You Mad, Bro?

So what is the proper response to this piece at Salon, continuing their tradition of “If Bernie isn’t the nominee, I’m taking my ball and going home!” posts?

Democrats, you can’t vote for Hillary: The case for writing in Bernie Sanders If Hillary Clinton is the nominee

Can I be Frank?  (Which is only fitting since H.A. Goodman is oh so Ernest.<sic>)  This article comes very close to triggering my “Poe’s Law” alarm.

Yeah, I know it isn’t satire.  I know it is an honest argument against voting for HRC, written by someone who honestly feels that electing her President would be worse for the nation than either President Trump or President Cruz, who of course would be working with majorities in both congressional bodies.  I think that is nucking futs, but I understand how one could get to that belief.

Hillary Clinton as president would seamlessly merge Republicans and Democrats into one party on war and foreign policy, led by the same people who advised Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, and even Richard Milhous Nixon.

*eyebrow raise*  Really?  Seamless merger into one party on foreign policy and war?  Seriously?  I mean, I’ll admit it, HRC is a bit to the right for my tastes.  The entire Democratic party is too far to the right for me, to be perfectly honest.  Yes, I believe that the trainwreck the GOP has become, sending it so far to the right it threatens to come back around, has dragged the Democrats to the right as they attempt to pick up the moderates abandoned by the Republicans.  I believe progressives need to drag the party, kicking and screaming if must be, back to the left.  And we are.  Sure, it isn’t coming fast enough for my liking, but I didn’t think it would be easy.  And yes, I think we need to do it with our votes, in addition to other resources.  I just do not feel the proper time for that is during the general election.  But HRC is not Cruz or Trump.  Or did I miss her pledge to rip up the Iranian deal on day one?

I love Bernie Sanders as a candidate.  I love his ideas, while admitting that I don’t agree with every word that drops from his mouth.  (For the record, I think a national 15 dollar minimum wage isn’t currently a good idea.  I really think that is too high for many areas, including the Altoona, Pennsylvania area where I reside.  It needs to be higher, don’t get me wrong, and in many urban areas <and other locations as well, I’m sure> 15$ is a fair minimum, but instead maybe we should figure out a way to tie it to average housing and food costs. county by county, or some other equation?  12$ an hour would be perfectly fine right now in the Altoona area.  15$ could seriously shut places down.)  But he is my candidate of choice.  When the Pennsylvanian primary rolls around, I will be voting for Bernie no matter what the state of the race may be.  But when the general comes around, there will be no protest vote coming from these hands.  Whomever the Democrats nominate will have my presidential vote.  Why?  One last quote from the Salon piece.:

As for risking a Trump future, I explain why none of Trump’s plans would pass Congress during my recent appearance on CNN International with John Vause.

None of them? Hold on, let me watch his appearance quick and see what he is saying…..

Wow.  I wish I wouldn’t have watched that.  He seriously thinks that single payer healthcare could get through Congress, but none of Trump’s policies would?  I really don’t even know what to say to that.  Maybe his exact policies would run into trouble, but do you really believe he won’t be able to work out a deal on a tax cut for the rich?  That the GOP will block his judicial nominees?  Are we really so sure we should be underestimating Trump’s ability to get things done, when a year ago I would be laughed off the planet for predicting the current nomination battle?

I really don’t know how I should respond to these pieces.  I mean, isn’t rigid political ideology the GOP’s mess, with their pledges to never raise taxes, and their threats to primary anyone who dare compromise, with their House Freedom Caucus and their, well, with Ted Cruz?  Am I just missing the countless Democratic voices complaining about Dino’s at every turn?

Yes, I want the party to move to the left.  Yes, I support Bernie Sanders.  Yes, I think the whole political spectrum needs to move to the left.  But throwing a Presidential election to either Trump or Cruz?  I just don’t get it.  Even if the Supreme Court is the only reason you pull the lever.  Protest voting has a time and a place.  During the primary.

I don’t know.  Maybe its just being a voting progressive in 2000.  Gore won my state, so my vote for Nader didn’t really cost anything, other than running up the popular vote tally.  But if I lived in Florida and cast the same ballot, I would have been begging for the ballot back.  *shrugs*


2 thoughts on “You Mad, Bro?

  1. “Protest voting has a time and a place. During the primary.”

    My issue with this concept is that protest candidates very rarely or never win the nomination. Why would the party elites ever change their behavior if the voters keep voting exactly how the elites want in the general elections? What good does the protest vote do when it basically doesn’t count?

    Throwing an election to the other side because you’re ticked off at the elites would send an actual message that has impact.

    I’m right leaning, and I’ve never voted (D) in a national election. I very well might do so this year.

  2. You say as the GOP protest candidate moves ever closer to clinching the nomination.

    That was undeservedly snarky. I apologize.

    It is true that protest candidates almost never win the nomination. But I think starting with the national party isn’t the way to go about changing the party from within. The Tea Party didn’t pull the GOP to the right by throwing a presidential election, they did it by voting in primaries. Change the party at the local level, then the state level. While protest candidates may have rotten luck in national elections, the amount of GOP incumbents the base has managed to primary out of office shows they have much better chances in smaller elections. Here in the Altoona area we have a protest candidate running against a GOP incumbent for the second time; it was a really close thing the first time, and he may indeed win this primary season. Which would guarantee his victory in the general election, because Blair County is not going to vote blue for generations at least, if ever.

    What articles such as this one miss, in my quite meaningless opinion, is that even if Bernie Sanders loses the Democratic primary, he has already moved the national party to the left. HRC has definitely taken stances that are much more liberal than she would have if running uncontested.

    Now while I am pointing to the Tea Party as an example, I don’t want to see the Democratic party change in the same manner, except to the left instead of the right. I don’t want to see a Democratic party that refuses to compromise, insisting instead on sticking to political ideology. I don’t want to see Democrats labeled as “Dino’s” as you hear Republicans tarred as “Rino’s” Like it or not, we have a two party system, which means their needs to be lots of room under the tents. If America somehow becomes multiparty then the parties can become specialized. Until that happens though, I think the GOP base’s insistence on ideological purity is bad for the party and the nation as a whole.

    Yeah, just because I think something is bad for the GOP it doesn’t make it good in my eyes. We have a two party system and we need two strong parties, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t just lean left, I’ve almost fallen over to the left. My biggest nightmare for this country would be either party in complete control with a super-majority in Congress. Sure, the Republican version of that scenario frightens me more, but they both scare me. Look at what Sam Brownbeck has done to Kansas with no effective opposition. The ability to ignore all critiques of your policies doesn’t lead to especially strong policies.

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