[Marxism] Democratic Party debate
1999wildcat at gmail.com
Mon Jul 1 06:28:52 MDT 2019
I agree with Mark Lause on some things but disagree on others.
The DNC claims that they selected who is on which day by chance. I think
that if things had been arranged intentionally there would at least have
been rumors of complaints by one candidate or another. In any case, if the
DNC were trying to protect Biden, one could just as easily have said that
they'd have kept Harris off the stage with him.
I think that some of the kingmakers must be starting to have second
thoughts about Biden. If I were them, I'd be looking at Harris or Buttegieg
right now. And, in fact, Harris has gotten a significant bump in the first
polls to come out post-debate.
As far as the role of the kingmakers and Biden: It's not purely a matter of
their manipulation. Polls show that by a 2-1 margin, the number one concern
of Democratic voters is which candidate stands the best chance of defeating
Trump. I know all the arguments of Sanders that a turn to the left will
bring in a whole new layer of voters - enough to sweep Trump out - but I
think most Democratic Party voters are not convinced and neither am I.
As far as Sanders defense of "socialism", we should remember how the entire
issue arose in the first place. Scores of years ago, Sanders had called
himself a socialist. Then he completely dropped the term. In the 2016
campaign, it was the capitalist media which kept on raising the issue with
him. This was an attempt to undermine him by a subtle kind of red baiting,
and it was one of the greatest miscalculations of recent time. Sanders did
not "popularize" socialism. Polls showed that it was becoming increasingly
popular, especially among younger people, as far back as 2014. Possibly
Then DSA burst on the scene. In some elections, they helped mobilize a base
of members to campaign for some candidates who were DSA members. So this
further brought into prominence "democratic socialism". This has become the
term for the liberal wing of the Democrats now - the old Hubert Humphrey
wing. It's made possible by the fact that the Cold War is barely a distant
memory for millions today. But it's left Sanders in a bind. He cannot
disassociate himself from "democratic socialism". Neither the capitalist
media nor his own wing of the Democratic Party will allow him to. Thus is
defense of the term.
On Mon, Jul 1, 2019 at 5:00 AM Mark Lause <markalause at gmail.com> wrote:
> I thought there were several surprises in the debate. My initial response
> was that of the professional pundits, though for different reasons: the
> women did superbly on many levels. Despite polls showing virtually all of
> the leading Democratic contenders defeating Trump, the DNC and the media
> has presented Biden as the only candidate that can beat Trump.
> The decision to isolate Warren from the other leading contenders by
> putting her in the first group was a transparent attempt to insulate
> Biden. In terms of rhetoric, Warren is fundamentally indistinguishable
> from Sanders. People do need to remember that she described herself as a
> Republican as late as 1996, explaining this by citing the party's
> friendlier embrace of "the markets." So every time I hear her, I have to
> wonder how serious she is after the years of Reagan-Gingrich "supply side"
> "trickle-down" voodoo.
> Sanders' use of "socialism" weighs nothing--and probably a bit against
> him. Wanting to spend time debating the meaning of a word in the present
> circumstances indicates a real failure to understand those circumstances.
> Worse, I think his making an issue of the term is a purely electoral stroke
> on his part to recover the kind of support it garnered him four years ago.
> Still worse, his version of "socialism" is--as Howie Hawkins just reminded
> us all--a rewarmed liberalism.
> But back to the debate . . . despite that stacking of the deck in favor of
> Biden hardly kept the other participants did a very decent job of mopping
> the floor with him, albeit it in short sweeps. Harris' exposure of his
> Thurmond-esque appreciation of states' rights on busing was brilliantly
> done, for which the media and commentators have made an issue of her lack
> of clarify over health care.
> I was particularly impressed with Bennet's quick cut to the core
> commentary on Biden's BS about bipartisan "compromise" with McConnell--a
> compromise that amounted to the kind of surrender we're used to seeing by
> the "New Democrats."
> In the end, it seems clear that the DNC, MSNBC, etc. are hell-bound to
> foist Biden on the party's base . . . because they don't really have any
> other viable alternative to the candidates who are trying to channel an
> angry and thoughtful electorate. At least, they don't really have one
> yet. And, as a candidate, Biden is as flawed in his way as Trump or was
> This means that all the Sturm und Drang by the more "progressive"
> candidates will boil down to supporting Biden (or, if necessary, a stand-in
> for Biden) as a "lesser evil."
> Mark L.
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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