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When I read Biden’s opinion piece in the Washington post, my heart sank. We had another of our weekly Saturday afternoon rallies calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza yesterday here in Dunedin, New Zealand. There will be two more this month and they will continue into 2024. Speaking as someone living in small city at the bottom of the South Island of a country at the bottom of the other side of the world, the whole world is, indeed, watching. And marching.

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Dec 16, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

I love Tlaib, and I love the idea of a challenge to Biden from the left. I'd prefer someone who can win the primary and the general. The only person who fits that bill, to my mind, is Shawn Fain. I'm surprised there hasn't been any buzz about a draft campaign after he kicked the Detroit CEOs' balls into their throats.

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OK so what you’re saying in a nutshell is that you want to play Russian Roulette against Trump again with a divisive underdog that has accomplished relatively nothing as a politician for their own incumbents simply as a national political gesture. Got it.

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Dec 16, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

I'm impetuous: I just tweeted your link to Tlaib. As you say, it could allow those of us who are progressive to influence the WH while, hopefully, engaging all those who haven't been able to tolerate Biden's lack of pushing for constraints from Netanyahu, his failures on the environment, and his lack of leadership in public health--only examples. I spoke to a woman this morning who is so unhappy about likely new immigration compromises. She said, 'I've just decided to tune out', and she carried that in her body language--it was stunning to see. Apathy in these times is a grave danger.

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Dec 17, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

I think this can be true but only if she does it a lot differently than described. She needs not only to run and pose a credible threat in swing states, as suggested, but she also needs what the cranks who have run like this in the last 20 years have not had, which is a credible exit plan. She would need to not only assemble 5% of the swing state electorate, but ALSO be able to leave the race after specific concessions *and have her 5% vote for Biden on her say so*.

This transactional plan would have to be central to her appeal: “I am in this race for leverage, open to negotiating with Biden, so if you aren’t willing to sign a pledge to vote for Biden on my say so, my campaign isn’t for you.”

I don’t know if the kinds of people who would go for that even number 5% in swing states, but that is the only way Biden would ever possibly negotiate. Democrats understand very well that third party crank candidates do not really speak for third party voters (look at how Nader’s and Stein’s votes collapsed in their second races after being blamed--Dems know leftists are a bloc easily divided and third party candidates haven’t figured out how to keep a constituency) and they have demonstrated little honesty with left-wing voters, saying for years that there is no difference between the parties. They know they can simply beat the third party margin if or blame it if the interparty dynamic is consequential enough. What would make them negotiate is a more solid believe that doing so would actually be better than just trashing the independent candidates.

Credible candidacy. Credible exit plan.

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Thanks for putting that out there! I hope Tlaib considers doing this. It's worth a shot.

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Thank you for this. I think if Bernie entered the ring again, he'd have the best chance of beating both Biden and Trump. Certainly something must be done. I sense Biden has already lost that 5%, that what he's supporting in Gaza is so sickening and visceral that millions of people simply won't be able to bring themselves to vote for him in 2023, me among them. Netanyahu has said this will go on for months yet, and the best Biden could do was to lay a timetable of three weeks after which Netanyahu should ease it back a bit. The revulsion will only grow. This party is in HUGE crisis and headed for defeat, and it's their own fault. The Tlaib trick might work. But it's a trick. I want a full fledged alternative, and don't necessarily buy that it's too late. As we see, just about anything is possible these days.

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I'm not sure how much of an impact this piece can actually have, but I appreciate the effort it took to articulate it.

The union analogy is a worthwhile one in some senses, especially given the current economic conditions, the recent successes of union negotiation, and Biden's affinity for unions. However, it seems to me like the more relevant and effective parallel is with the 'civil rights movement', between Martin Luther King, Jr. and figures such as Malcolm X.

Union negotiators are still operating within a capitalist framework, meeting the corporations in terms of dealing with money - the question is one of fairness in the slicing of the pie. I do not believe that Biden and the other veteran and centrist Democrats have any such basis for common values under which a relatively formal negotiation regarding US/Israel relations can be based.

The success of the civil rights movement was not based on simple protest, not even marching on Washington - it was based on disruption of the racial hierarchy through bus boycotts and other acts that were then transmitted through the centralized media of television and newspaper to common people. Its success was founded on forcing voters and politicians alike to observe and be moved by the radical violence of Whites in order to preserve the formal systems of oppression against people of color, especially African-Americans.

Today's media environment is the polar opposite - we each have algorithmically based silos through which we receive information that means we do not have shared experience and knowledge of violent events. Even when we are paying attention to the same real-time current events, we have different contexts and sources that make efforts to unify against human rights abuses and other forms of corruption and systemic subjugation. We largely don't see the same world.

Those Americans who uncritically support Israel's terror campaign that was largely of its own making, even if they do so uneasily, have a shared set of opinions, perspectives, historical references and consensus *in addition to being the establishment position*. When I permit myself the tolerance of their views being closely held and rooted in historical atrocities against Jewish people, I feel hopeless in pursuit of affecting their views and in supporting Biden against Trump.

I don't mean to conclusively say that this 'modest proposal' is a bad idea. I would be deeply interested in helping to participate in organizing and working on behalf of Tlaib's campaign, to a point. But that requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work, organizing of volunteers, and general political acumen - the polar opposite of the public protests that supposedly augur the potential for such a campaign's success. It would require single-minded devotion on the part of you, the author, and you, all the commenters who find this idea attractive, to convert disaffected grumbling into what is admitted to be an existential threat to "a republic, if you can keep it".

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This is the day I am unsubscribing to you, the author. First off, the Palestinians deserve better...the Israelis are failing to win the will of the populace after the initial attacks and have launched unspeakable and unforgivable amount of violence and destruction to acheive ridding Hamas, the original objective. With that said, shame on YOU for standing by a person, Talib, who has categorically refused to denounce Hamas and the attacks on Israel. There is plenty of space, support and political capital to denounce BOTH Hamas AND what Israel is doing. Talib has stubbornly refused to denounce Hamas and its attacks. To suggest this person should be running is unfortunate and unforgivable. I am more of moderate and do not believe that we should be hinging bringing our country back together by supporting people who are on the extremes (far right or extreme left). ...and for the record, Bernie is not far left, but Talib is. Shame on you.

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I think if you're looking for someone to run a tactical campaign against Biden in the primary that essentially will pull in the left and get concessions but won't hurt him in the general, you'd probably need someone more strategic than Tlalib. As much as I do like her, I think she has a tendency to go off script. I'd opt for someone more like AOC, personally -- but even then, it's a big risk.

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Setting aside the practical problem that any candidate announcing now would have a really hard time even getting on the ballot, let's say it can happen and it does and it's Tlaib. My question is more around what concession Biden could make to make Tlaib fold up her tent and go home, directly or essentially endorsing Biden. And would that lose him other more conservative votes such that he'd lose the general anyway? If you're going to lose the general best to prevent a whole bunch of people from being killed rather than facilitating more being killed. But I'm still looking for us to stop the Gaza bloodshed and beat Trump.

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Bernie Sander 2016. That worked out SO well.

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I have no love for either party anymore. when we elected the various war criminals From Regun all the way to Biden, who has supported and pushed every war in his life time in Washington, I will not ever vote for either party of war criminals. The farce the Ds have made of but but but Trump, has been going along for years. The parties are one and the same the same war criminals move behind the scene from party to party driving the slaughter of millions. Until the people of this country recognize that the war profiteers are who runs the show nothing will change, and changing politicians Makes 0 difference. Abortion guns Gay rights, crime, is meaningless to them just a tool to drive elections. All you need to look at is the pretend concern about the climate. Neither party does anything but use it for election purposes. Abortion is the same the Ds did nothing to make abortion legal forever Why? Because it makes for great cannon fader during elections! Rich people do not need to worry about getting abortions! My whole life i have been marching against the US colonial slaughter and today under biden it is worse then ever!

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Dec 16, 2023·edited Dec 16, 2023

Please show us any repetitive essays you may have written decrying the slaughter of the many hundreds of thousands of Arab civilians in the US fight against Isis, the slaughter by the Syrian government of its own people, the massacres of innocents in Darfur by the Janjaweed, o Lebanese civilians by Hezbollah, the mass killings of Palestinians by Jordan in 1970, the executions of its own people by the Taliban, etc. Or if you have not, please explain that double standard?

The UN itself estimates that 90% of all war casualties are civilians(https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjdtYGM2ZSDAxXiSDABHaZdAckQFnoECA8QAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fpress.un.org%2Fen%2F2022%2Fsc14904.doc.htm&usg=AOvVaw0_na6TZEVeTI_wQqE0Ddsq&opi=89978449). Israel has done more than most or all others to try to limit civilian casualties in the most challenging urban landscape imaginable, and at a casualty ratio of civilians to fighters that is considerably less than the UN estimates. War is ghastly and awful, regardless of where i occurs. So please explain how Israel should respond given that Hamas leaders continue to guarantee that, left in power, they will repeat Oct 7 "again and again and again" until all Jews are "annihilated."

Please include your assessment ofwhat the US would do if, say, Mexico had send over a thousand terrorists into your town to commit the same sort of atrocities that Hamas perpetrated, murdering, mutilating beheading, burning alive, serially raping and /or kidnapping over 1,500 babies, children, women, the disabled and elderly, et and promised to repeat this again and again and again until all Americans in Texas were annihilated and they could appropriate the land.

Most importantly, if Hamas would agree to return the people it kidnapped, dismantle its rockets, weapons caches and tunnels, the war would be over. But they doon't becasue they manifestly don't care whatsoever about their own civilians. They use them all as human shields--it a feature, not a bug, in their plans. How is it you do not hold Hamas to account?

BTW, none of those was in response to some of the most savage atrocities ever inflicted on civilians as they were by Hamas on October 7.

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Interesting piece but you lost me with "Trump is a fascist." It's just not true. Without institutional support, which Trump never had, he could never have been, nor could he be, a fascist. Biden, on the other hand, has taken this country closer to fascism than it's ever been.

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In the original piece by Mr. Nolan and the 39 comments I've seen so far there seems to be a lot of wishful thinking about Tlaib and Sanders for a 3rd time around opposing Biden in the primaries. I was an enthusiastic Bernie supporter in 2016 and 2020, but his window of opportunity has come and gone. The DNC shafted Bernie both times, and they will do the same to anyone who dares oppose their anointed candidate.

I also note, by its conspicuous absence from the discussion, the name of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Way too many people keep saying and writing that it’s a choice between Biden and Trump. I think they are pretty sorry examples of human beings, much less candidates for President of the United States.

This time around, however, we are not faced with a binary choice between the Lesser of Two Evils (or the Evil of Two Lessers), i.e., the aforementioned Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He is ready to serve the interests of the American people, not the corporate oligarchy/kleptocracy. I happen to think he is our country’s last best hope for a truly good and honorable and intelligent national leader. Given the multitude of vested interests he is opposing along with his family history, I also consider him to be the bravest man in the world. He is NOT the wackadoodle goofball that the mainstream media make him out to be.

RFK, Jr. is truly a viable, and highly desirable, candidate—and would become even more of one if more people such as the followers of this substack would free themselves from the Biden-Trump dualistic worldview. The establishment media seem to take endless delight in either ignoring Kennedy altogether, or distorting and disparaging his positions on the important issues of the day. Folks need to listen to what he says and read what he wrote rather than relying on biased second-hand sources. Dividing off into lots of little splinter groups is the guaranteed way to wind up with someone like Trump again. We need to unite behind the one alternative candidate who might actually be able to win--and do good things for the general public--and that is RFK, Jr.

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