Bernie Sanders as Carrot, Hillary Clinton as Stick and Progressives as Easy Marks for Manipulation

by William Skink

In a few flurries of tweets between myself and former Blackbird blogger, Jay Stevens, I’ve witnessed the ease in which progressives are manipulated. It started with his tweets about the FIFA scandal. I, of course, tried to point to the geopolitical implications, which obviously makes me a Putin fanboy. Here is one tweet from Stevens:

Can’t wait to see how @madpoet19 spins the Fifa-arms-for-votes story…

The story referenced in the above tweet is about arms deals being traded for World Cup votes, which the Guardian covered a few days ago. From the link:

The shockwaves from the corruption scandal that brought down Sepp Blatter continue to reverberate, with claims in Germany that the 2006 World Cup vote was influenced by a shipment of rocket-propelled grenades and allegations in Egypt that a Fifa executive solicited bribes during the 2010 bidding race.

As seven Fifa officials continued to fight extradition to the US over claims they were involved in a “World Cup of fraud”, Blatter’s right-hand man Jérôme Valcke remained at the centre of speculation over what he knew about a $10m payment to the disgraced former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner. And pressure on the Football Association of Ireland also grew amid the fallout from its admission that it agreed a secret €5m (£3.6m) payment after threatening legal action in the wake of Thierry Henry’s handball that led to the goal that ended their chances of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

Instead of looking at a geopolitical contrast to this latest iteration of FIFA corruption, we have no further to look than the cesspool of corruption the State Department became under Hillary’s tutelage. If Jay thinks the FIFA arms-for-votes story is bad, I wonder what he thinks about chemical weapons deals for Clinton Foundation donations:

The approval of American chemical weapons sales to Egypt as Mubarak’s associates were stocking Clinton family interests with cash is but one example of a dynamic that prevailed though Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. During the roughly two years of Arab Spring protests that confronted authoritarian governments with popular uprisings, Clinton’s State Department approved $66 million worth of so-called Category 14 exports — defined as “toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment” — to nine Middle Eastern governments that either donated to the Clinton Foundation or whose affiliated groups paid Bill Clinton speaking fees.

That represented a 50 percent overall increase in such export approvals to the same countries over the two years prior to the Arab Spring, according to an International Business Times review of State Department documents. In the same time period, Arab countries that did not donate to the Clinton Foundation saw an overall decrease in their State Department approvals to purchase chemical and biological materials. The increase in chemical, biological and related exports to Clinton Foundation donors was part of a larger jump in overall arms sales authorized by Hillary Clinton’s State Department to foreign governments that gave her family’s foundation at least $54 million, according to a previous IBTimes analysis.

The State Department, the Clinton campaign and the Clinton Foundation did not respond to questions about the deals.

I don’t know if this constitutes me “spinning” the FIFA corruption, but it certainly provides an example of domestic corruption that a Democrat supporter like Jay Stevens may want to take into consideration as the inevitable Clinton campaign chugs along.

I can anticipate Jay’s response because in an earlier spat he distanced himself from supporting Clinton by stating he’s a Bernie supporter. Well, allow me to spin that as well, because there is more going on with Bernie Sanders campaign than meets the eye. Michael Arria asks a good question in a Counterpunch piece today, titled Why is the DNC Sending Out Pro-Bernie emails? Good question. And the answer may be found in Sanders’ promise not to run as an independent when he inevitably folds to the Clinton Juggernaut:

Ironically, it seems that the DNC and left-critics of the Sanders campaign agree on a very important fact: they believe Sanders will attract a number of young voters and activists, then dutifully tell them to vote for Hillary when he drops out. The DNC sees that outcome as a win and leftists see it as a loss, but both perceive his dropout as inevitable. “Hillary Clinton certainly doesn’t regard Sanders as a threat,” writes Ashley Smith at Jacobin, “She knows that the national election business follows the golden rule: whoever has more gold, wins.

The early disclosures of Hillary Clinton’s disgusting use of the State Department won’t negatively impact her candidacy because they are coming out at a time when progressives like Jay Stevens will default to his Bernie support. Bernie provides the progressive cover by getting attention for his progressive positions, then, when smashed by Clinton cash, he will bow out and tout the pragmatic lesser evilism support of the sociopath, Hillary Clinton.

Well played, DNC.

  1. Turner

    I get it. Clinton bad. Sanders not much better. Is there any American-born person over the age of 35 you’d support for president?

    • steve kelly

      The presidency no longer exists in its constitutional form. What does it matter who sits in the Oval Office if ruling power resides elsewhere?

      Add every senator to the list of vetted stooges that pretend to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution and you begin to get a clearer picture of what has happened.

      • The ruling power has resided “elsewhere” since the Constitution was written. It resides with Congress, just as you point out below. So what is the point of taking Turner to task for pointing out the obvious, that the OP doesn’t like any person available to sit in the Oval office? Shouldn’t you be a little more focused on Lizard’s myopia? Just suggesting …

        • Dumbest thing you’ve ever said, and I have a long list.

          speaking of dumb, I should have seen right away when stars are popping up everywhere that you’re back, and that you just five-starred yourself again. Sheesh.

    • Steve W

      Turner, I don’t necessarily totally agree with the analysis above. It has a couple of serious flaws, IMHO. But I love the discussion because it also has some truth to it. It needs to be considered.

      The biggest flaw to me, off the top of my head, is it assumes Bernie is either that stupid or that corrupt. I know he’s not that stupid and I believe/assume he’s not that corrupt.

      I don’t believe Sanders plans on losing to Hillary. I may be wrong. But right now, i think Sanders is in it to win it. It’s a long shot and he knows it. But he’s up for it.

      Another problem/flaw i see is the penultimate paragraph in the Counter punch piece. How would leftists organize an alternative to the two capitalist party system in a year and a half when they haven’t been able to mount anything more than token opposition in the last 60 years?

      I think leftists should back Bernie for the Democratic Party nomination and they should work at the same time to get Stein on the ballot in all fifty states. We need to walk and chew gum. We should use Judo. Lets use the size, weight, and power of the Democratic Party for our nations revival. Brains over brawn so to speak.

      But Turner, your analysis of the piece above is staggeringly simplistic. You say “I get it.” Yet it’s glaringly obvious you don’t get it. You are clueless.

      Why would you ask W Skink “Is there any American-born person over the age of 35 you’d support for president?”

      What’s your point?

      • Turner

        Maybe I asked him because I wanted to know. Not all questions are trying to make a point. You say I obviously “don’t get it.” What do you mean by “it”?

        I understand that you’re trying to deliver an insult. You can surely do better.

        • Steve W

          “Maybe I asked him because I wanted to know.”

          Yeah, maybe. Sure.

          i’m not trying to insult. Your question to W Skink didn’t appear to be a serious one. If it was, then I mis-read you. Your question also didn’t seem to address the gist of Skink’s post.

          Why do you think the DNC is sending out email in support of a person who isn’t a member of the Democratic Party, has never been a member of the Democratic Party, and has repeatedly run against and defeated the nominee of the Democratic Party many many times in Vermont?

          Oh, and is there anyone born in the US whose 35 or older that you wouldn’t vote for if they had a “D” behind their name?

          (That didn’t sound insulting, did it?)

          • Turner

            Yes. Hillary Clinton.

            • Steve W

              I’m with you on that. Realistically I’m expecting to vote for Bernie in the primary and Jill Stein in the general. Though ideally I’d prefer to vote Bernie in the general since he would have, imho, the better shot at winning between he and Stein.

              Just think, if Bernie got the nomination some people would be forced to choose between the greater of two goods. :)

              That would be cool!

  2. steve kelly

    Clinton, Sanders, every Republican senator, AIPAC wins either way.

    “The refusal to speak out for the people of Gaza is not tangential to our political life. The pathetic, Stalinist-like plebiscite in the [U.S.] Senate, where all 100 senators trotted out like AIPAC windup dolls to cheer on the Israeli bombing of homes, apartment blocks, schools—where hundreds of terrified families were taking shelter—water treatment plants, power stations, hospitals, and of course boys playing soccer on a beach, exposes the surrender of our political class to cash-rich lobbying groups and corporate power. The people of Gaza are expendable. They are poor. They are powerless. And they have no money. Just like the poor people of color in this country whose bodies, locked in cages, enrich the prison-industrial complex.”
    – Chris Hedges

    • There are currently eleven Jewish Senators, all Democrats (Bernie Sanders technically an “independent”), 11% of the senate (2% of the population.) (Boxer, Feinstein, Wyden, Schumer, Cardin, Sanders, Bennet, Franken, Blumenthal, Schatz.) Interesting on the “D” status, as it has nothing to do with policy preferences, but rather in the early post-war era Jews were not welcome in the Republican Party of the Northeast US, and so chose to be Democrats.

      So any time there is a move to do anything to help the people of Gaza, the Republicans naturally swarm to support Israel, but then, there’s enough Democrats too to make sure nothing is done to help them. I assure you all eleven here were standing and applauding Netanyahu when he spoke.

      • petetalbot

        From his website: “Sanders did not attend Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress.”

        Here’s another link:

        But thanks for assuring us that “all eleven (Sanders plus ten) were standing and applauding Netanyahu.”

        • Oops. Well, ten of eleven. Have you ever batted even close to that?

          I listened to Bernie every Friday for years on Hartmann … Quit that show maybe five years ago. He talked the talk, Bernie did. I’d like to believe he is genuine, but generally speaking, honest people do not last in politics. What we generally get are false friend-type leaders, members of the other party like Baucus and Tester who carry the D label and serve as fake opposition. Part of their job is to talk the talk, but another part is to always fail in effectiveness, or as with Tester, attack real progressives.

          The best way to control the opposition, lead the opposition. I don’t know what the truth is about Bernies, but it is patently obvious right now he is serving Hillary’s needs.

          • petetalbot

            There’s this tool called Google. You type in a question and often get the right answer. First, Mark, you forgot to mention Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, she didn’t attend. Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz also didn’t attend.

            I know it’s easier to make blanket statements, like “all eleven here were standing and applauding” and “it is patently obvious right now (Bernie) is serving Hillary’s needs” but some research backing up your statements would be nice, although I realize it’s not your style.

            • There’s a tool called “Pete Talbot.” He’ll take you right to all of the surface features of politics, and if you search long enough on his engine, you’ll be as clueless as him. He’ll tell you that a false leader REALLY not attending a session of Congress is all that matters – that surface feature. What they do in public, what they say in public, Pete Talbot absorbs that stuff. That is the PT search engine reality. That’s as far as PT goes.

              I suspect you can read, not sure about that. I know you can’t think.

              • petetalbot

                You’re an imbecile, Tokarski. You have no grasp of the facts and can’t admit when you’re wrong. You’re what’s bad about the far left, and I use that term loosely, as you have no clue as to how the left works. Keep pretending you have some insights into political reality, though, while the rest of us work to get something done.

              • Poor Petey, got your fingers burned again. That was probably the last words too, your style.

                I don’t think much about Bernie except I know he talks the talk, and is Jewish and so would not be there if he in anyway crossed AIPAC. That makes his boycott of Neyanyahu a surface feature. Now he’s working for Hillary as well, controlling her opposition within the party. That’s politics, Pete, that’s how it works. (Yes, I know you did not know that Bernie was Jewish. Or Boxer. or Wyden. It’s got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion, but a lot to do with the State of Israel, a military aggressor.)

                It is not surface features. Can you even grasp the idea of “controlled opposition?” Have you ever followed the money? Have you ever considered that Tester is indistinguishable from Burns except for the way he talks? No! Because you think his words define his actions. You’re snookered.

                It is good you keep yourself busy, as it makes you ineffective, but even better that you imagine that you “get things done,” the key to our “democracy.” That people busy themselves with electoral politics, even as every way we look at it we lose. It is how they manage the bewildered herd, which is how your leaders think of us.

                Sorry Pete, but I see through you. You’re unread and an easy tool. you don’t do politics well, but politicians do you easily.

      • petetalbot

        My name’s Mark Tokarski. I read books. I’m smarter than you. I’m also a bitter little man. I’m quite shallow but try to look important and knowledgeable by belittling others. I’m a loser.

        • Pete Pete Pete! Is that your last word then? Have you retreated to Don’s so you don’t have to deal with me? I am not the one who hides away. That’s you. I am not bitter. I have a wonderful life, almost charmed. You sound a tad troubled.

          But I was you at one time, that is, in the 90’s I was Mr. Democrat and ran for office and stuff, but it did not smell right, Democrats gave me a creepy feeling, Baucus was so sleazy and corrupt, and the people around him were manipulative and callous. He was the party leader! So I kept moving on, and here it is 20 years later trying to understand this crazy life, and I think I’ve made progress. But you gotta get beyond surface features, Pete. You’re far too easy to manipulate, as is the actual subject of this post conceiving the manipulation of “progressive” Democrats by Hillary, using Bernie.

          • petetalbot

            Mark Mark Mark! This will be my last word. I went over to ID when, for a brief time, 4&20 became an advice column on handguns. I also thought it was a better fit. ID tends to focus on Montana news and politics while this site has gone more national and international.

            I certainly didn’t leave 4&20 so I “don’t have to deal with” you, although it is refreshing to not have to read your constant lectures on how stupid, corrupt and manipulated everyone is.

            Here are my thoughts on your perceived view that we are constantly being manipulated by the “intelligence community.”
            The intelligence community isn’t really that intelligent. It blew the Bay of Pigs, missed the fall of Saigon, the end of the Berlin Wall, Arab Spring, ISIS … It’s also full of leaks and whistleblowers (in the last 15 years: Edward Snowdon, Chelsea Manning, Joseph Wilson).

            Do you actually think that it could be responsible for JFK’s assassination or the destruction of the Twin Towers? It isn’t that good at making plans or keeping secrets.

            And while journalism isn’t as vibrant as it was in the last few decades, there is still nothing that a reporter or editor likes more than a good scoop (it sells newspapers or boosts ratings, etc.). They would not keep this sort of cataclysmic news quiet.

            • Well, Pete, since you’re running away with that stupid diatribe, all I can say is that is a stupid diatribe. You odon’t know things you don’t know. You went to ID to get away from me. Your words, not mine. Right here in the comments. You’re a coward. So is Pogie. You can’t stand the constant pressure. You want it i easy. It is easy there.

              But set all that nonsense aside. Here is the problem:

              In an oligarchy, only two parties can survive, as the money needed to start a third is too much. So it is up to the more “liberal” of the two parties to be the reform party. That’s you and your Democrats.

              You don’t fight. You don’t even even get creative. You just hand us loss after loss and tell us it is the best we can do. “Didn’t have the votes.” Isn’t that whop losers phrase it?

              Money likes it that way. Money keeps Republicans in the leadership of your party. Money even selects your leaders, but you’re too gullible to see it, as they play on your fear of the “other” party to keep you in line.

              You’re easy. They manipulate you so easily it is sad to watch. You are Democrats. You are losers. Big losers, but damned if you don;t get mad when people ask you just to get out of the way, as all you are is a roadblock.

              Democrats are the problem.

            • Finger surgery today, an annoying part of the aging process. It took time to type that up. Sorry for the typos. But let me emphasize, Democrats offer losing as a way of life, and call it the best we can do. We can do better.

              • petetalbot

                And you’re working hard on how we can do better, right? I’ll certainly get out of the way when you advance something worthwhile. You don’t, never have and never will.

              • Here are my thoughts on your perceived view that we are constantly being manipulated by the “intelligence community.” The intelligence community isn’t really that intelligent. It blew the Bay of Pigs, missed the fall of Saigon, the end of the Berlin Wall, Arab Spring, ISIS … It’s also full of leaks and whistleblowers (in the last 15 years: Edward Snowdon, Chelsea Manning, Joseph Wilson).

                Do you actually think that it could be responsible for JFK’s assassination or the destruction of the Twin Towers? It isn’t that good at making plans or keeping secrets.

                That is the sort of thing that I deal with on my blog, and in depth, and if you want to discuss it, you can find volumes of information there and in many other places. You have not read much, I can tell, because of your smugness, your certainty. People who read about these things are a little more troubled,

                But I’ll give you an answer: most of what you wrote above is misinformed and misunderstood. Just one instance, the Bay of Pigs, CIA did not “blow it” if you understand the intent: to sucker JFK into launching a major military assault on Cuba. It was designed to fail, to put his back against the wall. JFK was an odd duck, wealthy and not bought and who had a set of balls, and who instead refused to authorize the attack, fired Allen Dulles, General Cabell and a few others, and set out to disable the agency, thereafter routing all its affairs through the Pentagon. It was probably around this time that phone conversations, whispered meetings, concerns expressed in other power centers, set in motion the plan to murder him and launch a larger American coup d’état. 11/2263 was an American coup where our surface features, office holders, elections and all of that we’re left for appearance sake, but where the government was taken over by the military. It has only gotten more effective since, as everyone in Washington is cowed by the power of those who could do such a horrible crime in public and get away with it.

                That’s just one item. I can address everything else as well, as that’s what I do. As to advancing something worthwhile, I do what I can, finding truth, writing. you are lost in a sea of ignorance and engaged in pointless affairs, elections, long ago neutralized and made useless. (They don’t even count votes for real’ fool.) If it makes you feel useful, fine. That’s what it is designed to do, but in terms of actually having meaning, get real. You’ve been rendered pointless. I at least understand our system of government. You do not.

              • petetalbot

                You’re too lazy to look up who attended Netanyahu’s floor speech before making blanket accusations and I’m supposed to believe the other stuff you write?

              • Thanks, Pete, for give us your ignorant and dismissive views about the major events of our times, and then jumping ship. Thanks for throwing yourself into electoral politics, not knowing if candidates are real or even if votes are counted (fool!), and imagining you’re making a difference.

                Who attended Neyanyahu speech? Surface phenomena. You need to know that if Bernie did not support Israel, AIPAC would easily take him down. He would not be in office. Again, Pete: Politics. Learn it.

              • Again, my message to American liberals, some of whom steal the label “progressive”:

                “These attitudes you have adopted – I know they comfort you. You are indifferent and incurious about the important events of our times. You are smug about it, thinking yourself wise to be so. But I must advise you that from a distance your attitude is indistinguishable from stupidity.”

              • petetalbot

                I see you added a new phrase to your vocabulary, “surface phenomena,” which is everything that doesn’t fit into your world of corruption, cover-ups and conspiracies. You’re mastering those George Will writing skills – using 25 cent words to enhance your nonsense.

              • Everything in politics done on a public stage is done for effect. How can you not know this? How long have you been following politics without figuring this out?

                I call it surface phenomena because curious and skeptical people know to ignore it.

  1. 1 O Where to Direct One’s Rage? | Reptile Dysfunction

    […] is referencing this post I wrote a few days ago featuring a Counterpunch article exploring why the DNC is sending out email […]

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