Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still all over the news, and Edie has been paying attention to AOC's evolution from outsider to Democratic back-bench Congresscritter. She doesn't like what she sees. She has asked me to withdraw her laudatory essay from a few weeks ago and replace it with this one, which also has plenty to say about Senator Bernard Sanders (Independent, sorta, from Vermont).
This essay rambles a bit, but Edie assures me that it rambled more before she cut it from 16,000-plus words to fewer than 4,000. I have omitted almost all the photos and other graphics that Edie lovingly inserted into the original document. Saving them and inserting them here is more work than I can manage right now without risking repetitive motion injury.
Disclaimer: I don't agree with all of it, but I present it for your consideration.
Desperately Seeking Bernie's Balls
Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have faithfully and dutifully taken up the Democratic Party’s mantra: "You have no choice; you have nowhere to go: it’s either us or the Republicans. T.I.N.A.: 'There Is No Alternative.'”
Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez can head up a third party movement and, in doing so, they can free electoral politics from the two-party stranglehold. But they refuse to do that.
Click here for an amazing video [from Jimmy Dore]. It begins with Bernie Sanders back in the 1990s arguing passionately for a third party movement. Then we hear from the all-new version of Bernie Sanders—the 2018 version of Bernie Sanders—arguing, just as passionately, against a third party movement.
His own words identify him as a sellout.
What Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are saying to those on their left is: “You have no choice; you have nowhere to go except with us.” Which is the same thing Hillary Clinton said to those on her left when she ran for president in 2008 and 2016: “You have no choice; you have nowhere to go except with me.”
As far as the Democratic Party is concerned, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are safe. They’re in the fold. Wanna hear a joke? Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claim they’re socialists. Please! That doesn’t pass The Gag Test. Like the Democratic Socialists of America, they use the label of socialism to advance politically. Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA are socialists like my Uncle Dominic wears a bra and poses for Playboy. They’re not about to rock the boat. They’ve been neutered.
Bernie Sanders isn’t a socialist, he isn’t a radical and he isn’t a revolutionary. As Alexander Cockburn, one of the co-founders of Counter Punch, put it:
Bernie Sanders, the hot air factory from Vermont, wouldn’t know a revolution if it stood up and bit him in the ass.
Note by way of introduction: I am a monthly contributor to the Empire Files Patreon account, currently one of 697 patrons. Not only am I glad to see EF back in production as Edie is (albeit without the budget that working with TeleSur afforded it), but also happy to have helped with its re-emergence.—dbc
Note the DATE on this video, Nov 12, 2018--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdhIYWb3XVU
I’m hoping that that means that Abby Martin is back—that is to say, that this isn’t an old Empire Files video that was just now posted.
The aforementioned video is excellent, well worth the time it takes to listen to it.
I place Abby Martin in the same category as Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky and Robert Wolff, in that they are all true radicals—they uncompromisingly deconstruct capitalism, nationalism and imperialism--something that, as much as I love him, Jimmy Dore doesn’t do.
Jimmy still holds on to the illusion that Bernie Sanders will make a fundamental difference. He won’t. Sanders is a useful tool of the Democratic Party, creating as he does the illusion that there is a left-wing to the Democratic Party. There isn't. Sanders only slows down the fundamental changes that MUST take place...fundamental changes standing between where we are now and a global disaster. (dbc NOTE: As Edie well knows, Dore has recently taken Sanders to task for reversing his long-held position on the possibility of reforming the Democratic Party from within.)
I would like to introduce to you my fascinating friend, whom I have never met in person. We have been friends via Bridge Base Online for several months, during which time we have had some hilarious and poignant conversations about music, classic cinema, progressive/radical politics, New Jersey, Italy, baseball, and numerous other topics.
Yes, I do play bridge online—sometimes at home, sometimes when things are slow at work. Like crossword puzzles, it keeps the problem-solving parts of my brain active. I don't play extraordinarily well, still occasionally making rookie mistakes, so I play only at the Relaxed tables, where frothy-mouthed bridge pedants are less likely to hang out.
She goes by Edie, which is American for Aïda. Since we are cyberspace acquaintances, I don't know with 100% certainty if she's really a twenty-something Italian-born runway model who lives in Beverly Hills and spends her plentiful free time playing Bridge, or even if Edie is her real name. However, she has given me no evidence to cast doubt on her story, inadvertently or otherwise. Whatever. She's awesome. She is the queen of whichever virtual table she plays. Her knowledge of socialism and radical history has admirable breadth and depth. Plus, we're fans of a lot of the same political channels on YouTube. What's not to like?
By way of introduction, I originally shared some of her writing, lightly edited, but she now says she would like to retract her essay on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in its entirety. She has a new essay (link pending), casting AOC as a sell-out to the Democratic establishment like her hero Senator Bernard Sanders.
Despite some suspicions, and despite agreeing with Edie that the Democratic Party is where progressive ideas go to die, I haven't written off AOC completely. Occasional nods to the authority of the Pelosi-Schumer squad are not the same as selling out. Knowing the Democrats, I wouldn't put it past them to build up or whole-cloth create this Young Progressive wave as a way to keep young voters and DSA types on the reservation—"See? There's hope for a progressive revolution within the party! Greens and Sandernistas, come back! All is forgiven!" But not putting it past them is not the same as believing that they're clever enough to pull it off. Devious enough, yes, but not clever enough.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.