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Hillary’s Right, Bernie Sanders Isn’t a Mainstream Democrat. Here’s Why That’s a Good Thing


#1

Hillary’s Right, Bernie Sanders Isn’t a Mainstream Democrat. Here’s Why That’s a Good Thing.

Jake Johnson

“What ever happened,” Thomas Frank asks in the subtitle of his latest book, “to the party of the people?”

Everyone is quick to observe the defects of the Republican party; there are too many to list, and they are too obvious to miss.


#2

Well, yes, Bernie is a radical if one uses the "old" definition of radical - i.e., going to the root. He's going back to the root of what a "party of the people" is about. Or do I have to accept that English has evolved to where "radical" is now synonymous with "extreme" or whatever other "ungood" connotation it now has? Grr.


#3

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#5

"While he remains behind in the race for the nomination, the Sanders campaign is likely to spark a movement of sorts" from the article

Seems the author is assuming Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, I am not convinced of that by a long short. This choosing of the candidates is a long way from over, and we have to admit, there have been a lot of surprises in this election so far.


#6

"In an era of universal deceit, anybody telling the truth is labeled radical" - George Orwell

Sanders' platform is comparable to those of FDR, JFK and LBJ, all of them New Deal Democrats, none considered radical.


#7

The party is disconnected from the needs of the people? How about the party is disconnected from anything remotely resembling the truth. Hillary Clinton, a Young Republican and Goldwater Girl in the 60s, clams she is a "real" Democrat and always has been, but Bernie is not. Hillary Clinton, the war monger and the darling of Wall St and corporations, worldwide, proudly tells us she is a progressive and her followers repeat the mantra. The party hasn't lost its soul; it's lost its mind.


#8

Well, it seems we have to accept that Republicans are radical right wing (with some going off the edge) but Democrats like the Clintons are "moving to the center." So now that Democrats have adopted most of the economic values of Reagan's Republicans, Reagan was a "centrist"? Unbelievable.


#9

Republicans represent the old money conservatives.
Democrats represent the "liberal" bankers that covet that money.
Bernie represents the people.
It's really that simple, folks.


#10

What has continually astounded me about Bernie Sanders is the outpouring of spontaneous creativity his campaign has generated. This type of creativity cannot be inspired by a party; it's inspired by something that transcends a political platform. People are inspired to action--to independently create a poster, a song, a video, graffiti--by the belief in transcendence. Like this beautifully put together 'unofficial campaign ad' created by Eric Fernald.

I think Bernie is energized by this unsolicited support of creativity and it has contributed to raising his political game to a very high level. He's approaching damn near unstoppable.


#11

The author writes.... "The fact that the rise of a candidate like Bernie Sanders was not predicted by those within the mainstream Democratic party is one sign of their failure to recognize public sentiment in the United States."
I don't think that the Democratic corporate fundamentalists "failed to recognize public sentiment" as much as they thought that Bernie couldn't win without corporate sponsorship, and therefore there was no way that most Americans would eventually discover who he is. When Bernie threw his hat into the ring, 90% of Americans had never heard of him much less knew what his policies were. With the MSM ignoring him and instead concentrating on the Republican clown show, the strategy was that Clinton was a shoo in. It backfired. Closed primaries, the undemocratic introduction of superdelegates, the ongoing marginalization of Sanders by the media and the internal sabotage of insider Democrats may still fail to prevent HRC's coronation, but corporate America never thought that it would be this close. The truth is that corporate America doesn't care who wins the presidency... as long as it is not Sanders.


#12

Remember when Helen Thomas interrupted the press conference to press Bush on WHY "they hate us"?

Articles like this are quick to explain that the Democrats became Republican-lite and deferential to the party bosses who sought (and still seek) Big Money. This is done through courting those possessed of that particular asset.

But here's where such an analysis fails in only scratching the surface.

Let's travel back to l980 and the Reagan era. What did a typical 2 or 3 bedroom home cost (or for that matter, rent for) back then? I've watched prices double and triple over the past 3 decades. Wages, in contrast, have barely trickled up.

When rents go up, businesses have to charge more. It's also true of universities and other entities.

The inflating of prices was part of an inverted New Deal. And it happened in concert with a deluge of lobbyists moving into Washington, D.C., along with the emergence of a new breed of right wing billionaire funded think tanks. These same "donors" set up major funds at universities so long as professors were hired to push their ideology.

Enter Clinton and the deregulation of media allowing a handful of major broadcast consortiums to literally own and control what the public was provided with... in the name of news.

When any candidate needed the attention of LOTS of voters--either on a state of national level--said individual relied on mass media. Like those rents rising, the costs of air time also increased exponentially.

Costs have to be met in any society that is as much fueled by fossil fuel as it is by capital.

That meant, as the late Molly Ivins put it, that candidates had to "dance with those that brung them."

In other words, a political culture was forced into being that had candidates effectively dancing for donor dollars. And as is true in ANY transaction, some form of quid pro quo ensues.

Since Republicans were indisputably the party of business interests and the all-important profit motive, adapting to this new culture of political "pay to play" was far harder for Democrats. After all, as Hillary now so embarrassingly attempts to show, one cannot serve two masters. Heck, it's Biblical!

Either one has public financial backing or they must lap-dance (essentially) for the big ticket donors.

The SYSTEM has created this monster. The problem is systemic.

When I explain the logistics it's not to say that all Democrats are honorable people. However, it's just as ridiculous to assert that most are not!

Anyone who seeks a position of government leadership that relies upon a popular vote either must EARN gigantic sums or is born to it. (In either case, money--or what some would prefer to define as Class Interest--will taint their priorities.)

Bernie Sanders' message is SO timely and so sorely needed that he's receiving unprecedented public financial support. Can the same be said for every decent candidate hereafter?

Far better it would be to rescind the deal given to the broadcast companies and once again provide FREE air time--as a public service--to those candidates who show popular appeal and viable platforms.

That way, instead of the media moguls acting as the gatekeepers of what's possible (or made known), the public gets to hear the messages and make their own determinations. That IS what Democracy is all about.

What WE have in its place is a financially restricted circus pretending to be a Democracy.


#13

"The party hasn't lost its soul; it's lost its mind."

First of all, congratulations for being one in a minority that actually understands the difference between its and it's.

If you read the piece by Ralph Nader today, you might recall that it's not the UNIONS (that is, their members), but it's the various unions' leadership that is standing behind Hillary Clinton.

As I mentioned in that comment thread, when ANY entity becomes institutionalized, it becomes a top-down establishment.

It's not the whole of the Democratic party that's lost its soul. It's the DLC--the money-grubbing, triangulating, out-doing Republicans at their own pro-business games "Democratic Leadership Council" that is behind much of the corruption.

I challenge generic characterizations, stereotypes, and unfounded generalities because they take the faults of a few and universally distribute them. I'd like to see more people challenging these frames.

I do (otherwise) agree with your post and gave it a "like."


#14

Except when stereotyping 46, XY humans with melanin deficiency?

Peace.
ths.


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#20

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