties of the most powerful country in the world is offering up as Democracy's saviour. To say it is to expose the insanity.

At some point in their desperation, the Democrat elites thought that "Alpha-male" billionaire Bloomberg could sweep in [after subsidizing the party and all their mercenary hangers-on] and blast his way to the top and knock-out Bernie with his charisma. But Bloomberg's debate performances showed him to be an uninspiring septuagenarian unable to deflect condemnations of his sexist, racist behaviour from people not beholden to him for a paycheque. He might stay in the race, but he certainly won't be taking any of Sanders' voters.

Elizabeth Warren is staying in to steal votes from the progressive bloc. Because she's poisoned by personal ambition. I believe her conversion to semi-progressivism was real and that she has genuine convictions. But she has discovered (to her chagrin) that her calculating efforts to ingratiate herself with party power-brokers has destroyed her appeal to the voters who at first admired her. And she's shown herself to be willing to utilize every sleazy trick in the book (exploiting "#Believe Her" in her attacks on Bernie Sanders, outright lying about his past statements on super-delegates) to try to regain her viability, and it's all just lowered her in the eyes of her former admirers. So now she remains in the race partly to serve the Democratic leadership and mainly out of spite.

Which, semi-finally, brings me to this specimen of liberal feminism. Now, obviously, I hate women. Caitlyn Johnstone is one of my favourite writers. (Along with Linda McQuaig and Susan George.) But I loathed Hillary Clinton. And I didn't like Amy Klobuchar. And while I used to think it almost a toss-up between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (favouring Warren FWIW), the fact that I'm now all-in for Bernie just makes me a paid-up, card-carrying sexist "Bernie-Bro" now and forever. I'll let this liberal feminist blogger embarrass himself explain it:
I think it’s fair to say that a year ago at this time a substantial percentage of Democrats, or at least Democratic activists, would have subscribed to something like this axiom: “All other things being anywhere close to equal, the party should nominate a woman in 2020 (perhaps with the addition, “or, if not, a non-white man.”).
The reasons for holding this position should be too obvious to belabor. The Republican party is the party of hierarchy and reaction, which is to say it’s the default party of white men. The Democratic party is the party, at least in aspirational terms, of egalitarianism and demographic diversity. Its last two presidential candidates reflected that.
Yet the harsh truth is that, going into the 2024 presidential election, the list of women in American political history who will have drawn any kind of substantial support in a major party presidential primary campaign will still consist of one name: Hillary Clinton. And Clinton, while a very accomplished candidate in her own right, does fit the extremely narrow model of a woman political leader who can sometimes be acceptable in a traditionally patriarchal culture, which is to say the heir, by blood or marriage, to a political dynasty of some sort.
In my view, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand were all in their own ways vastly superior Democratic presidential candidates to either Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, or Pete Buttigieg, let alone Mike Bloomberg. I was no fan at all of Amy Klobuchar, but even she would have been preferable to yet another ancient white guy.
That none of these candidates ended up getting any serious traction in the race, when the men who did were so obviously flawed in different but profound ways, is in very large part attributable to bad old fashioned misogyny, full stop.
Obviously none of the women candidates were perfect either, because such a candidate doesn’t exist. I realize I’m not an unbiased observer — another thing that doesn’t exist — but for the life of me I can’t understand how a progressive voter could prefer Sanders to Warren, or a more moderate voter could prefer Biden or Buttigieg, let alone Bloomberg, to Harris.
In my view, the women candidates in all these comparisons were clearly superior to the men, without even taking into account that they were women — which, again, should be taken into account!
That their campaigns all went nowhere, so that we are left with a choice between two deeply flawed candidates, who also happen to be nearly 80 years old,* is a profoundly depressing comment on how Hillary Clinton’s nomination may have been an aberrational product of her own autobiography.
We still have, as a country and a party, an enormous way to go on this issue.
*Can any knowledgable commenter remark on the following matter: I’ve been told that there’s a particularly significant health marker for someone who has recently had a heart attack — the left ventricle ejection fraction? — that would be extremely valuable to know in regard to Sanders’s current health, with the point being that Sanders has not released this data point, and it would be good to have it. (ETA: This covers it. Thanks to a couple of commenters for flagging it).
And to that stew of mewling bullshit I have to say: "Sorry. No."

Because my opposition to Hillary Clinton was based on her being a war-monger and a stooge for the capitalist class.

Kamala Harris was a woman of colour who decided to play the game of being a race-traitor and who has managed to take that grift all the way to the US Senate.

Amy Klobuchar is a right-wing Democrat (Re: "Scumbag") who abuses her office staff the way any penis-haver would. (Albeit non-sexually.)

I've already spoken about Elizabeth Warren's unelectability.

Notice that this fuckwad duzzint mention Tulsi Gabbard. Perhaps he's "SEXIST"??? (I could go into details about his nitwit fuck-head-erry about his animus to Gabbard but it's so much easier to ascribe it to sexism and have done with it.)

And, REALLY finally, stupid Democratic partisan hack "Driftglass" occasionally makes noises about how he'd even support a whack-doodle like Sanders against Trump. All the while though, this turd has taken at least two blog posts to whine and bitch about Sanders supporters pushing back against the nauseating drivel spewed by Hillary Clinton or some other piece-of-shit, but seems completely uninterested in the debacle his party elites made of Iowa, or of Buttigieg's claiming victory before any results came in (or of the media that gave Buttigieg his victory laps while "disappearing" Sanders' polling leads with Orwellian efficiency). Because hacks gonna hack.