In 2016, Barack Obama privately told advisers he would intervene if it appeared as though Bernie Sanders threatened to clinch the nomination away from Hillary Clinton.
Last month’s story about this threatened to undercut Obama’s warning to Democrats earlier this year about not engaging in the so-called “circular firing squad” despite his doing just that when he cautioned Democrats against moving “too far left.”
Yet not only are there reports about Obama extolling Sen. Elizabeth Warren to the wealthy donors she aggressively eschews.
A source close to Barack Obama confirms the 44th president will actually “go to bat” for whoever secures the Democratic nomination–even if it’s Vt. Sen. Bernie Sanders.
At a Democracy Alliance event last month, Obama said:
“Look, we have a field that is very accomplished, very serious and passionate and smart people who have a history of public service, and whoever emerges from the primary process, I will work my tail off to make sure that they are the next president.”
It’s refreshing the establishment Democratic party is at least showing signs of learning from its mistake in 2016.
Center for American Progress president, Neera Tanden, admittedly unenthusiastic about a Sanders nomination, tweeted:
I’m not a big Sanders Stan but I will support him if he’s the nominee.
People, Trump’s re-election is an existential threat. If you do not think the GOP is watching these attacks and will amplify them in the general, you’re wrong.
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 1, 2019
It remains to be seen, though, whether the center will hold its support after the primary season kicks off next month and reality begins.
The corporate media, moderate Democrats, and the wealthy and corporations are terrified of a Sanders or Warren presidency, and will do everything in their affluent power to prevent either one from moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
That’s why former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg jumped into the race.
Earlier this year, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) instituted a new policy prohibiting more than 100 political firms from contracting or recommending to House of Representatives candidates consultants, vendors, polling firms, strategists, and operatives seeking to unseat incumbents.
However, as New York magazine reported:
“It’s far from clear that the DCCC’s policy will even succeed on its intended. The small-dollar donor armies that have freed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from the burden of fundraising—and filled the coffers of Bernie Sanders’s nascent 2020 campaign—aren’t going anywhere. And neither are progressive interest groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America, which backed Marie Newman’s attempt to oust pro-life Illinois Democrat Dan Lipinski last year. The DCCC can’t eliminate the demand for political operatives who are willing to assist left-wing primary challenges. And by limiting the supply, the Democratic establishment threatens to give a monopoly to its most ideologically committed adversaries, and thus, accelerate the growth of upstart firms like Grassroots Analytics and Data for Progress.”
The Democratic party of today is not the Democratic party of the early 1990s when it shifted its focus away from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society toward more a corporate-friendly agenda following the 1980s’ Reagan revolution.
Even before Donald Trump descended that Trump Tower escalator in June of 2015 to declare in a racist anti-immigrant screed he was running for president, the political sands were shifting.
People had figured out nothing was going to structurally change with the economy, environment, education, healthcare, or campaign finance as long as we kept coddling transnational corporations with tax breaks, subsidies, deregulation, and anti-worker trade deals even Democrats at times supported.
This is what fomented the Occupy Movement, which segued right into the rise of the progressive movement that allowed a septuagenarian Democratic Socialist from Vermont the voice he always had to project Americans’ discontent with being shut out of the democratic process.
Most Americans want public colleges and universities to be free or at least debt-free.
Only the fossil fuel industry and the shills lying for them deny the exigency of climate change. The entire world has recognized we are on the precipice of a climate apocalypse and wants governments to begin taking aggressive measures to address it. The United States is the only developed nation dragging its feet.
The list goes on.
So, here we are.
But a caution: Let’s not get bogged down in a false equivalency.
Voting Democratic is still better than voting Republican. The idea they are the same is an absurd fallacy.
The Democratic party is still the party of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, healthcare, civil rights, marriage equality, public education, unions, and criminal justice reform.
Just look at how many bills the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has passed since taking back the majority in January.
The Republican party, by contrast, is the party of tax breaks for the ultra wealthy, deregulation, environmental degradation, voter suppression, xenophobia, Islamophobia, unregulated gun possession, and “Christian” evangelicalism.
But the Democratic party has a lot of soul searching to do if it has any sincere intentions of defeating not just Trump but Trump-ism.
Donald Trump will be out of the White House sooner rather than later.
Who comes after him, though, may not be so inept or buffoonish.
As you read this, future Republican politicians are out there learning from the fascist rhetoric and policies Donald Trump has dumped into the GOP mainstream.
Some are already in Congress right now.
Only true progressives can defeat them.
And only true progressives can wrench us back from the brink of neo-fascism, like FDR did in the 1930s and forties.
As Sen. Bernie Sanders’ speechwriter David Sirota stated in his Bern Notice newsletter:
“[Michael] Bloomberg is primarily motivated by a desire to stop Bernie and his working-class movement.”
“Bloomberg began floating the idea of a presidential bid in 2016, just as Bernie was beginning to gain momentum in that race. At the time, Bloomberg disparaged Bernie and his campaign’s challenge to Wall Street.”
Good on Obama.
His coming around may be just the bellwether the establishment needs to stop shooting at itself.
Now let’s not blow it.
Image credit: thehill.com