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writing for godot

Weaponizing Information against Bernie Sanders: Is the Aim a Trump Win?

Written by Judy Pasqualge   
Wednesday, 22 January 2020 10:25

The Warren-Sanders 'Conflict'

In the first days of the headline dispute initiated by the Warren campaign on Bernie Sanders 'comment' about the 'ability of a woman to win the presidential election,' there seemed to be several possible explanations: Elizabeth Warren or her staff intentionally played this card, or misinterpreted something.

If Sanders did make such a comment, then there must have been a context, for he clearly is not against women candidates or rights. Indeed, I believe that Donald Trump's win in 2016 was partially due to an appeal to widespread subconscious or conscious attitudes of misogyny (and racism), a trend that is escalating globally.

A recent article on Jacobin by Meagan Day provided the context. Sanders privately told Warren that Trump is a sexist, racist and liar "who would weaponize whatever he could," and use it against a Democratic nominee. (17 January)

This is different from implying that a woman should not be supported or should not run.

The key issue then is the concerted effort by campaigns and corporate media to weaponize this information to defeat Sanders.

The Jacobin article first details the story on Politico (11 January) that accused the Sanders campaign of calling Warren a "candidate of the elite" ‒ whereas the campaign script characterized Warren supporters as "highly educated, more affluent people," and noted the need to turn out "disaffected working-class voters." Warren expressed disappointment, and pointed to factionalism in 2016; her campaign sent out a misleading fundraising email to supporters.

As Jacobin notes, in less than 36 hours CNN carried the story about the Sanders comment on a woman winning, citing four anonymous sources (two with direct contact with Warren; two 'familiar' with the meeting).

With a chance to clear up the context, Warren said that she disagreed with Sanders.

Who were these sources (campaign staffers? others?). Did Warren approve the leak? The information was given to a corporate media giant, and then spread to others.

Turn to the 14 January candidates debate on CNN. Before the debate, several commentators showed clear glee about the dispute, and inappropriate comments about Sanders were made by Gloria Borger and David Axelrod.

During the debate there was clear bias in the questioning of Sanders ‒ showing the world that CNN opposes Sanders and will stoop very far to do so. After the debate, as noted by Jacobin, Politico highlighted the dispute, and The New York Times, The View, the LA Times, MSNBC and CNN stoked it further.

If the above occurred without the support of Warren, she could set the record straight: Did she intentionally participate in the corporate aim to divide two progressive candidates, or was she played by them?

I couldn't help be worried about Warren's support in 2016 for a woman candidate who was for war and regime change, and who opposed single payer healthcare, increased taxes on the wealthy and $15 an hour.

The New York Times Endorsement and Hillary Clinton

Then, within the next week, there were two important developments: The New York Times endorsement of Warren and Amy Klobuchar (19 January), and Hillary Clinton's inappropriate remarks to The Hollywood Reporter (21 January).

The NYT endorsement is dishonest in:

‒ contrasting Warren as a radical, and Klobuchar as a realist;

‒ bemoaning the treatment of issues during debates and labelling progressive ideas as "ideological rigidity and overreach";

‒ labelling Sanders as divisive;

‒ saying that Warren "speaks fluently about foreign policy";

‒ characterizing Joe Biden as having the "greatest fluency on foreign policy"; and

‒ describing Klobuchar as the "standard-bearer for the Democratic center" and a "uniter" of the party, and that it is enough that she will "do better" regarding her bad treatment of staff; and

‒ the characterization of "basket-case" countries south of the border that are 'sending' migrants ‒ illustrating the arrogance (overestimating understanding) and conceit of the powerful, regarding countries, in this case, where the US has supported dictators (who support US corporate interests); military coups (including the 2009 Honduras coup); adherence to strict austerity measures that cut social services; training armed forces/police in crowd control; and where the assassination of activists on human rights, social services and the environment ‒ policies that Democrats advocate for people in the US ‒ clearly shows the consequences of the nexus of US strategic policy, US corporate interest and global economic neoliberalism.

The NYT wants a candidate who is 'modest,' and with a "willingness to compromise." The cover of endorsing two candidates ‒ so that there can be a debate on radical v. realist ‒ is not genuine.

Hillary Clinton

As for the remarks made by Hillary Clinton ‒ playing the woman card, and calling Sanders a "career politician" who she might not endorse ‒ reflects her own lack of popularity, and her sense of being entitled to be the candidate/president; and brings to mind her global reputation of being a woman hawk on foreign policy. Perhaps Clinton actually hates Sanders, and her reversal later that day was insincere. She has done a huge disservice to the promotion of women's rights and participation in politics.

Unite against Trump?

I suspect that a Warren-Klobuchar ticket would have a hard time winning against Trump ‒ due to the playing of the misogynist card and to the hateful attitudes of people like Clinton (women and men).

To really get at what is going on, reporters could look at the policy positions of members of the boards of the key corporate media (ATT/CNN; Comcast/MSNBC; Politico; NYT), and interview editorial staff ‒ and reporters ‒ on the freedom they have to report (and not weaponize news to destroy candidates).

Such a look at the news makers, and news workers, would likely lead to a clearer idea of who can beat Trump, and might answer the question of whether corporate media supports Trump over Sanders?

One conclusion would likely be that when it comes to supporting and advocating for the rights of women, Bernie Sanders is the most pro-feminist candidate there is.

His policies would not only improve the rights and living conditions of women (and children and men) in the US, but also of women around the world.

As it is, and after this, I wonder if people like Klobuchar, Clinton and, perhaps, Warren can gain a broad appeal as being genuine about issues important to people who are not wealthy, wherever they live. This is what is needed to beat Trump.

Is the corporate media and the mainstream Democratic Party going to work to hand the election to him? your social media marketing partner
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