An honest endorsement from Bernie Sanders in 1996

I like this guy’s forthright response — no weasel words here! Sanders endorsed Bill Clinton in 1996, only it’s more of a “Pox on both your houses, except Bill is slightly less poxier” statement.

Yet, without enthusiasm, I’ve decided to support Bill Clinton for president. Perhaps “support” is too strong a word. I’m planning no press conferences to push his candidacy, and will do no campaigning for him. I will vote for him, and make that public. Why? I think that many people do not perceive how truly dangerous the political situation in this country is today. If Bob Dole were to be elected president and Gingrich and the Republicans were to maintain control of Congress, we would see a legislative agenda unlike any in the modern history of this country. There would be an unparalleled war against working people and the poor, and political decisions would be made that could very well be irreversible.

It’s not so much for Clinton as a comment on how awful the Republican party was 20 years ago…and it’s gotten worse. We’ve been settling for not-quite-as-evil-as-Republicans for a long time.


  1. anchor says

    We’ve been settling for not-quite-as-evil-as-Republicans for a long time.

    One can make a pretty strong argument that that has only encouraged the right-wingers to get even worse.

    That’s what happens when the Democrats coddle up what they think is politically shrewd strategy to win the votes of brainstems conditioned by the opposition. All that’s ever accomplished is to ratchet the ‘norm’ further into insanity territory. The Democrats are as much to blame as the Republicans for our current pickle. Their constant second-guessing and equivocating over the ‘political wisdom’ of impeaching is another, typical, example. Worthy fodder for The Onion.

  2. says

    The problem with choosing the “lesser evil” is that one is still choosing to do evil. Sometimes the human-affairs equivalent of the third law of thermodynamics forces that choice (“you can’t actually get to absolute zero in the presence of any matter at all”), but in this instance Sanders had the alternatives of either (a) silence or (b) attacking the Heffalumps while saying nothing about the Jackasses, leaving it to voters to choose either the Jackasses or a third-party candidate (remember, Sanders is at least now purportedly an independent who caucuses with the Jackasses, not a Jackass).

    None of which is to imply that these choices are easy.

  3. stroppy says

    Dems (and too often the press) have long been more afraid of angry Repubs prone to violence than of liberal voters (you know the so-called “bleeding heart” “do-gooders” conservatives love sneering at). Plus selling out and appeasing means money and power. Gotta genuflect to money and power.

  4. patricklinnen says

    Think of it as ‘Reduction of Harm.’ Use the Primaries to get the candidates and policies you want in play, not the General. Taking votes away from the ‘Lessor of Evil’ by not voting or voting third party only enables the ‘Greater of Evil.’

    @Jaws: At least Jackasses get stuff done.

  5. wzrd1 says

    We’ve been settling for not-quite-as-evil-as-Republicans for a long time.

    For longer than many think, far longer. Before WWII, Republicans were actually embracing fascism.
    Now, it’s back in fashion. Complete with camps.

  6. says

    Patricklinnen @ 5

    Be a bit careful about that. “The police are not here to create disorder, they’re here to preserve disorder.” Which they have successfully done in Chicago for nearly three quarters of a century of “Democratic” administrations (interrupted for four years), including the “Democrat” who made that statement I just quoted.

    I have no allegiance to either major party (they’re too far to the right and too embedded in nepotism and, well, preserving disorder).

  7. patricklinnen says

    Jaws @6
    So Bernie is momentarily caucusing with the Jackasses to preserve disorder, while remaining Independent to ineffectually create order.

    Pick a narrative and stick with it, will you?

    Also, fact is, he remains in either position as someone preserving disorder for people who are not white men. So your faux counter-culture can be noted as concern trolling as well.