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The Sanders Challenge


#1

The Sanders Challenge

Robert Borosage

Tweeting that “America needs a political revolution,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders threw himself Thursday into the race for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.


#2

Since Borosage doesn't provide any evidence that "She's moving to the left" as he alleges, have any of you readers seen any evidence Hillary is moving to the left ?


#3

She's taken on a bit of Populist lingo to give that (false) impression. It's shades of her husband's "I feel your pain" as he cut off welfare to please the corporate Ebenezer Scrooge types; you know, the ones who finance all "viable" candidates' campaigns: the ones the Clintons are long beholden to.


#8

Nah. She's like the shifting sands....


#9

I get the impression that the USA polices the world like the USAian Police police Baltimore.


#10

After Bernie is defeated by Hillary - with all the attendant publicity - would it not be possible for him to hook up with the Greens?


#12

The publicity from his run as a Dem might light a fire under a sizable percentage of the 99% and turn them Green.


#14

You're absolutely right, Matt.

If Sanders chooses to go on after Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, his best shot is indeed a Perot-style independent bid.

Nader, running as a Green, got 2.74 percent of the vote. Stein got 0.36 percent. Why welcome a candidate with a chance of breaking through into single digits?

Or, as the old saw goes, "Why are the fights in academia so intense? Because the stakes are so low."


#15

There are two very important elements in play here, Matt.

One is Bernie's candidacy.

The other is a golden opportunity to build a viable progressive movement.

Bernie will almost certainly lose to Hillary, but he will gain national recognition.

This recognition could be used by the Greens, if they offer, and he accepts, a Green candidacy. This could be the beginning of a viable progressive movement.

To advocate a split of the progressive vote among two or more parties is destructive of the solidarity
necessary to the building of a viable progressive movement, which will need a political base.

The Green Party, since it is the best established party to the left of center, seems the logical choice as the movement's political base.

So Bernie's run for the presidency, while it probably will not result in his being elected, could be used to build a sustainable progressive movement.

I fail to understand the logic of your and ticketsplitter's advocacy of Bernie running under the banner of a new party.

More than one radical/progressive/sensible-liberal party is EXACTLY WHAT WE DO NOT NEED if we really want to give voice to the US left.

We know that in unity there is strength, but diversity (more than one party of the people) splits the vote, guarantees the continued success of the D and R duopoly with its oligarchy rule, and strangles any attempt to build a lasting progressive movement.


#16

Bernie Sanders is the best candidate currently in the race, and will likely get my vote if I actually get a chance to vote for him before Clinton knocks him out of the primaries. Another concern voters will have is his age. His running mate becomes very important. All those folks encouraging Warren to run for president should encourage both Sanders to select her as his running mate and Warren to run for VP. That ticket would hold some promise and would expand the reach of the campaign.

Additionally, Sanders has said he will drop out if he loses the primaries because he doesn't want to split the democratic vote. Its hard to invest in a candidate who is clearly a fighter for the people, but still willing to play by arcane rules constructed by the two-party monopoly and its corporate masters. The people's candidate needs to be willing to disrupt the status quo and carry the campaign forward outside of the Democratic Party following the primaries.

Nonetheless, his presence in the campaign will drive a legitimate populist agenda into the light of day and could have the same effect that Occupy had on the national debate, which would be a very good thing.


#17

From Sanders website: President Barack Obama on Monday froze the U.S. assets of seven Russians close to President Vladimir Putin. The European Union announced similar sanctions one day after voters in Crimea supported a Russian-backed referendum to secede from Ukraine. “The entire world has got to stand up to Putin. We've got to deal with sanctions,” Sen. Bernie Sanders had said in a television interview last Friday night. He said freezing Russians’ assets was one possible recourse. “There are a number of things that you could do. But this is what you don't do: You don't go to war. You don't sacrifice lives of young people in this country as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

I think warmongering is a bit harsh. He isn't a pacifist but he is considerably better than his counterparts. No candidate is perfect. I'm prepared to vote for someone in this election who shares my view that we need to put our domestic house in order ASAP, with the understanding that his foreign policy is better than most and he will seek alternatives to outright war, as evidenced by his statement above.

When it's all said and done, and considering our choices, I would move heaven and Earth to elect Sanders with Warren as his running mate. The biggest issue I have against both of these candidates is their Israel/Palestine position, and I would hope that if elected, we could use our movement strength (because it will take a movement to elect Sanders/Warren) to change that position.


#18

I'll be supporting Sanders, too. And hope I get to vote for him! My youngest son is extremely excited by his candidacy, and for my kids' and grandkids' future I pray he actually wins. But I totally understand why Sanders will drop out if he loses in the primaries. I understand why it's upsetting to you as well. But if the dems are split then the repubs will win and the idiots running are just too unreal, scary, and just, well, idiotic to stomach. Four or more years of morons running the country with no check in the presidency to balance (or try to) their horrible policies will cause such pain and devastation to people and the earth. It's already too late to counter the worst effects of climate change, but additional fracking, toxic fossil fuel pipelines, a playing field rigged for corporations at the expense of everything and everyone else is absolutely guaranteed. With Hillary, some of the worst may be mitigated and she would (to quote someone I read somewhere) "hold the space" for more progressive candidates next time around. So I get Sanders' choice here. Have at me if you must.


#19

Dreaming again? The majority of Americans have already done that twice with Obama who ran on the same things Sanders is talking about now.

Besides, he is running on the Democratic ticket which keeps the two (ONE) party tyranny in place.

I am sure the media is happy. They were getting a bit bored with just Hillary.


#20

Obama didn't build a real movement, he just excited a lot of people the first time out of the box. Sanders is planning a grassroots campaign dependent on small contributions, and linking it to existing organizing already ongoing. Obama had a lot of small contributions, but his corporate donations exceeded the small ones. Sanders is not likely to draw much corporate cash. The Democratic Party machine will throw its weight behind Clinton, and do everything imaginable to drive Sanders out of the race, and likely out of office. There's a world of difference between these two men and their campaigns. Will Sanders be successful in helping to build a real peoples movement capable of putting him in office, and then goes on to support him in systems change? Who knows, but one thing is sure, Obama didn't build a movement, just a smoke and mirrors campaign.

I dropped out of the Democratic Party a long time ago, because I failed to understand how taking the winding route off the cliff our democracy is approaching with the Democratic Party is somehow better than taking the short cut to death with the Republican Party. If We the People are going to just sit by and try to vote our way out of our problems, I just as soon see our suffering ended sooner rather than later so the survivors can start to rebuild.

But what I really want is for Americans to assert our own power in a non-violent peoples movement that not only elects its own candidates, but sticks around to hold them accountable. Sanders could be our guy; Obama exploited us for his own ends. The two-party tyranny will still be in place regardless of who gets the nod. Let's not forget Congress, the state houses, and local governments. The election of one populist to the presidency will not undo more than a century of collusion between the two major parties. We need a people's movement to stop this bus before it goes over the cliff, and now is as good as time as any to start.


#21

BINGO! "Populist lingo to give that false impression." Hillary is just another Wall Street stooge in populist clothing. But they have selected her for the next President with a 2.5 billion $ campaign war chest. No doubt about it!


#22

Hey Ray,
If Hillary does anything it will be a HEAD FAKE to the LEFT!
Everyone must believe this.
4 or 8 years of Hillary is 4 more years of the same slow road to hell for 99% of us and
WOOHOO, There'll be a hot tubbity time in the old Lear Jet Tonight for the 1%
...Oh, and we're paying that bill! Tell your friends, in case they weren't paying attention.
The elite are using us like tools, as we pick which of their own we want to elect who will give them even more largess.


#23

some where she said we should get the non-transparent money out of politics, even if it requires a Constitutional Amendment, but in my cynical view, that was a message to Wall Street to cough up more money.


#24

I switched to the Dem. Party to support Bernie in the caucus primary here in NV, and to were my Bernie for Prez. hat to all the Dem. functions -- where the Hillary feminists are all giddy about the 1st woman-in-chief Prez. Then after Hillary, with the Big Money, cleans his clock, I'll go back to getting the Green Party on the ballot so I can vote for Jill Stein in the general election.


#25

I see little reason to believe that Hillary is so far doing anything but sniffing around any REAL progressive issues for the sake of testing reaction, until she thinks she knows which way the wind blows with the voters.
Even if she does move her rhetoric a little to the left during the primaries, in response to challengers like Sanders and to the outcry of the People for change - and even if she does maintain any of that rhetoric into the general election campaign - recent Democrat presidents have shown us that once elected they show their real stripes as store-bought politicians.
All the rhetoric turns out to be just that, and it's back to business as usual. (I hate to give them any credit, but at least the Republicans are honest about what their despicable policies are.)

I hate to sound cynical, but until she makes a real commitment - written in blood or something - I trust Hillary about as far as I could throw Bill, I'd love to have her prove me wrong, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it.


#27

"Sanders might be the Gene McCarthy to her Bobby Kennedy."

I was a Kennedyite in the fervent, tumultuous spring of 1968 and I still remember the snide, academic and sanctimonious McCarthyites screaming from the perimeters at Kennedy's appearances.

And then came McCarthy's actions in Chicago at the Democratic convention. He revealed himself for all to see. Any equation of Bernie Sanders with Eugene McCarthy is WAY OFF the mark.