By Robert A. Vella

There is a growing movement in the 2016 presidential campaign – using the hashtag #BernieOrBust – where frustrated progressives are pledging not to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election should she defeat Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination.  Their highly questionable strategy hopes for a progressive landslide victory in 2020 (a critical census year election) while essentially conceding this year’s election to the GOP.  They believe Republicans will screw-up so badly over the next four years that America will beg for progressive change in the subsequent presidential election.

I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton this year because doing so would violate my philosophical principles which I hold dearly;  however, my choice has nothing to do with the #BernieOrBust movement which I consider to be politically foolhardy.  Although, I do understand why such a movement sprung up;  and, the following story will help explain that desperate frustration from my fellow progressives.

Last September, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that charter schools are not governed by the same administrative rules as public schools and are therefore ineligible for public taxpayer funding under the state constitution.  That decision sent shock waves through the halls of corporate America which has been pushing for privatization in the nation’s education system for decades.  Charter school advocates immediately began lobbying state officials and funneling funds into various efforts to find a way to circumvent the court’s ruling.  Yesterday, they succeeded.  Even though Washington has a Democratic governor, a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, and a large Democratic minority in the state Senate, Republicans were able to restore charter school funding.

Ten House Democrats voted with Republicans on SB 6194 which will divert state lottery revenues to maintain the charter schools.  Governor Jay Inslee, who had campaigned against public school privatization, chickened-out and refused to veto the bill.  For me, at least, my state senator and two house representatives voted against it;  so, I can vote for them in the next election without reservations.  Whether I can vote for the governor again is now an open question.

Like that old Sonny & Cher song…

And the beat goes on
And the beat goes on

9 thoughts on “The Beat Goes On: Dems help Republicans restore WA Charter Schools, Gov. Inslee chickens-out

      • As am I, but a Cruz Presidency would simply be atrocious. A theocrat who can put a judge or two onto the Supreme Court and work with the Republican senate to fuck us over even more would be simply awful. A Trump presidency will be awful, but since the guy hasn’t a clue as to what he’s doing, we’ll get a lot of laughs for 4 years. Or, we’ll die in a nuclear fire. Not sure which. Gotta wait and see. Bernie’s forcing Clinton, and the Democratic Party to wake up. I just hope they do wake up, and don’t fall back to sleep any time soon.

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  1. While true that a GOP Whitehouse would be a royal mess for the US, I’m not sure it’s actually wise to play the long game. For one, the Supreme Court would be lost for perhaps decades, ruining any real chance for genuine progressive reform.

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    • I agree. Playing the long game strategically, and playing the long game through tactics which employ political ultimatums (i.e. #BernieOrBust), are two completely different things. The latter is also based on the highly questionable assumption that American voters would react so predictably. History has shown us time after time that social unrest results in wildly unpredictable and often extreme political outcomes. If America couldn’t get a progressive government in 2008, during the financial collapse and two failed wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why would it happen in 2020?


        • Good point. I recall the voting machines scandal in Ohio, a state won by Bush by a very small margin. His close friend owned that voting machines vendor company. Problems were discovered later (some Kerry votes mysteriously switched to Bush), but the election results had long been accepted before the trial. Republicans say it wouldn’t have made any difference, and Democrats say the opposite. But, it’s a fact that Kerry would have been elected president in 2004 had he not lost Ohio.

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