Dec. 4 Open Thread: Ready for Another Bernie-Brawl?

Filed in National by on December 4, 2018

If Donald Trump had to face a united Democratic Party in 2020, he’d have little chance of re-election. Trouble is, he won’t, at least not if Bernie Sanders runs agains — and it’s being reported that he’s laying the groundwork for a bigger campaign than in 2016. Is he too divisive? In hockey, they’d settle this by dropping the gloves; in boxing, by taping them on. Why not fight over which metaphor is better instead?

Muellerologists seem to agree that the Mueller probe is reaching its conclusion, though of course they’re just reading tea leaves. Today’s docket calls for something regarding Mike Flynn, who hasn’t been heard from for quite a while.

Nobody wants to call Trump a liar, but they all find other ways to say it. For example, J.P. Morgan warned investors that Trump’s claims about his so-called deal with China “seem if not completely fabricated then grossly exaggerated.” See what they did there? He slid around the tag.

The white nationalist street mobs could be described as terrorists, but these experts disagee. They’re really good, old-fashioned street mobs and should be treated as such by law enforcement. In other words, treat them as if they were black.

Speaking of street mobs, La Belle France just saw its most violent protests since the 1960s, recreating 1999’s Battle in Seattle to the area around the Arc de Triomphe. Emmanuel Macron’s government postponed fuel tax increases until summer, which sounds like the French version of raking the forests.

Meanwhile, in the tax-cutting capital of the world, the good ol’ USA, it appears we’ve finally reached the point at which promising more tax cuts is no longer moving the needle for the GOP. About time.

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  1. RE Vanella says:

    Have you seen Bernie’s approval number inside the party? Approaching 80%

    I think this is overblown because:

    1.) The Party leadership is still neoliberal corporate trash
    2.) The Bernie haters are very vocal and obnoxious

    The energy and the grassroots organizing is with Bernie. The world wide leftist solidarity is there with Podemos in Spain, DiEM25 (Syriza)/Yanis Varoufakis in Greece, AMLO in Mexico, Labour/Jezza in the UK…

    Bernie has spoken on behalf of PT/Lula in Brazil as he is the most high profile political prisoner in the world.

    This is far bigger than whining bitches on the internet who just have resentments. Bernie on policy is the strongest and always has been. 40 years of consistent arguments versus political games and “evolving” views.

    Bernie would have won and he will win. Bernie 2020.

    Left is Best.

  2. RE Vanella says:

    Also, Lula’s PT replacement candidate, Fernando Haddad (along with Varoufakis) attended the Sanders institute conference this week.

    There’s no candidate with the history of these positions. There is no candidate whose policies would more improve the material conditions of the most people.

  3. RE Vanella says:

    Speaking of the UK, anyone following Parliament today? 🙂

    Corbyn will be PM sooner rather than later. AMLO was inaugurated over the weekend. Our only hope is LEFT.

  4. Alby says:

    Love the message, but if I’m designing messengers they wouldn’t be 79 when inaugurated.

    • Agreed. I think Bernie will end up like Moses–he leads the people to the Promised Land, but someone else leads them INTO the Promised Land. That’s a great legacy in any event.

  5. Alby says:

    On the other hand, nobody else who’s running is saying squat about climate change. Bernie just has:

  6. RE Vanella says:

    When the argument used most often is age I get more hopeful. It’s ironic that the younger the person the less they even consider Bernie’s age.

    • Alby says:

      And the older they are the more they do. We’re speaking from experience.

      • RE Vanella says:


        • Alby says:


          • mediawatch says:

            Alby and I well know how royally the politicos of our generation have fucked things up. (It’s especially appalling that the orange shitgibbon spent our first two years of college in the same place, but I learned a hell of a lot more there than he did.) Anyhow, on the basis of experience with the upper end of the Boomer generation, far better too give the kids a turn before it’s too late.

  7. Alby says:

    On a different note, it seems the National Republican Congressional Committee had its computers hacked for months before the midterms, but though the committee alerted the FBI, it never told elected officials like Paul Ryan or Kevin McCarthy.

  8. puck says:

    Democrats, please don’t make me vote for Bernie again.

  9. RE Vanella says:

    While you all whinge about how the most popular politician in the country with a platform that will improve the material condition of the most Americans since FDR is going to upset you please take a moment to remember that on this very day in 1969 the FBI and the Chicago police assassinated Fred Hampton.

    You can slaughter a revolutionary in his bed, but you can’t slaughter the revolution.

    • Alby says:

      Many South American countries have adopted the permanent revolution ideology. How’s that working out for them?

      • RE Vanella says:

        Attention sentient youngsters…

        Old people used to say dumb shit like this out of context all the time…

        They still do on Fox News…

        You may disregard…


  10. RE Vanella says:

    Well, considering they’ve had to face the full brunt of capital schemes and CIA coups and Bays of Pigs and US funded Contra death squads, etc., etc. I’d say they’re doing their best.

    Sometimes you’re like an old man clichĂ© machine.

    Still afraid of Cuban and shit.

  11. RE Vanella says:

    You want to pretend they just “fail” on their own because of Socialist circumstances?


  12. RE Vanella says:

    This list is long, man. How many would you like to do?

  13. RE Vanella says:

    Bolivia 1971….

    The U.S. government supported the 1971 coup led by General Hugo Banzer that toppled President Juan JosĂ© Torres of Bolivia. Torres had displeased Washington by convening an “Asamblea del Pueblo” (People’s Assembly or Popular Assembly), in which representatives of specific proletarian sectors of society were represented (miners, unionized teachers, students, peasants), and more generally by leading the country in what was perceived as a left wing direction. Banzer hatched a bloody military uprising starting on August 18, 1971 that succeeded in taking the reigns of power by August 22, 1971. After Banzer took power, the U.S. provided extensive military and other aid to the Banzer dictatorship as Banzer cracked down on freedom of speech and dissent, tortured thousands, “disappeared” and murdered hundreds, and closed labor unions and the universities. Torres, who had fled Bolivia, was kidnapped and assassinated in 1976 as part of Operation Condor, the US-supported campaign of political repression and state terrorism by South American right-wing dictators.

  14. RE Vanella says:

    We good, bruv?

    • Alby says:

      Of course. But I could easily reply that revolutionaries have been saying this since the ’60s and before. Judging by current conditions, it seems like slaughtering the revolutionaries in their beds in an excellent strategy for delaying the revolution.

      See what I answered above. Rich people will always fight back. If they fight this hard over their South American holdings, imagine how hard they’re going to fight here.

  15. RE Vanella says:

    Does anyone wonder why, after sending Lula to prison on trumped up charges while he was ahead in every general election poll, Steve Bannon went to Brazil to advise Jair Balsonaro? The same guy who was part of the right wing military junta…

    I don’t.

    • Alby says:

      You’re talking as if these are not the natural consequences of left-wing revolutions, which generally feature poor people taking stuff from rich people without compensating them for it. Do you really think that can happen without retaliatory violence?

      • RE Vanella says:

        This is fucking stupid.

        Feudalism was fine because the peasants were always crushed!

        The fatal flaw of socialism is that it’ll always draw a violent reaction from the US so it’ll never work.

        Dumb circular weak

        • Alby says:

          No, my argument is that survival depends on immediate climate action. It can’t wait for the revolution.

          It’s akin to Jim Baker’s approach to gun violence — we can’t fix it until the root problems is to do nothing about the immediate problem.

          The fatal flaw of socialism is that people don’t know what it is, and we don’t have the time to teach them. WE have to bend capitalism to the problem because it’s the tool we have at hand.

  16. RE Vanella says:

    Think of it like this. Leftist idealogy and government is so threatening that the full force of capital & the US government will stop at nothing to slaughter anyone who tries it.. Even democratically elected governments.

    So to be so fucking glib and say, well how’s that working out, is weak & embarrassing.

    • Alby says:

      Being glib is my way of dealing with our powerlessness. I could argue that it’s weak to pretend that sloganeering will change it.

  17. RE Vanella says:

    If you think all I’m doing is talking you’re missing a few tricks.

  18. RE Vanella says:

    Of course! Like I said feudalism lasted thousands of years. So what?

    I’m not going to pretend a feudal state will solve our problem because of how long it sustained.

    • Alby says:

      But it’s not the prevailing system anymore. I’m dealing with capitalism because it’s the thing in place, not from any great admiration for it.

  19. Delaware Dem says:

    I propose the Great Compromise of 2019: No Democrat over the age of 70 should run for President. Goodbye Warren, Biden and Sanders. Peace in our time. It’s time for a younger generation anyway.

  20. Dave says:

    Democrats are going to f*** up any chance they have to coalesce behind a candidate that can beat Trump. I’ve already resigned myself to 3rd party or sitting home.

    And no, I have no idea or opinion who can beat Trump. It’s more like I doubt anyone can.

    • RE Vanella says:


      • Dave says:

        It almost 2019 and literally everyone who is a Democratic and at least one who isn’t are running. It wouldn’t surprise me if you were running.

        Democrats couldn’t coalesce around one Democratic Party candidate for 2018 and there were only two running. Probability of losing 2020 considering the conflict in the party today? Pretty damn high. In fact, the only hope is that Trump manages to lose.

        • jason330 says:

          I call bullshit on this. The only candidate Democrats have ever failed to “coalesce around” was Hillary Clinton, who was flat out terrible.

          The progressives always hold their nose. time for moderates to buck up and “coalesce”.

          • Alby says:

            I refuse to be drawn into choosing a horse before looking at the racing form. At this stage we’re not even sure who’s entering the race. Choosing a favorite isn’t much better than drawing a name from a hat.

          • Dave says:

            “The only candidate Democrats have ever failed to “coalesce around” was Hillary Clinton”

            And since you teed it up for me, How’s that working out for us all so far?

            Regardless, that just goes to the heart of my lament not that the field is wide open, but if the Democrats repeat the internecine warfare of the last election, there won’t be any coalescing. And if you don’t come together, Trump wins.

            I don’t know anymore than anyone else who can beat Trump, but I do know that the Democratic Party is sufficiently factionalized that it will be difficult for them to come together. And that’s not even considering the independents.

            Everyone may be convinced that the fear of factionalism is overblown. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I happen to think it’s the greatest risk for 2020.

            • RE Vanella says:

              Maybe we should, you now, have the argument now. Do the primary thing. Campaign. Take the issues to the people. All that stuff.

              Or are you saying we should skip all that? Just coalesce around whoever you say? Flip a coin or draw lots maybe?

              I mean that’d be a new way to do it.

              • Dave says:

                Yes, exactly we should have the argument….

                But mostly we should know when the argument is over. Coalesce means coming together. That didn’t happen in 2018 and we now have the consequence. Maybe 2020 will be different.

                • RE Vanella says:

                  There’s an old adage about only being able to transverse a bridge once you get there.

                  • Dave says:

                    Yep. But you gotta know the bridge when you see it.

                    “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

                    I’m not suggesting ending the race before it has started. Just maintaining focus on the objective.

                    • RE Vanella says:

                      The objective is getting Bernie elected President of the United States.

                      If you’re scared say you’re scared.

                      (Also, come on the podcast…)

  21. Alby says:

    In the Not Making This Up file, from the student newspaper at the University of Montana:

    “Steve Bannon will no longer be speaking at a [University of Montana] event, the latest and third event to be canceled following the announcement he would be a keynote speaker at a joint conference on sex robots this month.”

  22. RE Vanella says:

    Not even a Democrat, you say?

  23. RE Vanella says:

    This is how it’s done.

    “The Prime Minister may laugh at this, but it’s the reality of people’s lives!”

    Jezza. PM soon.