My guest today is journalist, author, activist and frequent OpEdNews contributor, Harvey Wasserman.
JB: Welcome back to OpEdNews, Harvey. You posted a piece recently ominously entitled, "Are You Ready for President Paul Ryan? Why We Desperately Need a Plan C". Okay. You got our attention! Tell us more, please.
HW: We have to face the reality that both Hillary and Bernie face serious obstacles to the presidency. Many of their supporters have been assuming a cakewalk against Donald Trump. But if he goes into the GOP convention without a clear majority there's a strong reality that the nominee could be Paul Ryan. I'm not sure either Bernie or Hillary could beat him in a rigged election.
So there are three important points:
1) The magnificent Sanders campaign must be prepared to convert those great young energies into a long-term grassroots organization;
2) We must deal with the stripping of the voter rolls;
3) We must deal with the electronic flipping of the vote count.
JB: Lots to talk about here. I must have been asleep at the wheel. Let's start with your first presumption: Where did Paul Ryan come from? And isn't it a bit premature to assume that neither Cruz nor Trump will secure the Republican nomination?
HW: if they go into the convention and Trump doesn't win on the first ballot, i think Ryan will get the nomination. And I'm petrified.
JB: What's so bad about Ryan?
HW: I think Paul Ryan embodies all the horrible corporate-fundamentalist sicknesses we've had to confront since the rise of the "New Right" in the early sixties. He's an Ayn Rand individualist who "hates government" except when it funds the empire and crushes leftist dissent. He's a "free market corporatist" with a laser focus on destroying social security, medicare at the very moment he says he's "saving it". A very dangerous dude.
On a personal level, he's smug, arrogant and full of himself. Did you see the look on his face during Obama's State of the Union?
Is he electable? More so than the GOP final three. And with Koch's billions, who knows?
Hillary has done little to build her base. She's displayed a very short fuse with Bernie even though she should be thanking him profusely for pumping some life into the primaries.
I would love to think Bernie is electable, but he's a 74-year-old Jewish Socialist agnostic/atheist from Brooklyn and Vermont. I love all that. But to win the White House he needs middle America and that's a tough one at best.