I think it’s probably fairly obvious from the bent of my last few pieces on the subject that I support Bernie Sanders’ campaign right now. I think I’ve also made it clear that while I’m not a Democrat, I’m also not a dummy and I will vote for the Democratic option against the Republican nominee if Sanders doesn’t win for the Dems. The Republican Party controlling all three branches of government gives me the piss shivers.
What I think needs addressing within the left-wing of American politics, however, is this idea that Bernie isn’t as a strong a candidate because congress will block his agenda. His critics say he’ll be blocked on the right by Republicans, which is very true, and that he’ll be blocked on the left from Democrats, which is mostly true. The reality as I see it is that the corporatist Democrats would certainly block him, but it’s hard to imagine all of them, especially someone like Senator Liz Warren (D-MA), turning against him. But it’s probably true that at least for a little while, Sanders could face some stiff opposition on all sides in congress.
Then again, no one fucking cares what congress thinks. They have an approval rating slightly worse than AIDS and ass cancer right now. So if people don’t think Bernie can’t wield the bull pulpit and turn an ever-increasingly upset populace against their congressional representatives, they’re not realizing how Rooseveltian he could be. One thing that should also be very well-recognized by left-wingers is that Hillary Clinton will get no better shake from congress.
For one thing, if you think the GOP hates Sanders because he’s a socialist, you’re forgetting they hate Hillary because she’s a Clinton. You haven’t been paying attention at all if you haven’t noticed the actual “artful smear” that Republicans have been putting on Hillary, but in the form of a little thing called “Benghazi.” A Republican-controlled congress will make President Hillary Clinton’s presidency just as ineffective as Sanders, or Obama’s has been. It’s just, to me, an empty argument for pro-Hillary people to make that she’ll somehow bridge the divide of the two parties.
Just typing that made my balls fall off from laughter. They tried to impeach her husband for a blowie, and they have been trying to pre-impeach her with Benghazi, at least in the minds of voters, for almost four years now. Any Hillary supporter who thinks she’s going to have an easier time than Obama or Bernie is delusional beyond all recognition. The tone in Washington is poisoned regardless.
So rather than lie to each other about who will whip a Republican congress into shape faster and easier, let’s be honest with ourselves. Left-wingers have one option, really, for truly transforming their country — voting. And not just in the presidential election, in the off cycle years. If you don’t give Sanders or Hillary a good congress to work with, you could put Kermit the Frog in the Oval Office, and Republicans would be looking to open a chain of fried frog leg establishments with taxpayer money within a week of his inauguration. So that should be the bigger goal, really, for liberals in this country — a liberal congress.
I’m not saying who the president is doesn’t matter; of course it does. The Iraq War makes it crystal clear how important it is. But in terms of changing our country, on a domestic policy front, it’s all about congress, baby. Unless and until you fundamentally change the ideological makeup of congress, it doesn’t matter who the left-wingers put in the White House. With money being entrenched in congress like it is, it seems like the best candidate would then be the person openly disdaining big money for his campaign, but that’s an argument for another time.
For now, let’s just stop pretending that left-wingers can sit out elections every two years. Let’s stop pretending that Sanders or Clinton will be messiahs whose magic powers beat congressional simpletons with a wave of their wrist. Instead, be honest with each other and resolve to not only keep the executive branch Republican-free, but also to clean a lot of them out of both the House and Senate, otherwise, we’ll be having the same discussion again in a few years, and no one wants that.