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
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Slamfu
Member
Slamfu
6 months 12 days ago

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.

Ballard Burgher
Member
6 months 9 days ago

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.

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

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!

SteveK
Member
SteveK
6 months 9 days ago

[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.’

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

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.”

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

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.

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

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!

Davebo
Member
Davebo
6 months 7 days ago

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.

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