Bernie Sanders versus Obama & the Clintons: The Big Difference

Eric Zuesse

I state here why I have come to support Bernie Sanders for President: Whereas Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — the modern Democratic Establishment — have been so conservative they might as well have called themselves “conservative” (and they didn’t say it because they needed to be able to win Democratic Party primaries), Sanders’s record shows that he isn’t like that at all; he’s an authentic democrat, and always has been, even when he didn’t call himself one (but only a “Progressive,” and a “socialist — like in Scandinavia”). I don’t care what a politician calls himself or herself, only what the person actually is, as the person has proven to be by the actual record as a public official.

The entire careers of Bernie Sanders, versus Barack Obama and both Bill and Hillary Clinton, display a stark difference. Whereas Obama and the Clintons were trying to win the votes of Democrats while secretly supporting Republican policies to redistribute even more wealth upward from the public to the aristocracy (and they did so) (and how!), Sanders has consistently been trying — and helping — to do the exact opposite: to redistribute wealth downward, from the aristocracy to the public. Taxes, and all of government policies, are inevitably  wealth-distributional (who pays how much, and who gets how much of the benefits; and what benefits pay needs, versus what benefits pay mere wants). Any politician who says that government isn’t largely about the distribution of wealth, knows that what he is saying is false — he or she is lying about government. (Only their suckers can believe it.) The question isn’t whether  government should redistribute wealth; it’s how. That’s reality, and every public official knows it.


Lawrence Summers was the leading economist for both of the Clintons, and also for Obama; and one of the reasons they chose him was that he agreed with them that the richer a person is, the better the given person tends to be. Summers shared their money-elitist values. (They secretly despise the poor.)

He was an economist and not a politician, and so he wasn’t as careful as Obama and the Clintons to hide his money-elitist belief from the public. A politician’s chief economist shows where he or she really stands, on this crucial matter — aristocracy versus democracy. This is a matter that’s basic not only to economics, but also to politics.

For example, the leaked “Summers Memo” from 12 December 1991, when Larry Summers was Chief Economist for the World Bank, instructed his staff that, “a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a wad of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that. … I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City.” When this staff-memo was leaked to environmental organizations, he said that he had only been joking, but this is not the way his staff had interpreted it. Indeed, they had no reason to interpret it in any other way than as constituting guidance from their boss. The view that he expressed in this staff-memo was consistent with other views he’s known to have expressed in the course of his career, right up to the present time. It’s his view. It’s the Clintons’ view. And it’s Obama’s view. And it’s not funny at all — no more than a vicious comment about a deceased person would be that’s made at his funeral. And Summers isn’t so stupid.

On 15 June 2012, Bonnie Kouvassi at Huffington Post, bannered “Larry Summers: We Need To Focus On Inequality of Opportunity,” and she presented video of him teaching at Harvard, saying, “I think we can accept, I think we should accept, inequality of results, recognizing that those who earn more are in a better position to contribute more to support society.” He attacked those (this would include Bernie Sanders) who criticized America’s extreme inequality of wealth, and he praised at length “those who are in a better position to contribute more to support society.” Summers’s aristocrat-enhancing view was that, even in a nation of such extreme wealth-inequality as America, inequality of opportunity can be reduced without also reducing inequality of wealth. It’s not just false, but absurdly false: In a country with such extreme wealth-inequality (one of the world’s highest), inequality of opportunity is largely the result  of inequality of wealth. Addressing the former without also addressing the latter is doomed to fail. As a reader at a blog well-phrased the matter, on 29 September 2013: “The privileges of wealth grow exponentially with each generation in no small part because of the greater educational opportunities the children of the rich have – with less distraction from needing to work their way through school and less debt with which to begin the ‘rat race’.” If anyone should know about that, it’s the former Harvard president Summers.

However, Summers routinely displayed enormous respect for wealthy people, and contempt for the poor. He was quoted in Ron Suskind’s 2011 Confidence Men  as saying in 2009 (p. 197), “One of the challenges in our society is that the truth is kind of a disequalizer. … One of the reasons that inequality has probably gone up in our society is that people are being treated closer to the way they’re supposed to be treated.” This was the economist preferred above all others by Obama and the Clintons. He hadn’t contributed anything important to economics, but he called himself a ‘Democrat,’ and he pleased America’s aristocracy; so, he got the top ‘Democratic’ appointments, from the top ‘Democrats.’

Obama himself has said essentially the same thing, such as, “while we don’t promise equal outcomes, we have strived to deliver equal opportunity.” It’s fake, no matter which liar is using the rationalization for spreading economic inequality.

The report in Politico on 18 March 2014, “The Rich Strike Back,” cited Summers as assuming (as Adam Smith did; e.g., “Wherever there is great property there is great inequality” — something that’s proven false in some of the world’s wealthiest and  most-equal countries) a supposed natural tension between wealth and equality. Summers alleged there that progressives’ desire for more economic equality is merely “envy”: he said, “‘Reducing inequality is good, but it’s 50 times better to do it by lifting those up who are low than by tearing those down who are high,’ said Larry Summers. … ‘The politics of envy are the wrong politics in America. The better politics are the politics of inclusion where everyone shares in economic growth.’” He called this aristocratic, anti-democratic, position “the politics of inclusion.” He implied that democracy is the politics of exclusion; aristocracy the politics of inclusion.

Barack Obama endorses that viewpoint (even though Summers’s having stated it in public became an embarrassment to the President and was then quietly punished by him); Obama himself had even endorsed it subtly in an article by David Leonhardt in The New York Times, 24 August 2008, “Obamanomics,” where Obama, late in the U.S. Presidential campaign, had stated his Hayek-Friedman-Posner positions, the (University of) “Chicago School of Economics” views (which his colleagues there said that he accepted), which were called “postpartisan.” Leonhardt wrote: “‘The market is the best mechanism ever invented for efficiently allocating resources to maximize production,’ Obama told me. ‘And I also think that there is a connection between the freedom of the marketplace and freedom more generally.’” Obama simply ignored that in fascism, there is both capitalism and  dictatorship. A ‘free market’ does not necessarily mean a free country. Obama only pretends to be ignorant of this fact. And, similarly, socialism does not necessarily mean a lack of democracy: Scandinavian countries are both socialist (as socialist welfare states) and democratic, without there being any contradiction.

In other words: Obama denied the entire question of wealth-redistribution upward or downward; he simply denied the entire issue of economic classes — the public versus the aristocracy. He denied that “freedom more generally” can maximize either for the aristocracy, or else for the public, but not for both simultaneously. (Aristocrats compete among themselves for dominance within the aristocracy, but they all compete collectively against  the public, such as to lower their wages for employees, and to reduce safety-regulation of products for consumers; and government is the vehicle that makes such essentially redistributive decisions — on behalf of either the public, the voters; or else the aristocrats, the big political campaign donors.) He had said this in a country that had actually gone from being one of the most-equalitarian in the world in 1975, to becoming one of the least-equalitarian in the world in 2007. And inequality kept soaring after Obama became President — he placed into practice his actual beliefs (though he never stated these beliefs publicly in any clear manner, because then he would have lost Democratic primaries, never become President).

On 19 September 2011, the anti-Summers former Clinton-Administration economist, Brad DeLong, blogged “Obama Develops His Own View of the Jobless Recovery,” and pasted in some excerpts from the just-published devastating take-down of the Obama Administration, Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men. DeLong being a professional economist, he included the most revealing passage concerning Obama’s view of the nation’s economy as the new President had entered office and during his first years in office, the passage that actually explained Obama’s entire economic policy. This passage (p. 353) referred to the President’s two leading economic advisors, Summers being number one, and Christina Romer being second:

Both … were concerned by something the president had said in a morning briefing: that he thought the high unemployment was due to productivity gains in the economy [i.e, that because of increased worker-productivity, those workers simply were no longer needed]. Summers and Romer were startled.

‘What was driving unemployment was clearly deficient demand,’ Romer said. ‘We wondered where this could have been coming from. We both tried to convince him otherwise. He wouldn’t budge.’

Summers had been focused intently on how to spur demand, and on what might drive a meaningful recovery. Since the summer, in meeting after meeting, he’d ticked off the possible candidates, and then discussed them – ‘it won’t be construction, it won’t be exports, it won’t be the consumer.’ But without a rise in demand, in Summers’s view, nothing else would work. What’s more, in such a sluggish, low-demand environment, Summers felt that banks probably shouldn’t be lending. ‘No one wants banks to offer credit to people who shouldn’t be taking on more credit.’ [In other words: the idea that interest rates were low in order to increase bank-lending was fake, mere PR; interest rates were low in order to increase the spread, the profits, between their low borrowing costs from the Fed, and their much higher interest rates on credit cards and other existing lending. Obama chose Fed chairs who aimed, above all, to keep bank-profits high, by keeping the Fed’s interest rate low.]

But productivity? The implications were significant. If Obama felt that 10 percent unemployment was the product of sound, productivity-driven decisions by American businesses, then short-term government measures to spur hiring were not only futile but unwise.

The two economists strained their shared memory of dozens of meetings: had they said something he’d misconstrued? At one point, Summers had mentioned how Keynes once wrote in a 1938 letter that the labor movement depressed productivity, and maybe Obama saw that the disruptions in the economy from the Great Panic gave employers an opportunity – an excuse, essentially – to harvest latent productivity gains.

After a month, frustration turned to resignation. ‘The president seems to have developed his own view,’ Romer said.

Obama was more conservative even than Summers was.

In other words, as the first of the many reader-responses to this posting said – and DeLong’s blog was regularly read by large numbers of Democratic economists, so these comments were mainly from professional economists who were on the liberal side of that very conservative profession: “Obama is now on record as to the right of Larry Summers on stimulus vs. deficit reduction. At that point, we are beyond ‘Obama as Rubinite’ or ‘Obama as blue dog’ and well into ‘Obama as GOP mole’ territory. This disgraceful shill for global capital has destroyed the Democratic party for a generation.”

Another said: “And I was always joking about Obama as the ‘Manchurian Candidate’ from the U of Chicago [a notoriously right-wing faculty]. Productivity? Really?”

Another said: “Law and economics [the associated far-Right UC viewpoint in political theory] background. Depressing.”

Another said: “I’m totally blown away. … To read that he espouses crank nonsense like this is frightening.”

Another said: “Omigod. Larry Summers looks good [by comparison to the President he advised].”

The only economists who still thought (and publicly expressed) that high unemployment was the result of increased economic productivity, were people like Glenn Hubbard, who had headed George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors. One of Harvard’s prominent champions of aristocracy, Niall Ferguson, also publicly defended this view on 2 November 2011, when Yahoo News headlined an interview with him, “Poor Public School Education Not Wall St. to Blame For American Inequality.” In other words: (democratic) government was to blame; kleptocratic aristocrats who financed political commercials (and financed scholars like Glenn Hubbard’s and Niall Ferguson’s and Lawrence Summers’s careers) were not  to blame.

Elsewhere, I had excerpted from Suskind’s book the description Suskind gave (p. 234) of Obama’s private meeting in the White House with Wall Street CEOs, on 27 March 2009, in which Obama told them that, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks. … I’m not out there to go after you. I’m protecting you. … I’m going to shield you.” And he did: zero prosecutions of them, and record-low financial prosecutions.

Hillary and Bill Clinton are also like that. Different people, same views.


Bernie Sanders is not like that. He’s not trying to fool anybody. And that’s why he’s widely loved in Vermont, where, as a Mayor, he had helped to produce perhaps the nation’s most progressive state, even though it used to be the most Republican state (and the only state, other than Maine, never to have voted for FDR).

Vermont newspaper Seven Days  has the best reporting about Sanders’s actual record. Reporter Nancy Remsen headlines in a recent issue, “What a 1987 Tax Battle Says About Bernie Sanders,” and she provides typical details about Sanders’s early battles against the aristocracy in Burlington Vermont (which is the state’s largest city, and of which he had become the Mayor in 1981). The city’s ‘non-profit’ hospital (the administrators actually received all of its profits) was transferring its tax-liabilities off onto Burlington’s other residents (and thus driving up their property-taxes), and Bernie Sanders didn’t think that this was fair.

He argued that seeking taxes from the medical center was about fairness for taxpayers. The hospital had a $100 million budget, he said, but paid “nothing in taxes, nothing in lieu of taxes and nothing for the services they receive,” meaning fire, police and other municipal protections.

He threw jabs about the hospital trustees meeting behind closed doors and administrators’ salaries: “There are a heck of a lot of people up there making a heck of a lot of money,” he said pointedly.

The hospital responded:

“The effects of stripping the hospital of its tax-exempt status are far-reaching. The first to suffer would be patients. The finance office estimated the cost of the average patient stay would increase by about $300.”

The Mayor got turned down repeatedly, but he kept on fighting.

He tried, without success, to force the medical center to match a city grant to support the Visiting Nurse Association. He asked the Vermont attorney general if it was legal for the hospital trustees to meet behind closed doors. He set up another task force — this one to look at health care — and gave them a mission, found in written form among his papers: “It seems to be that the question that must be debated in our community is a very fundamental one and that is, ‘Should the practice of medicine, and the whole health care system, be run as a corporate business generating huge profits and incomes to higher-ups in that profession, or should health care be a right to which all Americans are entitled at the lowest possible cost?'” 

“We took the view they didn’t provide enough charitable care to qualify” for a tax exemption, Joseph McNeil, then city attorney, said in a recent interview. The hospital had provided $1.5 million in free care, but “much of what they were calling charitable care was really uncollectable debt,” McNeil said. Translation: hospital bills that people couldn’t pay.

Superior Court Judge John Meaker issued his decision on September 22 [1987], ruling against the city on all counts.

“For Judge Meaker, essentially, the hospital is charitable because it is a hospital,” Sanders complained in statement he released at the time. … In its appeal of the tax case, the city challenged the judge’s reliance on the hospital’s assertion about its open-door admission policy. The city argued that it could have provided testimony from patients who were denied admission because of their inability to pay. [That testimony was blocked.]

The judges were determined not to tax a ‘non-profit.’ The City lost its appeal. But the fight that Sanders waged as Mayor was continued by him in Congress, and by his friends back in Vermont. He (and they) have made progress for the whole nation:

Today, the medical center provides about $9 million in charitable care, not including uncollectable debt. [That’s a big change] The quarterly board meetings have been open to the public since at least 1995, according to medical center spokesman Mike Noble. [That’s another big change.]

That’s real improvement, not just Obama-type “change.” It wasn’t achieved by compromising with conservatives (as Obama does). It was achieved by constantly battering them, and winning bit-by-bit as time passes, never giving up. That’s the only way progress is ever achieved.

And that’s why the aristocrats are financing Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and the campaigns of Republican candidates — but not Sanders’s.

After all of President Obama’s blather about ‘equality,’ how well have Blacks fared under this black President, Obama’s, Presidency? They’ve fared worse than any other ethnic group. (Black Agenda Report even headlined “The Expansion of Black American Misery under Barack Obama’s Watch.”) Yet Blacks still support him more than any other ethnicity does. That’s really a scandal (about both Obama, and the Blacks who admire him after he has thus screwed Blacks). Sanders isn’t aiming to appeal to some racial or gender group; he’s aiming to appeal to — and to serve — the American public. This isn’t a nationalist campaign. It’s a patriotic campaign, in the country that was founded by a Revolution that was waged against the aristocrats in their own era and place. (The aristocrats then happened to be British.) Instead of the mere spouting by some aristocrats, of noblesse oblige, which gets buildings or hospital-wings named after them, it’s: You need less, now pay more to the public that makes this wealth possible for you.


If Sanders is a modern revolutionary, then politicians such as Obama and the Clintons (and all Republicans) are today’s version of the Redcoats — America’s enemies, the aristocracy that our Founders tried to outlaw but couldn’t. That’s the real difference between Bernie Sanders versus Obama & the Clintons — and all Republicans (since conservatism is the declared, and not only  the real, ideology of that Party).

Bernie Sanders is aiming to return  the Democratic Party to its FDR roots, which was when the Party had the most reason to be proud of what it stood for. Here is how Franklin Delano Roosevelt put it:

            We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

            Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.

            I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.

It’s a heritage that Bernie Sanders can proudly, and honestly, claim to be his own. Today’s Democratic Party Establishment, such as Robert Rubin’s Hamilton Project, and Bill Clinton’s Democratic Leadership Council or New Democrats, cannot. (In fact, to the exact contrary: both Rubin and Clinton ended FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act, and thus prepared the way for George W. Bush to crash the U.S. economy.)

There’s a problem in this country that goes deeper than ethnic bigotry, and it’s economic bigotry — the belief that a person’s net worth reflects his or her moral worth. When President Obama said to Wall Street’s CEOs, on 27 March 2009, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks,” he was telling them that the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were today’s version of the old KKK who had lynched Blacks — and that those CEOs who kept the fortunes they had made from bilking MBS investors were today’s version of the Blacks who had been lynched. FDR wouldn’t agree with any of that. Nor would Bernie Sanders. That’s what we need again, inside the White House.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • kimyo

    ‘vote for the least-worst candidate’ is how we got obama.

    bernie ‘i identify as progressive’ sanders stands down, absolutely silent, mum’s the word, while witnessing ethnic cleansing in the ukraine and palestine.

    before endorsing the latest pino, don’t you think he/she should take an actual stance against the mic/war?

    ps: will someone please tell jimmy carter about gcmaf and cannabis oil!!!

    • Army of Addicts

      I agree, Bernie would be the S.O.S. Sure, some of the populous would benefit from gains, but I think the country as a whole would lose. Bernie, as president, is not going to prosecute any war criminals or banksters. And that is what’s needed.

      • kimyo

        his supporters demanded he clarify his position on war. his utter failure to do so means he’s clearly not a progressive, in spite of zuesse’s mental gyrations.

        Bernie Talks Militarism But Says Nothing New

        RootsAction’s petition asking Sanders to talk about the military has nearly 14,000 signatures. It’s produced a number of claims that Bernie in fact does talk about the military, and has a great record on it, etc. Following up on each of these claims thus far has led to virtually nothing new. If you go to Bernie’s website and click on ISSUES
        and search for foreign policy or war or peace or overall budget priorities (militarism now actually gets 54% now), you’ll be searching forever — unless he adds something. His “issues” page acts as if 199 nations and 54% of the budget just don’t exist.

        • truthtime

          And I thought Zeusse said he was done with the democratic party when he said he felt deceived/tricked by Obama.

          Why doesn’t Zeusse say something about Jill Stein, she has similar views, but actually says outloud that the continued wars in the middle east or funding of regimes MUST end and the defense budget with an excess of 800 bases around the world must be curbed first in order for ANY funds to be allocated to repairing U.S. infrastructure.

          Screw the two party democrat and republican system. We need a third, new party. Are people just ‘assuming’ or hoping Berns isn’t talking about his foreign policy (whatever the hell it is) so HItlery and Trump don’t jump on him? Look where “hope” got the U.S. the last time where Obama said one thing and did the opposite.

          So far he agreed to funding Ukraine’s coup led government crimes; supported the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, supported Israel’s extremely racist Likud party, and supported continued funding of the Iraq/Afghan Wars.

          • kimyo

            now that you mention it, i can’t remember a single instance where zuesse has written about a non-mainstream candidate.

    • cettel

      “before endorsing the latest pino, don’t you think he/she should take an actual stance against the m.i.c. and endless war?”

      not necessarily. There are three main reasons why you are wrong:

      1) He did show his independence and progressivism when he voted against invading Iraq.

      2) As a lifelong self-described “socialist” who always must contend with voters who confuse “socialist” with “communist” (which he never was), and who now equate “Russia” = “communist,” and “Stalin” = “Putin,” it would be foolish for him to do or say anything that will give Hillary and other Republicans an opportunity to place him on the defensive about his “socialism.” Time is very limited in debates; and in the brief foreign-affairs portion, he’d have to be stupid to invite his opponents to blow him away as being “unpatriotic” by his defending countries that America is attacking, and by attacking countries that America is defending. He’s not that stupid, though many ‘progressives’ might be.

      3) Any ‘progressive’ who demands that a given candidate must agree 100% with 100% of his views is a 100% non-realist and fool. To take some of a candidate’s issues as reflecting all of that candidate is not only politically counter-productive (just as is any such perfectionism in political matters) in that it reduces the likelihood of our country’s ever again getting a good President, but it is incredibly stupid, because the demand for ‘perfectionism’ in political matters is essentially a demand for a ‘benevolent dictator’ who will always agree with the given ‘progressive’ fool. Democracy can be destroyed by perfectionists, it cannot ever result from them. They are intrinsically its enemies. One can be perfectionist in some things, but never in politics.

      • kimyo

        it would be foolish for him to do or say anything that will give Hillary
        and other Republicans an opportunity to place him on the defensive

        like most of your tortured ‘logic’, that’s porridge, it’s not an argument.

        what real progressives want is a candidate at the debate who says:
        1) endless wars serve only to enrich the banksters. they demonstrably do NOT make americans safer nor do they spread democracy through the world.

        2) the tsa is security theatre and is staffed largely with psychotic predators. it misses 95% of the weapons brought onboard planes.

        3) the fda/epa protect corporations at the expense of american’s health and the environment.
        4) obamacare was written by aetna et al, to benefit aetna et al.

        such a candidate would immediately experience an enormous surge of support. speaking these truths would put him/her in a position of strength, not weakness.

        • jadan

          1) a guy who votes against the Patriot Act and the Iraq war doesn’t meet your standard?
          2) voting against the Patriot Act means what to you? That he likes the TSA?

          3) You aren’t aware of Bernie’s assault on Monsanto against the BGH ( growth hormone) issue and the revolving door between Monsanto & the FDA.
          4) does a guy who is adamant about the need for universal healthcare appear to you as a supporter of health insurance fraudsters?

          You lefties won’t be satisfied, you refuse to be satisfied. You always have a head ache. You just don’t want to go all the way. Sanders is the most genuinely progressive politician to move into the public eye in our lifetimes. Sanders is the real deal. Let him inhabit your mind. Feel the Bern, as the millennials say.

          • kimyo

            Why Did Bernie Sanders Vote to Fund the Iraq War?

            So is it correct to say that Sanders voted in favor of authorizing funds for the Iraq war? Yes it is.

            But it is equally correct to say the exact opposite: Sanders voted against authorizing funds for the Iraq war.

            a true man of principle. so glad his voting record makes his position clear.

          • cyndyt

            If you actually research the bill you will find that funding the Iraq war was not the only issue in the bill. Something I wish could be outlawed so that each issue is voted on independently. And while I agree that Bernie is not 100% in line with my personal beliefs, of the realistic choices running, I feel he is the only choice. Just as the corruption of the government and of the citizen’s mindset did not happen overnight, repairing of both will not happened overnight either. Bernie is a step and the first honest step in the direction of ridding our government of the corruption and opening the minds of the citizens, who at this point are so brainwashed they can not see they are supporting politicians and issues that are against their own interests. People making less then $60,000 a year will raise hell at the mention of providing health care for OUR citizens, demand Planned Parenthood be defunded over abortion services not covered with tax dollars, yet not say a word about sending $4 plus million per DAY to the state of Israel that provides a complete health care package including ABORTIONS done up until the birth itself and has been experimenting for a decade using the eggs from the aborted female babies to be used in IVF babies !!

            At least with Bernie our citizens will have a chance at benefiting from the use of our tax dollars, there will be a chance of the overturn of citizen’s united, a chance of this Bolshevik foreign policy being changed and even more importantly electing Bernie will open the minds of Americans to the fact that a third party person can be elected.

            At this point, even many of the people that have their eyes open to the corruption and in their hearts believe in what Bernie is saying , are still so brainwashed to accept the status quo, they actually say out loud ” I believe in Bernie BUT I am afraid he can not win”. It seems to never cross their minds that if they voted for Bernie that maybe he could win. People are conditioned it is better to vote for a winner then to vote for what is best for their own lives.

            As if they are placing a bet on a sporting team. No need to like the team, just pick the winner. This mindset of the citizen is not accidental.

          • cettel

            That’s it! 100%. And the people whom you are calling “lefties” are enemies of progress, because voters such as those are not voting for it; they are voting to make a point about themselves: “I reject any politician who isn’t a 100% clone of my own views.” To that, I answer: “Some of your views are wrong, and you have no way of knowing which ones they are. All that you need to know about yourself is that you are arrogant to believe that only a candidate who agrees 100% with you can be worth voting for.”

          • Army of Addicts

            Arrogance is feeling one has a monopoly on the definition of progress, or anything close to it.

            Can we have our arms back now?

        • Army of Addicts

          Cynthia McKinney is such a candidate. But there is little support for her. The networks wouldn’t allow her to be near any debate going on, so no one knows she exists. A black female should be able to create a landslide in her favor.

          Truth is, no one has balls anymore because Skull&Bones is still running the show. No one wants to admit that they ever did, so we live in the United States of Denial.

          Rugged Individualism means letting the world fall apart while each one protects his own ass.

          And, of course, we are under Divine Providence which means we can do as we please cuz God has our backs. We have always been Isolationists in this sense.

  • jadan

    Thanks for some welcome facts, Eric, to counter the mindless attacks on Sanders from the left. There is nothing new about the idea that wealth represents divine favor and the rich are God’s chosen. It is older than Calvin’s doctrine of “election”. The wealthy wrap themselves in Christian virtue. Americans have historically worshiped their oligarchs as “self-made men” that embody the virtues espoused in Poor Richard’s Almanac. They have been role models, especially in the popular fiction of Horatio Alger, notorious ass-licker. Warren Buffet is not simply a billionaire, he is a “sage”. The appeal of a character like Trump is linked to the notion that he’s a no-bullshit self-made man, a kind of heroic individual with the courage to say what he really thinks. No one inquires too deeply into the consequences of deporting 11 million people. The diligence, devotion, and consistency of a Sanders is not recognized, much less celebrated. But people aren’t easily fooled anymore by bluster and bull shit, particularly now when the system put in place by the incompetent elite is collapsing. Sanders is not simply a smart guy, his timing is impeccable.

    • Army of Addicts


    • 905

      Buffet is called “The Oracle of Omaha.” I call him: The Orifice of Omaha. Trump is a “self made man” whose father just happened to have tens of millions of dollars!

    • cettel

      Jadan, I agree with you, of course, but for this: No one can say that Trump is a “self-made man.” He’s the son of the real-estate tycoon Fred Trump, whose business at the time of his death was (says wikipedia) “worth $250 to $300 million at the time of his death,” when the son he trained to inherit and take it over, Donald, started out. Donald started out as a real-estate tycoon, and he kept on growing the business his father had begun and trained him to continue.

      • jadan

        I wasn’t clear. I didn’t say he was a self-made man. Is there a politician today who boot strapped his life? I said he’s “linked to the notion that he’s a no-bullshit self-made man”. Many people might think he is a swashbuckling individualist and he certainly likes to give that impression. He’s actually like GW Bush, born to privilege and nurtured with an inflated view of himself. He would be a complete disaster in the presidency. The fact that he is so popular is an indication that people are sick and tired of mealy-mouthed politically correct wimps and retarded Christian ideologues. Hitler was admired for the same “straight talk”. Trump would be far worse than Bush.

        Sanders was put here by the good angels in our history and I hope like hell your prediction comes true and he is nominated! Like you, I get so tired of this disappointed idealism on the left. Crotch-rot has migrated up into their hearts….

  • Army of Addicts

    So, if I vote for Bernie, I will be endorsing his actions. If, for example, he allows Israel to continue in the genocide while US dollars continue to flow, then my hands will have blood on them. Is that a sacrifice I am willing make? No.

    • cettel

      Go ahead, demand 100% agreement before you will support any political candidate. Is your IQ=zero?

      Of course, democracy wouldn’t be able to function if most people were like that. Fortunately, they’re not.

      A closed mind to a candidate on account of disagreeing with a position he holds, is fundamentally anti-democratic, because democracy requires compromises; perfectionism in politics is encountered only in a ‘benign dictatorship,’ which can’t possibly even exist.

      • Army of Addicts

        If this were a democracy, we’d have proportional representation 200 years into it. This way, I can vote for my 3rd party candidate without being blamed for throwing a wrench into the works or wasting my vote.

        If people want to tolerate genocide, that’s their perogative, I suppose they feel that when you’re dead, you’re dead, and it doesn’t matter then anyways. Then lives only have value if their ticker is running.
        If that is the case, why bother preserving anything? Let’s have a free-for-all and get it over with, throwing accountability to the wind.


  • nomadfiles

    Hmmm… I wonder. Would a Sanders administration investigate the Bush/Obama regime for war crimes? (As Obama should have investigated Bush.)

    • Social D.R.

      Not in disagreement, but I hate this rash argument… Please recognize that NO country investigates itself for war crimes!

  • Auld Spyce

    I support Sanders, but reading this makes me wonder if I should. This is the most mixed up screed I’ve read in a while. You demand equality of outcome on top of equality of opportunity? Another way to say that is, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” That’s the Marxist race to the bottom. It was the worst feature of the Soviets.

    Sanders is the only one listening to voters, and the only one supported only by individuals. The rest of them talk, but the only ones they listen to are the oligarchs. Sanders is the only one offering to try to fix this mess. All the rest just want their chance to sit on top of the heap.

    We are screwed now because deep pocketed special interests, including corporations among others, can buy favors from our elected representatives. That’s why our democracy is broken. Citizens United is a travesty. Why should investors in a corporation gain another voice, not to mention the right to spend unlimitedly, besides the ones they already have simply by incorporating? That is insane and never should have been allowed.

    At the moment, I’m resigned to accept that we’ll be (and already are) living under tyranny for quite a while, likely until long after I’m dead. The game’s woefully lost, rigged long before we arrived on the scene.

    Sanders might have a chance at *starting* to get this mess fixed, but it’ll only be the start of what needs doing. Congress is nowhere near even wanting to fix any of it.

    The rest of them just want to drag us all down further, for their personal momentary gratification.

    I’m on strike. I’ve taken my ball and gone home. I’ll be nobody’s slave, nor will I keep any slaves.

  • goingnowherefast

    I will support Sanders as the only candidate that can kick start the revolution we need. But it’s only a start.

    The reality we face is that market capitalism must be replaced by a system that doesn’t discount living organisms as expendable. This system is devouring nature at an alarming rate. You cannot break nature’s rules indefinitely. As the saying goes, nature bats last.

  • MCB

    After an entire lifetime, Zuesse still doesn’t understand that our government is run on the mafia model system. He’s the proverbial Charlie Brown always trying to kick the football only to have the ball taken away at the last second where he winds up supine. He’ll never give up trying to kick the football though because that what rigid ideologues do which is why he’s always on his back.

    “Democracy, too, is a religion. It is the worship of jackals by JACKASSES.” – H. L. Mencken

  • kimyo

    ‘This Week’ Transcript: Sen. Bernie Sanders and Gov. Bobby Jindal

    RADDATZ: Would you do away with the drone program? Would you do away with the drone program because you have clearly had problems with that. You didn’t vote for CIA director John Brennan because of the drone program and how it was run.

    SANDERS: I think what you — Martha, what you can argue is that there are times and places where drone attacks have been effective, there are times and places where they have been absolutely countereffective and have caused more problems when they have solved. When you kill innocent people, what the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been.

    So, I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case.