July 23, 2011

Bernie Sanders vs Obama: Here's the Algebra

From DraftBernieSanders2012.org

The first three items on this list are obvious, or should be, with the recent collapses of Obama around the Bush Tax Cuts, and cuts to medicare and Social Security, and the fact that we're now involved in 4-ish illegal, undeclared wars now.

The next few are less obvious.

So let me help a little:

Protect Environment

: Obama does not oppose the coal industry. He does not oppose mountain top removal. In doing so, he has implicitly decided that the people of West Virginia and the Tennessee Valley are expendable pawns. We are all willing to kill those people to have cheap electricity. He does not oppose nuclear power, which is insane. Nuclear power requires the burning of coal to generate electricity for enriching uranium. And the nuclear waste lasts for tens of thousands of years. To put that in perspective, 20 thousand years ago, human beings were living in caves and wearing animal pelts.

Invest in Public Education and Jobs

: This is more of a sin of inaction than anything. I do not want to discount the fact that thanks to the Obama Whitehouse and the Democrats in congress, we now have student debt forgiveness. After something like 40 years-- that is. While it's SOMETHING, it does nothing to fix the problem, and it's not the sort of bold leadership that we need to get our country out of the toilet.

Bernie Sanders supports universal college education. That means you go to college, study what you want, and the government picks up the tab. Sound like Soviet Russia? Try Denmark. Or Finland or Norway. Or even Cuba or Argentina. All of which are kicking our ass when it comes to secondary education graduation rates, literacy rates, math, science, etc. Wait --Cuba is kicking our ass in education? They're shit poor! Ah, but so are 60% of Americans, especially after college.

And none of the youth in these places have to worry about being saddled with debt, and so they are free to spend time as entrepreneurs, building up businesses from the ground up, and creating innovative technology.

Curb Corporate Greed

The "Wall Street Reform" bill was a total fucking joke. Goldman Sachs was Obama's top donor.
Bernie Sanders supports the kind of REAL reform that would make the gambling that ruined the economy to start with illegal. We have not seen any push to reinstate the Glass-Steagall act from the White House. They've remained tepid servents of Wall Street proposing limp reforms that are little more than showboating for the Democratic Party's base.

Protect Civil Rights

This one hits close to home for me. Obama voted for the FISA reform bill that gave the US Gov't unprecedented new powers to spy on American citizens. I found that I was on a long list of people who Verizon monitored and turned information over to the Government without a warrant or suspicion, but because of the FISA bill, neither I nor the ACLU could do anything to sue them for violating my rights to privacy. Then there's the whole thing about claiming the right to assassinate US citizens suspected of terrorism.

It's also been under the Obama Administration that we've seen these creepy "If you see something, say something" spots, with Janet Napalitano telling Wal*Mart shoppers to turn their neighbors in to the Homeland Security Dept.

Protect Rights in the Workplace

While the Progressive base of the DNC has been rallying around worker's rights in Wisconsin, Maine, Ohio, and all over the USA, Obama has remained silent. Another sin of inaction.

And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. If you can think of any of the other damning things I've missed, please let me know and I'll add them.