Before there was the Squad, or even the glimmer of a movement by insurgent progressives to challenge incumbent congressional Democrats, a progressive Black woman legislator in Cleveland contemplated what to many Democrats was unthinkable at the time: challenging a respected Black congresswoman from the left in a primary, in this case Representative Marcia Fudge of Ohio, in 2012.
In the end, Nina Turner didn’t run against Fudge, but even announcing she was considering it made her an outsider to establishment Democratic Party politics. In a way, she’d always been one. She had come up as a college professor, city council member, and state senator, always a Democrat. But one of her earliest moves was backing a 2009 ballot initiative to reorganize the Cuyahoga County government that many local Democrats strenuously opposed. It passed overwhelmingly.
Turner again made establishment enemies when she went from publicly supporting the Ready for Hillary super PAC—the unofficial stalking horse for the presidential candidacy of the former senator and secretary of state—to becoming a top surrogate for Senator Bernie Sanders in his 2016 primary campaign. The Political Revolution Comes to… Buffalo? Now Nina Turner may be poised to actually join the Squad. In her run to fill the seat vacated when Fudge became the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the former Ohio legislator has the endorsement of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Cori Bush, four women of color who either defeated an incumbent or ascended after an incumbent stepped down. She’s also backed by Progressive Caucus chairs Pramila Jayapal and Katie Porter, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison—and, of course, Bernie Sanders.
One of 13 Democratic candidates in the race, Turner is leading in campaign funding—her campaign announced in mid-June that she had raised over $3 million—thanks largely to her ability to tap into Sanders’s movement. Her volunteer events often brim with die-hard supporters of the Vermont senator. At almost every gathering, Turner tells her audience that her focus is on “‘the least of these’—the poor, the working poor and barely middle class.” She’s running on Medicare for All, free college, a $15 minimum wage, criminal justice reform, and voting rights.
The key to this race, though, will be winning over her district’s many Biden supporters—the president won roughly 80 percent of the general-election vote here last year, as did Clinton four years earlier—without losing her admirers on the Sanders left. She’s already drawn fire from a leftist fringe for her perceived betrayals, most notably for defending members of the Squad who declined to “force the vote” on Medicare for All earlier this year. “For the love of God, do not throw away the Squad members!” she told a lefty podcaster. Meanwhile, her leading rival, Cuyahoga County councilwoman and Democratic Party chair Shontel Brown, is running on her ties to the president. A recent ad includes a photo of Brown with Biden and features a cable host telling Turner, “You’ve been highly critical of President-elect Joe Biden.” The ad closes with: “I’m Shontel Brown, and I’ll work with Joe Biden.” (By press time, Clinton had endorsed Brown.)
“Highly critical” of Biden might be an understatement. A July 2020 Atlantic feature on how Trump could win in November featured this colorful quote from Turner about how, despite Sanders’s endorsement, she still wasn’t keen on voting for Biden. “It’s like saying to somebody, ‘You have a bowl of shit in front of you, and all you’ve got to do is eat half of it instead of the whole thing.’ It’s still shit.”
Turner has praised Biden as president, especially his Covid response. But will those earlier attacks hurt her? “I think it hurt her in the beginning, but I think people have gotten past that,” says Turner backer Samara Knight. “People are hungry for change. Nina brings hope.” Knight, an executive vice president of SEIU 1199, is a Biden supporter and also backed Clinton in 2016. Her union endorsed Turner after interviewing both her and Brown. “She’ll fight for us,” Knight says.
Brown has recently floated tributes to Israel at the top of her campaign website, as she’s welcomed support from the PAC Democratic Majority for Israel, which spent $1.4 million on ads attacking Sanders in 2020. The group is attacking Turner now for past statements conditioning US support for Israel on justice for the Palestinians.
“I’m a Democrat,” Turner tells me flatly. She runs through her party bona fides: as a city council member and state senator representing the city of Cleveland; as a Barack Obama delegate, twice, to the Democratic National Convention; as the Democratic nominee for Ohio secretary of state in 2014; as the engagement chair of the Ohio party. No one can take that away from her just because she supported Sanders, she says. “Sometimes, challenge isn’t pretty.”
Democratic voters will decide in an August 3 primary. An internal poll released on June 1 showed Turner at 50 percent and Brown at 15 percent, trailing “undecided.” But observers say the race could tighten, given Brown’s access to outside money.
Not a lot of news as the Senate and Congress are on recess. But still plenty of things to discuss! Place your comments below.
Nina Turner, a firebrand in our circles, was a guest on TYT’s “The Conversation” program. Here’s the video, it is short of 15 min long. Lots of discussion about “defunding the police”, BLM, and yes, Joe Biden.
Charles Booker gets another major newspaper endorsement, this one from the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Our informed choice is clear: Charles Booker is the kind of political leader and change agent that our commonwealth needs. We believe he is worthy of the Democratic nomination.
The Kentucky state representative, born and raised in Louisville’s West End, has the background, experience, commitment and vision to help transform our state and nation. He brings a perspective and several well-crafted ideas that Kentucky voters need to consider as we approach November’s general election.
While Amy McGrath has broad support, as evidenced by her successful fundraising, she has not shown the progressive ideas and bold leadership necessary to move our state forward. She has been overly moderate, measured and cautious throughout this campaign, focusing more on her military service (which we applaud and sincerely respect) or her motherhood than offering a sweeping vision for the commonwealth — especially in these turbulent times.
Unfortunately, her message to voters has been unimaginative and uninspiring: “Let me tell you what’s wrong with Mitch McConnell instead of explaining why my vision for our commonwealth and our country is a better fit for Kentucky voters.”
We also believe the national Democratic Party was too quick to offer its full support and fundraising apparatus to a candidate who has never held public office and stumbled out of the gate when announcing her candidacy. McGrath’s self-described “common sense Kentucky Democrat” tagline — a campaign strategy to attract potential supporters of President Donald Trump who are looking for an alternative to McConnell — has fallen flat in these final weeks of the campaign.
Candidate Mike Broihier should continue to pursue public office. He supports the progressive ideas that Booker is pushing, including Medicare for All, universal basic income and the Green New Deal. He’s a retired Marine combat veteran with a good grasp of the issues Kentuckians face and the conviction to bring change, but he doesn’t possess the same political experience and passion that Booker brings.
Lots more news, tweets, and videos in the comments. See you there!
The consensus of 57 economists surveyed this month by The Wall Street Journal is that 14.4 million jobs will be lost in the coming months, and the unemployment rate will rise to a record 13% in June, from a 50-year low of 3.5% in February. Already nearly 17 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits in the past three weeks, dwarfing any period of mass layoffs recorded since World War II.
Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist of Oxford Economics, projects 27.9 million jobs will be lost, and industries beyond those ordered to close will account for 8 to 10 million, a level of job destruction on a par with the 2007-09 recession.
Oxford Economics, a U.K.-based forecasting and consulting firm, projects April’s jobs report, which will capture late-March layoffs, will show cuts to 3.4 million business-services workers, including lawyers, architects, consultants and advertising professionals, as well as 1.5 million nonessential health-care workers and 100,000 information workers, including those working in the media and telecommunications.
“The virus shock does not discriminate across sectors as we initially thought,” Mr. Daco said.
Forecast April job losses, in selected industries, in millions: Source: Oxford Economics
7.9 Accommodation, food service 4.9 Retail, excluding online, grocery 1 Entertainment 3.4 Professional, business services 1.5 Ambulatory health-care services 1.5 Manufacturing 1.4 Transportation, warehousing 0.8 Wholesale trade 0.6 Social assistance 0.6 Construction
Gary Cuozzo, owner of ISG Software Group in Wallingford, Conn., said in recent weeks he’s only received a few hundred dollars in payments from customers, including manufacturers, nonprofits and retailers, for which he hosts websites and builds applications. It’s not enough to pay the $3,000 electric bill for his servers and other equipment, much less pay his own salary.
“Customers who paid like clockwork for 10-plus years are suddenly late,” he said. “I’m burning through all the cash I have.”
The AP interviewed Bernie Sanders this afternoon. I’m not certain I was ready to hear his words, but here is a portion of the interview (text, not video):
Sanders, who suspended his presidential bid last week, spoke at length about his decision to endorse Biden, his political future and the urgent need to unify the Democratic Party during an interview with The Associated Press. He railed against the Republican president but also offered pointed criticism at his own supporters who have so far resisted his vow to do whatever it takes to help Biden win the presidency.
He seemed to distance himself from his campaign’s former national press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, when asked about her recent statement on social media refusing to endorse Biden.
“She is my former press secretary — not on the payroll,” Sanders noted. A spokesman later clarified that all campaign staffers were no longer on the payroll as of Tuesday, though they will get a severance check in May. (note by me: that explains all of the farewells and exits seen on twitter today)
Sanders said his supporters have a simple choice now that Biden has emerged as the presumptive nominee: “Do we be as active as we can in electing Joe Biden and doing everything we can to move Joe and his campaign in a more progressive direction? Or do we choose to sit it out and allow the most dangerous president in modern American history to get reelected?”
He continued: “I believe that it’s irresponsible for anybody to say, ‘Well, I disagree with Joe Biden — I disagree with Joe Biden! — and therefore I’m not going to be involved.’”
Sanders said he would not actively campaign or spend money on advertising in the primary contests that are still on the calendar in the coming months. But he still encouraged Democrats in those states to vote for him, hoping to amass as many delegates as possible for leverage to shape the party platform and the direction of Biden’s campaign.
He also vowed to continue fighting for progressive priorities such as his signature “Medicare for All” as a senator, even though Biden has refused to embrace the government-backed single-payer health care system.
“If people want to vote for me, we’d appreciate it,” Sanders said of the roughly 20 primary contests that remain where his name will appear on the ballot. He later added, “I think you’re going to see significant movement on the part of the Biden campaign into a more progressive direction on a whole lot of issues.”
Sanders did not outline any specific plans to begin helping Biden in earnest, though he noted that he held dozens of rallies for former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton four years ago and would be at least as active for Biden. In the short term, he said he’s essentially “incarcerated in his home” because of coronavirus social distancing guidelines and did not know when he would return to the campaign trail.
Sanders brushed away questions about why he was willing to back Biden so much sooner than he did Clinton, whom he waited until June to endorse. He said recent conversations with former President Barack Obama did not influence his decision. It came down to simple math, he said.
In 2016, Sanders said he had a mathematical path to the nomination all the way until the California primary, which was held on the last day of voting in June. That simply wasn’t the case this year.
“What would be the sense of staying in, of spending a whole lot of money, of attacking the vice president, giving fodder for Trump — what’s the sense of doing that when you can’t win?” he asked.
“I will do everything I can to help elect Joe,” Sanders continued. “We had a contentious campaign. We disagree on issues. But my job now is to not only rally my supporters, but to do everything I can to bring the party together to see that (Trump) is not elected president.”
Bernie, pls don’t give Biden nor the DNC my e-mail address. I have no appetite for someone who is deceptive.
More news, tweets, videos in the comments. This serves as an open thread.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread almost as fast as the bush fires that plagued Australia for months, I am reading snippets about the fear. Most of the blue governors, particularly those of CA, IL, NY, & WA taking the lead, are issuing stay-at-home for state residences the next month. They are listening to epidemiologists and public health experts. And likely, insurance companies. One wonders how much Ron DeSantis is listening to experts when he decided cities or counties could reopen the beaches just 24 hours after his stay at home order, and Colorado State University released its hurricane forecast. Prediction: above normal activity. Moreover:
BEFORE THE STORM — “South Florida hospitals cut back staff and work hours, await surge in coronavirus patients,” by Sun Sentinel’s Cindy Krischer Goodman: “In what may be an ironic Catch-22, South Florida hospitals are reducing staff hours, forcing paid time off or reducing pay while they await a predicted surge of coronavirus patients.”
This is the best part of America. But those governors would not have been quite as bold in the past. They would been passive-aggressive like Andrew Cuomo, who serves corporate masters, or Jerry Brown’s last term, in which he expressed no desire in warring with chemical companies. But thanks to Bernie Sanders and his “Not me. US” approach, they have chosen to be leaders, trying to put fingers in the dikes, and keep people employed, children instructed, and get more help to the frontlines. I predict that many states will consider measures to sidestep constitutional requirements to fiscal balance.
Bernie Sanders is trying to be one of the leaders in the Senate that is pushing for more unemployment insurance, free testing, free treatment (in next bill), moratorium on rent (which I see being extended to Small Businesses, which Bernie would favor), etc. Bernie’s presence in the Senate would not garner the media nor establishment’s notice if he were no longer in the race.
And this why, with due respect, if the WaPo is reporting accurately, you should re-embrace the grassroots and trust us. We aren’t rich but we will keep pushing, especially with the knowledge the campaign is putting forward about what negotiations are taking place, and also from experts in public health. We are solid ground with great soil. Bernie has done more to enrich it by bringing back the thematic vision that Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt held in partnership. In this crisis, Bernie may not appear as a happy warrior as FDR did during the Depression, but when I see a chess game set up on a real chessboard in the background of a recent virtual town hall on COVID-19 legislation, it says that Bernie is considering every move and how it impacts other moves. The moves may not be perfect, but do not discourage Bernie from continuing his campaign and raising the issues. The ideas resonate and all of us are calling our representatives, sending notes to Senators, etc, demanding action. This is exactly what Bernie does best: the organizer in chief.
The campaign should be saying: we’re on and will keep fighting for our universal goodness for the working masses and those who will possess greater needs in the near future. I would say that between now Father’s Day, there will be more bills to pass to fight this pandemic and the corruption that is so blatant. I’m happy to make a phone call. Meantime, this part of my post is aimed at Faiz: it’s time that Bernie rally his base and the indies again. Get him an interview on The Young Turks with Ana Kasparian. Go on Tim Black’s show, Kyle’s, Nomiki’s, Democracy Now, all of the shows that Way of the Bern, C99, and we watch.
Last bit of advice: make getting a debate with Biden a priority, in which both candidates have to appear remotely from their home studios and not in a hostile corporate studio like last time. Let the American people decide who is the leader for today and tomorrow. You can worry about the DNC later. The primary season has already been extended by the DNC.
This guy didn’t leave the struggle. You shouldn’t let him give up now, just as he didn’t give up for working-class people in the South Side of Chicago.
Bernie 1, Whoopi zero, The View no longer most-watched show on milquetoast DNC topics. I’m sure Joy will cry about it tomorrow.
In keeping with the earlier thread’s April Fool’s theme, here’s an interesting farcical piece about a POTUS AOC, written by a libertarian. But it’s eerily close to what progressives wish for if we can’t have Bernie as the first democratic socialist POTUS in the 21st century. Perhaps the Daily Kos will fold under Biden as well because they don’t have Trump to kick around. (h/t to TomP, who is on permanent TO at TOP)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2025 — President-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rise to the top has been as rapid as it once seemed improbable. But the New York Democrat’s inauguration today should remind all of us how quickly political paradigms fall when political elites fail.
In hindsight, the failures that brought the first socialist president to power seem obvious. The rapid collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s made the United States the world’s only superpower. Presidents from both parties used that power to usher in a regime of global neoliberal economics backed by U.S. military power. As the Greek historian Thucydides wrote two millennia ago, the strong do what they can while the weak do what they must. The rest of the world fell into line, and the 21st century was born.
Cracks in the edifice soon appeared. The United States could conquer countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, but it lacked the will and the means to hold them. Insurgencies in both countries cost trillions of dollars without bringing victory. At the same time, vast swaths of the U.S. homeland were falling apart, hollowed out as firm after firm left communities small and large to invest elsewhere. America’s house still had curb appeal, as witnessed by the large numbers of migrants streaming to get in. But the foundations were slowly subsiding.
The financial collapse of 2008 was the first clear sign of endemic failure. No elites saw it coming, and its arrival was clearly the result of failed policies that encouraged finance and housing to spur economic growth. It took trillions of dollars in bailouts to prevent a second Great Depression, but little of that money went directly to the people whose lives were upended the most. Banks were saved, but neighborhoods were lost. Recovery was slow when it came, and popular resentment grew. Twin populist challenges in 2016 — Bernie Sanders among Democrats and Donald Trump among Republicans — was the result, culminating in Trump’s shocking election.
Trump proved incapable of leading the reform movement he birthed. A divisive, unserious man, his administration lurched between trying to remake the global neoliberal order and enacting the standard Republican economic agenda. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, he did what he had always done in office: gyrate wildly between populist bluster and meek submission to elite advice. In the end, that meant he held his future hostage to the very swamp he said he would drain.
Those elites said they could put the economy into an induced coma and restart it with massive injections of cash. But they were wrong. There was no V-shaped recovery. Instead, the country remained mired in depression on Election Day. Joe Biden’s landslide victory swept Democrats into power.
But the 78-year-old Biden was not up to the task. He had always been a man of consensus and restoration, not vision and boldness. Like Herbert Hoover after the crash of 1929, Biden sought to preserve a system with half-measures rather than embrace dramatic reform. The economy did not fall, but it also did not rise. After three years of misery, Americans had seen enough.
The 2022 midterms sealed Biden’s fate and foreshadowed Ocasio-Cortez’s rise. Her successful primary challenge of another septuagenarian Democratic establishment paragon, Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, made her the heir to Sanders’s progressive army. Many other Democratic establishment figures lost their primaries to progressive challengers, shifting the party’s gravity sharply to the left.
Democrats kept power, however, because of Republican weakness. They were hindered both by Trump’s divisive legacy and their leading role in crafting the failed bailout strategy. They were also fatally hobbled by their own internal civil war. The dominant faction thought the current crisis was a rerun of the 1970s experience with stagflation, and thus sought to fight the depression by cutting taxes and spending and expanding global trade. But saying neoliberalism hadn’t gone far enough was not what most Americans wanted to hear.
Ocasio-Cortez easily defeated Biden in the Democratic primaries as he looked as feeble as his policies. Republicans, meanwhile, put up their own woman of color, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. But she failed to catch on as party orthodoxy prevented her from assuming the mantle of change Americans desperately wanted. Ocasio-Cortez’s extreme youth — she only turned 35, the constitutional minimum age to become president, in October of 2024 — also helped her. This new leader was clearly untainted by discredited old policies she had always loudly opposed.
The new president has long been known by her initials, AOC. Perhaps not coincidentally, that places her in the long line of Democratic presidents also known by their initials: FDR, JFK and LBJ. As the first woman, the first Latina and the first socialist to become president, no one doubts that she will seek to transform the United States more dramatically than any of her predecessors dared to attempt.
The “nobody” Clinton refers to are wealthy contributors and Beltway operatives who bribe the Congress and political parties for corporate welfare. But in this instance, Clinton is whitewashing grassroots supporters of Bernie Sanders (or of any candidate) since most of us aren’t wealthy and didn’t contribute to her campaign.
Peter and Leah Daou, who were diehard supporters in 2008 and 2016, have evolved and joined Bernie’s revolution. I’ll let them explain why they think Clinton is wrong about her personal, petty, self-serving comments concerning Bernie Sanders as a politician.
Because of his [Peter] personal connection to the Clintons and our belief that electing the first woman president was a worthy cause, we joined millions of Democrats in defending and promoting Clinton during the 2016 race. We all fought for what we believed in, and too many of us got caught up in a bitter internecine battle – but somehow only Sanders supporters were singled out as villains.
In the intervening years, we have very publicly reconsidered the single-minded intensity of our Clinton advocacy and apologized for exacerbating divisions between Clinton and Sanders voters. In the process, we have come to realize the extent to which the term Bernie bro marginalizes and erases the voices of millions of people of color and women who are part of the Sanders-inspired “Not me. Us” movement.
Somehow only Sanders supporters were singled out as villains.
Here is the irony: as we began to embrace #NotMeUs and express support for Sanders, a cadre of Sanders haters began trolling and harassing us with the same venom that they attribute to so-called Bernie bros. They impugned our motives and character, called us traitors and sellouts, and mobbed our Twitter threads. It was a disconcerting awakening to the hypocrisy of those who slam Sanders supporters as a bunch of sexist young white males, then engage in identical behavior to those they criticize.
The lesson is unmistakable: there are angry and obnoxious supporters of all candidates. Isolating Sanders supporters and implying they are a misogynistic monolith is profoundly unfair. Why are other candidates’ backers allowed to fight hard without being reduced to a regressive moniker? While sexism and harassment are unacceptable in any forum, the hyper-focus on a small minority of aggressive online trolls purposely tarnishes an entire movement through guilt by association.
For Clinton to come out rhetorical guns blazing against Sanders weeks before primary voting begins reflects misplaced priorities on the part of the Clinton camp and an unfortunate willingness to amplify destructive myths about Sanders and his supporters. Moreover, Clinton implies there’s some equivalence between Sanders and Donald Trump, saying: “We want, hopefully, to elect a president who’s going to try to bring us together, and not either turn a blind eye, or actually reward the kind of insulting, attacking, demeaning, degrading behavior that we’ve seen from this current administration.”
This is where the basket of deplorables comes in. Clinton had plenty of deplorable supporters, among them Harvey Weinstein, whose family donated millions of dollars to the Clinton’s political (and questionably) charitable organizations.
Since 1995, Weinstein donated more than a dozen times to both Bill and Hillary Clinton, though most of his cash went to Hillary. At a June 2016 fundraiser Weinstein hosted in his Manhattan home, an estimated $1.8 million was raised for Clinton’s presidential campaign. According to reports, guests included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, and Sarah Jessica Parker. According to its website, Weinstein has contributed at least six figures to the Clinton Foundation as well.
In 2012, Weinstein bundled a hefty $679,275 for President Obama’s re-election campaign. As Charlie Spiering points out, Weinstein visited the White House 13 times while Obama was in office.
How could we have known? He raised money for me, for the Obamas, for Democrats in general. And that at the time was something that everybody thought made sense. And of course, if all of us had known what we know now, it would have affected our behavior.
What behavior? Her impeached husband’s?
Donald Trump was among her contributors when she was in the Senate. And we know what he’s like.
To me, this attention-getter from Clinton reminds me of The Sound of Music, whereby Maria the Nun, is considered somewhat of a rebel within the Abbey and is dispatched to a lonely baron’s estate, whereby she becomes the governess of seven, very ignored children. The estate owner, Baron Von Trapp, has been away often as he is courting Baroness von Schrader, a woman with considerable wealth and the belle of many balls in Vienna. But when she comes to visit the Von Trapp family, she’s not comfortable with children or anyone of the working class (in this instance, nuns who are to work with the poor):
Darling, haven’t you ever heard of a delightful little thing called boarding school?
Why didn’t you tell me?
Max : What?
The Baroness: To bring along my harmonica.
But in the story, even the baroness can’t stop Maria and the baron from recognizing what was important: fighting the fascists and keeping your family secure. Making sure that everyone is taken care of.
The Baroness von Schrader Hillary Clinton seems has not learned a damned thing from 2016. She’s very out of touch, and she doesn’t want anyone to touch her bubble. The irony: she labeled Bernie “a career politician whose voters got sucked in.”
It didn’t work in 2016 when the solid blue wall states had working-class swing voters, and just enough didn’t pull the lever for her. She’s had time to reflect, and unfortunately, it all boils down to bitter politics and seeking personal revenge for a poorly run campaign.
I think it is political jealousy that Bernie has millions of donations and a strong grassroots following. Clinton’s commentary about Bernie and the current political climate drips of irony.
Clinton is a celebrity now, her power felt less in the halls of Washington, D.C. than in the frantic arena of news cycles and content generation. Within hours of publication, her interview with the HollywoodReporter was viral. Twitter spread her remarks with bruising speed. The Reporter set the trap and Clinton baited it. The public is hardly to blame for giving into temptation. Nor can anyone who covers politics for a living pretend that Clinton’s remarks simply don’t matter. The division Clinton sets up in her comment, Sanders versus the women, certainly shows us how she explains her loss to herself, and to the public. But the idea that Sanders has a woman problem has cachet beyond Clinton’s inner circle or her online fanbase.
It’s an opportune moment for a smarter conversation about feminism in politics, as a more adept political thinker might have understood. The prospect of a second Trump term presents unique dangers for women. Abortion rights have never been robust, but they are even more fragile than usual right now, with the might of the Supreme Court arrayed firmly against them. The American working class is half female. Women, especially women of color, are more likely than men to live in poverty. The Trump administration’s attacks on union rights harm women, who are over-represented in the public workforce and for whom the labor movement has helped bridge historic gender gaps in pay and professional advancement. Misogyny, in other words, doesn’t look like a primary challenge from the left. It has nothing in common with proposals to create universal health-care or make childcare affordable for all. Misogyny keeps women poor and it keeps them quiet. It is a tangible threat, a baseball bat, a gun.
Clinton could talk about that threat. She could focus on women who do not share her advantages, bring them with her into the limelight. Instead, her comments feed what can only be understood as a conversation about feminism in politics in the glibbest sense. For several long weeks serious people have wondered whether something Sanders may or may not have said to Elizabeth Warren about the sexism of the American voter is proof that he, individually, is prejudiced. Warren is not the second coming of Clinton, but the coverage of her years-old conversation with Sanders felt altogether too familiar; it was Sanders versus the women, again. At its dumbest, the controversy invoked the worst of the 2016 dogfights. The Vermont senator’s legislative record, which is unimpeachably pro-choice, didn’t matter; neither did his endorsements of women, or all his campaigning for Clinton back when most of us thought she would still defeat Trump. On Twitter — which matters even though it shouldn’t because the press and the president and Congress and leading activists all use it far more than do most Americans — the idea that Sanders has a problem with women still travels. Clinton herself has helped keep it alive.
But Clinton is ill-positioned to take us into the promised land. In the same HollywoodReporter interview, Clinton insisted she knew nothing of Harvey Weinstein’s abuse of women. “How could we have known? He raised money for me, for the Obamas, for Democrats in general. And that at the time was something that everybody thought made sense. And of course, if all of us had known what we know now, it would have affected our behavior,” she said. But it’s possible that she did know, as Lena Dunham revealed in 2017. Dunham said she warned Kristina Schake, Clinton’s deputy campaign manager, that Weinstein was a “rapist.” Schake said she’d tell Clinton strategist Robby Mook, who’s denied hearing any such information about Weinstein. Tina Brown, the famous magazine editor, said she informed the Clinton camp about Weinstein rumors in 2008. Maybe Clinton’s staff conspired to keep her ignorant, but people around her did know, and kept Weinstein close by anyway. On Monica Lewinsky, Clinton was similarly defensive. Asked if she had changed the way she thought of her husband’s relationship in the wake of MeToo, the former secretary of State said no. “I do think the culture has changed, and mostly for the good, but I also think you still have to look at every situation on its own facts and merits to make a decision,” she continued. So much for the feminist candidate.
Clinton’s latest broadside ought to cement her status as a cautionary tale for the ages. We should choose our feminist prophets with more caution. They reveal themselves by their grasp of the stakes women face. Feminism isn’t a brand, or a shield to deflect the blame for losing to Trump. The purpose of feminism is liberation, and it is urgent.
#I like Bernie because he is the only one capable of winning over Trump voters who are disillusioned with the political process.
And besides, Barbara Ehrenreich, scholar and author of “Nickeled and Dimed” likes Bernie.
Hey Hilary, I like Bernie so much that I hereby endorse him!