It is clear that the right wing and the Democratic party establishment in the US in the form of right-wingers Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg and pretty much the entire media establishment will seize on the UK election results to argue that progressive policies have no future and that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren should not be the Democratic nominee. They will also likely seize upon the tactics that the right wing used in the UK and try to smear at least Sanders with the idea that he coddles anti-Semites. Although that would require real contortions since he is the first Jewish candidate with a fighting chance of becoming president, we have seen that this will not stop the rabid right from attempting it. The process has already started with people trawling to find anything that can be used against him.
Right on cue the right is trying to Corbyn @BernieSanders—a man who lived on a Kibbutz on Israel https://t.co/XbkJaSUrxz
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) December 14, 2019
Weaponizing anti-Semitism has now become a standard tactic to attack anyone who advances progressive policies and even mildly criticizes Israeli policies or expresses concern at the plight of Palestinians in the occupied territories.
One of the greatest dangers to Jews around the world is the cynical weaponization, politicization and exploitation of anti-semitism accusations for cheap political ends – not just to place criticisms of Israel off-limits (though that, too) but also to advance partisan warfare: https://t.co/52vsB0xPpY
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 14, 2019
Jeremy Corbyn’s sons have blasted the vicious campaign of personal attacks against someone who has been a lifelong fighter for the rights of the underprivileged.
They described him as “honest, humble and good-natured” within a “poisonous world” of politics, and pointed towards “despicable attacks filled with hatred” as the reason for his undoing.
“He took on an entire establishment. This meant the attacks from all sides intensified and became even more poisonous while he was leader. We’ve never known a politician to be smeared and vilified so much,” they said.
“Jeremy has dedicated each day of his political life for the less fortunate amongst us. Unwaveringly, he has fought and campaigned for people who suffer and people in hardship.”
The brothers said that the defeat “hurt” but – despite the crumbling of Labour’s “red walls” – they believe the time is still to come for their father’s policies.
“To assume that the ideologies he stands for are now outdated is so wrong. In the coming years we will see that they are more important than ever,” they said. “Thank you to every person who saw his vision and supported it and supported him. From the three proudest sons on the planet, please continue the fight.”
Corbyn also issued a statement in which he warned of what lay ahead for the country.
He said he was “obviously very sad at the result we’ve achieved and very sad for colleagues who have lost their seats in the election and very sad for many people in this country who will now have a government that is continuing policies of austerity, and many of the poorest communities will suffer very badly from the economic strategy that I suspect the prime minister will take forward”.
Let us see how Boris Johnson navigates the gaps between what he promised voters, that he would reduce austerity policies, spend more on public services, pass tax cuts for the working poor, and enact a higher minimum wage (all this because of pressure from the Labour party and Corbyn that pushed for these popular policies), and what he does to please his wealthy backers and the Trump administration.
Expect an avalanche of lies.
Corbyn is “sad”? Cry me a fucking river. How about an apology and a resignation, right now? His personal ambition is going to cost us the NHS.
file thirteen says
@ sonofrojblake #1
Charismatic liars are in vogue right now. It worked for Trump (expect em to win in 2020, impeachment attempt notwithstanding or likely contributing) and now it’s worked for AB de PJ. I’m not sure that can be blamed entirely on Corbyn.
Who are the more charismatic liars in Labour that you would have preferred to run in Corbyn’s place? I’m sure there were some, but the real question is, do you think any of them stood a real chance of beating prince AB de PJ?
It is darkly amusing that the right (Blairite) wing of the Labour party is blaming everything on Corbyn and his policies when it is clear to me that they made the decision, years ago, to do everything short of demanding people vote for the tories to throw this election.
They tried, repeatedly, to get rid of him in the early days, including using some seriously unethical procedural stuff to try and lock out more recent members of the party from voting in a leader election. This failed to remove him, so they had to lose an election to get rid of him, and even more importantly, to get rid of his platform and ideals.
Every time the Conservative party was riven by problems, they would come out and distract attention by stirring up shit publicly in the Labour party, giving cover to the tories and pushing their messes back from the top of the news, creating the continuous impression of a party riven by dysfunction and incapable of governing. Furthermore, they have accepted as gospel every right wing smear against him without question, especially the anti-semitism accusations, despite there being little to no basis in truth for them.
Why? Because the policies he champions are diametrically opposed to their own vested interests and those of their friends, and they’d rather five years under Boris Johnson rather than risk people actually liking these kinds of policies and seeing how they play out because they are worried they’ll work. You can see them already blaming the policy base as well as Corbyn for the defeat, trying to discredit it in favour of the old more-of-the-same garbage that hasn’t worked and never will.
Maybe I’m just being cynical here, but at least I am a cynic who has won every bet with friends on UK politics for the last half decade by simply betting on the worst plausible outcome.
Leo Buzalsky says
So I have thoughts/questions. First, I was out canvassing for Warren on Saturday and, yeah, my fellow canvasser and I met a Biden supporter who pointed to these elections as evidence that nominating Warren would be a bad idea.
Second, do they not have a point? What are the reasons to believe that nominating Warren or Sanders won’t lead to disaster? Perhaps you have seen Jonathan Pie’s video on the election aftermath. He gripes about how there were many on the left who bashed basically everyone who wasn’t pure (my word, not his) enough for them and how that’s a terrible strategy. I have seen and feared much the same, especially among Bernie supporters. (I may have noted this already in a comment in another post.) They have turned hostile towards Warren for daring to show a willingness to work with establishment Dems, for example. But how do they think Bernie would be able to get anything done if he refuses to work with such Dems? That “political revolution” ain’t coming. Much as Pie notes is the case in Britain, most of the people in our country are not on our side. Sorry, that’s the reality, though I wish it were not. Pie blasts people for essentially living in a bubble, thinking their Facebook friends are representative of the country when they are not. I think a similar point could be made for progressives in this country.
One additional note I need to add here is that I see a lot of progressives use polling on issues to convince themselves progressive ideas are popular. I believe you have done as much yourself, Mano. But I think many of us who read this blog also understand that what people say they support and what they will actually support don’t necessarily match. For example, I have heard there are polls that suggest over 70% of the population supports M4A, but it was only 42% that strongly supported it. So I would actually expect that 30% or so that only mildly supports it to disappear if and when it comes time to actually implement M4A. The point, again, is it seems many progressives are overconfident as to the level of support we have and have consequently taken up a strategy of burning bridges with anyone and everyone they see as against us instead of trying to build bridges where they could to gain more support.
So, with that, I suppose these people that think Warren and Sanders are too far left are wrong in a sense. Rather, the problem may be that too many of us on the far left overestimate our influence. If that was the problem in the UK and is also a problem here, what can we do about it?
I’ve concluded that, when my state’s primary finally rolls around, I’m going to vote for whichever candidate is shown by the current polling to beat Trump by the largest margin. If that’s Biden, then so be it.
In a sane world, we’d be looking at candidates who range from giving him a 70-30 drubbing down to candidates giving him a 60-40 drubbing. In that world, I’d feel I had the liberty to pick and choose which one would do the best job — probably Warren. But we don’t live in that sane world, and a second Trump term is a terrifying possibility; I quite literally believe the country might not survive it. Avoiding that takes precedence.over all the other considerations.