Are Puritopians On The Left As Dangerous As The Tea Party?

Written by SueinRockville and VJ.

When a political party strives for ideological purity, the objectives of their group get lost amidst the impractical devotion to that cause.  As a result, the party loses its effectiveness and the fringe elements seem to take over.  This has happened in the Democratic Party, much to our peril.

During both midterm elections of President Obama, the Left became the enemy of the good in pursuit of perfection.  It’d hard to forget Ed Schultz and Michael Moore urging voters to sit out 2010.  It’s hard to forget the Snowden/Greenwald efforts to paint President Obama as a drone dropping maniac.  Both of these critical midterms drew abysmal Democratic participation and as a result, Congress became more obstinate about compromising over the most rudimentary of government functions.   Ted Cruz shut down the government just to impress the far right,  and he’s now a leading contender in the GOP, pending his eligibility of course.

There seems to be two theories play here: 1. The Horseshoe Theory  and 2. The Cult of Personality.  We mustn’t fall victim to either.  Unfortunately, the self-professed Democratic Socialist and Independent, Bernie Sanders,  is dragging the party through the mud with the mudslinging of his now aggressive and negative campaign.

The Horseshoe Theory:

The horseshoe theory holds that rather then a straight line from the far left to the far right it actually looks more like a horseshoe where the far right is closer to the far left.  They defend their candidates and refuse to accept any criticism or analysis. When challenged they quickly become very defensive, resort to personal attacks, or claim that person is bought and paid for by opponents.   The ideological purity of the socialism Sanders espouses has caused the far left to become almost as impractical as the Teabaggers on the far-right.

Just under a year ago on April 30, 2015 Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for the US presidency.  In that speech he pledged not to go negative.   His campaign slogan, “A future to believe in” was his promise to run a campaign based on the challenges and issues of the next US president in this complex global world.  It’s one year later roughly, and it’s time to take another look at what’s happening on the Democratic side of the aisle.

 

By the eve of the Iowa caucus at the end of January, 2016, he began to renege and as we have all seen recently his campaign has devolved into hurling personal attacks, lies and smears against Hillary Clinton at every speech.   

Sen. Bernie Sanders, closing out his campaign in Iowa, took a strategic gamble in hopes of notching a victory over Hillary Clinton in the state’s Democratic caucuses Monday night: He went negative.

The evidence of the negativity couldn’t be more blatant than when he called Secretary Clinton ‘unqualified.’  More recently, after learning that the Washington Post article was entitled incorrectly,  it took two more days before he corrected himself, but never fully backtracked from his claim that Secretary Clinton was not qualified to become the next president. This past Sunday he stated,  something is clearly lacking in her judgment.   Let’s face it, this campaign is not about ideals but about the person:  He is the revolution.  He is ‘the movement.’  But really, how politically pure can he be?

Bernie Sanders has been a politician since he first became the mayor of Burlington Vermont in 1981. He served in Congress for sixteen years and has been an Independent member of the Senate since 2007. He has a history of vehemently denying any affiliation with the Democratic Party with which he currently aligns.   In fact, he’s never run before as a Democrat in his 40 year political history.

He plays it both ways,” said former Vermont Governor Madeleine Kunin, a Democrat who once successfully fended off Sanders from the left in a reelection bid. “He wants to be different, and yet he wants to belong—for political purposes.”

Oddly enough, today, Bernie FINALLY decided he could lend a hand to down ticket Democrats.  He decided to support three candidates, who have already endorsed him.

Bernie Sanders is raising money for a trio of progressive House candidates who have endorsed him, a move that comes just weeks after he faced friendly fire for not committing to fundraise for down-ballot Democrats.

When pressed on his plans to raise money for other Democrats in late March by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Sanders simply said, “Well, we’ll see.”

He is a politician, through and through.  His primary campaign staffers, Jeff Weaver and Tad Devine are certainly not docile political operatives, they have decades of experience. He has raised an incredible $140 million just through February 2016 and he is spending it almost as fast as it is coming in. FTC filings by his campaign shows over $10 million just in public relations, social media and advertising. The man who would fly in the middle seat of coach now only flies by private air charter spending almost $2 million in February 2016.

Tad Devine, his chief strategist and his firm, Devine Mulvey and Longabaugh is paid over $ 810,000 a month to amplify that messaging.  Revolution Messaging LLC was paid more than 3.3 Million in February as well.  They call themselves ” leaders in cutting edge progressive strategies for a mobile world.” We are not sure what attracted Sanders to Devine, as he was a chief strategist of Dukakis, Kerry and Mondale campaigns (to name a few), but Devine is producing these rallies at substantial financial cost.

The Cult of Personality:  Bernie

The Cult of Personality has been used to refer to dictators like Joseph Stalin or Kim Jung Il,  however, it can be conferred upon a person and unfortunately that person may start to believe his supporters adulation.  While right wing extremists are usually focused on racism, bigotry, and nationalism, left wing extremists are passionate about class and economic fairness.

These ‘Puritopians’ are fiercely loyal and brook no dissension. They imbue their candidate with almost mystical qualities. One prime example was the ridiculous overreaction when one little finch landed on Bernie Sanders podium.  For Sanders supporters this was clear evidence of a sign from “above.”  They now condone the dirty attacks on Hillary’s ’emails’ or the Iraq War vote in 2002, the same ones he promised he would avoid.
He claims to be free of PAC money, but there’s a few concerns.  However, the red flags on his fundraising have been largely ignored by the media.
Reservations about the largely un-vetted Bernie Sanders are well deserved.  The devotion to everything he advocates is not terribly different from the free pass Trump supporters afford their anointed one, and that is troubling on many levels.  The fact that the supporters of both extremes,  Sanders and Donald Trump, are equally fervent shows how both theories have converged and merged into ‘Democratic’ Candidate Bernie Sanders.
Once the far left converges with the right, it’s time to think less idealistically and more pragmatically.
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Different Standards Apply To Democratic Administrations

The Current Strategy
The Current GOP Strategy

The party that decries the entire concept of government is hardly suited to take the reins and lead a nation, even when they inherit a budget surplus and an economy that’s sound and prosperous.  After the Supreme Court decided in favor of the Republican Party in Bush v Gore , Americans became tolerant of subpar governance and Republicans were given a pass on acting ethically and responsibly. Democrats, since Reagan, are held to a higher standard and the administrations of Democrats are far more superior.  No longer liberal, the conservative-owned media seems to be far more critical of any Democratic mistakes.  With headlines like the IRS Scandal, Fast and Furious and Benghazi, the media literally manufactured scandalous outrage over trivia.

In 2001, those in charge of national security ignored the warning signs of an imminent attack, thereby altering the course of history in ways never imagined.  In retrospect, we know Congress and the American people were duped into a conflict in Iraq while futilely looking for Bin Laden in Afghanistan. This has been the longest period of war our military has experienced and paltry planning and funding for veterans has made so many of our heroes suffer due to George W. Bush’s hubris. The number of veterans doubled after 9/11, and in this alternate GOP Universe, Bush and Cheney were not held to account.  Long gone are the days when the terrorists attacked Americans and we united as a country to fight them.  While President Obama is in office and Americans are killed, the Republicans practically unite behind the terrorists and blame the President.  The numerous embassy attacks that occurred on Reagan and GWB’s presidencies were far worse than the single attack on our Benghazi, Libya consulate. Scandals like Iran-Contra, outing a covert CIA agent and the malicious swift boating of military heroes were far more egregious. The conditions at Walter Reed medical center for veterans were appalling, but the story received less coverage in six weeks than the Shinseki probe received in one week.

The Republicans have had a sordid history of fiscal mismanagement and crisis while focusing on passing prohibitive laws discriminating against women, minorities and the LGBT community.  The main legislative accomplishments of the GOP, in recent years, are laws that promote  a state-sanctioned religion while rescinding the rights of women to choose what they do with their own bodies.  The Great Depression and the recent recession just happened to occur right after taxes on the highest income earners were at their lowest points in history.  But history is something the anti-education Republican Party denies, distorts and defunds, while rewriting history to reflect their revisionist lies.

GOP vs. Democratic Tax Policies  (Courtesy Washington Post)
GOP vs. Democratic Tax Policies
(Courtesy Washington Post)

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, and America’s history of financial crises are generally caused by lack of fiscal responsibility.  The culprit: Republican tax cuts for the wealthy lead to sharp economic downturns.  When America had it’s highest taxes on the wealthy during the Eisenhower Administration (90% rate)  we enjoyed unprecedented growth and prosperity.  Of course that was when the GOP had a sense of true fiscal conservatism and responsibility, where their platform would be virtually unrecognizable.  Reagan’s voodoo economics and Bush II embroiling the nation in two wars off the books has created the worst economic conditions, and when President Obama took office, conditions were dreadful.  Seldom does the first black president receive kudos for turning the financial health of this country around.  Anytime the White House lists an accomplishment, the right accuses the administration of “cooking the books,” no matter what the non-partisan CBO has concluded. The right wing media has already declared a landslide victory for Republicans in the 2014 midterms, in order to discourage voter turnout.  The only thing the GOP has learned from studying the history of elections is the fewer the number of total voters, the better the chances one of their sub par candidates will emerge victorious.  Let’s get out and vote America, it is far too important to sit this one out.

Salt Lake City Will Dictate A Romney Administration

This Romney statement should incite fear in all Americans: “I believe the separation of Church and State has gone too far .” Unlike President Kennedy, Willard Mitt Romney, along with his faux Catholic running mate, will most assuredly impose their religious beliefs on all Americans, whether they’d like it or not. Employers have recently coerced their employees into voting for Romney by threatening their very livelihood if President Obama should win. This is a mere foreshadowing of the fascist thought that will become rampant in the United States. All Americans should be aware of the impending demolition of the secular principles our Founding Fathers espoused over two and a quarter centuries ago, and there is good reason for this.

Mormon First, American Second: Willard Romney

It seems every single cause the GOP egregiously purports to vilify is the very same issue they seem to eschew. Freedom is their mantra, yet Romney and the GOP wish to eliminate the very religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment. The tax-evading Mormon candidate, much like his cult, wishes to have it both ways: an active role in the legislative process without any pay for play. This man, who obviously embraces the Mormon tenet of “Lying for the Lord,” was exposed in the most recent debate by his extemporaneous fabrication of an alleged anti-misogynistic position of seeking more women to hire for cabinet posts, something the Mormon cult certainly, but not openly, disparages. Women are to complement their husbands, provide progeny and obviously to cook dinner. In fact, Romney’s very own Bain Capital was a veritable boy’s club with very few women in real positions of power, much like the hierarchy of the LDS authority.

Romney felt the need to clarify his Mormon faith about two months ago and openly acknowledged how the Latter Day Saints truly have molded him into the quintessential Mormon candidate. He has stated how he’d overturn Roe v Wade, effectively outlawing abortion. This is obviously the chosen position of the LDS Church in Salt Lake. To make matters worse, just consider this quote by his Draconian running mate:

Rape is just another “method of conception” and not an excuse to allow abortions.

Any woman who votes for these two medieval-thinking lunatics obviously feels more comfortable with the mores of the Old Testament than the Constitution. I surely don’t want to unfairly lump all Mormons into this antediluvian group. Democratic Mormons have, on numerous occasions, dissented from the marching orders of the cult. Just recently, Harry Reid, (referred by fellow Mormons as “Dirty Harry”) suggested Mitt Romney hasn’t paid a dime of Federal Income Tax, and thus he was attacked by members of the GOP, especially the Mormons in the House and Senate. He’s yet to be proven false on that accusation, incidentally. Since the nineteenth century, it is almost a universal given that the Mormon Republican members of Congress have done exactly as their Church has instructed. It is worth noting how differently Democratic Mormons have behaved, as they seem to be much more capable of separating church and state.

Is there any doubt Willard Romney, a “severely Conservative” candidate, will impose his beliefs on America? The Republican party IS the faith-based party which has shown countless times their need to supersede a secular United States with a more “Christian” country, so long as the system presents a candidate that looks like them. Even Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, initially labeled the Mormon Church a cult, but has since recanted this claim in order to help Mitt Romney defeat the current “Black” President with the foreign sounding name. The history of the church exercising dominance over every single Republican Mormon should raise red flags by anyone who values the threatened freedoms we enjoy, albeit less and less each day. If you hear a Republican claim there is not enough of their vengeful, anti-poor, bigoted god in this society, that should be considered a blessing. We don’t need Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan dictating the fates of Americans whose lives they have no right to control. Just one more Conservative Supreme Court Justice will make this living Hell a reality and the federal government will mirror the Mormon Republican-dominated government of Utah. Electing these zealots could mean the end of many of our liberties and usher in an era where the United States is no longer discernible from a theocracy, much like Iran.

Interestingly enough, a prominent ex-Mormon noticed in the October 22 debate: One of the reasons he looked so uncomfortable was probably because he had to sit down this time. He is completely conditioned to standing behind a pulpit when giving sermons, looking down at the sheep from on high. His narcissicm was clearly on his face as he smirked at the “fence sitter” born into a cursed lineage. He sure looked uncomfortable and lacking in substance in my opinion.

VP Biden Must Be Unleashed on Paul Ryan and His Lies!

Anyone who saw Paul Ryan’s smug face after spewing lie after lie at the RNC in Tampa probably felt the same revulsion in the pit of their stomach as I did. The thunderous applause from a crowd that greatly resembled the Third Reich was truly disconcerting. This blatant plutocrat is as honest with the American people as Dick Cheney was in getting us into Iraq.

Vice President Biden is a genuinely good guy, who doesn’t have to lie to gain favor with the public.

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a grateful Biden fan gives a tearful hug

A man who traveled daily on Amtrak Trains to Washington D.C., beloved by his constituents and an absolute genius of  foreign policy, VP Biden is much more formidable than the Romney/Ryan camp cares to admit. He has a wealth of factual information at his impromptu disposal and will not hesitate to call out Lyin Ryan on his $716 Billion Dollar Medicare Lie. Biden is a very seasoned debater and won’t recoil at Ryan’s impending falsehoods. VP Biden is ready to “rope a dope,” as he puts it.

Of course it would help if Democrats and the media would be more concerned with facts than the semantics of debate performance vis a vis hijacking the debate with Cranbrook-style bullying. We need to have Biden’s back, as he has always had the back of the American worker. A pathological liar like Mitt Romney chose this insane “forcible rape” legislator as his running mate for a reason. He saw a chameleon opportunist like himself in Paul Ryan and it brought a level of giddiness in Romney yet unseen.

The devastation the Ryan Budget would level on poor Americans shows a sociopathic lack of empathy that is contrary to the teachings of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His Ayn Rand idolatry shows how he values the Virtue of Selfishness and has absolutely no business representing a nation who needs real solutions, not Voodoo Economics.

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channeling Ayn Rand

Tonight’s debate in Kentucky should bring to light the staunch differences between these two men. One is a charlatan “wizard” who cares only for his rich cronies and the other is a compassionate, decent man who has earned his position in government. Paul Ryan is a fraud, just like his running mate. Not only should he lose this election, he should also be beat by 1st District Wisconsin opponent for the House, Rob Zerban. He deserves a bleak future like the one with which he has doomed so many Americans with his unethical budget and equally cruel policies on women.

The GOP Foolishly Links Bush-Inspired NeoCon Policy to Israel

I never really noticed that Israeli geo-political matters were an integral part of either American quadrennial political convention. The parties seemed to be in a competition of who was more Israel-friendly: Democrats or Republicans (ironically, the Jerusalem as capital platform was adopted by the Dems this time). The issue of reallocating Jerusalem as this nation’s capital is clearly a ploy to shore up the ultra-religious factions of American Christians and Jews which comprise the Far-Right. Hell, they can even get the Mormons on board, as their high priests are, according to their founders, direct descendants of Israel. Hey, why not make Jerusalem’s need to become the official capital a more important issue than, say, creating an environment where more people can elevate themselves from poverty? It would be the icing on the cake to this 112th Teabagging Congress: more seemingly irrelevant minutia in the face of real problems our government should work towards solving.

Nobody truly knows the exact content of a private Romney-Adelson conversation. We knew one took place in late July this year, but the exact content of the discussion was never made public. I’m sure most who understand the ultra-right wing casino magnate’s hawkish personality can certainly surmise what he intends to buy with his unlimited support of the Romney campaign: a war with Iran. To elucidate his love of the Israeli military, he said this in a 2010 interview:

I am not Israeli, the uniform that I wore in the military unfortunately was not an Israeli uniform, it was an American uniform, although my wife was in the IDF, and one of my daughters was in the IDF, and my two little boys — our two little boys one of whom will be bar mitzvahed tomorrow… hopefully he’ll come back [to Israel], his hobby is shooting and he’ll come back and be a sniper for the IDF.

Adelson and Netanyahu represent the far right in Israel

What kind of person fantasizes about their child becoming a sniper? I believe the answer is a bellicose man obsessed with power and control. This billionaire has found a way, sometimes by questionably legal means, to show dominance in the casino industry which has enabled him to amass unfathomable profits at at time when uncertainty marked the world of finance. If Sheldon can insert himself into the war business by fomenting Zionist fears of nuclear attack via Iran and thus imposing his military desires in the characteristically aggressive fashion to which we’ve become accustomed, he believes he will solidify Israel’s security and petroleum interests for many years to come. His close alliance with Likud Party Boss and far right wing Prime Minister “Bibi” Netanyahu may give a false impression the Israeli Government shares the same ideology as the Bush NeoCons with whom Mitt Romney has surrounded himself. This is the impression much of our largely conservative media has given the American people. We can all count our blessings that cooler heads will most likely prevail in the Israeli Cabinet and in the IDF, the Israel Defense Forces.

This year, Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quoted as saying, “the Obama White House has been the most supportive administration throughout the two countries’ diplomatic relations on matters of Israeli security.” If you listened to the pathological liars at the RNC in Tampa, you’d think Obama has literally aided Iran in the obliteration of the State of Israel. Obviously, the media has wanted us to think this way. Ha’aretz Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie states it best: President Obama has shaped this policy and done it well. Whatever the economic failures, his foreign policy is popular with the American people and generally counted as a success. And Governor Romney, if elected, will follow more or less the same model. Yes, he offered some bluster, and gave a few obligatory nods to both the foreign policy hawks and the social conservatives; but the message of the Republican convention was that the business wing of the party is firmly in charge. If Romney wanted a change in direction, he would have spoken about foreign affairs for more than three minutes. I’m not so certain Romney really has an opinion one way or another. He’ll do as his backers tell him and that is about all we can be sure of when it comes to his ever-changing etch-a-sketch persona.

There is a history behind this Eysek Bish (“bad business”) which stems from Israel’s failed bit of covert sabotage in 1954, seeking to prevent a British withdrawal from the Suez Canal. Israeli covert operatives bombed various American targets in Egypt in order to gin up hostility by the Americans against a western withdrawal (and against Nasser himself). This may’ve firmed up President Eisenhower’s resolve when, after Israel, France and Britain invaded in 1956, he sternly demanded that they withdraw–which they did. In a similar way, a Ha’aretz reporter (Sefi Rachlevsky ) sees Adelson and Bibi’s high stakes gamble concerning Iran as even more an act of deceit against both an unsuspecting U.S. and Israel. The sweeping opposition by heads of the defense establishment to attacking Iran before the American presidential elections stems from a secret. This “secret” (behind an Iran war order) is when Israel’s leadership cannot gamble on the notion that it will be able to drag the United States into the war if enough Israeli lives are sacrificed. The details of this secret are now being expressed privately by Israel’s leaders. Does this expression – at least in the case of Defense Minister Ehud Barak – come from a desire that the senselessness of these ideas will help thwart them? Let’s hope it does.

If you’re not familiar with Netanyahu’s hawkish desire to exert Israeli military supremacy at the expense of human lives, remember this quote: ” The 9-11 Terror Attacks: Good for Israel ” as he said, back in 2001. Those attacks were anything but good for a single soul outside the war-profiteering business. I’ve yet to establish a direct link between his billionaire benefactor and specific defense contractors, but I do know one thing: Zionist supremacy is something both men cherish and they would relish it all the more if both could aid and abet the far right zealots, those who don’t speak for the majority of Israelis in preemptively and recklessly starting a conflict with the Persian nation. As we all know, Ahmadinejad doesn’t speak for Iran and I seriously doubt Netanyahu and Adelson, along with their submissive lapdog, Mitt Romney, speak for the nation of Israel. However, we must be weary of their cunning and often unscrupulous efforts to undermine President Obama and the IDF’s efforts to come to a non-combative solution.

They all should be watched like a snake in a baby’s room. Expect the worst from these two hawks and their puppet, Romney, and perhaps we’ll be able to prevent an epic disaster. A Romney Presidency would accelerate numerous global conflicts, but this one would be the mother of all Rapture scenarios. This is one of the myriad reasons we can’t afford, with the cost in lives especially, another war of aggression. At least we know President Obama is committing to drawing down our excessive military presence around the globe. These lunatics intend a much different outcome. If a GOP Congress is reelected, the first stop on their worldwide tour of anti-diplomacy will feature uber-fascist Congressman, Eric Cantor engaging in a little “skinny dipping” in the waters outside Haifa with his buddies Reps. Ben Quayle and Jason Chaffetz (Teaparty Darlings). It’s only a matter of time until that offensive action incites a global conflict. Wars have been started over far less.

A Tribute To My Mother on Her Birthday

Today is my mother’s birthday. She was born during WWII and has seen so many changes, but has always welcomed these evolutions for the better. She is a wonderful mother of 2 daughters, a grandmother of 4 grandchildren and 2 newly adopted Ugandan grandsons, she has always helped my sister and I immensely. Especially me.

What’s also remarkable is how she was on the cutting edge of civil rights and democratic issues since their inception. She worked for John F. Kennedy at the 1960 convention. She was the one to escort Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry S Truman down the aisle at the convention. My mom made phone calls next to Bobby Kennedy on behalf of his brother. She has been a strong Democrat for decades. Always for equal rights for all, she raised us to know right from wrong not by what some church or some god allegedly dictated, but by doing what’s ethical and moral.

My sister and I were exposed to elements of the Jewish and Catholic faiths, my mom being raised Jewish. My mom never was religious. But today, all three of us have found all religion to make little sense, my mom quietly letting us make our decisions, never pushing us one way or another.

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My Mom Protesting Wall Street Corruption

She encouraged us to work diligently at our schoolwork and gymnastics. Both my sister and I received full scholarships to college because of her guidance. I did want to give up a few times, but she used the ingenious ploy of presenting a much more unpleasant alternative if I did give up. She financed world travel for us, as she saw the benefits of travel, cultural diversity and education. She started a business from nothing and is still a success today. Neither of my parents grew up wealthy.

Living in Las Vegas today, I know, is quite a change for all of us from our more liberal East Coast roots. She lived in Massachusetts, New York and California, 3 blue states. We have found a way to keep sane in this red state by working together, sharing our views and uniting in our efforts to keep our President in office. Eight years of Bush was pretty tough, but we stuck together. Sometimes we’d just go to see Lewis Black or Bill Maher to reaffirm we weren’t the only ones with sane and humane political views.

My mom still works tirelessly at an age where most people are on blood pressure, heart or other medications she does not need. She works out as much as any 35 year old and eats relatively sensibly, save for the giant birthday cake we’re going to eat later. Happy Birthday Mom! I love you so much.