By Laurie Dobson
In the current race for the Democratic presidential nomination, there have been two prevailing narratives. One is the battle between the so-called “moderates” (actually neoliberals) vs. “progressives,” in which candidates like Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang and, at least until recently, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, are pitted against “lefty” Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The other is a contest between the two “progressives”: the “socialist” Sanders vs. the “capitalist-to-my-bones” Warren. Worth mentioning as well is the anti-war campaign of Tulsi Gabbard, although not specifically progressive in many respects (she backs Sanders as she did in 2016).
There certainly is a competition between the conservative, neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party (and the party leadership in the DNC) and the left, but the media storyline that on the left there are two candidates vying for the nomination is misleading.
With the blow-up this week between Warren and Sanders, ignited by a cheap-shot hit-job of a story on CNN published and aired a day before the CNN-produced Democratic candidates debate in Iowa, it has become clear that there is really only one true progressive in the Democratic primary race: Sanders.
The CNN article, which was based upon unsubstantiated claims leaked to the network by several unidentified Warren campaign staffers, asserted that in a one-on-one private meeting with Warren (no other witnesses present) held in her home over a year earlier, Sanders had claimed that “a woman cannot win the Presidency.” Sanders, contacted by the CNN reporter on that story, firmly denied that it happened, noting that while he and Warren had met, it was “inconceivable” he would have said such a thing. His explanation: Hillary had just clearly “won” the 2016 election by garnering three million more popular votes than Donald Trump. Also since he noted that he had, in 2015, encouraged Warren to accept the call of a draft-Warren movement and run against Clinton, only entering the race himself after she had declined to take her on.
Warren only confirmed the leak about the alleged conversation after letting the CNN story run with no comment from her for a day, apparently so that other media would pick it up. CNN used its article to promote and boost ratings for the next day’s debate, predicting fireworks. Warren then obliged the network by sticking to her story when she and Sanders were asked by the CNN debate panel about what they deceitfully presented as a fact: that Sanders had made the alleged statement. No context was provided for how this may have been said, or meant, if true.
In the wake of that farce of a debate, the false equivalency between Sanders and Warren is now appearing to crumble. Instead, the conversation has turned in a new direction. A new theme is emerging: identity-style politics, in this case, the ‘feminism vs. the patriarchy’ conflict, formerly milked as a wedge issue, taking a hit. It is taking a backseat to the inclusive ‘not me, Us!’ progressive movement…
For the rest of this article contributed to ThisCantBeHappening by activist LAURIE DOBSON, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/could-we-be-witnessing-the-demise-of-identity-politics/