by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Progressive enthusiasm for Bernie and antipathy for Hillary is impressive – until one recalls that most of these folks were ga-ga over Obama not so long ago, and that Clinton and Obama are political twins. Obama is revered like a saint, “despite his record of neo-con imperial murder, bankster bail outs, destruction of the public school system, and maintaining mass incarceration while pretending that he doesn’t.” Hillary is Obama – with a cackle.
Freedom Rider: Hillary Clinton is No Worse than Barack Obama
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“Any appeal for Sanders which is not also an explicit rejection of Obama is a sham.”
In December, 2010, Barack Obama cut a deal to extend Republican tax cuts for the rich. In response Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor in an eight-hour long filibuster against the betrayal. Obama responded by calling in Bill Clinton to be the slickest Willie possible and make the case for the stab in the back. Obama was so eager for Clinton’s help that he literally turned over the White House press room to his Democratic predecessor and walked away. Bill Clinton got away with enacting a wide array of conservative policies and that is why Obama asked the master of deception to work his magic one more time.
Liberalish Democrats who fancy themselves as leftists have turned black voters into their favorite scapegoats in 2016. As Black Agenda Report has shown, black voters are motivated by fear of Republican victory more than they are in favor of anything else. Belief in the questionable claim that Hillary Clinton is better able to defeat a Republican and a lack of familiarity with Bernie Sanders has kept most of them in the Clinton family column.
That decision is misguided in that it continues the discredited reliance not just on the Democrats but on electoral politics. That emphasis leads to disaster year and after year. Instead there should be debate and discussion about how to achieve self-determination in 2016. Sanders supporters are quite right in pointing out the Clintons’ many misdeeds. Her husband did accelerate black mass incarceration. As secretary of state Hillary Clinton blocked an increase in Haiti’s minimum wage. It is true that she killed Muammar Gaddafi and laughed about it on camera. The list of evil doing is quite long, but no more so than it is for Barack Obama, who is the most effectively evil politician in American political history.
“Black voters are motivated by fear of Republican victory more than they are in favor of anything else.”
Hillary Clinton got away with regime change in Libya because her boss Barack Obama signed onto the effort and bragged about it many times. He has better sense than to cackle about the murder but shrewdness has always been his strong point. He won the Democratic nomination in 2008 in large part because he is better able to hide his evil intent than the clumsy and obviously wicked Hillary.
Sanders’s black supporters point fingers at their Clinton voting brethren and blame them for not catapulting their candidate ahead of her in the delegate tally. But many of these people were unwilling to oppose Barack Obama when he ran for president, even though he made it clear that he would never be in their corner. Not many are willing to oppose him even now despite his record of neo-con imperial murder, bankster bail outs, destruction of the public school system, and maintaining mass incarceration while pretending that he doesn’t.
At Black Agenda Report we dissected the charade back in 2008. Glen Ford correctly labeled Obama and Clinton as “political twins.” Both signed on to the neo-liberal agenda. Both were hard core imperialists. Both took the black vote for granted. Clinton wrongly assumed that respect for her and her husband would continue even though she made pointed racist overtures for white votes. Obama was even worse. Every scolding directed at a black audience went over their heads to white people, letting them know that black collective interests would be ignored in an Obama administration.
Now many Sanders supporters want to have it both ways. Hillary Clinton’s tone deaf, ham fisted manner makes her easy to denounce, but the much slicker and better marketed Obama still gets a pass from them. Any fingers pointed at black Clinton supporters must also be directed at the president and at the suddenly righteous who went along with the horrors of the Obama doctrine. Sanders supporters of all races now want to wash their hands of policies they either supported outright or conveniently ignored.
“Disliking Hillary Clinton is a substitute for the revolution they claim to want.”
Any appeal for Sanders which is not also an explicit rejection of Obama is a sham. Yet time and again we hear nonsensical talk about “disappointment” with Obama and not honest assessment and self-criticism about how millions of people sold their political souls for nothing. If people want a Sanders “revolution” what exactly are they trying to change?
Once again most progressives want to be in love with a candidate more than they really want to be political actors. Disliking Hillary Clinton is a substitute for the revolution they claim to want. The funny moment when a bird landed on a podium during a Sanders speech was certainly charming but the response to the moment was frightening. There is nothing special about birds flying around. That is what they do. But people predisposed towards magical thinking will give miraculous import to mundane happenings.
The Sanders supporters of 2016 are some of the same people who fell in love with Obama in 2008. Hillary Clinton isn’t lovable so she is despised. She isn’t much different from her then rival but most Democrats don’t really care about that at all. They would rather focus on magic birds than tear themselves away from the Democratic Party which continues to bring disaster around the world.
Every four years the Democratic rank and file engage in fantasy. Their party is the cause of so many troubles but acknowledging that fact would require thought and action and bring on cognitive dissonance. So they don’t think and they don’t act. They just look for a new idol to worship.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.