Saturday, September 28, 2019

Not Helpful

Well, this wasn't smart, Emily Tisch Sussman:

I actually overheard someone saying what is an interesting point, that basically at this point if you're still supporting Sanders as opposed to Warren, it's kind of showing your sexism because she has more detailed plans and her plans have evolved. I thought it was an interesting point and there may be something to it.

Maybe, but isn't.  There is no doubt that sexism plays a role in support for Sanders over Warren. However, there also is little doubt that some of the preference for Warren over Sanders emanates from a preference for a woman over a man, such that the "glass ceiling" may finally be broken.

That's just a reality of Democratic Party politics. It's a testament to Democratic voters that, while responding to preference for a woman, relatively few prefer Sanders primarily because he is a man. Moreover, although Barack Obama picked up many primary votes because he is black, few if any Democrats have been found who intentionally are opting for a white candidate. That, too, is Democratic politics.

There is a myriad of reasons for preferring Sanders to Warren (or the reverse). A few of his supporters actually believe that he is demonstrably, significantly more progressive than the Massachusetts senator on economic issues (unlikely) and/or on foreign policy (more likely). But let's get real: it mostly is motivated by recognition that Sanders came before Warren as a national candidate, challenging the center-left Hillary Clinton in 2016 and running an impressively strong race which many boosters believe was "rigged" by the DNC against the Vermont senator.

This resentment, however, is based partly on a faulty premise, that Warren is trying to steal Bernie's thunder by building upon the progressive momentum the Vermont senator catalyzed.

No Democrat (to my knowledge) has advocated eliminating federal support for the charter school, "let's destroy the traditional public school," movement. Now that Bill deBlasio has left the race, there is a grand total of two (2) presidential candidates who want private insurance companies eliminated.  No candidate has publicly promoted an infrastructure plan which would dramatically shift funding priorities from highways to public transit. (Also, none has denied support of the Second Amendment or suggested that it is outmoded/antiquated, pertaining only to circumstances in which state militias defended the country). Sadly, Bernie Sanders' effect on the Party has been less than profound.

But he doesn't deserve to have the motives of his supporters impugned by the allegation that a great many of them suffer from sexism. Nor do the unsubstantiated, often infantile attacks upon Warren on Twitter by individuals professing their undying loyalty to Sanders justify such criticism by Sussman or anyone else.  There are only two presidential candidates determined to bring about the "big, structural change" Warren has promoted and of which Sanders approves.  If Sussman on one side, or particularly unreasonable Sanders supporters on the other, continue to undermine either of these candidates, Joe Biden and the defenders of the status quo will be quite pleased to accept the assistance.

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