What does Bernie really want?

As an early Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vermont, supporter I have to ask now, after he’s become a nasty Hillary critic, what does he really want?

To accomplish his fantastic campaign goals, he calls for nothing less than a national “revolution.” With his down-ballot impact disturbingly invisible, his enthused supporters must grow in number, rise up and replace existing officeholders in a clean sweep. He no longer wants to engage in the long bloody battles that require frustrating compromise to get half a loaf. He’s done with that.

He’s a purist on a sacred mission, which can only be accomplished on his terms and no other’s. He’s the secular version of evangelical politicians, with his followers espousing the same absolutist positions as the noble leader. He’s made those positions the conditions for supporting Hillary. He’s not going to take half a loaf even now, even if it costs the Democrats — his newly adopted party — the election. This surely has something to do with his long-frustrated career as a progressive outsider, now potentially unwilling to support his capable rival, whose own potential revolution as a woman president means nothing to him. So he assaults her.

The more Hillary gets maligned by him and the other absolutist males, and the more they portray her as scarred and bloodied and scandal-ridden, the more I like her. She‘s the ring-battered, tested champ facing a stable of down-card amateurs who have not yet felt her counterpunches. They are coming.

To foment his political and cultural revolution, he attacks Clinton, the winner of primaries and the delegate and vote leader, and charges her with “obscene” fundraising, and then wants the party to embrace him and his cadre of untested millennials to carry the day. Really? A national campaign will require funding from many sources. Most of the women, minorities, regulars, electeds and endorsers will not follow if he as the nominee defines himself as the only pure one. So, the Democrats lose — but that’s OK with his supporters, if he loses on principle — Bernie’s whole career practice.

I now see him as more of a self-obsessed idealist than a capable reformist and national leader. He’s waited 40 years to pick his all-defining fight with the Democrats and he’s found at long last his big opportunity—attack Hillary, his Democratic team rival, whom he now, in this crucial election, defines as an establishment hack. He won’t commit to supporting her and has said he would not appoint her to a position in his cabinet.

Bernie Sanders is surely now a force to be reckoned with — as the most effective source of a frustrating loss by the Democrats to the right wing champions of repression and greed.

Robert Chianese

Ill-conceived transportation tax

Re: “Highway to sales tax,” News, 03/03

Darren Kettle, executive director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission, defends the twice-failed sales tax in order to use taxpayers’ money to build infrastructure that benefits primarily the big developers. Like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing, he incredibly and cynically bolsters his defense of the tax by seeking to construct a connection between green ethics and big business’s ill-disguised attempt to enrich themselves at our expense. Today’s plan speaks of bike trails, but neither bicyclists nor enviros find the small concessions attractive. On the contrary, those interests see this option as a significant threat to real planning to increase bike trails and green ethics.

Seriously, this initiative suffers greatly in its dishonest approach. Why not just admit that the purpose is to enhance infrastructure so as to pave the way, literally, for developers, promising that benefits will then trickle down to the rest of us?

Kettle said “… if we don’t do it, we’re anything but green.” So, who is Mr. Kettle and by what qualifications does he make such a pronouncement?

The transportation commission has once again gone around local interests. Until this basic problem is addressed and solved, it is doomed to fail.

Previous attempts to pass similar transportation initiatives have gone down to resounding defeats. As they do now, they had problems dealing with the truth. Citizens of Ventura County are a hard lot to deceive. Hopefully, third time is no charm but rather puts a stake through the heart of this ill-conceived proposal. 

Al Sanders