Friday, February 12, 2016

Joseph Palermo's Brilliant Analysis and Support for Bernie Sanders

"Bernie Sanders is calling for a new political realignment, not a continuation of the "bipartisan" compromises of the last 20 years that have screwed over the working class. The Bill Clinton and Barack Obama years have coincided with the consistent slide into economic ruin for a large chunk of the once sizable American middle class. After a pair of two-term Democratic presidents what do progressives really have to cheer about with regard to domestic policy other than Mitt Romney's health care reform?
"Hillary Clinton apparently believes that by promising to preside competently over this continuous downward slide of the middle class she can win just enough votes to get elected.
"Labor unions are weaker, the safety net is in tatters, the profiteers and asset strippers in our health care, prison, and education systems have become richer than ever. And more working people today are feeling economically insecure. We all know we've been ripped off and the economic "gains" we keep hearing about since the "recovery" haven't trickled down.
Has it ever occurred to the Democratic Party establishment that the wipeout midterm elections of 1994 and 2010 might have something to do with their standard bearer not being brave enough to go big and go bold even when the Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress?
The movement that Bernie Sanders is working so hard to lead might finally give us the experiment we've been waiting for: let's find out if taking bold progressive stands can win the presidency and keep the Democratic base energized through the midterms of 2018 and offer the country a different result. We've got nothing to lose for trying.
Bernie is doing exactly what I hoped I would see one day: The Democratic primaries utilized to present a strong critique of the excesses of American capitalism. After the Great Recession destroyed the livelihoods of so many people it's not enough to point to job numbers and say that things have gotten better.
Things are better than they were during the height of the Great Recession. But we've also seen a qualitative shift away from good paying jobs with benefits to McJobs and the "gig" economy where workers earn "chump change." We also live in a period where Congress no longer responds to the will of the people and the Republican attack on the social safety net marches on.
Long ago the Koch brothers and Wall Street decided to wage class warfare against working people. It's time to fight back. We don't know if the "political revolution" that Bernie Sanders talks about will happen because nobody has tried it yet.
All we've had since Bill Clinton and his "New Democrats" are milquetoast leaders supping at the same trough of corporate money and willing to water down there own demands even before beginning to "negotiate" with the right-wing opposition.
Fifty percent of millennials believe the American dream is over. Yet they very quickly transformed the country's attitude toward gay marriage and marijuana. Maybe they can do the same with economic justice.
The cynicism of the Citizens United and McCutcheon rulings that Mitch McConnell and other congressional Republicans greeted with glee might have created an unpredictable backlash. There is widespread revulsion towards an activist Supreme Court that has turned the country over to a corporate oligarchy. The gutting of the Voting Rights Act added insult to injury.
Following two terms of the nation's first African-American president, it's impossible to gauge the effect on the Republicans' "Southern Strategy." In this first post-Obama presidential election all bets are off. The nation now might be ready to finish what Obama started, defy the political prognosticators, and realign our politics in a more progressive configuration.
When Bernie Sanders denounces the control of big money over our politics and the unwarranted power of the millionaire and billionaire class, he's not just speaking truth to power, he's mobilizing the "people with the pitchforks" that Obama said early on he was protecting the bankers against.

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