Bernie Staying In; Hillary’s Savvy, Billionaire Fight, and More Political Quick Hits

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  • There is a trace amount of frustration, and even panic, in Bernie Sanders not taking the time yesterday to drop out and endorse Hillary. But that’s fine. He did the right thing. In not dropping out, he can continue to grow his left coalition, and keep pressure on for the Fight for $15, other labor issues, and everything else related to inequality. He pledged to make sure Trump doesn’t win, which precludes a lengthy run. And by telling his supporters that he knows “we must continue our grassroots efforts to create the America that we know we can become.” This is smart- building on the local and state levels, continuing with that energy, working to make a more progressive platform, and eventually reconciling differences with Clinton that turn into an endorsement. You can see the “We had serious differences, but over the last few months we have made our voice heard, and I can state that I unequivocally vote for Hillary Clinton, etc”.  This makes it seem- correctly!- like Bernie and his supporters will have a big influence. There will be a very small “sellout!” crowd, but those will mostly be people who were attracted to politics as a form of self-expression, a way to show that they were the real rebels, and whom identity as leftier-than-thou was more important than then actual election.
  • Speaking of that, unless something comes out that Bernie backstabbed Hillary, kudos to her for recognizing the passion of the Sanders campaign, and making sure that they can be eased off the hook. If Bernie’s speech was the result of an agreement at their meeting, she played this very well. It’s hard for a politician who has won to not spike the football a bit, but not only is she being gracious, she’s letting Bernie go out on roughly his own terms. This is really smart politics, and speaks very highly of her character.
  • Billionaire fight! Billionaire fight! Writing in The Financial Times, (behind paywall, Re/Code recap here) big-time VC Michael Moritz tears Trump apart for his phony business schemes, his fake narrative, and how he “seems little more than a hustler who takes from the rich (lenders he has short-changed, partners he has sued) and also takes from the poor (hapless students of Trump University, tenants whom he has allegedly bullied).” He praises the same immigrants who Trump has denigrated for being the real winners, people who came with nothing and made something of themselves, like Andy Grove or Jerry Yang. He also picks a side in the Trump/Bezos spat, in which Trump has revoked the WaPo’s access and threatened to use the power of the IRS and other government agencies to go after Bezos. It’s a tribute to Trump’s utter loathsomeness that you instinctively side with Bezos, instead of the normal reaction, which is “fuck Jeff Bezos”.
  • Speaking of jerks, hey guys, John McCain is running for office this year! It means that any reasonableness he might have is completely launched out the window and he once again reveals himself to be the grasping, desperate, unprincipled and self-righteous huckster he is. He can’t side tooooo close to Trump on most issues, because Hispanics do exist in Arizona, but he certainly doesn’t want to get tooooo far away either, because white racists make up his base, so what to do? Oh yeah- ISIS is Obama’s fault for not keeping and indefinite amount of American troops in Iraq indefinitely. This makes him directly responsible for Orlando, which was a devious ISIS plot. That’s the way to show steady leadership, John!  You can deconstruct a lot of right-wing lunacy, and the weird moonscape of their mentality, just from this. Maybe it deserves its own post.
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