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Rocky Road for the Corporate Duopoly if Blacks Back Bernie in 2020

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Reprinted from blackagendareport.com

The biggest obstacle to Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic nomination in 2020 is Kamala Harris, the corporate, anti-Black prosecutor. But Black voters are now in Bernie's camp.

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"Having provided the first Black presidential success story, the Democratic Party now serves up an excess of anti-Black Black presidential aspirants."

If Bernie Sanders can remain vigorous until the opening of the Democratic primary season in September or so of 2019, when he turns 78, the self-styled "socialist" with the FDR domestic program and the Harry Truman foreign policy will fare much better with Black voters than he did last time around.

Two factors spelled doom for the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign: super-delegates, mainly Democratic Party elected officials, many of whom had announced their support for deep-pockets Hillary Clinton long before the primary process had begun; and Black voters, who were still trying to figure out who Bernie Sanders was when the February and March primaries rolled into their states. By the end of the March primaries, the conventional corporate media wisdom was that Black voters were a bulwark of the "moderate" or "centrist" forces within the Democratic Party, while young whites composed the vanguard of the left(ish) Sanders insurgency.

"The duopoly system compels Black Democratic primary voters to suppress their own progressive instincts for the sake of defeating the GOP."

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The corporate media pundits got it both right and wrong, regarding Black voting behavior. It is true that Blacks tend to back the Democratic presidential primary candidate that they believe has the best chance of beating the White Man's (Republican) Party standard bearer in the general election.However, that does not mean Black voters share these "moderate" or "centrist" candidates' positions on the issues. Blacks are substantially to the left of whites, including white Democrats, on most issues, but believe that keeping the White Man's Party out of the White House is more important than nominating the most progressive Democratic standard bearer. Thus, the duopoly system compels Black Democratic primary voters to suppress their own progressive instincts for the sake of defeating the GOP.

The overarching necessity to keep the White Man's Party at bay requires that Blacks resist even the fundamental urge to vote for one of their own. In 2008, Hillary Clinton retained majority Black voter support and the backing of most Black elected officials right up until Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses -- at which point Clinton's Black voter base evaporated. If a "brother" could win in an overwhelmingly white state, it was considered safe for Blacks to support him for president.

In terms of their respective politics, there has never been the slightest difference between Obama and the Clintons. Obama became the second corporatist Democratic Leadership Council drone to enter the White House. If Hillary had won in 2016, hers would have been the third DLC presidency.

"Blacks tend to back the Democratic presidential primary candidate that they believe has the best chance of beating the White Man's (Republican) Party standard bearer in the general election."

But, Obama was Black, and that was an historic first. It was also a disaster for mass Black progressive politics, which was at times warped beyond recognition by the deformative influence of the Great Black Hole on Pennsylvania Avenue, which consistently pulled towards war and austerity. Cory Booker had hoped to be the "first" Obama -- that is, if Booker had not lost his first race for mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in 2002, he might have beaten Obama in the race to become corporate America's Great Black Hope -- a new, Black face for the U.S. empire, to replace the disgraced Bush-face of defeat in Iraq and, just before the 2008 election, global capitalist collapse. But, guided by the cover story of the first issue of The Black Commentator ("Fruit of the Poisoned Tree," an expose'. of Cory Booker's profoundly rightwing political roots), progressive Democrats and union activists beat back the rightwing tide that had poured into Newark from all points on the reactionary map in support of young "Cory," whose national political debut was launched at a power luncheon of the far-right Manhattan Institute. Obama became The One. Booker had to wait until 2006 to win Newark's City Hall, a step towards his current Senate seat and (already active) presidential campaign.

"If Booker had not lost his first race for mayor of Newark, New Jersey, in 2002, he might have beaten Obama in the race to become corporate America's Great Black Hope."

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Booker cannot escape his deep-right roots, and neither can fellow Senator Kamala Harris escape her anti-criminal justice reform history as a California prosecutor. Having provided the first Black presidential success story, the Democratic Party now serves up an excess of anti-Black Black presidential aspirants. My guess is that Harris will have the Black lane to herself by the 2020 primaries, and will stake an even more urgent claim to become the first corporatist woman in the White House that was not married to the resident criminal.

Kamala Harris will be Bernie Sanders' biggest obstacle in 2020. But no one should assume that she will have a lock on the Black vote. In 2015 and early 2016, Black voters told pollsters they did not know who Bernie Sanders was. Many thought of Sanders as someone whose attacks on frontrunner Clinton could harm the prospects of beating back Trump. They later learned that polls showed Sanders would have defeated Trump by a far bigger margin than Hillary was projected to win the White House -- and, of course, she did not win. That means Sanders is seen as a winner, a man who can remove the Orange Terror from the Oval Office, which is all that matters to most Black Democrats.

"By next September, Black folks may well see Kamala Harris as the spoiler who could screw up the chance to be rid of Trump."

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Glen Ford is aveteran of Black radio, television, print and Internet news and commentary. He is executive editor of BlackAgendaReport.com and was co-founder of BlackCommentator.com.

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