Fundamentalism in Progressive Politics

Dear Americans on the left. Pssst. Let’s talk. That means you too, USAToday… and you too Jezebel. Oh and even one of my normal faves, Slate. SHAME ON YOU ALL. What am I talking about? The deceptive coverage of the amendment in the Senate that 13 Democrats voted “no” on that would have allowed us to import prescription drugs from Canada. At least, that’s how all these left leaning publications are describing it. And now the “Progressives” have decided to lambaste Cory Booker (D) from New Jersey shortly after his unprecedented testimony against his colleague Jeff Sessions (R) during the Attorney General confirmation hearings. It is increasingly looking like the left wing’s version of the Tea Party is trying to take over the Democrat Party.

Progressives have been playing this game of moral purity politics that eerily resembles the moral purity fundamentalism of the Tea Party Right. Sure, Bernie Sanders wants nothing but good things for us Americans, right? This pull to the left can’t be all that bad!

Except when you have no integrity and attack the very Democrats who are resisting Trump and the Republicans, you literally threaten to split the Democrat party, weaken it, and leaving us with less political power to resist fascism. And what I’d really like to know is, why in the ever living fuck is Bernie Sanders trying so hard to split the Democrat Party? And why this sloppy journalism from Slate, Jezebel, USAToday and others?

The evidence:

First of all, the voting in question were amendments to  S. Con Res 3. S. Con Res. 3 is a budget bill setting the budgetary levels for the fiscal years 2018 through 2026. There were a total of 189 amendments attached to this bill and there was only 2 hours allotted to debate this bill. There were two amendments put forward by the team of Sanders and Klobuchar regarding prescription drugs and of COURSE the headlines are all about just Mr Sanders. Amendment 172 was ultimately withdrawn, but the text of the amendment reads:

SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO LOWERING 
                   PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES FOR AMERICANS BY 
                   IMPORTING DRUGS FROM CANADA AND OTHER 
                   COUNTRIES.

The link of the full text is here

Democrats did not like this amendment and it should be for OBVIOUS reasons. There is nothing that says those drugs must match our own safety regulations, putting peoples’ lives potentially at risk. Amendment 178 was the one that was voted down. It left off “and other countries”, but again, no detail was given about safety regulations. It was a poorly constructed blanket statement, without the detail necessary for such policy. The 13 Democrats who were uncomfortable with such broad language were RIGHT to defeat the amendment.

Also missing from the sloppy journalism is the fact that the day before the votes on all the amendments to S. Con. Res 3, John McCain with Amy Klobuchar as cosponsor introduced S. 92,  “A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow for the personal importation of safe and affordable drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada.”

So, there is a bill addressing this issue of importing drugs from Canada, introduced to the Senate on January 10th, while the broad language over-simplified amendment was voted down on January 11th attached to a budget bill. Clearly, Bernie Sanders wants credit for “standing up” for the American people, using this to discredit Democrats, while a Republican Senator had already introduced a separate bill beforehand.

These are the facts. The facts should cause everyone who calls themselves Progressives to side eye the ever living shit out of Bernie Sanders for these antics. But wait! IT GETS BETTER.

Part of Jezebel’s reporting included how much money these 13 Democrats received in campaign contributions from Pharmaceutical companies as “evidence” that Democrats are bought and paid for just like Republicans, supporting the bullshit narrative that “all parties are the same.” Setting aside the fucking obvious that a Democrat President would not be encouraging Congress to gut and appeal the ACA (not to mention gut funding for her own CHIP program!!!), we continue to entertain this bullshit that Bernie Sanders is special.

Bernie Sanders is not special and here are two websites that show he gets money from Pharmaceutical companies too. Maplight and Open Secrets. He has gotten over $128,000 from Kaiser Permanente over his career. He has received money from people who work for Abbot Labs, Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and plenty of others for election cycle 2016 totaling over $116,000.

If Democrats are bought and paid for by their campaign contributions, then so is Bernie Sanders.

Now that the evidence is out of the way, let me go back to something I mentioned in the title. Fundamentalism. I attended a Fundamentalist church for 4 years as a teenager. I could only wear skirts, dresses, or culottes, they had to be a certain length with no slits allowed. Any shirt couldn’t dip down more than two inches below where your collar bones meet and all kinds of other dress and behavioral rules. Most importantly, you didn’t question the preacher. He was a man of God, and what he told you was to be taken as the literal gospel. I am telling you, my bullshit radar is going all the way off about this “Progressive” left. This idea that there can’t be compromise or discussion within the party, that what Bernie Sanders says goes, that he is less corrupt than people who have served far less time than he has in the very establishment he attacks daily, combined with the fact he was only a Democrat during the presidential election, screams a type of Fundamentalism to me. A dangerous ideology where its members are not allowed to question or criticize. I lost long time friends when I switched in April 2016 from supporting Bernie to Hillary Clinton (hey, I liked the idea of single payer healthcare and free college). I’m talking people I had been friends with in real life or friends on the internet for nearly a decade. Lost them because I didn’t worship the ground Bernie Sanders walked on and decided to scrutinize him more and criticize him.

Folks, these are sure signs of cult behavior. And there are other examples too. Black people being told they don’t know what’s good for them if they don’t vote for Bernie Sanders. About how there isn’t a racist bone in Sanders’ body. White 3rd party voters separating themselves from Democrats to pretend they can’t be racist and therefore Democrats are just as horrible as Republicans. (Dear white people, we’re ALL racist). Nevermind the fact of which area of NYC Sanders lived in, or how he left for 98% white Vermont, a state with a higher than national average cost of living.

And one of my personal favorite shenanigans of Sanders was the announcement that he was willing to work with Trump on raising the min wage to $10/hr two weeks after the election after he refused to budge the entire campaign with Hillary Clinton’s proposal of $12/hr. Meanwhile, stalwart champions like Maxine Waters and John Lewis have both publicly announced they will not work with Donald Trump and John Lewis has even said Trump is not a legitimate president.

Where is Sanders’ resistance to tyranny?

I know Democrat politicians aren’t known for addressing this type of presentation fuckery within their own party, but maybe its about time they start doing exactly that. We simply CANNOT let the white male, self-professed “Progressives”, create a far-left wing faction similar to the Tea Party. The ONLY purpose this will serve is to weaken the Democrats and make it easier for the Fascism embracing Republicans to succeed in their efforts.

The media needs to do better with their journalism.

Bernie isn’t a champion of the people, he’s an obstruction.

He needs to permanently have a stadium full of seats in the basket with the rest of the deplorables.

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About Jack Ladouskas

My quest in life is to look back at the end of it and accomplish two things: 1) be happy with how I lived it and 2) make a positive impact in the world. This blog is a little slice of both. I hope you enjoy it.

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