West on Bradley's Gravitas

John Halle john.halle at yale.edu
Sun Jan 16 20:04:17 PST 2000

> What's an "avowed socialist" doing campaigning for Bill Bradley?
> Among his many sins, Bradley voted for contra aid at a rather crucial
> time, if I'm remembering correctly.

Indeed, and one should also mention Bradley's decisive role in what is arguably the most radically reactionary legislation of the Reagan years: the tax reform bill of 1986. (Wasn't Bradley a co-sponsor?)

> >I cant stand Bradley but might end up having to vote for him
> Why? Just to vote for somebody? Bradley's awful.

Let me guess-the lesser of evils all over again.

> Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 17:26:42 -0500 (EST)
> From: Michael Pollak <mpollak at panix.com>
> Subject: RE: West on Bradley's Gravitas
> He's a DSA socialist and has been since back when they were DSOC -- the
> Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee [of the Democratic Party]. One
> can surely disagree with their strategy of pulling the Democrats to the
> left (and I know you do quite vehemently) but given his organizational
> affiliation there's no contradiction at all between his label and his
> actions. He thinks Bradley is the left-most candidate (and the best on
> race), and he hopes that by supporting him, he can influence him
> afterwards.

Sorry to add a note of what might be interpreted as corrosive cynicism here. But can we possibly entertain for a moment Adolph Reed's contention that the primary attraction of Bradley for liberals such as West is not that there is any hope of Bradley pursuing any sort of progressive agenda. He's Wall Street's boy and he has as far back as the summer of 1987 when I witnessed various well heeled characters hyping him at the Bohemian Grove where I happened to be in residence. Rather the attraction is the prospect for West of "access" should a Bradley administration materialize, just as it was for the Edelmans, Michael Lerner, William Julius Wilson, Jesse Jackson and Clinton. To quote Reed this is "a politics which despite all its idealist puffery and feigned nobility, will sell out any allies or egalitarian objectives in pursuit of gaining the Prince's ear." From some of the other postings on this thread, it looks like West is not the only liberal who will will be making efforts to climb up Bradley's rear end with the expectation that these will be rewarded.

> With the Right fighting health care reform in any form and some in the Left
> fighting anything other than perfect socialized medicine, no wonder the private
> insurers run our system.
> - -- Nathan Newman

And with the left willing to accept as "progressive" a health care plan advanced by the heritage foundation, is it any wonder that many of us have given up hope?


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