This isn’t 2008. And Hillary isn’t Obama.

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks during a cabinet meeting as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens in the Cabinet Room at the White House January 31, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama has recently been discussing his efforts at job creation as the Republican presidential candidates vie in the Florida primary today. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Mickey Kantor, former US Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce under Bill Clinton, is a personal friend. Mickey is one of the most connected Democrats in the country. He has the ears of presidents and is respected for his political acumen. Speaking with Mickey is akin to speaking to the entire Democratic establishment. He is that influential, and that prescient.

I spoke with Mickey a few weeks ago.. We discussed the state of the presidential race. He is convinced that Hillary will be the nominee, and that Sanders should rein in his criticism of Hillary in the interests of party unity in the Fall.

I offered that many Sanders voters, especially environmentalists and animal activists, would take a pass on Hillary if she is the Democratic nominee.

Mickey dismissed my prognostications as being unrealistic. He mentioned the acrimony between Obama and Hillary supporters in 2008, and pointed out that it took a mere two weeks for them to join forces and unite behind Barack Obama.

And he is certainly correct that Democrats have united behind the party nominee as a general rule in typical campaigns.

But this is no typical campaign. And Bernie Sanders is not a typical candidate. Nor are his supporters typical.

Political analysts frequently compare the 2008 Democratic primary race to this year’s contest.

To be sure, there are many similarities. Some differences as well.

In 2008, Hillary was running against Barack Obama. Back then she tried to run to Obama’s left by calling for universal healthcare. This year she is runniing to Bernie Sanders’ right by opposing universal healthcare. For that matter, she is running to Bernie’s right on everything.

In 2008, Hillary conceded to Obama prior to the Democratic convention.

This year, she believes Bernie should do the same for her.

In 2008 the rancor between Hillary supporters and Obama supporters was even more divisive than is that between Hillary supporters and Bernie supporters.

However, Hillary’s differences with Obama were not philosophical. They were political.

Then, as now, Hillary stalwarts were primarily establishment Democrats who believed they were entitled to the presidency.

To bring everyone on board the Obama Express merely required political horse-trading and accommodation. Obama agreed not to name a woman as VP, Hillary would become Secretary of State, Clinton supporters would be included in the Obama administration, etc.

Hillary and her cohorts expect the same kind of deals with Sanders.

The problem is that Sanders’ differences with Hillary are NOT political, they are philosophical. And while Sanders has promised to support Hillary if she is the nominee, Bernie is not able to deliver his voters to Hillary as Hillary was able to deliver hers to Obama.

Sanders voters see Hillary as the enemy. Some, perhaps many, will see her as preferable to Donald Trump and will vote for her in November.

But a significant number of Berners will not vote for her.

Many will write-in Bernie, vote for Jill Stein of the Greens, or even stay home.

And many will vote or Donald Trump.

I am among those who will not only vote for Trump, I will be actively campaigning for him.

As animals are my priority in my political strategies and decision making, I am always open to a candidate’s position on animals and animal issues.

I will, and do, support candidates whose policies will inflict the least harm on animals. That alone is my litmus test. Other factors may add to or punctuate that litmus test, but animals are my first priority. Which is why I support Bernie Sanders. While Sanders is no vegan, and even is supportive of hunting and family farms, his positions on trade agreements clearly outweigh his other faults. Trade agreements cause the deaths of hundreds of millions of animals each year. They override environmental, labor, and anti-cruelty laws, they encourage and reward live export, barbaric farming and slaughter methods, and require that country of origin labeling be banned to prevent consumer boycotts. Hillary Clinton supports these trade agreements. She considers animal suffering to be a necessary consequence of her support for the multinational corporations she works for.

The choice between Bernie and Hillary is stark and obvious if animals figure into one’s voting priorities. Similarly, the choice between Hillary and Trump is a no-brainer for animal activists, as Trump’s position on trade is the same as is Bernie’s. Diametrically opposite Hillary’s position.

Hillary could still earn my support, and the support of other animal activists, by announcing that she will reject the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), will stop the cruel horse roundups by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and that she will end the killing of wildlife by Wildlife Services for the cattle industry.

I do not believe there is any chance in Hell that Hillary would agree to such conditions. She is owned by the multinational corporations and Wall Street interests that wrote the TPP, and she is owned by Big Ag and the slaughter industries which are guaranteed control of the Departments of Interior and Agriculture in any administration. The BLM and Wildlife Services are, for all intents and purposes, subsidiaries of Big Agriculture.

Bottom line is that political horse-trading and backroom deals will not unite the Democratic party this year.

Moreover, I think it highly likely that Donald Trump would defeat Hillary.

The biggest losers in that eventuality will be the political insiders, lobbyists, and Democratic office holders, who run the Democratic party. The same interests who make up the superdelegates to the Democratic convention.

The very same people who could guarantee the nomination of Bernie Sanders.

Whether they will follow Hillary over the cliff is yet to be seen.

My bet is that their instincts for political survival trump their obeisance to Hillary.

But I could be wrong.

 

 

Author’s Notes:

I am unaware of any other blog with the Armory’s mission of radicalizing the animal movement. I certainly hope I am not alone, and that there are similar sentiments being expressed by comrades unknown to me.

If you know of other blogs dedicated to animal rights and the defeat of capitalism, please comment with a link.

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Feel free to comment. I encourage open discussion and welcome other opinions. I moderate comments because this blog has been attacked by hunters and right wing trolls. I approve comments that are critical as well as those which agree with me. Comments that I will not tolerate are those that are spam, threatening, disrespectful, or which promote animal abuse and cruelty.

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12 thoughts on “This isn’t 2008. And Hillary isn’t Obama.

  1. Sadly with Donald Trump’s recent outburst railing against an Indiana judge with family roots from Mexico, Trump has finally shot himself in the foot and may never walk again. While he has been resilient in maintaining his base through his “Anti Movement”, Trump’s personal attack on this judge has no political point except outright bigotry. Prior to this attack, your strategy was a thought. Now it is an obsolete thought as Trump is likely to drop in the Polls and settle somewhere at 30% or below. The only path is Bernie against both in a third party run. That will be the best possibility as it will open up many down Ballot election where incumbents will be ousted. That’s where the Revolution succeeds, but only as a third party victory.

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    • I find the following comments by former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (taken from the Washington Post) to be dispositive of Trump’s right to challenge the objectivity of the judge overseeing his case:
      “Donald Trump suggested this week that U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel can’t give him a fair hearing. Curiel, who is presiding over a class-action suit against Trump over his former for-profit educational company, Trump University, is a U.S. citizen, born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants. “I’m building a wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border if elected, the presumptive Republican nominee for president told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “It’s an inherent conflict of interest.” Earlier in the week, he told a crowd at a rally in San Diego that Curiel was “a hater of Donald Trump, a hater.”
      As a private citizen, Trump has a right to his opinions, regardless of whether others agree with them, or whether others consider them wise, foolish or even dangerous. Trump, of course, is more than a private citizen; as the likely nominee for president of a major political party, he speaks with a voice that carries much weight and, if successful in November, will influence millions of people. Because of this, some commentators have condemned Trump’s suggestion that Curiel step down from the case. These voices have, quite rightly, emphasized the importance of upholding our independent judiciary from baseless attacks by high-level persons from other branches of government.
      An independent judiciary is extremely important. But that value is not the only one in play here. Equally important, if not more important from my perspective as a former judge and U.S. attorney general, is a litigant’s right to a fair trial. The protection of that right is a primary reason why our Constitution provides for an independent judiciary. If judges and the trials over which they preside are not perceived as being impartial, the public will quickly lose confidence in the rule of law upon which our nation is based. For this reason, ethics codes for judges — including the federal code of conduct governing Curiel — require not only that judges actually be impartial, but that they avoid even the “appearance of impropriety.”  That appearance typically is measured from the standpoint of a reasonable litigant.
      It is crucial to understand the real issue in this matter. I am not judging whether Curiel is actually biased against Trump. Only he knows the answer to that question. I am not saying that I would be concerned about him presiding over a case in which I was a litigant. And if I were a litigant who was concerned about the judge’s impartiality, I certainly would not deal with it in a public manner as Trump has, because it demeans the integrity of the judicial office and thus potentially undermines the independence of the judiciary, especially coming from a man who could be president by this time next year. But none of these issues is the test. The test is whether there is an “appearance of impropriety” under the facts as they reasonably appear to a litigant in Trump’s position.
      Certainly, Curiel’s Mexican heritage alone would not be enough to raise a question of bias (for all we know, the judge supports Trump’s pledge to better secure our borders and enforce the rule of law). As someone whose own ancestors came to the United States from Mexico, I know ethnicity alone cannot pose a conflict of interest.
      But there may be other factors to consider in determining whether Trump’s concerns about getting an impartial trial are reasonable. Curiel is, reportedly, a member of a group called La Raza Lawyers of San Diego. Trump’s aides, meanwhile, have indicated that they believe Curiel is a member of the National Council of La Raza, a vocal advocacy organization that has vigorously condemned Trump and his views on immigration. The two groups are unaffiliated, and Curiel is not a member of NCLR. But Trump may be concerned that the lawyers’ association or its members represent or support the other advocacy organization. Coupled with that question is the fact that in 2014, when he certified the class-action lawsuit against Trump, Curiel appointed the Robbins Geller law firm to represent plaintiffs. Robbins Geller has paid $675,000 in speaking fees since 2009 to Trump’s likely opponent, Hillary Clinton, and to her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Curiel appointed the firm in the case before Trump entered the presidential race, but again, it might not be unreasonable for a defendant in Trump’s position to wonder who Curiel favors in the presidential election. These circumstances, while not necessarily conclusive, at least raise a legitimate question to be considered. Regardless of the way Trump has gone about raising his concerns over whether he’s getting a fair trial, none of us should dismiss those concerns out of hand without carefully examining how a defendant in his position might perceive them — and we certainly should not dismiss them for partisan political reasons.
      Finally, some have said that Trump’s criticism of the judge reflects on his qualifications to be president. If the criticism is solely based on Curiel’s race, that is something voters will take into account in deciding whether he is fit to be president. If, however, Trump is acting from a sincere motivation to protect his constitutional right to a fair trial, his willingness to exercise his rights as an American citizen and raising the issue even in the face of severe criticism is surely also something for voters to consider.”

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    • I think you mis-analyze Trump. And his supporters. I’m not saying they’re right. I’m saying that Trumps biggest psychological attribute is DEFENSIVENESS. He reacts to attacks with whatever comes to mind. That makes him more of a narcissist than a racist. Don’t assign him too much intelligence; his positions are not so thought-out. I don’t think this latest brouhaha will hurt him sad to say. I am with Bernie all the way. But I will support Trump over Clinton.

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    • Trump’s sons are serial killers. Trump does not hunt. Unlike, for example, Hillary Clinton, who does.

      Hillary is responsible for killing more than just a few animals while hunting. She is responsible for the killings of hundreds of millions of animals every year caused by the trade agreements she supports. Trade agreements encourage and reward the most barbaric animal agriculture practices, they make slaughter more profitable, animal corpses cheaper, they prevent banning live export, they require countries to ban country of origin labeling to prevent consumer boycotts, they override environmental, labor, and anti-cruelty laws.

      Hillary not only supports those agreements, she helped write them. Donald Trump, in contrast, opposes every single one of them.

      If animals are a priority in whom you support, you cannot logically support Hillary Clinton.

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  2. This animal rights activist dropped out in 08 when clinton, edwards and the DNC pushed my candidate (Dennis Kucinich) out. I am only back for the man and the movement. I guess they will find that out the hard way if they give clinton the nomination. #Bernie0rGreen,,,

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