28 Apr

“Bernie or Bust” movement


The McGlynn: Hillary’s first words in the above video are so hilarious that it makes one wonder “what world is this woman occupying?”

CNN’s Carol Costello invited advocate and Bernie Sanders supporter YahNe Ndgo to Newsroom this morning, ostensibly to explain her support of the “Bernie or Bust” movement, although the discussion quickly felt less like an interview and more like an intervention.

Costello began bluntly: “It’s virtually impossible for Senator Sanders to win the nomination, so why is it Bernie or Bust for you?”

“You know, a lot of people, they perceive the Bernie or Bust movement as being something that’s almost like a temper tantrum for people who support Bernie,” Ndgo explained. “I think it’s really important for people to understand that Bernie or Bust is really a representation of how we feel about Hillary Clinton. We don’t like Hillary Clinton and we can’t support her.”

Costello was joined by Emily Tisch Sussman, Campaign Director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Costello asked Sussman to “convince YahNe she’s wrong.”

Sussman said “There’s no question that Sanders brought forward a lot of issues that really tapped into what a lot of people are feeling in this country right now and want to be talking about. Income inequality, affordable college, he talked about free college, money in politics. But the reality is that these are issues that she actually had in her platform, have always been a part of her platform, and she talks about it increasingly more.”

Right around this point, Costello stopped Sussman, somewhat condescendingly saying “I want to see if any of this makes sense to YahNe.”

“I think first of all,” Ndgo said. “That Hillary Clinton says things that aren’t always what she means and aren’t what she believes in… One of the clearest ways that she’s demonstrated that was in 2008 when she was running against then-Senator Obama for President and she claimed that she was against the Columbia Free Trade agreement and that she was basically going to be lobbying against that. That’s what she said publicly during her campaign, but when her emails came out, we saw that what she was actually doing behind the scenes, out of the public eye, was actually lobbying for that exact agreement.”

Sussman never directly addresses this example, dismissing the public’s lack of trust in Clinton as “a theme of media attacks on her for twenty years… as we get more into her history, her commitment, we see that she actually always has been committed for people that don’t have a voice.”

Ndgo quickly pointed out that Clinton’s history is actually the root cause of her distrust. “It’s not just the Columbia Free Trade agreement. It’s what the state department did under her leadership, going into Haiti when they wanted to raise the minimum wage for the Haitians from 24 cents an hour to 61 cents an hour — they negotiated down to 31 cents an hour. It’s the regime change in Honduras, and all the people who are dying as a result of Clinton’s influence in Honduras after they had their first democratic election. It’s the mistake of the Iraq war. The mistake of Libya.”

“It’s her history that causes us questions and now she’s saying new things that are popular,” she continued. “Suddenly she realizes the importance of Black Lives Matter because of the Black Lives Matter movement and these things don’t seem genuine, they seem like what she needs to say in order to get elected. We don’t trust what she says and we don’t like what she’s done. And so for those combined reasons, we won’t vote for Hillary Clinton.”

Costello tried to give Sussman the last word, who defended Clinton’s mistakes by saying “I think there’s a lot to be said for somebody who can learn from their past mistakes and say ‘Look! We tried it. It didn’t work. We’re moving forward with something that does work.’ That is what we want in a leader.”

But before Costello could end the interview, Ndgo shot down Sussman by saying “What I want in a leader is a president who has foresight… who has the ability to know in 1994 that there are issues with the crime bill, not to look back after thousands of lives have been destroyed and say ‘Ooh, I made a mistake.’”

“I want somebody who has the foresight to say ‘No I’m not going to vote for the Iraq War, because that’s wrong.’ Not somebody that’s going to later on say ‘Oops, I made a mistake.’ I don’t think our country can afford the mistakes that come with hindsight, they want the foresight to make the right decisions in the beginning.”

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There is absolutely no way I can vote for Ms. Clinton – especially in view of her record. As far as I am concerned her hands are dripping with blood and pockets stuffed with Wall Street cash. The “new Hillary” spin does not cut it for me, or will the inevitable pleas for “party unity” or the now familiar choice between the lesser of two evils. Ever since I cast my first vote I have always voted the straight Democratic ticket. Not anymore. If need be I will be writing in Bernie Sanders’ name on the ballot.

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