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Pledging for Democracy: How Bernie Can Win and Get the Congress He Needs


#1

Pledging for Democracy: How Bernie Can Win and Get the Congress He Needs

Mehmet Dosemeci

Senator Sanders has started a national debate on democracy and income inequality in America. He has reintroduced ideas to curb the influence of corporations in American politics and to reverse the concentration of wealth that a handful of people have acquired over the past 35 years.


#2

That's a very good point! I remember that Grover Rohquest pledge - and all the Republicans bragged about how they signed that pledge and were obliged to honor it. I think this is a good first start in terms of having a progressive pledge!


#3

"At issue is not so much the political composition of Congress, of which party controls the House and the Senate."

Which party controls the House and Senate is exactly the issue. With Republican control Sanders programs will not even be taken up. With Democratic control they will be taken up and at least get a fair hearing. There is no guarantee they will pass of course, but they will not simply be brushed aside. How did Obamacare get passed. The Democrats controlled the House and had a supermajority in the Senate. When Scott Brown was elected the Democrats did some very unusual procedures and simply avoided revising the House version, avoiding a filibuster. The only way Sanders' programs gets into law is if the Democrats control the House and have enough votes to avoid a filibuster in the Senate. Republicans are not going to take a pledge to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. Or take any pledge to raise the minimum wage. Many will and many have taken a pledge not to raise taxes. After all, they are Republicans.


#4

Let's do. Send it out to the people right now and get the ball rolling. Don't be a defeatists, we can do this with Bernie's help and it will help him, change the composition of the House and Senate and turn it blue.


#6

In the digital age, setting up a Demand Democracy site on-line would help. We would need that Sanders' bully pulpit urging Americans to go sign the Demand, repeal Citizen's United. A social media bully pulpit. "Go Like IT. Prove We the People WANT it!" Sanders would need to do press conferences and head out into the nation for 'Like rallies' or some such thing.

I suspect his team has been playing with ideas like this already.


#7

Absolutely! If the base wage had kept up with price inflation since the 1960s, it would right now be over $20/hour. (It was $1.65 an hour when my oldest full brother started working in the 1960s, and $3.35 an hour when i started working in the 1970s.)

A decent living standard from a relatively fair base wage is a fundamental tool to ensure a decent share of economic productivity and wealth goes to the mass of common people, not to the looting class.

If only we lived in a functioning democracy...


#8

A good idea Mehmet, and unlike the Norquist pledge it would be driven by populist popular sentiment.


#9

With so many Congressional Democrats progressive on social issues, but no different on economic issues than their GOP brethren across the aisle, Bernie will need more than just replacing Congressional Republicans with Democrats.

The 2009-2011 Democrat controlled House and Senate gave us the Heritage Foundation's 20 year old reheated corporate welfare program that Obama and Congress labeled Affordable Care Act (ACA) and declared victory. Some of those Democrats are now providing the rubber stamps Obama needs to push TPP, TTIP and TISA through.


#10

There should be just 1 litmus test for the next Supreme Court Justice - would she overturn Citizens United?


#11

I adamantly do not like the idea of making the left side of the isle pledge to vote a certain way, I don't care how progressive or wonderful the issue is...forcing people to make a pledge reeks of the same fascist tactics the Republicans used to keep their soldiers in lock step. I think Bernie has the right idea by inspiring us citizens to become more active in demanding what we want our country to be and how we want to achieve it. We need to elect people to our congress who are similarly inspired and honest and doing the will of the people, not the will of moneyed interests -- which means we must pass tough campaign finance reforms, fire the "bought" politicians, break up the banks and big conglomerates, overturn citizens united, jail the white collar criminals who destroyed our economy and are stashing trillions of our money overseas...its a long list but we need to root out the endemic corruption. Only when enough people are inspired and willing to roll up our sleeves and make it happen will we see positive results.


#12

Litmus test or no, Progressive Voters should be aware of where their Representatives stand on issues. Check their voting records.

In California we had Diane Feinstein, a Democratic Senator. She needs to be voted out of office. Nancy Pelozi, she talked a good game, but she gave us Obama's ACA. She needs to be voted out, but I believe she's retiring anyway. It's up to Voters there to assess her successor.

It only makes sense to me to assume incumbents have been infected with the DLC center-right philosophy.

Each Congressional District needs to have a Progressive / Progressive Democrat association that identifies and selects candidates to run against incumbents. It is their responsibility to work for their election on the coat tails of Bernie Sanders.