Bernie v. Hillary

Laura Hubka wants Democrats who are still fighting about the 2016 primaries to “act like adults and stop name calling and berating each other.” She is an Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee member and chairs the Howard County Democrats. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I find myself shaking my head most days over the whole Bernie v. Hillary debate. I want people to get over the primary, but they just want to drag it out. Maybe they are thinking one side is going to quit and suddenly realize that they were wrong and the other side was right?

We are all adults here, and there are a lot bigger problems than Bernie being invited to CCI Action to speak, or him appearing on TV to talk about health care or inequality. There are bigger issues than Hillary tweeting about health care.

Bernie is calling out Trump and making a case against the Republican Party. Are those not issues that we ALL support? Does Bernie not have the ear of millions around the nation? Does Hillary have millions of people who voted for her in the general election? I do not CARE who you supported. Move on.

I could swear that I heard so many people talking about how they wished we could find someone to help lead more people to the party. I heard people yelling about how we could never find a “perfect candidate” or “perfect spokesperson” for our party. “whomever we find will have something we don’t like” they said. But yet somehow Bernie Sanders, the one who has the eyes and ears of most of the nation is “not good enough” for even that?

I saw how the Republicans went after Hillary for every single thing she and Bill did, and how the people who supported her thought it was horrible and wrong. But they are the ones who post about the Jane Sanders “investigation” (that is a nothing burger) like it’s the end of the world. People on OUR side are attacking our own candidates and supporters like they are Republicans. The thought boggles my mind. Take a deep breath, people. Look at what we are doing to ourselves. Let people support who they support if it helps get our message out there.

I supported Bernie during the primaries and voted for Hillary in the general. Many times in the Democratic Party, people have done that. Supported one person but yet voted for the other. Your feelings get hurt and you fell saddened that your person did not win the primary but you MOVE ON! It is NOT Bernie’s fault that Hillary lost. There are many reasons why Democrats did not win in the fall (and for the last eight years, I might add).

We can talk about it and form our own opinions, but we need to stop eating our own. I won’t suddenly just walk away from my friends who supported Bernie just to be a “good Democrat.” I will not walk away from my friends who supported Clinton just to be a “good progressive.”

And don’t tell me “well, you are not one of ‘those’ type of Bernie supporters.” Because I am. I loved the guy and I think he would have done some really great things. I love my young friends that find solace in what Bernie is talking about. I want to be a proud Bernie supporter because I believe in what he says. I support him and admire him. When you talk down to those who still hold him dear it hurts me too and it makes me think twice. We are on the same damn side and we better start acting like it. We have lost already if we don’t.

For those of you who could not support Hillary, I want to say the same thing. We have to see Hillary for the great mind that she has and the many wonderful things she stood for and the things she did that helped children get health care. She fought for the things we believe in too. When you talk bad about Hillary, it hurts those who hold her dear. It cuts just as deep.

These people were candidates and they were NOT THE ANSWER to our problems. We are the answer. What we do and what we say to others will go a long way into solving our problems as a nation. If you are reading this, then you already know that and most of you are already doing a lot to help. Keep going, keep fighting, and keep believing that we are the answer.

Act like adults and stop name calling and berating each other. Stand together on issues we can agree on (which will be 98 percent of the time). Skip past the Facebook posts that you do not agree on and find your center. This type of crap is going to make good fighting people like me just walk away.

I want to stay and I want to fight. I have stayed longer than I thought I would, considering this vitriol. I do not want to have to make a choice of which side of the room to sit on in meetings. This is not junior high. I don’t want to think about this.

I want to think about what we are doing to promote our issues and our stance on them. I want to talk about what we are doing right, and what we are doing wrong, so we can fix them. I want to take care of people and make a difference where it counts–not on the Bernie v Hillary score board.

Top image: Screen shot from the C-SPAN video of a rally featuring Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire on September 28, 2016. C-SPAN reported at the time, “The main topics were to encourage everyone to vote and promoting a plan to make public college tuition-free for working families.”

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  • Policy not Personalities

    FYI I also caucused for Bernie and voted for Hillary.

    I completely agree that fights and name calling are counter productive but discussions about policies and goals are necessary for parties to hash out differences and form broad coalitions that win elections. I am going to outline what I think are the broad ideological goals of each wing in context to the opposition, a GOP led by Trump and Pence, in order to see how each wing might find common ground.

    The key to that is the short term and long term context; for Iowans in the short term the power lies in the hands of Republicans on both the state and federal level. In that sense Democrats have become the conservative party for both wings, we want to maintain the economic and cultural status quo from radical changes proposed by the GOP, repeal of Obamacare, rolling back voting rights, deregulating business, rolling back environmental regulations, etc. Both wings can agree on that but as we have seen opposition to Trump and the GOP is not enough to engage voters and keep them engaged. Republicans have succeeded in generating enough cynicism about politics in those who don’t follow the specifics of policy making that it is not enough to just define what we are against. Democrats won’t expand the base and win elections by just defending the status quo because the status quo stinks for many people and it is getting worse.

    So Democrats have to define ourselves in the long term (the vision thing) as the party of change at the same time that we defend the status quo against radical change from the far right. Both wings of the party generally agree about cultural issues in the long term, civil rights for all groups must be defended and and advanced, reproductive rights protected, etc. The primary differences appear to be about economic policy. I say “appears” because I wonder if those differences could be bridged by the way economic policy is framed.

    The Sanders/Warren wing wants to confront economic inequality directly by expanding social programs, regulating monopolies and tax reform. The established Clinton wing finds that approach too confrontational for what it considers to be the base of the party, the urban and suburban upper middle class. In other words for most middle and working class Americans the Democratic Party represents a cultural status quo they support but an economic status quo that is making their lives worse.

    I think the key to bridging the gap is reframing the terms of economic reform. Over the past thirty years Republicans have succeeded in framing any policy proposal for addressing “poverty”, “the homeless” and “inequality” as explicitly and exclusively “redistribution” (Democrats want to take your hard earned money and give it to those lazy people) at the very same time that economic policy was redistributing wealth upwards. For the last 15 years or so Democrats for the most part have accepted that framing!

    Let’s agree to make economic reform a matter economic justice, not redistribution. Let’s focus policy on the recent history of wage theft and shifting wealth up the ladder, of the economic injustice of monopolies concentrating power and wealth in the hands of an unproductive few and out of the hands of those who work and produce.

  • Forgiving and forgetting....but does that get to the policy problems? I don't think so...

    Democrats have always had a pretty tight lock on those of us who look forward and attempt to improve things with a progressive view of the world, that there is no doubt. With that said, it is rather difficult to explain many of the conservative things Bill Clinton did while in office that no progressive in his right mind would have been on board with. NAFTA and what happened to welfare are prime examples. So mistakes were made, we should move on and try and do better the next time, and the next time was President Obama, and again, promises were made and things were going to change, but did they? Abu Ghraib was shoved under the rug when something needed to be fixed; our concentration camp in Cuba was suppose to close, and never did; Our playing at undeclared wars was suppose to stop, and instead it expanded to even more countries and the list goes on and on. So now that the Democratic party has successfully lost hundreds of down ticket races that were won previously with Obama, the leadership in the party made the decision to run with Hillary? They then flooded the vote counts with Super Delegates to make sure they got no back talk from the people who thought differently, and they think it should all be forgotten? The Democratic Party didn’t hesitate to blame Gore’s loss on Nader when in fact the party didn’t manage to turn out Democrats to vote for their own candidate and someone needs to explain how Gore lost in his own home state and how that is the fault of Nader voters?
    If the party thinks everything should just be forgotten, it is rather difficult to continue carrying on like nothing is wrong when Democrats hold no majority in the Senate or the House, have given up the presidency to one so ill conceived and yet the choice they made could not beat? With less than 20 governors as Democrats, and with local races in places strongly Democratic like Dubuque carrying Republican’s into office something has to change to get back to the basic Roosevelt Democrat , and forgiving and forgetting isn’t going to make that happen. Policy changes and a change in direction that is from the top down is needed. Ignoring the voter is a damned poor excuse for losing elections when it truly is a bottom up Democracy we expect to have in this country. The last time a party “knew” what the voters wanted and acted alone was the Whig party, In short order they went away and have never returned as a party again. When their voters said no to the Mexican War of 1848, they went ahead with it, thinking “Manifest Destiny” was a good thing, while the voters saw it as expanding slavery into Texas. We know how it came out and how the Republican Party then gave the voters what they wanted and the Whigs died a very deserving death. Forgive and forget didn’t work then either.