Sanders Campaign Phoenix

A report in The New York Times claiming that Obama Privately Tells Donors That Time Is Coming to Unite Behind Hillary Clinton was not received well by Sanders supporters yesterday. The White House promptly walked back this claim. Multiple media outlets, including Reuters and Bloomberg, report that Obama Didn’t Back Clinton at Private Fundraiser.

Among items which Josh Earnest told reporters:

  • “I was there for the fundraiser, and I was there when the comments occurred”: Earnest
  • Obama said “that as Democrats move through this competitive primary process, we need to be mindful that our success in November in electing a Democratic president will depend on the commitment and ability of the Democratic Party to come together behind our nominee”: Earnest
  • Earnest declined to say whom Obama voted for in the Ill. primary

(As an aside, if anyone gets a chance to pose questions to Obama or Earnest, ask whether Obama would pardon Clinton and/or her top aides if indicted.)

Clinton is all set to claim will give us the third term of Barack Obama. Looking at her policy views, it would more likely be a third term for the neoconservative foreign policy of George W. Bush, and would be no better on civil liberties. Or in terms of ethics, it would be the third term of Richard Nixon, including a restoration of the views of Henry Kissinger.

Of course it is possible that Obama said one thing in private, but does not want to admit to this. Should Clinton get elected, he might some day also regret tying his legacy to her. Ironically, in a recent interview, he made statements which greatly undermined Clinton’s ability to be Commander In Chief based upon her mistakes on Libya and Syria.

Clinton also made a gaffe which will probably be repeated in GOP commercials this fall in saying “We didn’t lose a single person”is Libya. Her statement was technically true in the context she intended, ignoring all the bloodshed which her policy led to, and the death of four Americans. This is as foolish as Republicans claiming that George Bush kept us safe from terrorism, if you ignore 9/11.

We are also seeing plenty of arguments that Democrats must unite behind Clinton to stop Donald Trump. First of all, we also do not know for certain whether Trump will be the Republican nominee. Secondly, if stopping Trump is so important, we should all unite behind Bernie Sanders, who has a better chance than Clinton of beating Trump in a  general election. Besides, if Trump is so terrible, why support the conservative Democratic candidate who is far closer to Trump ideologically, even if she is the lesser evil?

Sanders is giving no sign of any intention to give up, and he remaining in the race might even be to Clinton’s benefit should she win the nomination. Continued campaigning, including criticism of Trump by Sanders, might motivate his supporters to turn out  to vote Democratic in the general election, as opposed to staying home–as so many Democratic-leaning voters have done in recent elections.This might be especially important considering Clinton’s weakness among male and non-minority voters, especially among the young.

Obviously it is an uphill battle for Sanders to win the nomination and Clinton has a substantial lead. His strategy now depends upon achieving large victories in the west and remaining non-southern states, along with convincing superdelegates that he would make the stronger general election candidate. If it was two near identical Democratic candidates, then perhaps it would make sense to unite behind one. However we have two candidates with vastly different ideologies, a true liberal running against a Republican-lite DLC style Democrat. The stakes are too high to give up now, regardless of the odds.

Updated from a post at Liberal Values

Ron Chusid
Leave a replyComments (28)
  1. Slamfu March 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    If it was two near identical Democratic candidates, then perhaps it would make sense to unite behind one. However we have two candidates with vastly different ideologies, a true liberal running against a Republican-lite DLC style Democrat.

    Don’t forget the “Not taken tens of millions of dollars from the industries they’ll be regulating as President” factor as well, that’s also a pretty big one that doesn’t come along often.

    • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Agree. That is a big factor as well those mentioned here.

  2. Ballard Burgher March 22, 2016 at 9:54 am

    It is ironic for me to take you to task, Ron, because the truth is you and I probably agree far more politically than we disagree. My issue with you is less your policy positions than the manner in which you take them.

    You appear to live in the black and white world of the zealot, the true believer. Your guy (Sanders) is all good and his opponent (Clinton) is evil incarnate. Any disagreement with you is cast aside as “false spin” while you exaggerate shamelessly, yet call it “factual.”

    I agree that you start with an element of fact. Clinton has done some ethically questionable things. That doesn’t make her Richard Nixon. She has taken foreign policy positions a bit too hawkish for me and most Democrats. That doesn’t make her George W. Bush. The over-the-top rhetoric weakens your advocacy for Sanders (who in most ways is a perfectly defensible candidate) rather than strengthens it.

    Your zeal also lends a slightly bullying, tone-deaf note to your lengthy missives. The blizzard of words hurts rather than helps. You go on (and on, and on, and on). Overkill!

    On the double-bind thread, I sensed we had both had our say, and said, partly in jest “feel free to have the last word.” I also said it sensing that you would help yourself to that–and you did not disappoint with over 500 “last words”, all of which were things you had said before many times. Enough.

    • Thank you for saying so well what I have always felt, Ballard.

      While it is true that I don’t need to read this author’s offensive posts or comments, just the fact that I know they are here constantly is discouraging me — and I know others — from posting or commenting on this otherwise great site.

      On the other hand, there is the First Amendment that I fully respect. What a dilemma!

      • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 10:18 am

        It is a shame that you have so little tolerance for opposing viewpoints and facts which challenge your world view.

        • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

          To elaborate, Joe asked to post here to provide a liberal viewpoint, which I have done. While there are liberals commenting here, as with Slamflu above, the main posts here are generally lacking in liberal viewpoints. The ideas which you are so scared of seeing posed are quite common on the left and my posts are very favorably received by liberals. It is rather sad that having one liberal commentator here is so “discouraging” to you.

          What you call this “otherwise great site” has a very serious problem with only tolerating an extremely narrow range of viewpoints–and ad hominem attacks on anyone who goes beyond the narrow range of what is acceptable here is the norm. Rather than discussing the issues of posts and using facts, you immediately turn to personal attacks when you disagree.

          It is the narrow mindedness of people like you and others who engage in the type of behavior you do which discourages people from commenting here. I have seen countless cases of people commenting here with a view which does not fit into the narrow limits of what you consider acceptable and be driven away.

          • Setting aside, “it is the narrow mindedness of people like you …” please give one example of a person I have driven away because he or she had a “view which does not fit into the narrow limits of what [I] consider acceptable…”

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 10:51 am

            This is the sort of thing which I have seen quite a bit in the comments. I’m not going to waste time searching through old comment threads.

          • “I’m not going to waste time searching through old comment threads.”
            …because you can’t back up your accusation.

            Similarly, I am not going to waste my time rebutting false statements and and personal attacks.

            Your comments do such very well.

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 11:32 am

            I don’t need to back up the accusation. You demonstrated your attitude here by initiating these personal attacks, as you have done in the past.

            My comments? I said nothing about you until forced to respond to your personal attacks.

        • I have lots of tolerance for those with opposing views, Dr. Chusid. Just go back and review my posts and comments.

          What I have zero tolerance for is for those who berate, insult, call liars, hyprocites, stupid, unethical, amoral, unprincipled, etc., etc. those who happen to have a different political view than you do.

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 10:58 am

            I am not the one who initiates such insults. I present my views, supported by the facts, and then quite frequently have found myself facing a barrage of insults, including from you.

            When I call someone a liar, it is when it is a statement of fact. I have quite frequently been subjected to comments which include outright falsehoods about what I have said, sometimes even falsely claiming something is a “direct quote” when it was made up. Your comment here is also a dishonest description of myself. I get along quite well with a wide variety of people who disagree with me elsewhere. The problem comes from people like you who can only respond to things they disagree with by launching dishonest personal attacks–as you are doing now.

          • “Your comment here is also a dishonest description of myself.”

            Correction, Dr. Chusid.

            I am describing your comments, not you.

            On the other hand you relentlessly insult and denigrate others.

            For example: “It is the narrow mindedness of people like you.”

            Let you have the last word.

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 11:31 am

            Yet you started this. My concern is with discussing the issues. I have no interest in insulting others, as you do. I am perfectly happy to keep my opinion of you to myself, but I am not going to just stand by when you initiate such insults.

      • SteveK March 22, 2016 at 12:28 pm

        [quote]… the fact that I know they are here constantly is discouraging me — and I know others — from posting or commenting on this otherwise great site.[end quote]

        You are absolutely right Dorian. And until TMV starts holding Ron Chusid to their years old established comment policy TMV shares the blame for the degradation of the site.

        Whenever Chusid is questioned on one of his comments (complete with direct quotes) he calls the questioner a ‘liar,’ a ‘troll,’ ‘narrow mindedness of people like you’ and seems immune to reprimand. It’s time management call him on his constant / continual incivility… Or maybe rename the site “Ron Chusid’s Liberal Values.’

        • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 12:35 pm

          Steve, It is you and Dorian who have been constantly ignoring the comment policy in your repeated personal attacks on me. I have never initiated attacks on any commenters here, but you do it quite frequently.

        • Dr. Chusid considers calling him out on his own personal attacks or in any way disagreeing with his views and comments, “personal attacks.”

          When challenged to come up — in my case — with just one example where I , the “narrow-minded one,” have driven a person away from this site because he or she had a “view which does not fit into the narrow limits of what [I] consider acceptable…”, he says “I’m not going to waste time searching through old comment threads” or claims “I don’t need to back up the accusation.”

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 1:18 pm

            Now Dorian, do you really think that I’m gong to go through old comment threads? I waste enough time responding to your nonsense. Using this to deny what has been going on here is rather lame, especially as you are proving my point here.

            Incidentally, this isn’t something I’m just saying now. Joe can verify I have pointed out this problem to him in the past.

          • I am asking Joe — hereby and by e-mail — when you have pointed out to him that I have used personal insults against you and what the specific insults were. He should remember.

            When was the last time that you wasted time “responding to my nonsense?” Wth the exception of today. I have not addressed your comments for a long time.

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 1:44 pm

            That was partially based upon today, partially based upon the past, and partially a generic you not limited to you personally. You certainly seem determined to prove my point with all these comments from you which have nothing to do with the topic of the post.

            I have emailed Joe on more than one occasion writing in general about the lack of toleration of differing opinions here and the problem with personal insults, as well as the problem of commenters being driven away by the intolerance here. I never said I emailed him about specific insults, although I have provided him with links on some occasions. (I don’t know off hand if the specific times I sent links included you personally or not).

          • Do I detect some backtracking?

            You made specific accusations that I have launched personal attacks against you.

            Back them up!

            “You certainly seem determined to prove my point with all these comments from you which have nothing to do with the topic of the post.”

            Your accusation that I launch personal attacks against you has absolutely not been proven. Being “off-topic” is not launching personal attacks, nor does it “prove” anything.

            Pointing out your personal attacks against others is not launching personal attacks.

            You have made some serious personal accusations against me.

            Either back them up, or retract them!

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 2:08 pm

            No backtracking. You altered what I have said regarding the specifics of what I emailed to Joe. I was just pointing out how you were twisting what I said.

            That does not alter the fact that you have often initiated personal attacks against me. Do you really deny this?

            “Pointing out your personal attacks against others is not launching personal attacks.”

            I have not initiated any personal attacks on others. I don’t see you providing any examples. As with this present thread, it has repeatedly been a matter of attacks being initiated by you and others.

    • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 10:15 am

      “You appear to live in the black and white world of the zealot, the true believer. ”

      Once again you rely on ad hominem attacks and ignore the facts. In the post you are discussing you attacked Sanders based upon something which was factually false, and which is a bogus attack being used by the Clinton campaign.

      Clinton has done many ethically improper things to the point where she is on the level of Richard Nixon as I have demonstrated in multiple posts.

      “The over-the-top rhetoric”

      My “rhetoric” is fact-based and no more over the top when discussing Clinton than when I (as well as others here) discuss Republicans, yet it is acceptable when discussing Republicans but not when discussing Clinton. Politicians should be held to the same standards, regardless of party.

      • That its a whole bunch of unadulterated bullshit and obfuscation, Doctor.

        Pointing out your personal attacks is not a personal attack.

        Being of a different political persuasion is not a personal attack.

        Disagreeing with you is not a personal attack.

        Either you retract your accusations or you can have this whole freaking site all to yourself to continue to insult and attack others who have the slightest disagreement with you or who — the horror — happen to support Hillary Clinton, as I do.

        • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 2:36 pm

          What a lot of projection.

          What personal attacks? It is you and a few others who have been initiating the personal attacks against me. You have yet to point out any cases where I have engaged in personal attacks for disagreeing with me (as opposed to calling out those such as you who do initiate personal attacks).

          I have never said or in any acted like I believe that disagreeing with me is a personal attack. I have welcomed disagreement on the issues–and have also emailed Joe about that in defending others, including people I disagree with, from personal attacks. It is you who have initiated personal attacks for disagreeing with you.

          I stand by what I have said. You and a few others have repeatedly engaged in the use of personal attacks in response to disagreements with you.

          It is your decision as to what you do. Unlike you, I have zero objection to opposing viewpoints being presented here. As I said, Joe asked me to post here to provide a different opinion. It is a shame you are so intolerant of this.

        • SteveK March 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm

          [quote] Either you retract your accusations or you can have this whole freaking site all to yourself to continue to insult and attack others who have the slightest disagreement with you [end quote]

          I’m with you 100% Dorian. I don’t know how or why Ron is allowed to be as uncivil as he’s been but something has to be done.

          We’ve been commenting here for 7 + years and for this jerk to come in and call us ‘liars,’ a ‘trolls,’ and ‘narrow mindedness of people’ without TMV stepping in signals to me a new direction / change in policy that I for one can’t understand.

          • Ron Chusid March 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm

            Considering that it is you who have been the one acting uncivil, I imagine you should be happy that they are not currently enforcing the rules as you break them.

  3. Davebo March 24, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    As to Ron’s original topic. It’s quite a stretch to claim Obama’s comments were an attempt to squeeze Sanders out of the race.

    Of course it’s important for the party to line up behind whomever is the eventual nominee.

    “(As an aside, if anyone gets a chance to pose questions to Obama or Earnest, ask whether Obama would pardon Clinton and/or her top aides if indicted.)”

    By all means ask the question. He’s really pretty good at slapping down idiotic questions with a smile and a wave.