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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 1/13/21

Denouncing Republican Evils Can't Do Much for the Biden Presidency Without Demanding Progressive Policies

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The Republican plunge into Trumpism has made the party especially unhinged and dangerous, but its basic ideology has long been a shameless assault on minimal standards of human decency. Now -- while Democratic leaders and most corporate media outlets are suitably condemning the fascist tendencies of Trump and his followers -- deeper analysis and stepped-up progressive organizing are urgently needed.

Economic injustice -- disproportionately harming people of color -- constantly propels U.S. society in a downward spiral. Poverty, economic insecurity and political disempowerment go together. Systemic racism continues to thrive, enmeshed with the predatory routines of corporate power.

After becoming a member of Congress last week, Cori Bush wrote in The Washington Post : "Many have said that what transpired on Wednesday was not America. They are wrong. This is the America that Black people know. To declare that this is not America is to deny the reality that Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate incited this coup by treasonously working to overturn the results of the presidential election."

And, Bush added, "what my Republican colleagues call 'fraud' actually refers to the valid votes of Black, brown and Indigenous voters across this country who, in the midst of a pandemic that disproportionately kills us, overcame voter suppression in all of its forms to deliver an election victory for Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris."

Yet that election victory -- which was a huge blow to right-wing forces and a triumph for the progressive forces that made it possible -- assures us of little. The same establishment-oriented corporate and militaristic mindsets that reigned supreme in the executive branch during the Obama administration are being reconfigured for the Biden administration. Similar mentalities at the top of the Democratic Party a decade ago are replicated today.

But, at the grassroots, progressive outlooks are much more prevalent than a decade ago -- and left-leaning forces are much better positioned. There's far less naivete' about Joe Biden on the verge of his presidency than there was a dozen years ago on the verge of Barack Obama's. And much stronger communication and organizing capacities are in place for progressive individuals and groups in 2021 than was true in 2009.

In short, as Biden prepares to move into the White House, progressives are in much better shape to put up a fight -- not only against the right wing but also against corporate Democratic elites, who are uninterested in delivering the kind of broad-based economic uplift that could undermine the pseudo-populist propaganda coming from the Republican Party.

A day after the orchestrated mob assault at the Capitol, Bernie Sanders appeared on CNN and provided a cogent summary of what must be done to effectively push back against the Republicans. In contrast to standard-issue Democratic Party talking points, what he had to say went to the core of key economic and political realities.

While countless Democratic politicians and pundits were taking the easy route of only condemning Trump and his acolytes, Sanders went far deeper.

"We must not lose sight of the unprecedented pain and desperation felt by working people across the country as the pandemic surges and the economy declines," Sanders wrote to supporters on Sunday. "We must, immediately, address those needs."

Sanders pointed out that "right now, hunger is at the highest levels in decades in this country and the family that couldn't afford to put food on the table last week still cannot afford to put food on the table this week, and they need our help..." Among the ongoing realities he cited were these:

"The 500,000 Americans who were homeless and the 30 million more facing eviction last week are still worried about keeping a roof over their heads this week, and they need our help."

"During the midst of a murderous pandemic which is getting worse and worse every day, the 90 million Americans who were uninsured or underinsured last week still are worried about being able to afford to go to a doctor this week, and they need our help."

"The millions of Americans working two or three jobs to pay the bills because we have a national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour this week will still be getting paid a starvation wage next week, and they need our help."

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Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched Bernie Delegates Network. (more...)
 

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Dennis Kaiser

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Having control of the House, Senate, and Executive branch is devastating to the Democrat Party as they now have to sh*t or get off the pot, no more criticizing or passing the buck. It will be interesting to see how they come up with why we, the people, got screwed.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 7:23:23 PM

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The "interesting stuff" in the twitter link to Anderson Cooper starts @ 2:30. The first part is all about "but Trump!" and it a waste of time.

Bernie was right to bring up FDR and to talk about what happened in 2010.

I don't have a lot of faith that the so-called progressives are really going to do anything since they still haven't signed on to #FORCETHEVOTE and appear to be rapidly back-peddling from M4A.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 at 7:51:25 PM

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Joe Lauria says the same thing.

But if we don't fix our election system, none of these policies are ever going to be fully implemented. Rather a phony half-measure like the ACA will be offered, further enriching some of the Oligarchy while further dividing the American Voters.

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 14, 2021 at 6:14:45 PM

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