Controlling Sanders for 2020

Published by marco on

I’d originally earmarked the article It’s Bernie Bitch! by Amber A’Lee Frost (The Baffler), but discovered that it’s been unpublished by the Baffler. They got cold feet that this level of endorsement was contrary to their charter as a certain type of organization—a type that is prohibited from expressing a political opinion.

Leave aside that it was clearly Lee’s opinion being expressed and not the magazine’s. It looks pretty gutless, on the surface. If you’re interested in the back-and-forth, Here’s the Pro-Bernie Sanders 2020 Op-Ed The Baffler Decided Its Readers Should No Longer See by Jake Johnson (Common Dreams) has a lot more detail. In the meantime, you can find the article at It’s Still Bernie by Amber A’Lee Frost (Jacobin).

Though I’m sure that there’s some substance to this whole affair, it’s indicative of a deeper sickness on the left: it can’t get out of it’s sanctimonious, virtue-signaling way to get anything done. Leftists used to be hardcore (think Che); now they’re a bunch of pussies who’ll offend themselves right out of the running for anything beyond PTA-board secretary.

Frost is one of the good ones, not afraid to speak her mind and put some damn skin in the game and some hard facts on the table. I’d noted the following quotations from her excellent cri de coeur.

On the continuation of an older awfulness that differs mildly from ® to (D) and back again, she wrote,

“Despite all the #Resistance hysteria, for the time being, the majority of the electorate hasn’t seen the sort of plummet in quality of life that inspires droves of voters to cast a ballot for Anyone But Trump. The Donald hasn’t actually deviated that much from the neoliberal trajectory of his predecessors (remember, Obama shot tear gas at the border too), and you can’t expect people who don’t spend all day on Twitter to feel that motivated to combat what is essentially the gradual continuation of previous administrations’ policies. (Hell, he’s already more anti-war than Obama was.) (Emphasis added.)”

This is already too much of broadside against too many pussyfooting allies to survive for long. It’s possible that it was less the wholehearted endorsement of Sanders and more the unflattering comparison of darling Obama to Trump, policy-wise, that earned Frost opprobrium and banishment from published pages.

She went on,

“And even if we could get a President Gillibrand in 2020, another lukewarm Democratic presidency will not only further impoverish and destabilize the working class and its suffering institutions, it will also all but guarantee that 2024 brings us POTUS Hamburglar in an SS uniform. No, it’s Bernie or bust. I don’t care if we have to roll him out on a hand truck and sprinkle cocaine into his coleslaw before every speech. If he dies mid-run, we’ll stuff him full of sawdust, shove a hand up his ass, and operate him like a goddamn muppet. (Again, emphasis added.)”

Frost is doing her best to electrify the “resistance” with a wake-up call that they might be able to hear. Watching the parade of hopefuls trundled out so far (Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, … ), it’s clear that the lesson of Hillary in 2016 either has been forgotten or was never learned.

Frost finished up with,

“If you have strayed, all is forgiven, but you better come to Jesus right now because memory is long, and history judges the cowardly squish far more harshly than the honest enemy. And you can’t say that no one was there at the time to tell you that this was it—this was the pivotal moment where you had to make the right choice. (Emphasis added.)”

Given the content of the article—it’s a rallying cry—it’s disheartening but all-too predictable that it was published then banned by one left-leaning magazine and then republished by a slight-more-left-wing-but-with-worrying-holes-on-South-American-foreign-policy[1] magazine.

It’s indicative that the left has painted itself into a corner guarded by rabid ideologues who don’t care who gets hurt—only that their virtue is signaled, that they feel justified, that they feel right, no matter the actual repercussions for anyone, including those that they purport to be defending.

Just off the top of my head, there’s a very easy way to torpedo Sanders.

The Democrats or Republicans can start now. They both have an interest in a kill switch for Bernie. The Democrats used it last time, but expended considerable goodwill and political capital in the process. It’s very possible that they not only lost the 2016 election because of those acts, but have ruined their chances at 2020.

Bernie should run as an independent, but that’s beside the point.

I got distracted. Back to the plan.

Get an agent into Bernie’s inner circle. Choose an attractive girl. Relatively well-spoken. Rabidly right-wing, but capable of hiding it.

In December of 2019, have her reveal relatively mild things that will sound horrific to the right ears. They talked down to her. Made unsafe spaces. Complimented her. Held the door for her. Touched her hair, however inadvertently. Maybe Bernie did them. Maybe someone who works for him. Maybe a mix. Either way, he’s culpable.

Bye, bye, Bernie.

We have set up a world in which this could happen all too easily. No-one will ask or care whether it’s true until much later, after which Sanders will have missed his chance again. By 2024, he’ll be a shambolic old man, capable of muttering only conspiracy theories that are entirely true, as he wanders the ruins of an America that has endured not only 8 years of Trump rule but the 40 years of institutional neglect that preceded it.

Only a true monster like Trump can survive a system that works like this. And it was those that hate him the most who built it.


Jaconbin’s reporting on the right-wing takeover in Brazil was uneven to scandalous. They said nothing while one left-wing government after another was unfairly smeared (Lula) and unconstitutionally dumped (Dilma). In that case, they tripped over their uncertainty until they were more or less on the same line as the U.S. government, which provoked the slow-motion/soft coup in the first place. Because what else do you call destabilizing one government after another until you get to heartily approve of a right-wing ideologue getting elected?

They’re doing a bit better on Venezuela, but not much.