“Sawant Gives Socialist Welcome to Bernie Sanders”
“On Saturday August 8 the most well known socialists in the U.S., Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Seattle Socialist Alternative City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, will share the same stage to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Social Security and Medicare.
“It’s very exciting to have Sanders join us in Seattle. It’s a great opportunity to build the socialist movement to take on the billionaires that are strangling our economy and democracy. The support Sanders is receiving is a resounding confirmation of what my election showed in 2013 – people are hungry for an alternative to corporate politics,” remarked Councilmember Sawant.”
Marxist veteran scratches head along with a number of SAlt members in the USA methinks.
It has to be pointed out that Bernie Sanders is about as much a socialist as Tony Blair was. In fact even the Wall Street Journal had to ask “If he is a “socialist,” who isn’t?” Very true as the WSJ clarifies:
“He caucuses with Senate Democrats and attends their policy lunches, his committee assignments count against the Democrats’ quota, he reliably votes with Democrats and he is seeking the Democrats’ presidential nomination. He is a Democrat.”
Not according to SAlt Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant:
“I appeal to the thousands of supporters who have donated or volunteered for my campaign to join me at the Sanders rally. Let’s make Saturday’s rally a show of force to the billionaires who think they can buy our elections. Wear your 15 Now or campaign t-shirts and let’s greet Bernie Sanders with a sea of red supporters. Let’s show him how strong the socialist movement is in Seattle!” declared Councilmember Sawant.
Luv a duck can you believe this twaddle? A sea of red supporters for ….for…..a Democratic nominee for the US presidential election!!
Obviously Sawant distinguishes between members of the billionaire, as opposed to the millionaire, class. I mean Hilary Clinton, the odds on favourite for the Democratic nomination, has a $1 billion campaign chest while little ole Sanders can only scrape together $50 million. Despite Saunders repudiation of corporate cash he’s actually a left wing prop for Clinton as has even been acknowledged by the ex-board member of Walmart herself. Clinton tweeted when Sanders announced his nomination:
I agree with Bernie. Focus must be on helping America’s middle class. GOP would hold them back. I welcome him to the race. –H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 30, 2015
And Bernie tweeted back:
Thanks @HillaryClinton. Looking forward to debating the big issues: income inequality, climate change & getting big money out of politics.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 30, 2015
If the truth be told the reason why Sawant can greet Saunders with such rapturous enthusiasm is because income inequality, climate change and getting big money out of politics really are herbig issues too.
When Sawant was elected as a councilmember in Seattle I welcomed the result mainly because she stood independently of the capitalist parties and as a socialist. Now Sawant appears to be getting into bed with the left wing of the Democratic Party and the leadership of SA seems to be joining her.
This is gross class collaboration and opportunism at its very worst and doesn’t bode well for the prospects of SAlt as a genuine socialist force in the USA but what is behind their fawning of Sanders?
Basically the idea is this. Saunders mouths radical phrases about being against corporate big business and their control of politics and this strikes a chord with working class voters. Bernie says we need a “political revolution” so:
“Socialist Alternative welcomes Sanders’ decision to run for President to help create, as he says, “an independent voice, fighting for working families” to “bring the fight to the Koch brothers, Wall Street, and corporate America.” His campaign will give Hillary Clinton a much-deserved challenge and will widen the spectrum of political discussion, injecting some working-class reality into the increasingly surreal and narrow parameters of official debate.”
This is utter trash as Sanders is an excellent foil for Clinton and far from injecting working class reality into the Presidential election campaign his antics are a major barrier to workers drawing the political conclusion that the two party system in the USA is fundamentally against their interests.
Almost recognising this SAlt say:
“ In our view, however, Sanders is making a fundamental mistake by running in the Democratic Party primary. Instead, we have argued that he should run as an independent to help build a political alternative to the corporate-owned political parties. There is a glaring contradiction between Sanders’ call for a political revolution against the billionaire class and attempting to carry that out within a party controlled by that same billionaire class.”
Absolutely correct but then Sanders has no intention of running as an independent candidate as SAlt even acknowledge that “such a step would go against Sanders’ stated intention and his general political approach, but it cannot be excluded.”
So in spite of this glaringly obvious contradiction the strategy of SAlt is to hold joint rallies with Sanders during his campaign to gain the Democratic Party nomination in the belated hope that, once defeated by Clinton, he’ll decide to run as an independent!
Nevertheless the idea is touted that by getting involved in Sanders’ campaign it will bring together social movements like the $15 and hour now campaign, Black Lives Matter and so on who would debate and discuss what policies would be the best ones for an alternative working class party(?). Otherwise Sanders’ campaign will just lead to demoralistion and disillusion. So:
“In this way, Sanders’ campaign could play a critical role in helping to lay the basis for a new political party, a third party, to provide an alternative to the increasingly unpopular Republican and Democratic parties. A broad left-wing or working-class party would be an organization which brings together different struggles and generalizes from them a common set of interests, a political program.”
Here we can see the bankrupt perspective of the CWI in political action. With a perspective that sees no way of building independent working class parties on their own they must stake all on the establishment of “broad left-wing or working class parties” which they will then enter to influence but where is the impetus for them to come from?
In the USA they have decided to stake all on a phony “socialist” member of a party of the billionaires who will, through some form of mysterious political osmosis, give birth to a new political movement of the American working class. Dream on.