Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

Bernie v. Hillary


<> on January 29, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Their differences aren’t a battle between good and evil

by Mark Russell

OK, here’s the thing with the Democratic primary: everyone imagines they are supporting the one candidate who can save us from the abyss and feel aggrieved and belittled by the other side. I am personally a Bernie Sanders supporter, but the truth is that this is not a battle between good and evil so much as an awkward contest between two animals who evolved in entirely different ecosystems.

Hillary Clinton is like a grizzled hunter in the Amazon. Every day is a battle for survival. She has suffered every venom and poison imaginable and from her time as being the wife of a Democratic governor in a red state to being Secretary of State to the most besieged administration in modern history, she has lived her entire life in a rainforest filled with things determined to kill her. Her political survival instincts have adapted accordingly.

Bernie Sanders is like a wallaby. He hails from the benign ecosystem known as Vermont, where he lacks any natural predators. He will be the beloved senator from Vermont for as long as he cares to be. So he hops around wherever he wants, unafraid that anyone might use his words to crucify him. Propose a $15 minimum wage? Just have a friendly chat with anyone who disagrees. Call yourself a “socialist?” Sure, why not? We’re all friends here. On the other side of the world, though, if Hillary Clinton channels her inner Eleanor Roosevelt, the Republicans call it a seance. Write a few State Department emails from your personal server? Suddenly there’s a major Congressional investigation, even though nobody cared when previous Secretaries of State did exactly the same thing.

Bernie’s instincts have evolved so he feels no danger in exposing his head to say what he thinks, however far afield it may be from current political reality. Hillary’s instincts, on the other hand, have adapted in a harsher environment, where extreme cautiousness and distrust are rewarded.

Likewise, the two candidates’ strengths and weaknesses are a direct consequence of their respective environments. Three decades of jungle warfare against Republicans has left Hillary battle-tested and well-versed in the dark arts of political campaigning. She will, I have no doubt, annihilate whoever emerges from the Republican Convention and be drinking out of their skull by November. But at the same time, this experience has made her reticent to take strong positions, to say things that could be later used against her. She tends to “evolve” rather than stand on principle. Bernie has no such qualms and, from the very beginning, has taken principled stands on the Iraq War, universal health insurance, gay marriage, etc., which while controversial at the time, have since been borne out by history. He is the forward-thinking visionary that Hillary is not, but he also seems naively unprepared for the shitwave of dirty tricks and false accusations that will come his way if and when he has to run a national campaign against a Donald Trump or a Ted Cruz.

I’m not telling you who to vote for in the Democratic primary. Thanks to decades of self-selecting news coverage, extreme right-wing radio, and the derangement induced by the reality that the white male vote is no longer enough to carry national elections, the GOP field has been reduced to an incoherent fever dream of xenophobia and obsolescence. Either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would be infinitely preferable to anyone in that mental ward. This primary is not a choice between good and evil, as some Democrats have made it out to be, but rather the choice between different types of leaders, the visionary versus the tactician, whose approach to politics has largely been forged by differences in environment rather than character. §

Mark Russell is the author of God Is Disappointed in You and Apocrypha Now. He also writes the comic book series Prez and The Flintstones for DC Comics. He lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Old rumpled Bernie v. King Donald

Differences between earning one’s way and growing up with privilege

by Dell Franklin

Bernie worked at some shitty jobs and became involved in civil rights. He was probably not good at shitty jobs, not with his mind on social causes and politics.

Bernie worked at some shitty jobs and became involved in civil rights. He was probably not good at shitty jobs, not with his mind on social causes and politics.

Bernie, child of immigrants, is one of those old hippies who really believed in the cause and eschewed the future white picket fence, the Mercedes, the plush suburb that inevitably proved too irresistible to fellow marchers who were in it to avoid the war, find good drugs, and get laid. Bernie is a true believer, a crusader who early on felt the tug of compassion for the struggling, miserable underclasses and the unfairness of their plights.

The Donald was born into wealth and power and liked it. He came up the hard way, educated at Wharton business school and his father donating him a paltry million to start his own real estate business. The Donald knew early on who to browbeat and who to patronize and schmooze and who to more or less legally bribe (red baiter Roy Cohen) to get things done and make his billions. The Donald believed in greed and embraced the life of glitter and luxury.

The Donald was born into wealth and power and liked it.

The Donald was born into wealth and power and liked it.

Bernie worked at some shitty jobs and became involved in civil rights. He was probably not good at shitty jobs, not with his mind on social causes and politics. He did not fit the sleek image of an Ivy League charmer or smoothie, this rumpled balding figure with a deep Brooklyn accent, an abrasive finger pointer and exclaimer, out to charm no one but dead set on change and getting things done.

The Donald was this sort of handsome ladies man with the flowing hair never out of place and as carefully tended to as a plant in the White House Rose Garden. He accumulated friends in high places and feathered their nests and bankrolled tall buildings with high rents and acquired his own jet plane and married a statuesque model with high cheekbones.

Bernie kept running for office and kept losing and finally became mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in a 10-point victory and served two terms, built affordable housing, revitalized the infrastructure, started women’s programs and, despite looking like a ragamuffin, gained the confidence of the state’s voters as a politician of the people.

The Donald erected and opened casinos in Atlantic City that were all the rage and had everybody cashing in until the economy fell apart and he watched them go bust, scuttled out of the city while the city went broke and was left holding the bag, people out of work, the boardwalk dead, the Donald managing a bankruptcy that had him coming out smelling like a rose.

Bernie, a divorcee, married a portly cheerful Irish lady who worked as a bank teller and supermarket cashier and eventual community organizer with the same interests and crusades as he, and won himself a seat in Congress where he continued to vociferously push his causes.

Donald got divorced and married another statuesque model with high cheekbones and nurtured his sons in the business and on the side became the star of a reality show where he sat on a throne like a king and either pointed thumbs down or up when choosing what greed obsessed, fawning acolyte he would hire in his own business. His abrupt, arbitrary, ruthless treatment of losers and mild praise of winners soared in popularity and he became such a celebrity he hinted of running for president.

Bernie got elected to the Senate and voted against tax cuts and the war in Iraq while continuing to push for his causes as an independent/socialist in the manner of his idol, Eugene Debs. Or perhaps Upton Sinclair.

The Donald got divorced again and married another statuesque model with high cheek bones and, meanwhile, became so rich and powerful and popular that he saw fit to continue the rumor of his running for president and started the rumor that America’s first black president, Barack Obama, was some sort of Kenyan not born in the United States and was not really an American, nor much of a Christian, which leant to nearly half of all fellow Republicans believing Obama was a dreaded, hated Muslim.

Bernie finally got fed up with the asininity of the Congress and Senate and decided to run for president and unleashed his rage at Wall Street, the One Percent, Goldman Sachs, the rigged economy, homelessness, our foolish wars, and vowed to do something about them, threatening to take down investment bank swindlers who destroyed the economy as well as the nest eggs of the middle-and-lower classes while the government bailed them out and kept them rich and afloat and, most humiliating, out of jail.

The Donald announced his candidacy for president and soon accumulated a massive throng of howling, scowling, fat white mooks who, like Donald, wanted to “take their country back!” The Donald promised to build a wall to keep criminal, terrorist Mexicans out and make the poor Mexicans pay for it, deport millions of other illegal immigrant Mexicans, not allow a single Muslim to immigrate into the country, whether they’re terrorists or not, bomb ISIS into powder, and steal Iraq’s oil so as to salvage something after our occupation of that country, trick China out of what we owe them because they tricked us into debt because our leaders “are stupid,” and make so much money for so many wonderful people that those howling scowling fat white wonderful mooks will be wallowing in cash just like the Donald as they compose an eerie chant, “USA! USA! USA…!”

Bernie vows to start a revolution to stop the rigged economy of the One Percent more or less driving economic inequality in America lower than it’s been since the Great Depression, and he has kept his promise of taking nothing from the big investment banks and Super PACs but instead inspired millions of true believers to donate to his cause an average of $27 per person to bankroll his candidacy, and now he, like Donald, is a strong contender for President of the United States in the Democratic Party.

The Donald, king of a financial empire, bankrolls his own candidacy, boasting of achieving the ultimate American dream by possessing billions and billions…and is the frontrunner for President of the United States in the Republican Party.

Poor old rumpled Bernie possesses a tad over $500,000, has no plane, and it’s difficult imagine him owning a car, or what kind of car, or even driving a car. §

Dell Franklin writes from his home in Cayucos, Calif., where he lives with his rescue dog, Wilbur, and posts dispatches of life in a small coastal town. His work, which includes a lifestyle as a cab driver, bartender, and sports nut, can be viewed at dellfranklin.com, where this comment first appeared.

Takeaways From the Iowa Caucuses In Headlines And Slogans You Might Have Missed In Mainstream Reports

(With Links to All The Real News You Need If You Weren’t Watching Democracy In Action)

by Jason Vest

COMMENT.TED CRUZIowa Voters To Trump: You’re Not Exactly Fired, But We Really Like The Cruz And Rubio Apprentices

GOP Establishment Hopes Trump’s Public Mulling About ‘Buying a Farm‘ Indicates Subconscious Death Wish

Trump Now Claims He Mixed Up Fox News Women Who Might Pose Threat To His Campaign; Really Meant To Try To Bully Palin Into Submission

Trump: Expectations of Decisive Iowa Win, and With It Actual Explosion of Rich Lowry and Bill Kristol’s Heads, Dashed;  Republicans and Democrats Alike Rue Lack of Latter, Start Plotting on How to Go Dave Brat On Editors They Both Hate

Cruz Gracious In Defeating Iowa Ethanol Lobby: Says Corn Has Its Place

Rubio To Jeb: My Neocons Are Better Than Your Neocons

Rubio To Christie: My Establishment Hedge Fund Donors Are Better Than Your Establishment Hedge Fund Donors

Cruz To Rubio And Christie: I Don’t Know If It’s More Amazing That My Establishment Hedge Fund Donors Are Better Than Both Y’All’s, Or That I Get Their Money AND Get To Be An “Anti-Establishment Candidate”

Rubio: My Strong Third-Place Finish Is So Much Easier to Understand Than My Three Houses

Sanders to Clinton: Triangulate This

Clinton: Of the 1%, Winning by .3%

Clinton’s Future: Looking Like Rahm Emmanuel’s Present?

Sanders: To The Concord Station

Sanders To Channel Upton Sinclair:  I, President: A True Story of the Future shortly forthcoming; likely sequel I, Candidate for President; and How I Got Licked Scheduled for 2017 Release

Cruz: God, Goldwater, and Goldman Sachs

Jeb’s Hail-Mary Schiavo Ad Only Latest Reflection of Bush Campaign Being Brain-Dead And On Life-Support

Carson: Craps Pants In Debates and In Iowa; Flees to Bush and Rubio’s Dirty State To Rinse Stains

Jesus to Carson: You Remind Me Of Another Time I Had To Deliver Some Bad News About Contest Prospects

O’Malley: Being In This One Percent Blows

Christie: Eating It In Iowa, Saving Room for New Hampshire

Santorum: Living Up To The Name In Shitty Numbers, Gets Flushed

Huckabee: I (Heart) Duggars

Fiorina: Like Hewlett-Packard When She Ran It: On The Cutting Edge Of Marginality

Paul: Dude, Where’s My Utopian Voter Bloc?

Paul: Iowa Shrugged

Kasich: Apparently Having Been an Ax-Wielding Budget Zealot in the Reagan and Gingrich Revolutions and Current Governor of Ohio Only Gets You Two Bits and a Cup of Coffee in Iowa

Gilmore: Less Than Zero. §

Jason Vest agrees with H.L. Mencken that it’s almost impossible to make a career in politics without embracing the ignoble and vulgar.