Why did Bernie Run? – By Amanda S. Green

Why did Bernie Run? – By Amanda S. Green

Or, why didn’t he run further, faster and straight to the nearest Socialist country where he’d feel right at home?

In my last post, I started covering the “why did Bernie run?” question. He didn’t want a political dynasty taking control of our nation. He oh-so-conveniently forgot about the Kennedys or the Roosevelts. Instead, he focused on making sure another Bush or Clinton didn’t find their way to the Oval Office. While I appreciate not wanting Hillary as President, Bernie left us with Trump, who has done better than I ever expected.

But the potential of a dynasty wasn’t the only reason he ran.

Another reason he decided to throw his hat into the ring were the difference in their basic political positions between himself and Hillary.

Hillary Clinton was a key player in the centrist Democratic establishment, which had, over the years, been forged by her husband, Bill Clinton. In fact, Bill Clinton had been the head of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a conservative Democratic organization funded by big-money interests, which was described by Jesse Jackson as “Democrats for the Leisure Class.” The Clinton approach was to try to merge the interests of Wall Street and corporate America with the needs of the American middle class—an impossible task. (OR, p. 50)

Here’s a little hint. He spends the next few pages attacking not really Hillary but Bill. You know, the same Bill Clinton who often had Sanders’ support while Slick Willy held the Oval Office. He picks an issue, notes how Mr. “I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman” was responsible for it and then how Hillary supported it. Where he might have a point with regard to the Clinton’s failed health care reform initiative during Bill’s tenure – after all, Hillary was a driving force behind it – you can’t lay the credit or the blame for the lifting of certain regulations at her feet. Or are we going to start blaming every First Lady for the actions of her (or his) spouse?

Oh, wait, the media is already doing that, at least where certain First Ladies are concerned. But we aren’t the media and we should be able to figure out that they don’t hold all the power in the nation, no matter what we might want to believe. Yes, some have more influence over their spouses than others, but they still don’t wield the presidential pen and they sure don’t control Congress. But I get where Bernie’s coming from. Hillary didn’t have a long legislative history – like he did – to attack. All he could do was attack what happened during her husband’s political career, show how she supported his stances and only later changed her mind on certain issues and then focus on the few years she had been a senator and the Secretary of State.

My disagreements with the Clintons’ centrist approach were based not only on policy, as important as that was, but on politics—how you bring about real change in the country. What kind of party should the Democratic Party be? (OR, p. 51)

This is where I laugh hysterically. He refuses to run as a Democrat when given the Democratic nomination for Senator and has for some several terms now. He calls himself and Independent and not a Democrat. So why is he worried about the Democratic Party?

I know, I know, foolish question. He’s worried about it for political and not policy reasons. He wants to shape the party into his own version of socialism. He can’t do that if it is a centrist party, which it isn’t. So for him to piss and moan about the Clintons’ policies being based on politics and not policy is very much a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Not that Bernie will ever admit it. He does the same thing. If it is politically expedient for him to call himself a Democrat or to run on their ticket he will. Then he will turn around and spit in their faces – as he has already shown.

He goes on, and I’ll paraphrase here, to condemn the Clintons for receiving a great deal of money in contributions and speaking fees from “powerful financial interests and corporate America.” (OR, p 51) He points out how, whether in their political or personal lives, they seem to spend a great deal of time raising money. They’ve done it for so long and have done it so well there are now some who refer to them as “Clinton, Inc”

Well, that’s true. Between the Clinton Foundation and the enormous fees Hillary received for her private talks to various Wall Street firms, a butt-ton of money has been raised by the Clintons. If you remember, Hillary took issue with folks looking at her askance for those speaking fees. In What Happened, saying that if she had been male, no one would have questioned the fees.

Hmm, maybe we should ask Bernie about all his speaking fees? What do you think?

To me, a very basic political principle is that you cannot take on the establishment when you take their money. It is simply not credible to believe that candidates who receive significant amounts of financial support from some of the most powerful special interests in the world would make decisions that would negatively impact the bottom lines of these donors. The only way to bring about real change is to mobilize millions of people at the grassroots level against the establishment, against the big-money interests. (OR, pp 51-52)

Okay, I’ll admit that, on certain levels, I agree with him. However, there have been any number of politicians who have strayed from the interests of their donors. More than that, you can turn his own argument around on him. If it is impossible for a politician to vote against those who gave them significant financial support – and he doesn’t give any support other than philosophical for this – then it would also be impossible for that politician to vote against who give fewer dollars under reformed contribution rules. I guess we just have to do away with all campaign contributions.

I’m kidding.

However, Bernie once again over-simplifies the problem of campaign finance. Not that it surprises me. He knows how to find the argument that best supports his position, no matter how tenuous its roots in reality might be.

His next reason for running was that Hillary too hawkish as a senator and as Secretary of State. She made the mistake, in his mind, of support President Bus in his war on terror. But the more telling about exactly where Bernie stands is this quote, “While very few debate the right of Israel to exist in peace and security, I thought she did not pay enough attention to the suffering of the Palestinian people.” (OR, p. 52)

I’m sorry, but how can you say that with a straight face? To begin with, he says nothing about how the Palestinians were bombing Israel. How they were doing everything they could – and pretty much still are – to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. Instead, he worries about how the Palestinian people suffered. What about how the Israelis suffered? And what were we, as a nation, supposed to do about the Palestinian issue? Again, he makes a condemnation but doesn’t give us what his stance would be or how we would pay for it.

For me, the bottom line was that this country was facing enormous crises: the continued decline of the middle class, a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality, high rates of real unemployment, a disastrous trade policy, an inadequate educational system, and a collapsing infrastructure. On top of all that, we needed bold action to combat climate change and make certain that this planet was healthy and habitable for our children and grandchildren. (OR, pg. 52)

Well, we know what he was worried about. But we don’t know what he was going to do about it or how he was going to pay for it. I guess he was going to plant that magical, mystical socialist money tree. Nah, he was going to do what every good socialist does, reach into your pocket and mine until nothing was left. Then he’d find someone else’s pocket to pilfer.

So why did Bernie run?

For all of the above reasons and more.

It seems he’d heard talk that folks wanted Elizabeth Warren to run. But she hadn’t said she would. So what was this good little socialist from Vermont to do? He couldn’t let Hillary run and win. No way did he want a Bush in the White House. So he had to bite the proverbial bullet and step forward.

What he doesn’t see, or at least admit, is he was playing the same game Warren was. He’d been asked if he was going to run. He hadn’t said he was considering it. In fact, in an interview I believe I referenced in my previous post (if not, it is at the beginning of the chapter we’ve been discussing), he said he was 99% sure he wouldn’t run. That was after a flat denial that he’d run.

But, you see, in the end, he realized he needed to do something. He needed to take his politics outside of Vermont and Capitol Hill.

Does that make sense? If he has his politics on Capitol Hill, isn’t he already influencing our national political bent? How much of Bernie’s run for President really a desire to spread his ideas as much as ego? Oh, I’m sure that like any good little Socialist, he wanted to spread the word of Marx as far as he could. But what did he accomplish?

We can thank him for that paragon of foot-in-mouth disease Ocasio-Cortez. We can also, in a way, thank him for Hillary’s defeat. Not only was she a horrible candidate who didn’t connect with much of the electorate, but she did not find a way to entice his followers back into the fold. Conservatives and libertarians should thank him for that. Not necessarily because Trump now sits in the Oval Office but because Hillary doesn’t. The problem comes in that his success – and we have to call it that, like it or not – has given socialism (or Democratic-Socialism) a legitimacy it hasn’t had.

The real question is how the Democratic National Committee is going to respond. Are they going to be so frantic to regain the White House and a congressional majority that they throw out the last of their scruples and fully embrace socialism or will they take a giant step back? I know where my money is, and it isn’t on a giant step back.

Next week, I’m going to finish my commentary on the book. There’s a great deal left but much of it is the same ole, same ole. My brain and my liver can only take so much. I’ve got a question for you. What would you like to see me tackle next? It can be more snarking material or something that will let my liver heal. The choice is yours.

Until later!


(Help Amanda drink enough to keep snarking.  We’ll collect for her liver transplant later.
Hit her Pourboir jar now! – SAH)

47 thoughts on “Why did Bernie Run? – By Amanda S. Green

  1. Campaign finsnce reform – free in kind contributions from media firms while people who banded together to oppose a candidate or party are blocked. Unions would have full open door as well.

    And why run? He recognized that the nation was teetering on the brink of transition into the glorious socialist-fascist state that he so desires. Where he and his true constituency get feted and supported while the slave (non government employees) class is trampled underfoot.

    As for the DNC, they will repeat 2006. Put up a bunch of stealth candidates who say they would never think of raising taxes, gun control, open borders etc. And maybe even getto vote against them when it doesn’t count. But Waters, Pelousi, Ocasio-Cortez and more will be the driving force of Congress and the congressmen will fall in line like good little footsoldiers.

    1. If they’re going to repeat the 2006 strategy, they need to get to repeating the 2006 strategy. We’ve got a governor wannabe in Florida telling us he’s going to tax ammo to pay for Planned Parenthood.

      1. In a number of the harder flips they are. Doug jones was one example, one of the PA special election flips was as well. Same with the ohio to be upset election. Some places they think they are in enough control and strength to be half honest.

        1. Even with Doug Jones, though, he wouldn’t have won if McConnell hadn’t been tom-fool enough to back Luther Strange in the primary instead of Mo Brooks. That meant Roy Moore won the primary runoff, and he was literally the worst candidate out of all the possibilities for the general election, with the possible exception of Strange.

          1. Only if you believed a carefully concocted stream of lies. Those of us who lived in AL for 35 years and still have family there knew better, but most LIVs got fooled.

        2. It’s strange to see a hard left run for state wide office.
          The Democratic Senate incumbent is specifically running as a middle-of-the-road moderate, and the Republicans are declaring themselves buddies of Donald Trump.
          I wonder if the hard Left turn will continue after the primaries- it will be interesting to see.

          1. May not run as one, but that is how they will govern. Just look at 2006 and 8. They know they can straight up lie about what they want to do, do what voters don’t want, and even if the media lies don’t works and they are decimated again the reps won’t roll it back. And if there is a backlash vote wise, the media and our Stasi will destroy the interloper.

  2. Liver recovery. For everyone. When you are musing that “the higher the proof, the better” at the mention of rectified spirits… well, let us just say: That ain’t healthy.

  3. Bottom line is he ran in order to lose, and keep the money raised.

    By doctrine Bernie has said he’s not an International Socialist – he’s the National Socialist kind.

    That means his many expensive houses and fat Senatorial bank accounts are totes okeydokey – he’s totally not a hypocrite.

    Just like CNN is not the enemy of all the people, just the ones they don’t agree with – there’s, like, totally some people CNN is not the enemy of. For example, if the Manafort jurors end up voting unanimously to convict on all counts, CNN would totally not be their enemy, and would not ever publish their home addresses for the mobs to attack them.

    But if they vote the wrong way, well, the public has a right to know.

      1. Money is fungible, so while Comrade Bernie was running, he was paying his expenses, his staff, any relatives that could be pushed undercov3er far enough, his dog (security), his cat (security supervisor), and his Vermont Air Use Fees from the campaign account, so his non-campaign accounts grew by an equivalent amount.

        Then he surprised himself with his resonance with the ID10T electorate, which let him push it a lot further than he expected. And the D politburo panicked and stacked the deck against him. Which came out in the emails, which got out because the D are solidly in the ID10T demographic themselves, and that in turn, in combination with The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua’s bathroom email server, spawned the whole Russian thing.

        But back to Bernie – he had to be bought off. One element of which was the contract for this book, with, oh look, a hefty advance. Which seems to me could be argued to constitute a direct personal financial benefit from the campaign, but which does not fall under campaign finance law.

        So Comrade Bernie gets to keep more money, and poor Amanda’s liver suffers.

        Like I said above, Vitamin B is your friend.

    1. He’s also gone from some obscure Vermont kook to the defacto leader of the radical Democratic Left. He’s a power now.

  4. “Or, why didn’t he run further, faster and straight to the nearest Socialist country where he’d feel right at home?”

    Well, he was already kicked out of a commune for wanting to sit around and talk politics all day. He was at least bright enough to know that he didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell in a real socialist country unless he was directly in charge of it.

      1. Bingo! The attraction of Socialism (or Communism, as if there were really any difference) is that it puts ‘Intellectuals’ in charge….or claims to. In fact, the first generation of control usually devolves onto a clique of vicious thugs who ruthlessly exterminate the intellectual class, and thereafter the country is run largely by bureaucratic drones.

        But it hold out the hope to the intellectuals of a society in which they will actually be IMPORTANT.

        And since they know very well that they aren’t……

        1. The attraction of Socialism … is that it puts ‘Intellectuals’ in charge … In fact, the first generation of control usually devolves onto a clique of vicious thugs

          IOW, when given absolute power Intellectuals reveal their true colours. Nobody acquainted with academic power games doubts Intellectuals are anything other than cliques of vicious thugs.

  5. “The real question is how the Democratic National Committee is going to respond. Are they going to be so frantic to regain the White House and a congressional majority that they throw out the last of their scruples and fully embrace socialism or will they take a giant step back? I know where my money is, and it isn’t on a giant step back.” MY money is on NO step back.

    1. I think that there’s a chance we’ll see a Sanders-Cortez ticket in 2020, as a sacrifice play; “”See, we let you nominate your Socialist candidates and they LOST. Now sit down and let the adults talk.”

      1. Because if you don’t vote for the minority woman, you’re racist and misogynist. Since that argument worked so well for the (D) in 2016. *eye roll*

        1. Do remember that a similar strategy worked extremely well for them in 2008. Unknown minority with no track record to speak of, but he cleaned up well, knew how to speak to the crowd, and played that race card for all it was worth. Still think the tipping factor was the huge amount of white guilt as taught in every public school these days.

          1. And all it did was open the floodgates to racial identities and more and more less mainstream beliefs and kind pushing onto stage to be feted.

          2. The good news is that Cortez manages to keep inserting her foot into her mouth in a way that Obama was always able to sidestep (at least in public). For instance, Twitchy had a post up yesterday about Cortez’s explanation of why she banned the media from a public event (never mind that if you keep someone out, it isn’t a public event…). According to Cortez, the media was banned for the safety of those attending.


            1. Which, if she’s smart, she’ll explain as “I wanted to protect them from being identified by evil right-wing extremists and targeted.” Fortunately, I doubt she is that smart.

            2. So, in her ever so well educated and woke opinion the media WAS the enemy. Now where have we heard that before?

    2. Depends on how 2018 goes. If the Blue Wave happens, and they get a majority, why mess with a winning formula?
      If things pretty much stay the same, then things will pretty much stay the same.
      If we see a Red Reaction, we may see a bit of a faction fight, with a call for the party to return to their blue collar roots.

  6. Every once in a while, to remind myself that people don’t change much, but progress is made anyway, I go back and re-read Juvenal.

    Maybe a little thick going when compared to the contentless drivel you’ve been wading through, though.

  7. Something by Taleb? Antifragile would be . . . rather dense but very useful to all of us in creative careers. (Disclaimer: have read, didn’t entirely comprehend, blame lack of comprehension on juvenile homo sapiens interuptions.)

  8. Bernie’s not wrong about Clinton Inc. in terms of the money, but isn’t there something a little, I don’t know, sexist in seeing a woman’s policies as no more than an extension of her husbands?

    (Of course, given what I’ve heard about Bernie’s writings, the shoe may fit like Cinderella’s).

  9. … I started covering the “why did Bernie run?” question.  He didn’t want a political dynasty taking control of our nation. 

    I just stated that Bernie doesn’t understand economics.  I have no problem adding that he has no understanding of history.  He looks at both through a Marxian lens — and I am not sure anyone can do this without being subject to crippling distortion.

    For most people the Clintons and the Bushs are a present political phenomenon, and the Kennedys and the Roosevelts are history.

      1. One of the things I was taught in American Political Science was that most people don’t pay that much attention to politics most of the time. They view each Presidential cycle as largely its own entity. That Biden plagiarized a British Politician’s past scandal is forgotten by those who do not follow politics as they might the Kardassians.

        Many adults have done their best to forget most of what history, if any, they did learn in school. They found the subject dull and boring (The way it is often presented, who can blame them?) and they aren’t interested in history and by extension politics.

        Yes, for those that follow the news there is the twenty-four seven news networks. There are more people who follow who has talent or has been thrown off the island than their programming. Possibly, since the Clintons brought the super market tabloids into the business of reporting on politicians this has changed — a little — but not for the political issues.

        1. This is why the control of culture, especially the ability to estrange and destroy lives is so critical to the left’s power. Media has managed to get anyone to the right of John McCain identified as Nazis, to make the idea of borders (between the third world and first world. Go first to anywhere and you cannot unless you buy or marry in.) evil, and push the idea that simply because you vote in slavery and it is for a good cause, it is good. But say that perhaps countries with a tenth of the US population, that is almost completely uniculture, and can fall back on the US to do heavy lifting do healthcare right and prove that you can do it in the US.

          And make any noises against the idea that doctors should work for only what the govt is willing to pay under threat of career is evil. And that is reason that your own job should go away. There are many reasons that deaths to ‘get away’ such as suicide, booze and drugs has increased. This be one of them.

    1. I just stated that Bernie doesn’t understand economics. I have no problem adding that he has no understanding of history.

      I doubt there is anything to be gained by a discussion of things of which Bernie lacks an understanding. While I ordinarily eschew “All or Nothing” positions. a list of things for which he does have an understanding would be much more brief and equally comprehensive.

  10. Somebody ought to post a link to Sarah’s latest PJM column.
    But I won’t.
    I won’t.
    The Heck I won’t!

    When The Gene Pool Self-Chlorinates
    By Sarah Hoyt
    Periodically, when I’m in a bad mood I go on a rant about “innocents abroad.”

    This usually relates to one of my kids’ friends going abroad and coming back with stars in their eyes, my absolutely favorite being the one who was sure that socialism couldn’t be bad, because look at all the great palaces and monuments France has. Yes, he got an history lecture about no matter what you might think of feudalism, it was not socialism. And how most of what socialist France has done involves things like trying to develop a video phone system that worked … well… like the net. And failing.

    There is worse, though. …

    1. The socialists do one thing extremely well. Propaganda. It is why they will win, and we all will lose.

      1. I will repeat myself–you are going to do yourself a mischief, if you keep going on this way.
        Reality always wins over illusion, in the end.

    2. While not directly Sarah’s point, the recent dispute between Vice and Chinese YouTuber and DIY engineer Naomi Wu (note – if you go look her up on YouTube, be aware that some of her videos are borderline NSFW; and the ones that aren’t often have her wearing some very racy outfits) includes one of the items that Sarah touches on in the linked column. Sarah mentions that we in the US tend to take safety for granted. The core of Naomi Wu’s dispute with Vice is that Vice violated an agreement that it had with her, and in doing so put her personally at risk.

      And all this for what was supposed to be a friendly piece about her work as a woman in STEM.

  11. The real question is: can the Republicans get so lucky that he decides to run again?

    1. I don’t know if it matters. Aside from the fact that he’s getting old, there’s also the fact that the Democratic field in the next primary cycle is probably going to be a circus. You’ve got the obvious candidates, like Kamela Harris (i.e. the woman who asked one of Trump’s nominees what the CIA was going to do to combat global warming). You’ve got the less obvious candidates like Elizabeth “I’m totally not lying when I say I’m a Cherokee” Warren (who iirc has indicated she’s not running; but on the other hand, that fascist corporate bill she just threw together strongly screams “Presidential Springboard!” to me). And you’ve got the people who make even those two seem normal, like Michael Avanetti (that’s Stormy Daniel’s lawyer, for those who don’t recognize the name). Yes, he’s positioning himself for a presidential run. It’s looking like the Democratic field in next year (when the serious campaigning starts) is going to be a complete and total farce.

      And yet, too many people will take it seriously. Because TRUMP!!1! And the (D) next to the candidate’s name.

      So when Avanetti publishes his inevitable book (because all presidential candidates have to have one), what do you think it’ll take to get Amanda to pick it apart for us?


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