[Marxism] Socialist Leads U.S. Senate Race in Vermont

Lil Joe joe_radical at earthlink.net
Tue May 31 03:29:44 MDT 2005

PowerSnip:  "That support is evident at the Old Labor Hall in Barre.   "He
is as good as they come," says Sue Lucas, a nurse in Morrisville.  "He is
about everything we believe in."
 "He is not afraid to stand up to either party," said Jim Genovesi, a worker
for an electric utility in Rutland.  "He doesn't seem to be affected by
political pressure or lobbyist pressure. He stands his ground."

 "Sanders' booming voice fills the hall as he nears the end of his speech.
"We know that our opponents have hundreds and hundreds of millions of
dollars that they put into the political process. We know they control much
of the media. We know they have an attack machine that goes from Fox to Rush
Limbaugh, the Drudge Report and all over the place.

"We know that is what THEY have," his voice thunders.

 "But there is one thing they do not have. They do not have ordinary people
prepared to knock on doors and organize all over America.   "That is what WE

"They have the money. We have the people.

"And when push comes to shove, the people are going to defeat the money."


Lil Joe Comment: Of course, 'ordinary people' versus the rich folk is not a
clear statement of  partisan working class socialist politics. It is
populism boarding on demagogy, but in America for a successful populist
running as an open 'socialist' in independent  campaign races beating
Democrats as well as Republicans in very significant. Sanders successes in
Congressional races, which aren't as expensive as Senate races, shows to
Green Party, Peace and Freedom Party and Labor Party activists that it can
be done. Rather than spreading money and resources running candidates for
President, Governors, the US and State Senate, with no chance of winning
those races, it is demonstrated by this maverick Congressman that we can in
fact win seats to the House of Representatives.

 Suppose the Green, Peace and Freedom, and Labor Parties collaborate in
elections, an electoral united front forum to run candidates in, say ten
"Blue State" Congressional Districts in 2008. Following the example of
Bernie Sanders, rather than wasting money and people power in symbolic
campaigns for 'President', instead spend their finances and resources
including human power in these ten winnable Congressional Districts; in
Districts with a favorable Green candidate the Labor and P&F party activists
would support the Green -- in Districts where the P&F candidates are strong
the Green and Labor activists would support the P&F candidate, and so on if
we can force the Labor Party to stand candidates the Greens and P&F
activists will support the Labor candidate.

This electoral united front at the polls could continue as these freshmen
congress persons will be a Red-Green alliance of Congress Persons that could
then work together in Congress, constantly challenging the Republicans and
exposing the Democrats voting choices as nothing but capitalist political
partisans masquerading in liberal costume spewing 'progressive' jibe. Newt
Gingrich showed America that an aggressive, self-confident new crew of
activist politicians that are actually running to win offices in the House
of Representatives, for the first time, can both win elections and in
Congress pose a formidable challenge to the old guard of both parties. If
Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee are serious about representing the
interests of ethnic working class minorities, then they could prove it by
resigning the Democratic Party and coming over to the Red-Green alliance as
independents if not joining the Labor, Green or P&F Party, and running as
such when their reelection comes term. If they don't, then they will be
exposed as just Democrats, representative of capital and the party of war.

By repeatedly winning elections as an independent candidate and open
socialist maverick Bernie Sanders has demonstrated again and again that the
American working class is ready to hear class struggle socialist ideas and
work to elect socialist representative of workers issues as such in the U.S.
House of Representatives.

I have argued that the Labor Party needs to undertake a radicalizing
campaign to run candidates against the Democrats as well as the Republicans
to actually win seats can in a decade become the majority of seats in the
House of   Representatives legislate a working class agenda including a
sustainable living wage equal to the median income and comparable to workers
wages in Northern Europe (Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, &C) and ending
unemployment by reducing the workweek from 8+ hours a day (40+workweek) to
6- hours a day or 30 hour workweek with triple-pay for overtime (for more
than 6 hours a day or 30 hours a week). As technology and robotics advance
labor productivity, rather than outsourcing or laying off (i.e. firing)
workers the hours of the working day and workweek will legally decrease from
6 to 5 &C. so that the retrained workforce remain employed in this country.

It could further be legislated that any capitalist that tries to outsource
or relocate, claim bankruptcy or close down that that factory be
expropriated by the workforce at the national level, and production and
management be assumed by the workers themselves, as workers have proved this
can work in Argentina where closed shops were expropriated and are
profitably run. A Labor Party dominated House of Representatives, together
with Green Party and Peace and Freedom Party allies in the House could
legislate anything they want to.

The fact that Sanders as an open socialist, but more importantly as an
independent consistently denouncing the Democrats as well as the
Republicans, and being attacked by the Democratic Party "progressives" has
shown that the American workers are quite capable of breaking with the
Democrats, and voting in their class interests. The Labor Party, which is
financially and organizationally based on trade unions must become a truly
class party by revitalizing the organizing of the working-class into
politically partisan trade unions both throwing the present leadership of
Democrats out the leadership or the unions, and organizing the unorganized
especially those single moms thrown off public assistance by the Clinton
Democrats, and the immigrants.

Every employed worker in the United States, whether born here, or either
legally or illegally got here, should be granted immediate citizenship with
all the rights and privileges. This should be the perspective of a
politically partisan trade union movement, and bringing into these unions
class conscious workers from Central America and Mexico who already know
what class struggle and socialism is will be transformative of the labor
movement in its revitalization bringing these millions of new workers into
the working class and defending their human and labor rights as the Labor
Party defines them through legislation in the House of Representatives: Fuck
Amnesty International and the U.N. Charter on 'human rights'.

Because it is the creative labor of workers in production in the United
States that has the capacity to generate fresh wealth, and the
sociopolitical power based in these economic relations of production to shut
this country down in strikes and general strikes if necessary, a Labor
dominated House of Representatives, in alliance with Greens and Peace and
Freedom Congressmen and women, will have the power to legislate anything
they want to. If the Senate and the President, or/and the Supreme Court get
in the way, the House of Representatives can legislate their abolition and
form a Parliamentary government as exist in Western Europe and Japan, with
proportional representation. This can be done in our lifetime. Why not?
Bernie Sanders perpetual re-election in Vermont shows that it is possible
that socialists, and candidates independent of the Democratic and Republican
Parties can beat the Democrats and Republicans in Congressional District
races -- its only a matter of beating them at their own game, winning the
battle of democracy.

Of course, the existing bureaucratic-military state apparatus has to be
legislated out of existence, replaced by a management administration of
things in the interests of the working classes and toiling masses of
America. Displacement of the military state by workers armed militias
associated with trade unions, ethnic minorities, environmentalists and at
the disposal of the new government in case civil war breaks out by
capitalist and their politicians in another slave-owners rebellion. In the
context of this radical transformation of American politics it will of
course be necessary to call a New Constitutional Convention attended by
workers, farmers and representatives of ethnic minorities, seen every day on

It is the generation of the 60s radicals that are being hustled by Jesse
Jackson, Michael Moore, and Democrats masquerading as 'progressives'; this
is the same base in the Green Party, in the Peace and Freedom Party and
Nadir who are actually being manipulated by the leadership of these
'parties' in the interests of Democrats in Congress by running grandiose
campaigns for President, Senate and State Governors that don't stand a
snowflake's chance in hell of being selected by the electoral College, even
if by some miracle a Green or Peace and Freedom candidate did manage to win
the popular vote. Every member of the Senate, Congress, Presidency and
Cabinet, professional career bureaucrat in every branch of government, every
federal sand state judge, every state governor and government body, county
and city government, and every member of the officers in the armed forces
are Democrats or republicans, so what will a Green or Peace and Freedom
Party President do if by some miracle they were selected by the Electoral

I am not clairvoyant; I don't know if the "Third Party" candidates have
delusions or grandeur, or consciously want to protect Democrats and
Republican domination of Congress, but this is what they are objectively
doing by running impossible campaigns for president rather than focusing all
their resources on a dozen or so winnable campaigns for the House of
Representatives. The same people that would vote for a Bernie Sanders, or a
Barbara Lee are the one's who register 'protest votes' for Third Party
Presidential candidates, and are conned by Democrat "progressives" and their
non-party entourages to vote for "lesser evil" Democrats for Congress to
'check' the Republican 'fascist' President in office. These are the very
people who could be targeted by serious winnable Green, Peace and Freedom
and Labor Party congressional candidates -- giving working people an
opportunity of voting for something for a change, rather than against

 In the 60s, we were not interested in "closing the gap between rich and
poor", or preserving Social Security under capitalism, by making the super
rich pay their 'fair share of taxes', but in ending capitalism.  But, seems
the radicals of the 60s have become complacent conservatives of today. So
long as socialists and class conscious American workers say that coming to
power, i.e. winning the battle of democracy 'can't be done in our lifetime',
it won't be done in our lifetime; and this shit will go on generation after
generation, until one generation says: "fuck it, we've had enough of this
shit! We're taking matters into our own capable hands!" Kulu Se Mama!

We said it in the 60s: "Power to the People" and "the People, United, Will
never be defeated". But we were defeated - in part because of our
youthfulness which put us outside the power structures controlled by
'adults', but more importantly because we didn't have a strategy to win the
battle for democracy consistent with American traditions and political
values. We are not in Russia in 1917, and there will be no "Bolshevik
Revolution" in America. So, we were alienated from the majority of blue
collar workers and we denounced them as 'hard hats', 'racists', ''corrupt',
'privileged imperialists' and so on; and Nixon, then Reagan mobilized them
into hard nosed reactionaries against us.

But, today that generation is dead. The tens of millions of 60s activists
are today parents and grandparents ready to retire. What are you going to do
with your free time, other than anti-war protests and email polemics?  Lets
get back into the streets and finish what we've started! We were committed
to turning the world over to our children and grandchildren freer and better
than we were born into it. Our objective was not to "speak truth to power",
but to take state power!

Our American Revolution will be more like the English Revolution of 1640,
where the lower house, the House of Commons representing the masses as well
as finances confronted the House of Lords and Royalty, displaced them,
declared a Republic and executed the king; or the Great French Revolution
wherein the masses represented by the 3rd Estate supported that Estates
dissolution of the Estates-General that had been dominated by the 1st and
2nd Estates representing the high clergy and landed nobility, declared a
republican National Constituent Assembly, leading to a Convention and
radical Committee of Public safety of peoples terror and by that terror the
destruction of feudalism and royalty.

We can win the battle of democracy by winning the majority in the lower
house, the House of Representatives because being more geographically and
financially accessible to working class and ethnic minorities, the people,
the slogan of the 60s: "Power to the People" can become an actuality in our
life time.

We can begin by running ten to twelve workers, as Greens, Peace and Freedom
or/and Labor Party candidates in, say, Congressional Districts in Vermont,
the boroughs of New York City; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois;
Cleveland, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; Fan Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, and
Los Angels California for example, depending upon where Labor, Green and
Peace and Freedom parties are strongest.

When the initial ten or twelve P&F, Green and Labor Congressmen and women
are in the House of Representatives, those Congresspersons can use the House
floor as a platform, even if they are talking to an empty chamber with only
CSPAN coverage, the way Newt Gingrich did.

Our Representatives in Congress can put forth environmental protection,
labor and anti-discrimination legislation, and fight for it on CSPAN,
forcing the Democrats together with the Republicans to debate LP, Green
and/or P&F partisans on CNN, &C., locking together Democrats and Republicans
as capitalist partisans inextricably linked in the minds of the worker
viewers as Greens, LP and P&F members of Congress fight the Democrats and
Republicans for working class partisan legislation, such as clean water and
air, non-pollutant alternative energy sources, massive work projects to end
poverty and urban blight, rebuilding the education structure and hiring of
more teachers with smaller digitally equipped class rooms and fewer students
per teacher, with teachers unions in charge of texts selections, hiring and
promotion of the teachers working together with parent's organizations, free
education from Head Start and Kindergarten through Graduate School for every
one who wants it, paid for by corporate taxes;  free quality health care and
the right of every American to have access to food, clothing, shelter, and
communities in peace, free from gangs, drugs and police brutality by
redirecting all the money to rebuilding lives from the billions now wasted
on weapons of mass destruction, and ending present military occupation and
dismantling all foreign bases.

Two years of fighting the Democrats and Republicans in Congress seen daily
on CSPAN, two years later, given that the Greens, P&F and LP parties
activists are establishing themselves in Congressional districts in the
meantime, would galvanize hundreds of thousands of workers energized to vote
out Democrats as well as Republicans to send more Greens, P&F and LP
representatives to fight for legislation that is clearly in their interests,
as human beings in nature and workers in the economy and men and women as
fathers and mothers in society.

The main problem in the 60s was that the radical youth didn't have a
strategy for winning state power by incrementally winning the battle of
democracy, and with this the transition of qualitative changes from a
society dominated by capital to one dominated by labor. We're the adults
now -- and we let Bill Clinton and John Kerry represent them-selves in
political power as though they were one of us, and you know damn well they
weren't! Lets win this battle of democracy, by first winning the majority
seats in the House of Representatives, openly as Green, Peace and Freedom
and Labor Party activists. If nothing, Bernie Sanders proved that we could
do it.

It is only your lack of self-confidence in taking the reins of power from
the capitalist class and politicians that are holding us back. What we have
learned from Reagan and Bush II is that governing aint as difficult as the
bourgeois ideologists and schoolteachers, college professors et al told
workers it is, anyone can do it. Lets do it!

Lil Joe
laborpartypraxis at yahoo.org



Socialist Leads U.S. Senate Race in Vt.

By CHRISTOPHER GRAFF, Associated Press Writer Sun May 29, 8:58 PM ET

BARRE, Vt. - Bernie Sanders jabs at the air, his flushed face a sharp
contrast to his unruly white hair. Yet again, he pummels Washington, the
Congress and the president.

"The government that we have today in the White House, the House of

Representatives with Tom Delay, the Senate with Bill Frist, is the most

right-wing, extremist government, perhaps in the history of the United

States," he tells labor activists at a May Day celebration in the

century-old Labor Hall.

"Time after time they pass legislation that benefits the rich and the

powerful, and they pass legislation that hurts the middle class, working
people and low income people."

The crowd roars. They have come to hear this unlikely man who is likely to
be the next U.S. senator from the Green Mountain State, and they love what
they hear. This is Bernie at his best: one part revivalist preaching, two
parts theater, all served up with a biting sarcasm.

It is vintage Bernie - literally. The words and the message have not changed
in more than 30 years. Millions of times, he has decried - in a strong
Brooklyn accent - what he sees as an outrageous, growing gap between the
rich and the poor.

For half of those years, though, Sanders has been part of the Washington he
loves to attack.

In his eighth term in the U.S. House, the independent socialist has carved
out a career in Congress as a Congress-basher. Now he is setting his sights
on the Senate, and everyone agrees he is the man to beat for the seat now
held by the retiring Jim Jeffords.

"He is the front-runner. Absolutely," said Del Ali of Research 2000 of

Rockville, Md., which has conducted political polls in Vermont for many
years. "He has high favorability ratings, high name recognition and lots of

This is an astonishing position for a man who spent the 1970s as a political
gadfly and the 1980s as the independent mayor of Burlington, a man who
seemed destined for disaster when he first arrived in Congress in 1991.

He was the odd man out: an independent in an institution that revolves
around the two-party system; a socialist in a chamber dominated by moderates
and conservatives; a freshman in a world that favors seniority. His style
was abrasive in an institution that rewards collegiality.

Yet somehow - after some bumps at the beginning - he has made it work.

Over the years Democrats who denounced him have accepted him, and he has
caucused with their party and voted for its candidates for House leadership.
Republicans who ridiculed his socialist philosophy now sign

on as occasional co-sponsors of his legislative initiatives.

In 1991, Rep. Barney Frank (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., complained
of Sanders' "holier-than-thou attitude, saying in a very loud voice he is
smarter than everyone else and purer than everyone else." Now the two are
close allies on the House Financial Services Committee.

"Do I work better with people than I used to? Yeah, I do," said Sanders, who
is 63. "That's simply a learning curve, knowing how to reach out, how to put
together coalitions, getting to know people in a way perhaps that I now do
better than I did before."

An example, he said, was the formation of the Patriot Act Reform Caucus,
designed to ensure civil liberties are protected in the reauthorization of
the Patriot Act. Sanders, a Democrat and two Republicans will chair the

Speaking of the two Republican co-chairs, Sanders said, "We disagree on

98 percent of the issues, but it just so happens that on the issue of civil
liberties and the USA Patriot Act, we have a lot in common."

Sanders remain a socialist, although not a member of the Socialist


"What does it mean to me? I want government to stand up for working people,
for the middle class, rather than representing, as is currently the case in
the United States, multinational corporations and wealthy people.

"I also believe that as citizens in a democratic society people are entitled
to certain inherent rights - and those rights include the right to health
care, the right to form a union, the right to breathe good air, the right to
send your child to college.

"There is something fundamentally wrong and very dangerous about a society
in which so few have so much and so many have so little," he said.

Jim Barnett, the chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, is fervently
dedicated to ensuring that Sanders never arrives in the Senate. As often as
Sanders uses the word extremist to describe Republican leaders in
Washington, Barnett uses it to describe Sanders.

"The Senate race will give Vermonters a new opportunity to more closely
scrutinize Bernie Sanders' extremist record in Congress," he said.
"Extremism, futility and abrasiveness are not qualities that Vermonters have
traditionally looked for in their senators."

Sanders says his greatest value in Congress has been to highlight issues
before others even identify them: He notes he was the first congressman to
lead a bus tour to Canada to help seniors get cheap prescription drugs and
he is proud of his efforts to bring attention to a pension dispute at


Sanders is certainly one of the most visible congressmen. He is a regular
guest on Fox News, especially "The O'Reilly Factor." Once, when he accused
Fox of having a conservative slant, host Bill O'Reilly countered by asking,
"Congressman, is there any other news organization on this planet that gives
you more air time than the Fox News Channel?"

"You have been very generous to me," Sanders acknowledged.

And one of the most anticipated exchanges of any year - for its theater, if
nothing else - is Sanders' semiannual grilling of

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan when Greenspan appears before
the House Financial Services Committee.

He once asked the Fed chief if he gave "one whit of concern for the middle
class and working families of this country?"

National Democrats, including former Gov. Howard Dean, now the party's
chairman, are urging Democrats to support Sanders. Leaders of the Vermont
Democratic Party are not rushing to endorse Sanders, though no Democrat has
moved to run against him.

His most likely GOP challengers are Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie and Richard
Tarrant, chairman of IDX, a medical software company. In early May, a

poll for WCAX-TV put Sanders ahead of Dubie, 59 percent to 23 percent, and
ahead of Tarrant, 62 percent to 18 percent.

That support is evident at the Old Labor Hall in Barre.

"He is as good as they come," says Sue Lucas, a nurse in Morrisville.

"He is about everything we believe in."

"He is not afraid to stand up to either party," said Jim Genovesi, a worker
for an electric utility in Rutland. "He doesn't seem to be affected by
political pressure or lobbyist pressure. He stands his ground."

Sanders' booming voice fills the hall as he nears the end of his speech.

"We know that our opponents have hundreds and hundreds of millions of
dollars that they put into the political process. We know they control much
of the media. We know they have an attack machine that goes from Fox to Rush
Limbaugh, the Drudge Report and all over the place.

"We know that is what THEY have," his voice thunders.

"But there is one thing they do not have. They do not have ordinary people
prepared to knock on doors and organize all over America.

"That is what WE have.

"They have the money. We have the people.

"And when push comes to shove, the people are going to defeat the money."


On The Net:

Sanders for Senate: www.bernie.org

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