Is Bernie’s ‘Political Revolution’ the Real Thing or a Pathetic Joke?
People on the hard left have claimed from the beginning that the Sanders campaign is just a scam -- a plan to “sheep-dog” progressive Democratic and independent voters into voting for someone -- Hillary Clinton -- who no progressive in her or his right mind would support: a serial war-monger, a former board member of Walmart, an ardent backer of her husband’s tough-on-crime legislation that made the US into the incarceration capital of the world, and a supporter of globalization and the trade treaties that have gutted jobs in the US. I don’t think this was a conspiracy on Sanders’ part. If it were, he would not have called her out as unqualified last Wednesday in Philadelphia (twice actually, at the Temple U. rally and later at a press conference with leaders of national unions that had endorsed him) for being a corporate tool. But I do believe that if he is serious about his campaign being all about promoting a “political revolution” to get money out of US politics, he cannot support Clinton -- a candidate who’s all about sucking up to corporate power in hopes of getting corporate money. (Of course, it could be that Sanders is in a kind of box. If he says outright that he will not endorse Clinton if she wins the nomination, then if he goes on to win, many angry Clinton backers won't support him. Perhaps he feels it's better to fudge on that if and until the issue really has to be addressed.)
Sanders, in his cave-in to Rose, was actually technically correct in saying that Hillary Clinton is “qualified to be president,” and Clinton is technically correct in claiming as she is still doing that Sanders is “not qualified” for the post.
The truth is that every president of the United States, especially since the end of World War II (and maybe back to Abe Lincoln or George Washington), has been bought and paid for by corporate America or more broadly the ruling elite. In other words, part of getting elected to the White House is a willingness to sell one’s soul for corporate financial backing. Clinton has demonstrated her “qualification for the job” by pursing corporate money quite aggressively, even skipping out of states in tight primary races, like the recent one in Wisconsin, to attend big-ticket fund-raisers in major cities. Sanders, meanwhile, has demonstrated his lack of qualification for the presidency by refusing to go after corporate money, and instead relying on small donations from ordinary people made on the internet.
In one sense, Sanders has already fatally damaged Clinton by highlighting her cravenness in pursuit of ruling-class swag. Everyone in America knows she’s Corporate America’s sweetheart, and those who vote for her will be doing it holding their noses. Thanks in great part to Sanders’ surprisingly successful campaign against Clinton, there is already a large number of progressive voters who will simply not vote for Clinton at this point if she is the party’s candidate for president.
Indeed, the notion that Sanders could in some way help Clinton by endorsing her candidacy after the convention ends is absurd. He has already so thoroughly exposed her corruptness that an endorsement by him now would be worse than no endorsement at all. Besides making him look ridiculous, it would invite reporters and Republican opponents to press him endlessly to explain how he can endorse someone whom he knows to be in the pocket of the banks, oil companies, drug companies and defense contractors.